The National Maritime Historical Society

Resource for Naval Veterans Seeking Asbestos Information

The for-profit asbestos-advocacy organization The Mesothelioma Center has made available on its website a searchable database for naval veterans. Visitors to the site can search individual US Navy ships for further information on that ship’s use of asbestos in its construction and components.

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Charles Point Council April Seminar: The New York Naval Militia

History and Missions of the New York Naval Militia
with Major General Robert L. Wolf, NYNM (Ret.)

Saturday, 30 April 2016
Hendrick Hudson Library – 25 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY 10548
Continental Breakfast is at 10:30 AM. Presentation is at 11:00 AM.


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The New York Naval Militia (NYNM) was first created in 1889 and was formally mustered into state service as the First Battalion, Naval Reserve Artillery, on 23 June 1891. After the sinking of USS Maine, the NYNM sent five divisions of its 1st Battalion to fight in the Spanish-American War, and also conducted patrols of New York Harbor. The New York Naval Militia was activated during both World War I and World War II, as well as the Korean War. In this presentation, Major General Wolf, the immediate past commander of the New York Naval Militia, will talk about the history and missions of the unit.

Upon his retirement from the Regular United States Marine Corps on 1 December 1994, he was commissioned in the New York State Naval Militia, in February 2015.  The NYNM, a volunteer force of the organized militia of the United States, is authorized under Title 10, United States Code. Naval_Militia_Bugler_NGM-WebThe State Naval Militia must meet the standards set by the US secretary of the navy, by which 95% of the State Naval Militia must be Active Drilling Reservists and 5% may volunteer from the active duty retired ranks.  As a Lieutenant Colonel of Marines, he was the operations officer for 26 MEU (SOC) and mission coordinator during the initial invasion of Sarajevo.  A parachute and SCUBA-qualified marine, he was originally assigned as Special Missions, Special Operations Training Group (SOTG) II MEF before he was selected and assigned as an immediate relieved his predecessor. It was Bob Wolf who, in 1992, designed the rescue SOP which was later implemented to rescue US Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady (shot down behind Serbian lines) in June 1995, during the Bosnia conflict.

Major General Wolf is currently an associate director, Veterans and Military Affairs at State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College at Fort Schuyler.

The public is invited. Please contact the National Maritime Historical Society at 914 737-7878, ext. 0, or email nmhs@seahistory.org if you plan to attend. A $5 to $10 donation is appreciated. If you would also like to join NMHS and the speaker for lunch following the presentation, it is $25 prepaid, with cash bar. Reservations required.

For more information on the complete lineup of seminars as it is finalized, please check back with the Charles Point Council page for ongoing updates.

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Nauticus to Purchase Schooner Virginia

The Norfolk City Council voted on Tuesday to approve a plan for the Nauticus Foundation to buy the schooner Virginia. Under the proposed plan, Virginia would be docked next to the battleship Wisconsin and used for educational programming.

CREDIT: Mark Krasnow Photography

CREDIT: Mark Krasnow Photography

Nauticus, an interactive science and technology center that explores the naval, economic, and nautical power of the sea, is run by the city of Norfolk and supported by the nonprofit Nauticus Foundation. It is home to the Battleship Wisconsin and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Using a $1 million state grant to cover the purchase of the schooner and seed a fund for future maintenance and repairs, Nautilus plans to use Virginia as part of Sail Nauticus, a program that gives underprivileged children around Hampton Roads access to the water.

The program teaches kids about character and teamwork, and builds science and math skills.

A reproduction of the last all sail vessel built for the Virginia Pilot Association, Virginia was built in Norfolk between 2002 and 2004, and sailed for the Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation as an educational platform. She has sailed up and down the Atlantic coast, as well as to international destinations such as Trinidad, Bermuda, and Prince Edward Island. A reduction in state funding for the program made it increasingly difficult for the VMHF to meet operating costs, and the organization put the schooner up for sale last year.

Photo: Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation

Virginia and Pride of Baltimore II. Photo: Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation

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CBMM Announces Boat Auction

CBMM_OverstockBoatAuction_April28-May1The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) is holding its very first sealed-bid boat auction. Due to a large number of recent boat donations, up to 20 in-the-water boats—ranging in size and performance from cabin cruisers and sport fisherman to sailing yachts—will be auctioned off to each boat’s highest bidder. The boats will be available to preview at CBMM beginning on Thursday, April 28 and continuing during museum hours until all sealed bids are due at noon on Sunday, May 1.

A suggested value will be provided for each boat; sealed bids will be opened on Monday, May 2, with all successful bidders then notified of their purchases. Auctioned boats are sold as is, and must be removed from CBMM’s docks no later than 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. The museum will process all taxes and the transfer of title and registration for each successful bidder.

The spring overstock auction is in addition to CBMM’s annual Labor Day weekend live auction on Saturday, September 3, when more than 100 boats will be on land and in the water for the highest bidders to take home. Proceeds from both events benefit the children and adults served by the non-profit museum.

Through a generous grant from the Miles River Yacht Club Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will be addressing boater safety at the overstock sealed-bid auction by providing a 4-pack of life jackets with each boat auctioned off at the event.

Full details can be found here.

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Looking for an Organization to Take On Historic Ferry

TBinghamton 1he custodian of the ferryboat Binghamton is searching for someone to take possession of the vessel. One of six steam-powered screw-propeller, double-ended ferryboats built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock for the Hoboken Ferryboat Company in 1905, Binghamton served from 1905–1967 between Hoboken and Manhattan before being sold and converted into a restaurant in Edgewater, NJ, in 1975. The 500-ton steam boilers were removed and 640 tons of concrete were poured into the hull as ballast. She was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Damage from Hurricane Sandy has left Binghamton partially submerged, and her present condition is described as “poor.”

Only qualified interested parties that which can demonstrate the ability toBinghamton 2 undertake the removal and preservation will be considered.

The complete Public Notice can be found here; it will expire after 90 days, on June 29th, 2016. Interested parties must by that date enter into a written agreement for the removal of the vessel from the site for the purposes of preservation.

Interested parties should email FerryboatBinghamton@gmail.com to receive more information.

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Charles Point Council Seminar: The Genius of Naval Architect John W. Griffiths

The Charles Point Council of the National Maritime Historical Society Will Present

The Genius of Naval Architect John W. Griffiths
& His Record-Setting Clipper Ships:

A Discussion Panel with NMHS Chairman Ronald Oswald,
Matthew Carmel and the John Willis Griffiths Gravesite Project

griffiths200w294hSaturday, 30 May 2015
Hendrick Hudson Free Library – 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY 10548
Continental breakfast is at 10:30 AM. Presentation is at 11:00 AM.
Join us for another incredible seminar as an informative discussion panel explores the American naval architect John W. Griffiths (1809–1882), designer of the record-setting Rainbow and Sea Witch clipper ships and author of books on ship design and construction. Despite his reputation as a “naval architect genius,” Griffiths is buried in an unmarked grave in Queens, NY. Join NMHS in celebrating Griffiths and raising awareness to fund a well-earned headstone.

SeaWitch copySteadily gathering momentum since the 25 October 2013 New York Post article “Grave Injustice for NY Ship Hero,” the John Willis Griffiths Gravesite Project seeks to honor this “maverick of American ship-building at a time when it was one of (New York) City’s most important industries.”  and Sea Witch set several remarkable records, and his innovations left a lasting impression on ship design. The New York Post article sums it up: “New York, and the nation, owe Griffiths an appropriate headstone.”

The public is invited. Please contact the National Maritime Historical Society at 914-737-7878, ext. 0, or email nmhs@seahistory.org if you plan to attend. A $5 to $10 donation is appreciated. If you would also like to join NMHS and the speaker for lunch following the presentation, it is $22 prepaid, with cash bar. Reservations required.

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