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NEWS
April 20, 1989 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Forty-seven sailors were killed yesterday in an explosion and fire that roared through a giant gun turret on the battleship USS Iowa during a training exercise in the Atlantic Ocean off Puerto Rico. The Iowa, 330 miles northeast of the island, was firing its 16-inch guns during routine gunnery practice about 10 a.m. when an explosion tore through one of two gun turrets in front of the ship's bridge, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Steve Burnett said. The cause was not known. The death toll from the explosion and fire made it one of the worst U.S. naval accidents in recent history, a Navy spokeswoman said.
NEWS
May 20, 1989 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Investigators probing the gun-turret blast that killed 47 sailors on the battleship Iowa are looking into what one official called the "very thin" possibility of criminal wrongdoing involving a life insurance policy, defense officials said yesterday. The Naval Investigative Service is examining the relationship between Gunner's Mate 2d Class Clayton Michael Hartwig, 24, who died in the April 19 blast, and a surviving sailor Hartwig had named beneficiary of a life insurance policy more than a year ago paying $100,000 in the event of accidental death, according to Hartwig's sister, Kathleen Kubicina, and congressional officials.
NEWS
August 6, 2002 | Daily News wire services
Monitor's gun turret bears marks of battle The rusting remains of a Civil War gun turret of the USS Monitor that revolutionized naval warfare was pulled from the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Hatteras, N.C., yesterday. The iron turret, dented from Confederate cannonballs, was hauled aboard a barge in the grasp of a giant steel claw. In March 1862, the Monitor fought a four-hour duel to a draw with the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (rebuilt from a scuttled Union ship named the Merrimac)
NEWS
April 21, 1989 | By Rick Lyman and Patrisia Gonzales, Inquirer Staff Writers Inquirer wire services contributed to this article
The inferno that killed 47 seamen in a gun turret on the USS Iowa remained "an unexplained accident" yesterday, according to Vice Adm. Jerome L. Johnson, who was on board when the blast occurred. Johnson provided the first detailed account of the fatal explosion in one of the turrets and revealed that 11 seamen who had been on the lowest of the turret's six levels escaped the blast without injury. The survivors said they saw the flash of light from somewhere higher up and managed to scurry through a hatch, closing it behind them, before the flames spurted into the heavy armored turret's lowest level, Johnson said.
NEWS
September 8, 1989 | By Mark Thompson, Inquirer Washington Bureau The Los Angeles Times contributed to this article
The Navy yesterday portrayed Gunner's Mate Second Class Clayton M. Hartwig - who it said "most likely" caused the USS Iowa explosion that killed 47 sailors - as being "emotionally capable of committing suicide, probably with the intent of killing others also. " An FBI psychological profile of Hartwig that the Navy used in its investigation concluded that Hartwig "took his own life and hoped it looked like an accident," said Rear Adm. Richard D. Milligan, who led the four-month probe.
NEWS
July 6, 1990 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gary Gentile pulled himself down a diver's line toward the ocean floor as clouds of sparkling air bubbles rose behind him. One hundred feet. One hundred and fifty feet. The light from the surface grew dim, but Gentile began making out the dark image of an ironclad warship below. More than 230 feet down, he found what he was looking for: the final resting place of the USS Monitor, the famed Civil War vessel known for its duel with the Confederate ironclad Merrimack on March 9, 1862.
NEWS
April 20, 1989 | By Gloria Campisi, Daily News Staff Writer The Associated Press contributed to this report
Retired Rear Adm. Julian Becton, a former captain of the USS Iowa, can recall some of the bloodiest battles of World War II, but nothing to compare to the tragic accident yesterday aboard the battleship. "We went throughout World War II with many battleships, and we never had an accident like this one," said Becton, 81, who skippered the Iowa prior to its decommissioning at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in 1958. Becton, who lives in Wynnewood, Montgomery County, has a "suspicion" as to the cause of an explosion in a gun turret of the Iowa yesterday during training exercises off Puerto Rico.
NEWS
April 23, 1989 | By Rick Lyman, Inquirer Staff Writer Inquirer staff writers Patrisia Gonzales and Alan Sipress contributed to this article
Wednesday's naval exercises were nothing terribly taxing for the USS Iowa, a 47-year-old battleship that had just returned from three months in the Middle East. The "Puerto Rican Operations Area," the Atlantic Fleet's name for the vast bowl of ocean just northeast of the island, was alive with military might: 25 U.S. vessels, two from Venezuela and one from Brazil, more than 19,000 personnel, Navy and Marine. They were "routine naval exercises," Vice Adm. Jerome L. Johnson, who was aboard the Iowa, explained later, designed to "coordinate multiship and multibattle group exercises and to improve fleet readiness.
NEWS
July 25, 2005 | By Tom Avril INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Amid the usual samples of fish, bugs and river sediment, this month there is an unlikely assortment of wood and metal scraps in David Velinsky's environmental research lab at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Contained in six plastic bags, the scraps came from the wreck of the USS Monitor, the ironclad Civil War battleship that revolutionized naval combat. The vessel deteriorated sharply in the century after it sank in a storm off Cape Hatteras, N.C., in 1862, and ever since the wreck was discovered in 1973, conservationists have labored to slow the aging process.
NEWS
June 2, 1994 | By Frank Dougherty, Daily News Staff Writer
The most enduring memory of D-Day for DeFinis was its awesome scope. "The beaches were filled with troops. The sea was filled with acres of boats. The sky above the sea was filled with waves of Allied aircraft," he recalled. DeFinis was a 19-year-old Navy petty officer second class and cook aboard LST-517, one of hundreds of landing ship tanks, as they were called, that crossed the English Channel that morning to disgorge their precious cargoes of men and materiel. In the weeks leading up to D-Day, LST-517 was docked in Plymouth, an English port city across the channel from Normandy.
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NEWS
October 29, 2013 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA In his gun turret, Marine Cpl. Jason Simms was chatting over a radio with the driver of their light armored vehicle in Fallujah in 2004 when their lives changed forever. "He was from Tennessee and talked about the country life," Simms said of Lance Cpl. Tim Creager. "He told me, 'I'm going take you bull riding' when we get back home. " Wham! A shattering explosion and bright flash from an improvised explosive device stunned Simms, who came to about 30 seconds later to find himself slumped over the vehicle with his hands in flames.
NEWS
September 10, 2006 | By Kerry O'Connor FOR THE INQUIRER
The Battleship New Jersey is our country's most decorated warship. On the Camden waterfront, it serves as a large and impressive memorial to the past. But if you can pull your gaze down from its giant 16-inch diameter guns, you'll see Martin Waltemyer, an old sailor patrolling the teak deck who can tell you more about life at sea than the silent gray guns ever could. If you ask. "I usually don't talk about myself," Waltemyer said. "I didn't serve on the New Jersey and people are here to see her, so I talk about her record and some of the things she's seen in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Beirut.
NEWS
July 25, 2005 | By Tom Avril INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Amid the usual samples of fish, bugs and river sediment, this month there is an unlikely assortment of wood and metal scraps in David Velinsky's environmental research lab at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Contained in six plastic bags, the scraps came from the wreck of the USS Monitor, the ironclad Civil War battleship that revolutionized naval combat. The vessel deteriorated sharply in the century after it sank in a storm off Cape Hatteras, N.C., in 1862, and ever since the wreck was discovered in 1973, conservationists have labored to slow the aging process.
NEWS
August 6, 2002 | Daily News wire services
Monitor's gun turret bears marks of battle The rusting remains of a Civil War gun turret of the USS Monitor that revolutionized naval warfare was pulled from the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Hatteras, N.C., yesterday. The iron turret, dented from Confederate cannonballs, was hauled aboard a barge in the grasp of a giant steel claw. In March 1862, the Monitor fought a four-hour duel to a draw with the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (rebuilt from a scuttled Union ship named the Merrimac)
NEWS
July 8, 2002 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the last frightening moments, the sailors mounted the gun turret of the famed Civil War ship and waited for rescue while mountainous waves crashed around them and the deck heaved beneath their feet. Many crewmen leaped from their perch to bobbing longboats. Some missed and drowned. Then, at 1 a.m. on Dec. 31, 1862, the ship's red and white lantern lights disappeared in the roiling Atlantic Ocean off Hatteras, N.C. "The Monitor is no more," wrote survivor William Keeler.
NEWS
November 27, 2000 | By Joseph A. Gambardello, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the world of fixer-uppers, the USS New Jersey is no place for a Martha Stewart. This is a place of steel walls and linoleum floors, of deliberately exposed wires and hanging pipes, where space is tight and even the admiral's stateroom is no bigger than something you might find at a Holiday Inn. To navigate between its decks, climbing up and down narrow companionways and avoiding knee-knockers at every hatch, is to understand why seamen...
NEWS
February 2, 2000 | By Joseph A. Gambardello, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The state would ante up an additional $7.2 million to help turn the battleship New Jersey into a memorial museum on the Camden waterfront under legislation proposed yesterday. The allocation would bring New Jersey taxpayer support for the dreadnought to $15.2 million. Gov. Whitman has already promised $6 million for the museum, and $2 million was spent on towing "the Big J" from the Navy's mothball fleet in Bremerton, Wash., to Philadelphia. Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco (R., Union)
NEWS
November 12, 1999 | by Ramona Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
Cannons boomed on both sides of the Delaware River. Traffic jammed as drivers stopped in the middle of Interstate 95 to stare. Flags waved, geese honked and fireboats cascaded water down on the wake of the last great American battleship. The USS New Jersey had come home to Philadelphia. And thousands of people turned out to watch as she moved slowly toward the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, ending the Navy's most-decorated career. "That was worth the wait," said Neil Eikov, of Northeast Philadelphia, who watched from the seawall at Fort Mifflin yesterday.
NEWS
November 9, 1997 | By Joseph S. Kennedy, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
World War II was, for many who served, the defining time of their lives. Many of these veterans have lived long enough to enjoy the appreciation of a grateful nation. A few have even had the pleasure of personally being thanked by those they helped liberate. Donald Lewis of Dresher has received such an honor and cherishes it - not only for himself but also for his wartime comrades. In 1995, Lewis, a retired mechanical engineer, learned from the widow of one of his Air Force buddies that attempts were being made to locate the surviving crew of their B-17, which had crashed in northern Italy almost 50 years earlier.
NEWS
June 2, 1994 | By Frank Dougherty, Daily News Staff Writer
The most enduring memory of D-Day for DeFinis was its awesome scope. "The beaches were filled with troops. The sea was filled with acres of boats. The sky above the sea was filled with waves of Allied aircraft," he recalled. DeFinis was a 19-year-old Navy petty officer second class and cook aboard LST-517, one of hundreds of landing ship tanks, as they were called, that crossed the English Channel that morning to disgorge their precious cargoes of men and materiel. In the weeks leading up to D-Day, LST-517 was docked in Plymouth, an English port city across the channel from Normandy.
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