Petrel III PG-2 - History

Petrel III PG-2 - History


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Petrel III

(pG-2: dp. 867; 1. 188'; b. 31'; dr. 11'6"; s. 11.4 k.; cpl. 138;
a. 4 4", 2 3-pdrs.)

The third Petrel, a 4th rate gunboat laid down 27 August 1887, was built by the Columbia Iron Works and Dry Dock Co., Baltimore, Md.; launched 13 October 1888, and eommussioned 10 December 1889, Lt. Comdr. W. H. Bronson in command.

Assigned to the North Atlantic Station, Petrel continued with it until September 1891, when ordered to the Asiatie Station where she was to serve until 1911. Steaming north in May 1894, she reported at Unalaska, T.A., in July to operate with the Bering Sea patrol to discourage seal poaching. In July, she operated off the Pribiliof Islands; and in August she returned to her Asiatie station.

Withdrawing from Hong Kong in April 1898, Petrel became part of Dewey's fleet in the campaign against Manila. On 1 May, after Dewey's squadron had defeated the heavy Spanish ships, Petrel entered the inner harbor and lowered a boat to destroy 6 Spanish ships there. Petrel then steamed to the navy yard at Cavite and forced its surrender. Sent into Cavite to destroy any Spanish ships seeking refuge there 2 May, Petrel sent a party ashore which seized the arsenal at Cavite and returned with 2 tugs, Rapido and Hercules, plus 3 additional launches.

Petrel continued operations in the Philippines throughout 1898 and 1899. She joined Boston in shelling Panay Island 11 February 1899; on the 22nd, a force of 48 men from Petrel occupied Cebu. In October, Petrel joined Callao in supporting the Marine Corps assault on Neveleta by bombarding ahead of the advancing Marine column.

Decommissioning at Cavite after the war, Petrel re-commissioned 9 May 1910. After visiting European waters in 1911, she returned to the Atlantic coast. Disturbanees in the Caribbean sent her to Mexican and West Indian waters from 1912 to 1915 to protect American interests, and in 1916 she became station ship at Guantanamo. With the declaration of war Petrel returned to the United States to serve with the American Patrol Detsehment at Boston throughout the war.

After 30 years of service, Petrel decommissioned at New Orleans 15 July 1919 and was struck from the Naval Register 16 April 1920. She was subsequently sold to Snare and Treest, New York, 1 November 1920.


Service in the Pacific

Assigned to the North Atlantic Station, Petrel continued with it until September 1891, when ordered to the Asiatic Squadron where she was to serve until 1911. Steaming north in May 1894, she reported at Unalaska, in July to operate with the Bering Sea patrol to discourage seal poaching. In July, she operated off the Pribilof Islands and in August she returned to the Asiatic station.

Withdrawing from Hong Kong in April 1898, Petrel became part of George Dewey's fleet in the campaign against Manila. On 1 May, after Dewey's squadron had defeated the heavy Spanish ships in the first engagement of the Spanish–American War, Petrel entered the inner harbor and lowered a boat to destroy six Spanish ships there. (For more detailed information, see Battle of Manila Bay.) Petrel then steamed to the navy yard at Cavite and forced its surrender. Sent into Cavite to destroy any Spanish ships seeking refuge there on 2 May, Petrel sent a party ashore which seized the arsenal at Cavite and returned with 2 tugs, Rapido and Hercules, plus 3 additional launches.

Petrel continued operations in the Philippines throughout 1898 and 1899. She joined USS Boston in shelling Panay Island on 11 February 1899 on the 22nd, a force of 48 men from Petrel occupied Cebu. In October, Petrel joined USS Callao in supporting the Marine Corps assault on Neveleta by bombarding ahead of the advancing Marine column.

1901 fire

On the morning of 31 March 1901, while off Cavite in Manila Bay, Petrel suffered a fire which resulted in the death of her captain, Lieutenant Commander Jesse M. Roper. The fire originated in the sail room, a small compartment in the bottom of the ship, adjacent to the magazine and accessible only by a hatchway from the berth deck above. While some sailors cleared ammunition out of the magazine, another group, led by Roper, took turns entering the compartment and fighting the blaze. The fire produced no visible flames but thick, acrid smoke and fumes. The sail room was also pitch black the ship's electric generator had been turned off at dawn, and no other lamps would work in the harsh atmosphere of the compartment. A number of men, including Roper, were overcome by the bad air and were pulled out of the sail room semi-conscious. As the fumes grew thicker and more noxious, Roper ordered everyone out of the compartment, but one sailor, Seaman Patrick Toner, did not emerge from the room. [2]

When a sound was heard from below, believed to be Toner fighting for breath, four men descended to rescue him. The four were Roper (not fully recovered from his first trip below), Cadet J.E. Lewis, Jack of the Dust Kessler, and Gunner's Mate Flaherty. When the four men did not return, Seaman Alphonse Girandy tied a rope around his waist and climbed down the ladder. He found Kessler and Flaherty, both semi-conscious, and passed them up to be hauled through the hatchway. At the bottom of the ladder he found Toner and, although losing consciousness himself, held on to him as the sailors above pulled both men out of the compartment. Lieutenant J.S. McKean, with a rope around his waist, was next into the sail room, followed by Private Louis F. Theis of the ship's Marine Corps detachment and Seaman Thomas Cahey. As McKean searched in the darkness for the two men still missing, Lieutenant Commander Roper and Cadet Lewis, the ship's generator finally came back online. With the help of a lamp lowered through the hatchway, McKean could see Roper and Lewis slumped against the walls of the compartment. McKean dragged Roper to the ladder to be hauled out and then, with the help of Theis and Cahey, rescued Lewis just before losing consciousness himself. The fire was extinguished later that day Roper was killed by the fumes, but the other men all eventually recovered. [2] For their actions during the incident, Cahey, Girandy, and Thies were each awarded the Medal of Honor. [3]


By Patrick McSherry

Please Visit our Home Page to learn more about the Spanish American War Click here for an 1898 crew roster
Click here for Commander E. P. Wood's account of the Battle of Manila Bay

GENERAL:

BACKGROUND:

On May 1, 1898, the USS PETREL was a part of Dewey's squadron that entered Manila Bay and destroyed the Spanish Fleet. She was the third ship in the line of battle, after the USS OLYMPIA and the USS BALTIMORE. Following the battle, she sent one of her boats into the inner harbor to sink six Spanish vessel there. Following this action, the USS PETREL sailed to Cavite and forced its surrender. On May 2, she sent a landing party which seized the Cavite arsenal, two tugs (the RAPIDO and HERCULES) and three launches.

For the remainder of the Spanish-American War USS PETREL continued to serve around the Philippines. With the USS BOSTON, she shelled Panay Island on February 11, 1899. On February 22nd, she sent a landing force to occupy Cebu. In October, she the and the USS CALLAO aided the Marine Corps' assault on Neveleta with a bombardment.

Following the war, the USS PETREL was decommissioned at Cavite. On May 9, 1910, she was recommissioned. She steamed to Europe and then the East Coast of the United States. From 1912 to 1915, she cruised the Caribbean, protecting American interests as the need arose. In 1916, she became a station ship in Guantanamo, Cuba.

When the United States entered World War One, the USS PETREL was brought back into action, and served with the American Patrol Detachment at Boston.

On July 15, 1919, USS PETREL was finally decommissioned in New Orleans. She was stricken from the Naval Register on April 16, 1920 and sold to Snare and Treest of New York on November 1, 1920.

ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES:

Gunboats such as the USS PETREL were intended for use on inland waterways, rivers, and areas of shallower draft. They were also to be used for harbor blockading, freeing up larger vessels for other purposes.

TECHNOTES:

Classification:
Gunboat PG-2
Keel Laid:
August 27, 1887
Launched:
October 13, 1887
Completed:
December 22, 1887
Comissioned:
December 10, 1889
Rig:
Barkentine
Armament:
Four 6 inch guns


Two 3-pounders


One 1-pounder


Two 37 millimeter guns


Two Gatling Guns
Contractor:
Columbia Iron Works and Dry Dock Co., Baltimore, MD.
Length:
176 feet, 3 inches
Beam:
31 feet
Mean draft:
11 feet, 7 inches
Max. draft fully loaded:
13 feet, 5 inches
Displacement:
892 tons
Complement:
10 officers and 112 enlisted men under the command of E. P. Wood.
Engine type:
Horizontal, back-acting compound engine with a 33 inch stroke, generating 1,045 hp. Single screw.
Boiler type:
2 cylindrical straight-way boilers.
Speed:
11.55 knots
Coal bunker capacity:
200 tons
Normal coal supply:
100 tons
Endurance @ 10 knots:
4,000 nautical miles
Armor:
3/8" on slopes of watertight deck,


5/16" on flat of watertight deck.
Cost:
$247,000
Bibliography:

(As a service to our readers, clicking on title in red will take you to that book on Amazon.com)

Alden, Cmdr. John D., USN (Ret.), American Steel Navy , (Annapolis: United States Naval Institute Press, 1972).

Clerk of Joint Comittee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899. Vols. 2,4.


Petrel III PG-2 - History

Petrel Resources was originally known as Kish, an Irish exploration company, set up in 1982. Petrel Resources was established in 1997, through a name change of Kish, and was subsequently listed on AIM in 2000. A working agreement was signed to explore Block 6 in 2002. The change in power following 2003 meant all ratification on blocks were upheld until a hydrocarbon law was put in place, 13 years later we still await the implementation of the law and ratification of the block. In the interim period and while awaiting the ratification, Petrel, in 2005, was awarded an EPC contract for the upgrading of Subba & Luhais fields, value approximately $197m. A JV was signed with Iraqi group, Makman, to develop Subba & Luhais, in January 2006. Simultaneously a technical cooperation agreement was signed in Merjan field in 2005 and a cooperation agreement with Itochu in September 2006. The Merjan work was completed in 2008, while the company sold its 50 per cent stake in the Subba & Luhais project to a local company for $7 million in 2011.

The uncertainty in Iraq meant Petrel diversified into other projects. In 2010 Petrel took a 30 per cent stake in a local Ghanaian registered company Pan Andean Resources Ltd. Pan Andean has a signed Petroleum Agreement and awaits ratification. In the meantime Petrel has returned to its roots in Ireland and in 2011 was awarded two Licencing Options in the Porcupine Basin with two more in 2016.

in 2011, Petrel participated in the first Irish Atlantic Bid Round effectively open to juniors. We obtained 2 prospective areas (LO 11/4 and LO 11/6) which were subsquently farmed out to Woodside in 2013.

In 2016, Petrel were awarded a further 2 areas (LO 16/24 and LO 16/25). In 2018, Petrel received a 10% interest in LO16/4, operated by Woodside.


USS Petrel (PG-2)


Figure 1: USS Petrel (PG-2) photographed during the 1890s. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 2: USS Petrel (PG-2) oil on canvas by Francis Muller. Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC. Donation of Commodore J.H. Hellweg. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 3: USS Petrel (PG-2) on 16 December 1896 (10:00 am) at the Mare Island Navy Yard. US Navy Photo PG 2 12181896. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 4: USS Petrel (PG-2) date and place unknown. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 5: USS Petrel (PG-2) at Hong Kong, 15 April 1898, shortly before the beginning of the Spanish-American War. Note crewmen aloft watching the rowing launches racing past in the foreground, also shipping and Chinese junks in the distance. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Admiral Montgomery M. Taylor. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 6: Battle of Manila Bay, 1 May 1898, photograph of a contemporary artwork depicting USS Petrel (PG-2) in action during the battle. Courtesy of Mr. L.Y. Spear, Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT, 1948. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 7: USS Petrel (PG-2) fine-screen halftone reproduction of a pre-Spanish-American War photograph of the ship, with vignette portraits of her officers at the time of the 1 May 1898 Battle of Manila Bay. The officers' names and ranks are listed below the image. Copied from the book "The Battle of Manila Bay . An Epic Poem by Pay Director William W. Galt, U.S.N.,” published in 1900. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 8: Leftmost section (of six) of a panoramic photograph. Ship at the dock is Petrel (PG-2) circa 1917/1918, which was then the Station Ship at Guantanamo Bay. A South Carolina class battleship is visible in the right distance. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, DC. Donation of MMC Jesse Forton, USN (Retired), 1972. Naval Historical Center photo NH 76417. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 9: USS Petrel (PG-2) between 1898 and 1901. From the Detroit Publishing Company Collection of the Library of Congress. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 10: Quarter deck of USS Petrel (PG-2) between 1898 and 1901. From the Detroit Publishing Company Collection of the Library of Congress. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 11: USS Petrel (PG-2) between 1898 and 1901. From the Detroit Publishing Company Collection of the Library of Congress. Click on photograph for larger image.

Named after a sea bird, USS Petrel (PG-2) was an 867-ton steel gunboat with a barkentine sail rig that originally was designed as a small cruiser and was built by the Columbia Iron Works and Dry Dock Company, Baltimore, Maryland. The ship was approximately 188 feet long and 31 feet wide, had a top speed of 11.4 knots, and had a crew of 138 officers and men. Petrel was armed with four 6-inch guns, two 3-pounders, and one 1-pounder rapid-fire gun. Petrel was one of the first gunboats in America’s new steel Navy and was commissioned on 10 December 1889. Although heavily armed for a ship her size, Petrel was one of the smallest and slowest ships in the fleet.

Petrel initially was assigned to the North Atlantic Station and stayed with this unit until September 1891, when she was transferred to the Asiatic Station. Petrel basically remained with the Asiatic Station for the next 20 years, until 1911, although she did make one trip to Unalaska, Territory of Alaska, in May 1894. The gunboat assisted the Revenue Cutter Service and the Bering Sea Patrol in the battle against fur seal poachers. Petrel patrolled off the coast of the Pribilof Islands until July 1894, but then steamed west and returned to the Asiatic Station.

Petrel was in Hong Kong in April 1898 when she was attached to Admiral George Dewey’s squadron. After war was declared between the United States and Spain on 25 April 1898, Dewey’s ships left Mirs Bay near Hong Kong on 27 April. On 1 May 1898, the American warships entered Manila Bay and destroyed the small Spanish fleet that was based there. As Dewey’s squadron was bombarding the Spanish ships, Petrel steamed into the inner harbor of Manila Bay and lowered a boat that assisted in the destruction of six Spanish ships that were moored there. Petrel then proceeded into the Navy Yard at Cavite and accepted the Spanish surrender. The next day, a landing party from Petrel went ashore at Cavite and seized the arsenal that was located there, and also captured two tugs and three launches. As a result of the crushing American victory at Manila Bay, the United States took possession of the Philippines and became a major naval power in the Far East.

Petrel remained in the Philippines throughout 1898 and 1899. On 1 February 1899, Petrel and the cruiser USS Boston bombarded Panay Island and on 22 February a landing party of 48 men from Petrel occupied Cebu. In October, Petrel, along with the gunboat USS Callao, provided gunfire support for a US Marine Corps assault on Noveleta.

Petrel was decommissioned at Cavite in the Philippines in late 1899, but eventually was re-commissioned on 9 May 1910. After a brief trip to Europe in 1911, the gunboat returned to America’s east coast. From 1912 to 1915, Petrel protected American lives and property by patrolling off the coasts of Mexico and the West Indies. Then in 1916, she became the station ship at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After America entered World War I in April 1917, Petrel returned to the United States and was assigned to the American Patrol Detachment for the rest of the war.

USS Petrel was decommissioned for the last time at New Orleans on 15 July 1919, after almost 30 years of service in the US Navy. The old gunboat was struck from the Naval Register on 16 April 1920 and she was sold on 1 November of that same year.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

USS Bancroft


Figure 1: USS Bancroft (1893-1906) dressed with flags, circa 1893-98. Halftone photograph published in “Uncle Sam's Navy,” 1898. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 2: USS Bancroft (1893-1906) firing a salute in 1898. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 3: Commander Richardson Clover, USN (1846-1919). This photograph was taken circa 1898. He was Chief of the Office of Naval Intelligence immediately before and during the first weeks of the Spanish-American War and commanded USS Bancroft during the rest of the conflict. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 4: In June 1906, Bancroft was transferred to the Treasury Department. Renamed US Revenue Cutter (USRC) Itasca, she served in the Revenue Service until sold in May 1922. The Revenue Service became the US Coast Guard in 1915. This photograph shows Bancroft serving as the USRC Itasca after she was acquired by the Revenue Service, date and place unknown. US Coast Guard photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 5: The USRC Itasca in Naples, Italy, on a cadet training cruise. Date unknown. US Coast Guard photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 6: USRC Itasca in dry dock, date and place unknown. US Coast Guard photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 7: USRC Itasca, date and place unknown. US Coast Guard photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

Named after George Bancroft, a famous American historian and diplomat, the 839-ton USS Bancroft was the first training ship authorized by Congress for the new Steel Navy. The ship was basically a steel gunboat similar in size to USS Petrel and was equipped with modern engines as well as an auxiliary barkentine sail rig. Bancroft was built by Moore & Sons at Elizabethport, New Jersey, and was commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 3 March 1893. The ship was approximately 189 feet long and 32 feet wide, had a top speed of 14.37 knots, and had a crew of 130 officers and men. Though considered a training ship, Bancroft was heavily armed with four 4-inch guns, two 6-pounders, two 3-pounders, one 1-pounder, and a pair of 18-inch torpedo tubes.

After being commissioned, Bancroft steamed to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and became the training ship for the school’s naval cadets (which are what the students at the Academy were called at that time). For the next three years, Bancroft sailed up and down America’s east coast on summer training cruises for the cadets. Unfortunately, the ship only could accommodate about 40 cadets as well as the crew, which made her too small for use as a training ship at the Academy. Therefore, in the summer of 1896, Bancroft was converted into a conventional gunboat and was ordered to join America’s European Squadron. On 15 September 1896, Bancroft left New York and headed for Europe. After making stops in the Azores and at Gibraltar, Bancroft reached Smyrna, Turkey, on 15 October. For the next 15 months, the ship steamed in the eastern Mediterranean. Visiting ports in both the Ottoman Empire and Greece, Bancroft, as well as other US Navy warships, provided a measure of protection for Americans living in these areas, which often were engulfed in political turmoil and civil unrest.

Bancroft left the Mediterranean on 12 February 1898 and arrived at Boston, Massachusetts, on 4 April for an overhaul. The Spanish-American War was declared on 25 April and Bancroft was sent into action. She left Boston on 30 April and, after a brief stop at Norfolk, Virginia, arrived at Key West, Florida, on 9 May. She made several trips between Key West and Tampa, Florida, and on 14 June Bancroft left Key West and assisted in escorting American troop transports to Cuba. After arriving at a point near Santiago, Cuba, on 20 June, Bancroft steamed towards Altares, Cuba, the next day. For the rest of the war, Bancroft was assigned to blockade duty around Cuba. On 9 August, the ship returned to Key West and, after a brief stay, headed north. Bancroft arrived at Boston on 2 September and was decommissioned on 30 September 1898.

Bancroft was re-commissioned on 6 October 1902. She left Boston on 26 October and steamed south, stopping briefly at Norfolk and then continuing to the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. For almost 12 months, she patrolled the Caribbean and then spent several months off the coast of Central America, especially Panama, which had just won its independence from Columbia. Bancroft, as well as a number of other American gunboats, ensured that Panama remained independent so that the United States could build the canal there. Bancroft steamed along the coast of Panama between Porto Bello and Colon from 6 December 1903 to 28 February 1904, before returning to her regular patrol duties in the West Indies. Bancroft remained in the West Indies for the rest of the year and into 1905. On 29 January 1905, she left the Caribbean and headed north, arriving at Norfolk on 24 February. Bancroft was decommissioned once again on 2 March 1905.

On 9 July 1906, USS Bancroft was transferred to the Revenue Cutter Service (the forerunner of the US Coast Guard) at Arundel Cove, Maryland. The ship was renamed US Revenue Cutter (USRC) Itasca on 23 July and spent almost a year at Arundel Cove before being fully commissioned in the Revenue Cutter Service on 17 July 1907. From the summer of 1907 to the fall of 1911, Itasca again was converted into a training ship, only this time for Revenue Cutter Service cadets. She made five summer cruises to Europe and also enforced maritime and tariff laws off the coast of the United States. By September 1911, Itasca was assigned to patrol duties off America’s eastern seaboard, and also made occasional trips to the West Indies.

After World War I started in Europe on 1 August 1914, Itasca was given the new task of enforcing American neutrality laws, along with her regular duties of upholding maritime and tariff laws. For almost three years, Itasca steamed along the east coast of the United States and in the West Indies performing these duties. After America entered World War I in April 1917, Itasca (which, as of 1915, was part of the newly formed US Coast Guard) was transferred to the US Navy. For the rest of the war, Itasca patrolled off the eastern coast of the United States, basically performing the same duties she did before the war started. However, antisubmarine patrols were added to her list of responsibilities.

On 28 August 1919, Itasca was transferred back to the Coast Guard from the Navy. She resumed her former patrol duties and during the summer of 1920 made one final trip to Europe. Itasca returned to the United States on 3 October and on 31 October arrived at the Coast Guard Depot at Arundel Cove. The old gunboat remained there until she was sold for scrapping in May of 1922.


Deep-sea explorers find Japanese ship that sank during WWII

In this Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, photo, Vulcan Inc. director of subsea operations on the Petrel, Rob Kraft, left, looks at images of the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga, off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep in the Pacific. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the research vessel Petrel to one sunken battleship, the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga. This week, it's investigating what could be another. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are focusing in on debris fields deep in the Pacific, in an area where one of the most decisive battles of the time took place.

Hundreds of miles off Midway Atoll, nearly halfway between the United States and Japan, a research vessel is launching underwater robots miles into the abyss to look for warships from the famed Battle of Midway.

Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the Petrel to one sunken warship, the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga. This week, the crew is deploying equipment to investigate what could be another.

Historians consider the Battle of Midway an essential U.S. victory and a key turning point in WWII.

"We read about the battles, we know what happened. But when you see these wrecks on the bottom of the ocean and everything, you kind of get a feel for what the real price is for war," said Frank Thompson, a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C., who is onboard the Petrel. "You see the damage these things took, and it's humbling to watch some of the video of these vessels because they're war graves."

Sonar images of the Kaga show the bow of the heavy carrier hit the seafloor at a high rate of speed, scattering debris and leaving an impact crater that looks as if an explosion occurred in the ocean. The front of the vessel is buried in mud and sediment after nose-diving about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) to the bottom.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 photo, a sign is shown on a damaged World War II building on Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep in the Pacific. A research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

The U.S. bombs that struck the Kaga caused a massive fire that left it charred, but the ship stayed mostly together. Its guns, some still intact, stick out the side.

Until now, only one of the seven ships that went down in the June 1942 air and sea battle—five Japanese vessels and two American—had been located.

The expedition is an effort started by the late Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft. For years, the crew of the 250-foot (76-meter) Petrel has worked with the U.S. Navy and other officials around the world to find and document sunken ships. It is illegal to otherwise disturb the underwater U.S. military gravesites, and their exact coordinates are kept secret.

The Petrel has found 31 vessels so far. This is the first time it has looked for warships from the Battle of Midway, which took place six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and left more than 2,000 Japanese and 300 Americans dead.

In this Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, photo, Vulcan Inc. director of subsea operations of the Petrel, Rob Kraft looks at images of the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga, off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep in the Pacific. The research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

The attack from the Japanese Imperial Navy was meant to be a surprise, a strike that would give Japan a strategic advantage in the Pacific. It was thwarted when U.S. analysts decoded Japanese messages and baited their enemy into revealing its plan.

As Japanese warplanes started bombing the military installation at Midway Atoll, a tiny group of islands about 1,300 miles (2,090 kilometers) northwest of Honolulu, U.S. forces were already on their way to intercept Japan's fleet. U.S. planes sank four of Japan's aircraft carriers and a cruiser, and downed dozens of its fighter planes.

One of the American ships lost was the USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier that was heavily damaged and being towed by the U.S. on the battle's final day when it was hit by torpedoes. The other, the USS Hammann, went down trying to defend the Yorktown.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 photo, the shoreline of Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is shown from a landing airplane. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep in the Pacific. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the research vessel Petrel to one sunken battleship, the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

Retired Navy Capt. Jack Crawford, who recently turned 100, was among the Yorktown's 2,270 survivors.

Japanese dive bombers left the Yorktown badly damaged, with black smoke gushing from its stacks, but the vessel was still upright.

Then the torpedoes hit, Crawford told The Associated Press by telephone from his home in Maryland.

"Bam! Bam! We get two torpedoes, and I know we're in trouble. As soon as the deck edge began to go under, I knew . she wasn't going to last," said Crawford, whose later military career was with the naval nuclear propulsion program. He also served as deputy assistant secretary for nuclear energy in the Department of Energy.

The Yorktown sank slowly, and a destroyer was able to pick up Crawford and many others.

In May 1998, almost 56 years later, an expedition led by the National Geographic Society in conjunction with the U.S. Navy found the Yorktown 3 miles (5 kilometers) below the surface.

In this Oct. 19, 2018, photo, provided by John W. (Jack) Crawford III, retired Navy Capt. Jack Crawford poses for a photo at his home in Rockville, Maryland. Crawford, who recently turned 100 years old, served on the USS Yorktown during the World War II Battle of Midway and survived the Yorktown's sinking. (John W. (Jack) Crawford III via AP)

Crawford doesn't see much value in these missions to find lost ships, unless they can get some useful information on how the Japanese ships went down. But he wouldn't mind if someone was able to retrieve his strongbox and the brand-new sword he left in it when he and others abandoned ship 77 years ago.

He was too far away to see the Kaga go down.

A piece of the Japanese aircraft carrier was discovered in 1999, but its main wreckage was still missing until last week.

After receiving some promising sonar readings, the Petrel used underwater robots to investigate and get video. It compared the footage with historical records and confirmed this week it had found the Kaga.

Rear Adm. Brian P. Fort, commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Japan, extended thoughts and prayers to Japan. "The terrible price of war in the Pacific was felt by all our navies," he said.

  • In this Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 photo, a damaged World War II radar station is shown on Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep near Midway in the Pacific. A research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
  • In this June 3, 2018, photo, provided by John W. (Jack) Crawford III, retired Navy Capt. Jack Crawford signs an autograph at the Battle of Midway dinner at the Army-Navy Club in Arlington, Va. Crawford, who recently turned 100 years old, served on the USS Yorktown during the World War II Battle of Midway and survived the Yorktown's sinking. (John W. (Jack) Crawford III via AP)
  • In this Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, photo,Vulcan Inc. director of subsea operations for the Petrel, Rob Kraft looks at images of the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga, off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep in the Pacific. The research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
  • In this Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 photo, a damaged World War II building is shown on Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Researchers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on debris fields deep in the Pacific. A research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
  • In this Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019 photo, Vulcan Inc. director of undersea operations for the Petrel, Rob Kraft, left, and the Naval History and Heritage Command's Frank Thompson, left, look at footage of the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga, off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep in the Pacific. The research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
  • In this Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 photo, a memorial to the World War II Battle of Midway is shown on Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. A group of deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships is honing in on sonar readings of debris fields in the Pacific Ocean. A research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
  • In this Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019 photo, Vulcan Inc. director of subsea operations of the Petrel, Rob Kraft, left, looks at a blueprint for the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga, off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands have already led the crew of the Petrel to one sunken battleship, the Japanese ship the Kaga. This week, the crew is deploying equipment to investigate what could be another. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
  • In this Oct. 7, 2019 image taken from underwater video provided by Vulcan Inc., the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga is shown in the Pacific Ocean off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep in the Pacific. A research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the Petrel to one sunken battleship, the Kaga. (Vulcan Inc. via AP)
  • In this Oct. 7, 2019 image taken from underwater video provided by Vulcan Inc., the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga is shown in the Pacific Ocean off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep in the Pacific. A research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the Petrel to one sunken battleship, the Kaga. (Vulcan Inc. via AP)
  • In this Oct. 7, 2019 image taken from underwater video provided by Vulcan Inc., the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga is shown in the Pacific Ocean off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep in the Pacific. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the research vessel the Petrel to one sunken battleship, the Kaga, and it's investigating this week what could be another. (Vulcan Inc. via AP)
  • In this Oct. 7, 2019 image taken from underwater video provided by Vulcan Inc., the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga is shown in the Pacific Ocean off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. A research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the Petrel to one sunken battleship, the Kaga. This week, it's investigating what could be another. (Vulcan Inc. via AP)
  • In this Oct. 7, 2019 image taken from underwater video provided by Vulcan Inc., the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga is shown in the Pacific Ocean off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea explorers scouring the world's oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on a debris field deep in the Pacific. A research vessel called the Petrel is launching underwater robots about halfway between the U.S. and Japan in search of warships from the Battle of Midway. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the Petrel to one sunken battleship, the Kaga. (Vulcan Inc. via AP)

The other three Japanese aircraft carriers—the Akagi, Soryu and Hiryu—and the Japanese cruiser Mikuma are still unaccounted for.

The Petrel crew hopes to find and survey all the wreckage from the battle, an effort that could add new details about Midway to history books.

Earlier this year, they discovered the USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier that helped win the Battle of Midway but sank in the Battle of Santa Cruz near the Solomon Islands less than five months later. More than 100 crew members died.

The Petrel also discovered the USS Indianapolis, the U.S. Navy's single deadliest loss at sea.

Rob Kraft, director of subsea operations on the Petrel, says the crew's mission started with Allen's desire to honor his father's military service. Allen died last year.

"It really extends beyond that at this time," Kraft said. "We're honoring today's service members, it's about education and, you know, bringing history back to life for future generations."


Stormy Petrel is the Anarchist Communist Group’s theoretical. The latest issue is a bumper 60 pages of revolutionary anarchist communist thought and ideas. It contains the following:

  • Building Resilient Communities: The Challenges of Organising Locally
  • Community Activism in South Essex
  • Mutual Aid during the Pandemic
  • Charity or Solidarity?
  • Covid Mutual Aid: A Revolutionary Critique
  • ACORN – no mighty oak!
  • Anarchist Communists, anti-fascism and Anti-Fascism
  • Women: Working and Organising
  • What is Anarchist Communism? (excerpt from Brian Morris’s forthcoming book)
  • Poll Tax Rebellion – Danny Burns
  • Book Reviews – Putting the poll tax rebellion in perspective
  • We Fight Fascists: The 43 Group and Their Forgotten Battle for Post-War Britain
  • Class Power on Zero Hours
  • McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality

History of the Petrel

“The Fall of 2012 saw the introduction of the Petrel dive computer, and it was quite an exciting time to be a part of the company – the Petrel was a big step forward for Shearwater and it met with immediate success.

The Petrel replaced the Predator in all applications, from rebreather controllers, analog monitors, to stand-alone dive computers. With the release of the recreational mode of the firmware the following year, the Petrel began to reach a broader audience and continued to be a big hit.

The Petrel2 update was also met with high praise from the diving community, with a greater number of recreational divers using Shearwaters than ever before. With greater success, it made sense to make a stand-alone only computer, and this evolution resulted in the introduction of the Perdix.

The Petrel has remained as a mainstay for rebreather controllers but also continued to sell in the stand-alone form to some tech divers. Despite being nearly 7 years old, the Petrel continues to get development support and firmware updates and has proved to be a very solid and reliable product.”

The Petrel has been relied on for years by the most demanding of divers. From deep, open ocean dives to cave exploration to rebreather divers and film crews the Petrel has been put through its paces around the world and continues to be the computer of choice for many of the world’s most serious divers.


Watch the video: I Cant Give You Anything But Love feat. Schnuckenack Reinhardt


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