Photos Navies Of All Nations

British personnel observing battleship Vittorio Veneto while surrendering to the Allies in Malta, September 13, 1943
Durand de la Penne-class destroyer Luigi Durand de La Penne (D560) entering Grand Harbour, Malta for a logistical stop. 15 April 2023

Carlo Bergamini-class frigate Antonio Marceglia (F 597) at Świnoujście Poland
Fletcher class destroyer USS Hoel (DD-533) off San Francisco, California, 3 August 1943

After replenishing at Seeadler Harbor of Manus, Admiralty Islands, Hoel cleared that base with a fire support group 12 October 1944 to join Rear Admiral Thomas L. Sprague's escort carrier group (Task Group 77.4) in invading the Philippines. Sprague's force was composed of three units, each comprising a group of escort carriers and a screen of destroyers and destroyer escorts. These units, known by their radio calls as the "Three Taffys", began operating off Samar 18 October 1944 to cover the landings on Leyte. Hoel was attached to "Taffy 3" (Escort Carrier Task Unit 77.4.3) commanded by Rear Admiral Clifton A. F. Sprague and comprising four escort carriers guarded by destroyers Hoel, Heermann, and Johnston. Before the Battle off Samar, "Taffy 3" was reinforced by the arrival of Admiral Ralph A. Ofstie with two more escort carriers and Dennis, John C. Butler, Raymond, and Samuel B. Roberts.

Battle off Samar
Dawn of 25 October 1944 found "Taffy 3" steaming northeast of Samar operating as the Northern Air Support Group. "Taffy 2" was in the central position patrolling off the entrance to Leyte Gulf, and "Taffy 1" covered the southern approaches to the Gulf some 150 miles (240 km) to the southeast of Hoel's "Taffy 3". Rear Admiral Clifton A. F. Sprague was under the erroneous impression that Admiral William Halsey's 3d Fleet was providing protection to the north and so was taken by surprise when at 06:45 "Taffy 3"'s lookouts observed anti-aircraft fire to the northward and within three minutes were under heavy fire from Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita's powerful Centre Force of 4 battleships, 6 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, and 11 destroyers.

The only chance for survival of the little group of American "Jeep" carriers and "tin cans" lay in running to the east long enough to launch what aircraft could be readied before fleeing to the south hoping that aid would arrive before their complete destruction. While the carriers launched all available aircraft to attack their numerous Japanese adversaries and then formed a rough circle as they turned toward Leyte Gulf, Hoel and her fellow destroyers Johnston and Heermann, worked feverishly to lay down a smoke screen to hide their "baby flattops" from the overwhelmingly superior enemy ships. At 07:06, when a providential rain squall helped to hide his carriers, Admiral Clifton Sprague boldly ordered his destroyers to attack the Japanese with torpedoes. Hoel instantly obeyed this order by heading straight for the nearest enemy battleship, Kongō, then 18,000 yards (16,000 m) away. When she had closed to 14,000 yards (13,000 m) she opened fire as she continued her race toward Kongō's 14-inch (356 mm) guns. A hit on her bridge which knocked out all voice radio communication did not deflect her from her course toward the enemy until she had launched a half salvo of torpedoes at a range of 9,000 yards (8,200 m). Although Hoel's torpedoes all failed to strike their target, they caused Kongō to lose ground in her pursuit of the carriers by forcing her to turn sharply left and to continue to move away from her quarry until they had run their course. Minutes later Hoel suffered hits which knocked out three of her guns, stopped her port engine, and deprived her of her Mark-37 fire control director, FD radar, and Bridge steering control.

Undaunted, Hoel turned to engage what her crew believed to be a column of enemy heavy cruisers which were actually the battleships Haruna and Yamato. When she had closed to within 6,000 yards (5,500 m) of the leading ship, identified as Haguro but more likely Yamato, or possibly Haruna. As Hoel came closer and closer to the Japanese ships, Yamato fired at Hoel with her 5-inch guns, while Haruna targeted Hoel with her secondary batteries, and Hoel returned fire, getting into a gun duel with the largest and most powerful battleship ever made. Hoel struck Yamato with a 5 inch shell, and it's unclear if Yamato scored any hits, or if Hoel made any hits on Haruna. The destroyer launched a half-salvo of torpedoes which ran "hot, straight and normal." This time her crew was rewarded by the sight of large columns of water alongside their target, seemingly signifying hits. This observation may have been illusory, as neither Haruna nor Haguro received torpedo damage and explosions may have been near miss bombs from the constant air attacks. Track charts of the battle indicate the most likely target of this attack was actually Kurita's flagship Yamato, which, with torpedoes from the Heerman, was forced to turn north to evade these torpedoes, taking Kurita away from the battle at a critical moment and causing him to lose control of his forces, and forcing the Japanese centre force's most effective warship, Yamato, out of the battle for an extended period of time.

Hoel now found herself crippled and surrounded by enemies. Kongō was only 8,000 yards (7,300 m) off her port beam, and the heavy cruiser column was some 7,000 yards (6,400 m) off her port quarter. To make things worse, battleship Yamato, returning from an evasive maneuver, possibly targeted Hoel with her secondary guns (although it is unclear whether Yamato targeted Hoel or Johnston with her 6.1-inch guns). During the next hour the ship rendered her final service by drawing enemy fire to herself and away from the carriers. In the process of fishtailing and chasing salvos she peppered them with her two remaining guns. Finally, at 08:30, after withstanding over 40 hits, an 8-inch (203 mm) shell stilled her last working engine. With her engine room under water, her No. 1 magazine ablaze, and the ship listing heavily to port and settling by the stern, Hoel's captain, Commander Leon S. Kintberger, ordered his crew to "prepare to abandon ship." The Japanese continued to fire at the doomed ship as her surviving officers and men went over the side and only stopped at 08:55 when Hoel rolled over and sank.

Only 86 of Hoel's complement survived; 253 officers and men died with their ship, at least 40 of them dying in the water while awaiting rescue. Commander Kintberger described the courageous devotion to duty of the men of the Hoel in a seaman's epitaph to the action: "Fully cognizant of the inevitable result of engaging such vastly superior forces, these men performed their assigned duties coolly and efficiently until their ship was shot from under them."
Armoured cruiser Azuma, First Narrows, Vancouver. 1914
Hobart class destroyer HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41), Sydney Harbour, Australia. Aug 2023


Yorktown-class aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) laden with B-25Bs for the Doolittle Raid, flanked by Gleaves-class destroyer USS Gwin (DD 433) with Brooklyn class light cruiser USS Nashville (CL-43) in the background
Daring class (Type 45) destroyer HMS Duncan (D 37) UNREPS with Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13) in the Ionian Sea. July 29, 2023. Photo from Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61)
Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 335), Sydney Harbour. Aug 2023

Bay-class anti-aircraft frigate HMS Veryan Bay (K651) during a visit to Gisborne, New Zealand in September 1950


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La Galissonnière-class light cruiser La Galissonnière, the day before being launched, Brest Arsenal, November 17th 1933
A Merlin from 845 Commando Helicopter Force fast ropes Royal Marines from RFA Argus to HMS Medway. 14 August 2020

The Atlantic Patrol Tasking has arrived in The British Virgin Islands to reassure them that they will be looked after in this year’s hurricane season. RFA Argus and HMS Medway met up to transfer stores and to also fly over the islands to let them know the Navy has arrived in the area.
RFA Argus is a Primary Casualty Receiving Ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. It has a 100-bed medical complex on board. She acts as a floating medical facility, she is currently in Curacao.
Type XB submarine U-117 under attack by U.S. Navy aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean, 7 August 1943

On 1 December 1942, U-117 was assigned to the 12th U-boat Flotilla at Bordeaux. Her fifth and final patrol began on 22 July 1943 from her base in Bordeaux. Her main objective on this patrol was to lay 66 mines off New York City. On 27 July, U-Boat Control directed U-117 to divert from her course to refuel U-66, which was also heading for North America. U-66 was attacked by aircraft on 3 August, before the rendezvous took place, and was in need of medical assistance.[9] U-117 reached U-66 on 6 August and transferred her ship's doctor and other essentials to U-66.

The next day, Grumman TBF Avenger aircraft (VC-1 USN) from the escort carrier USS Card attacked the two U-boats on the surface while U-117 was refueling U-66. The Avengers dropped depth charges near U-117 and U-66. U-117 tried to help U-66 during the attack, but was attacked herself by a FIDO homing torpedo dropped by another Avenger. Two more Avengers and two F4F Wildcats arrived later from USS Card and forced U-117 to dive and then dropped depth charges. U-117 was hit by one of two FIDO homing torpedoes dropped by the Avengers and sank with the loss of all crew. U-66 was able to escape the Avengers during the attack and make her way back to her home port of Lorient.
Japan & USCG:
Oyashio-class diesel-electric attack submarine inbound Yokosuka Naval Base with outbound diesel-electric icebreaker JS Shirase (AGB-5003) and inbound U.S. Coast Guard Legend-class cutter USCGC Munro (WMSL-755), 07/08/2023.


New Mexico class battleship USS Mississippi (BB-41) steams past the statue of Liberty, in New York Harbor, May 1927

New Mexico-class battleship USS Idaho (BB-42) in Hawaiian waters, October 1940
Project 1123 Kondor (NATO Moskva) class helicopter cruiser Leningrad (109). Bow image from 1985, stern image 1 April 1990
Audacious-class aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (R09) passes the decommissioned Audacious-class aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (R05) at Devonport, 5 April 1978
Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Patricia Steele, from Roseburg, Oregon, fires an air slug from a surface vessel torpedo tube aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) in the Baltic Sea, July 27, 2023.

Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) arrives in Middle East. Aug. 6, 2023

San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) entering Narvik harbour, Norway, on 05/08/2023

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A Sopwith 1 & 1/2 Strutter taking off from the flying off platform on B turret, Queen Elizabeth-class battleship HMS Malaya, circa 1918

RN & Germany:
King George V-class battleship HMS Anson as completed in June 1942.

"Duke of York vs Scharnhorst, 1943" - Paul Wright
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Australia & USN:
Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41) conduct a simulated replenishment at sea with the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during Talisman Sabre 23, aboard the USS America, in the Coral Sea, Aug. 1, 2023.


A U.S. Marine with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, plays a game of rock-paper-scissors with an Royal Australian Navy sailor aboard the guided-missile destroyer HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41) during a simulated replenishment at sea for Talisman Sabre 23, aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), in the Coral Sea, Aug. 1, 2023.