The Navy Hymn

Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid’st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.
O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked’st on the foaming deep,
and calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!
Most Holy spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!
O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe’er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Origins of the U.S. Navy Flag

The Department of the Navy Seal, created in 1957, was to serve as the main feature of the official United States Navy flag, adopted two years later. The flag did not pass through an evolutionary development as was the case with the Navy seal.

Ships of the earliest period in the Nation’s naval history wore a variety of flags, including the striped Grand Union, and those bearing a pine tree or rattlesnake. However, these various banners may be considered steps in the genesis of the national ensign, the “Stars and Stripes,” rather than forebears of a specific flag for the Navy.

Toward the end of the nineteenth century the Infantry Battalion flag (above left) was introduced for use by naval landing forces. This was a blue flag with a white diamond shaped device in the center and a blue foul anchor superimposed on the diamond. For more than sixty years, the Infantry Battalion flag served as the unofficial Navy flag in drill formations and parades and at other ceremonies. An official Navy flag, truly representative of the Navy’s operating forces at sea, was authorized by Presidential order 24 April 1959:

The flag for the United States Navy is 4 feet 4 inches hoist by 5 feet 6 inches fly, of dark blue material, with yellow fringe, 2 1/2 inches wide. In the center of the flag is a device 3 feet 1 inch overall consisting of the inner pictorial position of the seal of the Department of the Navy (with the exception that a continuation of the sea has been substituted for the land area), in its proper colors within a circular yellow rope edging, all 2 feet 6 inches in diameter above a yellow scroll inscribed “United States Navy,” in dark blue letters.

Unlike the national ensign, commission pennant, union jack, and admiral’s broad pennant which fly from gaff, mast, or staff on board naval vessels, the flag of the United States Navy is reserved for display purposes and is carried by an honor guard on ceremonial occasions.

Presidents Who Served in the U.S. Navy

John F. Kennedy (1961-63); Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69); Richard M. Nixon (1969-74); Gerald R. Ford (1974-77); Jimmy Carter (1977-81); George Bush (1989-93)

USS Coronado (PF-38)

The USS Coronado (PF-38), a Tacoma-class frigate, was the first ship of the United States Navy named for Coronado, California.  She was launched June 17, 1943 by the Consolidated Steel Corporation under a Maritime Commission contract.  It was sponsored by Mrs. J. R. Crutchfield.  Lieutenant Commander N. W. Sprow, USCG, was in command.  Originally the PF-38 was a gunboat, but was later redesignated as a patrol frigate.

Coronado sailed from San Diego on February 8, 1944 for convoy escort duty to Australia en route to New Guinea.  After escorting troop and cargo transports to Manus and support the landings there, she returned to the western part of New Guinea taking part in the landings there.  Later that year, she sailed from Humboldt Bay to join in the Leyte operation.  In 1945, after an overhaul back in the States, she sailed for Alaska where she took on four Soviet officers and 45 men aboard for training. Coronado was decommissioned in July of that year and transferred to Russia under land lease.  Returned to the U.S. at Yokosuka in 1949, she was placed in reserve there until 1953 when she was transferred on loan to Japan under the Mutual Assistance Program. Coronado served in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (Sugi) until decommissioned on March 31, 1969.  At that time, she was returned to U.S. custody in 1971.  Currently, her fate is unknown.

During her commission, Coronado received four battle stars for her World War II service:  the Bismarck Archipelago operation, the Hollandia operation, the Western New Guinea operation, and the Leyte Gulf operation.

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