Thursday, November 19, 2009

Robbing the Naval Institute (Don't Tell Anyone)

As I mentioned.....this is a secret. You have to swear you won't tell anyone. Ok? Alright.So we drive away from the main campus up a hill around the United States Naval Academy Cemetery and Columbarium. It's very picturesque, set into the hill, overlooking the main campus and the Severn River. At the top of the hill is Beach Hall. Beach Hall houses the US Naval Institute.

The USNI was founded in 1873 to create forum for the exchange of ideas. If you are into history and the Navy (and the Marines, lol) what's inside is absolutely wondrous!

Every issue of Proceedings magazine......books, you can't imagine how many books.....photographs being's the home of the USNI blog! In this pic you see Capt. Edward L. Beach, Jr., USN, who wrote "Run Silent, Run Deep" (which I think I still owe an overdue fine for at the Charlestown Public Library). In 1999 when the Naval Institute dedicated its new headquarters it was named Beach Hall to honor the contributions of Captain Beach and his father Captain Edward L. Beach, USN, who served as the Institute's secretary-treasurer.

The public can visit, by appointment.....I snuck in the back.

I was awestruck walking through the stacks. Taking in everything in the glass front cases. Originals of Tom Clancy's "The Hunt for Red October" Multiple editions of "The Bluejacket's Manual". Copies of "Warrior's Rage"; "Japanese Destroyer Captain". A treasure trove of artifacts from the storied history of the United States Navy.

We entered a room with nothing but photographs and looked at pics of baseball players visiting the Navy just before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

At one point we walked out onto the second floor balcony you see here. The view is lovely and I am told it is the place to see the Blue Angels when they are in town. So much stuff that it was just beyond my ability to take it all in. And ships. Destroyers, carriers, frigates, PT boats. Everywhere pictures of ships. Photographs, prints, paintings of ships.

Along the way, books started piling up in my arms -

Something from the Marines. Admiral Nimitz - Shrink wrapped for freshness?
So many books!
And magazines too.
In Love and War: The Story of a Family's Ordeal and Sacrifice during the Vietnam Years by Jim & Sybil Stockdale. A book that's been on my wish list for a while.

Mister Roberts & Destroyer Captain! You can't even imagine my excitement.

So, this is why it was a good thing there was a vehicle handy! I could have hauled all this loot back off campus if I had to.....but I'm glad I didn't have to!
If you have the chance to visit, don't pass it up. The blog is a must read. You can follow the Naval Institute on Twitter too. promised..........mum's the word!


LargeBill said...


You have to read the Stockdale book. I understand you have a great appreciation for the Navy. Well, the Stockdale book puts a very real human family face on your image of the Navy. Zumwalt's "ON Watch" is also a great read. I joined the Navy several years after Zumwalt's time and my first bosses made me read that book to get an appreciation for how the Navy had changed in the decades prior to my enlisting.

Take care,

JihadGene said...

Some great books there! I love Proceedings magazine! My neighbor is retired Navy and gives me his old issues!

Jim Dolbow said...

Great post!! Beach Hall is one of my favorite places - full of great people.