Welles II DD- 628 - History

Welles II DD- 628 - History


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Welles II

(DD-628: dp. 1,630; 1. 348'3"; b. 36'1"; dr. 17'5"; s. 37.4 k. (tl.); cpl. 276; a. 4 6", 4 40mm., 7 20mm.,5 21" tt., 2 dct., 6 dcp.; cl. Gleaves)

The second Welles (DD-628) was laid down on 27 September 1941 at Seattle, Wash., by the Seattle Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 7 September 1942, sponsored by Mrs. Suzanne Dudley Welles Brainard, and commissioned on 16 August 1943, Lt. Comdr. Doyle M. Coffee in command.

Following shakedown training along the west coast of the United States, Welles returned to Puget Sound on 26 October. After post-shakedown availability there, she got underway on 15 November in company with two British escort carriers which she escorted as far as San Diego, Calif. Continuing on her way, the destroyer transited the Panama Canal on 28 November and set a course for New York. She stopped along the way at Norfolk and, upon her arrival at New York on 4 December, joined Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 38. Ordered farther north, the warship departed New York on 26 December and arrived in Boston harbor the following day. On the 28th, she and her division mates got underway for the western Pacific in the screen of New Jersey (BB-62). The task unit stopped briefly at Norfolk where New Jersey's sister battleship, lowa (BB-61), joined it for the voyage to the Pacific. The unit transited the Panama Canal during the first week in January 1944 and continued its voyage west on the 8th.

Welles and her travelling companions arrived at Funafuti in the Ellice Islands on 21 January and remained there for a week before getting underway for New Guinea. The destroyer arrived at Milne Bay on 5 February and joined the 7th Fleet. Later in the month, she escorted a convoy of LST's to Cape Gloucester on the island of New Britain. On 29 February, Welles provided gunfire support for elements of the Army's 1st Cavalry then landing on Los Negros Island in the Admiralties. During that operation, the destroyer came under fire from enemy automatic weapons and at least one field gun but sustained no damage. After completing her portion of the mission, she moved out to the transport area to provide antisubmarine defense. Periodically, she returned close to shore to provide call fire for American troops fighting ashore.

In March, she returned south to the area around Buna to prepare for operations to capture the remainder of the northern coast of New Guinea. During the Hollandia assault, the first of five leap frog steps to the Vogelkop, Welles was assigned to Task Group (TG) 77.2, the Central Attack Group which mounted its assault at Humboldt Bay on 22 April. About a month later, on 18 May, she supported the landings at Wakde Island and at Sarmi on the New Guinea mainland. From there, the warship continued with General MacArthur's amphibious jump to Biak Island where she provided gunfire support during the landings and consolidation operations from 27 May to 2 June. During that time, she destroyed several Japanese barges harassed enemy ground forces, silenced a shore battery or two and helped to repel several air attacks.

Leaving Biak on 2 June, the warship screened logistics convoys along the New Guinea coast for about a month before arriving off Noemfoor Island—located just west of Biak—to support the capture of that island. At the end of July, she participated in the last amphibious operation in New Guinea when troops went ashore at Cape Sansapor on the Vogelkop.

She returned to Aitape early in August and then moved from there down the coast to Finschhafen whence she departed on 23 August, bound for the Solomon Islands. Welles arrived at Florida Island on 26 August and became a unit of the 3d Fleet. She immediately plunged into preparations for the impending Palau attack. For the assault on Peleliu and Angaur, the destroyer initially screened the carriers providing air support. After the mid-September landings on the two islands, she was detached from the carriers and moved into the transport area to provide antisubmarine defense and to guard against any attempts to reinforce the two islands. At the conclusion of her participation in the Palau operation, she joined TG 77.2 and began preparations for the invasion of the Philippines at Leyte.

She moved into Leyte Gulf on 18 October—two days before the actual landings—to cover preinvasion minesweeping and underwater demolition team operations. Her 5-inch shells also contributed to the preinvasion bombardment of the objective. After the 20 October landings, the warship delivered call fire in support of the troops advancing ashore and defended the invasion fleet against the heavy enemy air attacks launched against it. In the latter role, she claimed one unassisted kill. When the Japanese launched their three-pronged surface attack to break up the Leyte assault, Welles joined the screen of Vice Admiral Oldendorf's line of old battleships which virtually annihilated the enemy force which attempted to push through the Surigao Strait south of Leyte on the night of 24 and 25 October. Soon thereafter, she concluded her part in the Philippine operation and retired to Ulithi Atoll where she joined the screen of the Fast Carrier Task Force.

For the remainder of her participation in the war, Welles cruised with either the fast carriers or with their logistics unit as the flattops launched air strikes on Japan's inner defenses and supported—from a distance—the invasions at Luzon, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

In June 1945, she retired to Leyte for rest and upkeep. On the 21st of that month, she received orders to return to the United States for a major overhaul. Steaming via Eniwetok and Oahu, the destroyer arrived in Bremerton, Wash., on 16 July. She remained there through the end of hostilities in August and until late September.

On 29 September, she got underway for the east coast. After a stop at San Pedro, Calif., she transited the Panama Canal on 14 October and headed for New York where she arrived on the 20th. In November, the ship moved south to Charleston, S.C., where she was placed out of commission on 4 February 1946. Welles was berthed with the Charleston Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, until 10 February 1968 at which time her name was struck from the Navy list. On 18 July 1969 she was sold to the Union Minerals & Alloy Corp. for scrapping.

Welles earned eight battle stars during World War II.


Approach to asymptomatic creatine kinase elevation

How to manage a patient who has an elevated serum creatine kinase (CK) level but no or insignificant muscle-related signs and symptoms is a clinical conundrum. The authors provide a systematic approach, including repeat testing after a period of rest, defining higher thresholds over which pursuing a diagnosis is worthwhile, and evaluating for a variety of nonneuromuscular causes. They also outline a workup for neuromuscular causes.

Measuring serum creatine kinase (CK) is an important part of the evaluation of patients with muscle weakness or myalgia, and of assessing patients with myopathies or rhabdomyolysis. But elevated CK sometimes is an incidental finding in a patient without muscle-related symptoms or with only minimal nonspecific muscle symptoms (eg, cramps, spasms, fatigue) that do not significantly interfere with activities of daily living. This condition is sometimes referred to as 𠇊symptomatic hyper-CK-emia.” Four other muscle enzymes that may also be elevated are aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and aldolase.

This review focuses on the evaluation of patients with elevated CK without significant muscle-related symptoms and proposes an algorithm for this purpose ( Figure 1 ).

Diagnostic workup of asymptomatic creatine kinase elevation.


Gleaves class destroyer

The Gleaves-class destroyers were a class of 66 destroyers of the United States Navy built 1938–1942, and designed by Gibbs & Cox. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] The first ship of the class was the USS Gleaves (DD-423). The U.S. Navy customarily names a class of ships after the first ship of the class hence the Gleaves class. They were the production destroyer of the US Navy when it entered World War Two.

They were virtually identical in appearance to the Benson-class destroyers (DD-421), distinguishable only by the shape of their stacks— the Gleaves class had round stacks, and the Benson class had flat-sided stacks. Thus, the two classes were often collectively referred to as the BENSON/GLEAVES class.

Initially they were known as the Livermore- class destroyers because the design was standardized with USS Livermore (DD-429), after a requested design change — increasing temperature from 700 °F to 825 °F for follow-on ships from Gibbs & Cox. [ 3 ]

"Gleaves emerged as the class leader for all the Gibbs & Cox-designed ships, which also included all sixteen FY 1939 and 1940 ships (DDs 429–444), as Bethlehem’s follow-on bid to build more [Benson- class] ships with its own machinery was rejected." [ 3 ]

An article at the National Destroyer Veterans Association site notes:

"Some references identify the BENSON-GLEAVES class as the BENSON-LIVERMORE class. This was a designation for the FY 38-destroyer procurement coined by popular writers in compiling a number of fleet handbooks, for example James C. Fahey’s The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, volumes 1–4, 1939–45. Some handbooks further split the class, adding the Bristol (DD-453) as yet another division. According to tradition, however, a class is identified by the lead ship hence BENSON-GLEAVES is the proper designation for this group of destroyers." [ 2 ]

Twenty one were in commission when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Eleven were lost to enemy action during World War II, including Gwin, Meredith, Monssen, Bristol, Emmons, Aaron Ward, Beatty, Glennon, Corry, and Maddox.

Most were decommissioned just following World War II. Eleven remained in commission into the 1950s, the last withdrawn from service in 1956. [ 3 ]

In 1954 Ellyson and Macomb were transferred to the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force where they served as the JDS Asakaze and JDS Hatakaze (DD-182).


Correcting the Pentagon’s Distorted Budget History

The Defense Budget Is Even Larger Than You Think: part two of two

Given the warped measures that high-spending advocates and the Defense Department use to calibrate past, present and future defense spending (described here Monday), it is important to find an independent, objective yardstick to measure Pentagon spending trends accurately.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one.

If there were, this debate would be over, and I could retire.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis in the Commerce Department might be tasked with the job of finding one, but it actually plays a major role in devising the Pentagon’s self-serving measures of inflation. The Office of Management and Budget has its own deflators that are only slightly different.

Both embrace the proposition that a large portion of cost growth in Pentagon spending should be counted as inflation: the Pentagon experiences more inflation than other agencies and should get more money—the argument goes.

In the 1980s, the Congressional Military Reform Caucus argued that the Pentagon should be held to an independent but analogous measure of inflation, and identified the Producer Price Index as most appropriate. Others, especially the Defense Department, disagreed.

The differences will not be resolved here, but the question remains: what would the Pentagon’s budget history look like if it lived by the rules followed by most everyone else — especially the rest of the federal government, and the American economy?

Many employ the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) price index to calibrate the broad economic activity of the U.S. economy. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget broadly uses it. Currently it comes in the “chained” version, which attempts to weigh purchasing substitutions as prices increase. There are many controversies on the appropriateness of this measure for example, see John William’s Shadow Government Statistics website. However, it is significant to note that the Congressional Budget Office uses such a generalized deflator in much of its defense budget analysis, especially for measuring spending over time and comparing military spending to other types of spending.

Thus, the official and most widely-used measure currently employed by OMB and others to calculate economic growth and economy-wide inflation is the “GDP (Chained) Price Index.”

OMB publishes it every year, and the data goes as far back as 1940 in its Historical Tables (Table 10-1). To answer the question, What would the Pentagon’s budget history look like if it lived by the rules followed by the rest of the federal government and the American economy?, the GDP (Chained) index is the appropriate measure.

Figure 4, below, shows the defense budget in current-year dollars, in the Pentagon’s calculation of constant 2014 (equal value) dollars, and using OMB’s GDP (Chained) Price Index to calculate separately constant 2014 dollars. Keep in mind that these very different graph-lines are all for the same annual defense budget. Most notably, there are some remarkable differences between the Defense Department’s version of its constant dollar budget history and that history as told by the measure of inflation used by the economy at large.

It is important to note that while the scale of the graph shows big differences in past decades — sometimes well over $100 billion through swaths of several years — the differences also persist right up to the present, even if the scale of the graph does not reveal the variance. For example, for 2009, the Pentagon measure of inflation

asserts that the Pentagon had $7.5 billion more in inflation than the OMB/GDP measure finds. The implication is important: the Defense Department asserts its $664 billion current-year budget had a purchasing value of $734 billion in 2014 dollars: that the $70 billion difference was due solely to inflation. The OMB/GDP measure of inflation asserts that those $664 current year dollars had a value of just $727 billion: that there was $8 billion less in any changes due to inflation.

What the Pentagon measures for itself as inflation, the OMB/GDP measure shows to be cost growth due to factors other than inflation. Potential explanations could range from more complicated than expected hardware simply costing more, increases in Defense Healthcare Program costs due to higher profit margins among companies providing Tricare for Life, or troop pay increases above the rate of inflation — all real issues.

Similarly, for the period beyond 2014, the Defense Department argues that it needs more money just to “stay even” with inflation — an extra $2.7 billion in 2018, for example It’s a deeply embedded and esoteric cost cow, and the extra money it generates over time can be immense.

If we inspect the OMB-GDP graph-line in Figure 4, we can measure that immensity and make some remarkable, heretofore unrecognized, observations about the defense budget over time:

— First, the Pentagon budget has grown over time to levels that are far higher in recent years—in “real” terms—than the spending in any other period since the end of World War II. Specifically, the $628 billion spent annually, on average, since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began in 2001 until 2014, compares to

— $277 billion spent on average each year in the 1950s.

— $366 billion spent on average in the 1960s.

— $342 billion in the 1970s.

— $489 billion in the 1980s.

— And $402 billion in the 1990s.

Pentagon spending since 2001 vastly exceeds that of any decade since 1950, and it is notable that the wars of the 1950s and 1960s (Korea and Vietnam) involved far larger deployments of troops and equipment than the wars since 2001.

— Second, the $612 billion President Obama is seeking for 2014 is a major increase above the average yearly amount ($354 billion) spent during the Cold War (1948-1991). The 2014 level is a $258 billion, or 72% — increase. It is notable that today’s highly-elevated spending level occurs in the absence of the existential military threat from the Soviet Union’s nuclear and conventional forces, and the additional threat of a dogmatically-communist, internationally-hostile People’s Republic of China.

In addition, Obama’s proposed 2014 spending compares to the $504 billion spent on average during the previously known high: the Reagan Administration (1981-1989). Next year’s proposed spending represents a $108 billion – 21% — increase.

If Congress goes along, Pentagon spending levels will exceed any previous high by any other president in any year in peace or in war since the death of President Roosevelt in 1945, except for President George W. Bush from 2006 to 2008.

— Third, if the additional cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 via sequestration are allowed to take effect — thereby trimming the 2014 amount by $52 billion to $560 billion — it would return U.S. military spending to roughly 2003’s level. This amount would exceed every prior year all the way back to 1945, except the year 1985 — the peak of the Reagan years — which reached about the same level as 2014 would be with sequestration.

Finally, the shrill claims of some that reductions of the magnitudes currently being debated would cut defense spending to “dangerously low” levels or trigger a “doomsday” scenario are historically ignorant, and biased, contentions. They are intended to keep spending at near-unprecedented levels, rather than to return to norms for relative peace, once U.S. troops have left Afghanistan after a dozen years of war there.

The argument presented here does not mean that finding intelligent ways to enable U.S. armed forces to prosper at reduced spending levels will be easy or simple, but it does imply that it can be done.

Doing so would require the Pentagon and Congress get off their current fixation that the level of spending correlates directly with the level of effectiveness in our armed forces and the level of security for the nation. To achieve real reform—more effectiveness and security at lower spending levels—will require wholesale changes in the way national-security decision makers think, or failing that, it would require changes in the people who are making the decisions.

But that’s tomorrow’s issue.

Today’s bottom line is simpler: current military spending is lapping at historic highs, not lows.


Infantile Hemangioma Differential Diagnoses

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David LR, Malek MM, Argenta LC. Efficacy of pulse dye laser therapy for the treatment of ulcerated haemangiomas: a review of 78 patients. Br J Plast Surg. 2003 Jun. 56(4):317-27. [Medline].

Chinnadurai S, Sathe NA, Surawicz T. Laser treatment of infantile hemangioma: A systematic review. Lasers Surg Med. 2016 Mar. 48 (3):221-33. [Medline].

Sie KC, McGill T, Healy GB. Subglottic hemangioma: ten years' experience with the carbon dioxide laser. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1994 Mar. 103(3):167-72. [Medline].

Burstein FD, Simms C, Cohen SR, Williams JK, Paschal M. Intralesional laser therapy of extensive hemangiomas in 100 consecutive pediatric patients. Ann Plast Surg. 2000 Feb. 44(2):188-94. [Medline].

Laubach HJ, Anderson RR, Luger T, Manstein D. Fractional photothermolysis for involuted infantile hemangioma. Arch Dermatol. 2009 Jul. 145(7):748-50. [Medline].

Coulie J, Coyette M, Moniotte S, Bataille AC, Boon LM. Has Propranolol Eradicated the Need for Surgery in the Management of Infantile Hemangioma?. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Oct. 136 (4 Suppl):154. [Medline].

[Guideline] Krowchuk DP, Frieden IJ, Mancini AJ, Darrow DH, Blei F, Greene AK, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Infantile Hemangiomas. Pediatrics. 2019 Jan. 143 (1):[Medline].

Phillips D. AAP Guideline Urges Prompt Care for Infantile Hemangiomas. Medscape Medical News. Available at https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/906955. December 24, 2018 Accessed: February 6, 2019.

Hemangeol [package insert]. Parsippany, NJ.: Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2014.

Pope E, Chakkittakandiyil A. Topical timolol gel for infantile hemangiomas: a pilot study. Arch Dermatol. 2010 May. 146(5):564-5. [Medline].

Khunger N, Pahwa M. Dramatic response to topical timolol lotion of a large hemifacial infantile haemangioma associated with PHACE syndrome. Br J Dermatol. 2011 Apr. 164(4):886-8. [Medline].

Bigorre M, Van Kien AK, Valette H. Beta-blocking agent for treatment of infantile hemangioma. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009 Jun. 123(6):195e-6e. [Medline].

Truong MT, Chang KW, Berk DR, Heerema-McKenney A, Bruckner AL. Propranolol for the treatment of a life-threatening subglottic and mediastinal infantile hemangioma. J Pediatr. 2010 Feb. 156(2):335-8. [Medline].

Perkins JA, Chen BS, Saltzman B, Manning SC, Parikh SR. Propranolol Therapy for Reducing the Number of Nasal Infantile Hemangioma Invasive Procedures. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Feb 20. [Medline].

Harding A. Propranolol Associated With Reduced Need for Invasive Hemangioma Treatment. Medscape [serial online]. Available at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/821133. Accessed: March 3, 2014.

Sommers Smith SK, Smith DM. Beta blockade induces apoptosis in cultured capillary endothelial cells. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2002 May. 38(5):298-304. [Medline].

Danarti R, Ariwibowo L, Radiono S, Budiyanto A. Topical Timolol Maleate 0.5% for Infantile Hemangioma: Its Effectiveness Compared to Ultrapotent Topical Corticosteroids - A Single-Center Experience of 278 Cases. Dermatology. 2016 Sep 3. [Medline].

Greenberger S, Boscolo E, Adini I, Mulliken JB, Bischoff J. Corticosteroid suppression of VEGF-A in infantile hemangioma-derived stem cells. N Engl J Med. 2010 Mar 18. 362(11):1005-13. [Medline].

Sadan N, Wolach B. Treatment of hemangiomas of infants with high doses of prednisone. J Pediatr. 1996 Jan. 128(1):141-6. [Medline].

Tamayo L, Ortiz DM, Orozco-Covarrubias L, et al. Therapeutic efficacy of interferon alfa-2b in infants with life-threatening giant hemangiomas. Arch Dermatol. 1997 Dec. 133(12):1567-71. [Medline].

Ricketts RR, Hatley RM, Corden BJ, Sabio H, Howell CG. Interferon-alpha-2a for the treatment of complex hemangiomas of infancy and childhood. Ann Surg. 1994 Jun. 219(6):605-12 discussion 612-4. [Medline].

Barlow CF, Priebe CJ, Mulliken JB, et al. Spastic diplegia as a complication of interferon Alfa-2a treatment of hemangiomas of infancy. J Pediatr. 1998 Mar. 132(3 Pt 1):527-30. [Medline].

Dubois J, Hershon L, Carmant L, Belanger S, Leclerc JM, David M. Toxicity profile of interferon alfa-2b in children: A prospective evaluation. J Pediatr. 1999 Dec. 135(6):782-5. [Medline].

Michaud AP, Bauman NM, Burke DK, Manaligod JM, Smith RJ. Spastic diplegia and other motor disturbances in infants receiving interferon-alpha. Laryngoscope. 2004 Jul. 114(7):1231-6. [Medline].

Welsh O, Olazaran Z, Gomez M, Salas J, Berman B. Treatment of infantile hemangiomas with short-term application of imiquimod 5% cream. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 Oct. 51(4):639-42. [Medline].

Hazen PG, Carney JF, Engstrom CW, Turgeon KL, Reep MD, Tanphaichitr A. Proliferating hemangioma of infancy: successful treatment with topical 5% imiquimod cream. Pediatr Dermatol. 2005 May-Jun. 22(3):254-6. [Medline].

McCuaig CC, Dubois J, Powell J, Belleville C, David M, Rousseau E. A phase II, open-label study of the efficacy and safety of imiquimod in the treatment of superficial and mixed infantile hemangioma. Pediatr Dermatol. 2009 Mar-Apr. 26(2):203-12. [Medline].


Did Elizabeth Woodville, England’s ‘White Queen,’ Die of the Plague?

When Elizabeth Woodville died in 1492, she was buried with little of the pomp and circumstance befitting a woman of her rank. Despite the fact that she was Edward IV's queen consort, mother of the missing princes in the tower—Edward, Prince of Wales, and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York—and grandmother of Henry VIII, just five attendants transported her casket down the Thames River to Windsor Castle. Here, Elizabeth's arrival was met with silence rather than the typical tolling of bells. Soon after, the “White Queen” of England, so-called for her links with the royal House of York, as represented by the emblem of the white rose, was buried without receiving any of the traditional funerary rites.

As Alison Flood reports for the Guardian, a 500-year-old letter recently unearthed in England’s National Archives may hold the key to understanding the muted affair. Written by Andrea Badoer, the Venetian ambassador to London, in 1511, the missive states, “The Queen-Widow, mother of King Edward, has died of plague, and the King is disturbed.”

Based on context clues, records specialist Euan Roger tells Flood it seems likely that the queen in question was Elizabeth. If Roger’s theory is correct, as he argues in a new study published in the Social History of Medicine, the letter would account for not only the dowager queen’s simple funeral (given fear of contagion, plague victims were often buried quickly and without ceremony), but also the Tudor king’s exaggerated, lifelong fear of plague and other deadly illnesses.

Elizabeth of York, oldest daughter of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV, married Henry VII, uniting the warring houses of York and Lancaster (Public domain)

According to Flood, Badoer’s note is the only near-contemporary record to identify Elizabeth’s cause of death. Previously, most historians had attributed the modest burial ceremony to the queen’s own wishes, as she reportedly requested a funeral “without pompes entring or costlie expensis donne thereabout.”

This explanation makes sense in light of the fact that Elizabeth spent the last years of her life in relative isolation at Bermondsey Abbey. It also provides a reason for why she was buried immediately upon her arrival at Windsor instead of being laid out in the chapel for several days.

Given the gap in time between Elizabeth’s 1492 death and Badoer’s 1511 letter, Roger suggests Badoer’s account served as a reflection on how Henry’s personal history affected his emotional state rather than a record of current events. In 1511, the Tudor king was young and hopeful of his dynasty’s future—another 20 years would pass before Henry divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, in favor of the younger, and presumably more fertile, Anne Boleyn—but he still had no heir, raising concern for what would happen in the event of his untimely demise.

Fear of disease was a recurring theme in Henry’s life: As Erin Blakemore explains for History.com, the king spent his summers moving between various country houses, eager to escape the seasonal illnesses sweeping through the country’s capital. Plague was a key concern, as was the sweating sickness, a mysterious affliction that found its victims “well today and dead tomorrow,” in the words of the Conversation’s Derek Gatherer. Known to cause a cold sweat, fever, heart palpitations and dehydration, the sweat killed between 30 to 50 percent of those struck with the illness in just 3 to 18 hours. Interestingly, Gatherer points out, the sweat—widely rumored to have arrived in England with Henry VII’s band of foreign mercenaries in 1485—had died out by the late Elizabethan era and remains poorly understood to this day.

Elizabeth's grandson, Henry VIII, depicted in 1509, the year of his ascension to the English throne (Public domain)

While Henry never contracted the plague or the sweat, thousands of his subjects were not so lucky. If Roger’s hypothesis proves true, the king’s own grandmother was among them.

According to popular legend, Elizabeth Woodville first caught Edward IV’s attention while waiting under an oak tree in hopes of convincing the passing king to restore her sons’ inheritance. Known then as Lady Elizabeth Grey, she had been widowed by the Wars of the Roses, an ongoing dynastic clash between two branches of the royal Plantagenet family. Regardless of how the pair truly met, it's clear that her renowned beauty immediately appealed to the notoriously lascivious young Yorkist. The couple wed secretly in 1464, thwarting advisors’ hopes of negotiating a diplomatically advantageous marriage and attracting the ire of virtually everyone at court aside from the newly elevated Woodville faction.

The remainder of Elizabeth’s life was marked by a series of power struggles. At one point, Edward briefly lost the throne, which was subsequently reclaimed by the Lancastrian Henry VI, and upon the Yorkist king’s death, his brother, Richard III, seized power by declaring his nephews illegitimate. During an early coup, Edward’s former ally and mentor also ordered the executions of Elizabeth’s father and brother. And, of course, at some point during Richard’s reign, her sons, the unlucky “princes in the tower,” vanished without a trace. Still, the end of the 30-year conflict found Elizabeth in a position of relative victory: She negotiated the marriage of her daughter, Elizabeth of York, to Henry VII, forging peace between the warring houses before her death by uniting the white rose of York with the red rose of Lancaster.


Did Elizabeth Woodville, England’s ‘White Queen,’ Die of the Plague?

When Elizabeth Woodville died in 1492, she was buried with little of the pomp and circumstance befitting a woman of her rank. Despite the fact that she was Edward IV's queen consort, mother of the missing princes in the tower—Edward, Prince of Wales, and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York—and grandmother of Henry VIII, just five attendants transported her casket down the Thames River to Windsor Castle. Here, Elizabeth's arrival was met with silence rather than the typical tolling of bells. Soon after, the “White Queen” of England, so-called for her links with the royal House of York, as represented by the emblem of the white rose, was buried without receiving any of the traditional funerary rites.

As Alison Flood reports for the Guardian, a 500-year-old letter recently unearthed in England’s National Archives may hold the key to understanding the muted affair. Written by Andrea Badoer, the Venetian ambassador to London, in 1511, the missive states, “The Queen-Widow, mother of King Edward, has died of plague, and the King is disturbed.”

Based on context clues, records specialist Euan Roger tells Flood it seems likely that the queen in question was Elizabeth. If Roger’s theory is correct, as he argues in a new study published in the Social History of Medicine, the letter would account for not only the dowager queen’s simple funeral (given fear of contagion, plague victims were often buried quickly and without ceremony), but also the Tudor king’s exaggerated, lifelong fear of plague and other deadly illnesses.

Elizabeth of York, oldest daughter of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV, married Henry VII, uniting the warring houses of York and Lancaster (Public domain)

According to Flood, Badoer’s note is the only near-contemporary record to identify Elizabeth’s cause of death. Previously, most historians had attributed the modest burial ceremony to the queen’s own wishes, as she reportedly requested a funeral “without pompes entring or costlie expensis donne thereabout.”

This explanation makes sense in light of the fact that Elizabeth spent the last years of her life in relative isolation at Bermondsey Abbey. It also provides a reason for why she was buried immediately upon her arrival at Windsor instead of being laid out in the chapel for several days.

Given the gap in time between Elizabeth’s 1492 death and Badoer’s 1511 letter, Roger suggests Badoer’s account served as a reflection on how Henry’s personal history affected his emotional state rather than a record of current events. In 1511, the Tudor king was young and hopeful of his dynasty’s future—another 20 years would pass before Henry divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, in favor of the younger, and presumably more fertile, Anne Boleyn—but he still had no heir, raising concern for what would happen in the event of his untimely demise.

Fear of disease was a recurring theme in Henry’s life: As Erin Blakemore explains for History.com, the king spent his summers moving between various country houses, eager to escape the seasonal illnesses sweeping through the country’s capital. Plague was a key concern, as was the sweating sickness, a mysterious affliction that found its victims “well today and dead tomorrow,” in the words of the Conversation’s Derek Gatherer. Known to cause a cold sweat, fever, heart palpitations and dehydration, the sweat killed between 30 to 50 percent of those struck with the illness in just 3 to 18 hours. Interestingly, Gatherer points out, the sweat—widely rumored to have arrived in England with Henry VII’s band of foreign mercenaries in 1485—had died out by the late Elizabethan era and remains poorly understood to this day.

Elizabeth's grandson, Henry VIII, depicted in 1509, the year of his ascension to the English throne (Public domain)

While Henry never contracted the plague or the sweat, thousands of his subjects were not so lucky. If Roger’s hypothesis proves true, the king’s own grandmother was among them.

According to popular legend, Elizabeth Woodville first caught Edward IV’s attention while waiting under an oak tree in hopes of convincing the passing king to restore her sons’ inheritance. Known then as Lady Elizabeth Grey, she had been widowed by the Wars of the Roses, an ongoing dynastic clash between two branches of the royal Plantagenet family. Regardless of how the pair truly met, it's clear that her renowned beauty immediately appealed to the notoriously lascivious young Yorkist. The couple wed secretly in 1464, thwarting advisors’ hopes of negotiating a diplomatically advantageous marriage and attracting the ire of virtually everyone at court aside from the newly elevated Woodville faction.

The remainder of Elizabeth’s life was marked by a series of power struggles. At one point, Edward briefly lost the throne, which was subsequently reclaimed by the Lancastrian Henry VI, and upon the Yorkist king’s death, his brother, Richard III, seized power by declaring his nephews illegitimate. During an early coup, Edward’s former ally and mentor also ordered the executions of Elizabeth’s father and brother. And, of course, at some point during Richard’s reign, her sons, the unlucky “princes in the tower,” vanished without a trace. Still, the end of the 30-year conflict found Elizabeth in a position of relative victory: She negotiated the marriage of her daughter, Elizabeth of York, to Henry VII, forging peace between the warring houses before her death by uniting the white rose of York with the red rose of Lancaster.


The destroyer underwent shakedown training in Casco Bay, Maine, and in the Bermuda operating area. After post-shakedown repairs, Sigourney sailed, on 14 September 1943, from Norfolk with cruiser Baltimore (CA-68) en route to the west coast. They arrived at San Diego on 3 October, and the DD departed the next day for Pearl Harbor. She was routed onward to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. The ship arrived on 24 October and was assigned to Destroyer Squadron 22 (DesRon 22), Destroyer Division 44 (DesDiv 44).

Southwest Pacific campaigns

Staging was then in progress for the invasion of Cape Torokina, Bougainville, Solomon Islands. Sigourney escorted the transports of the assault phase to the landing area and then participated in the preliminary bombardment of the landing beaches on 1 November 1943. The ship was under air attack but suffered no damage while splashing two enemy planes. Sigourney then participated in resupply operations, with Task Force 31 (TF 31), from Tulagi to the beachhead. On the morning of 17 November, the destroyer was escorting a convoy to Empress Augusta Bay when it was attacked by Japanese planes. The convoy was illuminated by flares and torpedo planes began their runs. The high speed transport, McKean (APD-5), was struck by a torpedo and began to burn furiously. Sigourney and Talbot (DD-114) were alongside for approximately two hours trying to rescue survivors. Sigourney rescued 34 but as the two destroyers were illuminated by the burning transport, they were under constant air attack. Fortunately, neither was damaged, and Sigourney splashed two of the planes.

On 10 December, Sigourney was damaged when she ran aground near Koiare, Bougainville. [1]

Sigourney and her squadron continued operations with TF 31 until 6 May 1944. The destroyer participated in antisubmarine sweeps, barge hunts, and in combined operations with PT boats and supporting aircraft. In February 1944, the destroyer was a unit in the Green Islands Attack Group which landed New Zealand troops there on the 15th. On the night of 29 February–1 March, Sigourney, with DesRon 22, engaged in an antishipping sweep of Simpson Harbor and then bombarded Rabaul and the airfield on Duke of York Island in the Bismarck Archipelago.

During March, Sigourney and her destroyer division operated under the direction of the Commanding General, U.S. XVI Corps, in support of forces on Bougainville. They provided counter-battery fire, bombarded enemy troops and installations ashore, and performed fire support as requested. Sigourney engaged in daily bombardments in the Jaba River and Motapena Point area and supported PT boat operations at night. On 12 March alone, Sigourney and Eaton (DD-510) fired 400 rounds of call fire in support of the 37th Infantry Division perimeter.

In mid-March, Sigourney was called upon to support the landing of the 4th Marine Regiment at Emirau, St. Matthias Group. She then returned to bombard pill boxes and entrenchments east of the Torokina River, Bougainville, until 12 April.

Sigourney then made escort trips between Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Purvis Bay, Majuro, Eniwetok and Kwajalein. On 11 May, the destroyer sortied from Kwajalein with Task Group 51.18 (TG 51.18), the Joint Expeditionary Force, Reserve, for the amphibious assault on Saipan and Tinian in the Mariana Islands. Sigourney arrived off Saipan, on 16 June, and participated in operations there and on Tinian until she withdrew from the operations area on 20 August. During her time on station, she bombarded beaches on both islands, supplied call-fire support for the forces ashore, and served as a picket ship and as an antisubmarine screen.

When Sigourney was released from the Mariana Islands campaign, she sailed for Purvis Bay, Solomon Islands, arriving on 25 August. There, she was attached to TF 32 which sortied on 8 September for the Palau Islands operation. From 15 to 30 September, the destroyer worked in conjunction with the aircraft carriers which launched attacks in support of the amphibious assault on Peleliu. Sigourney was in Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, from 3 to 12 October. Then she got underway for Leyte, Philippines, with TG 77.2, the Bombardment and Fire Support Group.

Philippines campaigns

On the 19 October 1944, Sigourney shelled Red and White Beaches to cover underwater demolition teams reconnoitering the landing sites near Dulag and Tacloban. She and Cony (DD-508) remained in the area while the remainder of TG 77.2 withdrew to the south to cover the approaches to the Leyte Gulf through Surigao Strait. The two destroyers fired night harassing and interdiction fire on beaches, roads, and installations. On the 20th, they bombarded the beaches until H-hour and then provided call-fire support until the 24th when word was received from the Commander, 7th Fleet, to prepare for a night engagement. Sigourney, Aulick (DD-569), and Welles (DD-628) were in the van as Attack Section 2 of DesDiv "X-Ray" which would screen the battle line consisting of six battleships. In the screening position, they did not take part in the torpedo attacks on the Japanese fleet launched by other American destroyers. On 29 October, Sigourney withdrew from Leyte and returned to Seeadler Harbor, arriving on 3 November.

Nine days later, the destroyer was en route back to Leyte Gulf. She performed screening assignments and radar picket duties at the entrance to the gulf off Dinagat Island from 6 to 30 November. On the night of 1–2 December, DesDiv 44 made a sweep of the Camotes Sea. At 02:38 on 2 December, Sigourney and Conway (DD-507) opened fire on a Japanese freighter which sank six minutes later. The destroyers then steamed for the Palau Islands to join the covering force for the invasion of Mindoro. The task group of four battleships, four cruisers, six escort carriers, and 18 destroyers sailed on the 10th. Three days later, the carriers began launching air attacks which continued until 17 December. During the time in the area, the task group was under constant enemy air attack.

Sigourney next joined TG 79.2 (Attack Group Baker) which was formed at Manus Island and sortied from there on 31 December 1944 en route to the Philippine Islands. On 9 January 1945, the task group landed elements of the U.S. 6th Army in the Lingayen area of Luzon Island. On the 20th, Sigourney and Saufley (DD-465) left to screen Australian Transport Division 21 to Morotai, N.E.I. The destroyer escorted convoys between Leyte and Lingayen Gulfs until 27 February when she sailed with Task Unit 78.2.12 (TU 78.2.12) for Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island, to support the landings there on the 28th by United States Army troops. Still conducting operations in the Philippine Islands during April, Sigourney operated with TG 74.2 prior to, and during the army assault on the Malabang, Parong, and Cotabato areas of Mindanao on 17 April. On 6 May, the destroyer sailed from the Philippine Islands for the United States via the Marshall Islands and Pearl Harbor.

Sigourney arrived at San Pedro, Calif., on 31 May and entered the Bethlehem Steel Co. Shipyard for an overhaul, remaining there until 3 September. She moved to San Diego the next day and, a month later was underway, for New York City via the Panama Canal, arriving there on 20 October. In October, the destroyer was ordered to Charleston, S.C., to prepare for inactivation. On 20 March 1946, she was placed out of commission, in reserve, with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

Sigourney was placed in full commission again on 7 September 1951 at Charleston, S.C. She underwent shakedown training at Guantanamo Bay in early 1952 and, in April, joined DesRon 322 with Norfolk as her home port. She conducted local operations from there until October when she entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for an overhaul which lasted until January 1953. She returned to Guantanamo Bay for refresher training until March, after which she operated out of her home port. On 29 June, Sigourney began a combined seven-month Far East tour and round-the-world cruise. While in Korean waters, the destroyer was attached to TF 77, the Fast Carrier Force, and TF 95, the United Nations Blockading and Escort Force.

On 10 December 1953, Sigourney began her goodwill cruise which took her to Hong Kong, Singapore, Naples, Cannes, Gibraltar, and Lisbon before returning to Norfolk on 6 February 1954. In June, she took a Midshipman cruise to France and Spain before returning to her home port in August. The destroyer was overhauled from October 1954 until January 1955.

Sigourney made a cruise to Europe with DesDiv 322 in 1955, Midshipman cruises to Europe in 1956 and 1958, and was deployed with the 6th Fleet in 1957. On 1 January 1959, her home port was changed to Philadelphia, and she became part of the Reserve Training Fleet. On 1 May 1960, she was placed in reserve out of commission, with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet and berthed at Philadelphia.

Sigourney was stricken 1 December 1974, sold 31 July 1975 and broken up for scrap.

Sigourney received nine battle stars for World War II service.

The Sigourney appeared in the movie "Away All Boats", accurately depicting the Fletcher destroyer class's anti-aircraft role in the Pacific Theater.


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#PradoContigo

More than 100 years of images of the Prado

Among the initiatives to celebrate the Museum’s Bicentenary, and with the title “Audiovisual memory of the Museo del Prado”, a new documentary archive brings together the audiovisual history of the Museum – its buildings and collections – for the first time through film, NODO news bulletins and television. This selection of audiovisual material, which will come to number more than 400 items over the course of 2019, offers a survey of more than 100 years of images of the Prado.

In collaboration with the Filmoteca and Radio Televisión Española (RTVE), the archive starts with 300 titles, including a previously unseen documentary entitled “Introduction to the Museo del Prado” (1985) by Basilio Martín Patino, the RTVE series “Looking at a painting” with contributions from figures such as Alberti, Cela and Umbral, and full-length cinema films with actors such as Rita Hayworth, Rex Harrison, Tony Leblanc, Aurora Bautista and Concha Velasco, directed by Ramón Masats, Antonio Mercero, Jacinto Molina, Orson Welles and George Marshall, among others.


Watch the video: History Of Autocar part 3 periode 1963 until 1993


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