Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Aircraft Carrier with Butterfly Wings




USS Ranger (CV-4) travels down the slipway at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock
Company during her launching on February 25, 1933 (INS Photo via Navsource/ David Buell)  
You might remember from reading a previous post in our blog that our museum proudly displays the brass builders' plaque of USS Ranger (CV-4), the first American ship designed and built specifically as an aircraft carrier, and that her construction began at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company on September 26, 1931.  Aside from photographs, there are a multitude of ways that a ship can be depicted and remembered, many of which are imbued with unique artistic traditions specific to a particular place and time.  In our collection, Ranger is no exception.  Though it is far too delicate to go on public display, a memento of the aircraft carrier, made in part of materials that are today considered rare, resides at a climate-controlled facility the museum maintains. 

During Ranger's first cruise, just a couple of months after her commissioning at the Norfolk Navy Yard in June 1934, a young Sailor named William F. Graham acquired this visual representation of his new ship that was rendered by an enterprising local artist in Brazil.  The carrier, complete with raised funnels aft of the island, is depicted in reverse-painted glass atop a backing composed mostly of the wings of the butterfly Morpho Menelaus.  Even after almost 81 years, the iridescent upper sides of the Morpho wings remain undiminished.  The more camouflaged underside of the same species' wing, along with those of other indigenous butterflies, serve to help frame the carrier,  shown in Guanbara Bay with the iconic Sugarloaf and Mount Corcovado in the background.

According to the Rainforest Alliance, the Morpho butterfly is today severely threatened not only from those who still use its wings to make artwork, but also from the destruction and fragmentation of its natural habitat.  Artwork such as this reminds us of a time before such scarcity, when any Sailor could afford to bring home such an exotic blend of local style and Navy pride.    
   

Monday, July 6, 2015

Brick by Brick: LEGO Shipbuilding Education Program

One of our summer volunteers, Breena, helps a child build ships at H.C. Downing Library, June 2015.
For HRNM's education department, the summer months are usually pretty quiet. Visitation increases exponentially and we offer a number of additional activities in the museum, but aside from that, since school is out we don't often do many educational outreach programs during that time. This summer is different, though--we're offering our Lego Shipbuilding program at several branches of the Norfolk Public Library system. The program is open to "school-aged" children and teens, so we have a wide variety of age groups in attendance. Due to this huge gap in ages of the attendees, we've created a less math-intensive version of our middle school-focused Lego education program for the summer. Instead of asking about surface area, fractions, and percentages (concepts that most of our summer program attendees haven't yet learned), the students learn the basics of how ships were built in the 1700s versus how ships are build today--then they get to build the Lego versions of those ships for themselves.

We've done two of these programs already and have three more scheduled this summer. Our next program is this Wednesday at Park Place Library, so we hope to see you there. We'll also be at H.C. Downing Library on July 20 and July 23. Call the libraries to register for this fun, FREE educational event today!
Tara, another summer volunteer, works with a student to build a ship at H.C. Downing Library, June 2015.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

USS Vesuvius: Dynamite Gun Cruiser

"Hiding behind the battleships and cruisers during daylight hours, the little warship would creep inshore at night to belch dynamite shells at the fortifications."1
 
USS Vesuvius was an experimental ship in the late 1800s when the US Navy was developing its new steel navy. Built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the ship was commissioned in 1890. The hope was that this small ship would have a formidable enough armament that it would be a cost effective threat to enemy battleships. At over 21 knots, speed was its best defensive measure.

The most unique aspect of this vessel were the three 15-inch guns protruding from the forward deck. They fired explosive shells which consisted of several hundred pounds of "desensitized blasting gelatin" in a metal casing. The casing was fitted with a wood sabot to ensure a seal in the barrel, which was vital as the volatile composition of these shells only allowed compressed air to be used as a propellant. Although the dynamite shell had great potential, and there was a stealth aspect to firing without gunpowder, the ship had some severe flaws for naval warfare. It had to be pointed where it wanted to fire, and its range was limited to less than 2 miles (controlled by air pressure). 

Layout of USS Vesuvius. The position of the guns can be especially noted in the side view.
15-inch guns
Note the different angles that the three gun tubes are in. These sections of the barrel could be raised and lowered to reload from the magazine on the forward side of the bulkhead in this picture. 
Ammunition was stored in these canisters in the compartment forward of the gun breeches. It is possible that the cylinders rotated much like a revolver. 
Controlling the air pressure for the guns. These stations were right behind the guns, in the same compartment. 

From 1890-1895, Vesuvius was part of the North Atlantic Squadron. As such, the ship participated in the International Naval Rendezvous in 1893. This naval review was held at Hampton Roads to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in America (one year late). Besides two squadron of Navy ships, vessels from several European countries and Brazil attended. 


The unique looking USS Vesuvius shown front and center in a poster commemorating the 1893 event.

After the Spanish-American War started, Vesuvius headed south for blockade and dispatch duty. However, on June 13, 1898, the ship came close to shore under the cover of darkness and bombarded Spanish positions near Santiago, Cuba. As the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships states, Vesuvius' bombardment did limited physical damage, but "caused great anxiety among the Spanish forces ashore, for her devastating shells came in without warning, unaccompanied by the roar of gunfire usually associated with a bombardment." 

Part of the problem with the bombardment was that as the ship was firing at night, the crew was literally firing blind. The dynamite guns could not be utilized effectively during the day because their limited range would put them in danger from enemy fire. Due to these shortcomings, the bombardment at Santiago was the last time the ship was used in combat and the dynamite gun technology was scrapped by the Navy. Vesuvius was converted into a torpedo test vessel in 1905 and was eventually decommissioned after World War I. 

1. John D. Alden, American Steel Navy (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008), 48.

Story by Hampton Roads Naval Museum Educator Elijah Palmer.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fort Norfolk and the U.S. Navy


Fort Norfolk was one the original coastal fortifications Congress approved funding for and President George Washington signed into existence, and the only one still around. In 1794 Washington signed the bill Congress had passed for the construction of 19 coastal fortifications to protect the fledgling nation. Like most fortifications of the time it was small and made mostly of trenches and earthwork mounds to protect the troops and guns. Personnel duties during its early years consisted of stopping and checking ships heading into port, for contraband and, more importantly, yellow fever. By 1802, the fort had been abandoned and stripped of anything useful, but tensions with Great Britain would see its rebirth.

By 1810, tensions with Great Britain had reached the point where the United States government decided to reinvest in coastal defense.  This next round of construction would see masonry defenses as well as officer and enlisted quarters built on the fort. Although it did not play a very active role during the War of 1812, Fort Norfolk’s presence protected the area by discouraging British ships from trying to penetrate further up the Elizabeth River. With the completion of Fort Monroe in the 1830s, and the protection it rendered at the entrance to Hampton Roads, Fort Norfolk would once again be seen as unneeded. This time it would be the Navy that saved it.

The rapidly degrading condition of Gosport Navy Yard (later named Norfolk Naval Shipyard) would prove to be Fort Norfolk’s salvation. The Navy got control of Fort Norfolk in 1849 as an annex to Gosport Navy Yard.  By 1852, Gosport was in bad shape from neglect, and it was too small for the expanded fleet.   More importantly, its magazine was too close to where the fleet anchored. To solve this latter problem, by 1854, the Navy built a powder magazine at Fort Norfolk and converted some of the existing buildings to produce munitions.  Although the fort would continue as an ordnance depot until the 1880s, its biggest contribution may have happened during the Civil War.
The Confederacy took control of Gosport Navy Yard in 1862, and Fort Norfolk may have been the biggest beneficiary.  Union troops had tried to destroy as much of the yard as it could, particularly the equipment and naval stores, but a lot was left behind.  Many of the guns at Gosport were moved by the Confederacy to other points across the south, including neighboring Fort Norfolk.  Fort Norfolk played a key role in the ironclad battle between USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack).  The fort operated as a supply point for the Confederate ironclad, and supplied troops from the state militia unit, which had been manning the fort, to supplement Virginia’s crew and man her guns.  After Union troops took control of Norfolk, the Army used the fort as a prison for the remainder of the war.  After the Civil War, Fort Norfolk transferred back to the Navy until the 1920s, when the Army Corps of Engineers took control.  From the 1880s until its transfer to the Corps, the fort served little purpose for the Navy.
Fort Norfolk now stands on the grounds of the Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District Headquarters.   The Corps of Engineers used the fort’s buildings until the current headquarters building was completed in 1983.  Over the last several years, restoration work has been done to preserve the buildings and grounds, and now much of it is preserved to its nineteenth century condition.  Now officially on the National Register of Historic Places, the grounds and building exteriors of Fort Norfolk are open to the public.  For access, the general public needs to first check in at the front gate to the Corps headquarters.  The Norfolk Historical Society conducts guided tours during the summer every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.  For more information about visiting the fort, go to the Historical Society’s website.

Fort Norfolk was around long before it became a naval ordnance depot.  It’s still here, long after the depot closed, and efforts continue to keep it around for decades into the future.

Story by Hampton Roads Naval Museum Educator Jerome Kirkland

Friday, June 12, 2015

USS Helm (DD 388): For the Duration


Hanging on one of the walls in the museum gallery is this fairly humble looking plaque. Many visitors might not even give it a second glance. Yet in the spirit of "if these walls could talk," this piece of metal would tell quite a few stories if it was able.

As the plaque states, the Bagley-class destroyer USS Helm (DD 388) was built at the Norfolk Navy Yard as part of FDR's "New Deal" program. While often overshadowed by the more modern Fletcher-class destroyers, older destroyers like Helm contributed significantly for the entire duration of the war.
The ship's illustrious career in World War II started in the opening minutes of the war. On the morning of December 7, 1941, Helm was the only ship underway at Pearl Harbor when the attack started. The ship's gunners shot down one Japanese plane before a Japanese midget submarine was spotted and targeted by the destroyer's 5-inch guns. The enemy craft submerged before any significant damage was inflicted. 

The action at Pearl Harbor was only the beginning for USS Helm. The destroyer was kept busy on various assignments for the rest of the war, involved in many of the main engagements of the Pacific War either as a screening vessel or for close-in shore support.  She was also assigned to more routine escort duty at times.  Helm was part of the invasion of Guadalcanal, survived the Battle of Savo Island, and supported the invasion of Cape Gloucester.  After a brief return to the U.S., the destroyer returned to more active engagements. The "tin can" mostly protected carriers during the latter battles of the war, including the "Marianas Turkey Shoot" and at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, as well as strikes against many other targets.

Near the end of the war the Japanese suicide tactics increased, making the destroyer's role of protecting the bigger ships all the more important. This was especially true during the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns. 
This photo shows a kamikaze plane attacking a Bagley-class destroyer in the Sulu Sea southwest of the Philippines. Most likely this is USS Helm as the ship suffered some minor damage from a suicide plane on this day while part of a task group of escort carriers.
During the last few weeks of the war the destroyer participated in the rescue of the crew of USS Indianapolis after the heavy cruiser was sunk by a Japanese submarine.  After the Japanese surrendered, the ship returned to the United States and was decommissioned in 1946.  It was then used in atomic bomb testing before being scrapped a year later.  USS Helm's near decade of service was more eventful than many other ships.  The four years of action in World War II earned her eleven battle stars, participating in nearly every major Pacific campaign.

Story by Hampton Roads Naval Museum Educator Elijah Palmer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Capturing USS Water Witch

USS Water Witch underway (Library of Congress)


There is little debate as to the contribution of African Americans to the Union war effort in the American Civil War. Over 175,000 men enlisted and served in both the Union Army and Navy in an official capacity.  Their contribution to the war effort was substantial and resulted in 25 African Americans being awarded the Medal of Honor.  That a number of blacks also served the Confederacy is a much less known fact.  Frederick Douglass published an account of the First Battle of Bull Run, quoting a witness to the battle who said they saw black Confederates “with muskets on their shoulders and bullets in their pockets.”  It should be noted that Douglass did not witness the battle himself and was only using contemporary newspaper accounts to make this claim, so it may very well have been highly exaggerated.

Most literature on the Civil War wholly ignores, or relegates to the footnotes, the contribution of persons of African descent in regards to the Southern war effort.  The African Americans who served in the Confederate forces during the war did so for many reasons, which we will not attempt to debate at this time. What we would like to point out is simply that they did serve the Confederate Navy in various capacities, mostly in non-combat support roles, but on occasion as active combatants.  June 3, 2015 marks the 151st anniversary of perhaps the most famous naval engagement that an African American took part in on behalf of the Confederacy.

When speaking of African Americans in an active naval combat role, possibly the most well documented (and controversial) example is that of Moses Dallas.  Although a slave during his entire time in service with the Confederate Navy, Dallas' story is quite abnormal for a slave. Prior to the Civil War he owned property, was married, lived away from his owner, contracted for the service of other slaves to assist in his wife’s laundry service, and negotiated his own working contracts.  It would be fair to assume that he maintained a fair amount of autonomy despite being technically a slave.

At the outbreak of hostilities, Dallas was working as a river boat pilot in the Savannah, Georgia area.  His services as a pilot in the area were well respected and Commodore Josiah Tattnall of the Confederate Navy quickly employed him as a first class pilot, with wages of $60 a month. Early in the war, Dallas served as the pilot of CSS Savannah. In 1863, Commander John K. Mitchell of the Confederate States Navy authorized an increase in his monthly pay from $80 to $100 a month to “retain his services.”  The funds were paid directly to Dallas and there is no known record of him having sent any of his earnings back to his owner.  By comparison, a landsman in the Confederate Navy (lowest ranking enlisted person) was authorized $16 a month. The high dollar amount paid to Moses Dallas likely reflects the nature of his work as being essential to the Confederate Navy.  As a point of comparison, black harbor pilots in the Union Navy were paid on average less than half of what Dallas made in the Confederate Navy.

While a harbor pilot does not necessarily denote an active combatant, it would appear Moses Dallas role did not stop there.  On June 3rd, 1864 Dallas was attached to the boarding party that set out to capture USS Water Witch in the waters off Georgia.  The paymaster of USS Water Witch, Luther Billings, recounted the death of Moses Dallas in his memoirs.

“[A] grinning negro face appeared at the port opening. I remember how ghastly his face grew when his gaze met the leveled pistol I held only a few inches away from it. Again the deadly flash and Moses… also passed away.”

The boarding party succeeded in securing USS Water Witch but Dallas and five others, including First Lieutenant Thomas P. Pelot (commanding the expedition) were killed and 17 wounded. Dallas' body was removed to the Confederate Naval Hospital and interred in an imitation mahogany coffin at a cemetery nearby. The coffin was a special purchase by Commodore William Hunter, CSN, at a cost of $100, citing Dallas “distinguished and useful service.” It may also be interesting to note that Hunter lists Moses Dallas in his official report among the list of “officers,” albeit at the very end of the list.

In 1919, Georgia Historical Quarterly Editor William Harden, who had been stationed in Savannah in 1864 and had relayed messages concerning the attack as a Confederate telegrapher, wrote:

A most interesting incident in connection with this matter is the part borne by the colored man, Moses Dallas.  He was a pilot, skilled in his business, and held in the highest esteem by all who were connected with the little naval force stationed about Savannah.  

There were other black river pilots in the Savannah Georgia area early in the war who were serving the Confederate Navy but accounts show that they escaped to Union lines when an opportunity arose as early as 1861.  Based the previous accounts and documentation it can be safe to assume that Moses Dallas' service in the Confederate Navy was voluntary and done so with distinction.


Moses Dallas' time in the Confederate Navy was not the only account of black sailors in Confederate service.  In fact, the Official Records of the Confederate States Navy provide an official disposition for free blacks to serve onboard ships.  Some of the wording in the articles seems to contradict each other but it would appear to support the notion that other African American men served as well.  The 1862 official directive states:

 
Article IV: Free blacks or free colored persons are not to be entered, except with the approbation of the commander of the station, or by special order from the department.


Article X: [b]lacks and colored persons; but not more than one twentieth of a vessel's complement shall consist of blacks or persons of color, unless by written order of the commander of the station.


Article XIV: Slaves not to be employed, except.
No slaves are to be employed in navy yards without the previous sanction of the Navy Department.

While there are many more anecdotal accounts of blacks serving the Confederacy, finding factual primary sources seem to be more difficult.  The National Archives allows us an interesting glimpse at a story that has yet to be written.  Near the end of the American Civil War the Confederate Navy had essentially vanished by the time Richmond fell.  Those Sailors and Marines who remained were mostly relegated to ground service in what became known as Tucker’s Naval Brigade, named for their commander John Randolph Tucker, CSN.  When the remnants of this unit surrendered at Appomattox in 1865, among their number were, “ J. Heck (col'd) Chas. Cleapor (col'd), Jos. Johnson (col'd).”  It would appear that these three men continued their service with the Confederate Navy until the bitter end and were recorded as “privates” who surrendered as part of the Army, not as “contrabands” or laborers.  It is certainly unclear whether their service was forced or voluntary, but one cannot help but imagine that escape could have certainly been accomplished at some time prior to Appomattox should these men of color have desired to do so.

While not expressly naval in content, one can also examine the pension records of Civil War veterans as to the possible number of blacks serving the Confederacy.  Mississippi was the first state to include African Americans from the beginning of the state pension program for Civil War veterans (there was no Federal program for Confederate veterans).  In 1888, Mississippi had 1,739 black pensioners.  It is possible that some of these men served in the Navy at some point.

A definitive conclusion on the service of African Americans cannot be had from the singular account of Moses Dallas nor can the collective motivation for service be gained by anecdotal records or oral histories.  What is important to remember is that African American service during the Civil War occurred on both sides of the conflict for any number of motivations.

Story by Hampton Roads Naval Museum Educator Joseph Miechle.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thirty Years Ago: A Ring is Broken


"Jerry Whitworth is a zero at the bone. He believes in nothing"
Judge John P. Vukasin, as told to attorney Cait Boyce



Here is a cruise book photo from the 1982-83 Western Pacific and Indian Ocean deployment of USS Enterprise (CVN-65), when Jerry Alfred Whitworth was leading chief of the Message Processing Center (MPC) within the aircraft carrier's CR Division.  According to the cruise book's description of the Enterprise Communications Department, MPC handled administrative and operational message traffic for both the ship and embarked staffs.

"Using both computer and manual teletype equipment, the MPC processes in excess of 1,600 messages a day, peaking at 2,000 messages," the description continued.  "The reproduction and distribution section of the MPC will have reproduced, by the end of the WESTPAC deployment, over eight million copies of message traffic."  It would be difficult to imagine the sheer physical dimensions of just the portion of those message copies that were classified.  Whitworth knew, and by training knew what fraction of that portion of classified documents were the most sensitive; the ones expected to cause the most "exceptionally grave" damage to national security.  And in a process he hoped would make his retirement more comfortable after his return, so would the Soviet intelligence apparatus.  All that changed three decades ago.

On May 20, 1985, private detective John Anthony Walker was arrested in a motel in Montgomery County, Maryland.  He had traveled there from Norfolk to make a "dead drop" containing 129 classified documents inside a garbage bag, for his Soviet handler.  Although Walker's name is more remembered as being the ringleader of the most damaging espionage case un U.S. Navy history, Whitworth was ultimately given a harsher sentence.  

John Walker retired as a warrant officer out of Headquarters, Amphibious Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet in Norfolk on July 31, 1976, after passing cryptographic communications material to the Soviets for nearly half his career, giving them the ability to read not only Navy message traffic, but those of the other armed services, as well as North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies.  By then, Whitworth, a former student of Walker's in Radioman Instructor School, was actively passing information from the other side of the world.  According to court documents, Walker had initially made a "sales pitch" to Whitworth after his discharge in June 1974.  Whitworth then reenlisted in the Naval Reserve in October 1974 and transitioned back over to active duty the following month.  After completing advanced satellite communications school in New Jersey, Whitworth returned to the communications station in Diego Garcia, his last duty assignment before leaving active duty.  En route, he was given a $4,000 "inducement" by Walker during a meeting in Norfolk.  

After the one-year assignment at the outpost in the Southern Indian Ocean, he again met Walker in Norfolk, delivering all the material he had stolen, and receiving $18,000.  Whitworth then completed tours aboard the carrier Constellation (CV-64) and the combat stores ship Niagara Falls (AFS-3) between June 1976 and August 1979, receiving approximately $100,000 for the material he purloined from those vessels.  His plum assignment as a Chief Radioman at Naval Telecommunications Station Alameda came next, where Walker bought a van that Whitworth could use out in the parking lot to photograph the large amounts of cryptographic material that crossed his desk each day.  During his last assignment aboard Enterprise, which lasted from October 1982 and his retirement one year later, he made one delivery to Walker, in June 1983.  Walker's Soviet handlers informed him that the images Whitworth had photographed were out-of-focus and unusable, and therefore did not pay him.  Whitworth had retained physical copies of the documents and was able to rephotograph them, delivering the goods to Walker in April 1984.  According to Walker, his handler still instructed him not to pay Whitworth.  

Because had yet to see a penny for the trove of documents he removed from Enterprise, Whitworth began to waver, corresponding with the FBI between May and August in a series of typewritten letters under the name of "RUS."  While he initially wrote that "the reason for this letter is to give you (FBI) an opportunity to break what brobably [sic] is a significant espionage system. (I know that my contact has recurited [sic] at least three other members that are actively supplying highly classified material)."  


Although halfheartedly trying to break off his business with Walker during this time, Whitworth wavered again.  "Since my last note to you," he wrote, "I've done a lot of serious thinking and have pretty much come to the conclusion that it would be best to give up on the idea of aiding in the termination of the espionage ring previously discussed." "To think I could help you and not make my own involvement known to the public, I believe is naive," Whitworth continued. "I have great difficulty in coming forth, particularly, since the changes of my past involvement ever being known is extremenely [sic] remote, as long as I remain silent...."



Of course, he was wrong.  The garbage bag Walker left for the Soviets was found to contain, among other things, two letters from Whitworth and a letter from Walker to a Soviet agent referring to Whitworth by a "code letter." Walker's home on Old Ocean View Avenue in Norfolk was then searched, and Whitworth's fingerprints were found, according to court documents, on "numerous items."  Later on the 20th, FBI agents swooped in on Whitworth at his home in Davis, California.  He was arrested on June 3, the fourth of the so-called "Walker Family Spy Ring" to be taken into custody.  Under a plea agreement aimed at gaining leniency for his son Michael, who had also been working to collect classified material,  John Walker became the government's key witness against his former protege.


During Whitworth's trial in San Francisco district court in the spring of 1986, then-Director of Naval Intelligence Rear Admiral William O. Studeman, who had been an operational intelligence officer with 7th Fleet during the Vietnam War, deemed the intelligence Whitworth delivered "war-winning," declaring that because of the Soviets' ability to read message traffic, they could have read all operational messages to the fleet during the most critical phases of the war.  
"Whitworth compromised detailed plans for primary, secondary, and emergency communications circuits," wrote Studeman, "which are used by the National Command Authority to maintain contact with operational units." 


Source: Department of Justice/ 
Wikimedia Commons


After deliberating for 10 days, the jury found Whitworth, then 47, guilty of one count of conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government, six counts of delivery of national defense information to a foreign government, four counts of making false tax returns, and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

 After being paid an estimated $322,000 through John Walker (who reportedly earned around $1 million for his work), some of which was spent on motorcycles and gold coins, Whitworth was fined $410,000 and sentenced to 365 years in prison.  As of today, he remains the only member of the ring still held in custody.

Michael Walker, who was recruited by his father both into the Navy and into espionage, was convicted of passing around 1,500 documents from the carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) to him, received 25 years, serving 15 of them before being paroled in 2000.  Retired Lieutenant Commander Arthur Walker, a Navy contractor who had actually talked his younger brother into joining the Navy in the first place, received three life terms and died in July 2014.  John Walker, who died at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, on August 28, 2014, remained unrepentant until the end, boasting that he had actually helped avert war by helping the Soviets learn the true strength of the United States armed forces, dissuading them from armed confrontation.  Because he received a more lenient sentence than Whitworth, he would have been eligible for parole this month.  

The reverberations of the case were immediate, yet they continue to this day.  In the first few months after the Walkers and Whitworth's arrest, a directive was sent out from the Naval Security Group that all Navy and Coast Guard CMS custodians and their alternates were to be relieved.  Around 3,500 would have to be trained to take their places within a four-month time period.  Communications Security (COMSEC) keying material was also put under mandatory two-person integrity.  From then on, the personal lives (and finances) of personnel holding Top Secret clearances came under greater scrutiny.  And of course, Navy communications systems would have to undergo a stem-to-stern overhaul.

How did the Walker-Whitworth case affect you?  We would like to hear about it.  An upcoming issue of the Daybook is going to take a retrospective look at the Walker ring and other infamous Navy cases such as that of Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Glenn M. Souther, a Navy reservist, recent Old Dominion University graduate, and civilian employee of Fleet Intelligence Center, Europe and Atlantic (FICEURLANT) in Norfolk who defected to the Soviet Union in 1986.