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Navy Fighters: 1897

Navy Fighters: 1897

Circa 1897. "Boxing aboard the U.S.S. Massachusetts." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative by Edward H. Hart, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Moxie then and now

Well Salty Dog, don't know how long you've been out, but I've only been retired for a little over 10 years, and things haven't changed that much, just the sports. I've seen Friday night smokers during my 20+ years, and recently ('95) we had a rugby team on our ship that fought everyone in the Pacific area, and the key words are rugby and fought. When the injuries got so bad the Old Man said no more rugby games, the troops (and officers) still played and got into quite a bit of trouble. That's the same moxie you see in the photo, and it's the same moxie the Navy has today, the ships change, the sailors get smarter but stay the same on the inside: look at the Samuel B. Roberts or the Cole, that's moxie. Fleet on.

Not much had changed

Although the hats are different, the dress blues were much the same as when I was in the Navy. (13 button bell-bottoms with the tie in the back, same dress jersey with flap and neckerchief.) I was wondering though if anyone can identify what they are wearing around their necks. Could those be hand-made rope "chains" with boatswain whistles on the end (stuffed in their pockets)?

I was a boilerman, and they didn't let me stick my head out above decks.

Salty Dog

That mustachioed fellow in the back looks pretty hardcore. Like he had some serious moxie. Something much more abundant in the U.S. Navy in those days from what I've heard.

Ref's instructions

"No hitting below the scarf, no climbing the smokestack, and in the event of a knockdown go to a neutral banister."

"Gentlemen! Gentlemen!"

"You can't fight here. This is a battleship!"

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