January 9, 2023
"The Heroic, and Tragic Story of Twin Submarines Squalus and Sculpin"
Presented by Bob Begin, US Army veteran and naval historian.
This story follows twin submarines USS Squalus and USS Sculpin from their launch in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1938 to their dramatic destinies in the Pacific in World War II. The Squalus sank during a test dive in May 1939, but thirty-three trapped crewmen were saved thanks to the revolutionary use of the McCann diving bell. The Sculpin played an important role in that historic rescue, following which the Squalus was salvaged and rechristened the Sailfish.
February 13, 2023
“The World’s Deadliest Weapon – the Submarine, from Pigboat to Planet Killer”
Presented by Max Mulholland, Annapolis graduate and former decorated Naval officer. The submarine, first introduced as a naval weapons system in the early 1900s, has gone through remarkable developments over the past century. Once reviled and openly ridiculed by senior naval officers who favored gleaming surface ships carrying big guns over the small, slow, and smelly submersibles (mockingly called “pigboats”), the submarine has over the past decades vaulted to the forefront of naval combat firepower and lethality.
March 13. 2023
“Roots of The Ukrainian War”
Presented by Leonid Kondratiuk, retired US Army General and Military Historian. Ukranian-American General Kondratiuk will call on his 40 years as a military historian to place the current Russian incursion into Ukraine in historical context. Known as the breadbasket of Europe, Ukraine has been coveted and invaded by conquerors, including Hitler and Stalin, for centuries. Gen Kondratiuk will analyze the strategic, operational, and tactical capabilities of the opposing armies and expose the myth of Russian invincibility, and he will explain the importance of the complete reworking of the Ukrainian military under US guidance and training.
April 10, 2023
“Lafayette in America – 1777-1781 and 1824-1825”
Presented by Alan Hoffman, retired Attorney, Historian, and Lafayette translator. Why did Lafayette become the most popular man in America in the 19th Century? First, because of the important military and diplomatic role he played in the American Revolution. Next was his continual support of American interests abroad. And finally, his triumphal return and Farewell Tour in 1824, nearly 50 years after the beginning of hostilities, as the last surviving major general of the Continental Army, cemented his reputation in the hearts of Americans.
May 15, 2023 Note change of Date!
“Desert Storm/Desert Shield”
Presented by Bob Lewis, Captain, US Navy, retired. When Iraq’s Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, it looked like Saudi Arabia was next. President George H. W. Bush acted immediately and formed a huge coalition of Allies, strong enough to withstand Saddam’s devious attempts to break it up. This is the story of the background, the invasion, the alliance building, the buildup, and the preparation for what turned out to be a 100-hour ground war that forever changed the balance of power in the Middle East and created the conditions for the emergence of Al Qaeda.
June 12, 2023
“The Battle of the Gauntlet”
Presented by Dan Breen, Senior Lecturer, Legal Studies, Brandeis University. By the fall of 1950, the United States and its allies seemed on the verge of victory in the Korean War. All that changed at the end of November, when the U.S. Eighth Army was suddenly struck by overwhelming numbers of Chinese infantry. In a week full of terrible struggle, perhaps the most dangerous episode occurred when the Second Infantry Division had to fight its way south from a place called Kunu-ri, through massed Chinese roadblocks and amidst temperatures that reached 30 below zero, to save itself. This is the story of that battle, which has entered history as the "Battle of the Gauntlet."
Monday, September 11
“The Roots of September 11 and the Changing Face of Terrorism”
Presented by Edith Flynn, Professor of International Relations Emerita, Northeastern University. 9/11 was the first major foreign terrorist attack on the U.S. mainland. International terrorism remains a significant threat, but the most pressing terrorist threat to U.S. security today is domestic, not foreign. Professor Emerita Edith Flynn, who focused on terrorism for more than 20 years at Northeastern University, will discuss the roots of domestic terrorism-the radicalization and recruitment of the disenfranchised, polarized, and alienated far-right, largely through social media and the internet. She will examine U.S. successes and failures in fighting terrorism; the social, political, and economic costs of the U.S. counterterrorism response; and ways and means for counteracting this latest trend.
Tuesday, October 10
“The Surrender of the Pueblo”
Presented by Gresh Lattimore, Captain, US Navy, retired
In 1967 the USS Pueblo (AGER-2), a World War II-era environmental research ship, was converted into a spy ship with particular focus on North Korea. On 23 January 1968, Pueblo was attacked and captured by a North Korean vessel. The attack occurred in the same time frame as the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam, and an unsuccessful North Korean incursion into South Korea. The taking of the Pueblo, and the abuse and torture of her crew for eleven months, became a major Cold War incident, raising the tensions between western and eastern powers. North Korea claims that Pueblo deliberately entered their territorial waters; the US insists that the vessel was in international waters. Pueblo is still held by North Korea today, the only ship of the US Navy still on the commissioned roster currently being held captive.
Monday, November 13
Presented by Sergeant Major (retired) Gregory Kelly, 10th Special Forces
During WWII, many units that would years later become Special Operations Forces (SOF) accomplished critical missions that were impossible for general purpose forces. Because these units tended to siphon off the best men and were often misemployed and underequipped, they were dissolved at war’s end. Special Operations Forces came into its own during the Cold War with the creation of the US Special Operations Command. By the September 11 attacks in 2001, SOF was experienced, highly trained, and fully prepared to respond to this disaster. Sergeant Major (retired) Gregory Kelly, an Army Special Forces veteran, will discuss the history of the SOF, the creation of the Special Operations Command and its evolution during the War on Terrorism, and its role as a critical tool for American national security.
Monday, December 11
“Expeditionary Aviation in the Antarctic: An Aircrewman’s Personal Account of Danger, Whiteouts, Crashes, and Near-Death Experience”
Presented by Fred Santino, former Aircrewman/Avionics Tech, US Navy, author of Milestones, Mishaps, and Management – the Story of Antarctic Aviation
Drawing on his experience from two deployments in Operation Deep Freeze as an Aircrewman/Avionics Tech with the US Navy, Fred Santino will describe the early air exploration of Antarctica, starting with Admiral Byrd’s expeditions. He’ll share his personal account of expeditionary aviation in the late 1960's - living, working, and coping with constant dangers, whiteouts, crashes, near tragedies and rescues. He’ll update us on present-day Antarctic aviation activity and answer the compelling question: why are we in Antarctica?