Betelgeuse - AK-28 - History

Betelgeuse - AK-28 - History


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Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse is a star in the constellation Orion.

I

(AK-28: dp. 7476; 1. 459'1"; b. 63'; dr. 26'5"; s. 15.5 k.; cpl. 267; a. 4 5" ; cl. Arcturus)

Betelgeuse (AK-28) was launched 18 July 1939 by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa., as Mormaclark; purchased by the Navy 29 May 1941; converted by Brewer Dry Dock Co., Staten Island, N. Y.; and commissioned 14 June 1941, Commander H. D. Power in command.

Betelgeuse operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean with the Atlantic Fleet through 1941. During 19 February-25 March 1942 she made one voyage from New York to Great Britain and return, and then departed for Tongatabu, Tonga Islands, 9 April. After unloading at Tongatabu (8 May-7 June), she proceeded to San Diego, Calif., and Pearl Harbor to embark Marine equipment for the invasion of Guadalcanal. Unloading her cargo at Guadalcanal and Tulagi. (30 August-2 September), Betelgeuse remained in the South Pacific hauling supplies to Guadalcanal from Espiritu Santo and Efate, New Hebrides; Noumea, New Caledonia; and Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand, until departing for San Pedro, Calif., 25 December 1942.

Between 10 January and 17 February 1943 she underwent overhaul and repairs at San Pedro and Long Beach, Calif. She was reclassified AKA-11, 1 February 1943. Betelgeuse departed San Diego 18 February, transited the Panama Canal, and arrived at Charleston, S. C., 8 March to rejoin the Atlantic Fleet. Following additional training she departed Norfolk 10 May for the Mediterranean. During 6-12 July she took part in the invasion
of Sicily and then returned to the United States for repairs. She arrived at Norfolk 14 August 1943 and remained there under repair until April 1944. Departing for the Mediterranean 4 May, she ferried supplies from North Africa to Italy and France until 25 October.

Betelgeuse arrived at Philadelphia 10 November 1944 and departed New Year's Day 1945 for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived on the 24th. Proceeding to the Russell Islands, she loaded cargo (19-27 February) and, after training exercises, took part in the invasion of Okinawa (1-9 April). Returning to San Francisco 12 May, she spent the next two months shuttling cargoes between there and Pearl Harbor. Departing San Francisco 22 August she steamed to the Philippines and loaded troops at Batangas, Luzon (20-25 September) for the occupation of Japan. After landing her troops at Otaru, Hokkaido (5-7 October) she returned to Samar, Philippine Islands, to load Seabees for Tientsin, China. Delivering her passengers 10 November, Betelgeuse returned to the west coast, arriving at San Francisco 20 December. She departed 28 December for New York; was decommissioned there 15 March 1946; and sold 27 June 1946.

Betelgeuse received six battle stars for her participation in World War II.


History [ edit | edit source ]

Acquisition [ edit | edit source ]

Betelgeuse was laid down as a C-2D on 9 March 1939 at Chester, Pennsylvania, by the Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Hull 180 under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 31) launched as Mormaclark on 18 September 1939 sponsored by Miss Anne Perry Woodward delivered to the Moore McCormack Line, Inc., on 29 November 1939 acquired by the Navy on 29 May 1941 renamed Betelgeuse on 3 June 1941 converted for naval service by the Brewer Dry Dock Company, Staten Island, N.Y. and commissioned as AK-28 on 14 June, Commander Harry D. Power in command.

From her commissioning nearly through the fall of 1941, the cargo ship operated in the Atlantic conducting amphibious maneuvers off North Carolina in June and July, performing similar evolutions off Virginia in September, and carrying cargo to Bermuda and various ports in the West Indies during October. She then entered the Charleston Navy Yard for an overhaul and was there when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December.

1942, South Pacific [ edit | edit source ]

Early in January 1942, Betelgeuse loaded Army cargo and, on 19 February, got underway in convoy for Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Clydebank, Scotland. Returning to New York on 25 March, she took on more supplies and sailed on 8 April with a convoy bound for the Tonga Islands, where the Navy was setting up an advanced base to consolidate the defenses of the communication and logistics lines with Australia. On 9 May, the convoy arrived at Tongatapu which the Navy was developing as a fuel base, an alternate air cargo staging port, an air support point for Fiji and Samoa, and a safe harbor for hospital ship Solace.

Betelgeuse set course for San Diego on 7 June, loaded cargo there, and got underway again on 1 July. At Pearl Harbor, she joined Task Force 62 (TF㺾) which had assembled for the invasion of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Leaving Hawaii on 31 July and arriving in "Ironbottom Sound" off Guadalcanal on 7 August, Betelgeuse quickly unloaded her cargo in the face of Japanese air attacks. On the day after the landings, she shot down two enemy planes.

For the next five months, the cargo ship made resupply and reinforcement voyages to Guadalcanal and Tulagi in support of the campaign to overcome the stubborn Japanese resistance there. Although she only stood off the beaches for 15 days out of that period, she claimed eight enemy planes while sustaining only minor damage herself. Primarily, Betelgeuse hauled supplies to Guadalcanal from Espiritu Santo and Efate, New Hebrides from Nouméa, New Caledonia and from Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand. On 1 September, she landed the first men of the Naval Construction Battalions ("Seabees") on Guadalcanal to improve Henderson Field and to build other facilities.

While unloading supplies at Guadalcanal on 21 November, the ship grounded after developing engine problems that would hamper her repeatedly during the ensuing year. After temporary repairs, the cargo ship got underway on Christmas Day and headed for the California coast. She arrived in San Pedro on 9 January 1943 and underwent additional repairs. Reclassified an attack cargo ship, AKA-11, on 1 February, Betelgeuse sailed for the east coast and arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, on 8 March for the alterations that would fit her for her new role. With her holds specially modified for rapid unloading during combat, she went to sea early in April to begin a month's training in Chesapeake Bay.

1943–44, Mediterranean [ edit | edit source ]

On 10 May, the ship sailed for the Mediterranean to participate in the invasion of Sicily as part of TF㻑, codenamed "Dime" force. Following rehearsals at Algiers in June, TF㻑 landed at Gela on 10 July in one of the most bitterly contested operations in Sicily. From her position off the beach immediately to starboard of Rear Admiral John L. Hall's flagship Samuel Chase (AP-56), Betelgeuse closely observed the action. Owing to rough seas, night unloading, and poor beach conditions, the attack cargo ship lost several landing craft. One of her sailors was killed by wild fire from a landing craft during an air raid. Moreover, her old engine problems returned. Her propulsion plant broke down while she was in the swept channel and the ship drifted helplessly through enemy minefields before regaining control of her helm and averting disaster. On 24 July, she sailed for home for overhaul.

Betelgeuse arrived at Norfolk, Virginia on 14 August and spent the next eight months in repair yards along the east coast. The repairs to her main engine were successfully completed at her builder's yard in Chester and, on 4 May 1944, she got underway for the Mediterranean.

After preinvasion training off Salerno in June and early July, the "Camel" force, of which Betelgeuse was part, formed up at Palermo and set out for the southern coast of France. The invasion of Provence proved to be a quiet and quick operation. She remained in the invasion area only two days to unload her cargo at Red Beach in the Golfe de Frejus. The ship then made five more trips from ports in North Africa to points along the French and Italian coasts carrying equipment and troops to feed the Allied advances.

1945, Pacific [ edit | edit source ]

The cargo ship departed the Mediterranean on 25 September 1944 and returned to the United States to have improved communications and radar gear installed. On New Year's Day 1945, she got underway for the Pacific theater. After transiting the Panama Canal and steaming to Hawaii, Betelgeuse took on a load of Army cargo at Pearl Harbor and steamed to Guadalcanal for practice landings in preparation for the invasion of the Ryukyus. She then stopped at Ulithi for fuel and more provisions, before heading for Okinawa.

Betelgeuse stood off the Hagushi beaches on D-Day, 1 April, and began unloading her cargo. Her labors proceeded smoothly and efficiently until the 6th, when the Japanese mounted major kamikaze air attacks. During the ensuing raids, four of her men received minor wounds from flying shell fragments but the ship herself sustained only minor damage from strafing. On 9 April, Betelgeuse departed Okinawa and headed for Port Chicago, California, whence she made two shuttle runs carrying ammunition to Pearl Harbor before the war ended.

Upon learning of Japan's surrender on 15 August, Betelgeuse sailed from San Francisco for the Philippines to embark troops at Lingayen Gulf, Manila, and Batangas for occupation duty in Otaru on Hokkaidō in Japan. After that task, she returned to the Philippines, at Samar, where she embarked Seabees for passage to China. Arriving at Tientsin on 10 November, she received orders that sent her to Guam, Pearl Harbor, and San Francisco to carry returning soldiers home in time for Christmas.

Betelgeuse departed the west coast on 28 December and headed for New York. She was decommissioned at the New York Naval Shipyard on 15 March 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy List on 28 March. Refitted for merchant service, she operated as Mormaclark until sold on 27 June 1947 to Compania de La Paloma, S.A., out of Ancon, Canal Zone, under the name Star Betelgeuse. In 1949, she still operated under the Panamanian flag but her owner was then Compania Naviera.

Sold for scrapping in 1972, the ship arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 7 April 1972 for dismantling.


Naval Battle of Guadalcanal

South Pacific area in 1942. From a US Navy publication from 1944.

Map of Solomons area in 1942 before invasion of Guadalcanal showing Japanese bases circled in red.

View of Ironbottom Sound looking southwest towards Savo Island (center) and Cape Esperance on Guadalcanal (left). Most of the nighttime warship surface engagements of November 13-15, 1942 took place in this area of water.

Aerial view of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, late August 1942. The view looks northwest with the Lunga River and Lunga Point at the top of the image. Several aircraft are parked to the left.

Smoke rises from two Japanese planes shot down during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 12 November 1942. Photographed from USS President Adams (AP-38) ship at right is USS Betelgeuse (AK-28).

Japanese air attack on ships off Guadalcanal. 12 Nov 42.

U.S. Navy RAdm Daniel J. Callaghan, killed in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, November 13, 1942.

U.S. Navy map of U.S. and Japanese ship locations, just prior to opening fire during battle of November 13, 1942. U.S. ship locations are fairly accurate, except that the first U.S. ships in line began to jumble formation just before opening fire. The Japanese ship locations aren't completely accurate.

Modified U.S. Navy map showing probable locations of Japanese ships just before battle commenced. Click on image for full explanation.

Further modification of previous map.

U.S. Navy map of naval surface battle of November 13, 1942 off Guadalcanal. U.S. ship movements are probably accurate. However, Japanese ship movements and losses are conjectured and inaccurate.

Japanese, Type 93, "Long Lance" torpedo, on display outside U.S. Navy headquarters in Washington, DC, during World War II.

Japanese battleship Hiei in 1942.

Damage to Battle II and Sky Aft of USS San Francisco as a result of actions of 12 and 13 November, taken shortly after the battle.

U.S. Navy map showing battle between U.S. ships and Japanese battleship Hiei on November 13, 1942.

Japanese captain Tameichi Hara, captain of the destroyer Amatsukaze during the battle.

B-17s of the 11th Bombardment Group based at Espiritu Santo bomb the damaged Japanese battleship Hiei north of Savo Island on November 13, 1942. Hiei appears to be trailing fuel and smoking from fires.

USS Portland undergoing repair in Sydney, Australia a month after the battle of November 13, 1942.

U.S. Navy recognition drawing for Japanese Aoba-class heavy cruisers which included Kinugasa.

US Navy map of air attacks on Japanese transport convoy approaching Guadalcanal on November 14, 1942.

Japanese Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondo.

Kondo's warship force heads towards Guadalcanal on November 14.

Map of first phase of naval battle on November 14-15, 1942. Click on image for full description.

Map of second phase of naval battle on November 14-15, 1942. Click on image for full description.

Photo taken during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on November 14-15, 1942, showing the U.S. battleship Washington firing upon the Japanese battleship Kirishima. The low elevation of the barrels shows how the close range of the adversaries only 8,400 yards, point blank range for the 16"/45 caliber main armament of Washington.

Two Japanese transports, beached and burning after U.S. air attack near Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal on November 15, 1942.

Two Japanese transport ships, beached and burning after U.S. aerial attack near Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal on November 15, 1942.

U.S. battleship South Dakota (top) under repair several days after the battle of November 14-15, 1942.

Mortally stricken by aircraft from Henderson on November 14, Kinugawa Maru, one of Tanaka's troop ships, lies close to the mouth of the Bonegi River, near Tassafaronga, after being deliberately run ashore. (National Archives)


History

Acquisition

Betelgeuse was laid down as a C-2D on 9 March 1939 at Chester, Pennsylvania, by the Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Hull 180 under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 31) launched as Mormaclark on 18 September 1939 sponsored by Miss Anne Perry Woodward delivered to the Moore McCormack Line, Inc., on 29 November 1939 acquired by the Navy on 29 May 1941 renamed Betelgeuse on 3 June 1941 converted for naval service by the Brewer Dry Dock Company, Staten Island, N.Y. and commissioned as AK-28 on 14 June, Commander Harry D. Power in command.

From her commissioning nearly through the fall of 1941, the cargo ship operated in the Atlantic conducting amphibious maneuvers off North Carolina in June and July, performing similar evolutions off Virginia in September, and carrying cargo to Bermuda and various ports in the West Indies during October. She then entered the Charleston Navy Yard for an overhaul and was there when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December.

1942, South Pacific

Early in January 1942, Betelgeuse loaded Army cargo and, on 19 February, got underway in convoy for Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Clydebank, Scotland. Returning to New York on 25 March, she took on more supplies and sailed on 8 April with a convoy bound for the Tonga Islands, where the Navy was setting up an advanced base to consolidate the defenses of the communication and logistics lines with Australia. On 9 May, the convoy arrived at Tongatapu which the Navy was developing as a fuel base, an alternate air cargo staging port, an air support point for Fiji and Samoa, and a safe harbor for hospital ship Solace.

Betelgeuse set course for San Diego on 7 June, loaded cargo there, and got underway again on 1 July. At Pearl Harbor, she joined Task Force 62 (TF 62) which had assembled for the invasion of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Leaving Hawaii on 31 July and arriving in "Ironbottom Sound" off Guadalcanal on 7 August, Betelgeuse quickly unloaded her cargo in the face of Japanese air attacks. On the day after the landings, she shot down two enemy planes.

For the next five months, the cargo ship made resupply and reinforcement voyages to Guadalcanal and Tulagi in support of the campaign to overcome the stubborn Japanese resistance there. Although she only stood off the beaches for 15 days out of that period, she claimed eight enemy planes while sustaining only minor damage herself. Primarily, Betelgeuse hauled supplies to Guadalcanal from Espiritu Santo and Efate, New Hebrides from Nouméa, New Caledonia and from Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand. On 1 September, she landed the first men of the Naval Construction Battalions ("Seabees") on Guadalcanal to improve Henderson Field and to build other facilities.

While unloading supplies at Guadalcanal on 21 November, the ship grounded after developing engine problems that would hamper her repeatedly during the ensuing year. After temporary repairs, the cargo ship got underway on Christmas Day and headed for the California coast. She arrived in San Pedro on 9 January 1943 and underwent additional repairs. Reclassified an attack cargo ship, AKA-11, on 1 February, Betelgeuse sailed for the east coast and arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, on 8 March for the alterations that would fit her for her new role. With her holds specially modified for rapid unloading during combat, she went to sea early in April to begin a month's training in Chesapeake Bay.

1943–44, Mediterranean

On 10 May, the ship sailed for the Mediterranean to participate in the invasion of Sicily as part of TF 81, codenamed "Dime" force. Following rehearsals at Algiers in June, TF 81 landed at Gela on 10 July in one of the most bitterly contested operations in Sicily. From her position off the beach immediately to starboard of Rear Admiral John L. Hall's flagship Samuel Chase (AP-56), Betelgeuse closely observed the action. Owing to rough seas, night unloading, and poor beach conditions, the attack cargo ship lost several landing craft. One of her sailors was killed by wild fire from a landing craft during an air raid. Moreover, her old engine problems returned. Her propulsion plant broke down while she was in the swept channel and the ship drifted helplessly through enemy minefields before regaining control of her helm and averting disaster. On 24 July, she sailed for home for overhaul.

Betelgeuse arrived at Norfolk, Virginia on 14 August and spent the next eight months in repair yards along the east coast. The repairs to her main engine were successfully completed at her builder's yard in Chester and, on 4 May 1944, she got underway for the Mediterranean.

After preinvasion training off Salerno in June and early July, the "Camel" force, of which Betelgeuse was part, formed up at Palermo and set out for the southern coast of France. The invasion of Provence proved to be a quiet and quick operation. She remained in the invasion area only two days to unload her cargo at Red Beach in the Golfe de Frejus. The ship then made five more trips from ports in North Africa to points along the French and Italian coasts carrying equipment and troops to feed the Allied advances.

1945, Pacific

The cargo ship departed the Mediterranean on 25 September and returned to the United States to have improved communications and radar gear installed. On New Year's Day 1945, she got underway for the Pacific theater. After transiting the Panama Canal and steaming to Hawaii, Betelgeuse took on a load of Army cargo at Pearl Harbor and steamed to Guadalcanal for practice landings in preparation for the invasion of the Ryukyus. She then stopped at Ulithi for fuel and more provisions, before heading for Okinawa.

Betelgeuse stood off the Hagushi beaches on D-Day, 1 April, and began unloading her cargo. Her labors proceeded smoothly and efficiently until the 6th, when the Japanese mounted major kamikaze air attacks. During the ensuing raids, four of her men received minor wounds from flying shell fragments but the ship herself sustained only minor damage from strafing. On 9 April, Betelgeuse departed Okinawa and headed for Port Chicago, California, whence she made two shuttle runs carrying ammunition to Pearl Harbor before the war ended.

Upon learning of Japan's surrender on 15 August, Betelgeuse sailed from San Francisco for the Philippines to embark troops at Lingayen Gulf, Manila, and Batangas for occupation duty in Otaru on Hokkaidō in Japan. After that task, she returned to the Philippines, at Samar, where she embarked Seabees for passage to China. Arriving at Tientsin on 10 November, she received orders that sent her to Guam, Pearl Harbor, and San Francisco to carry returning soldiers home in time for Christmas.

Betelgeuse departed the west coast on 28 December and headed for New York. She was decommissioned at the New York Naval Shipyard on 15 March 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy List on 28 March.

Refitted for merchant service, she operated as Mormaclark until sold on 27 June 1947 to Compania de La Paloma, S.A., out of Ancon, Canal Zone, under the name Star Betelgeuse. In 1949, she still operated under the Panamanian flag but her owner was then Compania Naviera.

Sold for scrapping in 1972, the ship arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 7 April 1972 for dismantling.


New images help solve celestial mystery of Betelgeuse’s great dimming

Betelgeuse, a bright star visible in the Orion constellation in the night sky, has beguiled and puzzled space scientists since late 2019.

The red giant, a star in the last stages of its life, experienced two significant drops in brightness, which caused some astronomers to believe that it was nearing its end and could explode in a supernova — something that was last observed in the 17th century.

However, scientists now believe these dimming events occurred because of dust clouds. New images of the star’s surface clearly show how its brightness changed, helping astronomers fully understand what caused what they describe as a “great dimming.”

“For once, we were seeing the appearance of a star changing in real time on a scale of weeks,” said Miguel Montargès, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Observatoire de Paris, France, and the Institute of Astronomy at KU Leuven, Belgium, in a news statement.

The new images were taken in January and March 2020, using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Combined with images previously taken in January and December 2019, they clearly captured how the star’s surface changed and darkened over time, especially in the southern region, the astronomers said.

The latest images were part of a study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Betelgeuse’s surface regularly changes as giant bubbles of gas move, shrink and swell within the star, the researchers said. The team concluded that some time before Betelgeuse started to dim, the star ejected a large gas bubble that moved away from it, in part propelled by the pulsating star.

A patch of the star’s surface cooled down shortly after the release of the bubble. That temperature decrease was enough for the heavier elements, such as silicon, in the gas to condense into solid dust, which veiled the star.

The study showed that dust formation can occur very quickly and close to a star’s surface.

“We have directly witnessed the formation of so-called stardust,” Montargès said.

“The dust expelled from cool evolved stars, such as the ejection we’ve just witnessed, could go on to become the building blocks of terrestrial planets and life,” added Emily Cannon, a doctoral student at the Institute of Astronomy at KU Leuven, who was also involved in the study, in the statement.

The star returned to its normal brightness by April 2020.

The new findings match previous observations of Betelgeuse using the Hubble Space Telescope. Andrea Dupree, an astronomer and associate director at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian and a coauthor of the new study, captured signs of dense, heated material moving through the star’s atmosphere in the months leading up to the great dimming.

In the paper published last year, Dupree found that the material moved about 200,000 miles per hour as it traveled from the star’s surface to its outer atmosphere. Once the gas bubble was millions of miles from the hot star, it cooled and formed a dust cloud that temporarily blocked the star’s light.


History

Pre-Beetlejuice

According to Betelgeuse, he attended Julliard, is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, traveled quite extensively, lived through the Black Plague (and had a pretty good time during that), and has seen "The Exorcist" about𧆧 times (and it keeps getting funnier every single time he's seen it, not to mention the fact they're talking to the dead guy). Parts of his qualifications including attending Julliard, graduating from Harvard, and extensive travel are all real life accomplishments. This and other lines were improvised during filming and it is possible that the character of Betelgeuse was lying about certain elements of his past for comedic effect with the Maitlands.

What is known for certain, per Juno's warning to the Maitlands, is that Betelgeuse was once Juno's assistant (which implies he committed suicide in life since working for her counts as being a civil servant. The explanation of his suicide by hanging was left out of the film) but he was a troublemaker. He went out on his own as a freelance bio-exorcist, claiming he could get rid of the living, and got into more trouble. Also ironically, he is "Living-Buster"--a ghost who exterminates the living by scaring them away.

Beetlejuice

Betelgeuse used advertisements (such as flyers, business cards and a commercial, where he said some questionable things about chewing and swallowing) to get the Maitlands to hire him as a "bio-exorcist" to rid their house of the Deetzes. They thought it was odd that the business card and flyers contained no address or phone number. The Maitlands summon him when they learn that he can be summoned if his name is said 3 times in a row.

Things go bad when Betelgeuse starts scaring the Deetzes in ways that seriously harm them, and even worse, plans to marry Lydia as his way of "escaping" the Neitherworld so he can wreak further havoc. Fortunately, saying his name 3 times can also be used to get rid of him.

In the end, Betelgeuse ends up in the waiting room for the deceased, where he is last in a long line. Betelgeuse gets his comeuppance when he steals the Witch Doctor's ticket, then makes a boastful remark. The Witch Doctor sprinkles some powder on Betelgeuse, which causes his head to shrink. However, Betelgeuse, with his higher voice on account of this, remarks this may look good for him in a supposed underwear modeling gig.


Alaska Department Of Public Safety,State Troopers Public Information Office

Any charges reported in these press releases are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

AK21031918

Update 3/29 1215: The survivor of the helicopter crash near Knik Glacier remains in serious but stable condition and is receiving medical care at an Anchorage area hospital. The survivor is identified as 48-year-old Czech Republic resident David Horvath.

The following photos are being released by the Alaska State Troopers, please courtesy the photos to the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group.

Update 3/28 1650: The Alaska Army National Guard and volunteers from the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group have recovered the deceased from the helicopter crash site near Knik Glacier. Next of kin for the deceased have been notified, and they are identified as:

  • 52-year-old Colorado resident Gregory Harms
  • 56-year-old Czech Republic resident Petr Kellner
  • 50-year-old Czech Republic resident Benjamin Larochaix
  • 38-year-old Girdwood, Alaska resident Sean McManamy
  • 33-year-old Anchorage, Alaska resident Zachary Russell (pilot)

The injured passenger remains in serious but stable condition and is receiving medical care at an Anchorage area hospital. The helicopter was an Airbus AS350B3 owned by Soloy Helicopters of Wasilla, Alaska. The group is believed to have been heliskiing in the area. The NTSB will conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash. The deceased have been turned over to the Alaska State Medical Examiner. The Temporary Flight Restriction that was in place over the Knik Glacier area has been lifted.

The Alaska State Troopers would like to thank the volunteers from the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group and our partners at the Alaska Army National Guard for their assistance in the recovery operations.

Update 3/28 1211: A temporary flight restriction is currently in place from 1100 hrs 3/28 to 1100 hrs 3/29 near Knik Glacier for a recovery mission. Pilots should avoid the area. More information and detailed coordinates can be found at: https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_1_1372.html

Original: On March 27, 2021, at approximately 2200 hours, Alaska State Troopers were notified of an overdue helicopter and the location of possible crash debris in the area of Knik Glacier. The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center dispatched a rescue team who located the crash site. The rescuers found a sole survivor at the crash site and transported the individual for medical care the survivor is currently in serious but stable condition. Five other occupants of the helicopter were found deceased. The Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Army National Guard, and Alaska Mountain Rescue Group will attempt recovery efforts at the crash site today. Next of kin notifications are ongoing. The NTSB will be conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash.


To Be: First Seabees on Guadalcanal

The landings of the 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) occurred on 7-9 August 1942 at Guadalcanal (code name Cactus) and Tulagi as Operation WATCHTOWER. The Marine's 1st Engineer Battalion took on the majority of the work at the partially completed Japanese air strip named Henderson Field by Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift, USMC. Work at the field allowed a PBY (Lieutenant W. S. Sampson, USN) to land on 12 August. On 16 August the first element of CUB-1, an advance fuel and supply base, landed. This element, under Ensign George S. Polk, USN, consisted of five officers and 118 enlisted personnel, all navy petty officers of aviation support ratings.

On 20 August Lieutenant Commander Joseph P. Blundon, CEC, USNR, who was Officer-in-Charge of the 6th NCB, arrived in a PBY which landed off Lunga Point. He immediately called on General Vandegrift and his planning was directed at work on Henderson Field. Lieutenant Commander Blundon requested two companies from his NCB at Esprito Santo be sent forward with a few extra men trained for special details such as water purification and machinery repair. Early in the week of August 24th, directions were received from Commander, South Pacific Amphibious Force (Task Force 62, Rear Admiral R. K. Turner, USN) to transfer four hundred personnel to Cactus, two hundred each on the transport USS Fuller (AP-14) and the cargo ship USS Betelgeuse (AK-28). Companies A and D were designated and boarded the USS Betelgeuse on Saturday.

This first contingent landed on 1 September 1942 and consisted on 357 men and five officers under Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Thomas L. Stamp, CEC, USNR. Lieutenant Commander Blundon had departed by aircraft to Esprito Santo on 27 August and returned on 29 August with Commander James P. Compton, USN, who was Commanding Officer of CUB-1. Lack of transportation shipping, enemy action and the need for other priority unit and supply shipments caused the 6th NCB to arrive in elements. The second element of 156 men from the 6th NCB departed Esprito Santo on 29 August and arrived on Guadalcanal on 26 September. The third, fourth and fifth elements arrived on 2, 9 and 12 October resulting in 1,002 men, including 17 officers, on Guadalcanal-Tulagi by mid-October. Formed in July 1942 at Camp Allen and had moved to Port Hueneme, California. It departed on 9 September for Noumea, New Caledonia, and arrived on 29 September. Rear Admiral Turner, Commander, Amphibious Forces South Pacific, had proposed a plan of action on 3 July 1942 to Admiral Nimitz (in response to a plan request from Admiral Ernest King) to include the "occupation of Ndeni Island." This island is located about 300 miles west of Tulagi and had been used by the Japanese for a temporary air base during war games in 1940. After Turner's proposal the Ndeni operation gained approval from Nimitz and those above up to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Read Admiral Turner issued his plan for the operation, code name HUDDLE, on 20 August. However, after the Guadalcanal operation needed additional resources and, after General Vandegrift and others at the operational level in the theater spoke against the use of valuable resources at Ndeni, the operation was canceled by Admiral Halsey on 20 October 1942. After that decision Turner urged that the troops last earmarked for that operation (and staged at Noumea) be switched to Aola on Guadalcanal where he envisioned the construction of an airfield. The 14th NCB was organized as part of ACORN-1, a land plane advanced base. The landing occurred on 4 November under the direction and control of Turner's Task Force 65. Transport Divisions Eight and Twelve disembarked the following units from USS Neville (AP-16), USS Fomalhaut (AK-22) and USS Heywood (AP-12) in an amphibious landing at Aola (about 50 miles to the east of Lunga and the developing Naval Operating Base there):

Lieutenant Colonel E. F. Carlson's Second Marine Raider Battalion, C and E companies as the advance landing party and the main body force
1st Battalion, 147th Infantry, US Army, Colonel W. B. Tuttle, Commanding Officer

ACORN-1 personnel - about 100 Navy personnel

14th NCB personnel - about 500 Seabees and 2000 tons of supplies and equipment

Artillery batteries for the Army's Americal Division

5th Marine Defense Battalion detachments

Marine Corps AA batteries and coastal defense guns (155-millimeter howitzers)


The illumination of Betelgeuse

Many astronomers secretly hoped the star would explode, even though an approaching supernova was the least likely explanation for its behavior.

“I would love to see it blow up. It would be just fantastic,” Ed Guinan, an astronomer at Villanova University who studies variable stars and has tracked Betelgeuse for decades, told National Geographic just before the star started brightening.

But when Guinan plotted the recurring fluctuations in Betelgeuse’s brightness, he began to suspect that the star wasn’t on a one-way trip into the cosmic afterlife. At least two of the star’s periodic cycles were overlapping near their low points, a coincidence that could explain why Betelgeuse dimmed so dramatically, he says.

Guinan took a look at the timing of the stellar cycles, and he realized that if the star’s behavior matched a particularly pronounced, roughly 425-day fluctuation, Betelgeuse should start brightening again around late February—which, after hovering near its minimum recorded brightness for a week or so, it did.

“We had the minimum on February 20, plus or minus some days,” Guinan says. ”I am of course very happy that I was right, who wouldn't be, but I was hoping in my heart that the star would fade, and fade, and go supernova. I would love to see it.”


Procyon

Procyon, designated as Alpha Canis Minor, is the brightest star in the Canis Minor constellation, and usually the eighth brightest star in the night sky, having a visual magnitude of 0.34.

Procyon is a binary star system, consisting of Procyon A – which is a white main-sequence star, and Procyon B, a faint white dwarf. This star system is located at around 11.45 light-years away from us, Procyon being the second-closest star to us of the Winter Triangle stars.

The primary star, Procyon A, has around 150% of our Sun’s mass, and it is around seven times brighter. In the medieval period, Procyon, along with Sirius, was among the fifteen Behenian fixed stars used in magic rituals.

Apart from the Winer Triangle asterism, Procyon also marks one of the vertices of the larger Winter Hexagon. This Hexagon or Winter Circle – is formed by Procyon, Sirius, Pollux, Capella, Auriga, Aldebaran, and Rigel.


Watch the video: Betelgeuse