Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday Trivia!

Today's trivia is a mainly a history quiz, so I hope you were paying attention back in High School.  Actually, I doubt any of this was taught in class, unless you went to the best high school ever! But it's interesting and good-to-know info for all-hands nevertheless.  Now for those of you interested in technicalities, I’m not.  Several of the questions below deal with history around the time of our country’s founding. Whether they were officially the United States of America at the specific time involved in the question, or just the colonies, that isn’t important to the answer- I'm not going to make any real distinction here today.   And none of these are supposed to be trick questions. 

1. What was the Purple Heart originally called?  Hint- If you have one, look on the back.

2. What criteria was added as the most recent qualification for the Purple Heart?

3. What was the original name of the US Coast Guard?  Hint- What are the only thing in life that are certain?  

4. Who was the first Officer to be awarded the rank "General of the Armies", the highest rank ever in the US Army.  I’ll give you 21 guesses.

5. And how did he get his nickname?

6. How many uniformed services in the US and what are they?

7. True or false, the USMC was formed in the capital of the United States.

8. True or False U.S. Grant “outranked” George Washington.

9. Who was the first General to wear five stars?

US Army
10. What rank did Dwight Eisenhower hold when World War II broke out?

11. Who said: 'The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars.'?   Possibly a tough one so I’ll give you a hint- politics doesn’t help you win.

12. During the Normandy Invasion of 1944, Operation Neptune was the code name given to what mission?
       a. The plan to land airborne troops into France to disrupt German lines
       b. The night infiltration of frogmen divers to the beach by allied submarines
       c. The movement of troops ashore by landing craft
       d. The feint of Amphibious forces towards Calais to deceive German forces.

13. George Washington was our first General in 1775, but when was the first Admiral appointed?

14. Who was the first person to hold the title of Admiral of the United States Navy?

15. How many Marine Corps Pilots are members of the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Team?

16. How many officers are on the Blue Angels?

17. When was the first Marine pilot named to the team?

18. What sort of fuel mileage does the USS NIMITZ get?

19. True or False.  The first US Navy ship was named for a woman.  Whether that's true or false, what was the first US Navy ship named for a woman?

20.   What was the first ship named for an Enlisted MOH awardee for heroism not during WWII?

CBS News

21.  What base holds the distinction of being the oldest active military base in the U.S.?


1. The Badge of Military Merit. It was created by George Washington for extraordinary valor.

2. Injury or death due to Terrorism – A qualification added by President Reagan.

3. The US Revenue Cutter Service.

4. General "Black Jack" John Pershing.

5. Because of his work with the 10th Cavalry of the US Army, which had black and white soldiers fight alongside each other.

6. There are seven-  the four DoD Services, The US Revenue Cutter Service Coast Guard, NOAA, and the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

7. True- it was formed in Tun Tavern in Philadelphia on Nov 10th 1775, which was the US Capital at the time.

8. True, Grant wore 4 starts a “General of the Army of the United States,” and became the first full General in rank and grade by Congressional Act in July 1866. GW was commissioned by the Continental Congress with a rank of Lieutenant General wearing epaulets with three silver stars and the title of “General and Commander in Chief of the Army of the United Colonies."

9.  It was George C. Marshall who was the first authorized to wear five stars. Marshall was promoted first, followed by MacArthur, Eisenhower, and Henry H. Arnold. Omar N. Bradley was the last to be promoted to that rank in 1950.

10. Lt. Colonel. Eisenhower was quickly promoted throughout the course of the war, but in 1939 he was a relatively junior officer when hostilities broke out in Europe.

11. Gen. William Westmoreland- commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam from 1964 until 1968.

12. The answer is both b and c. Neptune threw you off didn't it?

13. Not until 1862

14. David Farragut was one of 9 Rear Admirals approved for the rank in 1862. Two years later he was appointed Vice Admiral, and appointed to the rank of Admiral in 1866 by the President. John Paul Jones had argued for more senior officer rankings above Captain but Congress would not listen. http://www.history.navy.mil/trivia/triv4-5l.htm

15. Four - One flies in the #2 position (Right Wing) as a Demonstration Pilot and three fly the C-130.

16. 16- 6 F-18 Demonstration Pilots, 3 C-130 Pilots, 1 Narrator (NFO), 1 Events Coordinator (Pilot, usually next year’s demo ), a Public Affairs Officer, The MO, and Admin Officer (LDO), Flight Doc, and a Suppo.

17. USMC Capt Chuck Hiett, joined the team as the first Marine pilot in the winter of 1954.  He's #5 (2nd from right)

18. 26 years to the tank. It was 26 years from she was first launched to her refueling 

19. True.  The USS Hannah, a schooner was commissioned in 1775 followed by the gunboat Lady Washington in 1776- built by NY State. “Hannah was the first armed American naval vessel of the American Revolution and is claimed to be the founding vessel of the United States Navy. She was owned by John Glover's in-laws of Marblehead, Massachusetts and was named for his wife, Hannah Glover. “ Wiki

20. The first American KIA during The Great War was Gunner's Mate First Class Osmond K. Ingram. “He was serving aboard the destroyer USS Cassin (DD 43) when he was blown overboard by a German torpedo. For his heroic deeds, Ingram was later awarded the Medal of Honor...” http://www.navy.mil/navydata/nav_legacy.asp?id=141 That ship was FFG-61 which was just decommissioned last November. 
Miller, The Sullivans, Cole, Benfold, Stetham, McFaul, Oscar Austin, Reuben James, John Basilone are other (but not all) ships named for Enlisted men.
21. The oldest military base in the US is West Point, but as an academy, it could be considered to be not an active base.  Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania therefore takes the honor.  The Washington Navy Yard is the oldest Navy base.


  1. Well done Tuna!

    I knew a lot of these. Note that I said "a lot" and not "all."

    Has anyone ever got them all?

  2. If you're asking me, my scantron reader has been on the fritz for several months so I'm not sure. And I grade on a curve anyway so even missing the inevitable tough ones won't hurt your final grade in the class. By the way, when is blogger going to allow me to edit my comments so I don't have to delete them when I make a typo? Ha!

  3. Very enlightening Tuna, and fun. I would have learned a lot more at the best high school ever. Well, in theory. I only got two out of the box, then skipped ahead to the answers like a lazy barstid.

  4. You are a tough tester Tuna. My guess for #3 was Death and Taxes. I am wondering if 5 stars is an "honorary" rank for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs - I got a letter years ago from Gen Creighton Abrams and IIRC the envelope had 5 gold stars. But I am probably wrong on "honorary" ranks.

    1. Yeah, the hint was giving you the answer, just helping you to figure out "revenue" a la- Taxes. No honor for the CJCS these days, he's just the guy who lost his gag reflex.

  5. By the way everyone- Gitmo is the oldest overseas base.

  6. Reuben James far earlier than Ingram. James fought the Barbary pirates, and had a Clemson class destroyer named for him in 1919. Second ship of that name was a destroyer escort built during WW II, third was FFG-57.

    1. However, Reuben James died before the Medal of Honor was instituted. Ingram was the first enlisted Medal of Honor winner to have a ship named after him.

    2. Fair enough. How about USS Breeman DE 104, named for Seaman George Breeman, or USS Cronin DEC 704 named for Chief Gunner Cornelius Cronin. Brennan was awarded for actts in 1908, Cronin 1864.

  7. FFG-61 was named for Captain Duncan Ingraham (as were DD-694, DD-444, and DD-111.) GM1 Osmond Ingram was honored with four-stack destroyer DD-255, later AVD-9 and APD-35.

    1. You guys know your ships.

      Me? I'm just an old AF guy.

  8. Nice Page. Your answer to Question 17. "When was the first Marine pilot named to the team?" is correct but your placement of Chuck Hiett in the Photo is off. He is Third from the right. Chuck Hiett, Jr.


    1. Thanks for pointing that out Mr. Hiett, you would know!


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