(AM-123: dp. 890; 1. 221'2; b. 32'; dr. 10'9"; s. 18
k.; cpl. 105; a. 1 3", 2 40mm.; cl. Auk)
Symbol (AM-123) was laid down on 18 November 1941 by the Savannah Machinery and Foundry Co., Savannah, Gal; launched on 2 July 1942, sponsored by Mrs. M. L. Mingledorf, and commissioned on 10 December 1942, Lt. Comdr. R. C. Brown, USNR, in command.
Symbol sailed to Charleston S.C., to complete outfitting from 6 to 26 January 19i3 and then sailed to Key West, Fla., to hold her shakedown cruise which ended at Norfolk, Va., on 9 February. On the 17th, she escorted Monadnock (ACM-10) to Boston and returned to Norfolk. The minesweeper stood out of Norfolk on 20 March en route to Iceland for duty. She arrived at Reykjavik on the 31st and operated there until 22 July when she got underway to return to Norfolk. She remained at Norfolk from 30 July to mid-August.
Symbol was assigned to escort convoy UGS-15 to North Africa, and it sortied on 16 August. The convoy arrived at Oran, Algeria, on 3 September. Two days later, the minesweeper was assigned to Task Force (TF) 81 for the pre-invasion sweeps of Salerno. She arrived off the beaches on 8 September and streamed her sweep gear at 2245 hours to clear the inshore transport area. The ship swept mines during the day and served as antisubmarine and "E-boat" patrol at night. There was a heavy air attack on the 16th, and Symbol's guns splashed two Focke-Wulfs. The same day, she departed with a convoy for Palermo, Sicily, and returned on the 19th. On 21 September she went to the aid of SS William W.Gerhard, which had either hit a mine or been torpedoed, and took aboard 124 survivors. She departed with a convoy for Bizerte on the 25th and returned with another on 1 October and remained for four days before returning to Bizerte.
Symbol shuttled between North African and Italian ports until 8 January 1944 when she arrived at Naples with a convoy from Oran. She was attached to the sweeper group for Operation "Shingle," the landing of Allied forces 60 miles behind the German lines in the Anzio-Nettuno area. The group sortied on the 21st and arrived at the assault area where Symbol began sweeping the transport area for their arrival. She swept mines during the day and performed patrol duty at night. On the 26th, she shot down a German plane during an air raid. She departed the operating zone on 13 February with a convoy for Naples. Symbol shuttled convoys between Africa and Italy for the next four months with assignments to Anzio in between. She was at Anzio sweeping and patrolling from 7 to 15 March; 15 to 18 April; 24 to 31 May, and 1 to 10 June. On the 10th, a German fighter bomber attacked dropping an anti-personnel bomb which exploded 5d yards off the starboard quarter just before hitting the water. The shit, had four killed, 25 injured' and approximately 126 holes, some one and one-half miles long in her hull and superstructure. She returned to Napies for repairs and held training exercises in July.
Symbol departed Naples on 12 August as a convoy escort for ships destined to participate in Operation "Dragoon," the invasion of southern France. As the fleet closed the landing beaches, the minesweepers were detached to begin clearing transport areas and swept lanes to the beaches. Symbol was in the Gulf of St. Tropez from 15 to 31 August; sweeping during the day and patrolling at night. She swept channels of Marseilles from 2 to 17 and from 25 to 30 September. Symbol swept in the Golfe de Juan in late October and off Cannes from 1 to 13 November. After an overhaul at Bizerte, she returned to Golfe de Juan from 6 to 9 December and then sailed for Bizerte, via Sardinia.
Symbol joined a convoy at Oran and sailed for the United States on 28 December 1944. She arrived at Norfolk on 17 January 1945 and was overhauled in preparation for duty in the Pacific. She stood out of Norfolk on 27 March for Miami where air-search radar was installed. The work was completed on 26 April, and Symbol sailed for California the next day. She arrived at San Diego on 15 May and was underway again two days later en route to Hawaii. Pearl Harbor was reached on the 27th, and Symbol was routed onward, two weeks later, to Guam, Ulithi. and Okinawa.
Symbol arrived at Kerama Retto on 6 July and swept the "Juneau" area of the East China Sea from 10 to 14 and from 23 to 30 July. She swept the "Skagway" area of the East China Sea in August. Symbol sailed from Okinawa on 1 September for Japanese home waters and from 7 to 29 September sweet the eastern and western approaches to Tsugaru Strait Honshu. She operated off Hokkaido for three days and returned to Tsugaru Strait until 8 October. She anchored at Ominato until the 18th and then went to Sasebo for a week. The ship next swept the "Klondike" area of the East China Sea from 27 October until 8 November when she returned to Sasebo. The ship sailed on 25 November and arrived at Kiirin, Formosa, on the 28th to sweep the "Sherlys" area, north of that island. She departed Kiirun on 20 December for China and arrived at Shanghai on the 22d.
Symbol steamed out of Shanghai in early January 1946 bound for the United States via Pearl Harbor. Upon her arrival at San Diego on 8 February, she was ordered to report to the 19th Fleet for duty ~without a preinactivation overhaul. She was decommissioned on 31 May 1946. The minesweeper was given an overhaul at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard from 8 October to 26 November 1947 and returned to her berth at San Diego.
Symbol was towed to long Beach on 15 October 1950 for activation and placed in commission again on 28 October 1950. The ship was overhauled at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard from 19 November 1950 to 26 January 1951. After shakedown and underway training, she operated off the California coast through December 1951: on 4 January 1952, Symbol stood out from Long Beach en route to the Korean war zone. She called at Pearl Harbor and Midway before arriving at Sasebo on 1 February. The minesweeper operated in Korean waters from 7 to 25 February; 17 March to 20 April; 7 May to 9 June; and 29 June to 30 July. Symbol participated in extensive minesweeping and patrol operations on the east coast of Korea, including the sweep of Wonsan Harbor. She was also a unit of the United Nations Blockading and Escort Force. Symbol, operating with Toucan (AM-387), intercepted large numbers of communist sampans running food and supplies along the coast. The two ships shot up a total of 70 sampans while boat crews captured seven, taking 30 prisoners. Symbol returned to Long Beach from her first tour in Korea on 2 September 1952.
Symbol, in company with Mine Division 54, sailed from Long Beach on 3 May 1953 for her second tour in Korean waters. She arrived at Sasebo on 29 May and moved to Korea on 18 June. During the next month, she participated in coastal minesweeping operations off the North Korean coast. She was straddled by North Korean shore batteries on 7 July but not hit. Symbol patrolled around Cheju Do, South Korea, from 10 August to 15 September and off the southeast coast of Korea from 29 September to 20 October. The tour ended on 3 December 1953 at Long Beach.
Symbol was deployed to the western Pacific from 21 April to 10 November 1955 and operated along the Korean coast. Upon her return to California, she operated from her home port of Long Beach until 27 July 1956 when she was again placed in reserve, out of commission, and attached to the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
Symbol was struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1972 and transferred to Mexico as a sale on 19 September 1972. She still serves that government as Guillermo Prieto (G-02).
Symbol received five battle stars for World War II service and two for service in Korea.
USS Symbol (AM-123)
USS Symbol (AM-123) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.
Symbol was laid down on 18 November 1941 by the Savannah Machinery and Foundry Co., Savannah, Georgia launched on 2 July 1942 sponsored by Mrs. M. L. Mingledorf and commissioned on 10 December 1942, Lt. Comdr. R. C. Brown, USNR, in command.
The Origins of the Swastika
The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika , which means “good fortune” or “well-being." The motif (a hooked cross) appears to have first been used in Eurasia, as early as 7000 years ago, perhaps representing the movement of the sun through the sky. To this day , it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism. It is a common sight on temples or houses in India or Indonesia. Swastikas also have an ancient history in Europe, appearing on artifacts from pre-Christian European cultures.
Using the Arroba for Email
The @ symbol was first used in email addresses by an American engineer in 1971. When Spanish speakers began using email, it became a natural step to simply use the term arroba, thus putting a word from the days of Columbus into the lexicon of the computer age.
The term la a comercial is also sometimes used to refer to the symbol, just as it can be referred to in English as "the commercial a."
It is not uncommon to use the word arroba when writing e-mail addresses so they are less likely to be copied by spam robots. Thus if I were trying to slightly obfuscate my address, or if I were using some sort of a typewriter or device that couldn't handle the standard symbol, my e-mail address would be aboutspanish arroba comcast.net.
The Accidental History of the @ Symbol
Called the “snail” by Italians and the “monkey tail” by the Dutch, @ is the sine qua non of electronic communication, thanks to e-mail addresses and Twitter handles. @ has even been inducted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, which cited its modern use as an example of “elegance, economy, intellectual transparency, and a sense of the possible future directions that are embedded in the arts of our time.”
The origin of the symbol itself, one of the most graceful characters on the keyboard, is something of a mystery. One theory is that medieval monks, looking for shortcuts while copying manuscripts, converted the Latin word for “toward”—ad—to “a” with the back part of the “d” as a tail. Or it came from the French word for “at”—à—and scribes, striving for efficiency, swept the nib of the pen around the top and side. Or the symbol evolved from an abbreviation of “each at”—the “a” being encased by an “e.” The first documented use was in 1536, in a letter by Francesco Lapi, a Florentine merchant, who used @ to denote units of wine called amphorae, which were shipped in large clay jars.
The symbol later took on a historic role in commerce. Merchants have long used it to signify “at the rate of”—as in widgets @ $1.” (That the total is $12, not $1, speaks to the symbol’s pivotal importance.) Still, the machine age was not so kind to @. The first typewriters, built in the mid-1800s, didn’t include @. Likewise, @ was not among the symbolic array of the earliest punch-card tabulating systems (first used in collecting and processing the 1890 U.S. census), which were precursors to computer programming.
The symbol’s modern obscurity ended in 1971, when a computer scientist named Ray Tomlinson was facing a vexing problem: how to connect people who programmed computers with one another. At that time, each programmer was typically connected to a particular mainframe machine via a phone connection and a teletype machine—basically a keyboard with a built-in printer. But these computers weren’t connected to one another, a shortcoming the U.S. government sought to overcome when it hired BBN Technologies, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, company Tomlinson worked for, to help develop a network called Arpanet, forerunner of the Internet.
Tomlinson’s challenge was how to address a message created by one person and sent through Arpanet to someone at a different computer. The address needed an individual’s name, he reasoned, as well as the name of the computer, which might service many users. And the symbol separating those two address elements could not already be widely used in programs and operating systems, lest computers be confused.
Tomlinson’s eyes fell on @, poised above “P” on his Model 33 teletype. “I was mostly looking for a symbol that wasn’t used much,” he told Smithsonian. “And there weren’t a lot of options—an exclamation point or a comma. I could have used an equal sign, but that wouldn’t have made much sense.” Tomlinson chose @—“probably saving it from going the way of the ‘cent’ sign on computer keyboards,” he says. Using his naming system, he sent himself an e-mail, which traveled from one teletype in his room, through Arpanet, and back to a different teletype in his room.
Tomlinson, who still works at BBN, says he doesn’t remember what he wrote in that first e-mail. But that is fitting if, as Marshall McLuhan argued, “The medium is the message.” For with that message, the ancient @, once nearly obsolete, became the symbolic linchpin of a revolution in how humans connect.
The History of Adinkra Cloth and Symbols
The Akan people (of what is now Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire) had developed significant skills in weaving by the sixteenth century, with Nsoko (present-day Begho) being an important weaving center. Adinkra, originally produced by the Gyaaman clans of the Brong region, was the exclusive right of royalty and spiritual leaders, and only used for important ceremonies such as funerals. Adinkra means goodbye.
During a military conflict at the beginning of the nineteenth century, caused by the Gyaaman trying to copy the neighboring Asante's golden stool (the symbol of the Asante nation), the Gyaaman king was killed. His adinkra robe was taken by Nana Osei Bonsu-Panyin, the Asante Hene (Asante King), as a trophy. With the robe came the knowledge of adinkra aduru (the special ink used in the printing process) and the process of stamping the designs onto cotton cloth.
Over time the Asante further developed adinkra symbology, incorporating their own philosophies, folk tales, and culture. Adinkra symbols were also used on pottery, metalwork (especially abosodee), and are now incorporated into modern commercial designs (where their related meanings give added significance to the product), architecture and sculpture.
Ichthys, The Christian Fish Symbol: 5 Origin and History Facts
You can spot it anywhere: on someone’s shirt, in a newspaper advertisement, even on the back side of the car in front of you in traffic. It is the recognizable Christian Fish symbol or the Jesus Fish, which resembles a hand-drawn fish that sometimes includes a cross for the eye or the name Jesus in its middle. Although the Christian fish symbol re-emerged in popularity during the 1960s, the symbol, also konwn as Ichthys, has historical characteristics that attributed to the spread and unity of Christianity long before it was popular in society today.
These five origin facts will encourage you to look differently when you see the Christian fish while out and about in your day. It may cause you to beam with appreciation for the longevity of the fish in our lives for generations or be in amazement that such a simple figure could have impacted the Christian faith as much as it has.
Here are two Type 95 documents I ran into today.
1. The first document is a status report from the people responsible for supplying replacement parts for weapons. The paragraph boxed in red says, "Please swiftly conduct maintenance (on-site repairs) of Type 95 sword Tsubas without further delay. For the Tsuba in brass, those held at the depot had been supplied and exchanged, involving a lot of effort. Those in possession of the units also need to be done immediately". It further states that only 40% of Type 95 field repair requests had so far been taken care of. This document is dated 5th Feb. 1944 and the significance is that its context presupposes the existence of non-brass Tsubas for the Type 95. This is the first paper I ever saw that even hinted at the existence of a steel Tsuba model for the Type 95. So this document proves those were in use prior to this date.
2. The other one is a May 1945 notice allocating serial number ranges to Jinsen and Osaka Arsenals.
PS: I just realized that the serial number allocation letter was already uploaded as post #83 earlier. However the December 1942 date quoted earlier was not correct. This May 1945 notice was meant as an update to the serial number allocations started in 1942. Thus these new serial numbers were only in use from May 1945 onwards. Sorry for being confusing.
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Cross, the principal symbol of the Christian religion, recalling the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the redeeming benefits of his Passion and death. The cross is thus a sign both of Christ himself and of the faith of Christians. In ceremonial usage, making a sign of the cross may be, according to the context, an act of profession of faith, a prayer, a dedication, or a benediction.
There are four basic types of iconographic representations of the cross: the crux quadrata, or Greek cross, with four equal arms the crux immissa, or Latin cross, whose base stem is longer than the other three arms the crux commissa, in the form of the Greek letter tau, sometimes called St. Anthony’s cross and the crux decussata, named from the Roman decussis, or symbol of the numeral 10, also known as St. Andrew’s cross for the supposed manner of the martyrdom of St. Andrew the Apostle. Tradition favours the crux immissa as that on which Christ died, but some believe that it was a crux commissa. The many variations and ornamentations of processional, altar, and heraldic crosses, of carved and painted crosses in churches, graveyards, and elsewhere, are developments of these four types.
Cross forms were used as symbols, religious or otherwise, long before the Christian Era, but it is not always clear whether they were simply marks of identification or possession or were significant for belief and worship. Two pre-Christian cross forms have had some vogue in Christian usage. The ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol of life—the ankh, a tau cross surmounted by a loop and known as crux ansata—was adopted and extensively used on Coptic Christian monuments. The swastika, called crux gammata, composed of four Greek capitals of the letter gamma, is marked on many early Christian tombs as a veiled symbol of the cross.
Before the time of the emperor Constantine in the 4th century, Christians were extremely reticent about portraying the cross because too open a display of it might expose them to ridicule or danger. After Constantine converted to Christianity, he abolished crucifixion as a death penalty and promoted, as symbols of the Christian faith, both the cross and the chi-rho monogram of the name of Christ. The symbols became immensely popular in Christian art and funerary monuments from c. 350.
For several centuries after Constantine, Christian devotion to the cross centred on the victory of Christ over the powers of evil and death, and realistic portrayal of his suffering was avoided. The earliest crucifixes (crosses containing a representation of Christ) depict Christ alive, with eyes open and arms extended, his Godhead manifest, even though he is pierced and dead in his manhood. By the 9th century, however, artists began to stress the realistic aspects of Christ’s suffering and death. Subsequently, Western portrayals of the Crucifixion, whether painted or carved, exhibited an increasing finesse in the suggestion of pain and agony. Romanesque crucifixes often show a royal crown upon Christ’s head, but later Gothic types replaced it with a crown of thorns. In the 20th century a new emphasis emerged in Roman Catholicism, especially for crucifixes in liturgical settings. Christ on the cross is crowned and vested as a king and priest, and the marks of his suffering are much less prominent.
After the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, the Lutherans generally retained the ornamental and ceremonial use of the cross. The Reformed churches, however, resisted such use of the cross until the 20th century, when ornamental crosses on church buildings and on communion tables began to appear. The Church of England retained the ceremonial signing with the cross in the rite of baptism. Since the mid-19th century, Anglican churches have witnessed a revival of the use of the cross. The crucifix, however, is almost entirely confined to private devotional use. A number of Protestant churches and homes display an empty cross, without a depiction of Christ, to memorialize the Crucifixion while representing the triumphant defeat of death in the Resurrection. See also True Cross crucifixion.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Melissa Petruzzello, Assistant Editor.
An iconic photo from the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee of a dead and frozen Big Foot.
One hundred and twenty-three winters ago, on December 29, 1890, some 150 Lakota men, women and children were massacred by the US 7th Calvary Regiment near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Some estimate the actual number closer to 300.
Snowfall was heavy that December week. The Lakota ancestors killed that day were left in brutal frigid wintry plains of the reservation before a burial party came to bury them in one mass grave. The photograph of Big Foot’s frozen and contorted body is a symbol for all American Indians of what happened to our ancestors.
Some of those who survived were eventually taken to the Episcopal mission in Pine Ridge. Eventually, some of them were able to give an oral history of what happened. One poignant fact of the massacre has remained in my mind since first reading it, and every time I think about Wounded Knee, I remember this:
“It was the fourth day after Christmas in the Year of Our Lord 1890. When the first torn and bleeding bodies were carried into the candlelit church, those who were conscious could see Christmas greenery hanging from the open rafters. Across the chancel front above the pulpit was strung a crudely lettered banner: “Peace on earth, good will to men,”
writes Dee Brown in “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.”
There was no peace on earth for the Lakota four days after Christmas.
US soldiers with Hotchkiss machine guns, Wounded Knee 1890.
Later, as absurd as it may sound, some 20 US Calvary soldiers were given the Medal of Honor – for killing innocent Lakota men, women and children. What an insult to those who lost their lives. What an insult to humanity.
The Wounded Knee Massacre is a symbol for all American Indians of what happened to our ancestors.
History records the Wounded Knee Massacre was the last battle of the American Indian war. Unfortunately, it is when most American history books drop American Indians from history, as well. As if we no longer exist.
A mass grave at Wounded Knee, 1890.
Fortunately, American Indians have survived – one generation after another – since Wounded Knee. It is for us who remain to remember our ancestors as we make for a better life for those we encounter today. We are also taught to prepare for the next seven generations, but as we do, we must remember our ancestors.