HYMAN G. RICKOVER (January 27, 1900 – July 8, 1986) was an Admiral in the U.S. Navy. He directed the original development of naval nuclear propulsion and controlled its operations for three decades as director of the U.S. Naval Reactors office. He also oversaw the development of the Shipping Port Atomic Power Station, the world’s first commercial pressurized water reactor used for generating electricity. He is one of four people who have been awarded two Congressional Gold Medals. Known as the Father of the Nuclear Navy, Rickover may go down in history as one of the Navy’s most important officers. He ended his career as a four-star admiral.
One-page, 8 x 10 ½, TLS to Fern Bernstein of the Bureau of Ships, June 29, 1964, At Sea North Atlantic, USS Casimir Pulaski stationary, with superb content on the inclusion of the new ship into the American fleet and the historic significance of its namesake, Pulaski, who had been called the father of the American cavalry.
Rickover writes, “The USS CASIMIR PULASKI, our twenty-fifth Polaris submarine has just completed her first sea trials. With the PULASKI we have in operation a total of forty-five nuclear powered Polaris and attack submarines.
“This ship is named for a man whose all too brief life was dedicated to the fight for freedom. First for the freedom of his native country, Poland, and when this flight was lost for the freedom of his native country, and when this fight was lost for the freedom of our own country. Born a Polish nobleman, he died an American Revolutionary War hero.
“Pulaski was an active participant in the last desperate efforts of Polish patriots to preserve their country’s freedom from Russian encroachment. When the Polish cause was lost he fled, his life and property forfeit. With Benjamin Franklin’s help he reached our shores and joined Washington’s army. He was one of a small band of foreign officers who, though of aristocratic birth, made the cause of the American Revolution their own and fought valiantly for it...
“Pulaski’s signal military exploits at the Battle of Brandywine won him the commission of Brigadier General from the Continental Congress. A brilliant cavalryman, he awakened American generals to the need of a better cavalry. He came a favorite of General Washington and with his approval formed ‘Pulaski’s Legion,’ an independent force composed primarily of European trained cavalry and infantrymen.
“Pulaski was mortally wounded leading his legion in a cavalry charge at the Battle of Savannah, October 11, 1779, a day which has been proclaimed ‘Pulaski Day’ by Congress.
“General Washington wrote to him:
‘I assure you Sir, I have a high sense of your merit and services and principles that influenced the part you have taken in the affairs of this country. The disinterested and unremitted zeal you have manifested in the service gives you a title to the esteem of the citizens of America, and have assured you mine.’”
Pulaski was born in Warsaw and became interested in politics at an early age. He became involved in the military and revolutionary affairs in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He was one of the leading military commanders for the Bar Confederation and fought against the Commonwealth’s Russian domination. When the uprising failed, he was driven into exile. He distinguished himself throughout the revolution, most notably when he saved the life of George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine. Analysis of Pulaski’s presumed remains, conducted in the 1990s, have raised the possibility that he was biologically intersex, although he publicly identified as male his entire life.
Mailing folds. In excellent condition with original cover.
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