Monday, July 16, 2012


Return to Makin Island

True story of the recovery of 19 US Marines Killed in Action on Makin Island in WWII and their return home to Arlington National Cemetery 58 years later. 

Story: Pat Mendoza. Music arranged by Pat Mendoza Trumpet: Steve Wiest. 
Singers: the Islanders and Pat Mendoza 
For information on the one hour video contact

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Frigate L’Hermione Launched in Rochefort, France

Frigate L’Hermione Launched in Rochefort, France 
Posted on July 7, 2012 
by Rick Spilman 

After fifteen years of work, the replica of the frigate L’Hermione was launched yesterday into the Charente River in Rochefort, France. The original frigate L’Hermione, on March 21, 1780, carried the the 23 year old Gilbert du Motier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette, to America with the then secret news that France was committing 5,500 men and five frigates to help George Washington and his forces in the revolution against Great Britain.  


Friday, July 6, 2012


July 6, 2012
Rochefort Ville en fête - Rochefort fête la mise à flot de la coque de l Hermione:

Since 1997, in the former shipyard of Rochefort-sur-Mer, Asselin rebuilds the frigate Hermione that, in 1780, allowed La Fayette to cross the Atlantic to America.

On July 6, 2012, we are expecting you in Rochefort sur Mer for the launching of the hull of the Hermione !
Asselin rebuilt the Hermione in Rochefort naval docks, on the banks of the Charente, not far from the Corderie Royale. Our company is proud of having precisely rebuilt this magnificent ship that played such a pivotal historical role. Asselin rebuilds the 18th century frigate Hermione at Rochefort-sur-Mer

Hermione was built in the naval dockyard of Rochefort in 1778. She is a three-master measuring more than 213 feet overall, with a draught of over 1,000 tons. As high as a cathedral, this is a sailing thorougbred, a marvelous machine of oak and hemp built for the high seas. Boasting 12-pound guns, Hermione was one of a new kind of ship that appeared in the middle of the 18th century (1750). Well-armed, fast and maneuverable, in peacetime she patrolled France's coasts and undertook trade-protection duties. In wartime she served as a pathfinding vessel at the head of the line.

Over the last ten years, no fewer than two million visitors have visited Hermione in her dry dock, situated just a short walk from the old Corderie Royale of Rochefort. She is due to be re-launched in 2011.
Asselin had to reproduce the plans from archive documents and oversee the the provision of no less than 1,200 tons of wood from 2,000 oak trees selected from the forests of France's Grand Ouest, including finding supple trees with twisted shapes to be able to make curved timbers.

Following a call for tenders launched in 1995, the Association Hermione-La Fayette chose Asselin to build Hermione's timber frame. Based at Thouars, in the Deux-Sèvres, Asselin specialises mainly in the restoration of historic monuments. The company's skills in the area of carpentry, and the craft of their staff, reinforced by a number of naval carpenters, has produced work of the highest quality.

François Asselin is the company's young and dynamic CEO, in charge of an enthusiastic team. Joël Berthelot is responsible for timber supplies, and Jacques Haie is head of site. Until his retirement in 2006, Jean Thomas made a sizeable contribution as model-maker and historian. Fifteen other carpenters round off the team.

For more information on the festivities:!vstc0=festivites

For more information on the Hermione :