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Thread: Destroyers - Fletcher Class

  1. #3541
    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Very pleased to have a recital of the illustrations....

    Quote Originally Posted by Boilermaker9 View Post
    Today I shall try to detail the middle of bilgepumps photos the boiler front

    1. I do not believe this photo is a destroyer boiler front, as 445, 692,and 710 destroyers all had 4 saturated side burners and three superheated burners. The photo shows 5 burners saturated side which is indicative higher SHP propulsion plants of cruisers, air craft carriers, and battle ships, built during the 40's era. They all had which all had the same general propulsion plant albeit higher horse power, with bigger engines and bigger boilers...of the same design and general shape, the significant difference was the length of the boilers, and the height to accommodate the extra burner, and required larger burners. The photo is perhaps a cruiser, or carrier. The Iowas had the same boilers as the cruisers and carriers but with an extended outer casing that recessed the burner front. All boilers, that I knew, larger than the destroyer had 5 burners saturated and 4 burners superheated. That said, the boiler type, overall fitting arrangement and operation are the same as the 445, so I shall go ahead and describe what I see in the image as you will find the same on a destroyer. The image was shot from the superheated side of the boiler as evidence by the three Air Registers and Burner Tubes showing (end caps painted Red). There is one Air Regester below not shown in the photo.

    2. The diamond plate again and judging from the finish I would say aluminum. Note how the lagging stops on the steam piping just at the deck plate level. No lagging allowed in the bilges. Bilges painted red for contrast, although I believe it is a left over from when red lead paint was used.

    3. On the left side of the image is the Superheater furnace with the three Air Registers with the handles for the air doors (painted Black)This boiler has B&W Carolina Burners. The other Burner you will find on these boilers is a Todd, recognized by a large brass head with an interior door as opposed to an exterior door. The Oval door with the square Blue Glass is the burner sight glass where the Burnerman observed the the flame. The Burner Tubes (end caps painted Red) are in the center of the Air Register. The Burners were inserted into these tubes and the Quick Closing valve opened. The Quick Closing valve to the right of the end cap opened and closes completely in 1/2 turn if I am not mistaken. Root Valve not visible on left side of photo. The superheater furnace was not lit off until there was enough steam flow through the superheater to prevent the superheater tubes from overheating. This usually occurred at a speed of 10-12 kts. Superheater temp was usually maintained around 850 deg F! No automatic controls here, everything by hand including lighting off. All BT's carried matches or a lighter even if they did not smoke. most of them did not have hair on their forearms as it was singed off during light off of the superheater!

    4. The Black Gage to the right was Fuel Pressure to the Superheater Burners. The Yarway Gage to the right painted silver is the steam flow indicater which measures steam flow through the superheater. The fireman kept a close eye on it.

    5. The vertical white painted line (pipe) is the soot blower line to the Diamond Hand Cranked soot blower seen to the right of the soot blower line that its "head" head painted silver. The soot blower line continues upper level and the soot blower to the right of the Saturated Furnace burners and above the mud drum. The mud drum is the white circle with the large silver end cap.

    6. Directly above the soot blower is the outer casing superheater access door. Remove that (about thirty Dogs and Bolts) you come to the inner door, remove that and the accompanying refractory and you come to the superheater tube bends.

    7. The line that is painted red is the Fuel Oil Manifold which supplies the Saturated Furnace burners. On this manifold are installed 5 Root Valves one for each burner. There is an identical arrangement for the superheater furnace except there are 4 RootValves. The Air Register Assembly and the Burners are identical on the Superheated side. if one looks closely at bilge pump's photo you will notice the burner tube end caps are in a diagonal position look closely you can see a burner installed in all 5 burners. The brass piece under the end cap is called the "gooseneck" of the burner. Note during speed changes the fireman was a busy man changing burners to satisfy steam demand called "Batting Burners, " not an easy job by any means. As I said earlier the operation is the same even on the larger ships! Today it is all electronic/air automation and "wide range" burners! oh push button light off!

    8. To the left of the burner manifold is the Draft Gage which measures the air pressure going into the boiler furnace. This is calibrated in "inches of water". Above and to the left is a red handle with a silver dial This is the "Mike Valve" (micrometer valve) it regulates the fuel pressure to the burner manifold. This my friends is the boiler "gas peddle!" miner speed changes and changes in steam demand can be regulated with this valve. However large speed and steam changes had to be dealt with by "batting burners". The burners in these boilers were not wide range and had single size sprayer plates. Only so much oil could be put through any one given sprayer plate. For this reason all ships with these boilers had excess burner barrels set up in a stand with different size sprayer plates installed all, ready to go, just for such an occasion as a flank ahead or flank astern bell or an all stop! The bridge and #1 Engineroom (Main Control) were in constant contact and through practice learned how to work together by anticipating as many changes in steam demand as possible. On the larger ships there was also a phone talker and or loud speaker system to maintain coms. Now in emergency situations common sense and plant knowledge prevailed. These guys were pros! All of them! It was by no means easy to operate these propulsion plants.

    9. There are several gages above the burners and they would be Main Steam Pressure, Auxilary Steam pressure, Aux temp, Fuel Pressure, Fuel temp, and Feed Temp. These gages have been replaced many times over as all ten gages were yellow backing, pressure gages white backing
    however regardless of color they would be numbered for intended purpose.

    10. Well that is all I have on the Boiler front Photo. Oh to he right of the mud drum you will see the top flange a grey painted web frame.
    If I bore you guys with my detail let me know and I will tone it down some. Thanks

    More pictures on the order.... as I'm traveling again and away from my hard drive, I'll follow up later this week.
    Very much appreciate the detail of what is contained in the photos.

  2. #3542
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    BM9,

    Ditto BP's remarks! Good to have an explanation of all that equipment!

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    A Back up photo
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    I apologize to the group! I Jumped the gun a little on my explanation of bilgepumps photo(#2 above). of the boiler front. In paragraph ; the history and substance are correct as I know it. however when I said that the photo (#2 above) was not of a destroyer boiler I was... incorrect....it is infact one of the fwd boilers of the Casson Young. What through me was the 5 burner leads. I went searching on this thread and found a photo by bilgepump of another boiler taken from a different angle and my mistake was glaring at me...the Smoke Burner. Evidently the Cassin Young was decommissioned prior to the navy removing the smoke burners, therefore in #2 photo you see 5 burner leads and 5 endcaps of the Carolina Burners. I incorrectly assumed that this was a different boiler forom a larger ship. So to recap; the Fletcher boilers did have 5 burners on the saturated side and 3 burners on the superheated side. There are 4 burners on saturated side for operation and the 5th burner located to the upper right of #4 burner and just to the left off the first gauge. Again I apologize for the mix up. Thank you bilgepump for the exclent photos! I also confirmed that some ships had 6 burners saturated side and 5 superheated side. An example is Yorktown at Patriots Point, Charleston SC which is a Essex Carrier with 4 M type boilers in that configuration. I believe she had the larger boilers not only for propulsion but she also had steam catapults which required an exorbitant amount of steam. Now the Iowas on the other hand with 212K SHP had same boilers with 5 burners installed saturated side and 4 Superheated side. Now the IOWA's had no steam catapults!

    A little trivia: If you will notice the #2 Boiler Name Plate does not have a name underneath "Built For" however the one for the Iowa does. That is because the Navy at the height of the Cold War had the ships crews grind the ships name of the boiler name plates for fear of capture and identification...that is what I was told. So when you see one without the ships name she was active during the height of the Cold War and if she has a name then she was decommissioned before then.

    Again I am sorry for the confusion.
    Last edited by Boilermaker9; 06 Jun 18, at 15:52.

  5. #3545
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    Attache are three photos of one of the Yorktown's boilers. To use as comparison to the Cassin Young Boiler Front. Not near as good a shape as the Cassin Young but in fairness these were taken a long time ago. I am sure things are much improved today. None the less Lexington Boiler front good example of a larger M type boiler ...the same type as the Fletchers and operated the same way..... Prime example of Standardization During WW2.Name:  DCP_1297.jpeg
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  6. #3546
    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Back in the man cave ...

    Certainly I've enjoyed reading this thread while on the road the past week.
    So some more fuel for the fire.... well fire room that is;

    Some jpegs of the forward fire room on a Fletcher DD.... rough!
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  7. #3547
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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    Certainly I've enjoyed reading this thread while on the road the past week.
    So some more fuel for the fire.... well fire room that is;

    Some jpegs of the forward fire room on a Fletcher DD.... rough!
    Well what can be seen in the first or top photo is that this ship has been decommissioned a long time, as evidence by he mud/water drum head being lagged and then covered with tin/sheet metal, fuel line to the manifold painted white, and the puddle of black oil on the deck plates. The Navy gave up covering lagging with sheetmetal right after ww2 as it was a maintenance nightmare, the sheet metal also radiated heat which contributed to the discomfort in the fireroom. In the subsequent years they just used lagging covered the lagging with lagging cloth and lagging paste and white lagging paint. and stayed with that till the end of boilers.

    1. Lower left of the photo is the mud/water drum head which contained a manhole cover so one could climb in and punch tubes or re roll or replace tubes. The BT's had to punch tubes every 1800 -2000hr of operation or so, dirty nasty job. in the mud drum they "short punched" them. Punching tubes is defined as running an air operated turbine with a stiff wire brush attached through each of the 1472 in each boiler (4 per ship). By no means fun!

    2. Above the mud drum is a diamond soot blower head and above the are 2 boxes which are the "Periscopes' which is a collection of mirrors tubes and a light in the uptakes that allows the Burnerman to see if he is smoking (light economy haze is what he is looking for). To the right the periscopes is the fuel line to the manifold with the mike valve( this time all painted silver).

    3. Below the Mike valve are the air registers with burner tubes ...in this photo these are TODD Burners as evidence by the brass head on the end, vise the Carolina Burner tubes in Cassin Young which just had a red cap on the end. These were the only 2 stiles of burners on these ships. For that matter on this type of boiler!

    4. Below the burners is the saturated side furnace outer casing access hole with the door propped on a burner barrel up above. Through the access can be seen the inner casing This BT/BR spent many an hr inside these furnaces. It is no easy trick to climb in and out! These boiler are "Air Incased". meaning the FDB discharges combustion air to the space between the inner and outer casing. Then goes through the air doors of the burners and into the furnace. The outer casing attaches to a boiler skirt which is welded to the hull in the bilges creating an air tight seal all around the inner casing.

    5. If one looks closely you can see the empty burner rack that the fireman used to bat burners. There was enough space for a full change of burners. below and to the left is a hole in the rise of the step I believe that the valve wheel seen is one of the "Boiler Rundown" valves if I am not mistaken. Prior to light off or when one needed to empty the boiler they would run it down into the bilges and eventually pump it over the side. Today the boilers are run down but not pumped over the side they are pumped into holding tanks and then treated as per current solution regulations, before being pumped over the side.....yep times have changed.

    6. To the right of the superheater furnace is the ladder going to the upper level or check level. The aluminum sheet metal that is attached to the ladder is for catching dirt and letting is slide down into a pile under the ladder. a need little trick that helped keep the fireroom clean!. Although in this case it appears to be overhanging the bilges a little so not all the dirt wound up in a nice little pile!

    7. Because these ships burned black oil (NSFO) and before current color coding and safety standards were put in place fuel oil lines were lagged. When a fuel oil oor steam line was in way of a work area in this case the burner front, the lagging would get towardtowarn and ripped. To prevent this, either the shipyard or the BT would wrap the offended area with sheet metal. Very effective as evidenced by all the dents seen.

    To give some idea what the BT went through I attached a few photos from a 1951 course book for BT. punching tubes was a lot of work and took a lot of time it involved the entire fireroom crew. on some ships the would also augment the tube punchers with "restricted men". That fell out of favor though as it was deemed cruel and unusual punishment. To say the least the "Water Tender's" ( later changed Boiler Technician) life was not easy! Very dirty and very hot!
    The pages say restricted but the classification has long since been removed.Name:  IMG_6789.jpg
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    Last edited by Boilermaker9; 08 Jun 18, at 17:17.

  8. #3548
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    The second photo is a close up fo the superheated side of the sam boiler in the first photo. The one noticeable thing is the blue hand wheel. I believe this is the boiler feed check valve extension which allowed the burner man or the top watch to check the boiler water (feed the boiler) from the lower level in an emergency.
    you can also better see the Todd Burner Barrels.

    Will do the last 2 later today or tomorrow

  9. #3549
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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    Certainly I've enjoyed reading this thread while on the road the past week.
    So some more fuel for the fire.... well fire room that is;

    Some jpegs of the forward fire room on a Fletcher DD.... rough!
    Good morning! The third image down is the upper level or the Check Level of the Boiler. Most Prominent in the image is the end cap of the Steam Drum with the cap cover removed. If you look closely you will see a partial "Dog and Nut". The nut is rusty the dog is painted silver. There were 2 Dogs (some called them "Strong Backs"), that held a Man Hole cover in place. Same for the mud drum Man Hole Cover. The cover closed a 12*16" oval man hole, which as the name implies allowed us to slither in and out of the drums to remove and reinstall internals, punch tubes or remove and install tubes. These covers were heavy 40lb or so and not very easy to set, (move around to stop leaking) you initially install them with 2 hands, one on each stud and draw them back into the man hole. Holding one of the studs pull as hard as you can and install the dog and nut with the other hand, when the nut is hand tight install the other nut and dog and draw it up hand tight. Now you get a crow bar or a very heavy screwdriver and wrench tight lightly while prying the man hole cover around at the same time until the manhole cover is a little more than easy wrench tight tight against the seat with a 1/16" clearance all around. if you could achieve this in 20 minutes you were pretty good! Then you filled the boiler, when full set the manhole cover with a 10lb sledge hammer until it quit leaking while hammering, hand tighten with wrench..easy. Note Water pressure in the boiler compresses the gasket. if one did it correctly you could bring the boiler up under hydrostatic pressure to 650 then slug the main hole cover nuts up with a slugging wrench. It should not leak! If you are lucky. Now this same process is repeated at the same time with with all Hand Hole Plates and Man Hole Covers. The hand hole plates are comparatively easy to install and set but still require skill and time! Now there are 15 hand hole plate on each the side wall and center wall headers, required the BT to slither down between the inner and outer casing into the bilge under the boiler to remove and reinstall them. There are 26 Superheater Header Hand Hole plates. There are 2 Man Hole Covers! Did I mention this is a lot of work and it takes several people to accomplish it in a timely manner! We had one Great incentive though..provided we were not doing this at sea...Liberty!!!!!!!

    Sorry I digress; Now back to the Photo again; The soot blower head That is attached to the Economizer access Door is visible. The Economizer which is a exhaust gas feed heater, heats the feed water another 100 degrees from about 250 degrees to about 350 degrees before entering the boiler steam drum. Right next to that is the pipe for the Periscope that I described in the previously. The box on the end of the vertical pipe has a door to which a mirror is attached and the wing not on the door adjusts the mirror. The horizontal run of the pipe will disappear into the uptake just above the Economizer. in front of the drum opening barely visible is the Baily Expansion tube auto feed regulator. Which worked on the thermal principal that hot water was hotter than ambient air. This unit was not very reliable, only operated during General Quaters or extreme emergency. Now not visible in the photo is the Feed Check Valve which I believe is out of sight left. which The check man was glued to that valve was his only duty on watch ...feed the boiler.... The Gage glasses in the photo have been removed but the checkmate would keep his eye glued to them, there were 2 one on each side of the drum one 6 inch I believe and a double one of 12 inches. water level was kept at mid glass. Lo water in a steaming boiler is a very dangerous event and always taken very seriously!!! Which is why the check man did absolutely nothing except feed the boiler!!!!!! I will try to find a image of the upper level showing the gage glasses and check valve. Perhaps bilge pump has one.


    The last Image shows the main steam stop and I believe the turbo stop. (Turbine Generators which worked off Main Steam! Some of us cll it the Scissors Valve or the Man Breaker but its correct name is the Main Steam Valve which on a good dan was not easy to operate under boiler pressure. The cables a that are attached to the valves are the remote operating cables that ran up through the main deck or through the deck and angled off to a exterior bulkhead. These also were very cumbersome and contributed to the valve operating difficulty!! As you can see the main steam had great fitting on the steel arms. A smart BT would keep them greased! Those arms offered mechanical advantage in opening and closing as there was 634PSI in a 6 inch line backing up a 6 inch valve. you can do the math on the force required to operate this valve! Sometimes it took 2 men and a crows foot to close the valve tight! On the larger capital ships 8" or 10" steam lines prevailed and these valves had either hydraulic assist or pneumatic assist, with one large valve wheel! several feet in diameter! as on the battleships!

    I have enclose three photos one of the boiler itself one of a boiler diagram to help illustrate any questions just ask.
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    Last edited by Boilermaker9; 09 Jun 18, at 19:39.

  10. #3550
    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    It's all in the presentation...

    Written like a true boilermaker...

    ..."Then you filled the boiler, when full set the manhole cover with a 10lb sledge hammer until it quit leaking while hammering, hand tighten with wrench.. easy..."

    The expression lingers as I visualize a crusty Chief instructing a new recruit about the intricate methods of addressing a 600 psi steam system. Boilermaker9, your recitals provide quite a bit of meat and I'm chewing a little bit at a time for the full flavor. I truly am enjoying you sharing.

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    I must agree - this is quite an interesting lesson on how these units operate. There is so much we all DON'T know about these ships and how they operate.

    BM9 - I would be curious as to what the normal procedure would be to go from a "cold iron" watch to getting ready to "cast off all lines".

    Thanks,

    Hank

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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    Written like a true boilermaker...

    ..."Then you filled the boiler, when full set the manhole cover with a 10lb sledge hammer until it quit leaking while hammering, hand tighten with wrench.. easy..."

    The expression lingers as I visualize a crusty Chief instructing a new recruit about the intricate methods of addressing a 600 psi steam system. Boilermaker9, your recitals provide quite a bit of meat and I'm chewing a little bit at a time for the full flavor. I truly am enjoying you sharing.
    First off let me clarify setting hand hole and man hole plates. Each engineroom and fireroom had a full set of slugging wrenches slugging wrenches are much thicker than normal box end wrenches tomwithstand the blows of a heavy hammer, and when fit over the nut the shank of the wrench was curved away from the nut and stud curved so it would not touch its neighbor hand hole cover. They also have a large square end, designed to be struck by a heavy hammer. Each BT had his favorite hammer one that served him best and he could use for a long tome. Anywhere from 2 lb to 10lb was the norm, with the handle shortened to 6-10” as these hammers were used in very confined spaces. Some BT’s would give them names and paint to personalize them. Some would also paint hash marks on them for when they aimed at the wrench but missed and got him! Ouch!

    After a handhole/man hole is set initially, the boiler is filled and the plate reset. The boiler is then put under hydrostatic pressure, 650psi. For a normal tightness hydro. The water pressure behind the 12*16 inch cover and the much smaller handhole plates is substantial, compressing the gasket and thereby loosening the nuts and dogs. You guys can do the math. This is why when within 50 psi of the hydro pressure the BT goes around resetting the dogs and “slugging up” all -all- handhole plates and covers. The nuts on these things were very large and heavy with course thread studs. Some 1-1/2” And larger. So you can appreciate the need for a hammer and slugging wrench. If these plates and covers are not tightened at pressure then will leak when the boiler hydro is dropped and the plates get sucked back in due to the compressed gasket and the partial vacuum created. So setting and slugging up these plates and covers is an art that is mastered through many hours of constant practice....you cannot learn this out of a book! This takes skill time and yes some bruising to get it right. A boiler by definition must be “tight” in order to be safe to steam!

    One must also remember these ships were built before welding became the norm therefore all systems were assembled flanges using nuts and bolts, and flexatalic gaskets. Which were prone to leaking. Therefore when these flanges were assembled, (made up) they were tightened in a cross bolt pattern and slugged up for good measure. Or a length of pipe put over the wrench and used as a “persuader”. It gave you mechanical advantage. Some used double wrenching, the practice of using the box end of thetightening wrench on the nut and slipping the box end another wrench in the jaws of the open Endodontics the tightening wrench, which would give you the same advantage as a pipe, however inherently more dangerous. Let the wrench slip off the open end once or twice while tightening and if you did not wind up in sick bay you switched to the pipe! Although the practice was discouraged on flanges it was used on particularly troublesome flanges when the chief wasn’t looking!

    Note: none of the above was ever-ever-ever- done with the boiler or the lines under steam! Only under hydro with water at ambient temp. Today with all the technology such as welding, water treatment, superior metals, fuel and automatic control systems makes much of the above just fond memories! Although they may not have many hand hole plates today they still need to get into the drums now and again so the drum heads still have ManHole covers to the best of my knowledge!

    Tomorrow I will get into light off from cold iron to answer bbvet
    Last edited by Boilermaker9; 12 Jun 18, at 16:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbvet View Post
    I must agree - this is quite an interesting lesson on how these units operate. There is so much we all DON'T know about these ships and how they operate.

    BM9 - I would be curious as to what the normal procedure would be to go from a "cold iron" watch to getting ready to "cast off all lines".

    Thanks,

    Hank
    to answer bbvet. about 3 - 6 hrs on average. Much depended on the ship, chief engineer, and the destroyer squadron the ship was attached to. For instance Desron 2 in the 70s required that their ships light off a week ahead of time and steam aux before a deployment. A day ahead of time for a normal local underway. Then some were allowed to light off the midnight before underway, so there were many variables. It also depended upon how deep the plant was last secured (wraped up), meaning were only a few key valves closed during "wrap up" or was every valve secured. Between the engine room and the Fireroom there are a large number of valves with their associated systems. Remember the Fire rooms had the Boilers, FDB (forced draft blowers), FOSP+FOSB (fuel oil service and booster pumps), EFP (emergency feed pump) and a FBP (fire and bilge pump) . The Engineroom had the DA,(deaerating feed tank), FBP(feed booster pump), MFP (main feed pump). and when one considers all the associated lines and valves the magnitude of light off begins to come into focus. it too time and man power. Each main space had a "light off" watch. Usually senior people supervised light off such as Chief or First Class in each space with several lower rated people under them.
    Since I can find no definitive info on light off light off watchstanders I shall use memory and logic. Both of which sometimes fail me so pleas correct me or comment on what I offer. The fireroom would consist of Chief or First class. The First would become the top watch then a burner man, Check man and Messenger, Engineroom would have Chief or First, Electrician, Pump Man, Throttleman, Messenger. Note if the Chiefs came down they would be safety observers and after the plant was on the line they would "go up above"

    I have included several images I took of the 1951 BT Bourse Book. Some of the pages are out of order so you may need to skip around a little. It gives an idea of what was taught to the BT but keep in mind this was modified as required once the candidate arrived to his command. But it does give some idea of what is involved. What is interesting is the use of an extra torch to assist in light off of a cold black oil plant! They even say to recerc the NSFO.. which to me would be a bit difficult as when cold especially in Newport or Boston, that stuff is hard to pump. With no steam and only the "Handy Billy" which was the hand pump I just don't see that happening! Could be wrong though!

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    BM9,

    Man, that is some operation!!! I know of a couple guys who were in the eng. dept. on various ships and both ended up in civilian life working at large utility companies or private industry running the boiler room. So, that's a very valuable training/experience for someone to be able to take with them as they move from military to civilian life. Thanks for sharing the info and experiences!! All the rest of us have benefited in one way or another from this good experience!

    Hank

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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    Certainly I've enjoyed reading this thread while on the road the past week.
    So some more fuel for the fire.... well fire room that is;

    Some jpegs of the forward fire room on a Fletcher DD.... rough!
    Found an image of the same valve on a larger ship. They ship has hydraulic assist instead of the cable.Name:  P1004531.jpg
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