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Thread: Destroyers - Fletcher Class

  1. #3721
    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Sample rack ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Boilermaker9 View Post
    Wow this is really jogging my memory. ........... We used to take samples of lube oil not sure so I will say every so often and put them in a lighted rack and let them sit after a period of time the the oil king would give his ok. One would be surprised what settled out of the lube oil! We also did the same for fuel.
    This lighted rack?
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  2. #3722
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    Yes Bilgepump that is correct is correct we called it the "sample rack,", however it is as your photo illustrates a back lit set of shelves with spaces for sample bottles. One was looking for shiny and bright in the lube oil and and diesel fuel and in black oil looking for droplets or a layer of water.

    Now days I think the actual refueling is mostly automated with remote valves tank level indicators, however still have to sample the oil, and fuel. A simple overview of the unreported fueling process is; set the navigation detail which include extra men in the engine room, boiler room, aft steering and the fueling station, as well as the bridge. Finely man up the fore and aft transfer stations in the ship. When permission granted come along side the tanker or AOE or supply ship, rig the lines and pass the hose across. Hook it up and send fuel sample it and start filling, the time to refuel would depend on the pressure the supply ship can provide and that the receiving ship can accommodate. When done unrig the hose and lines and when permission granted break away. This is the time when destroyer people shine give her all she has while turning away from the supply ship taking on quite a list in the maneuver, just to let them know that destroyer still had what it takes to go from 12kts(unrep speed) to full! We used to call it "off the line" Those people on deck were waveing with one hand and holding on to a rail or something stationary with the other, while the white "Rooster Tail" that the propellers churned up in the stern got larger and larger! Not sure the Supply ship ever fully understood the pride in that moment!!! The preceding description is simplified but to say the least very little has changed since WW2 except the unrep winches and ram tensioners became more sophisticated and automated on the supply ship. This machinery maintains the required taughtnes of the rig, easing off as the rig as tightens up due to the ships trying to naturally separate themselves in the seaway and tightening up as the ships rock closer together in the opposing moment. If I am not mistaken the ships today maintain about 150 ft apart, this being a safe distance. Back in ww2 in good weather it was 30 to maybe 50’ apart in rough seas it was farther. As flank destroyer illustrated maintaining station was no easy task. Although the navy has automated substantially since ww2 unreping is still a labor intensive, dangerous task and not for the faint of heart. Sorry I was incorrect in the distance between ships in today’s unreping.
    Last edited by Boilermaker9; 09 Oct 18, at 17:49. Reason: Corrected safe distance between ships in unreping

  3. #3723
    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Safe distance ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Boilermaker9 View Post
    " If I am not mistaken the ships today maintain about 150 ft apart, this being a safe distance. Back in ww2 in good weather it was 30 to maybe 50’ apart in rough seas it was farther. As flank destroyer illustrated maintaining station was no easy task. Although the navy has automated substantially since ww2 unreping is still a labor intensive, dangerous task and not for the faint of heart. Sorry I was incorrect in the distance between ships in today’s unreping".
    Question..... The Youtube video showing the US and CCCP warships crashing into each other.... it is mentioned that the venturi effort applies when two ships draw near. Do ships with larger displacements executing Unreps keep a greater distance than smaller displacement vessels or is 150ft separation the magic number?

  4. #3724
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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    Question..... The Youtube video showing the US and CCCP warships crashing into each other.... it is mentioned that the venturi effort applies when two ships draw near. Do ships with larger displacements executing Unreps keep a greater distance than smaller displacement vessels or is 150ft separation the magic number?
    I am not sure of the fluid dynamics of 2 ships side by side underway at 12 kts Bilgepump. But in my time 150’ was the magic number. It was easier to maintain station. I was not ia part of the navigation of unrepping only the mechanical side. I do know there are considerations today in the max seperation distance of ships, in addition to drawing togeather, there were other major considerations such as hose strength/ length issues, wire size/length/streigenth/and weight, winch torque issues, to name a few. The object was to get product safely to receiving ship with out burning up a winch or parting a wire or parting a hose and most importantly without hurting any one. Believe me today unreping is a very sophisticated science. With the acceptance of helo’s “vert rep of cargo” is popular as opposed to unrep. Replenishment in any form is a dangerous business.
    I have seen images taken during the war of ships that appear to be very close - one must remember though the technology of the time - we have advanced and developed unrep technology leaps and bounds from the fletcher days. I found the below image on face book, although not a Fletcher, she is the class before , a Gleaves class. It is a period unrep photo that gives some idea of the actual refueling. Name:  2B78C48E-AB69-48ED-8027-79DB2F2372D0.jpeg
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  5. #3725
    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    O'Bannon Unrep ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Boilermaker9 View Post
    .........."I found the below image on face book, although not a Fletcher, she is the class before , a Gleaves class. It is a period unrep photo that gives some idea of the actual refueling". Name:  2B78C48E-AB69-48ED-8027-79DB2F2372D0.jpeg
Views: 75
Size:  158.1 KBName:  2B78C48E-AB69-48ED-8027-79DB2F2372D0.jpeg
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    Boilermaker I got curious and found this picture of the O'Bannon taking fuel in 1965? Gulf of Tonkin ?
    Your recital about strain on cables, winches, and attachment points lead me to this photos.
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  6. #3726
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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    Question..... The Youtube video showing the US and CCCP warships crashing into each other.... it is mentioned that the venturi effort applies when two ships draw near. Do ships with larger displacements executing Unreps keep a greater distance than smaller displacement vessels or is 150ft separation the magic number?
    Yes larger ships generally do refuel at a greater distance apart. When the constant tension rigs came into service separations pushed out further. First of those was late fifties. But if you pushed out too far it was sometimes more difficult to seat the refueling probe rigs which came into the fleet mid sixties. Probe was a lot safer setup.


    With a carrier sometimes distances pushed out to 180-200 feet for routine refueling with bigger Forrestal Class and follow on. Also this distance was measured with a phone/distance line run from the flight deck which meant distances from the actual fueling stations was much greater as the fueling sponsons were under the flight deck overhang. Carrier problems were magnified as we use double rig (ship&jet fuel) or two JP-5 hoses now with Nuclear CVNs for each rig. I have seen as many as 6 rigs between two ships ….. four refueling and two ammo/supplies (two of the refueling rigs were double). Destroyers typically the max was 3 …. two for gas and one for chow/ammo etc.

    With a Destroyer distances one could easily run at 100 or less. With normal station keeping factors incorrect speed/course control distances could go into 60 (started to get exciting then) or out to 200 ft plus. As a rule the Tanker always maintained steady course and speed and the receiving ship adjusted as necessary to maintain distance. As the CO of the tanker was generally senior so he picked the Romeo Corpen (course & speed). It was easier on a Tin Can when you were on the lee side with the wind ahead (350 relative) and into the sea. Today all USN tankers are run by "civilian" crews. Sometimes we have to change course radically when alongside and that is fun.


    As I mentioned earlier with the BB earlier the distances were probably closer due to the kind of the rigs and their inexperience. OH most of the time it was night!!!! When you could not pick the optimum course it was more challenging staying alongside without incident.

  7. #3727
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    Attachment point .....

    Quote Originally Posted by FlankDestroyer View Post
    ........ " When the constant tension rigs came into service separations pushed out further. First of those was late fifties. But if you pushed out too far it was sometimes more difficult to seat the refueling probe rigs which came into the fleet mid sixties. Probe was a lot safer setup."
    .
    Seeking knowledge I continue to search for illustration addressing "unreps".
    This photo provides a view of a Fletcher Class - DD (USS O'Bannon) while executing an "unrep".
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  8. #3728
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    And the large number of sailors required to unrep. Consider the "tired" factor when these evolutions took place at night so that the tin can could remain on station during the day! Incidentally the oil wash on the hull is caused by pulling the hose back to soon before the back flush was completed. in my day they tried to pass an empty hose to and from the receiving ship. to was not a problem but from there was residual oil left in the hose which is what caused the problems. it could and did fire up a Master or 2. Sorry CO or 2 if the ocean didn't wash it off then side cleaners did and they were not happy either!

    Fast forward to today. I found an interesting article on the internet that gives an explanation of unrep. Which is basically the same as ww2 however Much more technically advanced! Incidentally the modern rep is based on lessons learned in ww2.
    Underway replenishment (UNREP). https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/unrep.htm

  9. #3729
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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    Seeking knowledge I continue to search for illustration addressing "unreps".
    This photo provides a view of a Fletcher Class - DD (USS O'Bannon) while executing an "unrep".

    Great Photosbilgepump. highly detailed I think you have another one which actually shows the fueling trunk along with the fitting on the bulkhead perhaps the fueling station aft?

  10. #3730
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    Another question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Boilermaker9 View Post
    Incidentally the oil wash on the hull is caused by pulling the hose back to soon before the back flush was completed.
    Another Question.... What is used to cut the Black Navy Crude spilled on deck? "Mr. Clean?"

  11. #3731
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    BP wrote:
    Another Question.... What is used to cut the Black Navy Crude spilled on deck? "Mr. Clean?"
    Answer - elbow grease!!! AND red lead and haze gray paint!! I remember we were refueling from one of the ESSEX Class carriers (USS BENNINGTON ??) in 1966 and lost steering way - I was on the phone talker on the bridge watch and our 3rd class BM who was on the helm, fainted once he realized we had no steering way and had to be dragged out of the pilot house. We were drifting into the carrier when Aft Steering took over and the oil/high lines were cut with fire axes. The black oil went all over the port side of the after deckhouse and was a mess!!!! We regained steering way but the carrier waved us off and we resumed station behind and the cleanup began. Oil was all over the 01 level port side and main deck and the bulkheads. The Pacific Ocean was fairly choppy that day, but didn't provide much in the way of a cleaning assist. It took 1st Division a day or so to get the oil removed and painting done. I'm not sure, but I think at the time there was some kind of powdered cleaner that was used with bristle brushes and hard work. As BM9 has pointed out, this is a highly dangerous evolution and while the system is designed to work overall, no one can predict (as mentioned above) the unexpected and crews have to be ready to react in a moment's notice to changing conditions. Luckily for us, it was a sunny, calm day when this event took place. This occurred on USS STODDARD (DD-566).

    During one of our unreps on NEW JERSEY (1968) we were taking on ammunition via the forward highline station (stbd side, Turret 2 tripod) and a pallet of 16" projectiles was half way between the AE and us when the lines parted - the pallet & shells are now in Davy Jones Locker gathering barnacles!!! I believe there were either 6 or 9 projectiles on that pallet, so that is somewhere in the 16,200 lb to 24,300 lb area of weight being dropped all at once. The lines, of course, whipped back and it's lucky no one was hit by them. I think everyone learned from that and it didn't happen again. Possibly the lines were doubled up when highlining ammo took place later that cruise, I can't recall, off hand. Generally, I wasn't involved in that evolution on NJ - until the working parties were sent out afterwards to stow the stores/ammo, etc. that was received. Working parties were usually 3rd class PO's and below unless it was an All-Hands evolution and then E-5's and E-6's took part.
    Last edited by bbvet; 16 Oct 18, at 11:31.

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