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Thread: Destroyers - Fletcher Class

  1. #3736
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruiser View Post
    I'm loving the pics and conversation about Unreps. Brings back memories. I have a question for those who have experienced this: did you ever see a ship end the unrep with a "normal" breakaway vs an "Emergency Breakaway? We all know how the military loves to take advantage of opportunities to practice. One commonly seen example is "touch and go" by aircraft prior to landing. On my ship, we ALWAYS did an emergency breakaway, and I was curious if that so with others. We also played a piece of music as we separated. It was by Beethoven (sp?). Leftoverture, I think. The Lone Ranger song.
    There is not much different between an Emergency and Normal breakaway … just the speed. On larger ships running multiple rigs sometimes the CO tried to control the tensioning/detensioning of the rigs to make it easier on the Conning Officer as larger distances of the rigs fore and aft of the pivot point could/would force more course changes as the rigs went into tension or out. If you tried to control the tensioning entirely from the bridge instead of the refueling/STREAM cargo stations it could slow things down too much. Best to let the individual stations manage it safely.

    The biggest worry for the replenishment ships was if the receiving ship tripped the span wire before their refueling rig was back aboard. Then the hoses etc would drop into the ocean and could cause some serious damage. You would not want to do that in a practice! AOs would be pissed!

    Before the Probe system emergency breakaways were more problematic as the hose was lashed into the trunk. Even the "quick" disconnect Robb fitting used later sometimes was decidedly not quick compared to the Probe system.

    Did a few "real" emergency breakaways with multiple rigs and it was exciting.

  2. #3737
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Would love to know various ship's breakaway songs!
    A Facebook group I belong to asked this very question! There were many interesting responses. I'll try to find it and pass it on.

  3. #3738
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlankDestroyer View Post
    There is not much different between an Emergency and Normal breakaway … just the speed. On larger ships running multiple rigs sometimes the CO tried to control the tensioning/detensioning of the rigs to make it easier on the Conning Officer as larger distances of the rigs fore and aft of the pivot point could/would force more course changes as the rigs went into tension or out. If you tried to control the tensioning entirely from the bridge instead of the refueling/STREAM cargo stations it could slow things down too much. Best to let the individual stations manage it safely.

    The biggest worry for the replenishment ships was if the receiving ship tripped the span wire before their refueling rig was back aboard. Then the hoses etc would drop into the ocean and could cause some serious damage. You would not want to do that in a practice! AOs would be pissed!

    Before the Probe system emergency breakaways were more problematic as the hose was lashed into the trunk. Even the "quick" disconnect Robb fitting used later sometimes was decidedly not quick compared to the Probe system.

    Did a few "real" emergency breakaways with multiple rigs and it was exciting.
    Thank you, FlankDestroyer!
    My favorite memory of Unreps was being Throttleman. A real PITA while coming alongside, and during the actual replenishment. Constantly making minute adjustments, yuk. But the emergency breakaway was a blast! Spin that throttle wheel as fast as possible, while watching the board for the most limiting factor, then increasing at a slower rate while riding that limit! While making sure some other parameter doesn't become the new limiting factor. Well, in black and white it might look kinda droll, but trust me, that was some kinda fun, lol! Like a jockey letting a purebred stretch its legs.

  4. #3739
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbvet View Post
    I think you missed the part of my comment regarding the powdered cleaner that was used with the bristle brushes. Also, there might have been some sanding with sheets of HD course grit to remove any of the oil residue. Details, details!!!
    I was wondering that too given my intimate connection to red oxide and haze gray paints.

  5. #3740
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruiser View Post
    Thank you, FlankDestroyer!
    My favorite memory of Unreps was being Throttleman. A real PITA while coming alongside, and during the actual replenishment. Constantly making minute adjustments, yuk. But the emergency breakaway was a blast! Spin that throttle wheel as fast as possible, while watching the board for the most limiting factor, then increasing at a slower rate while riding that limit! While making sure some other parameter doesn't become the new limiting factor. Well, in black and white it might look kinda droll, but trust me, that was some kinda fun, lol! Like a jockey letting a purebred stretch its legs.
    Typically a Destroyer would make the approach at 20kts and slow to Refueling/Romeo Speed about 12kts. On a Fletcher or Sumner/Gearing the plant was split so at least two boilers were on the line. Depending on the seas once you settled in minimal turns (rpm change) were needed to stay comfortably abeam the tanker. So the Conning Officer would order one or two turns in speed change (yea throttleman) to maintain station. If the sea was rough sometimes 3 turn changes were needed or perhaps more if we had less favorable following seas. Poor steering or weather would also impact speed requirements. The CON was always adjusting both course and speed and had the phone and distance line always in his scan pattern. Typically one or at most two degrees course corrections were needed.

    Of course the tanker or supply ship would maintain course and speed throughout the evolution. If we really wanted to show off sometimes we would approach at 25 knots and throw in a backing bell to slow down. On the breakaway typically we ordered a Flank Bell (25kts) and eased away with minimal course changes before using at least a standard or maybe full rudder to charge off! Good fun always. It was common in the Vietnam days to haul ass back to plane guard or a NGFS mission right after refueling at night.

    One of the most demanding jobs was Replenishment Helmsman who either was an experienced Quartermaster or Boatswain. After steering also had a well qualified helmsman during refueling plus somebody from the Auxiliary gang. In calm seas a really good helmsman could keep us steady even to half degree increments.

    Refueling was a way of like for short hulls like the Fletchers and Sumners. If I remember correctly we had maybe 120,000 gallons of DFM/NSFO capacity so nearly every third day we were looking for gas. An old school carrier will burn that much at modest speeds nearly every day. As soon as we broke away we started planning where we were going to get fuel next.

  6. #3741
    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Reading skills ....

    Quote Originally Posted by bbvet View Post
    I think you missed the part of my comment regarding the powdered cleaner that was used with the bristle brushes. Also, there might have been some sanding with sheets of HD course grit to remove any of the oil residue. Details, details!!!
    Some of us weren't in the "Eagle" reading group and this fault of mine resurfaced once again.
    Thank you "bbvet" for your recital and your patience as I attempt to advance from the
    "Buzzard" section....

  7. #3742
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    BP wrote:
    Some of us weren't in the "Eagle" reading group and this fault of mine resurfaced once again.
    Thank you "bbvet" for your recital and your patience as I attempt to advance from the
    "Buzzard" section....
    OH, at this age, I think we're all in about the same bird category - buzzard, loon, Big Bird, whatever.........I get a new pair of glasses at Costco tomorrow night - YEA!!!!!

  8. #3743
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlankDestroyer View Post
    Typically a Destroyer would make the approach at 20kts and slow to Refueling/Romeo Speed about 12kts. On a Fletcher or Sumner/Gearing the plant was split so at least two boilers were on the line. Depending on the seas once you settled in minimal turns (rpm change) were needed to stay comfortably abeam the tanker. So the Conning Officer would order one or two turns in speed change (yea throttleman) to maintain station. If the sea was rough sometimes 3 turn changes were needed or perhaps more if we had less favorable following seas. Poor steering or weather would also impact speed requirements. The CON was always adjusting both course and speed and had the phone and distance line always in his scan pattern. Typically one or at most two degrees course corrections were needed.

    Of course the tanker or supply ship would maintain course and speed throughout the evolution. If we really wanted to show off sometimes we would approach at 25 knots and throw in a backing bell to slow down. On the breakaway typically we ordered a Flank Bell (25kts) and eased away with minimal course changes before using at least a standard or maybe full rudder to charge off! Good fun always. It was common in the Vietnam days to haul ass back to plane guard or a NGFS mission right after refueling at night.

    One of the most demanding jobs was Replenishment Helmsman who either was an experienced Quartermaster or Boatswain. After steering also had a well qualified helmsman during refueling plus somebody from the Auxiliary gang. In calm seas a really good helmsman could keep us steady even to half degree increments.

    Refueling was a way of like for short hulls like the Fletchers and Sumners. If I remember correctly we had maybe 120,000 gallons of DFM/NSFO capacity so nearly every third day we were looking for gas. An old school carrier will burn that much at modest speeds nearly every day. As soon as we broke away we started planning where we were going to get fuel next.
    I found these images on the internet don't know who to give credit to. They give some perspective of the challenges faced in unreping in heavy seas. Although not fletcher's the 820 is the Rich and judging from the mods my guess would be 1970's. These were pretty much the same ships modernized over the Fletchers but with relatively the same steaming characteristics except the Sumners and Gearings had twin rudders for better maneuverability and were longer hulls with a little wider beam to support the extra armament, equipment and the space behind the bridge P&S which was given over to the more sophisticated electronics. Now the black and white one looks like a Sumner taken during or shortly after the war, judging that she still had most of her ww2 armament and the distance between the stacks...however I could have miss judged. None the less these are pretty dramatic images, and support the three of unreping.

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  9. #3744
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boilermaker9 View Post
    I found these images on the internet don't know who to give credit to. They give some perspective of the challenges faced in unreping in heavy seas. Although not fletcher's the 820 is the Rich and judging from the mods my guess would be 1970's. These were pretty much the same ships modernized over the Fletchers but with relatively the same steaming characteristics except the Sumners and Gearings had twin rudders for better maneuverability and were longer hulls with a little wider beam to support the extra armament, equipment and the space behind the bridge P&S which was given over to the more sophisticated electronics. Now the black and white one looks like a Sumner taken during or shortly after the war, judging that she still had most of her ww2 armament and the distance between the stacks...however I could have miss judged. None the less these are pretty dramatic images, and support the three of unreping.

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    Great Shots!

    DD-820 is definitely a FRAM 1 Gearing with a bit more gas than a Fletcher or Sumner. The 14 extra feet amidships between the plants was mostly about fuel. You can just make out some folks on the O1 level forward getting ready to hook up. The Rich is making her approach and will start to close the distance next. Typically those DDs took fuel from two stations to minimize time alongside. The forward station was "always" wet. If the snapshot was a hair of second later perhaps we would have seen the sonar dome?

    I remember well getting words of encouragement (others would characterize it differently) from the CO on the bridge!

    I think you are about right on the year. It appears to me that she has a probe rig just under the port running light/under the bridge wing. These came into play late sixties/early seventies.

    For sure that is a Sumner in the second picture. I tried to blow up the picture to see if she was carrying 40mm or 3/50s aft to get a better read on the time frame...but no joy. That might even be an torpedo mount aft which would make it a WWII vintage. As the war progressed many of the Sumners/Gearings lost half their torpedoes for more AA or 40mm quads. So they mounted 3 quad mounts aft then.

  10. #3745
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    Close up photo...

    USS Conway in the South China Sea, September 12 1966, hi-line with the USS Vega (AF-59). (Photo credit Eric Hutton)
    This is a close up and personal illustration of of a transfer... and he's still dry!
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  11. #3746
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    I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all who served.....thank you!

  12. #3747
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    Another Unrep...

    Must have been a very important transfer with all the skylarkers attending.

    Note the smudges on the tip of the stacks and the rafts , definitely WW II photo.
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  13. #3748
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    DD-470 splitting up ........

    Bache was wrecked on the Island of Rhodes, Greece 6 February 1968, and scrapped there. Bache was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 March 1968
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  14. #3749
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    Photo shopped ???

    Had a few minutes to escape from work while waiting for another plane ride home and discovered this photo of "mothballed Fletcher's".
    Anyone have some background on why someone went to the trouble of adding the yellow paint?

    Post WWII, small hull numbers, single pole mast, paint is pristine condition..... heavily doctored photo so it appears.
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    Last edited by blidgepump; 16 Nov 18, at 04:45.

  15. #3750
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    BP,

    This looks a lot like the mothballed FLETCHER DD's that resided south of the San Diego Naval Base in the late 1960s. However, I can't recall if this is that fleet or one of the east coast fleets due to the orientation of the photo in regards to the background. I remember looking south from the bridge of one of these ships in summer of 1967. I went there to canabalize an 01 Level Gunnery Office Door from the stbd side aft and we got as far as the mess decks before running out of natural sunlight - no elec. on board (obviously!). Most of that fleet had been constructed and then towed into mothballs and never commissioned - brand new (20+ year old) ships in pristine conditions inside. This photo appears to show ships that possibly had seen service (note - RADAR antenna that might have been upgraded from 1940's initial commission). The yellow paint is certainly NOT the std. mothball scheme, so I would agree that this photo's been altered, at least color-wise. One note about this, however, I do have photos of NEW JERSEY and WISCONSIN in mothballs in the late 1950's that do show the Zinc Chromate (reddish/yellow) that adorned all the vent/HVAC/ fan openings on bulkheads and mushroom vents where they were sealed, so....I won't say that this is entirely incorrect, except I've never seen the 40mm cocoons painted this way.

    Thanks for posting - worth putting in DD vault for future ref.!

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