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Thread: Ask An Expert- Battleships

  1. #1546
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacfanweb View Post
    Question about all of the Iowa museums:

    Can the main turrets be traversed/rotated? I know it'd probably have to be done manually, but is it possible? They aren't disabled in any way, are they?

    What got me wondering was the Missouri's recent activities for the anniversary of the surrender. At the actual surrender, both forward turrets were turned to starboard a bit. I thought that'd be pretty neat if they replicated that for the commemoration. Didn't know if they could, though.

    Since the agreement with the Navy states that they have to be kept in the same condition they were received in, I'd think this would be possible.

    What does anyone (probably Rusty would be the most likely) know about this?

    Thanks
    The turrets can be manually operated at anytime we want. We had to do that with turret II on the Iowa to bring it to 0 degrees azimuth. Then the barrels can also be elevated or depressed manually. No problem except the gear reduction to traverse an 1800 ton turret or elevate a 118 ton gun barrel takes a LOOOOOONG time with relief operators standing by. A couple of cute girls standing by to massage the arms and shoulders would be okay too. If our wives approve.

    Technically the restrictions no longer apply to the Missouri or the New Jersey. So you can "fire up" the hydraulics to make it easier and faster. Actually, there are only 3 restrictions that still apply to the Iowa and Wisconsin. We cannot operate the CREW'S Galley (but we can reopen the Chief's galley, Officer's galley and Captain's galley). We cannot reactivate the Navigational systems (for Navigation). We cannot unlock the propeller shafts and reactivate the boilers and engine rooms for propulsion. Well, if we cannot move the ship, we can still activate the RADAR (not for navigation) but for early warnings of an incoming Tsunami. If we cannot turn the propellers, we could reactivate a boiler or two for heating (only) of the ship (but in Southern California that won't be necessary).

    The New Jersey has already installed a 16" shell hoist system (that works) and cut people accesses through the lower barbette and the turret foundation for visitors to see the stowage racks of 16" shells. I (as a Naval Architect and Armor specialist) don't like that, BUT if the cuts were done cleanly and the inserts well preserved, I know how to weld them back together.
    Last edited by RustyBattleship; 08 Sep 16, at 05:47.
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  2. #1547
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    Albany Rifles's Avatar
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    BBVet & Rusty,

    A landlubbers question...in the photo of the superstructure there are a variety of gas bottles in the open on the deck.

    What are they for?

    And more importantly, are they a fire or explosion hazard? Were they there in WW 2 or were these a later installation?

    Thanks from a grunt!
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
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  3. #1548
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    BBVet & Rusty,

    A landlubbers question...in the photo of the superstructure there are a variety of gas bottles in the open on the deck.

    What are they for?

    And more importantly, are they a fire or explosion hazard? Were they there in WW 2 or were these a later installation?

    Thanks from a grunt!
    First of all, which ship are you referring to?

    Secondly, are the gas bottles tall and slender or short and fat?

    Finally, what color are they?

    Oxygen is green. Acetylene is yellow. Red are CO2 fire extinguishers. Some "bottle looking" equipment are actually water pumps such as P125's and P250's should the ship be taking on water. Others are just normal compressed air or Nitrogen to fill inflatable life boats. If the deck area is back aft between the ablative shields of the aft Tomahawk Launchers, they could be Helium bottles for weather balloons that were launched from that area.

    I would have to see that photo to come up with a better "guess".

    Some may not be gas bottles at all but inert SRBOC rounds not installed on their launchers yet.
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  4. #1549
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    Maybe a dumb question, or one asked before: Is New Jersey longer (7 inches, I read) than her 3 sisters?

  5. #1550
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacfanweb View Post
    Maybe a dumb question, or one asked before: Is New Jersey longer (7 inches, I read) than her 3 sisters?
    The only dumb question is the one that is never asked.

    At one time, the New Jersey was considered the (overall) longest Battleship. But that was changed later on when she and the Missouri had the forward 20 mm gun tubs cut off at the bow. Only the Iowa and Wisconsin have those gun tubs still in place. With their protrusion PLUS the wind venturi shields the Iowa is about 1 or 2 inches longer.

    It really doesn't make that much difference. Our biggest concern was fitting them through the Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal that repeatedly crinkled up our bilge keels in the curved bottom corners of the locks. I recall getting a phone call (when I was the Structural Configuration Manager in the 1980's) from the Canal "Authority" asking me what the radius of the bilge strakes were. I told them to consider them "square" because if you drew a straight line down the shell plating and a straight line across the bottom plating they would cross at the tip of the bilge keel. They said they do NOT take the bilge keels into configuration. So I took my architects scale out on a cross section of the ship in a booklet of general drawings and told them the bilge plating only had a 4-foot radius.

    Ooops. I used the wrong scale. It's an 8-foot radius. I used the wrong scale. You know how much time and cost it is to straighten out a crinkled up bilge keel made of 3/8' thick steel (top and bottom plates) riveted together and filled with Balsa Wood soaked in a 50/50 mix of Pitch & Coal Tar?

    Besides, I had two Battleships pierside within walking distance of my office and busy writing up my travel order report from inspecting one BB in Norfolk and collecting the plans I needed to carry to inspect another one in Philadelphia, it's easy to turn that triangular piece of wood the wrong way.

    But now there is a wider canal open in Panama now so it doesn't make any difference anymore.
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  6. #1551
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    First of all, which ship are you referring to?

    Secondly, are the gas bottles tall and slender or short and fat?

    Finally, what color are they?

    Oxygen is green. Acetylene is yellow. Red are CO2 fire extinguishers. Some "bottle looking" equipment are actually water pumps such as P125's and P250's should the ship be taking on water. Others are just normal compressed air or Nitrogen to fill inflatable life boats. If the deck area is back aft between the ablative shields of the aft Tomahawk Launchers, they could be Helium bottles for weather balloons that were launched from that area.

    I would have to see that photo to come up with a better "guess".

    Some may not be gas bottles at all but inert SRBOC rounds not installed on their launchers yet.
    Looking at the photo of the model in post 1533. they are mounted on the main deck between the 2 5 inch gun mounts.

    Did ships in WW 2 normally have these out on the weather decks?

    Thanks
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

  7. #1552
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Looking at the photo of the model in post 1533. they are mounted on the main deck between the 2 5 inch gun mounts.

    Did ships in WW 2 normally have these out on the weather decks?

    Thanks
    Still not knowing what ship you are referring to (presumably a Battleship), compressed gas cylinders were stowed where ever they would fit ---- depending upon what the ship's next deployment would be. Normally gas bottles (even CO2 for fire extinguishing) are clamped to the bulkheads INSIDE the weather door entryway for some protection against shrapnel and/or small arms fire.

    But stowing extra CO2 bottles outside was not uncommon on ANY ship as it gave faster access to Damage Control teams to help put out fires.

    Yeah, the pressure inside could be hazardous if the bottle was hit by an 8 mm Mauser or 7.7 mm Arisaka and throw some shrapnel around that could ruin your day. But presumably if such a situation occurred, everyone would be at GQ by then and under some sort of protection.

    Back Pack type Oxy-Acetylene torches carried by DC fire fighting crews were stowed in DC lockers INSIDE the ship. If something could punch through the bulkheads (the outer bhd of a BB is 3/8" thick of A36 steel) and burst open the acetylene bottle in a DC locker, there are many more DC lockers aboard ship and scores of Damage Control trained crewmen to suppress any fire there.

    By the way, the reason for a torch is to cut open a bulkhead at deck level to let water go out that is flooding a compartment. Damage Controlman 2 & 3 give all the basics you need and can be downloaded off the Internet. I have even advised our own Los Angeles Fire Department that the only way to fight a fire aboard a ship is by compartment by compartment. You see, there has been at least one case (back east) where the fire departments tried to fight fires merely by using fire hydrants on the pier and from fire boats.

    They got the fire out. But the ship rolled over and sank.
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  8. #1553
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Looking at the photo of the model in post 1533. they are mounted on the main deck between the 2 5 inch gun mounts.

    Did ships in WW 2 normally have these out on the weather decks?

    Thanks
    Here you go. Look closely at bottom left.
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  9. #1554
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    The New Jersey 1945
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  10. #1555
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    Missouri 1945
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  11. #1556
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    Cl-48 Honolulu
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  12. #1557
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Here you go. Look closely at bottom left.
    The three bottles I could pick out are of two different colors. But being a black & white photo, I can't tell if they are green, red, yellow or what.

    Now remember, I started work at LBNSY in 1954 as a Apprentice Shipfitter. The only Navy ships I was ever aboard before was a converted LST modified to be a WW II museum (with a Baka Rocket as soon as you walked aboard the ramp). That was about 1946 and she was berthed alongside Gimbels Dept Store in the Milwaukee River. Also did a quick tour on one of the Submarines (same location in Milwaukee) that was built at the Wisconsin shipyard up north. The first time I ever boarded a fully active, ready for war, ship was in 1952 (still in High School) after we moved to California and my step-father (who worked at LBNSY) took us down for an open house and I fell in love with the USS Wisconsin (BB-64) getting ready for her tour in Korea.

    Many ships I worked on later were of WW II vintage, BUT with some modifications to suit their missions in Korea. So as a shipfitter apprentice, if I was told to work with "Scully" to install some bottle racks along a bulkhead, that's what I did. I never saw the bottles installed and I was never told what they were for.

    By the way, "Scully" was one hell of a shipfitter. I worked a double shift with him doing some repairs on the USS Bremerton (CA-130).

    As time went on, hundreds of changes were made as to what was stowed where and why it was stowed there. But in WW II, you stowed anything and everything you could wherever there was a space for it.
    Last edited by RustyBattleship; 11 Sep 16, at 05:57.
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  13. #1558
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Missouri 1945
    As for the photo of the USS Missouri (BB-63), there is quite a number of dark colored bottles on 01 level forward of Mount 54. Possibly CO2. But that's all I can guess at as in August of that year I was with my neighbor (Otto Eckman) "flying" our little plastic airplanes over my grandmother's bird bath in her back yard.

    Her bird bath was Tokyo Bay in our minds. Then she came running out of the house and ordered us to get away from the bird bath.

    We asked, "Why? We're not breaking anything".

    She answered, "You do not have to bomb Tokyo anymore. THE WAR IS OVER. JAPAN JUST AGREED TO SURRENDER".

    Then we heard the Church Bells, the factory sirens, the car horns blaring all over the city. I don't know how many trash can lids Otto and I destroyed beating on them.

    Sorry. Gotta go. Whenever I remember that day, even at 80 years old tears still come to my eyes.

    May all of you have fair winds and following seas.
    Last edited by RustyBattleship; 11 Sep 16, at 05:59.
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  14. #1559
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    On the new Jersey you can see 14 bottles bottom left O2 level. Another group on O3 just above the first group. All are the same color except one. That same color happens to be a match for the bulkhead color so a grey. The dark one could either be green or red but I am leaning towards red based on how I recall it is rendered in B&W. Green would be a tad lighter. The two visible on the Honolulu look almost silvery.

  15. #1560
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    On the new Jersey you can see 14 bottles bottom left O2 level. Another group on O3 just above the first group. All are the same color except one. That same color happens to be a match for the bulkhead color so a grey. The dark one could either be green or red but I am leaning towards red based on how I recall it is rendered in B&W. Green would be a tad lighter. The two visible on the Honolulu look almost silvery.
    On the New Jersey, I think the grey bottles would be an inert gas of Nitrogen used in silver soldering copper. They are very close to frame 115 where we have an expansion joint running up the P&S weather bhds and across 03 level. It was back in those days when ther "flexible" trough for the expansion joint before rubber was used. I recall the Old Timers complaining about the hours they had to spend silver soldering cracks in that copper sheeting.

    On the Honolulu, the only "bottles" that caught my attention were 7 (possibly 8) "silvery" milk jugs stacked up 01 level for unloading. I suspect UNloading as a couple of the jugs are just tossed upon each other. Hopefully their replenishment jugs have already been loaded and stowed in their reefers.

    Well, being from Wisconsin, I've seen HUNDREDS of milk jugs like that. Also, being from Milwaukee I am 100% positive they are not beer barrels.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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