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Thread: Ask An Expert- Battleships

  1. #1666
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frediter View Post
    Hello All,

    I'm new here just signed up..
    Here is a question, does anyone know what happened to the 5" turrets that were removed from the four Iowa class Battleships when they were reactivated? were any saved or repurposed? Perhaps they are sitting in a warehouse somewhere>
    Thanks
    They were probably shipped to Crane, IN. I'd be really surprised if they still exist now. The Navy did a big purge of battleship parts years ago.

  2. #1667
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frediter View Post
    Hello All,

    I'm new here just signed up..
    Here is a question, does anyone know what happened to the 5" turrets that were removed from the four Iowa class Battleships when they were reactivated? were any saved or repurposed? Perhaps they are sitting in a warehouse somewhere>
    Thanks
    They all went to Crane, Indiana that has acres of old artillery and artillery parts. By the way, each 5"/38 mount with barrels, armor shield, roller path and center "king post" with all its wiring weighed 85 tons each. We left the upper handling rooms in place, welded 1 1/2" thick HY-80 armor over the gun foundations and turned them into Tomahawk equipment rooms. Well, 3 of them anyway. The fourth was turned into a deck gear "locker". Yeah. A "locker" for brooms, mops swab buckets, etc. with 2 1/2-inch thick Special Treated Steel (Class B) armored bulkheads.

    Well, no biggie for weight. I still led the design of adding an extra 400 tons of HY-80 armor ABOVE the main deck for Tomahawks, Elex spaces, CEC, etc.

    Ahhhh. The good old days.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

  3. #1668
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    Have you all seen the articles about the Navy possibly reactivating some ships from the mothball fleet? They're talking about how difficult it would be to modernize Perry class frigates that were decommed less than 5 years ago, and how the Ticonderogas sitting in Philly would be harder still, and how the Kitty Hawk (retired in 2009) would be nearly impossible.

    I guess that kills any lingering fantasies of the BB's coming back, even though Trump did call for recomissioning when he gave his speech on the Iowa.

  4. #1669
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmorPiercing88 View Post
    Have you all seen the articles about the Navy possibly reactivating some ships from the mothball fleet? They're talking about how difficult it would be to modernize Perry class frigates that were decommed less than 5 years ago, and how the Ticonderogas sitting in Philly would be harder still, and how the Kitty Hawk (retired in 2009) would be nearly impossible.

    I guess that kills any lingering fantasies of the BB's coming back, even though Trump did call for recomissioning when he gave his speech on the Iowa.
    Yes, I think we can all forget about the BB's ever coming back. The Kitty Hawk won't be coming back, it just wouldn't make any sense. The Perry's might have a slim chance of a limited return, but I wouldn't hold my breath. It's not like it used to be. In the 80's bringing a ship up to date wasn't like it is today. The expense to do anything like that today is overwhelmingly prohibitive. Today it's better to build new from scratch then try to bring older ships up to date.

    Why do we need a larger navy right now, anyway?
    "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
    -General George Patton Jr.

  5. #1670
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmorPiercing88 View Post
    Have you all seen the articles about the Navy possibly reactivating some ships from the mothball fleet? They're talking about how difficult it would be to modernize Perry class frigates that were decommed less than 5 years ago, and how the Ticonderogas sitting in Philly would be harder still, and how the Kitty Hawk (retired in 2009) would be nearly impossible.

    I guess that kills any lingering fantasies of the BB's coming back, even though Trump did call for recomissioning when he gave his speech on the Iowa.
    One of the big reasons they say the Kittyhawk and the other ships you mentioned would be hard to bring back is parts. They've been scavenged for parts while they sat. And Kittyhawk is reputed to have been a floating junkpile WHILE she was still in service, much less now.

    There are only 4 Iowas. Nobody's been robbing them constantly all this time to keep other ships running. They didn't put 2 out of service and use them to keep the other 2 running a few more years. The older BB's that are museums....they were scavenged for years, even by other ships. But I would think that the Iowas are almost 100% intact, at least all the running gear and ship systems. Obviously the CIWS, missiles...stuff like that isn't there, but all that equipment would be part of the job is they were to be reactivated anyway.

  6. #1671
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacfanweb View Post
    But I would think that the Iowas are almost 100% intact, at least all the running gear and ship systems. Obviously the CIWS, missiles...stuff like that isn't there, but all that equipment would be part of the job is they were to be reactivated anyway.
    That statement is not quite true - NEW JERSEY has had Turret 2 barbette altered by physically removing portions of the circular projectile handling areas below the turret in order to provide a space for visitors to see the loading procedures for the turret. This has permanently altered the integrity of these spaces rendering (for all intents and purposes) the turret useless. In addition, IOWA has never had her Turret 2 rebuilt after the 1989 turret explosion.

    The other limiting factor in any recomm of IOWAs is the simple fact that very few experienced crewmen are available today to man these ships. We were lucky in 1967-68 to be able to find without any trouble IOWA class veterans from the mid-50s who were either still in the Navy or were willing to re-enlist. That was a bit harder in the '80s for recomm of all 4 IOWAs and I dare say now would be quite difficult.

    While the museum alterations are probably reversible (plumbing/elec/HVAC etc) the turret conditions (mentioned above) are not. Theoretically speaking, I could only slightly see IOWA or WISCONSIN being even remotely considered for reactivation, in spite of IOWAs Turret 2 condition. NEW JERSEY would require major machinery overhaul in addition to her Turret 2 conditions. I doubt MISSOURI would be considered as her political position in Pearl Harbor outweighs any usefulness at this point.

    Just an opinion, nothing more. I seriously doubt any IOWAs will ever taste blue water again.

    H. M. Strub
    exPN3, USN, USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62)
    X Division 09/68-12/69
    Last edited by bbvet; 19 Jun 17, at 11:05. Reason: adding signature

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  8. #1673
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    I was reading the below post re: the return of a 40mm mount to the New Jersey, and I found this sentence confusing.

    "The Quad 40 cannot be remounted on a ship because the Navy has a strict requirement the New Jersey be displayed in its deck configuration at the time of its last decommissioning in 1991."

    I thought the New Jersey was free from any further preservation requirements, and the museum could do what they like? If they could ruin the structural integrity of one of the gun turrets to make a tour route, why can't they do something as simple as mounting something up on the deck?

    http://www.courierpostonline.com/sto...ago/460629001/

  9. #1674
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    ArmorPiercing88 wrote:
    I thought the New Jersey was free from any further preservation requirements, and the museum could do what they like? If they could ruin the structural integrity of one of the gun turrets to make a tour route, why can't they do something as simple as mounting something up on the deck?
    Home Port Alliance, the group that is responsible for the ship, is required to display the ship in her last commissioning configuration - that does NOT include the 40mm gun mount as it was removed PRIOR to her 1968 commissioning and was not part of the ship since that time. I agree with you that the simplest thing to do would be to relocate the mount where it originally was located, but that doesn't "fit" the requirements or museum's goals on how to display the ship. What might be an alternative (if money and time were of no consequence) would be to construct a new 40mm gun tub in the location on the pier where the mount will be located, and furnish it to represent a typical quad 40mm gun mount from the 40s/50s with all the necessary ammo racks, helmet racks, etc.

  10. #1675
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    I really don't understand this. The article says the restrictions come from the Navy. What the heck does the Navy care what is on the deck of a battleship they never intend to return to service? And we're not talking about the USS Constitution here...the way the deck looked in 1991 isn't exactly "historic."

  11. #1676
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    I look at this way, there are 40mm guns and tubs on other museum ships. The Iowa's are special as they re-found their relevance as modern warships and the 40mm's do not fit that mold.

  12. #1677
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmorPiercing88 View Post
    I really don't understand this. The article says the restrictions come from the Navy. What the heck does the Navy care what is on the deck of a battleship they never intend to return to service? And we're not talking about the USS Constitution here...the way the deck looked in 1991 isn't exactly "historic."
    The Navy will always "own" the ship. Several times in the past some have tried to make changes to the Hornet but after phone calls to the Washington Naval Shipyard put an end to them. Part maybe that the Hornet is a National Historical Landmark. I'm guessing the Navy can pretty much say how it's ships are to be treated depending on the ship. Ships like the Iowas Class maybe off limits while the Intrepid, which was a piece of junk, can have anything done to her.

    Don't forget they treat their planes the same way. We just finished a beautiful restoration of a FM-2 Wildcat that looked like crap off the bottom of Lake Michigan. Despite that it is on loan from Pensacola, and while it is extremely unlikely, they can take it back at any time. Our F-14 is on loan from Pensacola and a former F-14 pilot wanted to hang a AIM-54 Phoenix dummy on the wing. He was told not to but just display it. He hung it and the Navy somehow saw it and then thanked him for the dummy missile as it now belonged to them and their plane.

    In short the Navy is funny about their old stuff.

  13. #1678
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    It was explained to me in 2001 (when our crew had our first reunion on board the NEW JERSEY as a museum) when I asked about certain details that were not being preserved (as I recalled them in 1968-69) that the ship was going to be presented as she was configured in her last commission. At that time, the IOWAs were still (I think this statement is correct) considered as assets for the Navy and as such, could not be altered materially to fit a former configuration. From a cost standpoint this obviously makes sense. Since that time, the Navy has released all four ships from further operational status and I guess the museum groups are "free" to make material changes as they see fit.

    One museum ship that does NOT follow this rule is USS KIDD - that ship has been re-built to her WWII "glory days" configuration and is a perfect example of what CAN be achieved by dedicated volunteers and money! Of course, KIDD was not on the U.S. Naval Register when she was obtained as a museum ship; the IOWAs were and I think that made a big factor in how the ships could be displayed.

    While I completely agree with AP88's sentiments, I also see the need to keep the appearance of the ship intact.

    TBM3FAN - I couldn't agree more with your statement about INTREPID - it IS a piece of junk!!! I was there Memorial Day, 2015 and got aboard just before the stuffed shirt politicos came out and put on their show. I was quite shocked in the overall appearance of the ship and the small amount of actual area open to the public. Now, in contrast, go visit USS YORKTOWN at Patriots Point, SC - THAT'S a wonderful, well maintained museum ship. I have not had the privilege to visit HORNET yet, but if I ever get to the left coast, I will make that a priority visit!

    Lastly, the IOWAs (as most ESSEX class carriers also share) served in multiple conflicts and configurations. This makes it difficult from a veteran's viewpoint to appreciate the ship as it is currently displayed. I know, I have those thoughts when I've been aboard NEW JERSEY. Doesn't seem like "home". I guess we'll just have to live with that and be glad that the ship is still operating and a part of our naval heritage.

    Hank

  14. #1679
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    So the Navy could care less if these ships are cut up into razor blades, but they can't abide the prospect of one of the ship's historic pieces of equipment being displayed on her deck? It just makes no practical sense.

    They release the ships to the museum, they drop all preservation requirements, then the Museum wants to essentially add a display piece to the deck and the Navy goes "No!" The '91 configuring didn't include massive holes cut in the barbette armor, either.

  15. #1680
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    I know, it's frustrating. On a similar note, take NORTH CAROLINA - she had her 20mm removed (for the most part) and both a/c catapults prior to her last cruise in 1946 before being decommissioned. In 1960/1 she becomes a museum ship and eventually has a Kingfisher displayed on her fantail but no catapults. Go figure? I know with the other problems she is going through just to maintain her intact that the NC Battleship Commission wouldn't even contemplate having a couple cats constructed and installed. I wonder, however, IF there were some deep pocketed donor willing to have them built for the ship gratis whether the commission would allow this to happen. I know ALABAMA has one cat, a discarded unit found somewhere and put on the ship (whether it's the correct Mk./Mod I have no idea) back a few years ago. So, that would tell me that it's the $$ issue, not necessarily the Navy dictating what can or can't be displayed (or how to display). Once again, those BBs only served in one commission, not 3 or 4 where the ship evolved in appearance and configuration.

    Hank

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