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  • ArmorPiercing88
    replied
    Got another question. Why were any of the 5 inch guns kept in the 1980's? Why not lose them all and make room for more missiles?

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  • 85 gt kid
    replied
    +2 Top!

    Hey desert this isn't a BB question but it fits, in your opinion what is a better alternative to steam plants now? Obviously GTs are great but I seem to recall a certain convo we had before and you weren't very impressed today's "engineers"on GTs :D. Just curious, if only they could make a big naval version of a new LT1!

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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    What TopHatter said!!!

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Ach! There I go again with getting carried away and can't stop writing.
    Dick, Please keep writing. Ditto the good Captain SWO. This s--t is literally gold that can't be found elsewhere.

    The thought that we'd possibly lost the board forever nearly made me sick when I thought about the information contained herein.

    Leave a comment:


  • RustyBattleship
    replied
    Since it was my job as one of the Configuration Manager at LBNSY to make sure the reactivation and modernization of the Battleships were within design specifications, I have been aboard all four of them (and to sea a number of times on two of them) so, at least from a structural engineering type of person (also being a Shipfitter for my first 10 years at LBNSY), here is my list as to best condition of the ships AS THEY WERE when reactivated.

    From Best to Least Best:

    USS Wisconsin (BB-64).

    USS Missouri (BB-63).

    USS New Jersey (BB-62).

    USS Iowa (BB-61).

    After deactivation and before donation to ship museums, the above list is about the same. Unfortunatly the Iowa was even in "worse" shape. Not because of age but because of what the Navy did to her while inactive. They removed 4 Armored Box Launchers, removed several Dehumidification covers over weather deck winches and worst of all chopped up the top of the mast into 9 chunks (stowed on the Helo Deck) so she would clear the Railroad Bridge to be taken into Siusun Bay's Ghost Fleet.

    It has cost the Pacific Battleship Center millions of dollars to refurbish the ship into making her look alive again with a mock-up of an SPS-49 antenna (anybody know of a real one? We can furnish the truck), sheet metal sheds to look like the missing ABLs (could use 4 GD ones if not sunk as fishing reefs), mock ups of the four CIWS Vulcan/Phalanx guns (we will get a class C license if we can find real ones), etc. Oh yeah, can also use 16 old Harpoon tubes (Armored preferably but non-armored OK). Putting that mast back together was the greatest design challenge ever bestowed upon me.

    Fortunately my years of experience in building tripod masts when I was a shipfitter and later designing masts and heavy duty rigging equipment came in handy. My biggest concern was I didn't know what size crane we would have to put it back into place. Fortunately we had a perfect crane for her and the method I developed for the mating up of the joints between the mast legs has made the mast stronger than she was before.

    As for being preserved well enough to be reactivated? Once we have a large enough Dry Dock I think we can get that baby back out on patrol between 4 and 6 months. When we inactivated New Jersey for her last time, I was told by NAVSEA that all inactivation drawings we did was to insure that they could be reactivated again in 45 days (1 1/2 months). Today it would take longer as only the Missouri has seen a Dry Dock since being awarded to Hawaii.

    Ach! There I go again with getting carried away and can't stop writing. And its all you guys "fault" too because of this super fabulous forum and some great members to converse with.

    Leave a comment:


  • desertswo
    replied
    Originally posted by ArmorPiercing88 View Post
    "Under the donation agreement with the Navy, the ship cannot be significantly altered and - though unlikely - needs to be kept available until 2020 for possible recall to duty in the event of a national emergency."

    http://www.dailybreeze.com/governmen...n-in-san-pedro
    Clearly you think this is unusual. It's not. As probably the one guy here with a tour in DC on the Joint Staff, I saw things with price tags cross my desk every day that had price tags in the billions and not all of them (in fact I would say most of them) were even wanted by the military, but were jammed down our throats by the Congress . . . example, a whole shitload of C-130s, one air frame none of our air forces are in need of, because some asshole in Marietta, Georgia wants his jobs program. Well, there's a lot of nodding and winking that goes on, and this is but one example. Know it, live it. Let me just say this so maybe you can get your head around it; I'm one of the few living senior commissioned officers who is an expert (and that is a term I despise because most I've met aren't), a real expert in superheated steam propulsion and electrical generation. You DO NOT WANT THESE SHIPS BACK! They are personnel hogs and mankillers in more ways than one. I cannot tell you the number of times in 25 years that I saw my life pass before my eyes down in some fire room where someone screwed up a shift of a duplex fuel strainer or tried to pull a burner barrel too soon. They are death traps. I was proud to do my part, but if I never seen another steam plant up and running it will be too soon. This gives you an example of the risky environment (BTW I cannot count the number of errors those knuckleheads make lighting off).



    Make sense?

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  • desertswo
    replied
    Originally posted by ArmorPiercing88 View Post
    I heard Missouri is in better shape than Iowa, with New Jersey the most banged up of the 4, though she looks great on the outside.
    I've never seen Wisconsin so I cannot comment. I was aboard Iowa briefly with Rusty whilst attempting to inspect a leaking number 3 shaft seal. I never got to the seal because the guy in charge wasn't there but I will be back. She was in descent shape engineering-wise for a ship from an entirely different era. Now, I formerly inspected both New Jersey and Missouri pierside in Pearl Harbor in the spring of 1990, and rode Missouri back to Long Beach. I was returning from Yokosuka after inspecting Midway (hottest ship I've ever been on . . . and not in a good way), and caught the two BBs on the way home. Missouri was pristine relatively speaking. New Jersey had been rode hard and put away wet. They failed because they could not get underway due to a fuel leak in one of their shaft alleys (I don't recall which because I didn't see it, my boss did, and as he metaphorically wears CINCPACFLT's four stars, that means New Jersey was welded to the pier until they either got it fixed or someone higher than us accepted the risk of getting her home to Long Beach). I frankly don't know which happened because I was a little busy. I did some 60 of those exams in two years. A lot of air and sea miles involved as our reach was from San Diego to Bahrain.

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  • bbvet
    replied
    Rusty,

    Glad to read your reply! Very informative (and TRUE!). I would also add that today's industrial complex in the U.S. would be unable to produce the kind of ship we are all familiar with when discussing "battleships". Our armament factories and steel mills aren't geared to producing the type/size of guns and classes of armor like the IOWAs contain - it's a different world out there and "missile-mania" seems to be the rule of thumb.

    AP88's last reply must not apply to NEW JERSEY as her Turret 2 interactive tour sort of takes her out of any theoretical recommissioning anytime. I personally don't believe any IOWA class will ever see duty again.

    FYI - the model is slowly coming along; still working on the superstructure.

    Hank

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  • ArmorPiercing88
    replied
    "Under the donation agreement with the Navy, the ship cannot be significantly altered and - though unlikely - needs to be kept available until 2020 for possible recall to duty in the event of a national emergency."

    http://www.dailybreeze.com/governmen...n-in-san-pedro

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  • ArmorPiercing88
    replied
    I heard Missouri is in better shape than Iowa, with New Jersey the most banged up of the 4, though she looks great on the outside.

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  • RustyBattleship
    replied
    Originally posted by ArmorPiercing88 View Post
    So again my original question...what authority superseded Congress' directive that BB spare parts/infrastructure be maintained, that would allow the Navy to purge all of its BB materials as surplus and scrap the remaining gun barrels? And nevermind reactivating a turret, what if you wanted to DISABLE a turret for museum display purposes. Could you? Or for that matter do something that would permanently disable the engines? Is the Navy in any way invested in preserving the Iowas MILITARY UTILITY, or are they simply concerned with the ships not being left to rot and sink like the Texas at this point, and the curators can do whatever the hell they want with them. And where did the 2020 date for Iowa come from?
    I don't know anything about a 2020 date. However, when we were reactivating the Iowas advance guidance was coming out for improving them even more so where the missile capability would be 96 VLS and the ships were to be in service until 2010. But, as everyone know, Congress has the last say so and though very few of the members have had ANY military service (not even Reserves) they make horrible decisions about where THEY want the money to go. I don't know what "authority" made these decisions. It's sort of like the Base Realignment and Closure committee that voted for closing Long Beach Naval Shipyard AND Long Beach Naval Station. The head (loudmouth) speaker of the committee nearly screamed that "The Navy wants to close the shipyard."

    B.S. The Navy was forced to keep its mouth shut. It was just a couple of years ago that the Navy let the word out that they did NOT want to close the shipyard. She had the most capable Dry Dock facilities on the West Coast especially with our huge Dry Dock 1. Today if you want to dock an Aircraft Carrier, you have to transit the twists & turns of Puget Sound to get to Bremerton, Washington. Mare Island Shipyard is using its (smaller) Dry Docks to cut up ships from the "Ghost Fleet" in Siusun Bay. Hunters Point Shipyard is the main "studio" for MythBusters".

    In the San Diego area National Ship & Steel has a huge Dry Dock but ONLY for building super tankers. They have a fairly good size floating dry dock that can take the LHD's and that's about it. They are, however, having another floating Dry Dock being built that can take a Battleship. But it won't be available until 2017 and already have a long waiting list for it.

    But I'm not a politician or a budget analyst. I can design you the most super Battleship/Aircraft Carrier (Gibbs & Cox Scheme D?) in the world. Just don't ask me how to pay for it. I'm an engineering type and prefer to stay that way. So I can't (or prefer not to) answer any political type of questions.

    Like you, all I can do is bitch about it.

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  • 85 gt kid
    replied
    Again no-one but higher ups in the Navy and/or Congress would know and you won't see them on here. As for the other question Rusty still answered it but I'll give you this. The Navy in NO WAY invests in upkeep of ANY museum even the Iowas but that doesn't mean the museums can do what they want per se. I know on the Iowa they just redid a bathroom (main deck aft Rusty?) to be split Male/Female. When they did that they did it to Navy specs because that's part of their donation agreement and they're just awesome. The NJ has a good size hole cut in the barbette leading into Turret II because they are not on the reactivation list BUT that doesn't affect the reactivation if for some reason it was needed. Lastly, an old one, in the late 80s the Massachusetts was going into dry dock for needed repairs but the outer props wouldn't clear the dock. The people in charge were gonna cut them off but the Navy put their foot down and made them remove them correctly (the original 4 BBs were never meant to be reactivated). This doesn't strictly apply to the older museums where they don't have a snowballs chance in you know what of being reactivated but they can't do radical BS either.

    Engine wise again Rusty answered it but I'll say what I know. When the Iowa's were decommed the machinery was preserved for future reactivation (remove fluids, seal etc). When they were turned into museums they weren't touched as there is no reason to but they aren't as controlled as the Navy does (WhiKy and Iowa are maintained). The Captain can elaborate WAYYYYYYYY better then I can I'm just giving cliff notes but there you have it. If SHTF and we needed the big guns I doubt we'd need more then the 2 on hold and they'll last for years as they are.

    Basically for now BB-61/64 are kept nice and BB-62/63 will NEVER be reactivated as the other 2 all that would be needed.
    Last edited by 85 gt kid; 02 Sep 15,, 04:15.

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  • ArmorPiercing88
    replied
    So again my original question...what authority superseded Congress' directive that BB spare parts/infrastructure be maintained, that would allow the Navy to purge all of its BB materials as surplus and scrap the remaining gun barrels? And nevermind reactivating a turret, what if you wanted to DISABLE a turret for museum display purposes. Could you? Or for that matter do something that would permanently disable the engines? Is the Navy in any way invested in preserving the Iowas MILITARY UTILITY, or are they simply concerned with the ships not being left to rot and sink like the Texas at this point, and the curators can do whatever the hell they want with them. And where did the 2020 date for Iowa come from?

    Leave a comment:


  • RustyBattleship
    replied
    With most "donations" of Navy ships to Museum organizations, there are three clauses in the "contract" where the Navy still has a finger on those ships, particularly those of potential future use should the Navy need to reactivate them in a National emergency. I will use the Iowa as an example.

    First: We cannot reactivate the Crew's Galley. It must be preserved in its pristine condition as best as possible. The mess decks, however, we can use for crew meetings and we may even remove some or all of the tables and chairs to set up museum displays and the gift shop. However, we must stow all those furnishings in one of the storerooms so they can be reinstalled for reactivation.
    However, we are allowed to reactivate the Officer's wardroom galley, Captain's & Admiral's galley and the CPO galley which we have done. The first galley we opened was the wardroom galley on our tow from Benicia to Richmond and served breakfast there. Periodically we have a hamburger night in the Chief's quarters and the top executives of the Pacific Battleship Center put on aprons and do the cooking and serving. We ARE quite a team.

    Secondly: We cannot unlock the rudders & propeller shafts or reactivate the boilers and engine rooms to propel the ship. To operate the main machinery spaces we would have to cut off the welded plates sealing the intakes and discharges in the bottom of the ship. But, if necessary we could get permission to reactivate one of the boilers if steam heat is needed. In southern California I doubt that would ever be needed.

    Thirdly: We cannot reactivate any of the Navigation equipment -- for navigating. A tad redundant there as if we cannot propel the ship there is no need to navigate a course. Technically, however, we could activate our Radars to assist the active Navy, Coast Guard, etc. in searching for wayward ships or aircraft at night or in a heavy fog, track the precursor shock wave of a Tsunami, etc. Even our global positioning antennas (as of yesterday we have four of them hanging off of turret III after being repainted) to assist recalibration of other ships, etc.

    Prior to the 1980's (and the reactivation of the Iowas) the East Coast museum Battleships were still under those restrictions. As I understand it those restrictions have been lifted and the museum organizations can do what they want with them.

    But even if not lifted, we can still make the ship look alive. One of our crewmen found a real SPS-10 antenna and it is now mounted on the mast and rotating. Whether the wave guide has been restored or not, I don't know. Our SPS-49 RADAR is actually a mock up and we are looking for a real one to install on the mast. That is the really long range dude and can pick up a lost ship or airplane as far south as San Clemente Island.

    Oh, what about restrictions on the weaponry? None that I know of. We have even reactivated one of our 5"/38 mounts and use it for firing salutes for passing Navy ships or for special holiday occasions such as Independence Day. We use only the short case clearing charges for blanks as well as we also have a 40mm black powder saluting gun that really puts out the smoke and flame.

    No. We will NOT reactivate any of the 16" guns. Our insurance would not be able to replace all of the broken windows in San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City and the west end of Terminal Island.

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  • desertswo
    replied
    You bet.

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