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  • 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?

    Comment


    • 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.
      Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

      Comment


      • 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.
        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

        Comment


        • What TopHatter said!!!
          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
          Mark Twain

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          • +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!
            RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

            Comment


            • 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?

              Comment


              • 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?

                Most useful weapon on the ship. Tremendous and rapid throw weight for NGFS. Great against small surface craft using proximity fusing. Instant ground beef. Lastly, a well trained crew in a twin 5"/38 cal is still one of the great AAW weapons of all time. You should see the Marines shoot. A wall of steel man.

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                • 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?

                  Most useful weapon on the ship. Tremendous and rapid throw weight for NGFS. Great against small surface craft using proximity fusing. Instant ground beef. Lastly, a well trained crew in a twin 5"/38 cal is still one of the great AAW weapons of all time. You should see the Marines shoot. A wall of steel man.
                  Couldn't agree more with what desertswo said. Missiles are expensive and not all that reliable. Latest tech and so forth doesn't always trump Tried and True weaponry. A-10 Warthog is a perfect example.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by desertswo View Post
                    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.
                    I can understand why the Navy and Air Force dislike the C-130 as a platform (largely irrelevant from the Navy's POV and taking up valuable resources that could be better spent on fighters from the Air force's POV) but I was under the impression from numerous, forums/journal articles etc that the Army really valued them for that critical commodity (from their perspective) lift capacity - both during overseas deployments during times of war (lot of them the last 20 years or so) and for various civil emergencies/natural disaster relief operations as well etc.
                    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                    Comment


                    • I can understand why the Navy and Air Force dislike the C-130 as a platform (largely irrelevant from the Navy's POV and taking up valuable resources that could be better spent on fighters from the Air force's POV) but I was under the impression from numerous, forums/journal articles etc that the Army really valued them for that critical commodity (from their perspective) lift capacity - both during overseas deployments during times of war (lot of them the last 20 years or so) and for various civil emergencies/natural disaster relief operations as well etc.

                      The problem was (this was 1999 mind you) that the Air Force would tell you, and the Marine Corps concurred, that they had all the C-130 air frames they needed (quite enough to make the Army warm and fuzzy); both in active and reserve squadrons not to mention in layup at Davis-Monthan. As I worked frequently with the SOF community, I was close to air crew officers, including command pilots at the Colonel level, in the AC-130, MC-130, KC-130, as well as the slick Hercs and they all concurred that they had all they needed. When confusion reigns, I defer to the SMEs.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by desertswo View Post
                        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?

                        Most useful weapon on the ship. Tremendous and rapid throw weight for NGFS. Great against small surface craft using proximity fusing. Instant ground beef. Lastly, a well trained crew in a twin 5"/38 cal is still one of the great AAW weapons of all time. You should see the Marines shoot. A wall of steel man.
                        I recall reading in Malcolm Muir's book (The Iowa Class Battleships: Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri & Wisconsin, ISBN # 0-8069-8338-8) that the 5"/38's were a LOT more practical and useful than the 16"/50's; IIRC, there was something like ten times more 5"/38 shells fired than 16"/50 rounds during the Korean War, AND the 5"/38's could be used as AAA (try THAT with a 16" gun!).
                        "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Stitch View Post
                          AND the 5"/38's could be used as AAA (try THAT with a 16" gun!).
                          They did lol look up the Japanese beehive shells (they did suck though). Something else though is not everything needs a 16"shell but a 5"shell can't solve everything either. Not downplaying the 5"ers at all just saying. I think the Iowa's had the perfect amount in the 80s for 5"guns.
                          RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

                          Comment


                          • Why didn't the navy replace the 5 inchers with the modern type turrets they were using on other ships at the time, like the Ticos? Would have dramatically reduced manpower needs, right?

                            BTW visited the New Jersey today. Very cool being aboard, but bummed that more things below deck weren't available, like on the North Carolian.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by ArmorPiercing88 View Post
                              Why didn't the navy replace the 5 inchers with the modern type turrets they were using on other ships at the time, like the Ticos? Would have dramatically reduced manpower needs, right?

                              BTW visited the New Jersey today. Very cool being aboard, but bummed that more things below deck weren't available, like on the North Carolian.
                              Read through this thread most of your questions will be answered. Too much work cutting through the armored deck and no crew would be the same (they use the crews from other departments to run the guns).

                              NC has had almost 40 years more to open her self up (not a dirty joke) while the NJ has had less then half. She's way more open then the WisKy though.
                              Last edited by 85 gt kid; 04 Sep 15,, 04:04. Reason: Typos
                              RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by ArmorPiercing88 View Post
                                Why didn't the navy replace the 5 inchers with the modern type turrets they were using on other ships at the time, like the Ticos? Would have dramatically reduced manpower needs, right?

                                BTW visited the New Jersey today. Very cool being aboard, but bummed that more things below deck weren't available, like on the North Carolian.
                                Turret = Click image for larger version

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                                Not trying to be a jerk Armor, but I'm curious as to whether or not you ever served in the Navy? I only ask because your questions are sort of un-informed, or at least based in a sort of pool of misunderstanding. That's OK; as far as I'm concerned WE are ALL here to learn, as none of us, even old geezers like me who has more time on the toilet in foreign ports than some contributors have on this rock.

                                Knowing your basic knowledge level would be helpful to me in particular in helping you to understand how things work (or are supposed to work) vis-a-vis manning vs. billet requirements, as just one example. In my view, your questions lead me to think that you believe that everyone who works a major caliber gun aboard a US Navy warship is a member of the Gunner's Mate rating. This is not the case. Certain key members of 5"/38 cal crew may be members of that rating, but as 85 gt kid has indicated, the majority are not. Aside from engineers and Corpsmen, they could literally be from any division/department on the ship. Offered in support is my father, the eventual CWO-4 Boatswain, who as a BM2 was gun captain of an 8" gun crew in a three gun turret aboard USS Augusta (CA 31) on China station in 1939.

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                                There was nothing unusual in that General Quarters/Gunnery Stations assignment. In fact it was pretty typical of the era and type of ship, and iterations of the same situation will be found on Watch, Quarter and Station Bills throughout the fleet in the present day.

                                Let me turn your question around on you a bit. Why, when the ultra-modern (for the time) Brooke-(of which I was chief engineer and later XO circa 1986 - 1988) and Garcia-class FFGs and FFs started coming off the ways in the early- to mid-60s, were they equipped with single 5"/38s (one in Brooke and two in Garcia), rather than the tried and true Mark 42 5"/54 gun that had been in the fleet since the early-50s (en mass in the Forrest Sherman-class; the last of the REAL all-gun DDs a la Fletcher)? Answer? That thing that makes the world go 'round. Why buy a new gun when there are serviceable weapons gathering dust in Crane, Indiana or aboard ships mothballed along the waterfront in South San Diego Bay and elsewhere "back in the day?"

                                You know, there isn't much difference in rate of fire between the old 5"/38 and the Mark 42, and even the Mark 45s. Just a few more sweaty men in the gun house . . . men who would be aboard anyway because they are not needed, nor do they get assigned immediately on that Watch, Quarter and Station Bills to Damage Control, C4ISR, or weapons watch stations. Rather, they are assigned to a Work Center for their, shall we say, "9 to 5" job: a job that in most cases consists largely of performing some form of maintenance and/or preservation; assigned by his work center supervisor per the ship's Planned Maintenance System (PMS).

                                Those primary billet assignments that determine the "spaces" that form the Ships' Manning Document (SMD), are determined by some rather interesting people who are educated much the same way actuaries are in the civilian world. All of the services have them and man, when they were assigned to some place like the "Manpower" side of the J-1 Manpower and Personnel code it was like they created some critical mass of statistical weirdos. The “Personnel” side of the J-1 Manpower and “Personnel” code are warriors (one of whom I knew well was the most decorated armor company commander to come out of Desert Storm), one of whose jobs it is to look at the “spaces” that Manpower has come up with and then determine how they will affect the readiness of “faces” in the total All Volunteer Force.

                                Anyway, a lot of those guys who man those 5”/38s would be there anyway because someone has to buff the tile outside the CO’s stateroom. I bet bbvet knows exactly what I’m talking about. ;)
                                Last edited by desertswo; 04 Sep 15,, 14:18.

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