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Question on longitudinal STS bulkheads inside Iowas turrets....

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  • Question on longitudinal STS bulkheads inside Iowas turrets....

    On 19 April 1989 inside one of the USS Iowa's 16" gun barrels, five 100 pound bags of D-846 powder blew up, a fireball 3,000F with a pressure of 4,000 PSI blew out from the center gun's open breech, the explosion caved in the door between the center gun room and the turret officer's booth and buckled the bulkheads separating the center gun room from the left and right gun rooms, the fireball spread through all three gun rooms......



    Does anyone know the thickness of the STS longitudinal bulkheads between the individual gun chambers (in red) and or the transverse bulkhead forward of the turret officer's booth (in green)?

    No luck with main Battleship Books Dulin,Friedman etc.
    Thanks All in advance

  • #2
    Originally posted by petsan View Post
    On 19 April 1989 inside one of the USS Iowa's 16" gun barrels, five 100 pound bags of D-846 powder blew up, a fireball 3,000F with a pressure of 4,000 PSI blew out from the center gun's open breech, the explosion caved in the door between the center gun room and the turret officer's booth and buckled the bulkheads separating the center gun room from the left and right gun rooms, the fireball spread through all three gun rooms......



    Does anyone know the thickness of the STS longitudinal bulkheads between the individual gun chambers (in red) and or the transverse bulkhead forward of the turret officer's booth (in green)?

    No luck with main Battleship Books Dulin,Friedman etc.
    Thanks All in advance
    I've been in a turret in Missouri back in 1990, and while I don't know for sure, and Rusty and Dreadnought are the real SMEs here, my sense is that it wasn't more than about 3/4 inch; maybe 1" max. However, I wasn't walking around with my calipers. I did have my magnet though (we carried them to check fasteners in steam systems) and it stuck to everything.

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    • #3
      As I recall, the interior bulkheads are 3/4" thick. The transverse bulkhead may only be 1/2" thick. As Desertswo said, I didn't bother measuring them as they were alreay there and the only modification I added to the turrets was adding deluge water tanks on the pan deck after copying them from the Wisconsin.

      But 3/4" for the longitudinal bulkheads is reasonable as they are also the main structural supports for the powder hoists. As you can see from the photo, the powder door looks like 30.6 lb STS though 20.4 lb would probably do just for the door.
      Attached Files
      Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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      • #4
        By the way, it was five REDUCED SERVICE CHARGE bags that deflagerated. Therefore they were "only" 55 lbs each.

        And do NOT ask me what I think happened. The only thing Pacific Battleship Center does is have a memorial service every April 19th and we have a brass plaque with the names ranks and home states of the lost crewmen.
        Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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        • #5
          My mind doesn't work as good as it used to, hitting 51 this year, I read somewhere, maybe on another BB class that the Longitudinal blkhds. were 4" STS, but I cant find it anywhere in my BB library.....anyway thanks Rusty....

          trying to put granddaughter to bed....shes resisting

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          • #6
            Originally posted by petsan View Post
            My mind doesn't work as good as it used to, hitting 51 this year, I read somewhere, maybe on another BB class that the Longitudinal blkhds. were 4" STS, but I cant find it anywhere in my BB library.....anyway thanks Rusty....

            trying to put granddaughter to bed....shes resisting
            You think 51 is bad? I just turned 77 last month and my oldest grandchild is only 5. At least he likes model trains but it is a strain getting down on the floor to put the tracks together and the locomotive wheels lined up.

            PS: I have 3 grandchildren and number 4 is on the building ways.
            Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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            • #7
              Maybe they should have been 4" since 3/4" seems too thin to me. Hence the damage...
              No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

              To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Doktor View Post
                Maybe they should have been 4" since 3/4" seems too thin to me. Hence the damage...
                Thicker bulkheads would not have reduced the damage inside the turret. You can probably get more details from other published sources that describe what was damaged and how severe (or minor) the damage was.

                With that said, this will be my last posting on the subject. I apologize for being so secretive, but that's always been part of my job.
                Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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                • #9
                  Thanks Rusty

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