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    Default Naval Shipboard Machine Shop

    Here in Mass we have a place called Battleship Cove (Battleship Cove: Fall River, Ma: Naval & Maritime Museum ) down in Fall River. I took a trip there this weekend to check it out again because I haven't been there since I was a kid. I took some videos of walking through the ships. There are 6 in total. 2 P.T. boats. The destroyer USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr, The submarine USS Lionfish, The Hiddensee an East German missile Corvette, and the battleship USS Massachusetts. Anyway there are a couple of good shots of the machine shops on board the Kennedy and Massachusetts.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8T2...MmgFzcsoCUYdeQ

    Skip to 4:19 for the machine shop

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrEJ...MmgFzcsoCUYdeQ

    Skip to 15:10 for the shop

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    Thanks for sharing!!

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    The MR "rating" (job description) of the guys that worked in those shops has been merged into Hull Technician (HT). I joined the Navy to be a Machinery Repairman (MR) and got side tracked into Aviation Electronics Technician (AT)
    fifty-five years ago.

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    Thanks for sharing..

    Charles

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    The shop I used to work in had a Reed prentice off of a destroyer that had aluminum feet and chip pan for lighter weight. The second video those were Hendey lathes. Cool videos, thanks for sharing.

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    Thank you for posting those videos.

    The tour of the USS Massachusetts was especially interesting as I am a Plankowner (meaning I was ship's company when it was commissioned) on the USS Iowa BB-61.
    The Massachusetts is part of a the class of BB's just prior to the Iowa class BB's but many of the systems are similar.

    Regarding the portion of the video where you are in the gunroom I can add a bit of information which some may find interesting. These observations are based upon my time on the Iowa but likely relevant to the Massachusetts.
    We primarily fired two projectiles out of our 16"/50 rifled cannons. A 1900# HE projectile and a 2700# AP projectile. Each of these projectiles was propelled by six 110# silk bags consisting of 100# of smokeless propellant with 5# bags of blackpowder affixed to each end to ensure propagation of the charge. All of this 660# of propellant was sparked by a blank .30-06 cartridge.
    The range of these projectiles is around 23 miles. The HE projectile was devastating but the AP projectile was designed to penetrate 18" of armor steel or 30 FEET of reinforced concrete before detonating.
    For a short time, 30 minutes to one hour maximum, the guncrews could fired two projectiles a minute from each of the nine tubes. This meant that we could put 48,600# of AP on our target every minute for an hour!!
    Fatigue was the limiting factor for the guncrews. After an hour of pushing 18 2700# projectiles a minute across a greased deck the crews were utterly spent. We could however maintain one round per minute per tube indefinitely.
    My job for the three years+ I served on her was aiming these magnificent beasts. And we were freaking good at it!! Best shooting ship in the Atlantic Fleet for three years running!

    I could go into far greater detail regarding all aspects of the gunnery systems aboard our BB's if anyone is interested.
    In the opinion of many artillerists the 16"/50 cannon and the Mk. 38 GFCS which lays them was, and remains, the finest artillery system ever developed.

    Thanks again for the video, it brought me back 30 years to a very interesting time in my life.

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    Admiral William Sowden Sims is smiling. When he started teaching them to shoot, they could not hit the broad side of a barn and the equipment had been designed by idiots.


    Quote Originally Posted by nsaqam View Post
    Thank you for posting those videos.

    The tour of the USS Massachusetts was especially interesting as I am a Plankowner (meaning I was ship's company when it was commissioned) on the USS Iowa BB-61.
    The Massachusetts is part of a the class of BB's just prior to the Iowa class BB's but many of the systems are similar.

    Regarding the portion of the video where you are in the gunroom I can add a bit of information which some may find interesting. These observations are based upon my time on the Iowa but likely relevant to the Massachusetts.
    We primarily fired two projectiles out of our 16"/50 rifled cannons. A 1900# HE projectile and a 2700# AP projectile. Each of these projectiles was propelled by six 110# silk bags consisting of 100# of smokeless propellant with 5# bags of blackpowder affixed to each end to ensure propagation of the charge. All of this 660# of propellant was sparked by a blank .30-06 cartridge.
    The range of these projectiles is around 23 miles. The HE projectile was devastating but the AP projectile was designed to penetrate 18" of armor steel or 30 FEET of reinforced concrete before detonating.
    For a short time, 30 minutes to one hour maximum, the guncrews could fired two projectiles a minute from each of the nine tubes. This meant that we could put 48,600# of AP on our target every minute for an hour!!
    Fatigue was the limiting factor for the guncrews. After an hour of pushing 18 2700# projectiles a minute across a greased deck the crews were utterly spent. We could however maintain one round per minute per tube indefinitely.
    My job for the three years+ I served on her was aiming these magnificent beasts. And we were freaking good at it!! Best shooting ship in the Atlantic Fleet for three years running!

    I could go into far greater detail regarding all aspects of the gunnery systems aboard our BB's if anyone is interested.
    In the opinion of many artillerists the 16"/50 cannon and the Mk. 38 GFCS which lays them was, and remains, the finest artillery system ever developed.

    Thanks again for the video, it brought me back 30 years to a very interesting time in my life.

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    nsaqam.

    Sir Thank You For Your Service..

    You are right about that gun system it was not changed when the Iowa class was updated during the Reagan years..

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    I was a torpedomans mate and was assigned to the position of instrument certification for a period. Part of that duty involved my visiting the machine shop on the ship. A Destroyer Tender, it had a capable machine shop onboard. It peaked my interests to be in there while something was being machined. I wanted to hang around and learn that trade but couldn't. Would have had to sign up for a longer tour for that to happen. All these years later and I am doing what I longed for than.
    Too bad that ship, the USS Samuel Gompers AD37, is on the bottom of the Atlantic today. Sunk for gunnery practice. I wonder if those machine tools are down there with the ship. Sure hope not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sauerkraut View Post
    nsaqam.

    Sir Thank You For Your Service..

    You are right about that gun system it was not changed when the Iowa class was updated during the Reagan years..
    Thank you sir.

    Down in the bowels of the ship are two Plotrooms. Plot 1 forward and plot 2 aft. This was where most of the gunlaying computing was done with inputs from all around the ship. The main brains of the Mk. 38 GFCS was the Mk. 8 rangekeeper. This was a large electromechanical computer which with input from the Mk. 38 gun directors, the Mk. 41 stable vertical, radar, compasses, pitometers, and various other systems did a remarkable job of laying the guns. This big ass box full of gears, shafts, motors and switches took into account even the most minor variables like the Coriolis effect and the Magnus effect on spinning projectiles.
    We rarely had problems with the rangekeeper. It was robust and well designed. We sometimes had issues with the Mk. 41 stable vertical which is a big gyroscope but several of these Mk. 41's and other gyros around the ship could provide the stable vertical if there was a failure of the gyros in the plots.
    I primarily worked in either of the two Mk. 38 gun directors, Spot 1 forward and Spot 2 aft. Spot 1 was the highest manned space on the ship. IIRC it was 13-14 decks above the main deck. Spot 2 was lower and therefore the LOS was shorter than that from Spot 1 but they were otherwise identical. The GFCS radar system fitted to the Iowa class was only used for ranging targets and it was remarkably good for the time and far outclassed any radar fitted to any ship of any Nation at that time. It was so effective and reliable that it was retained during the 1980's refit and upgrade. Should the radar go down it was up to skilled operators running stereoscopic coincidence optical rangefinders to provide ranging information to the Plots. They had these in both Spots and longer ones were in each of the three turrets. Very few people could learn to operate these optical rangefinders accurately or effectively but with a skilled operator they were very accurate in use. I'm proud to say that I became quite good at it. Because of the wider separation of the lenses of the optical rangefinders in the turrets they were more accurate in theory. They had a much shorter LOS due to being much lower than the ones in the Spots however. I didn't like using the ones in the turrets and was never as accurate with them as I was with the ones in the Spots, theoretical advantage or not.

    Another thing I heard in the video was concern over noise while the filmer was in the turret. Actually the turrets were one of the quieter places to be while we were firing. I suppose due to the blast being directed away and also due to the 3-4 foot thick breechblock and 18 inches of armor steel making up the face of the turret.

    All in all these BB's of the Iowa class were the pinnacles of battleship design and since they were designed and built when the BB was THE capital ship of any Navy they were given the finest of engineering teams and the best most accurate equipment which could be produced at that time. The gunnery systems stood the test of time.
    Finally, the four Iowa class BB's recommissioned in the early '80s would still be in the Fleet if they could be operated by a crew of 500. They can't however and need a crew of 1500 which makes them expensive to operate. All four are now serving as museums but these four, of all the ships in the USN, are mandated by law to be kept in such a state that they could quickly be put back into active service should the need arise. I like that a whole lot!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsaqam View Post
    Thank you sir.







    All four are now serving as museums but these four, of all the ships in the USN, are mandated by law to be kept in such a state that they could quickly be put back into active service should the need arise. I like that a whole lot!
    I, too, like that! The taxpayer didn't get all his moneys worth from the expenditure of building those war machines. Even though they served their purpose! Should their "fists" be needed again, the cost would be ungodly to build from scratch and we don't really have the ability. Not all future wars will be high tech. Some will be shell lobbing action and these are well suited for that purpose.
    I thank you, sir, for your service to our country! And to all others whom have served, Thanks very much!

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    Thanks for the insight, and thank you very much for serving on her.

    I sailed square-riggers for a time, and spent my fair share of time aloft. The copious fun and joy I had up there caused me to wonder something. I visited the Massachusetts years ago. They had A turret open, and I got a chance to look through the optical rangefinder. It was pointed at the riverbank a few hundred yards dead ahead. With 40 feet of parallax between my eyes, I could very clearly tell that *this* blade of grass was in front of *that* one. Wildest thing I've ever seen. Except that even rocking gently at anchor, I could feel myself getting sick almost instantly. Which caused me to ponder just how bad it might have been on the guys up top in the real fire director. Since that was you, how bad *was* it?? I've always wondered.

    Thank you again,
    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alberic View Post
    Thanks for the insight, and thank you very much for serving on her.

    I sailed square-riggers for a time, and spent my fair share of time aloft. The copious fun and joy I had up there caused me to wonder something. I visited the Massachusetts years ago. They had A turret open, and I got a chance to look through the optical rangefinder. It was pointed at the riverbank a few hundred yards dead ahead. With 40 feet of parallax between my eyes, I could very clearly tell that *this* blade of grass was in front of *that* one. Wildest thing I've ever seen. Except that even rocking gently at anchor, I could feel myself getting sick almost instantly. Which caused me to ponder just how bad it might have been on the guys up top in the real fire director. Since that was you, how bad *was* it?? I've always wondered.

    Thank you again,
    Brian
    The Iowa class BB's, indeed most BB's, are really very stable ships. This is due to their massive weight being concentrated very low on the ship. The 12" armor belt below the waterline, the armored deck one level below top deck, and the very deep, very heavy turrets and the magazine which fed them are all very low. This combined with a well designed hull which had the largest beam it was possible to get through the Panama Canal (108'+ beam and 110' canal!) made my ship an absolute sweetheart in any seas.
    We once, while working on a naval exercise, crossed the entire Atlantic while hiding from Soviet TU-95 Bears and other observers in a very bad squall. The swells were rarely under 40 feet and got much higher at times. We were escorted by an FFG-7 class frigate, the gallant and plucky USS Halyburton FFG-40. With my duty station being Spot 1 or Spot 2 I had the opportunity to observe the Halyburton many times using either the optical rangefinder or the simple periscope. What I saw happening to that poor ship and that even poorer crew astonished me.
    That ship would slam into a swell and get completely swallowed up. Only the mast of that ship was visible at times and sometimes not even the mast could be seen! It would come out the other side of the swell and the entire ship would come out of the water. Many many times I saw their one pathetic screw propeller spinning wildly in the air right before they slammed into the next swell and became a submarine again!
    When we arrived in Portsmouth England me and a few of my shipmates sought out the crew of the Halyburton and made sure that they didn't have to spend a penny of their money to have all the drinks they could consume.
    They didn't have a hot meal the entire time we were on this exercise because it just could not be done. They ate sandwiches and had to always hold their glasses of milk in their hands so that they could counteract the rolls and thus not spill their milk. These guys told me, and I saw it, that they were rolling in excess of 45 degrees with their mast slapping the swells to each side. They were also pitching a great deal but I've forgotten what that number was.
    The Iowa on the other hand rolled a maximum of 11 degrees during this exercise and with miniscule pitch too. When I heard guys complaining about how they didn't like the rolls we were taking I brought them up to Spot 2 and let them look at the Halyburton. They didn't complain about rolls after they saw that amazing and sickening scene! My hat is still off to that Halyburton crew. They were seamen!

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Admiral William Sowden Sims is smiling. When he started teaching them to shoot, they could not hit the broad side of a barn and the equipment had been designed by idiots.
    Yes he must be smiling.
    First Sea Lord Jackie Fisher had a similar effect on the Royal Navy.

    "Gunnery! Gunnery! Gunnery! Hit the target, all else is twaddle" is attributed to Jackie Fisher.

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    To nsaqam, what amazing stories. I could listen to those all day. And, as some have already stated, thank you for your service. I live in New Jersey now and I am getting ready to viit the USS New Jersey next month. I am also in the process of building a 1/200 scale USS Missouri and plan on donating it to our local VFW to auction off for support of our veterans. The Iowa class ships were the best ships ever built along with our aircraft carriers. Again, thanks for your service and hats off to you frigate buddies from the USS Halyburton. Wow, what a ride.

    Paul

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    Know this place well. Not sure if it's been mentioned already, but veterans, and active duty get free admission on veterans day. They have a ceremony in the morning hours that is a very moving tribute to all who have served, and is a great place to be on a day many kids take for granted as just another day off from school. I take my kids there to impress upon them the importance of Veterans day, and remind them of the sacrifices that were made by so many, so future generations can enjoy the freedoms we do.

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    Thanks for all the kind words. I have a million stories of my time as a young man on that magnificent ship but I've hijacked this thread far too much already.
    To the OP I apologize for the hijack but that 15 minute video of the Mass brought on a pleasant flood of memories.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsaqam View Post
    Thanks for all the kind words. I have a million stories of my time as a young man on that magnificent ship but I've hijacked this thread far too much already.
    To the OP I apologize for the hijack but that 15 minute video of the Mass brought on a pleasant flood of memories.

    Not a problem :-) I enjoy the stories and info. My understanding is that the South Dakotas were built short and fat to comply with the naval treatise of the time. They compromised the length and height to be able to add better protection for 16" shells over the North Carolina class. To meet the speed requirements they also had to design completely new powerplants to make up for the hull length. The treatise were lifted for the Iowas which is why they are much sleeker and faster and in my opinion the best looking naval ship to ever be on the water. Thank you for your service and you can stand with the few and possibly the last who have fired a 16" naval gun on one of the last battleships.

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    Halligan, you're right on about the SD class and I have to say that I agree with you on the sleekness and beauty of the Iowa class BB's.

    If anyone is interested in an in-depth comparison of the ultimate iterations of various Nation's BB's this site is fantastic.

    Battleship Comparison

    Fascinating and not to spoil anything for those who might click on the link but the SD class didn't suck!

    If anyone goes to the page I linked be prepared to spend an hour or more because of the amount of information presented. I love that site!

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    nsaqam
    I know what you mean about the frigates FFG-7 class, retired from the navy about 2 years ago and had been stationed on 6 different ships 4 of them FFG's and you are not kidding about part submarine. Especially in the North Atlantic and the China sea, and off the west coast of South America . The good things about the figs I was on was all of them were independent duty, so at least when we pulled into port it was just us and not waiting our turn to pull in due to rank of the Capt's . I remember when we pulled into Valparaiso, Chile when Pinochet was still there, we had a crew of about 200 and there was @ 3000 women on the pier looking for.... well you all know what. To keep this somewhat on a machining level we all 4 frigates had a Standard Modern lathe, I was a HT and ran the lathe more than one of our MR's did. I told him once he wouldn't even know we had a lathe unless I put Twinkies on the top of it. Guy loved to eat, we also had a pneumatic radial arm drill press that was small can't remember the name of it. All in all the frigates could go places the big boys couldn't so I have gotten to see a lot. Been through the Straits of Magellan from both directions about 10 years apart, Panama canal more times than I can count and that's a bitch about 10 day to 2 weeks later because the canal has fresh water feeding it and then after the elapsed time I spoke of all the sea strainers would be plugged with dead sea life dying and falling free from the FM. Anyway saw the thread and miss being U/W sometimes, not all times. I have a story that usually have people laughing pretty good about the time when we pulled into Cambodia being the first "Navy" ship to pull in there since the end of the Vietnam war about 40 years later. The ships I have been on were the Stark, Doyle, R.G. Bradley, and the Gary all being FFG's and the other 2 were the MHC Cardinal, and the DDG McCampbell. Haze Gray and U/W are the only ways, and FFG stand for Forever F****** Gone Mike

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