Author Topic: What is in my Father's notebook?  (Read 1629 times)

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What is in my Father's notebook?
« on: October 13, 2018, 07:20:43 PM »
My Father, Walks_At_Night Sr., was a WWII veteran.  He volunteered for the US Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked.  He went through his recruit training at
Naval Station Great Lakes and graduated as an Apprentice Seaman.  From there he was sent to Naval Torpedo Station at Newport, Rhode Island to attend the Naval
Training School Torpedo located there to become a Torpedoman's Mate.   Torpedomen were responsible for the maintenance and firing of torpedo's and depth charges.
Torpedos in WWII were the hypersonic missiles of their day - there was much to learn in just 16 weeks.   

My Father passed away a few years back and when I was going through his things I discovered his notebook from his torpedo training courses.   I had never seen it
before.  I looked at it briefly at the time and set it aside as I had many things that needed attending to.  I don't really know all what is in it - when I looked at it before
I noted there were some notes, handouts and carefully made, hand drawn, mechanical drawings.

As time allows, I plan on going through the notebook in detail.  It might be boring.  It might be interesting.  Either way, I thought I'd bring Bellgab along for the ride.

Front Cover
The notebook is well weathered, green in color and is about 14" x 8".  The cover is labeled "Record" and on top of that is a hand drawn anchor with rope (My Dad had
good artistic talent - he spent a good portion of his later years carving ducks).   In the upper left corner he has written his name - first name, middle initial and last
name.   Under that is written "Co. 12xx Section 4" - I've truncated the full Company number. 



Inside the Front Cover
Inside the front cover has his name, company and section.   The rest is blank except for a fancy doodle of the number "3.50"   There is nothing to indicate what the
significance of 3.50 is.  Is it money owed, money borrowed, GPA?  No way of telling.




Back Cover
The back cover has a hand drawn sailor, wearing his dress blue jumper, neckerchief and dixie cup hat worn at a jaunty angle.  The sailor looks rather happy.  Perhaps
he has just graduated with a 3.50 GPA?  If you look closely, you can see the sailor has a hole in his left shoulder area.  We'll see why that is below.




Inside the back cover
Inside the back cover has a nicely drawn 32 point compass rose. It has compass points, headings, and is multicolored.   We also discover why the sailor has a hole in his shoulder
as that is the center of the compass rose.   I really like this drawing.  There is bad line headed from the center point out at about the 135 degree point but other than that
it's nicely done.    Hip hip hooray for the Old Man here................


Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2018, 07:33:24 PM »
Thx Walks

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2018, 08:22:47 PM »
This is neat. I wanna see more, even the lewd sketches.


Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2018, 08:40:44 PM »
Thanks guys.  We'll see how this goes............


Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2018, 09:07:57 PM »
My Father, Walks_At_Night Sr., was a WWII veteran.  He volunteered for the US Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked.  He went through his recruit training at
Naval Station Great Lakes and graduated as an Apprentice Seaman.  From there he was sent to Naval Torpedo Station at Newport, Rhode Island to attend the Naval
Training School Torpedo located there to become a Torpedoman's Mate.   Torpedomen were responsible for the maintenance and firing of torpedo's and depth charges.
Torpedos in WWII were the hypersonic missiles of their day - there was much to learn in just 16 weeks.   

My Father passed away a few years back and when I was going through his things I discovered his notebook from his torpedo training courses.   I had never seen it
before.  I looked at it briefly at the time and set it aside as I had many things that needed attending to.  I don't really know all what is in it - when I looked at it before
I noted there were some notes, handouts and carefully made, hand drawn, mechanical drawings.

As time allows, I plan on going through the notebook in detail.  It might be boring.  It might be interesting.  Either way, I thought I'd bring Bellgab along for the ride.

Front Cover
The notebook is well weathered, green in color and is about 14" x 8".  The cover is labeled "Record" and on top of that is a hand drawn anchor with rope (My Dad had
good artistic talent - he spent a good portion of his later years carving ducks).   In the upper left corner he has written his name - first name, middle initial and last
name.   Under that is written "Co. 12xx Section 4" - I've truncated the full Company number. 



Inside the Front Cover
Inside the front cover has his name, company and section.   The rest is blank except for a fancy doodle of the number "3.50"   There is nothing to indicate what the
significance of 3.50 is.  Is it money owed, money borrowed, GPA?  No way of telling.




Back Cover
The back cover has a hand drawn sailor, wearing his dress blue jumper, neckerchief and dixie cup hat worn at a jaunty angle.  The sailor looks rather happy.  Perhaps
he has just graduated with a 3.50 GPA?  If you look closely, you can see the sailor has a hole in his left shoulder area.  We'll see why that is below.




Inside the back cover
Inside the back cover has a nicely drawn 32 point compass rose. It has compass points, headings, and is multicolored.   We also discover why the sailor has a hole in his shoulder
as that is the center of the compass rose.   I really like this drawing.  There is bad line headed from the center point out at about the 135 degree point but other than that
it's nicely done.    Hip hip hooray for the Old Man here................



Way Cool, W_A_N.   :)
Hey, if you're gong to dig into this, these links might help.
http://www.airfields-freeman.com/RI/Airfields_RI.htm  - Scroll about a 1/3 of the way down the page.
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ref/USN-Act/RI.html
https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/024.html

I understand your reluctance to list the full company designation.  ;)
(CYA - protect your privacy)
The story of the notebook sounds awesome - a first person point of view.  :)

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2018, 09:12:42 PM »
A few thoughts...

First- are you aware that your father appears to have used white out and covered over his name, company, and section?

I believe by the rather expressive 3.50 that was the time he was slated to meet your mother under the bleachers.  Hence the rather happy, explosive feel to the doodle. (Can you trace your birth date to see if this is true?)  ;)

Finally, that is a great compass rose...

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2018, 09:39:08 PM »
Thanks for the links Sandman.

WOTR - 3:50 may have been the time  ;)  I wasn't the result though - that wouldn't go down for a few decades yet. 


We'll take a look at page 1 tomorrow.   

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2018, 10:29:46 PM »
Thanks for the links Sandman.

WOTR - 3:50 may have been the time  ;)  I wasn't the result though - that wouldn't go down for a few decades yet. 


We'll take a look at page 1 tomorrow.

Nice, Walks!  Is that a number 8 on the front cover?  At the bottom of the anchor and to the left?

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2018, 10:33:23 PM »
Nice, Walks!  Is that a number 8 on the front cover?  At the bottom of the anchor and to the left?

It is.  Another mystery!

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2018, 02:39:57 PM »
Thanks for the links Sandman.

WOTR - 3:50 may have been the time  ;)  I wasn't the result though - that wouldn't go down for a few decades yet. 


We'll take a look at page 1 tomorrow.

Waiting with baited breath, this is very cool... ;D

What is in my Father's notebook? Preamble
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2018, 04:55:54 PM »
So in the first post, I introduced my Father, Walks_At_Night Sr.     Some times it is nice to put a redacted face with a name so here is the guy whose notebook we are
taking a look at.  The photo below was taken after his graduation from recruit training at Great Lakes Naval Training Station near North Chicago, IL.  He is wearing his
blue jumper, neckerchief, dixie cup hat and as he was in the enlisted branch of naval ratings, he has the single white stripe of an Apprentice Seaman on his right shoulder
(from what I have learned all other naval ratings have their rating badges on their left).  He is also wearing his class ring from High School.



Dad joined the Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked, just as soon as he could get a leave of absence worked out with his employer. Not so much out of patriotic fervor, although
like most guys he wanted a crack at the Japanese (which he would eventually get but it would take years).  He was concerned about being drafted by the Army or Marines.  Right after
high school, he went into the CCC's and got a bad draw.  He sent to what would become the Seney National Wildlife Reserve in northern Michigan and worked at restoring wetlands that
had been drained in the 1800's in some insane plan to make farmland out of it.



So he had more than his fill of working in mud and slop.  By joining the Navy, he figured he would at least always have a clean change of clothes available, a clean, dry place to sleep and
hot food.  I am not sure why the Navy sent him to Torpedo School - prior to the war he worked as blast furnace technician ,where he monitored, maintained and repaired blast furnaces.
I can only surmise that the Navy figured that here was a guy with some mechanical aptitude that had experience working with things that could jump up and kill you in a heart beat.
I know my Father really wanted a topside job where he could see the sky.  Most shipboard jobs are below decks where you are sealed in during battle - he wanted no part of that either.

I remember my Dad saying the Navy was always looking for sailors to volunteer for submarines but he also wanted no part of that and what he was angling for was a gig on a PT boat.
They were fast, fun and he figured the smaller vessel that you were on, the better off you would be.  So it seems like he and the Navy compromised some and he was going to serve on
Destroyers as a Torpedoman.   
 
 
 

What is in my Father's notebook? Page 1
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2018, 05:27:00 PM »
On page 1 we see an introduction to the US Naval Mark XV torpedo which was the type carried on Destroyers (and a few Cruisers).  The US Navy had several types of torpedo's -
the Mark 8 was carried by PT Boats, the Mark 13 was carried by Torpedo Bomber aircraft, the Mark 14 was carried by submarines and the biggest of all was the Mark 15 carried
by surface vessels.  For reference here is a page describing the various torpedoes used by the US Navy during the war: http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTUS_WWII.php

We will definitely explore the famous shortfalls of the US Navy's torpedoes in the pages to come. 

Page 1 is written in a clear, precise hand and it is obvious that Dad had time to absorb the information and took pains to  print the information out neatly.  Here is printed different
items like width, weight, length, balance and buoyancy.  As the printing is clear and this is the introduction, I've added some close ups of the different section of the pages. Yes,
I've redacted the date on the upper left - just leaving the year. 

Page 1 - Overall


Page 1 - Top


Page 1 - Upper Middle


Page 1 - Lower Middle


Page 1 - Bottom

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2018, 05:48:51 PM »
Nice, Walks!  The lettering on the header (was done with a felt-tip pen with a broad nib?) reminds me of an old Soviet propaganda poster.  Definitely of its time.

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2018, 06:34:46 PM »
Amazing history lesson, those torpedos are some big ol' fish...

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2018, 06:55:18 PM »
Nice, Walks!  The lettering on the header (was done with a felt-tip pen with a broad nib?) reminds me of an old Soviet propaganda poster.  Definitely of its time.

It is definitely done in pencil and that M in the header is fairly awesome, isn't?


Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2018, 06:57:30 PM »
Amazing history lesson, those torpedos are some big ol' fish...

Yeah.  I'll make a detour here and there as time goes on and we'll see why the US Navy was absolutely mauled
by the IJN's Long Lance torpedoes off some obscure island called Guadalcanal.

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2018, 08:09:47 PM »
It is definitely done in pencil and that M in the header is fairly awesome, isn't?

Ok, a carpenter's pencil maybe, with the tip cut just so.  Yes, the M looks right off an old chrome nameplate.

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2018, 08:24:10 PM »
Ok, a carpenter's pencil maybe, with the tip cut just so.  Yes, the M looks right off an old chrome nameplate.

Might be.  Later in the notebook there are a lot of mechanical drawings so I'm guessing he had access to a drafting kit. 


What is in my Father's notebook? Page 2
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2018, 08:59:57 PM »
On page 2 the introduction into the US Naval Mark XV torpedo is continued.   Again, I've redacted the date in the upper left corner of the overall page picture.  The clear precise hand of my Father is also continued.  Capacities of some of the various components are listed on the top of the page.  Farther down the page, power plant information is discussed, along with speed of the turbine, gear ratios and the horse power of the drive shaft - what is listed seems incredible.  330 to 340 horse power out of a steam turbine propelled by ethanol.  Not sure I am reading that correctly. At the bottom the two propellers are discussed - diameter and pitch In the lower right hand corner of the page there is a small "over".  On the flip side some interesting facts are listed in the time to travel - the Mark XV could cover 15,000 yards in 16 minutes and 8 seconds.

So a fast moving destroyer would fling this 22 foot 7 inch object weighing 1.7 tons into the water and at least in theory strike a ship that is also moving over 8 miles away.       I don't know if later in the notebook if the torpedo data computer that was used at the time will be discussed or not.  There is a lot going with this stuff:






Page 2 - Overall


Page 2 - Top


Page 2 - Bottom


Page 2 - Flip side



Re: What is in my Father's notebook? Page 2
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2018, 09:07:17 PM »
So a fast moving destroyer would fling this 22 foot 7 inch object weighing 1.7 tons into the water and at least in theory strike a ship that is also moving over 8 miles away.

Thanks to you kindly for sharing this stuff, it is riveting.

Do you have an idea what the hit/miss ratio was for these weapons?

Re: What is in my Father's notebook? Page 2
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2018, 09:19:55 PM »
Thanks to you kindly for sharing this stuff, it is riveting.

Do you have an idea what the hit/miss ratio was for these weapons?

You are welcome.   I wasn't sure if it would be of interest to anyone or not.  I've received some good feed back so I'll keep going.


As far as hit/miss ratio's go - I'll have to dig into it.   The torpedoes launched from a submarine on an unsuspecting target I would imagine
had a good chance of striking the target.  For torpedoes launched from a Destroyer in the middle of a surface engagement, the odds of hitting something were much lower.  Unless you caught the target unaware the target is probably zigging and zagging to avoid both shells and
torpedoes and also likely shooting at you.  Still there must have been the expectation of enough of a chance to hit to justify the immense expense and danger of lugging them around topside. 
 
Unfortunately the US torpedoes used some sort of whiz bang exploder mechanism that was unreliable as hell.  So even if an American torpedo hit the target it probably wouldn't explode.  That got worked out in time.  AFAIK the German and Japanese torpedoes were pretty much guaranteed to go off if they hit you.

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2018, 11:42:27 AM »
3.49 miles in 3 min 52 seconds.

That had to feel like an eternity!

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2018, 11:52:16 AM »
It is definitely done in pencil and that M in the header is fairly awesome, isn't?

That type of text is typical of writing done with calligraphy pens




He might have drawn the thicker strokes with his pencil, and colored them in with his pencil afterwards.

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2018, 04:53:41 PM »
Page #3?



What is in my Father's notebook? Page 3
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2018, 08:56:16 PM »
On page 3 we can see that the pace has picked up some.   The page is titled Section's of the Mark XV Torpedo and their Parts

[Look at that  possessive Sredni Vashtar - I am my Father's Son   ;)]

Section 1 is hastily printed.  Section 2 starts out that way but in mid-line the writing turns into easily readable cursive.
Section 3 is perhaps slightly more sloppy and by Section 4 it is all over.   It's empty.




I could not find a diagram online of a Mark 15 but here is it's close relative the Submarine launched Mark 14.   This shows the
sections described at least in part on page 3. The warhead, the air flask, the afterbody and the tail.   




Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2018, 09:06:48 PM »
Mercury fulminate?  That stuff is about as volatile as nitroglycerine I think.  If I am remembering correctly it can go 'splody from percussive force...

Where is CheFist when you need him?




Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2018, 09:10:33 PM »
Mercury fulminate

Is a real thing--not quite as amazing as was depicted in Breaking Bad.

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2018, 12:23:09 AM »
Tetryl
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetryl
Quote
Tetryl was used mainly during World Wars I and II and later conflicts. Tetryl is usually used on its own, though can sometimes be found in compositions such as tetrytol. Tetryl is no longer manufactured or used in the United States, but can still be found in legacy munitions such as the M14 anti-personnel landmine.

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2018, 10:05:23 AM »
Interesting thread.

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2018, 11:17:49 AM »
Is a real thing--not quite as amazing as was depicted in Breaking Bad.

The second explosive signature in OKC.