Author Topic: What is in my Father's notebook?  (Read 3024 times)

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What is in my Father's notebook? Page 25
« Reply #150 on: November 29, 2018, 10:45:38 PM »
Page 25 contains a table that is entitled "Ready Tools" and uses the following headings - Tool No., Nomenclature,Where Used and Number in Box


Page 25

My Father's Navy
« Reply #151 on: November 29, 2018, 11:35:17 PM »
Ok dammit.  There is an elephant in the room.  It is time to address him and that we will do.   That elephant's name is drinking

The phrase "drunken sailor" definitely has merit:


The Old Man could drink.  After the war was over he pretty much took his drink demons and locked them away in a deep dark place.   He didn't throw the key away however, he just hid it.   Once in a great while - Oktoberfest, Wakes, Family Reunions, etc. the key would be unlocked  and the drink demon would be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.  The drink bone was connected to the smoke bone as well.  The only time I ever saw my Father smoke was when he was doing some serious drinking.  After the event that instigated the mini-binge was over, he never smoked at any other time. 

He spent most of the war in the Atlantic and most of that time was spent on Convoy Duty.  Which meant frequent stops in New York City - he always said that seeing the Statue of Liberty was the greatest feeling in the world.  You knew you were safe and that you "could bend the right elbow a little bit" as he'd like to say.   He also claimed that it was possible to drink yourself sober.  In my younger days, I'd hit the hard stuff pretty good myself - I had some blackouts here and there but I certainly never inherited that particular ability.  It must not have always worked as there is plenty of this kind of stuff in Dad's service records:


I can tell by his ships records in the National Archives that his ship was moored in Berth 5, Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York when the above infraction occurred.  He was supposed to be back onboard at 7:45AM but didn't make it until 9:25AM.  The date is 8/28/43 which would have been right after the Invasion of Sicily.   Dad would see some horrific things there (we'll discuss that at some point) and I guess he needed to unwind.  No way of telling if he staggered back under his own power or if the Shore Patrol had to drop him off. Also notice that by this time, he has been promoted to TM2c  or Torpedoman's Mate 2nd Class which would be as far as he would go in his stint in the Navy. 


Re: My Father's Navy
« Reply #152 on: November 29, 2018, 11:39:30 PM »
The drink bone was connected to the smoke bone as well.  The only time I ever saw my Father smoke was when he was doing some serious drinking.

Honestly, this sounds quite well-adjusted. Hero status: confirmed sustained.


Re: My Father's Navy
« Reply #153 on: November 29, 2018, 11:58:50 PM »
There would be times when sailors would be killed aboard ship:

Thus the US Navy would bury their dead at sea as there was no other workable alternative.  My Father said that there are few more emotional events in life than the first time you witness a shipmate and friend dumped over the side and hear Taps played and echoing out over the water.  He said you kind of got used to it the more it happened but that the first time was unforgettable.

I recall learning that was the practice when I was quite young and saw it in a move (TV?) and asked my parents.  Maybe 5 or 6.  I was shocked.  With the recent move towards needing the body of a loved one for "closure" I often wonder how much truth there is to it?  Back in the war there were pilots (my great uncle among them) who were never found- never sent home, never recovered.  There were the scores buried at sea, and those who were close enough to an explosion to be unrecoverable.

I recall reading that the survivors of the submarine that went missing recently (and is now found) want the navy to refloat it and recover the bodies of their loved ones.  They know where their loved ones are- and they are among those who they served with and called "friend."  It seems distinctly a modern wish.


What is in my Father's notebook? Page 26
« Reply #154 on: December 06, 2018, 08:01:53 PM »
Page 26 contains a hand written table that is a continuation on tools from Page 25. 

BTW - The torpedomen aboard a US Navy destroyer of the time had their own small workshop for repairing motors, gyros or other smaller components.  Here is a typical view of one:


Here is a table similar to the one Dad made in the notebook:


Page 26

Re: My Father's Navy
« Reply #155 on: December 06, 2018, 08:06:14 PM »
I recall learning that was the practice when I was quite young and saw it in a move (TV?) and asked my parents.  Maybe 5 or 6.  I was shocked.  With the recent move towards needing the body of a loved one for "closure" I often wonder how much truth there is to it?  Back in the war there were pilots (my great uncle among them) who were never found- never sent home, never recovered.  There were the scores buried at sea, and those who were close enough to an explosion to be unrecoverable.

I recall reading that the survivors of the submarine that went missing recently (and is now found) want the navy to refloat it and recover the bodies of their loved ones.  They know where their loved ones are- and they are among those who they served with and called "friend."  It seems distinctly a modern wish.

Well they are still working on trying to identify those that they can.  Here is an example:
https://www.nps.gov/valr/uss-oklahoma-casualties-identified.htm

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #156 on: December 14, 2018, 01:18:44 AM »
Just wondering if we get more pages / discussion?  You have fallen off of the front page.  :(

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #157 on: December 14, 2018, 03:01:49 PM »
Just wondering if we get more pages / discussion?  You have fallen off of the front page.  :(

I've been remiss in posting haven't I?   I'll rectify that in next day or so.   Been busy with some projects out in the Garage (also following more Heather drama than I should have been  :-[ ) and have also been doing some research in the National Archives.   I've learned a few interesting things that I'll intersperse in the pages up ahead, as I am afraid we will hit quite a stretch that will be rather dry.   There is a whole batch of some really nice hand drawn mechanical drawings but they are much later.

What is in my Father's notebook? Page 27
« Reply #158 on: December 14, 2018, 09:01:44 PM »
Page 27 is a hand written chart with notes on bore sighting the 21 inch torpedo tubes.   As a reminder, here is a picture of a typical quintuple 21 inch torpedo tube mount that would have been similar to the kind that Dad would have worked with.



Page 27


My Father's Navy
« Reply #159 on: December 14, 2018, 10:16:56 PM »
Rough Stuff.   

Then, as now, life on a Destroyer at sea was not always easy.   The ships were designed for speed and war fighting and not for a comfortable ride. Dad said that the first time he put to sea, he was seasick and vomited constantly for a week straight.  After that he luckily was never bothered with it again and AFAIK he never vomited again for the rest of his long life either.   

He told one story about travelling up near Iceland in 40 foot seas.  He had to stand watch and I guess wasn't to happy about it.  He said that he grumbled something like "This is a waste of damn time - there is no way that a U-Boat would be up running on the surface in this shit"  Apparently one the Chiefs didn't care too much for this attitude and chewed him out pretty good.   

You definitely did not want to make a mistake and end up overboard.  In the North Atlantic you would not last long due to the cold and in the South Pacific the sharks were a real issue.   Quint's speech in the movie Jaws was not much of a stretch from my understanding.  The Navy lost plenty of men overboard.  Even an Admiral


Here is a modern day, French destroyer in heavy seas:

What is in my Father's notebook? Page 28
« Reply #160 on: December 15, 2018, 08:53:21 PM »
Page 28 is all about lines.   Air lines, Fuel lines, Oil lines and Water lines.  Written in pencil and seemingly in a hurry.

Page 28

My Father's Navy
« Reply #161 on: December 15, 2018, 10:09:40 PM »
On the day my Dad joined the US Navy there were 19 Light Cruisers in commission.  In general, Light Cruisers were meant for scouting duties and intended to work with Destroyers. Then the Light Cruiser was envisioned as an anti-aircraft platform and was intended to help protect the Capital Ships in the fleet from air attack.   

The ships in the group seemed to weather the war fairly well.  Only two would be lost.   After the war, some would be sold to Latin American countries where they would enjoy long careers - some staying service into the 1990's.   One was lost in the Falkland Islands War when the British sunk it.

Here is the breakdown:

There were 10 Omaha Class cruisers that were commissioned in between 1923 and 1925.  They had a rather old fashioned look to them and one of these ships would be given to the USSR:
CL - 4  USS Omaha   
CL - 5 USS Milwaukee: Would be sent to USSR
CL - 6 USS Cincinnati   
CL - 7 USS Raleigh   
CL - 8 USS Detroit   
CL - 9 USS Richmond   
CL - 10 USS Concord   
CL - 11 USS Trenton   
CL - 12 USS Marblehead   
CL - 13 USS Memphis

USS Detroit  Woo Hoo!


There were 7 Brooklyn-class cruisers  that were commissioned in between 1935 to 1938

CL - 40 USS Brooklyn: Post war sold to Chile
CL - 41 USS Philadelphia: Post war sold to Brazil
CL - 42 USS Savannah   
CL - 43 USS Nashville: Post war sold to Chile
CL - 46 USS Phoenix: Post war sold to Argentina, sunk by Royal Navy submarine in the Falklands conflict
CL - 47 USS Boise: Post war sold to Argentina
CL - 48 USS Honolulu   

USS Phoenix


There were 2 St. Louis-class cruisers  that were commissioned in during 1939
CL - 49 USS St. Louis: Post war sold to Brazil
CL - 50 USS Helena   Sunk during the Battle of Kula Gulf on July 6th, 1943

USS Helena
In happier times:


The wreck of the USS Helena was just found this year.




The lead ship of the Atlanta Class cruisers was commissioned just after Pearl Harbor and was brand spanking new.  This was the first of
the anti-aircraft type of Light Cruiser.

CL - 51 USS Atlanta    Commissioned on  December 24th, 1941 and sunk on November 13th, 1942 during the Battle of Guadalcanal

USS Atlanta


The wreck of the USS Atlanta was recently found as well:


Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #162 on: December 16, 2018, 04:39:06 AM »
I've been remiss in posting haven't I?   I'll rectify that in next day or so.   Been busy with some projects out in the Garage
Good to hear from you again.  I figured with the Christmas season there will likely be fewer active members for awhile as people get busy with their lives.

Now for my stupid question.  And you may have already answered it (and I should probably know it.) Where did they launch the torpedoes from?  I can't see it would work very well under the water line.  Yet I also am sure that they were not launched from the deck as you could not "lob" them with any accuracy.  And yet, while I have seen the big guns on most ships- I really don't know that I have ever seen pictures of where these marvels of modern engineering and the men who manned them would work...


Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #163 on: December 16, 2018, 09:01:21 PM »
Good to hear from you again.  I figured with the Christmas season there will likely be fewer active members for awhile as people get busy with their lives.

Now for my stupid question.  And you may have already answered it (and I should probably know it.) Where did they launch the torpedoes from?  I can't see it would work very well under the water line.  Yet I also am sure that they were not launched from the deck as you could not "lob" them with any accuracy.  And yet, while I have seen the big guns on most ships- I really don't know that I have ever seen pictures of where these marvels of modern engineering and the men who manned them would work...

Destroyer launched torpedoes were launched from torpedo tubes that sat up above the deck - this is just a digital image of a US Gleaves Class Destroyer but there is a good view of the tubes between the smoke stacks:


Here is a picture of a torpedo being launched from the tubes:


This video shows a test launch from a barge:


As far as accuracy at that time torpedoes had no homing capability so the math would look something like this:



So you are correct in being concerned about accuracy.  As the ship that is firing the torpedo is booking along at a fairly healthy clip there
is bound to be some deflection.  That issue was addressed by a gyroscope to help bring the torpedo back on it is intended track and to keep it there.   Here is the aft section of a Mark XV torpedo - you will notice that there are small rudders on the vertical fin:



They gyroscopes were beautiful instruments in their own way:



You make a great straight man as the upcoming pages are an introduction to the Gyroscope.

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #164 on: December 16, 2018, 09:24:36 PM »
I suppose that makes sense.  Particularly as the ship would be travelling- I suppose that the little bit of extra jarring from launching on deck would not matter much.  I had supposed that the first couple of feet would make the biggest difference in accuracy.  But I suppose there is no way (particularly back in WWII) of being dead on.  The gyroscope looks interesting, and I look forward to reading about it.

What is in my Father's notebook? Page 29
« Reply #165 on: December 16, 2018, 09:24:46 PM »
Page 29 is the start of a discussion on Gryoscopes.  The first section is called "A Gyro in True Static Balance" with the second being
"Precession" which is a term I haven't heard since college.

Page 29

What is in my Father's notebook? Page 30
« Reply #166 on: December 19, 2018, 09:10:01 PM »
Page 30 continues the discussion on Gyroscopes.   The topics are Causes of Precession, Rate of Precession and Creep
No mention of the Right Hand Rule as of yet.   ;)


Page 30

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #167 on: December 19, 2018, 09:44:58 PM »
A quick comment relative to your discussion about torpedo accuracy.  It was not uncommon for destroyers, especially when defending capital ships, to launch large numbers of torpedoes just in the general direction of enemy surface forces to disrupt the attackers in an attempt to allow their charges to escape.  A couple historical examples were the Germans at Jutland and the Americans off Samar in Leyete Gulf.

My Father's Navy
« Reply #168 on: December 19, 2018, 09:55:52 PM »
At the time that my Father joined up, the US Navy had over 150 minor combat vessels in commission.   They really varied in form and function.
Some looked like they could have come right out of the Civil War era.  Here is a sampling.

There were 12 Gunboats - Interestingly enough, like the Heavy and Light Cruisers these were also named for cities:

PG-17 USS Dubuque   
PG-18 USS Paducah
PG-19 USS Sacramento
PG-20 USS Asheville
PG-21 USS Tulsa
PG-50 USS Erie   
PG-51 USS Charleston

PG-18 USS Paducah


There were 5 River Gunboats named after Islands of territories or possesions:
PR- 3 USS Wake   
PR- 4 USS Tutulia   
PR- 6 USS Oahu   
PR- 7 USS Luzon   
PR- 8 USS Mindanao   

USS Mindanao


There were 39 Minesweepers which were named after birds. 
AM -2   USS Owl   
AM -3   USS Robin
AM -5   USS Tanager   
AM -7   USS Oriole   
AM -9   USS Finch   
AM -13   USS Turkey   
AM -14   USS Woodcock   
AM -15   USS Quail   
AM -16   USS Partridge   
AM -20   USS Bobolink   
AM -21   USS Lark   
AM -24   USS Brant   
AM -25   USS Kingfisher   
AM -26   USS Rail   
AM -30   USS Seagull   
AM -31   USS Tern   
AM -33   USS Penguin   
AM -35   USS Whippoorwill   
AM -36   USS Bittern   
AM -40   USS Cormorant   
AM -43   USS Grebe   
AM -52   USS Vireo   
AM -55   USS Raven
AM -56   USS Osprey   
AM -66   USS Bullfinch   
AM -67   USS Cardinal   
AM -68   USS Catbird   
AM -69   USS Curlew   
AM -70   USS Flicker   
AM -71   USS Albatross   
AM -72   USS Bluebird   
AM -73   USS Grackle   
AM -74   USS Gull   
AM -75   USS Kite   
AM -76   USS Linnet   
AM -77   USS Goldfinch   
AM -79   USS Goshawk   
AM -80   USS Goldcrest
AM -81   USS Chaffinch   

USS Turkey


There were a number of Motor Torpedo Boats aka PT Boat
PT-30


There were also 8 Eagle Boats:
PE- 19         
PE- 27      
PE- 32         
PE- 38      
PE- 48         
PE- 55         
PE- 56      
PE- 57   -


USS Eagle Boat 56


There were also a number of Mine Layers, Submarine Chasers, Yachts, and High Speed Minesweepers.

USS Isabel - Patrol Yacht

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #169 on: December 19, 2018, 10:19:02 PM »
A quick comment relative to your discussion about torpedo accuracy.  It was not uncommon for destroyers, especially when defending capital ships, to launch large numbers of torpedoes just in the general direction of enemy surface forces to disrupt the attackers in an attempt to allow their charges to escape.  A couple historical examples were the Germans at Jutland and the Americans off Samar in Leyete Gulf.

Oh absolutely Duke.  Surface Warfare strategy was it's own little world.   Here is an interesting example that discusses US Navy
strategy after some very hard earned lessons they obtained with earlier encounters with the superior IJN Long Lance torpedo and night optics.
A few things here are interesting to note.  First that the US Navy with 6" gun armed Light Cruisers were willing to slug it out at range with
8" gun IJN Heavy Cruisers due to concerns over torpedo attacks.  Also note the sinister appearance of the IJN officers compared to US officers that look like Reed and Malloy's silhouettes from Adam-12.   Also note, of course, that the US Navy, crosses the IJN's T.  Easier said then done!


What is in my Father's notebook? Page 31
« Reply #170 on: December 20, 2018, 07:02:44 PM »
Page 31 finishes up the Gyroscope discussion with sections entitled Causes of Creep and the Law of Precession

Page 31



My Father's Navy
« Reply #171 on: December 20, 2018, 07:29:28 PM »
At the time my Dad joined, the US Navy had over 180 vessels in the Fleet Train.  The Fleet Train are all of the non-combat support vessels
that support the battle fleet.  These were Submarine Tenders, Seaplane Tenders, Surface Vessel Tenders, Fleet Oilers, Munitions Ships, Cargo Ships, General Stores Ships, Provision Ships, Transports, Submarine Rescue Ships and Hospital Ships.   A few examples are given below.

Seaplane Tenders were named after shore birds.
USS Pelican



Repair Ships were named after stars.

USS Vulcan


Submarine Tenders were named after Mythological figures

USS Anteus


Submarine Rescue Ships were named for birds

USS Owl


Fleet Oilers were named after Rivers

USS Tippecanoe


Cargo Ships were named after heavenly bodies

USS Betelgeuse


Hospital Ships were named after words of comfort

USS Solace


Some one had a sense of humor with the Munitions Ships

USS Pyro

USS Nitro

USS Kilauea

USS Lassen


What is in my Father's notebook? Page 32
« Reply #172 on: December 21, 2018, 08:31:29 PM »
Page 32 contains information entitled The Lubricating Routine of the Mark XV   On this page there are four sections,
Hot Running Torpedo Oil, Gyro Oil, Light Lubricating Oil and Compounded Steam Cylinder Oil. 

Apologies for the weird glow on the page.  Wore a bright orange, work shirt with natural light.     Oops    ::)

Page 32


My Father's Navy
« Reply #173 on: December 21, 2018, 09:33:15 PM »
On the day my Dad joined, the US Navy had 112 Submarines in commission.   These were broken down into the following classes of submarines: Tambor Class, Mackerel,Class Sargo Class, Salmon Class, Porpoise Class, Cachalot Class, Dolphin Class, Barracuda Class,  S-Class, R-Class and O-Class.

The O, R and S class boats did not have an actual name - just the first letter of the class and the number in that class.  So the 33rd boat in the S Class was called S-33.   Thankfully, starting with the Barracuda class the boats were actually given names - all creatures that lived underwater. 
Of these original 112, I am not sure how many survived the war.  I do know that 52 submarines were sunk during the war with a loss of 3,500 men out of a total of 16,000 submarine sailors that put to sea.  That is over 20% of the personnel killed.  Pretty horrific.................                                                                                               
 

Here are a few examples of some of these submarines:

USS Pike


USS Sealion


S-44


R-13


O-10

What is in my Father's notebook? Page 33
« Reply #174 on: December 22, 2018, 07:08:34 PM »
Page 33 continues with information from The Lubricating Routine of the Mark XV

Section 6 is Tail Packing Compound but I am not 100% clear on what Dad wrote for the header on Section 5.
I think it is Petrolatum  i.e. Petroleum Jelly.


Page 33


My Father's Navy
« Reply #175 on: December 22, 2018, 07:51:11 PM »
Naval Aviation was a major component of the US Navy when my Father joined up.   One aspect of Naval Aviation were the Scout Observation aircraft.  These were meant to be carried Cruisers and Battleships and were meant to scout out enemy ships and observe the accuracy of gunfire.
They were launched from catapults - on Battleships the catapults were typically located at the stern of the ship or perhaps atop of one of the Aft Turrets.  On Cruisers the catapults were typically located mid-ships.  The planes would do their thing, land at sea and then be picked up by a crane and returned to their particular catapult.  As with anything, there is a risk/reward equation to be weighed.  In daylight, I am sure the prospect of having some eyes in the sky is enticing but they would be no good in a night action and the danger of toting all that aviation fuel around just waiting to blow the hell up would not appeal to me. 

In any event, there were two main aircraft used in this role early on in the war.  The Curtiss SOC Seagull and the Vought OS2U Kingfisher.  Here are some photos of both - plus examples of catapult placement on the Battleships and a Cruiser.

Curtiss SOC Seagull




Vought OS2U Kingfisher





Catapult Locations

USS Arizona


USS Marblehead


Unknown BB

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #176 on: December 23, 2018, 04:33:17 PM »
I have a lot of reading to do to catch up.  I feel like I have not got my homework done for the last few days.  :-[

As with anything, there is a risk/reward equation to be weighed.  In daylight, I am sure the prospect of having some eyes in the sky is enticing but they would be no good in a night action and the danger of toting all that aviation fuel around just waiting to blow the hell up would not appeal to me.  .jpg[/img]

I would be concerned about slowing down to pick a plane out of the water.  Anybody watching is going to know the exact location to expect to see your craft in- even if it is only for 20 seconds...

Re: What is in my Father's notebook?
« Reply #177 on: December 23, 2018, 09:44:00 PM »
I have a lot of reading to do to catch up.  I feel like I have not got my homework done for the last few days.  :-[

I would be concerned about slowing down to pick a plane out of the water.  Anybody watching is going to know the exact location to expect to see your craft in- even if it is only for 20 seconds...

They pretty much would have to stop and from what I've read it would take about 20 minutes to recover a plane.  Plus the seas had to be pretty calm.  In a fleet action, I think they plan would have been to have a Seaplane Tender out over the horizon to look after the planes until the coast was clear.

What is in my Father's notebook? Page 34
« Reply #178 on: December 23, 2018, 09:51:41 PM »
Page 34 contains one mongo paragraph on Welding

Page 34


My Father's Navy
« Reply #179 on: December 23, 2018, 11:04:36 PM »
So the next component of Naval Aviation at the time Dad joined the Navy were the Patrol Bombers.  These were sea planes or amphibians that were used for long range reconnaissance, air sea rescue, anti-submarine warfare and in the case of the Black Cats, raising holy hell with the enemy in the dark of night. 
 

There were two main planes used for this purpose at this time.  The first was the Martin PBM Mariner.  It was a big aircraft - with a wingspan of about 120 feet and a length of around 80 feet.    They continued in front line service well after WWII and if anyone remembers the Martin Mariner today, it is generally that one of them sent out to look for Flight 19 into the "Bermuda Triangle" also never returned.    It was a pretty decent looking bird for a big sea plane.  Nice lines on it compared to some of its competitors.   However it was accident prone.   Without further ado - the Mariner in all it's glory

Martin PBM Mariner







The other patrol bomber that was mostly commonly used was the famous Consolidated PBY Catalina.  Rather ungainly looking but a magnificent job of design, they would be a workhorse - doing multiple jobs, world wide for decades after WWII ended.      In the Pacific both the US and Australia would use the PBY to harass Japanese ports at night.  Painted midnight black, these would be known as the "Black Cats".  Not only would they carry bombs and strafe targets, they would also dump just about any piece of junk they could find that would make a screeching sound as it fell from the night time sky.     In the famous Japanese pilot, Saburo Sakai's book named Samurai! he describes the reconnaissance patrols that the American PBY's flew over Formosa (Taiwan) prior to the start of the war.  He called the American PBY pilots amazing in that they were masters of getting what ever pictures they wanted and then just disappearing into the cloud cover.   Dozens of times the best fighter pilots that Japan could produce attempted an intercept and they never had any success.

Jacque Cousteau used a PBY for his organization after the war as well.  Sadly one of his sons was killed in a crash in Portugal during a water landing accident.  Many other PBY's were purchased and flown privately after the war for recreational purposes as well.

Consolidated PBY Catalina