Memorial Day tribute – USS Iowa final voyage this weekend

On this memorial day, I thought it might be appropriate to share this image and story. The USS Iowa made its final voyage from Richmond, CA to San Pedro CA on Saturday, May 26th, sliding under the Golden Gate Bridge for the last time.

A bow view of the battleship USS IOWA (BB-61) firing its Mark 7 16-inch/50-caliber guns off the starboard side during a fire power demonstration. Date 15 August 1984 Image: Wikipedia

Ironically, the Golden Gate Bridge had its 75th anniversary a day later.

USS Iowa (BB-61) fires a full broadside of her nine 16″/50 and six 5″/38 guns during a target exercise near Vieques Island, Puerto Rico (21°N 65°W). Note concussion effects on the water surface, and 16-inch gun barrels in varying degrees of recoil., July 1, 1984 Image: Wikipedia

Full story and more great photos here: USS Iowa final voyage from Richmond, CA

As always, my thanks and respect to our men and women in the military, who have served our country in times of war and peace.

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119 thoughts on “Memorial Day tribute – USS Iowa final voyage this weekend

  1. During a WASEX ( war ar sea exercise), one of the Nato Players got close enough to receive the signal for a gun engagement from the Iowa. Concidering the size of the vessels… had it been real, it would not have been pretty.

    (early 80’s)

  2. At least she won’t be broken up, the fate the Big E got after WWII:

    Enterprise entered the New York Naval Shipyard on 18 January 1946 for deactivation, and was decommissioned on 17 February 1947. In 1946, she had been scheduled to be handed over to the state of New York as a permanent memorial, but this plan was suspended in 1949.[13] Subsequent attempts were made at preserving the ship as a museum or memorial, but fund-raising efforts failed to raise enough money to buy the vessel from the Navy, and the “Big E” was sold on 1 July 1958 to the Lipsett Corporation of New York City for scrapping at Kearny, New Jersey. A promise was made to save the distinctive tripod mast for inclusion in the Naval Academy’s new football stadium, but was never fulfilled; instead, a memorial plaque was installed at the base of what is still called “Enterprise Tower.” Scrapping was complete as of May 1960.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Enterprise_(CV-6)#The_end_of_the_.22Big_E.22

  3. In 1989, I saw two battleships, USS Missouri and USS New Jersey, fire simultaneous broadsides in the western Pacific. That came a few minutes after an F-14/Tomcat did a supersonic fly-by just a few hundred from my ship. Awesome is indeed the best word that comes to mind.

  4. Very nice photos of Iowa.
    my father served on HMS Valiant in WWII. She had eight 15″ guns and he saw a lot of action.

    http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQLSlXDKv1bv5OFBpaGltBXkAwJbKHvY80Y3_gn9p2KGypu74hUDBSW3t8

    He was shot at by German subs at Norway, bombed by Stukas, took part in the first radar driven night action, bombed by the Italians then finally attacked by Italian human torpedoes in Alexandria harbour.

    After that he transferred to HMS Victorious and was stationed in the Pacific, providing cover whilst the damaged US carriers were repaired and refitted. The ship temporarily transferred to the US navy , changing it’s name to USS Robin. In the pacific he was bombed by the Japanese, then finally Kamikazed a few times. He told me that they were put in harms way more than the US carriers, because the British ships had a 6 inch armoured steel deck, as opposed to the US wooden decks.

    At the end of the war, as a chief petty officer, he was transferred to a minesweeper. The newly commissioned, pink cheeked captain called him to a meeting as they set out on their first mission
    ‘Chief petty officer, I want you to put a drill in place, should we strike a mine. I will inspect at first light tomorrow’
    ‘Are you sure sir ?’
    ‘Yes. why?’
    ‘I saw the battleship HMS Barham strike a mine. The first one hundred feet of twelve inch armoured steel just disappeared. Gone. And as we are eighty feet long and made of wood, do you really think it is worthwhile ?’

  5. Yeah, she may be old, she may be outgunned by a small frigate these days with the right misslie technology, but what a presense on the water, magnificent, truly magnificent! A terrorist rib boat speeding towards her would be so much rubber under the air blast from those powerful 16″guns, would even have to aim at it! Be very proud USA, very proud indeed.

  6. Reminds me of the Cracked story on the USS William D Porter, which among other crimes launched a torpedo at the Iowa, while the President was on board:-)

    “They announced “Fire one!” and the first fake torpedo was fake fired. “Fire two!” and the second fake torpedo was fake fired. “Fire three!” and a swooshing sound was heard. The crew watched in horror as an actual torpedo left the tube and made a beeline for the Iowa and the president of the United States.”

    http://www.cracked.com/article_19637_the-5-craziest-war-stories-all-happened-same-ship.html

  7. Thanks, Anthony and I join you in thanks to those who gave everything for our freedom and to those who served.

  8. I served on her for a few days of my Midshipman cruise to South America, Sailed from Annapolis to Norfolk where I shifted to the USS Northampton CLC 1. During the cruise we had a gunnery exercise and towed a sled. Destroyers fired first and were impressive with splashes all around the sled. Cruisers second and even tigher. Iowa last and fired only one turret. Result- no sled.

  9. Nice display of Newton’s third law in that first picture. I am also amazed at the complex design of such a ship in the day when the computing device was a slide rule and the design system was a drafting pen, compass, straightedge, and giant sheets of paper.

    George V.

  10. I came across something I highly recommend reading, the Wikipedia account of the 1989 USS Iowa turret explosion when 47 crewmen perished. It’s long but worth it, well written and thoroughly researched. It is the finest Wikipedia entry I have ever read, whatever that’s worth.

    And what it is, is a long and ultimately sordid tale of brass and bureaucrats lying and conspiring, before and after, arguably causing it and not-arguably covering it up. While written in a bland and neutral tone, the details have nevertheless angered me. To summarize my impression, it’s like the “upper management” involved went to the graves of these fine battlefield troops, squatted and dumped, and blamed it on a stray dog. While looking around for any other graves they would have to likewise “honor”.

    Our troops deserved better. They deserve better than they get now. Today, in the US, we show our respect for those of the military who have fallen. Let us not forget to extend due respect to all who have served or are now serving our nation honorably. At the absolute least, this is what they are owed.

  11. I am reliably informed that when she fires a broadside USS Iowa drifts up to 16m (50ft in old money) sideways. There is no statistic about these ships that isn’t impressive.

    [Not that much. Robt]

  12. If I remember correctly, it was stated that when the Iowa-class battleships fired a full 9 gun broadside the whole moved 30′ from the recoil. That is one large amount of Kinetic Energy!!!!!

    [30 inch more likely. Robt]

  13. Slide Rule – good. A once seaman assigned to this class battleship in the late 60s denoted what many pictures have displayed – the 16 inch projectile is so large that at the correct angle-and light one can see with their eye the projectile leaving the barrel. This sailor noted most the roll counter to the gun recoil. HE rounds weighted up to 2700 lbs/max range 24 mile. The older USS Alabama of the Dakota class also had the auto mechanical load system-nicely displayed cut away in the Mobil, AL resting site. There is on a highway north of Yuma a displayed menagerie of engineering a purposed small satellite 40/60lb launch gun (for temporary stationary battlefield ) of this 16 inch with a barrel of 119 feet.

  14. Actually these ships did not move sideways. Even the big guns on Battleships couldnt do that. Too much mass and the water on the other side of the ship made it impossible. At best a slight roll. The first Pic looks like there is a port turn occuring at the time of firing.

  15. In response to one comment, the first image is not a painting. In a past life, my employer exhibited every year at IITSC in Orlando. One of the corporate products was a 60″ printer (no points for guessing the co.). We’d have a list of Admirals and Generals who came by wanting prints of the Iowa, Missouri, [Wisconsin], M1A1 Abrams, SR-71, B-52, F-22, F-117, B2. All were digital images from photos taken by the respective services. You can imagine the quality of a 600 dpi 60″ print.

  16. Worthy of note – though the British in the very early 1900’s) – 1902 through 1917 – “thought” they were developing the world’s best computers and analog calculators for their empire-protective battleships and battlecruisers ! – they were WRONG. Dead wrong in how they did the “simple” sciences of gunnery prediction and ballistics predictions – 300 years after Newton.

    The early analog computers were “good” for what they did – for example, the analog (gear-driven) “watch-maker” black box for the USS Texas (BB-34) of 1914 era-computers allowed input signals (gear-settings) for latitude (to correct for the Coriolis effect of the earth’s spin on the shell and other ship’s position), temperature of the gun barrel, temperature of the powder, current range, own ship’s course, other ship’s course, own ship’s speed, other ship’s speed, etc … WWII analog computers were similar.

    But the British “consensus” scientific development followed the own “favorite sons” and “consensus” experts in the Brit Navy and the Brit establishment (Royal Society – among others) …. So, at Jutland – and many other naval battles [since] WWI, they LOST their battlecruisers and their ships because their computers – their equations and their corrections and their calculators were dead wrong. The Germans outshot them, out sunk them, and out-calculated the Brits… because the Brit “science” was correct in naval gunnery. Politically correct, that is, in the government’s decision of how to fund their naval gunnery computers.

    Dead wrong in the practical aiming of the shells over long range – but correct to the Royal Society’s “consensus” of how to the aim guns and pay for the analog computers in their Navy of the day.

  17. It’s sad to see this ship retired. I don’t believe any US shipyard has the capability to build this hull any more. The main guns are obsolete, but I believe the turrets could be reworked into missle launcher housings, or replaced altogether. What I would do is rip out the oil-fired boilers and reduction turbines and replace them with a LFTR powerplant. A 33 knot hull with 11-17″ of armor plate and unlimited range at full speed that can transit the Panama Canal could be put to a lot of uses.

  18. EternalOptimist says:
    May 28, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Your dad said something like:
    ‘I saw the battleship HMS Barham strike a mine. The first one hundred feet of twelve inch armoured steel just disappeared. Gone.

    Your dad was wrong about the cause. The Barham took three torpedoes and, because she had a lot of improperly stored ammunition, her magazines exploded.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Barham_(04)

  19. The Iowa-class battleships were dinosaurs the day they were launched. WWII naval battles turned on air power, not surface guns. The carrier Enterprise arguably made a greater contribution to US victory in the Pacific than all four Iowa-class battleships put together. Talk about disrespect — she was scrapped in 1958. The Japanese had two even larger battleships the Yamato and the Musashi and I doubt their contribution to the Japanese war effort was even equal to their fuel bill. Both were sunk without inflicting any significant damage to US forces.

    Still, that armoured hull is something we can’t build today at any price. I’d really like to see it back in our active fleet, with a modern powerplant and modern armaments.

  20. Thank you for honoring our armed services. I salute you as well as the services so deserving the honors.

    That photo is impressive to say the least.. Nine 16″ projectiles at over 1 ton each simultainiously approaching a target 24 miles away with no possibility of electronic jamming. Think about it for a moment.

    Would you scrap that old ’57 Chevy or consider a restoration utilizing some of the ‘new’?

  21. I had the opportunity to board and tour the USS Iowa in 1987, thanks to my father-in-law’s command position at Norfolk. She has remained close to my heart ever since. I hope the people of San Francisco appreciate her as they should. Too bad she can’t sail up the Mississippi and the Missouri and berth at Council Bluffs, where I know she would be loved and appreciated. (And yes, I know that’s not possible!)

  22. That photo gives the appearance that the ship is recoiling a long way. That does not seem possible. Most likely it’s a turn as someone has commented.

  23. It’s posts like this that make me glad to be a minority viewpoint. We’re a couple of weeks off the 6th of June. 10,000 casualties in one day. Let’s not forget them.

    Pointman

  24. Well I am old enogh to remember when the only thing standing between my arse, and the empire of the rising sun, was the United States Navy; and the men who sailed those ships. I don’t recall any of the Big Battle Wagons ever making it to Auckland, for R&R; A long way to burn fuel; and we could only really supply them foodwise; being dependent on open shipping lanes, ourselves for almost anything manufactured. But I did get to watch many GIs baseballing on the footy field of the Manurewa Elementary School; and went to the Homai camp many times, to watch Errol Flynn movies, sitting on a GI’s lap in a big tent. So to N. Jim; if you’re still out there somewhere; I won’t ever forget you. And you too; Fatty, and Skinny; my little sister remembers you too. Hope you made it home, from that hell on earth out in the Pacific.

    And finally to former Mayor of San Francisco, and now California “senator” dianne feinstein; a nice Bronx cheer, for giving the USS Iowa, the bum’s rush, and ending it packing to LaLa land. Well SF didn’t deserve it anyway.

    To all you veterans out there; my eternal Thank You; we can’t ever repay our debt to You.

  25. I am happy to hear she will not be sold for scrap. And a big thank you to all those who have served in the military and are now serving. No matter what the politicians do, right or wrong YOU guys are the ones putting your lives on the line.

  26. “”””” Dave Worley says:

    May 28, 2012 at 7:30 am

    That photo gives the appearance that the ship is recoiling a long way. That does not seem possible. Most likely it’s a turn as someone has commented. “””””

    Not so fast Dave, that is not just the ship that moved sideways, It took a lot of water that flowed from a long way away, with it.. There are numerous other pictures of battleship broadsides, that clearly show the whole recoil surface wave radiating from the ship. That is all under the gun fire in this photo.

    Also, ship’s bows are made pointy like that for a reason, and they don’t sweep water sideways like that in a turn; they slice through the water, not scoop it aside. Try pulling a toilet plunger out rapidly, and see how far away frm it, the water moves.

  27. RACookPE1978 says:
    May 28, 2012 at 6:45 am

    But the British “consensus” scientific development followed the own “favorite sons” and “consensus” experts in the Brit Navy and the Brit establishment (Royal Society – among others) …. So, at Jutland – and moany other naval battle sin WWI, they LOST their battlecruisers and their ships because their computers – their equations and their corrections and their calculators were dead wrong.
    ============================================================
    First, there are many who read this blog who have lost loved ones in the service of preserving freedom, not just for us in the US but also for their own coutries. This is small consolation but I am grateful for what they did.
    Second, Jutland. That was one of the few turning points in history that may have literally been a turn. The British had more ships but ship for ship the German ships were better, except for the Queen Elizabeths. Better aiming, better ammo (British armor piercing rounds tended to break up on impact.), better quality armour, a fatal flaw in British ship design allowed a direct hit on a gun turret to explode the magazine, etc. Remember there was no radar at the time. The British admiral ordered his fleet to make a turn without knowing where the Germans were. That turn happened to put them in the position to “cross the T” of the German fleet, a great tactical advantage at the time. If they hadn’t made that turn the fleets would have sailed by each other with neither fleet having a positional tactical advantage. Perhaps the German fleet would have won not just the tactical battle (They did sink more British ships than they lost.) but the strategic battle as well. The U-boat almost forced Britain to surrender. Throw in the German High Seas Fleet ….. ? If Germany had won, there would have been no rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. One of history’s “might have beens”.
    Third, as I understand it, the 16′ guns were only fired simultaniously for photo shoots. All that recoil was tough on the ships.

  28. Pointman, you make a valid point. Many of us have not forgotten, but there is a new generation and of course the ‘ivory towers’. The old school remembers the hard lessons, the ‘new school’ not as there has never been a hard lesson.

  29. Alan Watt, from where she will be sitting they’ll be able to call her back to active duty if needed. The reason behind retiring her is she is just to damn expensive to operate, takes a lot of fuel oil to keep her going. When I was in the Navy(late 80’s- early 90’s) it was bandied about that it cost around 1 milliion a day to keep her underway. Second reason is a retrofit to a more modern propulsion system and armament would also be cost prohibitive. To truly make her worthwhile to run with her size and weight she would need to go nuclear, gas would work but she would likely only be able to outrun supply ships.

  30. Caption on the first photo says something like “16 inch 50 caliber guns”. Is that right swabbies?

  31. To Jonathan Smith,
    There is hardly any movement of the ship, but the guns recoil a couple of meters. I have first hand knowledge. One of my tasks as a midshipman on summer cruise on the Missouri in 1951, was to load the firing cartridge into the breach of one of those big guns. I was located in a recessed area just to the side and watched the recoil. The projectile and powder bags had been loaded the floor above me and I inserted the cartridge after the guns were elevated.

    Capt. Fred H. Haynie (Ret)

  32. Alan Watt says:
    May 28, 2012 at 6:46 am
    It’s sad to see this ship retired. I don’t believe any US shipyard has the capability to build this hull any more.

    We don’t have the capability of making homogenous chromium-nickel steel battleplate anymore, either. When Iowa and New Jersey were being upgraded, the shipyards used ordinary shot-peened steel.

    Dave Worley says:
    May 28, 2012 at 7:30 am
    That photo gives the appearance that the ship is recoiling a long way. That does not seem possible. Most likely it’s a turn as someone has commented.

    She’s cruising straight ahead, slowly. The recoil illusion is whitecapping of her wake caused by blast overpressure from the guns.

  33. “”””” Alan Watt says:

    May 28, 2012 at 7:08 am

    The Iowa-class battleships were dinosaurs the day they were launched. WWII naval battles turned on air power, not surface guns. The carrier Enterprise arguably made a greater contribution to US victory in the Pacific than all four Iowa-class battleships put together. Talk about disrespect — she was scrapped in 1958. The Japanese had two even larger battleships the Yamato and the Musashi and I doubt their contribution to the Japanese war effort was even equal to their fuel bill. Both were sunk without inflicting any significant damage to US forces. “””””

    A Navy pilot veteran, I became acquainted with; Ensign Jack Cowan Cochrane of Dinuba California, went to flight school with George HW Bush, and was assigned to the carrier Wasp
    in the Pacific. Bush was assigned to the carrier San Jacinto.

    Jack was awarded The Navy Cross for his role in the first battle of the Phillipine sea. He also got a DFC (one of two) for helping torpedo a Japanese heavy cruiser, in the second battle of the Phillipine sea; AKA Leyte Gulf. He was one of three planes making a simultaneous run at the cruiser, at 140 ft and 140 knots; sitting ducks, because any move would send the fish off sideways. So all three dropped successfully and all hit (and sank) the ship.
    But Jack caught a 40 mm AA shell, which blew a 3 x 4 ft hole in his wing, but never broke anything vital.
    His flight of about 15 Grumman Avengers climbed and regrouped at 1500 feet to return to their carriers. The Battleship Musashi; sister of Yamato, fired a 18 inch (think so) round at them from the port aft quarter, and Jack said the shell went by right in front of them, exactly on their altitude, and exploded a short distance to the right of the flight. The shock wave flipped some of the planes sideways; but all survived. If the shell had had proximity fuzes; the whole 15 plane flight would have been scrap metal; but the timed fuze was a fraction of asecond too late.
    Musashi could have hit them if they had been at 15,000 feet.

    As Allan says, Musashi never hit anything much. I think it survived Leyte Gulf, and was lost later, as was Yamato.

    The story of Jack’s Navy Cross, is even more remarkable.

    Sadly he died at about age 85, in perfect health; fainted getting out of bed too quickly, and broke his neck on the bed footboard.

    He was about the nicest unassuming guy, I have ever met; and I had to drag his stories out of him, so that the heroes of The Greatest Generation will never be forgotten.

  34. DonS says:
    May 28, 2012 at 8:24 am
    Caption on the first photo says something like “16 inch 50 caliber guns”. Is that right swabbies?
    ============================================================
    I’m not a “swabby” but I think your question is mixing up “small arms” and “large arms”. (If I get this wrong I’m sure I’ll be corrected. I welcome that.) In large guns “caliber” doesn’t refer to the diameter of the barrel as it does in small arms but rather the ratio of the barrels diameter to the length of the barrel.

  35. No, the people of San Francisco don’t appreciate these ships. They had the chance to have one, and passed on it. I have set foot on the Missouri and New Jersey. It was amazing to see the plaque commemorating the signing of the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII.

    http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=13

    I was in the Smithsonian viewing the Enola Gay forward section and some people walked by complaining about the bombing of Hiroshima. I said without the atomic bomb drops, my wife would not have been born, and my kids wouldn’t either. My father-in-law was a US Marine who fought on Iwo Jima. Almost certainly, he would not have survived a battle on the main islands of Japan. Part of me celebrates Aug 6 and 9 not only for the US, but also for Japan. The Japanese people were freed from a tyrranical government. Keep in mind that hundreds of thousands of people died in the firebombings of Japanese cities; more died in one attack on Tokyo than each the atomic attacks.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Tokyo

    It is the soldier who gives us freedom, and it should not be squandered.

  36. Correction. Musashi WAS lost at Leyte Gulf (Battle of); and it did have 9 18 inch guns.

  37. DonS says:
    May 28, 2012 at 8:24 am
    Caption on the first photo says something like “16 inch 50 caliber guns”. Is that right swabbies?

    I’m not a swabbie, but any former or current Redleg can answer that. The bore diameter is 16 inches and the tube is fifty calibers in length, from muzzle to breech. Caliber refers to the bore diameter, which in this case, is 16 inches, so the tube is 800 inches long.

  38. RACookPE1978 says:
    May 28, 2012 at 6:45 am
    This post is stridently critical of the RN’s gunnery systems etc. but posts no references. This is the first I have read of such deficiencies. What are the sources for these comments?

    Gunga Din has already noted the problems with ship design and shell construction but there was also an issue with fuses. After Jutland the Germans removed unexploded large-calibre shells from several ships.

    Back on topic, I have nothing but respect and gratitude for the bravery and sacrifice of the services.

  39. Bill Tuttle says:
    May 28, 2012 at 9:05 am
    DonS says:
    May 28, 2012 at 8:24 am
    Caption on the first photo says something like “16 inch 50 caliber guns”. Is that right swabbies?

    I’m not a swabbie, but any former or current Redleg can answer that. The bore diameter is 16 inches and the tube is fifty calibers in length, from muzzle to breech. Caliber refers to the bore diameter, which in this case, is 16 inches, so the tube is 800 inches long.

    =============================================================
    Much clearer tahn what I’d said. Thanks.

  40. To the commenters of WUWT, you have my admiration. The close inspection of every picture, graph, comment, written word, etc. is to be commended. You guys don’t seem to miss much. I am referencing specifically the picture (first) in this post that appears to show the Iowa moving sideways from recoil. The eyes on WUWT are ‘sharp’ to say the least. Correct answer offered by Bill Tuttle. The participants and/or followers here tend to have the opportunity see things in a proper light.

    The above point is made not just to this instance but to nearly every issue discussed on WUWT. You guys have got ‘eyes on it’.

    With sincere admiration,
    eyesonu

  41. I hit the “go” button too quick in my post above. Consider this an addendum.

    Maybe we have all learned to look closely from a learning process exibited by Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre.

  42. “William Truesdell says:
    May 28, 2012 at 3:34 am
    I served on her for a few days of my Midshipman cruise to South America…”

    Used to love when middies would join us on the DE-1038….
    Last time out a fellow EW and I brought canned sardines from the ships store into CIC as we were getting underway. We made just about every middie barf his cookies by the time we secured sea and anchor ;)

  43. Jakehig says:
    May 28, 2012 at 9:12 am
    RACookPE1978 says:
    May 28, 2012 at 6:45 am
    This post is stridently critical of the RN’s gunnery systems etc. but posts no references. This is the first I have read of such deficiencies. What are the sources for these comments?

    =====================================================================
    Can’t give a reference, but part of it was optics. Remember, no radar. One side (I forget which.) determined range by “focusing” the image from stereo viewers. The other would line up a top the top image from one scope with the bottom image from the other scope. I don’t remember all the whys and wherefores, but one was more accurate and reliable than the other. The Germans had the better of the two. (Again, I welcome correction. I hope I’m not mixing up the the British/German systems of WW1 with the US/Japanese of WW2.)

  44. Sorry if I’ve contributed to the purpose of this post straying a bit. As I said when I started to swerve:
    “First, there are many who read this blog who have lost loved ones in the service of preserving freedom, not just for us in the US but also for their own coutries. This is small consolation but I am grateful for what they did.”

  45. GD, you are right about the optics, I am sure, but the original post was decrying the calculations and computational methods, not the range-finding.
    Best leave it there as we are off-topic and the poster has not backed-up his assertions.

  46. I served in the Canadian Artillery in the early 70’s. That was not a good time to be in uniform in public, even in Canada, and less so in the USA, due to the Vietnam War. The “civvies” had no respect, and I recall their cat calls, spitting, yelling and so on to this day. Out of uniform my haircut identified me as well. So I’m glad the political climate today allows for respect of all military members but I recall a time when it did not. And that was shameful.
    It’s easy to laud the military and it’s veterans now – let’s laud them when it is not, and that will show our true colours.
    And by the way, the Battle of Jutland was variously described as a victory for the Germans, or a draw, or any such thing that denigrated the Royal Navy. The fact is that the German fleet never sailed again after Jutland, and in that light, most importantly, the RN won.

  47. Much controversy between the Admiralty’s “favored son” of Dreyer and the “commercial” calculators of Pollen. Pollen invented the system and the theory, and had the better computer. Dreyer copied Pollen’s machines, and got the ultimate contract. At Jutland, Dryer’s ships missed their targets. Regrettably, the British battlecrusiers that had the Navy’s confidence and money (and Dryer’s computers) were rapidly sunk by the long-range plunging fire from the slower-ships-but-with-better controlled- (German) guns. The one battlecruiser that had Pollen’s rangefinders and fire control tables in it was also sunk – after making hits, but sunk anyway due to its poor deck armor. And, a few years later, the Hood was also sunk with one shell.

    The following from Wikepedia about Dreyer is more “favorable” than I accept, but you need to read it from his side as well.

    Dreyer Fire Control Table

    The introduction of centralized fire control for warships gave a significant improvement to the accuracy of gunnery. The increasing range of naval guns led by several years the necessary advances to control their fire. Over a ten-year period techniques such as centralised spotting of fall of shot, mechanical computation of rate of change of range (rate), mechanical clocks to calculate range over time for any given “rate” and long baselength optical rangefinders were introduced. In order to make sense of such data, manual plotting of rangefinder ranges, from single or multiple rangefinders as well as other data began to find favour. The Royal Navy sponsored research into these techniques, and two groups emerged, a commercial group led by Arthur Pollen, and a Naval group led by Dreyer. Both camps aimed to produce a combined mechanical computer and automatic plot of ranges and rates for use in centralised fire control. Both systems were ordered for new and existing ships of the Royal Navy, although the Dreyer Table, as the Dreyer system was called eventually found most favour with the Navy in its definitive Mark IV* form.

    The addition of director control facilitated a full, practicable fire control system for World War I ships, and most RN capital ships were so fitted by mid 1916. The director was high up over the ship where operators had a superior view over any gunlayer in the turrets. It was also able to co-ordinate the fire of the turrets so that their combined fire worked together. This improved aiming and larger optical rangefinders improved the estimate of the enemy’s position at the time of firing. But with the longer practical ranges came the increased time of flight. The Fire Control System now had to account for more variations and more complicated corrections than was originally planned. The Dreyer Table had some mechanical flaws, particularly when additional loads were introduced in the form of unauthorised accoutrements concocted by individual gunnery personnel, but on the whole performed in a satisfactory manner. The system was eventually replaced by the improved “Admiralty Fire Control Table” for ships built after 1927, although Dreyer Tables went to war a second time in World War II, notably in Britain’s unmodernised battleships and battlecruisers.

    The choice between the Dreyer and Pollen systems was controversial at the time. The Royal Navy had repeatedly tested Pollen’s designs and had given him what it considered very preferential terms for them. Pollen in 1925 won an award for £30,000 from the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors for elements of his Argo Clock that had been used without his permission. At the same time Dreyer applied for a similar grant but due to the fact that in 1915 he had been awarded £5,000 for his services to fire control his request was denied.[3]

    While Dreyer’s table certainly owes some of its features to Arthur Pollen, it was still his creation and for all the claims of the navy protecting its own, Pollen’s inventions received a fair trial at the Admiralty—a fact which he himself admitted. </blockquote.

  48. George V
    May 28, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Nice display of Newton’s third law in that first picture. I am also amazed at the complex design of such a ship in the day when the computing device was a slide rule and the design system was a drafting pen, compass, straightedge, and giant sheets of paper.

    ###

    And modeling was done with miniatures in tubs of water.

  49. Found more info, than anyone would want to know about the Musashi and its guns. Type 94, officially designated as 40/45 (cm) which is 15.9 inch 45 caliber. In actuality , were 46/45 or 18.1 inches. Both Musashi, and Yamato, were surreptitiously built way bigger than they were publicised to be, and the actual 18 inch caliber wasn’t revealed till after the war. I believe guns from at least Yamato have been recovered.
    They were designed to also fire an incendiary shrapnel round (type 3) which was 2998 lbs and designed the shatter forwards into a cone of sub shells, which also splintered when their separate fuzes went off. Designed to take out a whole flock of close in aircraft coming in low at the ship.
    It is almost certain that that was the round Musashi fired at Jack Cochranes flight of Avengers. As far as I know, that might have been the only such round ever fired in combat; there is only records of a single shot. In fact it might have been the only shot Musashi fired from those guns in anger.

    Good thing for Jack and his buddies, because, if it had been a regular high explosive round, it would have gotten the whole flight anyway. But because of the forward burst design for taking out approaching planes, the main destruction went off to the right of the planes, anfd they only got the backwash.

    I said the ship could have hit the planes even if they were at 15,000 feet. Muzzle velocity for that round was 2641 ft per sec, and the maximum gun altitude was 41 degrees. A little Isaac Newton, and I calculate, maximum possible shell altitude was, 46, 907 ft (less air resistance losses.)

    This also puts the maximum target lateral range at 15.4 miles. I would have guessed maybe 30 miles but not with such a big shell. As it was, maximum chamber pressure was 20 tons per square inch with a full charge.

    Sounds to me, that Jack’s account of his adventure was as accurate as a Swiss watch. He might have been the near victim, of the only round Musashi ever fired in combat from its big guns. The records DO report two Japanese cruisers sunk by torpedos at Leyte Gulf. The actual sea that Musashi went down in was named something else, other than Leyte, but it was that main action. The ship had an armor weakness at the bow, and that’s how the American planes got to her.

    The total number of guns of all calibers she carried, was astronomical; most of them 25 mm AAs.

  50. Darrin says:
    May 28, 2012 at 8:12 am
    Alan Watt, from where she will be sitting they’ll be able to call her back to active duty if needed. The reason behind retiring her is she is just to damn expensive to operate….. Second reason is a retrofit to a more modern propulsion system and armament would also be cost prohibitive. To truly make her worthwhile to run with her size and weight she would need to go nuclear, gas would work but she would likely only be able to outrun supply ships.
    _______________________________
    Would Thorium Powered Ships be better for the Navy?: The Navy is studying using alternative “green” fuels for powering Navy ships…

    Looks like green-think is infesting all parts of the US government.

  51. Hey, mods. I think I’ve detected a slight typo in the title to this article. I think it should read “this weekend,” not “the weekend.” Just doing my bit for accuracy.

  52. @Gunga Din and Bill Tuttle. Thanks for your replies on the bore/caliber question I asked. Usually I just look those things up for myself but it was busy here today. Doing things to remember our heroes. Here’s a site that I found later: http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.htm
    To everyone here who served, thank you. Particularly WWII vets who clearly saved the world from an unspeakable future. I’m a Vietnam vet who is still pissed at the politicians who failed to pursue victory. By the way, Bill, I know a little about Redlegs and Ft Sill.

  53. George E. Smith; says:
    May 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

    =======================

    Thank you. That was most interesting.

  54. Alan the Brit :

    if you look carefully on the vertical view there are some rectangles installed at an angle.

    those are the modern weapons that can reach out and touch someone at 600nm.

    (worked on two of those beasts)

    C

  55. boballab:
    the reason the first aircraft carrier Enterprise was scrapped was to make the name avialable for the second ship of that name.

    the current enterprise will probably be scrapped out directly upon decommissioning for the same reason. however there has been no indication yet of what the follow on Enterprise will be.

    they used to have a large signboard on the bulkhead in the hanger deck that started out ENTERPRISE, CVN……. EIGHTH SHIP of THE NAME… and it goes on to show all of the campaign ribbons etc of all eight of the ships.

    That particular name is a really big deal to USN.

    C

  56. Alan Watt says:

    May 28, 2012 at 7:08 am

    yes we can build them again. its just that we would use different indistrial techniques.

    like welding continous cast plate strips together with %100 welded joints (both techniques were not in industry in the late thirties when these ships were built).

    the business of installing gas turbines was considered in the late seventies when the advance work for the reactivation was being done but there wasn’t enough experience in the fleet and it was set aside.

    the main costs of the ships were not the ship itself but the personnell wages……..

    C

  57. Alan the Brit says:
    May 28, 2012 at 1:53 am

    “…Yeah, she may be old, she may be outgunned by a small frigate these days with the right missile technology…”

    It would have to be some really cutting edge technology with shaped charges and burrowing copper plasma taken into consideration. Ships of this era were built to withstand a certain number of leakers that got through the AAA defenses.

    Short of a nuke, you would have to hit it successfully several times in order to make it combat neutral.

    Could it be taken out? Yes, but would really have to work at it.

  58. RACookPE1978 says:

    “…a few years later, the Hood was also sunk with one shell.”

    Sunk by the Bismarck with one salvo, at a range of thirteen nautical miles!

    1,416 of the 1,419 crew members of the Hood died when she went down. News of that feat shook the Allies, and Great Britain made an all-out effort to chase down and sink the Bismarck. They succeeded because a torpedo biplane pilot managed to hit the Bismarck’s rudder.

    A good account of the battle of the Denmark Strait is given in Herman Wouk’s excellent historical novel The Winds of War [much superior to the schmaltzy made for TV series]. Highly recommended due to Wouk’s attention to historical details of pre-Pearl Harbor WWII.

  59. The battleship evokes a visceral response that its sea power successor, the aircraft carrier cannot duplicate. Perhaps it is because the king of the seas was humbled by the little gnats that were air power and is now an icon of a bygone age. We have the romance of mighty ships with great guns since the battle of Trafalgar. Nelson going straight at them, the mighty 70 plus guns of the ships of the line thundering away at close range. The Tsarist Russian fleet in the early 20th century steaming half way around the world to be trounced by the Japanese Navy. General Billy Mitchell was court-martialed in 1925 for insubordination, the insubordination at least in part being his espousal of the vulnerability of the battleship to air power. The hand writing was on the wall with the sinking of the battleship Prince of Wales and the cruiser Repulse by Japanese air attack shortly before the Pearl Harbor attack. Without strong air support, the battleship was a sitting duck. But the romance lives on. Witness the latest hit movie “Battleship”, not “Carrier”! And one of the great real life sea stories is the hunt for the Bismark. The mighty Bismark would have escaped but for a torpedo launched from a Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber jamming the rudder locking the great ship into a turn.

  60. I was 12 years old on April 1956 when I went to the Malecon in Havana, Cuba. The Iowa was moored a mile or so from the coast, I guess the port was not deep enough to hold it, or maybe they “remembered the Maine.” I stood there for a long time, amazed at the sight.

  61. suissebob says:
    May 28, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Reminds me of the Cracked story on the USS William D Porter, which among other crimes launched a torpedo at the Iowa, while the President was on board:-)

    The story if referred to in one of the books I read on Roosevelt.

    And yes, FDR wanted to watch the torpedo attack from the deck.

    Admiral King was ordered not to punish the crew by FDR.

    Really wild and weird story and true.

  62. To all who served, and to the families of those who died in service to the United States of America and our faithful Allies, I offer my deepest and most humble appreciation for your sacrifices.

  63. “”””” Smokey says:

    May 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    RACookPE1978 says:

    “…a few years later, the Hood was also sunk with one shell.”

    Sunk by the Bismarck with one salvo, at a range of thirteen nautical miles!

    1,416 of the 1,419 crew members of the Hood died when she went down. News of that feat shook the Allies, and Great Britain made an all-out effort to chase down and sink the Bismarck. They succeeded because a torpedo biplane pilot managed to hit the Bismarck’s rudder. “””””

    Well as the dialog went in the British movie; “Sink the Bismark” The report said, “Hood has blown up.” She was a somewhat old ship, with wooden decking. Hey if you are going to pull up alongside, Errol Flynn style, and fire 20 cannons into the opposite ship, what’s wrong with wooden decking. The extreme range of the shot from Bismark, doomed the Hood, as the guns would be fired from a high elevation, and the shell came down on the deck right into a powder magazine, and the whole ship exploded, a creepy omen of the fate of Arizona.
    So I would venture, most of HMS Hood’s crew, died immediately in the explosion; not in the sinking.

    Those Fairey Aviation Swordfish, came from the Ark Royal, which got sent back from the Mediterranean to help go after Bismark. I would guess that Fairey Aviation was not exactly the top British aircraft manufacturer, and some of their planes were total junk.

    But everybody knows that the Fairey Aviation brass band was one damn fine brass band; as was that of the Foden Motor Works

  64. Speaking of a broadside fired by those 16″ “rifles”, as I recall, at a range of 26 miles, those guns could group (place their shots) in about 1 minute of angle, one minute of angle being approximately 1″ at 100 yards.

  65. Gunga Din says:

    May 28, 2012 at 9:28 am

    for those of you who want to knuckle dust it out with micrometers and calipers there is one 16″ barrel and two projectiles “stuffed and mounted” in san pedro ca. just to the north of the entrance to the marine museum down in the los angles harbor.

    anyone that can drag it off can have it. :-))

    bring your hundred ton cranes and a truck good for 90 tons and let me know as i want to take pictures.

    C

  66. Thank you Mac the Knife
    Father – AIr Force Veteran, Viet Nam
    Uncle – Army Veteran, WWII and Korea
    Grandfather – Army Veteran, WWII
    Uncle – Army, KIA near St. Lo. WWII July 44
    Myself – Veteran, US Navy, Submarine Service

  67. to all:
    the vessel appears to be about 50 miles due west of lompoc (Vandenberg AFB) at about 1532 hrs.
    they appear to be following the edge of the continental shelf. go to http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/ look for the tug Warrior (expect Iowa to be about 2000 feet astern of it).

    C

  68. Using sabots, the naval rifles can reach over 50 miles. That still pales in comparison to the hundreds or even thousands of miles for a cruise missile, and is the main reason they’re being retired.

  69. “War is a racket …to hell with war.”
    –Major General Smedley Butler, two time recipient of the Medal of Honor

    –sp, USAF ’64-’71
    Remember the Liberty!

  70. Something tells me, that having the firepower of an Iowa class ship will be badly needed one day for its intimidating shock and awe value.

  71. “SAN PEDRO, Calif. — May 17, 2012 — The Los Angeles Harbor Commission today voted unanimously to create a new home for the historic battleship, the USS IOWA, in a prime location along the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles.

    In separate actions, The Harbor Commission approved the lease agreement and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) necessary to bring the World War II icon to the LA Waterfront where it will be converted to an interactive naval museum and living memorial. The floating museum is scheduled to open to the public July 7 at Berth 87 along the Main Channel, directly south of the World Cruise Center.”

    http://www.portofla.org/newsroom/2012_releases/news_051712_USS_IOWA_Approval.asp

    Starting on July 7, the public will be able to see this historic ship.

  72. Had the fortune to know an WW2 dive bomber pilot. He was at Midway, bombing three.
    He witnessed what happened to Torpedo 8. Our torpedoes weren’t much until later.
    One reason that the Swordfish had numerous successes was the Torpedo that the
    British used worked. That and the fact the ol’ “Stringbag” was mostly air.
    However the Japanese “Long Lance” torpedo was probably the best of the war…

  73. Your most welcome Djozar.

    Father – Army, WWII
    Mother – Army nurse, WWII
    (2) Uncles – Navy WWII
    Brother – Navy, Captain (Ret.) Viet Nam and on
    Brother – Army, Viet Nam
    Myself – I did not serve in the military. I came of age in 1973, when the draft lottery gave my twin brother and I ‘lucky number 10′ for a present and just about guaranteed we would get inducted . 1973 turned out to be the first year the US ran the draft but did not take inductees however, as the war was winding down.

  74. Was in the Panama Canal Zone in 1968-69 and watched the US Battleship Missouri transit the canal. Very tight fit! I heard that thermal expansion was a potential problem. In EOD School we tried to “low order” a 16 inch round. Not successful (it was an AP round). Later, in VN, as US Army Infantry, I called in many artillery missions. 99% 105mm which were awesome! If 105s were awesome I probably would have fainted if I called in a 16″ fire mission! God ( or whoever) bless the US Military!
    Ray

  75. northernont says:
    May 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Something tells me, that having the firepower of an Iowa class ship will be badly needed one day for its intimidating shock and awe value.

    It certainly served that function during bombardment off Lebanon.

    The demise of the BB class is a function of a change in weapons systems and combat strategy on the high seas. They were still some of the fastest ships in the Navy even with their WWII vintage propulsion system, but they were built based on the assumption of two fleets facing off at gun range and fighting a gun duel, as their courses converged, or as used in WWII as a heavy artillery asset during beach landings. Modern cruise missiles have replaced the general shelling application at far greater range than the BB 16 inch rifles could achieve. They would how ever still provide superior hard target attack to anything short of a modern bunker buster, and with direct fire could react faster than an aircraft sortie if no airborne on station capability was in place.

    More importantly with the advent of aircraft most naval engagements will occur out side of line of site, using UAV or satellite targeting for GPS terminally guided munitions.

    The days of broadside gun duels between ships of the line are over, but the one advantage of gunfire over missiles and aircraft is velocity of the projectile. Hyper-velocity missiles are available that match the velocity of approach of a Naval rifle but they have the same fire risk to the ship they come from as explosive projectiles and the propellent charges for the conventional guns.

    The new “main gun” for the U.S. Navy is not far off, in the rail gun. It will allow direct fire and indirect fire at ranges up to 220 nautical miles, the kinetic energy of the projectile will exceed the energy of its projectile weight in high explosives. Like hyper-velocity missiles the rounds will be nearly impossible to intercept in flight, and put no pilot at risk, and there will be no powder magazine to burn or explode on board ship.

    http://weaponsman.com/?p=2382

    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=24126

    If you want to read a very intense account of Naval warfare as practiced during WWII, pickup a copy of “Pawns of War”: The Loss of the USS Langley and the USS Pecos. A friend of mine had an uncle, who served on the Langley and survived its sinking only to die during the sinking of the Pecos. In the book is a blow by blow account of two battle groups engaged in an old fashioned gun duel on the high seas. Two lines of capital ships steaming broadside to each other on converging courses (to close range) and their kill or be killed slugging match as they traded rounds.

    For those who wonder about the terminology old hands in the Navy would get really upset if you referred to a “naval gun” they made a very strong point of informing you that these were “Naval rifles” not guns. The distinctions is the overall barrel length, I cannot find the “official” break point right now, but I believe it is between 38 and 54x the bore. The 5″ 38 is considered a naval gun and the 5″ 54 is considered a naval rifle.

    Larry

  76. It hardly makes sense to preserve ANY battleship – let alone eight.
    They were, after all, outmoded by WWII. The role of the Iowa class – minimal.

    The USS Texas – yes, only remaining WWI dreadnought.
    The USS Missouri – yes, example of final development and Japanese surrrender.
    But the other six – they should be recycled into guardrails and rebar.
    Or better yet – high-tech prostheses for Iraq and Afghan disabled vets.
    There is no justification for the BBs cost of maintenance – nor historical justification.

    The “Big E” is another story altogether. It SHOULD have been preserved, but was not.
    The most decorated ship in US Navy history – – and one which DID make a difference in the war.

    It baffles me why battleships – giant, overpriced, overhyped hunks of steel –
    Continue to elicit such awe.

    PS – And don’t forget the scandalous US Navy report following the 1989 explosion in Turret 2.

  77. DesertYote says:
    May 28, 2012 at 11:12 am
    George V
    May 28, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Nice display of Newton’s third law in that first picture. I am also amazed at the complex design of such a ship in the day when the computing device was a slide rule and the design system was a drafting pen, compass, straightedge, and giant sheets of paper.

    ###

    And modeling was done with miniatures in tubs of water.

    And it stil is: http://www.stevens.edu/ses/cms/Facilities/tank.html

  78. Rhys Kent says:
    May 28, 2012 at 10:29 am
    I served in the Canadian Artillery in the early 70′s. That was not a good time to be in uniform in public, even in Canada, and less so in the USA, due to the Vietnam War.

    @ Rhys, the other Canuckistanis commenting here: I had the signal honor of numbering three Canadians among the Army Aviators in my assault helicopter platoon in Vietnam.
    @ the Ozzie commenters: Emus and Taipans! And I drank lunch more than once at Luscombe Army Airfield…

  79. fhhaynie says:
    May 28, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Capt Haynie,

    I concede to your first hand experience. Part of me wishes my version was true but if it ain’t so, it ain’t so. I envy you your experience in having operated those guns.

    Regards,

    JS

    • Jonathan,
      The ship does not move because the recoil movement of the gun absorbs the energy (mass times velocity squared) of the projectile.

  80. While on a Recon patrol in Nam, one of the the US battleships launched their big guns with the rounds landing about 15 clicks from us. The roar of the round overhead was louder than being next to a freight train. We could feel the ground vibrate upon impact where we were! It was only awesome because we knew it was our side shooting (though there was the nagging thought, “What if they drop one short?”).

    To my fallen comrades on Memorial Day – God Bless!

  81. The power of the battleship was made clear to me when I was looking at the Battle of Waterloo in the Napoleonic war. Wellington had 150 guns, most of them light, and most French casualties in that battle were caused by artillery fire.
    At Trafalger, ten years earlier, Nelsons flagship alone had 100 guns, and there were 26 other battleships in his fleet. The firepower of that fleet was way over ten times that of the army

  82. Ray Donahue says:
    May 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm
    Later, in VN, as US Army Infantry, I called in many artillery missions. 99% 105mm which were awesome! If 105s were awesome I probably would have fainted if I called in a 16″ fire mission!

    A friend of mine flew an aerial adjustment of the New Jersey firing “delay” fuzes on a target in II Corps. He said the entire grid square jumped thirty feet into the air when the rounds impacted — and then a split-second later, when the rounds went off, debris flew 1,500 feet straight up.

  83. Many here would probably enjoy Pacific Crucible, War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942, by Ian W. Toll, 2012.

    Biographical sketches of many of the key players in the conflict. Yamamoto, Nimitz, King, etc. alone are worth the time spent reading this well written history.

    Timing was everything at Midway.

    “Only one bomb struck the Akagi, near the center of the flight deck. That hit, probably the 1,000-pound bomb dropped by Best, hit on the middle elevator. Had it missed, the entire course of the battle might have been turned, because the Japanese might have dealt a more severe retaliatory attack on the American carriers.”

  84. Johnnygunn says:

    May 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm:
    =================================================
    obviously you have never walked the decks of one of the Iowa’s.

    C

  85. Wouldn’t be a great thing to see the rest of the armed service’s retire also, then the world might get a bit of peace.

  86. Johnnygunn says:

    May 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm:
    =================================================
    the reactivation of the battleships had a purpose that was not particularly publicized. when Presiden Raegan authorized the work there was a situation that could only be rectified by the reactivations.

    there was a thing called the “Fierce Factor”. a minor version of it was that when one of our cruisers would tie up at a pier in west baffooonistan or east swazuliplatz with a russian cruiser on the other side of said pier, the locals saw our ships as being much slower than the russian boats. when asked the locals would say that the russians must be faster because they had an angle on the bow that must be necessary for the faster speed. (the “cutwater” on american ships at the time being nearly vertical meant to these people that they must be much slower than the russians).

    at that time russian ships had a different launcher for every type of missile that they carried. this caused the russian ships to look really nasty to people on the pier. our ships had only one or two launchers (our launchers handled a variety of missiles out of the same equipment) and were percieved to be much weaker advesaries than the russians. and to make things worse we were starting to change over to the Vertical Launching System which had no above deck launchers and the only visible part was round covers about the size of a trash can lid and not visable at all to people walking down the pier.

    a ship thats three foot ball fields long with guns that most of the soldiers of a third world army can crawl through makes a real impression on those folks.

    when the battle ships were cruising the world all of a sudden a lot of the smaller third world countries started seeing things our way.

    if you can, come to san pedro and do a main deck tour. if you happen to be in hawaii go to ford island and walk the decks of missouri, particularly the surrender deck where it all ended. if your on the east coast go to north carolina (i believe that its in charlston but am not sure) its a different class but to the non sand crabs its not much different. (shorter and slower but the same guns).

    C

  87. Don’t know if anyone has already commented on this, but in that first picture, look at the bow wake when the Iowa fires all of it’s guns. The ship is being pushed 6 to 10 feet sideways.

    Those are some big ass guns.

  88. Small world, EW3. I was on the final cruise and decomm of the McCloy. And did some work for the Iowa when she was being recommissioned.

  89. I have a good friend who served aboard the Iowa in the 1980s, after she was taken out of mothballs. He tells me he was on deck one particular day when a broadside was fired. The wind disturbance from the salvo blew his hat into the sea.

  90. Alan says:
    May 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm
    Speaking of a broadside fired by those 16″ “rifles”, as I recall, at a range of 26 miles, those guns could group (place their shots) in about 1 minute of angle, one minute of angle being approximately 1″ at 100 yards.
    *************
    That’s an accuracy of what, 12.7 feet?
    Proud to say my grandfather was a fire controlman for the 16″ on this ship:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Massachusetts_(BB-59)

    If I remember right, he said he sat in a little box and aimed the gun, while another guy sat in another little box below him and would shoot it. He said it was an interesting thing to aim at something you couldn’t see – that he could only see about 7 miles to the horizon on open water and was shooting 20+.

    sunspot says:
    May 29, 2012 at 5:52 am
    Wouldn’t be a great thing to see the rest of the armed service’s retire also, then the world might get a bit of peace.
    ***************************
    What an immature and naive thing to say.

  91. sunspot says:

    May 29, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Wouldn’t be a great thing to see the rest of the armed service’s retire also, then the world might get a bit of peace.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    sunspot has been out in the sun to long without a hat.

    C

  92. About the ship being pushed sideways when firing a broadside. Conservation of momentum says m1 x v1 = -m2 x v2. Given a broadside weighed about 10 tons total and exited the barrel at around 2500 feet per second, while the ship weighed about 50,000 tons, the ship would move sideways at about 0.5 feet per second, IF it was in free space. But it wasn’t. In simple terms, the side view of the ship from the waterline down is a wall 36 feet high and 900 feet long. The opposing weight and force of that wall of water would be enormous, so the initial sideways movement would be much less than 0.5 feet per second, and it would be braked down to zero in a very short distance. In short, the lower hull was pretty much anchored against sideways movement by the water. As the sideways push of the broadside was well above the waterline and the anchor point well below the waterline, all the ship would do is rock sideways a little.

  93. Metaphorically speaking, It would be nice if the Iowa could fire a full broadside salvo and deliver the the final blow to the sinking ship CAGW in the name of freedom and democracy.

  94. Anyone notice the ” hydrodynamic ” design of this ship. From the aerial view it looks just like a boat tail spitzer bullet. Trying to guesstimate the waterline hull at the bow, I would estimate an ogive value of eight. I don’t know the nautical term that would be used but it makes a good hydrodynamic design with regards to speed.

    Just an observation. She’s magnificent.

    If anyone is still visiting this thread and knowledgeable of modern hull design, I have a question that the answer may be classified. Is it possible to have a displacement hull that would then perform somewhat as a planing hull at top speed?

    Just curious on that one.

  95. eyesonu says:
    May 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    If anyone is still visiting this thread and knowledgeable of modern hull design, I have a question that the answer may be classified. Is it possible to have a displacement hull that would then perform somewhat as a planing hull at top speed?

    Just curious on that one.

    Yes the newest fast littoral ships (Freedom class) use a semi planing hull, and can achieve speeds of 47 knots.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_class_littoral_combat_ship

    The competing Independence class ships use a trimaran hull hull form for both speed and stability.

    Lots of experimentation underway to produce new high performance ships with low manpower requirements suited to close to shore combat operations.

    Larry

  96. Whether or not she moved sideways from the salvo is debatable, but the ship is not executing a port turn. There’s no wake, no waves, no nothing. She’s not underway.

  97. Well Daryl, debateable or not, it is a fact. Fred Haynie points out that the rifle recoil will “absorb the energy”. If the gun was on wheels it would then hurtle off the port side of the ship; but somewhat slower than the round went out. But it doesn’t as the recoil converts the short intense impulse inside the barrel into a much longer, and less amplitude , impulse, which in turn is applied to the ship through the gun mount and turret. Eventually the ship will absorb the full impulse, and it will move sideways, and eventually some water will flow around from one side of the ship to the other. With all the numbers, one can calculate how far the ship moves, and probably how long that takes. But I agree with Fred, that it isn’t going to toss peope overboard.

    Hell the bang must be impressive enough to satisfy most folks.

  98. Larry, I followed your link and you can guess as to where that may have led (inquiring minds need to know?).

    First shock; the Destriero, 220 ft long, 400 ton displacement, a top speed of 53 knots (68 mph), crossing the Atlantic at an average speed of 53 knots ( 61 mph) without refueling. Impressive at 400 tons.

    The speed of the littoral class combat ships are truly impressive.

    The hull design on the Iowa would be a limiting factor regardless of any improved propulsion system installed. The issue would be transverse waves.

    While there are likely applications for the rapid rate of fire that could be provided by a beauty like the Iowa, she is ready for retirement. Sad.

    Larry, thanks again for the link to that which was previously a known unknown to me. ;-)

  99. eyesonu says:

    Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    May 29, 2012 at 10:04 pmMay 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    gentlemen:
    if you happen to come onto a picutre of LCS1 in dry dock you will see that the hull for is simply a huge deep vee hull exactly like used for towing waterskiers.

    and yes USN has a huge “tub” fitted with instruments and computers that they have used for 50 years + in hydrodynamic experiments. its called the David Taylor model basin and is in the north east.

    C

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