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Topic review - Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Thanks! DavidP here actually sent some plans of the aircraft crane. I've noticed the Profile Morskie plans of Idaho get it wrong (surprise surprise...) but the New Mexico plans seem more correct. The plan book put out by Maryland Silver Company actually has the original Norfolk Navy Yard plans for the crane aboard Idaho, which is what I'm using now.

Lots of inaccuracies in the Idaho plan from Profile Morskie, as I've come to expect. The Booklet of General Plans for Idaho in the ship's 1945 appearance are actually surprisingly well done (I've noticed BOGPs are sometimes pretty generic).
Post Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:11 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Profle Morskie 71 (USS New Mexico) plans got it right. Or you can look at the Profile Morskie 45 (USS Colorado) plans. Correct as well.
Post Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:41 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Gents - looking for more detail on the stern aircraft cranes aboard the New Mexico class. I understand they're a different model than the ubiquitous type (I don't know the designation) later seen aboard the fast BBs and most of the wartime cruisers, but having trouble finding specific details. The Profile Morskie plans for Idaho show a crane that looks similar to the later type, but from examining some photos it's obvious they are similar but not the same. The drawings in the various BOGPs I've found have been pretty basic, but are at least a good starting point.

Any input from you guys? Thanks!
Post Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:12 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Time to split it off? CXAM series radars, perhaps?
Post Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:22 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
And we are WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY off topic now.
Post Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:03 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Perhaps the tenders were to be used for testing the units in conjunction with their seaplanes. A series of range and detection exercises?
Post Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:38 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
The 6 CXAM sets were on California, Yorktown, Pensacola, Northampton, Chester and Chicago. California's set was removed during salvage and installed on Hornet after Midway. At some point in Feb or Mar '42, Northampton replaced her CXAM with West Virginia's CXAM-1 - I have found no explanation for the change. (Perhaps at the same time the forefunnel was shortened and capped?) Two other cruisers appear to have carried CXAM-1.
Augusta: http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/031/0403108.jpg
Memphis: http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/013/0401309.jpg

That makes 15 by my count. I still find it interesting that both of the new, big seaplane tenders got the rare experimental large-antenna sets.
Post Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:19 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
In his "NAVAL RADAR" book, Dr Friedman said there were six CXAM and fourteen CXAM-1 radars built. He lists thirteen ships equipped with CXAM-1 as being; USS LEXINGTON, SARATOGA, RANGER, ENTERPRISE, WASP, TEXAS, PENNSYLVANIA, WEST VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA, WASHINGTON, CINCINNATI, CURTISS, and ALBEMARLE. Which other one do you have? There is a possibility that one of these had their set mored to another ship.
Post Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:32 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Then I think we are looking at my option "B". There must have been a 15th CXAM-1 set. That makes an interesting statement about the importance placed on the new, large AV's. Both of them got CXAM-1's in preference to many battleships and cruisers. The only other ship type in which all received CXAM series sets were the CV's, although Hornet tried to get by with an SC set until after Midway when she received a "hand-me-down" CXAM from the California. I wonder if there were any more unidentified CXAM series sets out there?
Post Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Dick,

I think she is USS ALBEMARLE (AV-5), these images from late 1941 at Argentia wearing the same camo scheme and then back at Norfolk in February 1942, shows her CXAM-1 radar.

USS ALBEMARLE arrived at Argentia on 18 May 1941 and USS CURTIS (AV-4) departed (from Norfolk?) on 26 May 1941 for the Pacific. An image on Navsource reportedly dated June 1942 shows USS ALBEMARLE at Argentia wearing Ms 2 and showing no CXAM-1 radar. It is possible that USS CURTIS was at Argentia prior to heading to the Pacific and that USS ALBEMARLE relieved her, but her DANFS entry doesn't mention that she was ever at Argentia.

USS ALBEMARLE departed from Argentia on 12 June 1941 when she returned to Norfolk where she loaded supplies for a mission to Newfoundland before returning back to Norfolk for an availability at NorNY 25 July to 11 August 1941. She then returned to Argentia on 16 August 1941 and was there until 1 November 1941, returning to Norfolk on 7 November 1941. So, I suspect this photo was taken sometime between 16 August to 1 November 1941. Her CXAM-1 radar was likely installed at NorNY during the July-August 1941 availability.

Image

Image
Post Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:16 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Here’s a link to the film these stills were taken from.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a5wSeshlCXE
These ships were at Argentia, Newfoundland. USS Texas was also there so this film dates between Oct. 15th thru Nov. 28th 1941. USS Curtiss was at Pearl during this time.
Post Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
I think since the small boat in the photo has ALB painted on it, its probably Albemarle. unless it's a photo of Curtiss showing one of Albemarle's small boats, which is a remote possibility.
Post Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:25 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
I stand by what I said. Either the AV is Curtiss, or there was a 15th CXAM-1 radar set. The ship in both photos has a CXAM-1 antenna. The only other possibility I see for your second photo is that the two were operating together for a short time.
Post Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:21 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Hi Dick,
You may be right about the Vincennes. The AV is definitely Ablemarle.
Image
Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:34 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Jeff,

I have a couple of corrections in the ship ID's. The New Orleans class cruiser is Vincennes (CA-44) rather than Tuscaloosa. The open communications bridge level and the MK-34 directors are distinctive. And the Curtiss class AV is probably Curtiss herself rather than Albemarle. Curtiss received a CXAM-1 radar that is visible in Pearl Harbor photos. Unless there was a 15th CXAM-1 manufactured, Albemarle did not. Curtiss was in the Atlantic until late May of '41.
Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:50 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
It appears the interpretation of "Pole masts, yards, slender upper works above level of top superstructure masses, Haze Gray 5-H" varied from ship to ship. New Mexico and Mississippi seem to be the exception where they painted more than the pole masts. Most other ships only painted the pole masts with 5-H (5-L). Here are a few of them in September 1941 and if I had to guess, only Albemarle has 5-S on her hull.

USS Augusta
Image

USS Tuscaloosa
Image

USS Buck
Image

USS Albemarle
Image
Post Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:59 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Thank you for the explanation.

Good point with the dark turret faces. Never noticed this. The 5-S/5-D question due to the limited availability of appropriate paints never came to my mind as well, however, it sounds pretty logical.

But the slender upperworks being painted in 5-H (or maybe 5-L as a temporary solution) are in line with the Measure 12 as defined in SHIPS-2 (Rev. 1; 9/41), aren't they? In this case the Idaho is the one, who is not following the regulations.
Post Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:44 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Couple of reasons I say “version”. First, she is different than Idaho who appears not to have painted her slender upperworks a lighter color (5H or 5L). Second, she darkened her turret face plates and 14” gun barrels whereas neither Mississippi nor Idaho did. If you look at the photos of her at Norfolk Navy Yard getting painted into MS-12 modified in Jan.’42 you can see she still has those dark faceplates and barrels. Lastly, there is some discussion as to what colors she is wearing in the Sept. ‘41 photo. When King ordered the fleet into MS-12 on July 19, 1941 Sea Blue 5-S and Haze Gray 5-H were not quite available yet to the fleet so there is speculation that MS-12 was carried out on some ships using the available colors already on hand namely Dark Gray 5D and Light Gray 5-L. I wish I knew the exact date she painted into MS-12 and when 5-S/5-H we’re available. That would help answer some questions.
The fleet’s transition into MS-12 appears to be a very quick one. Photos of the US ships at the Atlantic Charter on Aug. 14, 1941 show them all to be in MS-12.
Post Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:25 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Wonderful find, Jeff!

Btw, why do you consider her camo as a "version" of the Measure 12? Because not only all above the top of the superstructure mass was painted in 5-H as specifed in the SHIPS-2, but the highest part of the superstructure itself as well?

I find interesting that Mississippi was painted the same way but Idaho was not. Missing the 5-H altogether.

Edit: 5-H, of course.
Post Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:00 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all New Mexico (BB-40) class fans  Reply with quote
Every single one of those pics are of either Mississippi or Idaho, not New Mexico and have been posted here for quite awhile. For the one you claim is the same pic, look again! It is similar but NOT the same pic.
Post Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:54 pm

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