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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:04 pm 
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In the first picture of West Virginia, the strange "sighting hood" if you look at the top of the number 2# turret.
The next picture is USS Maryland in mid 1920. The "sighting hood" is still there just behind the ranger finder(red circle). Same with the second picture of USS Colorado, late 1920.
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My point is that the "sighting hood" is clearly some sort of a sighting opening found only in Colorado class battleship( clearly removed from a post Pearl Harbor modernization USS West Virginia).


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:48 pm 
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Interesting feature. I lean to the "sighting hood" theory, the hood may be an armored cover for the turret officer's periscope. However, it is much further back in the turret than I would expect if that was the case and I find it odd that turret one doesn't have one as well.

On the Iowa's the turret escape hatch was located under the turret overhang, right next to the regular turret access hatch. You entered the turrets by ducking under the overhang and stepping up from the main deck. A hatch on the top of the turret would constitute a weak area in the turret top armor.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:54 am 
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Atma wrote:
In the first picture of West Virginia, the strange "sighting hood" if you look at the top of the number 2# turret.
Image

InchHigh wrote:
I lean to the "sighting hood" theory, the hood may be an armored cover for the turret officer's periscope. However, it is much further back in the turret than I would expect if that was the case and I find it odd that turret one doesn't have one as well.

On the Iowa's the turret escape hatch was located under the turret overhang, right next to the regular turret access hatch. You entered the turrets by ducking under the overhang and stepping up from the main deck. A hatch on the top of the turret would constitute a weak area in the turret top armor.


I'm quited certain its not a 'sighting hood' the US Navy didn't place sights on top of turrets (that's what the things on the sides are). This pic does show the large range finder with something behind it - which would rule out a sight (the range finder is in the way) - escape hatches can be armored and would be no more a breach of protection than a hood. I think it's the access hatch for the large range finder, I think the Rangefinder was removed but not the hatch (until repairs were needed) it was likely used during the fire and evacuation by the turret crews in the upper rear of the turret.
lower rear overhang is the standard place for main turret access but not necessarily the only place. If you were the exposed crew of that large range finder wouldn't you want quick access to the inside of the turret when enemy shells start falling around you?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:20 pm 
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The range finders on top of the number 2# turret, dont penetrate the roof, all you see above the roof is the whole range finder, the whole "device". If its a true a "sighting hood" it can be used for training reasons. It can be for various calibration methods or something similar, dont have to be a range finder device.
This type of range finder was used for example on board a USS Tennessee class battleship, no such a an access hatch was required for the same type of range finders used on older battleships.And in any case it can be a access point but im 100% is unrelated the range finders on top of the turret roof.
Penetrating a turret roof is was not a preferable idea for any navy that was building heavy gun turrets that needed immense protection and tons of iron.It looses its integrity, it was general avoided.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:38 pm 
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if the top range finder does not penetrate the armored roof then how does the person(s) communicate to the turret?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:33 am 
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When I mean that the range finder does not penetrate the roof of the turret I mean the structure of the range finder -the base its not below the roof-. So by that the "sighting hood" cant be a stump from a removed range finder or a point access to the range finder.
I'm sure someone with official drawings of the turrets can clarify what the so called "sighting hood" actually is.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:46 am 
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Atma wrote:
The range finders on top of the number 2# turret, dont penetrate the roof, all you see above the roof is the whole range finder, the whole "device". If its a true a "sighting hood" it can be used for training reasons. It can be for various calibration methods or something similar, dont have to be a range finder device.
This type of range finder was used for example on board a USS Tennessee class battleship, no such a an access hatch was required for the same type of range finders used on older battleships.And in any case it can be a access point but im 100% is unrelated the range finders on top of the turret roof.
Penetrating a turret roof is was not a preferable idea for any navy that was building heavy gun turrets that needed immense protection and tons of iron.It looses its integrity, it was general avoided.

I'm aware that the Rangefinder doesn't penetrate the roof, I said that earlier, but they would have direct access to it, to allow the crew to abandon the position once range dropped. It's certainly not a 'sighting hood' or the rangefinder wouldn't be mounted in-front of it. the turret roofs were actually quite thin (as shown on the Tennessee - http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/BB43/PearlHarborDamageReport.html Photos 3-6 - note: the bomb (actually a 14" AP shell with fins added) did not detonate. It fell about 10,000' at about 75deg, hit the Yard arm of the main mast, then slammed into the turret roof and catapult, and still did this kind of damage - not that much armor) WWI British Battleships had "sighting hoods" on most of their turrets (I've heard unsubstantiated reports that these prevented superimposed turrets from actually firing over the top of lower turrets but am not convinced.)

Anyway, there is one other possibility, Battleships at this time did not always practice with their main guns. to reduce wear and tear on gun tubes, they would be fitted with small (3" or so) practice guns on the turret roofs (unable to locate picks now but they're there.) which would be fired instead of the actual main guns during practice. this could be one of those mountings - the gun having been removed but the mounting remaining for future use - that never came.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:07 pm 
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GMG4RWF, I remember seeing a picture of a practice gun mounted on top of 1 of the main barrels of a battleship turret & I think it was smaller then a 3" gun.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:45 pm 
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DavidP wrote:
GMG4RWF, I remember seeing a picture of a practice gun mounted on top of 1 of the main barrels of a battleship turret & I think it was smaller then a 3" gun.

I believe they are 3," the mountings don't penetrate though.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:47 pm 
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A few shots of Weevee's salvage

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:43 am 
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Jeff Sharp wrote:
Now here is Colorado at Puget Sound Dec. '41. Too bad we can't see more of her. Is that a torpedo bulge or just the armor plating still?
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I know this picture was posted almost two years ago and I don’t want to sound nitpicking but this is a photo of a British Queen Elizabeth class battleship. Note the forward curved bow which is the opposite of the clipper bow that the Big 5 had. Also the superstructure, turrets and aircraft cranes of this British class. Maybe I missed the correction in the thread. Just my two cents worth.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:00 am 
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docidle wrote:
Jeff Sharp wrote:
Now here is Colorado at Puget Sound Dec. '41. Too bad we can't see more of her. Is that a torpedo bulge or just the armor plating still?


I know this picture was posted almost two years ago and I don’t want to sound nitpicking but this is a photo of a British Queen Elizabeth class battleship. Note the forward curved bow which is the opposite of the clipper bow that the Big 5 had. Also the superstructure, turrets and aircraft cranes of this British class. Maybe I missed the correction in the thread. Just my two cents worth.

Steve


Look behind Warspite's bow, on the left of the photo.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:02 am 
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docidle, wrong ship as Colorado is in the background leftside & you only see the back half but not very good.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:11 pm 
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Okay, I see it now.... sorry I was on the iPad last night and completely missed it. In the memorable words of Homer Simpson....DOH!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:11 pm 
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Need help identifying what the long rectangular mesh looking thing is near the base of West Virginia's main mast. There appears to be one on either side of the mast with a line that runs aft all the way to the face of turret #4.
Here you can see it in the plans and a photo at Pearl.
Any ideas?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:50 pm 
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a railing maybe as appears to be a building at the inside base of the mast.
http://navsource.org/archives/01/048/014834n.jpg
http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/0148006.jpg


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:44 pm 
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A picture of the USS Colorado in the Puget Sound Navy Yard, February 9th, 1942. The "Fighting Mary" is visible in the background.
The picture comes from the Norman Friedman's Book "Naval Firepower".

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:26 pm 
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Thanks for the pic! Very cool! I wonder why they decided to eliminate Colorado's bird bath on the main fighting top. I think maybe the 50cal brownings were getting phased out at the end of '41. It also appears that the MG's in West Virginia's bird bath were removed prior to the attack. Her birdbath was still there but definitely empty. The other three at Pearl still had their MG's in the birdbath.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:39 pm 
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Stumbled upon this photo dated 18 June 1941 while researching USS Aroostook. In the background, sitting in the dry dock, is USS Maryland. I often wondered if she was already painted into MS-1 before she went to Puget Sound for her refit. She was definitely still in Pre-war light gray in this photo. She also still has her .50 cal machine gun tubs attached to her forward fighting top and her concentration dials (range clocks) on the masts. During this dry dock she received her torpedo blisters.
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At least one of her gun tubs removed from the forward fighting top was attached to the mainmast just above the searchlight platform. This was a very short lived change. I suspect that they quickly realized that this location was always filled with smoke from the stacks so they eliminated it. This photo is dated Aug. '41 after she left Puget Sound.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:55 pm 
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I don't know the exact dates that USS MARYLAND had her 1941 overhaul at PSNY, DANFS and the limited records I have for 1941 don't give dates, but given the work done on her and how long it took for "peacetime" overhauls it had to be at least fours months prior to her leaving PSNY in August 1941. Friedman's USN BATTLESHIPS book (on pg 207) says USS MARYLAND was scheduled to start her overhaul on 17 February 1941 and complete on 20 May 1941. But, also notes that her overhaul actually wasn't finished until 1 August 1941. It appears that she went into PSNY shortly before or after USS ARIZONA and USS NEVADA left in March 1941. I suspect she arrived at PSNY before the directive to paint into Ms 1 was given in April 1941. MARYLAND wouldn't have been painted in her "new" paint scheme until all other work was done. That was standard practice.

As for 20-mm guns replacing the 50-cal MGs. The first production 20-mm guns were not ready to be installed until early December 1941. The USN took the Swedish design and for practical purposes completely redesigned it so it could be mass produced to US standards and all guns would have interchangeable parts, something the Swedish guns lacked. The first 20-mm guns were to be installed during yard periods and the Atlantic Fleet ships had priority (USS HORNET was one of the first ships scheduled to get 20-mm guns). But, the USN was planning on the replacement of the 50-cal MGs during work done in 1941 and locating future placements. Likely the removal of the "birdbath" location had as much to do with compensating for weight added elsewhere as a result of the King Board mods. The 20-mm mounts were heavier than the 50-cal MGs and it was desirable to have the guns closer to ammo resupply. Top of the masts wasn't ideal in that case.

The introduction of 20-mm guns in the Pacific Fleet quickly took priority after 7 December 1941 and as best I can tell started to be installed on various Pacific-based ships in January 1942 (maybe some as early as late December?). USS YORKTOWN and DesRon 2 destroyers transferred from the Atlantic to the Pacific in mid-December 1941 with newly installed (four on each destroyer) 20-mm guns installed in place of the previous 50-cal MGs.


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