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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:19 am 
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I'd say the paint scheme in both clips is glue-gray over gray, which is the usual paint for the stars without bars.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:51 pm 
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Ian Roberts wrote:
Thanks for confirming my suspicions :) I guess we will know for sure once I receive the plans of ST LOUIS.

I have found the Chesley plans of HELENA to be fairly accurate (matching photos), with the exception of the propeller guard and the dimensions of the open bridge. Dick J points out earlier in this thread how all existing plans of the ship don't get this area correct -- Chesley and Profile Morskie show the open bridge to be far too wide and this does not match the photos at all.

Unfortunately, these two resources seem to be the only commercially available plans for CL-50 as lost. I wonder what treasures lay buried at NARA :)


The mystery continues. I received the "general arrangement" plans of CL-49/CL-50 from Floating Drydock -- for one, they show an early draft design of the ships that looks more akin to the BROOKLYN than the as-built design. Interestingly, the shaft arrangement and propeller guard seems to be the same as later plans -- with the propeller guard not situated above the outboard propeller.

Attachment:
1939 CL-49 CL-50 general arrangement crop.jpg
1939 CL-49 CL-50 general arrangement crop.jpg [ 335.25 KiB | Viewed 567 times ]


I think only a trip to NARA to review the microfilm for CL-49 or CL-50 will answer this question...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:24 am 
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After looking a a bunch of USS Brooklyn CL-40 photos on Navsource I think the propeller guard is positioned correctly with respect to the after turret, about even with the ends of the gun barrels. So the question is whether or not the location of the outboard propeller is correct in the drawing.

There is only one photo showing the ship in the ways before launching from an oblique stern view that shows the underwater configuration. The propeller has not been installed, but it looks like it is closer to the position of the propeller guard than the drawing shows it.

In the USS Savannah CL-42 section I found this war damage report (after being hit by the German Fritz-X glide bomb). Notice that the outboard propeller is shown about even with the ends of the gun barrels on the after turret at about Frame 126 - about where the propeller guard is positioned in your drawing at the aft end of the armor belt.

Broadside photos of the USS Honolulu CL-48, USS Boise CL-47 and USS Phoenix CL-46 appear to show the propeller guard in the position shown in your drawing!

These were all Brooklyn class ships.

Pictures of the USS St. Louis CL-49 appear to show the propeller guard farther forward outboard of the face of aft turret, at about Frame 122 which would place the outboard propeller in about the position shown in your drawing, with the propeller guard in the wrong position.

Drydock photos of the USS HelenaCL-50 show similar positioning of the propeller guard relative to the outboard propeller. The position relative to the aft turret is not shown. Unfortunately the battle damage report for the Helena doesn't show the propellers or propeller guard.

St. Louis and Helena were both "modified Brooklyn class" or St. Louis class.

Drawings in Norman Friedman's "USS Cruisers" page 209 show the Helena outboard propeller position several frames aft of the ends of the gun barrels on the after turret. Pictures of the Brooklyn (page 199) show the outboard propellers farther forward at about the ends of the gun barrels. Both show the propeller quite a but more aft than in your General Arrangement drawing.

All of this is inconclusive, but it looks as if the St. Louis and Helena may have had the outboard propeller farther aft than in the other Brooklyn class ships. Given the drastic rearrangement of the engineering spaces on the St. Louis class it wouldn't be surprising to see a change in position of the propellers.

You have to take the General Arrangement plans with a grain of salt. They were often conceptual drawings made before the ships were actually built, and before modifications had been made to the design. In the case of the drawing you have it might have been drawn up from an early Brooklyn class hull drawing with modification for the St; Louis class.

If you are going to look at the blueprints in the National Archives try to find the actual drawings for the propeller guard as well as the propeller and propeller shaft drawings to see where they were installed (frame numbers). Again, sometimes the general arrangement drawings in the blueprints do not actually show where things eventually ended up being placed. Also, different shipyards sometimes changed things to suit their practices with approval from BuShips (often afterward).

Phil


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USS Savannah war damage report.jpg
USS Savannah war damage report.jpg [ 279.39 KiB | Viewed 526 times ]

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:14 pm 
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Thanks for your detailed reply Phil! I suspect you're right that the drawing I received just has the prop guard positioned incorrectly (it was likely based off earlier BROOKLYN class drawings).

For my own rendition of HELENA in July 1943, I placed the prop guard in the position verifiable by photos and moved the outboard prop and shaft to match. If I'm ever able to make it to NARA and examine the microfilm for these ships I plan to come back and ensure the shafts are drawn correctly - this is my "best guess".

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:48 am 
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Ian, are you certain there was 2 quad 40mm aa guns sitting side by side at that location forward of the #4 6" gun turret as awfully tight space there for those 2 mounts?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:17 am 
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Ian,

I suspect the prop positions in your drawing are for the early Brooklyns, and St. Louis and Helena had them a bit farther aft - but that is a poorly educated guess!

You could just order the microfilm on DVD from the National Archives and save the cost of a trip (depending upon where you live). I am in Oregon so a trip is just not practical. It was cheaper for me to order all of the Cleveland class microfilms.

Unfortunately, I suspect there will not be a single index reel for the Brooklyn/St. Louis class. The USS Cleveland CL-55 microfilm has an index at the beginning of each reel listing only the blueprints on that reel, so I had to order all 19 reels. Most were door and furniture lists, lists of label plates over doors, wiring, plumbing and ventilation diagrams, etc. of no use for modelling. However, by the time of the modified Cleveland in the early 1940s each collection had a separate index reel that listed all blueprints on all physical reels. This was very useful for determining if a desired blueprint was actually in the collection. Many of the Cleveland blueprints were lost and are not in the microfilm collection.

****

The drawings are in the same order on the microfilm as the Ship Material Group Codes (attached). If you know the number of reels in the drawing collection (the Archivists can tell you that) you can guess which reel might contain a drawing you need. However some material groups are larger than others, and some may fall across multiple reels.

Fortunately, information about the position of the propellers will likely be on reel 1 in the S1 Design of vessel and S7 Docking (drydock) sections. S1-3 has general plans (but not necessarily accurate) and S5 Molds has hull line plans. Section S11 Hull structural and S12 hull fittings will contain the actual construction blueprints showing individual hull plates, etc. All of these sections should be on reel 1. But if there is a separate index reel (the Archivists can tell you this) the plans will start on reel 2.

S43 Shafting and bearings (S43-2 Bearings) has drawings of the propeller shaft struts and S44 Propellers has the prop drawings. In the Cleveland plans the prop struts were on reel 2 and the propellers on reel 10 along with some shaft details and fairings.

****

A word of caution: There are reels and there are reels! For some reason the entire collection of drawings for a ship is called a "reel." So the Cleveland drawings are microfilm Reel # 5537. But in this collection there are 19 physical reels of microfilm containing 4630 individual blueprints. But each individual blueprint may have been photographed in as many as six overlapping "frames" or photographs.

I got all of my copies on actual microfilm (before the Archives started offering scanned images on DVDs). I do not know how they organize the images or frames on the DVDs. Each physical reel may be scanned to a separate DVD, or multiple physical reels may be placed on one DVD. You need to ask an Archivist about this.

Hope this helps.

Phil

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:32 am 
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Ian,

I'm pretty sure that wasn't the configuration for USS ST LOUIS in July 1943. More like July 1944 (when she was painted in dazzle) with additional changes like searchlight tower removed.

First image is dated 5 July 1943. Second image was taken after she was torpedoed. I see at least two twin 40-mm mounts per side and no quad 40-mm mounts yet?

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:37 am 
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DavidP,

Yes two quad 40-mm mounts could fit in that location.

This image is of USS ST LOUIS after being transferred to Brazil, but you can clearly see her end of WWII configuration included two quad 40-mm mounts in that location.

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:45 am 
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DavidP wrote:
Ian, are you certain there was 2 quad 40mm aa guns sitting side by side at that location forward of the #4 6" gun turret as awfully tight space there for those 2 mounts?


Hey David - yes, those guns are visible in the July 1942 Mare Island photos of CL-50 after refit. They're hard to make out, but please see below:

Attachment:
0405040.jpg
0405040.jpg [ 130.08 KiB | Viewed 419 times ]

(image from Navsource, unfortunately no higher-res version of this shot is available via the NHHC)

Rick E Davis wrote:
Ian,

I'm pretty sure that wasn't the configuration for USS ST LOUIS in July 1943. More like July 1944 (when she was painted in dazzle) with additional changes like searchlight tower removed.


Hey Rick - my drawing depicts HELENA (CL-50) in July 1943 and not ST LOUIS. I have done another version of ST LOUIS in 1944 with dazzle camouflage, but have not yet updated it with a plan view. Eventually I would like to draw ST LOUIS in the 5 July 1943 configuration.

---

I have a "general" question for you guys regarding the 26' motor whaleboats. On several plans (especially of DDs), I've seen plan views of the whaleboats hanging outboard of the ship from the davits labeled as "at sea position", and hanging inboard as "harbor position". Based on photos I can't really discern a pattern for how the whaleboats would be carried and have seen no documentation on standard practice. Would the 26' MWB be swung inboard while in harbor or at anchor and then swung outboard while steaming at sea? Photos of various ships underway show both methods.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:02 pm 
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DrPR wrote:
Ian,

I suspect the prop positions in your drawing are for the early Brooklyns, and St. Louis and Helena had them a bit farther aft - but that is a poorly educated guess!

You could just order the microfilm on DVD from the National Archives and save the cost of a trip (depending upon where you live). I am in Oregon so a trip is just not practical. It was cheaper for me to order all of the Cleveland class microfilms.

Unfortunately, I suspect there will not be a single index reel for the Brooklyn/St. Louis class. The USS Cleveland CL-55 microfilm has an index at the beginning of each reel listing only the blueprints on that reel, so I had to order all 19 reels. Most were door and furniture lists, lists of label plates over doors, wiring, plumbing and ventilation diagrams, etc. of no use for modelling. However, by the time of the modified Cleveland in the early 1940s each collection had a separate index reel that listed all blueprints on all physical reels. This was very useful for determining if a desired blueprint was actually in the collection. Many of the Cleveland blueprints were lost and are not in the microfilm collection.

****

The drawings are in the same order on the microfilm as the Ship Material Group Codes (attached). If you know the number of reels in the drawing collection (the Archivists can tell you that) you can guess which reel might contain a drawing you need. However some material groups are larger than others, and some may fall across multiple reels.

Fortunately, information about the position of the propellers will likely be on reel 1 in the S1 Design of vessel and S7 Docking (drydock) sections. S1-3 has general plans (but not necessarily accurate) and S5 Molds has hull line plans. Section S11 Hull structural and S12 hull fittings will contain the actual construction blueprints showing individual hull plates, etc. All of these sections should be on reel 1. But if there is a separate index reel (the Archivists can tell you this) the plans will start on reel 2.

S43 Shafting and bearings (S43-2 Bearings) has drawings of the propeller shaft struts and S44 Propellers has the prop drawings. In the Cleveland plans the prop struts were on reel 2 and the propellers on reel 10 along with some shaft details and fairings.

****

A word of caution: There are reels and there are reels! For some reason the entire collection of drawings for a ship is called a "reel." So the Cleveland drawings are microfilm Reel # 5537. But in this collection there are 19 physical reels of microfilm containing 4630 individual blueprints. But each individual blueprint may have been photographed in as many as six overlapping "frames" or photographs.

I got all of my copies on actual microfilm (before the Archives started offering scanned images on DVDs). I do not know how they organize the images or frames on the DVDs. Each physical reel may be scanned to a separate DVD, or multiple physical reels may be placed on one DVD. You need to ask an Archivist about this.

Hope this helps.

Phil


Phil, as always really appreciate your detailed reply and the advice you give on NARA trips and best practice for researching microfilm, etc. I am located in the Denver area so a trip to NARA is out of the question at this time (and anyway we have our first baby on the way in April...)

I will contact the archivists and see if getting microfilm on DVD is an option right now -- I contacted them a few weeks back with an inquiry on some booklets of general plans but got the response that NARA is currently closed because of covid and they had no ETA on reopening. I'm not sure if this affects the archivists who work there or if it only pertained to visitors...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:55 pm 
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Ian,

Sorry, obviously I didn't read the caption correctly. AKA, stopped at the first line. :roll_eyes: What I get for going online after midnight.

I had seen the images of USS HELENA before, but didn't think about the significance of her quad 40-mm mounts. The first twin 40-mm mount installed on a destroyer was 'credited" on 1 July 1942, aboard USS COGHLAN (DD-606). But, I didn't put two and two together and realize that maybe USS HELENA was one of the first (if not the first?) USN combat unit to have quad 40-mm mounts installed along with Mk 51 directors? HELENA arrived at MINY on 13 January 1942, departed initially on 11 July 1942, but had to return to fix some problems encountered with post-availability shakedown.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:11 am 
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Rick,

It is a good question what ship was the first to receive the quad 40mm Bofors guns - or any Bofors 40mm - and when.

I have the official US Navy history "U.S. Navy bureau of Ordnance in World War II," Buford Rowland and William Boyd, Bureau of Ordnance, undated. On page 221 it states the first installations of the Bofors 40mm guns afloat were in early summer 1942 (it doesn't say which ship). The U.S. obtained manufacturing rights for the twin Bofors 40mm gun in June 1941. These were manually operated. The U.S. developed the power operated twin and quad mounts and made a number of improvements to the gun design. Early plans called for first delivery of the guns by October 1941.

Norman Friedman's "U.S. Naval Weapons," Naval Institute Press, 1988 (page 81)says the first American made twin mount was completed in January 1942 and the quad in April 1942. The first installations were a quad mount on the gunnery training ship USS Wyoming BB-32 on 23 June 1942, and the first twin was mounted on the USS Coghlan DD-606 on 1 July 1942. It says the USS Helena CL-50 received four quad 40mm mounts, but it doesn't say when.

I knew that the Clevelands were designed from the beginning to carry 40mm guns, and a lot of 20mm Oerlikons. The 30 December 1940 blueprints for the Cleveland show four dual 40mm mounts. Later many of the 20mm guns were replaced with 40mm. In May 1941 the USS Cleveland CL-55 had positions (gun tubs) for the 40mm guns but none were installed. The Mk 51 directors were in place then. Four twin 40mm guns were installed in photos made 19 July 1942 shortly after the ship was commissioned. Later quad 40mm mounts were added.

Phil

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:46 pm 
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Phil,

I have a copy of the "unpublished" OFFICIAL HISTORY "U.S. Navy bureau of Ordnance in World War II" as well, it has been helpful to me to understanding the development, production, and installation of the USN weapons in WWII, particularly the 20-mm and 40-mm guns. The USA got manufacturing rights both guns, but had already been "back-engineering" them because the European versions required a lot of old-fashion "filing to fit" which resulted in no interchangeable parts. Legal use aside, the USA would have gone ahead and built the weapons anyway. Also, I have been going through the King Board Air Defense Improvement Program files at NARA. The development of the weapons was one thing, but the actual installation onboard ships took a lot of effort as well. It was interesting how much effort went into figuring out the "tub" bulwarks, etc with early production (prototype) twin and quad 40-mm mounts. The one area that the Official History didn't cover was the development of the Fire Control necessary to use the 40-mm guns. The guns were ready and in production as you say in the Spring of 1942 (behind the original predictions and plans for installation in new construction and refit to older ships), but held-up for lack of an adequate FC system. The Mk 51 using the "electronic" Mk 14 gunsight developed for use on 20-mm guns, was a crash interim program when the Mk 45 and Mk 49 directors fell way behind in development. Ironically the "interim" Mk 51 director outlived the planned "ultimate" GFCS.

As with any new weapon, the first units to get the weapons were those necessary to TRAIN the Fleet Gunners. Shore-base and sea-based. USS WYOMING wasn't a Combat Unit during WWII, but she evaluated new weapons and trained 1,000's of crewmen in their use. From the photo dated on 26 June 1942 ... https://www.navsource.org/archives/04/050/0405006.jpg (and at NHC) ... USS HELENA already had her quad 40-mm mount(s) installed by then. I came across a pair of images of USS HELENA in the background of USS SHAW (DD-373) as both were completing their "post-Pearl Harbor Attack" repairs. I had ignored this 2 July 1942 image because of the steam masking much of USS HELENA, but in going back and looking, the midships starboard quad 40-mm mount is plain to see.

Image

OH ... One more thing. Getting ANYTHING from the National Archives is limited to what is available on-line for now. I and others have been in contact with Holly on the 5th floor (photographic collection) and she says she has not been in the College Park building nor seen her co-workers since the "lockdown" started. She works from home and "tries" to answer what she can to requests with what she can download from NARA's website. NARA stopped making Microfilm to Microfilm copies sometime ago. The making of digital copies to DVD (or a SSD or flash-drive) is something one has to contract for from a "for hire research" vendor. Suppose if YOU had the proper equipment, you could be allowed to do it yourself. Either way it will not be cheap. If you only need certain views, you can go in person (when NARA opens) and use either an "OLD and prone to breaking down" microfilm reader to make paper copies or use one of their new machines that makes digital copies to a flash-drive. I have used the new machine and it is a bit time consuming, but the quality over the paper copies is much better. However, they charge if I remember right $0.50 a copy. But, in my case I could go through multiple reels and just copy what I wanted (cropping excess margins as well), saving getting copies of 1,000's of gears and brackets. :big_grin:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:13 am 
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Rick,

Obviously I haven't been trying to get anything from the National Archives for a while now. I want to get copies of some ship's deck logs for a couple of projects I have been working on when time permits (the first surface-to-surface combat missile shot by the US Navy (https://www.okieboat.com/Talos%20antira ... 0shot.html) and the Battle of Dong Hoi (and maybe the Haiphong operation as well).

Before the pandemic you could order digital copies of microfilm from the NARA friends group - the same people who made microfilm copies. You submitted a request to an Archivist who set back an order form. Then you sent this plus payment to the friends group and they produced and sent the microfilm/DVD/paper copies.

I hope they start doing this again after the pandemic has passed.

It just isn't feasible for someone on the west coast to hop on an airplane, cross the country and rent a hotel room and car for several days every time you need something. That runs the costs up to over $1000 before you ever start looking at anything!

Phil

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:38 am 
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Phil,

I live about 475 miles from NARA II, College Park. I figure I spend about $1,000 driving there and back, staying a week (by myself), and of course eating. Unless I share a motel room. Anything I pay for at NARA is extra. I haven't calculated how much I have prorated per trip for my computer and scanner (two of each in case one breaks-down during the trip). Knowing guys that fly from Seattle to NARA, that I pick up at the airport (normally BWI) and with sharing a motel room (for two), their cost comes to about $1,000 for each of them. I suspect that your motel room costs since you have last been there has gone up a LOT in the College Park area. The City of College Park has been making an effort to "upgrade" the college town feel to something more upscale. They are slowly getting the older and cheaper motels torn down and either reuse the lot for something else or build a new "upscale" motel/hotel. Although it is nice to have a better motel (no cockroaches or student parties) to stay at, it reduces the options for those on a budget. Bottomline, the cost of staying in a motel for a trip has gone up a lot since my first trip to College Park in 2007. So far I have made 77 trips by the end of 2019. :huh:

NARA has started to scan USN Deck Logs and put them online. That is going to be a MASSIVE effort. You can check here to see what has been scanned so far. Once NARA comes back to life, keep checking. ... https://www.archives.gov/research/milit ... avy-online ...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:20 pm 
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Rick, don't forget the cost of 1 pumpkin pie.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:52 pm 
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... OR TWO pumpkin pies. And don't forget the Whip Cream. :big_grin:

From Cruisers to Researching at NARA to Pumpkin Pie ... ? :scratch:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:21 am 
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The gun houses for the twin 5"38 mounts are a bit unusual with a rounded over top. I recall that the Porter's had a similar looking gun house, though those were not DP mounts. Amazing that the Savanna survived a hit that destroyed Roma. Apparently a lot of the force of the explosion was vented outboard via a relatively light structure.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:39 am 
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Fliger747 wrote:
Amazing that the Savanna survived a hit that destroyed Roma. Apparently a lot of the force of the explosion was vented outboard via a relatively light structure.


Not if you understand how she was built.... The Roma was built in typical standard shipbuilding style, a keel which forms the backbone and frames which form the hull shape.... The USS Savannah was built to an entirely different style, her keel was only the bottom of a longitudinal framing system which formed a box beam for the length of the hull...... Much much lighter and just as strong if not stronger that a keel laid ship....

The Fritz X is was a giant heat charge warhead designed to burn it's way through almost anything.... It hit the Savannah from above burning and blasting it's way through every deck and out the bottom of the hull but leaving the longitudinal framing relatively intact.... all they had to do to save her was stop the rest of the ship from flooding....

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Helena, (same hull design) sank in less than three minutes after being hit by three long lance torpedoes.... one just under the #2 turret which caused her bow to jackknife I believe to port, then two more just abaft of midships which cause her stern to jackknife to starboard.... What those torpedoes did was destroy the longitudinal framing hence splitting the central box beam into separate pieces.... The hull plating served as the hinge point of the jackknife effect.... Several of the Brooklyn's were hit by long lance torpedoes and easily survived, (several having their bows blown off in the process)

They were very tough ships to sink..... Getting hit with three long lances in the space of a couple of minutes was the exception that it took to put one down....


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:46 am 
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Rick E Davis wrote:
... OR TWO pumpkin pies. And don't forget the Whip Cream. :big_grin:

From Cruisers to Researching at NARA to Pumpkin Pie ... ? :scratch:


Hey I'm always cracking the whip can while cruiserin around for pumpkin pie..... (especially around virginny) :woo_hoo:


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