About 1230I on the 30th, an urgent dispatch directed the MANSFIELD and SWENSON to proceed at best speed possible to Lat 38°45'N, Long 128°15'E to assist a B-26 aircraft reported down at that point. The distance was about 60 miles north of the MANSFIELD. At 1445I the ship went to General Quarters and set Material Condition Able, executing this routine exercise with more thatn usual vigor upon hearing from the SAR plane on the scene that small arms fire had been received from the beach. At 1450I the ship reported on the scene and commenced searching. At 1500I, with the L.K. SWENSON lying to outside the 50 fathom curve, to cover our approach, the entry to Choson Ko begun. The approach was made at slow speed, heading so that the reported position of the plane wreckage would be on the starboard bow. A second plane was now on the scene, a B-178 with a rescue boat. The SAR plane, when requested to make another pass over the wreckage it had reported approximately 500 yards east of Toi To Island, again drew machine gun fire which could clearly be heard on the ship.Please, read more at the links.
The ship had stopped engines at 1535I, and at 1536I both engines were backed to bring the way off, at a point 2,200 yards from the reported wreckage, in 12 fathoms of water. Some objects were now visible in the cove near the beach; a raft of logs about 3,000 yards to port, some net buoys about 3,000 yards ahead. At 1539I a sonar contact was identified as shoal, Chu Rai.
No sign of the suspected wreckage was seen by the many lookouts and officers on the bridge of the MANSFIELD. Neither was anything seen in the water near the ship. The mine lookout, recently stationed in the eyes of the ship with rifle and binoculars, reporting nothing.
After backing clear to the vicinity of the L.K. SWENSON, a distance of four miles, engines were stopped and an account made of the casualties and damage. Radio reports were sent to cognizant commanders. Early analysis of the damage accurately established the water tight bulkhead forward at frame 48. This bulkhead was shored while wounded were carried to the battle dressing station in the wardroom. the Commanding Officer called repeatedly for an estimate of casualties particularly dead and missing. Finally an all hands muster on abandon ship parade confirmed the previous on-battle-station muster of NONE missing or dead. After this cheerful report was passed to all hands, the work of treating the twenty-eight wounded, of building shores, and of pumping tanks proceeded with greater expedition. Three weeks after the explosion the fact that not a man was lost of even crippled remains a miracle.
Now let's talk about the ship for a bit.CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF EVENTS30 SEPTEMBER 19501227 Departed area of Point "Easy", Lat 37°56'N, Long 128°54'E, in company with USS LYMAN K. SWENSON DD729 proceeding at 25 knots to a point Lat 38°45'N, Long 128°15;E, to investigate a report of a downed American B-26 in accordance CTG 95.2 instructions.
1239 Established radio communications with SAR plane.
1445 Small arms fire reported on the beach. Manned General Quarters Stations.
1450 Commenced approach to Chosen Ko. USS SWENSON standing by to seaward. MANSFIELD on course 286°T, speed 10 knots.
1500 Commenced entry, on course 205°T.
1504 Slowed to 5 knots.
1508 Increased to 10 knots.
1509 Plane reported possible wreckage 1/4 to 1/2 mile east of small island (Toi To).
1513 Slowed to 5 knots.
1533 SAR plane reported directly over wreckage.
1534 SAR plane reported objects at mouth of inner bay, appeared to be a life preserver and box.
1536 Objects, apparently logs, sighted on port beam 3000 yards.
1538 All engines stopped. Lying to.
1539 Sonar reported contact on port bow, 1200 to 1300 yards. Identified as 4 3/4 fathom shoal (Chu Rai).
1547 Explosion port side forward. All engines back full. Backed clear of minefield, lying to outside 50 fathom curve in vicinity L.K. SWENSON.
1737 All engines ahead 1/3 (3 knots).
1850 Changed speed to 8 knots.
2108 Stopped for transfer of wounded to USS HELENA.
2245 Underway at speed 8 knots as guide of formation.
2346 Changed speed to 10 knots.
Of course, she is a Bath Iron Works ship - that should tell you a lot - but let's look at the stats.
Class and type: Allen M. Sumner class destroyer... and yes, I'm going there.
Displacement: 2,200 tons
Length: 376 ft 6 in
Beam: 40 ft
Draft: 15 ft 8 in
Propulsion: 60,000 shp (45 MW); 2 propellers
Speed: 34 knots
Range: 6500 nmi. @ 15 kt
Armament: 6 × 5 in./38 guns (12 cm),
12 × 40mm AA guns,
11 × 20mm AA guns,
10 × 21 in. torpedo tubes,
6 × depth charge projectors,
2 × depth charge tracks
Now the Little Crappy Ship.
Class and type: Littoral Combat ShipYes, LCS is larger than a WWII-Vietnam era destroyer. Of course, NLOS is vapor-ware. The Army has CANX it. Still not proven on land or at sea.
Displacement: 3,000 metric tons
Length: 378 ft
Beam: 57.4 ft (17.5 m)
Draft: 12.8 ft (3.9 m)
Propulsion: 2 Rolls-Royce MT30 36 MW gas turbines, 2 Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, 4 Rolls-Royce waterjets
Speed: 47 knots
Range: 3,500 nm at 18 knots
1x BAE Systems Mk 110 57 mm gun,
2x .50-cal machine guns
21x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile Surface-to-Air Missiles
45 NLOS missiles
I am glad that the LCS is fast - because it better run away fast from the cutting edge of 1940-60s technology. That's ok though. It will run out of fuel fast enough that in our time-warp sea battle - the dash would find her and the DD could stand off at a respectful distance and plunk away with its six 5"/38s. It will only take a hit or two.
Oh, we'll even give the LCS a helo. Good luck getting close to MANSFIELD. Those 5"/38s have quite a track record against sub-200 knots targets. That one 57mm might break or jam after awhile - and it can't shoot aft ... that would be bad.
Here is a fun fact; the widdle LCS's 57mm has a max range of 9 mn - about 1,000 yds more than the standard load for the 5"/38. At that range - it takes a round about a minute to reach the target. Both ships are very maneuverable. On top of that - LCS cannot fire from the stern and would have to turn and close the MANSFIELD. Optically guided, ahem, or even if it was fully online - you will not get hits at max range.
In a gun battle - numbers matter. The number of turrets you have gives you redundency in case of mechanical failure or battle damage. It also gives you some wiggle room on your fire control solution as two ships move a lot. It is easier to kill a rabbit with a shotgun than a rifle when it is running.
The closer you get, the more accurate your fire as the round spends less time in the air. You also need a large magazine and multiple magazines. Inaccurate fire means you need to put a lot down range in hope you get a hit. Magazines can have failures just like turrets can.
When you get closer - odds are you will get hit too - multiple times. You need to fight when hurt. You need enough crew for DC, and fighting the ship. How many hits could the MANSFIELD take? Yea ... I think we know that.
How many hits from a 5"/38 HE rounds could LCS take? I vote one.
OK shipmate - you can ride the 1971 version of the USS MANSFIELD or you can ride the 2010 version of the LCS. You are 20,000 yards apart and both of you want that nuclear weapon floating adrift on a tramp steamer off of San Diego. ,,,, Wait ... I am changing the rules here for a second. Don't get upset; just pray I don't change them again.
MANSFIELD has a DASH. LCS has a FIRESCOUT - after all - Firescout is so much more transformational than a silly manned helo with those pesky and expensive Sailors on them. I would give LCS something to fight with besides NLOS - but it doesn't exist. Sorry - you're stuck with your 57/30/12.7mm; but at least you're wearing NWU.
OK, pick your ship. Just give me a second to get my long sleeve wash khaki uniform from the attic. Heck ... liberty was better in 1971 anyway.