Friday, December 07, 2012

Fullbore Friday

Pearl Harbor Day and FbF.  What to do?

Well, why not put out one of my favorite stories of what professional leadership at sea does. There are a lot of stories from this day, but for now let's review the "fight until you can do no more, then fight more" story of the USS NEVADA (BB-36).
When the sun rose over Nevada on the 7th, the ship's band was playing "Morning Colors"; but planes then appeared on the horizon and the attack on Pearl Harbor began.

Aft of Arizona during the attack, Nevada was not moored alongside another battleship off Ford Island, and therefore was able to maneuver, unlike the other seven battleships present. As her gunners opened fire and her engineers started to raise steam, a single 18 in (460 mm) Type 91 Mod 2 torpedo exploded against Frame 41 about 14 ft (4.3 m) above the keel at 0810. Seconds later, the same Kate torpedo bomber that dropped the torpedo was shot down. The torpedo bulkhead held, but leaking through joints caused flooding and a list of 4–5°. Nevada corrected the list through counter-flooding and got underway at 0840, her gunners already having shot down four planes.

As she steamed past Ten-Ten Dock at about 09:50, Nevada was struck by five bombs. One exploded over the crew's galley at Frame 80. Another struck the port director platform and exploded at the base of the stack on the upper deck. Yet another hit near No. 1 turret inboard from the port waterway and blew large holes in the upper and main decks. Two struck the forecastle near Frame 15; one passed out through the side of the second deck before exploding, but the other exploded within the ship near the gasoline tank; leakage and vapors from this tank caused intense fires around the ship.

The gasoline fires that flared up around Turret 1 might have caused more critical damage if the main magazines had not been empty. For several days prior to the attack, all of the 14 in (360 mm) gun battleships had been replacing their standard-weight, main-battery projectiles with a new heavier projectile that offered greater penetration and a larger explosive charge in exchange for a slight decrease in range. All of the older projectiles and powder charges had been removed from the magazines of Nevada, and the crew had taken a break after loading the new projectiles in anticipation of loading the new powder charges on Sunday.

Over the course of the morning, Nevada suffered a total of 60 killed and 109 wounded. Two more men died aboard during salvage operations on 7 February 1942 when they were overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas from decomposing paper and meat. The ship suffered a minimum of six bomb hits and one torpedo hit, but "it is possible that as many as ten bomb hits may have been received, [...] as certain damaged areas [were] of sufficient size to indicate that they were struck by more than one bomb.
I want to put something else out there for you to ponder. Ponder all that damage, and then review this timeline.
Nevada was refloated on 12 February 1942 and underwent temporary repairs at Pearl Harbor so she could get to Puget Sound Navy Yard for a major overhaul and modernization. This was completed in October 1942, and it changed the old battleship's appearance so that she resembled the South Dakota-class battleships. Her 5"/51s and 5"/25s were replaced with sixteen 5"/38 caliber guns in new twin mounts.[
Six fracking months. Heck - that is Fullbore yardbird.

Here is some video for you as well to cover her service in WWII, in a fashion. First, video of the attach where at ~0:56 mark you can see her underway and firing at the enemy.

The next one you can see here here and there during the Battle of Attu, and the last one is where she was nuked at the end of the war.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

New comment section sux. The main blog entry says that there is comments. As a yardbird enthusiast I click to read. The comment section says there are no comments. Not the first time.

-Screaming Beagle