Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Inert 16"/50 Caliber Shells on the Battleship Iowa

Had a good day (as usual!) on the Iowa today. We gave the commercial radio test for the Marine Radio Operators Permit to two people, who both passed with 100%.

Then I took some pictures of the Inert 16"/50 caliber rounds, and went "back to work" on the AN/URR-74(V)2 radio receivers.

One of them appears to have a problem on the -15 Volt buss, as the regulator mounted on the back panel of the radio is getting too hot to touch after being powered on for 10~15 minutes. The encoder for the main tuning also has a problem, as no matter which way you turn the knob, the frequency increases. One of the other guys in the Gray Radio Group knows what the problem is, so it's on the punch list for that particular radio, along with troubleshooting what's making the regulator get so hot.



Here's a better view of the stacks of pallets with the shells:





And here's how they're packed, two per pallet:





Here's the label on the end of the pallet stating the weight. Since each shell weighs 1,900 lbs, the weight of a High Explosive shell, this would indicate that the pallet alone weighs 450 lbs:





Off to the end of the stacked pallets is this Shell Carrier. I'm sure there's a more correct name for it, but I don't know what it might be. I don't know if we already had this, or if it came with the shells:





The Rotating Band, which engages the rifling in the barrel, has sure seen better days:







And there's some damage to where the band is attached to the shell. It almost looks like it was deliberately cut away:






Some stenciling on one of the shells:









The pallet stack as seen from the other side. We sure did get a bunch of these:






I have no idea what this equipment is for:




Nameplate on the above equipment:






Looks like this one was NOT "Handled With Care":






Here's another one that tried to escape:






Here's some close-ups of the Rotating Band:















The tip of the shell:







Some markings on the strapping. 1947, maybe?:







Markings on the pallet itself:






And since I was outside, and it was a beautiful day, here's one of the whaleboats, and our BIG forklift:





The whaleboat's helm:





Not sure what these numbers mean, but they're not stenciled on; they're cut into the hull:




Always good to spend a day on the Iowa. I found out the other day one of the volunteers was on the USS Hoel during The Battle Off Samar.

I'm going to have to meet him!

19 comments:

  1. 26MW is the designator for 26 foot Motor Whaleboat, the last four are it's registry number.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, so it's roughly equivalent to the IMO number painted on the ships I used to work on.

      Delete
  2. Cool! I'm going to show those to my UPS guy the next time he starts whining about that 12,000 rounds of .30-06 that he had to pull up my driveway on a hand dolly one day a few years back.

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    1. Yeah, a couple of these would probably bust the axles on a UPS truck!

      Delete
  3. Why are the the shells marked 16"/50 cal? The "50 cal" in this case has nothing to do with the shells but, instead, the length or barrel of the gun - the caliber (typically 50 or 45 for the big guns) is the length of the barrel expressed as the number of multiples of the bore diameter. In this case, its bore is 16" diameter and its length is 50 X 16 inches (800 inches). I didn't know that until I noticed the 16"/50 cal marking on the guns for the Mighty Mo and, after stumping the tour guide, went and found out what it means.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. We have a little pamphlet that all the tour guides carry, just in case people ask that.

      The gun barrels on the Iowa are a tad under 67' long.

      Sad to say, but we couldn't build anything like this these days. We don't even have any factories left that could produce the armor plate, or any of the other specialized hardware used to build a battleship!

      Delete
  4. They are not inert, really, they're just not HE (or other combat type) shells. They are more like solid bullets. They can be fired and would have been used in gunnery practice.

    All the training munitions we used with aircraft were painted this color. We used to call them "blue bombs". A small charge could be loaded in the nose to give a detonation on impact that would serve as a location marker for judging the accuracy.

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    1. Well, to me they're pretty "inert", which is what I was always taught to call munitions painted blue.

      Somewhere around here I have a couple of blue training rounds that are stenciled "inert", which is why I called them that.

      Would "Training Rounds" be a better description for the post title?

      Delete
  5. Those pix sure dwarf my old tin can, in comparison. A 5" shell that a man can carry isn't even in the same class ...

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    1. I'm told they used the 5" guns on the Iowa for spotting the big guns!

      Delete
  6. If all the copper bands are cut in about the same way, I suspect that the cutting has something to do with "de-milling" the projectile - i.e. rendering it/them un-useable for their original purpose.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. No, it's just that one shell.

      The rest are in excellent condition, and could be fired today, if need be.

      Delete
  7. Almost forgot - that odd piece of machinery by Cargocaire looks to be some kind of heavy-duty banding machine for securing heavy loads.

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  8. Actually the odd piece of machinery is an air filter. It has a rotating drum of desiccant that the room air is blown through to dry it and then it has a heater and blower that regenerates the opposite side of the filter. It turns continuously to keep fresh desiccant in the airflow. They are still made by CargoCair and still used in some cleanroom equipment. As in I've installed a few.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Just noticed your comment was stuck in the "awaiting moderation" folder.

      Thanks for pointing out what it is.

      I don't know if that came with the shells, or was pulled out of some compartment on the ship.

      I thought they removed all those after she came out of Suisun Bay, but maybe one was overlooked.

      Delete
  9. Not an air filter, a dehumidifier, as TXGunGeek noted, they uses desiccants. They keep the air in compartments dry to reduce or prevent corrosionThey're still made and used in other industries, too.

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    1. Thanks!

      They probably removed it from one of the spaces that's being readied for the tour.

      Delete
  10. AAR 47 means the steel strapping is from a manufacturer approved by the Association of American Railroads, the number designates the company, not the year.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      I never knew that, and I'll pass it along to anyone on the ship who might ask.

      Delete

Keep it civil, please....