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old 06-09-2018  
CameraQuest CameraQuest is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Japanese Surrender, DDD and Nikon Connections

We all connected.

A combat photographer at Okinawa, David Douglas Duncan photographed the Japanese surrender ending WWII aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo bay.

There he met Life staff photographer J.R. Eyerman who helped DDD also become a Life staff photographer. (Eyerman was also a legendary photographer, famous for making special cameras to get special shots for Life Magazine).

Still with Life, DDD made Nikon famous when he introduced Nikkor lenses to the US via his Korean War coverage (mounted on Leicas).

I never met DDD, but I did meet J.R. Eyerman and have been aboard the USS Missouri many times, and have more than my share of Nikons. Sadly the Missouri is now being neglected as its allowed to rust out for benefit of tourist dollars at Pearl Harbor. The rain at Pearl Harbor is acidic and rusts out the superstructure. For long term preservation, it should have stayed safely at the Bremerton Navy Base in Puget Sound, Washington.

http://www.latimes.com/local/obituar...607-story.html

 




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old 06-09-2018
Phil_F_NM
Camera hacker
My old photo professor in college knew Duncan and spoke of him fondly. Then again, it seemed like he knew everyone. One of his favorites was our very own late Sal DiMarco.

The salt water and air in Bremerton are not much better than those of Pearl. Of the four Iowas, the only one sitting in fresh water is the USS New Jersey, where I work. She's in the best condition of all four, save for her teak deck which is currently undergoing a slow restoration, plank by plank.
The ships need to be shown to the public though. Hopefully there is never any event which forces the recommissioning of any of the four, in spite of their utility.

Phil Forrest
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old 06-09-2018
ktmrider
Registered User
When the NEW JERSEY was recommissioned by Reagan back in the early 1980's, it left its home port of Long Beach for a short cruise which turned out to be over a year with unexpected deployments to Nicaragua and Beirut, Lebanon. Anyway, I lead a flight of two CH46's to ferry US and Thai VIP's from the embassy in Bangkok out to the NEW JERSEY.

Normally, UH-1's were used by the USMC for VIP missions but only wheel equipped aircraft were allowed to land on that mahogany flight deck. Hueys have skids while CH46's had wheels. Trying to navigate low level around Bangkok while dealing with Thai air traffic control was the most difficult part of that mission. I can honestly claim to be one of the few pilots to have landed on a battleship. And those 16 inch guns were amazing.
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old 06-10-2018
USS New Jersey
KenR
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The New Jersey is berthed in Camden, NJ (across from Philadelphia). Absolutely amazing to see the big ship with its big guns.
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old 06-10-2018
CameraQuest
Head Bartender
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Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
My old photo professor in college knew Duncan and spoke of him fondly. Then again, it seemed like he knew everyone. One of his favorites was our very own late Sal DiMarco.

The salt water and air in Bremerton are not much better than those of Pearl. Of the four Iowas, the only one sitting in fresh water is the USS New Jersey, where I work. She's in the best condition of all four, save for her teak deck which is currently undergoing a slow restoration, plank by plank.
The ships need to be shown to the public though. Hopefully there is never any event which forces the recommissioning of any of the four, in spite of their utility.

Phil Forrest
Actually the Bremerton weather is wonderful for ship storage. The Missouri was stored there for decades with next to no exterior rust thanks to the clean, almost spring water rains.

The New Jersey and Wisconsin both share an almost forgotten secret. Would you happen to know know what small hatch (maybe 12") located on the starboard "surrender deck" near the # 2 turret and armored conning tower is for?

Locally the Iowa in LA harbor is in very fine shape.

Not sure how all four Iowas compare now, but I am sure the Missouri's rusting superstructure is a national disgrace. Would you believe the back overhang of the number two turret was rusted out when I last visited about 8 years ago? You could put your arm thru it! Topside the decks beside the missile launchers are all rust.
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old 06-10-2018
Ronald M
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The Iowa class is supposed to replace the heavy cruisers if they are ever needed. The heavy cruisers are all worn out.

Interesting vid on You Tube on a tour of one turret on the BB`s. They are crammed with equipment and are many decks deep going down to powder and shell magazines.

Those shells are 16" diameter and are around 5 1/2 feet tall. They go in the breech first and multiple bags of smokeless powder follow. Those are 16" also and maybe 14
" long. They fly 26 miles with proper gun elevation.
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old 06-11-2018
Phil_F_NM
Camera hacker
Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
The New Jersey and Wisconsin both share an almost forgotten secret. Would you happen to know know what small hatch (maybe 12") located on the starboard "surrender deck" near the # 2 turret and armored conning tower is for?
I'd have to see the hatch but if it is adjacent to the barbette, then it would be for replenishment of shells and powder. Otherwise, I'm curious. I was working on the 02 yesterday in CEC and when the rain stopped, the few times that happened during my watch, I'd step outside to stretch my legs.

Phil Forrest
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old 06-11-2018
Phil_F_NM
Camera hacker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
The Iowa class is supposed to replace the heavy cruisers if they are ever needed. The heavy cruisers are all worn out.

Interesting vid on You Tube on a tour of one turret on the BB`s. They are crammed with equipment and are many decks deep going down to powder and shell magazines.

Those shells are 16" diameter and are around 5 1/2 feet tall. They go in the breech first and multiple bags of smokeless powder follow. Those are 16" also and maybe 14
" long. They fly 26 miles with proper gun elevation.
We have no more heavy cruisers. Maybe only 2 left as museum ships.
I give tours through turret 2 and it is quite a marvel of the engineering skill and industrial might of the US 77 years ago.
Each of those powder bags weighs 110lbs and each shell needs six of them to shoot. The max range is ~23 miles.
Currently the US has nothing that can provide the necessary naval gun support which the Marines require. The Zumwalt class destroyers were all but canceled with 32 ordered and only 2 completed before the program was scuttled. For the cost of that program and those two little ships, all four Iowas could have been brought back to as-new condition.

Annnnnd because I love my job.
Disclaimer: my statements here which are opinion are not on behalf of the Battleship New Jersey or the Homeport Alliance.

Phil Forrest
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old 06-11-2018
CameraQuest
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Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
I'd have to see the hatch but if it is adjacent to the barbette, then it would be for replenishment of shells and powder. Otherwise, I'm curious. I was working on the 02 yesterday in CEC and when the rain stopped, the few times that happened during my watch, I'd step outside to stretch my legs.

Phil Forrest
The New Jersey and Wisconsin were modified for nuclear sabat style projectiles. Those hatches were for loading the atomic projectiles into the # 2 turret. No doubt their are other # 2 turret modifications as well. Apparently the Navy had the good sense to never actually test fire their atomic projectiles -- kind of like testing a nuclear hand grenade.
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old 06-11-2018
Phil_F_NM
Camera hacker
Next time I'm at work I'll have to check out the 01 deck for a different hatch than the normal scuttle hatches for loading the magazines and shell flats.

Phil Forrest
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old 06-11-2018
BillBingham2
Registered User
Anyone have any idea of the size of the projectiles from the rail guns and how fast they can reload?

B2 (;->
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old 06-11-2018
Phil_F_NM
Camera hacker
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Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
Anyone have any idea of the size of the projectiles from the rail guns and how fast they can reload?

B2 (;->
The rail guns can reload pretty fast but the only problem now is getting the enemy ships or shore facilities within range of the test facilities out in New Mexico, Nevada, etc...
Those 16" 50cal guns of the Iowa's can reload and fire once every 30 seconds. At the max range of 23 miles, the flight time of the 1900lb or 2700lb projectiles is 48.9 seconds so before the first shell hits, the second is on its way.

Phil Forrest
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old 06-11-2018
CameraQuest
Head Bartender
my info was incorrect, the Iowa was also so modified

http://navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-....php#ammonote6

"A total of fifty Mark 23 "Katie" nuclear projectiles were produced during the 1950s with development starting in 1952 and the first service projectile being delivered in October 1956. It is possible that the W23 nuclear warhead used for this projectile may have been installed inside of an otherwise unaltered HC Mark 13 shell body, although one of the sources listed below says that the projectile was slightly smaller than the Mark 13. USS Iowa, USS New Jersey and USS Wisconsin had an alteration made to Turret II magazine to incorporate a secure storage area for these projectiles. USS Missouri was not so altered as she had been placed in reserve in 1955. This secure storage area could contain ten nuclear shells plus nine Mark 24 practice shells. These nuclear projectiles were all withdrawn from service by October 1962 with none ever having been fired from a gun. One projectile was expended as part of Operation Plowshare (the peaceful use of nuclear explosive devices) and the rest were deactivated. USS Wisconsin did fire one of the practice shells during a test in 1957. It is not clear whether or not any of the battleships ever actually carried a nuclear device onboard, as the US Navy routinely refuses to confirm or deny which ships carry nuclear weapons. At least one Mark 23 shell body still exists at the National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as can be seen in the photograph below."
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old 06-16-2018
airfrogusmc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
When the NEW JERSEY was recommissioned by Reagan back in the early 1980's, it left its home port of Long Beach for a short cruise which turned out to be over a year with unexpected deployments to Nicaragua and Beirut, Lebanon. Anyway, I lead a flight of two CH46's to ferry US and Thai VIP's from the embassy in Bangkok out to the NEW JERSEY.

Normally, UH-1's were used by the USMC for VIP missions but only wheel equipped aircraft were allowed to land on that mahogany flight deck. Hueys have skids while CH46's had wheels. Trying to navigate low level around Bangkok while dealing with Thai air traffic control was the most difficult part of that mission. I can honestly claim to be one of the few pilots to have landed on a battleship. And those 16 inch guns were amazing.
So you were a CH-46 pilot USMC?

I was a crew chief and was in 73-77.
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old 06-16-2018
ktmrider
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Yes, I flew CH46's from MCAS Tustin, MCAS Kaneohe and MCAS New River. Have 1900 hours in the frog from 1977-1886. First squadron in Tustin was HMM161. It was a great design but ugly. Then, a US Customs pilot for 22 years chasing drug smugglers from the MIAMI VICE era to 2007 flying both fixed wing and helps of which the Blackhawk was my favorite.
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old 06-20-2018
Phil_F_NM
Camera hacker
So, there are no modifications that I nor our ship's curator can find to the actual 01 deck of the NJ near turret 2. We're still looking for a magazine that would have the proper fittings, rail and block and tackle trucks to move the shells.
Any more info or photos you have would be great!

Phil Forrest
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old 06-23-2018
CameraQuest
Head Bartender
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
So, there are no modifications that I nor our ship's curator can find to the actual 01 deck of the NJ near turret 2. We're still looking for a magazine that would have the proper fittings, rail and block and tackle trucks to move the shells.
Any more info or photos you have would be great!

Phil Forrest
I toured the New Jersey and Missouri at Bremerton, 1998 I think. The person in charge of their preservation pointed out the New Jersey's hatch modification.
The Missouri did not have it. Will look for the photos.
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old 06-27-2018
Phil_F_NM
Camera hacker
We did a little exploring today near the conning tower. Found a magazine labeled RATO which was the storage for the rockets that launched targeting drones. Still haven't found any magazine that conforms to the needs of storage and movement of shells, even if they were 11" sabots. We're still exploring and determined to find what used to be the mag for these special purpose shells.
Supposedly there is a passageway at the very bottom of the ship which goes from the bow to the stern. I'll be taking photos when we go spelunking through there this summer.

Phil Forrest
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old 06-29-2018
CameraQuest
Head Bartender
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
We did a little exploring today near the conning tower. Found a magazine labeled RATO which was the storage for the rockets that launched targeting drones. Still haven't found any magazine that conforms to the needs of storage and movement of shells, even if they were 11" sabots. We're still exploring and determined to find what used to be the mag for these special purpose shells.
Supposedly there is a passageway at the very bottom of the ship which goes from the bow to the stern. I'll be taking photos when we go spelunking through there this summer.

Phil Forrest
I was told that hatch was to load the nuclear shells into the # 2 magazine. Whatever loading/storage mechanism was once there might be long removed by now.
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old 06-29-2018
Phil_F_NM
Camera hacker
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I was told that hatch was to load the nuclear shells into the # 2 magazine. Whatever loading/storage mechanism was once there might be long removed by now.
Without any description or photos of the location of the scuttle or hatch, we just can't know. The problem with adding this is that to get shells to the #2 turret, they have to go through the top of the citadel. That is the 6" thick armored deck of the 2nd deck. It would have been a very significant change and would have been all but impossible to remove. As it stands right now and as it has been since 1942, each turret has two scuttles for loading both shells and powder canisters. On the starboard side of the 2nd deck, the scuttle is actually a hatch with provision for a ladder. This was a dual purpose trunk as the ladder would be removed for loading shells and powder canisters.
As far as we can tell, there are only two trunks per turret that go down to the 5th deck where the shells are turned sideways, moved through the safety zone then up into the turret. In the case of the #2 turret, they are lifted up to the mezzanine then the lower shell flat then upper shell flat. We are going to scour the deck of the upper shell flat of #2 to see if there was actually a small mild steel compartment welded to the deck and overhead. Considering the logistics of how the guns work, this is the most likely scenario. I'm not disagreeing with the fact that there were some modifications to the ship for special purpose shell storage but cutting a new hole in the armored box citadel seems both unnecessary and far too troublesome just to get to a magazine for storage only to have those shells go through a common space to get to the rifle. In a nutshell, I think your source was mistaken and the scuttle you were shown was a shorter and narrower one that is actually a vent. We're still on the hunt for the magazine though since that would have actually existed and plenty of weld marks are everywhere showing bulkheads and fittings that used to exist.

Phil Forrest
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old 07-19-2018
Phil_F_NM
Camera hacker
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
When the NEW JERSEY was recommissioned by Reagan back in the early 1980's, it left its home port of Long Beach for a short cruise which turned out to be over a year with unexpected deployments to Nicaragua and Beirut, Lebanon. Anyway, I lead a flight of two CH46's to ferry US and Thai VIP's from the embassy in Bangkok out to the NEW JERSEY.

Normally, UH-1's were used by the USMC for VIP missions but only wheel equipped aircraft were allowed to land on that mahogany flight deck. Hueys have skids while CH46's had wheels. Trying to navigate low level around Bangkok while dealing with Thai air traffic control was the most difficult part of that mission. I can honestly claim to be one of the few pilots to have landed on a battleship. And those 16 inch guns were amazing.
The decks of the Iowas are teak, even more precious than mahogany in the amount used for shipbuilding. The 2 helos kept aboard the New Jersey were UH-1 Hueys. The flight deck has always been a raised section of armor plate, not wood, since the Korean War commission.
I actually had the honor of taking a Vietnam veteran who served aboard the ship around on a tour today. His two brothers were with him as well, all served in different branches of the military during that era. This particular vet was also a Photographer's Mate, just like myself. He showed us how the ship looked and how the photo lab changed from when he served and the major configuration change which took place in the early 1980s.
I asked him what his issue kit was and he said a Leica M2-S (KS15-4,) a Rolleiflex, and a Speed Graphic. He also said there was a Kodak camera that was junk and never worked. He showed us a bunch of photos from the Naval archive we have in our museum that he took. Crossing the Equator, Bob Hope and Ann Margaret, normal ship operations, he was there. One of them was when hanging out the side of a Huey over a site in Vietnam that BB-62 had previously bombarded with her 16" guns. He took her all the way into the yards in Bremerton.
Some days on the battleship are pretty dang awesome.
Phil Forrest
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