Photoessay on Clemson class DD armament

Photoessay on Clemson class DD armament

Nelson
Nelson

September 2nd, 2010, 10:15 pm #1

What follows is a photoessay on the armament of Clemson class destroyers, a.k.a. four-pipers (from their four funnels) and flushdeckers (from their uninterrupted stem-to-stern main deck). There are grey areas, to be sure, which I shall mark by a double asterisk (**). Corrections, clarifications, and amplifications on any point in this essay are welcomed, as long as done in the spirit of a contribution to knowledge, as my own corrections are always intended.

The Clemson class of destroyers, in which all 13 DDs assigned to the U.S. Asiatic Fleet at the beginning of general war on December 7-8, 1941, were numbered, had been designed as an improvement on the limited-range Wickes class just preceding them. Nonetheless, despite the increase in the volume of the fuel bunkers, Clemson class DDs remained logistically and tactically short-legged, as would be seen time and again in the naval actions in the NEI and around the Malay barrier.

These DDs were driven by dual geared turbines, in turn powered by four oil-fired boilers, each evacuated by a single stack--lending one sobriquet to both classes, four-pipers--which enabled a speed in excess of 35 knots and permitted them to run with the Omaha class scout cruisers (later redesignated light cruisers), of which Asiatic Fleet USS Marblehead (CL 12) was a member.

Their armament, either upon launching or soon thereafter, consisted of four 4-inch/50cal deck guns, one 3-inch/23.5cal DP/AA gun, and four triple-tubed 21-inch torpedo launchers. Those vessels completed before WWI ended were assigned to ASW duty in the Atlantic and carried depthcharge roll racks, but (**) I'm not certain if all such DDs had depthcharge racks in the years prior to WWII, as photos of some ships seem not to show them, although Asiatic Fleet destroyers frequently did drop depthcharges on enemy submarines. Clarification from anyone in the know would be much appreciated.

The four 4-inch/50s were laid out so: gun mount No. 1 on the fore main deck; gun mounts Nos. 2 (port) and 3 (starboard) abreast of each other atop the midships deckhouse, between funnels numbers two and three; and gun mount No. 4 usually atop the after deckhouse (but see below). The No. 1 4-inch gun normally had a partial wrap-around splinter shield, but the other three such guns remained unshielded (though sometimes on the No. 4 gun a smaller flat shield is seen, maybe fashioned from boiler plate in the ship's workshop). The single 3-inch/23 was normally mounted on the main deck just aft of the after deckhouse, as shown in this color rendering of the Clemson class DDs, exemplified by USS Paul Jones (DD 230). Note the absence of depthcharge racks on the fantail, at least in this illustration.



That the 3-inch/23cal AA gun was normally aft of the after deckhouse is shown by the following photographs of Asiatic Fleet DDs:

USS Bulmer (DD 222) has her AA gun at zero elevation (level with the deck):



As does the eventually doomed USS Edsall (DD 219):



USS John D. Ford (DD 228) shows the 3-inch/23 in the same location, elevated to about 45 degrees. Her No. 4 4-inch gun may have a simple splinter shield mounted.



The second-most famous 3-inch/23cal AA gun in the Asiatic Fleet is shown aboard USS Pope (DD 225), at Tsingtao before the war. This gun fired at pesky IJN floatplanes on March 1, 1942, during the second battle of the Java Sea, until it seized up after about the 75th round (likely either its counter-recoil spring broke or its counter-recoil hydraulic cylinder sprung a leak, neither malfunction uncommon with old-fashioned hydrospring recuperators).



She too was sunk in combat, but her surviving crew members were treated appreciably better....at first....than those of sisters Edsall (DD 219) and Pillsbury (DD 227), none of whom survived the war. See Pope's action report, submitted after the war ended:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/shi ... -Java.html

[As everyone has doubtless been asking, what is the MOST FAMOUS 3-inch/23cal DP gun of the Asiatic Fleet? Gotta be the one fired at the cross-river barrier by Steve McQueen's shipmates aboard the fictional Yangtze River gunboat, San Pablo near the end of the film Sand Pebbles.]

Okay, back to reality, or so I hope. There were exceptions to the location of the 3-inch/23 AA gun on the flushdecker DDs. Here is Clemson (DD 186) herself with said AA gun mounted just behind the No. 1 4-inch gun mount:




The why is obvious: the No. 4 4-inch gun was not mounted atop the after deckhouse, but rather on the fantail (main deck), precluding the 3-inch/23 AA gun in that aft position.

Here is another photo of a Clemson (or Wickes) class DD with a fantail No. 4 4-inch gun mount (and her 3-inch/23 AA gun atop the after deckhouse? not clear in this photo), misidentified as USS Peary (DD 226) at or near Darwin.



But a photo taken from HMAS Swan during the convoy to Timor shows Peary, although blurred and at a distance, sufficiently clearly to see her No. 4 4-inch gun mount atop the after deckhouse. The Clemson class DD would be sunk in Darwin harbor two or three days later, February 19, 1942. Go to

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:USS_Peary

and click on "USS Peary (DD-226) in the Timor Sea Feb 1942", the last (fourth) image in the second row of photos (jpegs). One can readily see her Nos. 1 and 4 4-inch gun mounts.

By August 1942, the 3-inch/23 AA gun had been removed from the surviving Clemson and Wickes class DDs, and replaced by six 20mm Oerlikons: one pair installed on tandem bandstands between the rear stack and the after deckhouse, another one each, port and starboard, on bandstands just forward of 4-inch gun mounts Nos. 2 and 3; and yet another two, staggered, in single gun tubs on the main deck, one starboard, abreast of the elevated tandem bandstands, and the other port, aft of the bandstands; also, 4-inch gun mount No. 4 was provided the same type of splinter shield as gun mount No. 1. See USS Alden (DD 211):



Within a month or two, more ambitious modifications had been undertaken, one of which was the reduction in stacks to three, also with the loss of the fourth boiler (to permit additional fuel oil stowage?). Again the example is Alden:




At some point, the torpedo tubes were removed and depthcharge throwers installed in these flushdecker tin cans--one pair aft and two pairs forward of the after deckhouse, split starboard and port--relegating these former fleet destroyers to escort and ASW vessels. Although some descriptions claim the torpedo tubes were entirely replaced by the light AA guns and six depthcharge throwers, it's clear from photos taken as late as 1944 that at least some of the torpedo tubes were still aboard (whether they had any torpedoes to fire is something else again). What does seem to be clear is that the torpedo tubes were removed incrementally to permit the new ordnance and other equipment, but I know no more (**). Anybody??

I hope this exposition has been helpful and of interest.

Nelson Lawry
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Kit
Kit

September 3rd, 2010, 6:33 am #2

Nelson

Fine essay, boyo! We Diggers have a soft spot for the olde four-pipers, but specifically USS PEARY (DD-226), which though mortally wounded in Darwin Harbour, continued to take the fight to the enemy until the end. We brought up one of her 4-inch/50 calibre guns, QF, MkIX, and placed it in Bicenntenial Park in Darwin. The gun points toward PEARY's final resting place (though she is mostly gone, having been salvaged to clear the harbour bottom of wrecks).

I'm of the impression that the location of No. 4 main gun mounting was as built, not as later modified, and I note that several images obtainable in NavSource show her 4 inch No. 4 gun atop the aft deck house, as was the usual fare.

Here is that photo taken from HMAS SWAN showing PEARY in the Timor Sea just days before the Darwin air raid. One can just make out No. 4 gun on the aft deck house, no mistake.



Kit
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Scott Belford
Scott Belford

September 3rd, 2010, 3:02 pm #3

What follows is a photoessay on the armament of Clemson class destroyers, a.k.a. four-pipers (from their four funnels) and flushdeckers (from their uninterrupted stem-to-stern main deck). There are grey areas, to be sure, which I shall mark by a double asterisk (**). Corrections, clarifications, and amplifications on any point in this essay are welcomed, as long as done in the spirit of a contribution to knowledge, as my own corrections are always intended.

The Clemson class of destroyers, in which all 13 DDs assigned to the U.S. Asiatic Fleet at the beginning of general war on December 7-8, 1941, were numbered, had been designed as an improvement on the limited-range Wickes class just preceding them. Nonetheless, despite the increase in the volume of the fuel bunkers, Clemson class DDs remained logistically and tactically short-legged, as would be seen time and again in the naval actions in the NEI and around the Malay barrier.

These DDs were driven by dual geared turbines, in turn powered by four oil-fired boilers, each evacuated by a single stack--lending one sobriquet to both classes, four-pipers--which enabled a speed in excess of 35 knots and permitted them to run with the Omaha class scout cruisers (later redesignated light cruisers), of which Asiatic Fleet USS Marblehead (CL 12) was a member.

Their armament, either upon launching or soon thereafter, consisted of four 4-inch/50cal deck guns, one 3-inch/23.5cal DP/AA gun, and four triple-tubed 21-inch torpedo launchers. Those vessels completed before WWI ended were assigned to ASW duty in the Atlantic and carried depthcharge roll racks, but (**) I'm not certain if all such DDs had depthcharge racks in the years prior to WWII, as photos of some ships seem not to show them, although Asiatic Fleet destroyers frequently did drop depthcharges on enemy submarines. Clarification from anyone in the know would be much appreciated.

The four 4-inch/50s were laid out so: gun mount No. 1 on the fore main deck; gun mounts Nos. 2 (port) and 3 (starboard) abreast of each other atop the midships deckhouse, between funnels numbers two and three; and gun mount No. 4 usually atop the after deckhouse (but see below). The No. 1 4-inch gun normally had a partial wrap-around splinter shield, but the other three such guns remained unshielded (though sometimes on the No. 4 gun a smaller flat shield is seen, maybe fashioned from boiler plate in the ship's workshop). The single 3-inch/23 was normally mounted on the main deck just aft of the after deckhouse, as shown in this color rendering of the Clemson class DDs, exemplified by USS Paul Jones (DD 230). Note the absence of depthcharge racks on the fantail, at least in this illustration.



That the 3-inch/23cal AA gun was normally aft of the after deckhouse is shown by the following photographs of Asiatic Fleet DDs:

USS Bulmer (DD 222) has her AA gun at zero elevation (level with the deck):



As does the eventually doomed USS Edsall (DD 219):



USS John D. Ford (DD 228) shows the 3-inch/23 in the same location, elevated to about 45 degrees. Her No. 4 4-inch gun may have a simple splinter shield mounted.



The second-most famous 3-inch/23cal AA gun in the Asiatic Fleet is shown aboard USS Pope (DD 225), at Tsingtao before the war. This gun fired at pesky IJN floatplanes on March 1, 1942, during the second battle of the Java Sea, until it seized up after about the 75th round (likely either its counter-recoil spring broke or its counter-recoil hydraulic cylinder sprung a leak, neither malfunction uncommon with old-fashioned hydrospring recuperators).



She too was sunk in combat, but her surviving crew members were treated appreciably better....at first....than those of sisters Edsall (DD 219) and Pillsbury (DD 227), none of whom survived the war. See Pope's action report, submitted after the war ended:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/shi ... -Java.html

[As everyone has doubtless been asking, what is the MOST FAMOUS 3-inch/23cal DP gun of the Asiatic Fleet? Gotta be the one fired at the cross-river barrier by Steve McQueen's shipmates aboard the fictional Yangtze River gunboat, San Pablo near the end of the film Sand Pebbles.]

Okay, back to reality, or so I hope. There were exceptions to the location of the 3-inch/23 AA gun on the flushdecker DDs. Here is Clemson (DD 186) herself with said AA gun mounted just behind the No. 1 4-inch gun mount:




The why is obvious: the No. 4 4-inch gun was not mounted atop the after deckhouse, but rather on the fantail (main deck), precluding the 3-inch/23 AA gun in that aft position.

Here is another photo of a Clemson (or Wickes) class DD with a fantail No. 4 4-inch gun mount (and her 3-inch/23 AA gun atop the after deckhouse? not clear in this photo), misidentified as USS Peary (DD 226) at or near Darwin.



But a photo taken from HMAS Swan during the convoy to Timor shows Peary, although blurred and at a distance, sufficiently clearly to see her No. 4 4-inch gun mount atop the after deckhouse. The Clemson class DD would be sunk in Darwin harbor two or three days later, February 19, 1942. Go to

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:USS_Peary

and click on "USS Peary (DD-226) in the Timor Sea Feb 1942", the last (fourth) image in the second row of photos (jpegs). One can readily see her Nos. 1 and 4 4-inch gun mounts.

By August 1942, the 3-inch/23 AA gun had been removed from the surviving Clemson and Wickes class DDs, and replaced by six 20mm Oerlikons: one pair installed on tandem bandstands between the rear stack and the after deckhouse, another one each, port and starboard, on bandstands just forward of 4-inch gun mounts Nos. 2 and 3; and yet another two, staggered, in single gun tubs on the main deck, one starboard, abreast of the elevated tandem bandstands, and the other port, aft of the bandstands; also, 4-inch gun mount No. 4 was provided the same type of splinter shield as gun mount No. 1. See USS Alden (DD 211):



Within a month or two, more ambitious modifications had been undertaken, one of which was the reduction in stacks to three, also with the loss of the fourth boiler (to permit additional fuel oil stowage?). Again the example is Alden:




At some point, the torpedo tubes were removed and depthcharge throwers installed in these flushdecker tin cans--one pair aft and two pairs forward of the after deckhouse, split starboard and port--relegating these former fleet destroyers to escort and ASW vessels. Although some descriptions claim the torpedo tubes were entirely replaced by the light AA guns and six depthcharge throwers, it's clear from photos taken as late as 1944 that at least some of the torpedo tubes were still aboard (whether they had any torpedoes to fire is something else again). What does seem to be clear is that the torpedo tubes were removed incrementally to permit the new ordnance and other equipment, but I know no more (**). Anybody??

I hope this exposition has been helpful and of interest.

Nelson Lawry
The old destroyers as ussed by the Asiatic Fleet carried MK 8 III-B (21") torpedoes as built, and MK 8 III-Ds during the war.
Thery were supplied with an early variant BAby Ford rangekeeper, and a Dotter directorscope for their Main Battery gunnery needs.
Most of these ships later added 50cal machineguns in stand-alone mounts, and some 30cal, too. These were often located on the deckhouses, although several old DDs had 50cals forward of the bridge, aft of the No. One 4". The 4" readys ervice ammo racks were attached to face of the bridge structure forward,and very vulnerable to enemy shells or fragments.
PEARY had lost some weaponry at CAvite in dEcember but was retrofitted with a DC thrower of some type--I don't remember whcih kind--I know she did not have her 3" "pea-shooter" after DEcember.
According to some sailors the mainbattery rangefinder was worthless in battle, but it did have good optical properties otherwise. The Asiaitic Fleet skippers and gunners wanted open sights on the 4" guns for their nighttime engagements, so the action reports say.
Also, the CLEMSON ships as built had a goodly arsenal of Springfield 1903 rifles, M1911 .45cal pistols, and BARs for their landing parties.
That picture of PEARY off Timor was originally posted elsewhere here, a little clearer, and shows that the forward 4" has had its shield removed...I don't know why. Someone said the aft (No. 4) 4" has a shield on it, but I think it's just the canvas cover over it.

Scott
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Nelson
Nelson

September 3rd, 2010, 4:30 pm #4

Scott,

Thanks for the additional details, and much appreciated. My first question backatcha is...Can you still see the photos I appended to my essay?? When I went to bed, the photoessay was as laid out, but when I went back this morning, no photos save one remained in visible mode (that of Clemson showing the forward-mounted 3-inch/23), but no linkers either, dang it!

Some comments and questions following your input:

1. What do you know of the DC roll racks as standard gear? More than one such DD shows none on the fantail, well after the conclusion of WWI, so I wonder about those. Still, the flushdeckers did make DC attacks on submerged enemy subs in both Australian and NEI waters, thus at least some of these DDs were equipped with roll racks.

2. The photo of the putative smaller splinter shield I made reference to was admittedly a crummy one for that purpose, but I have seen such lesser shields on other No. 4 gun mounts. Whether home-grown from the ship's shop, or available as a limited standard item, I dunno, but they existed.

3. I too have seen photos of the No. 1 4-inch gun mount sans splinter shield, but that was not the usual fare and I dunno why done (although worthless in stopping anything larger than a .30 cal round, at least the shield could protect the forward gun crew to some degree against spray over the bow).

4. Awhile back--don't know if you were a forum reader at that point--we discussed which of the Asiatic Fleet destroyers still had their 3-inch/23 DP guns mounted. MOST did by far, but I think we did pinpoint Peary as no longer carrying hers, although her stern went down first and fast in Darwin harbor, so 'twas not absolutely certain. In retrospect these popguns are sorta laughable, but it appears Pope did some (minimal) damage to those pestilential Daves on her tail. There was a typical movie--title and star no longer recalled--made during WWII about an old DD in the Atlantic, either attacked or shadowed by an enemy aircraft. The only command from the gun director to the 3-inch AA gun is "On target"...BANG!...."On target"...BANG! The second or third round suffices to shoot down the offending enemy craft. Hey, them 3-inch/23s had to be somethin' else!

5. Speaking of landing parties, what do you know of those generated from the larger ships, CAs and above? Sometime before war engulfed the Philippines, 16th Naval District had given over 14 Mark XI 3-inch landing guns, with panoramic sights, and some ammo (apparently not a lot available) to the army for beach defense. These guns were modern in every other way except, quite understandably, their wooden spoked wheels, and thus were incapable of high-speed truck towing. Their greatest liability was the paucity in the special ammo they needed (non-standard to the stuff the French and British 75mm guns the army used), and I don't think any saw use during the campaign, but who knows. Anyway, before she returned from her final stateside overhaul, Houston took on among a lot of other new ammo, 81mm rounds. I THINK for landing purposes, the old 3-inch landing guns had been supplanted by 81mm mortars (a lot smaller and more compact, and ideal for landing ops, particularly by marine heavy weapons guys), but I've long needed confirmation of that supposition.

Nelson
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Nelson
Nelson

September 3rd, 2010, 6:03 pm #5

What follows is a photoessay on the armament of Clemson class destroyers, a.k.a. four-pipers (from their four funnels) and flushdeckers (from their uninterrupted stem-to-stern main deck). There are grey areas, to be sure, which I shall mark by a double asterisk (**). Corrections, clarifications, and amplifications on any point in this essay are welcomed, as long as done in the spirit of a contribution to knowledge, as my own corrections are always intended.

The Clemson class of destroyers, in which all 13 DDs assigned to the U.S. Asiatic Fleet at the beginning of general war on December 7-8, 1941, were numbered, had been designed as an improvement on the limited-range Wickes class just preceding them. Nonetheless, despite the increase in the volume of the fuel bunkers, Clemson class DDs remained logistically and tactically short-legged, as would be seen time and again in the naval actions in the NEI and around the Malay barrier.

These DDs were driven by dual geared turbines, in turn powered by four oil-fired boilers, each evacuated by a single stack--lending one sobriquet to both classes, four-pipers--which enabled a speed in excess of 35 knots and permitted them to run with the Omaha class scout cruisers (later redesignated light cruisers), of which Asiatic Fleet USS Marblehead (CL 12) was a member.

Their armament, either upon launching or soon thereafter, consisted of four 4-inch/50cal deck guns, one 3-inch/23.5cal DP/AA gun, and four triple-tubed 21-inch torpedo launchers. Those vessels completed before WWI ended were assigned to ASW duty in the Atlantic and carried depthcharge roll racks, but (**) I'm not certain if all such DDs had depthcharge racks in the years prior to WWII, as photos of some ships seem not to show them, although Asiatic Fleet destroyers frequently did drop depthcharges on enemy submarines. Clarification from anyone in the know would be much appreciated.

The four 4-inch/50s were laid out so: gun mount No. 1 on the fore main deck; gun mounts Nos. 2 (port) and 3 (starboard) abreast of each other atop the midships deckhouse, between funnels numbers two and three; and gun mount No. 4 usually atop the after deckhouse (but see below). The No. 1 4-inch gun normally had a partial wrap-around splinter shield, but the other three such guns remained unshielded (though sometimes on the No. 4 gun a smaller flat shield is seen, maybe fashioned from boiler plate in the ship's workshop). The single 3-inch/23 was normally mounted on the main deck just aft of the after deckhouse, as shown in this color rendering of the Clemson class DDs, exemplified by USS Paul Jones (DD 230). Note the absence of depthcharge racks on the fantail, at least in this illustration.



That the 3-inch/23cal AA gun was normally aft of the after deckhouse is shown by the following photographs of Asiatic Fleet DDs:

USS Bulmer (DD 222) has her AA gun at zero elevation (level with the deck):



As does the eventually doomed USS Edsall (DD 219):



USS John D. Ford (DD 228) shows the 3-inch/23 in the same location, elevated to about 45 degrees. Her No. 4 4-inch gun may have a simple splinter shield mounted.



The second-most famous 3-inch/23cal AA gun in the Asiatic Fleet is shown aboard USS Pope (DD 225), at Tsingtao before the war. This gun fired at pesky IJN floatplanes on March 1, 1942, during the second battle of the Java Sea, until it seized up after about the 75th round (likely either its counter-recoil spring broke or its counter-recoil hydraulic cylinder sprung a leak, neither malfunction uncommon with old-fashioned hydrospring recuperators).



She too was sunk in combat, but her surviving crew members were treated appreciably better....at first....than those of sisters Edsall (DD 219) and Pillsbury (DD 227), none of whom survived the war. See Pope's action report, submitted after the war ended:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/shi ... -Java.html

[As everyone has doubtless been asking, what is the MOST FAMOUS 3-inch/23cal DP gun of the Asiatic Fleet? Gotta be the one fired at the cross-river barrier by Steve McQueen's shipmates aboard the fictional Yangtze River gunboat, San Pablo near the end of the film Sand Pebbles.]

Okay, back to reality, or so I hope. There were exceptions to the location of the 3-inch/23 AA gun on the flushdecker DDs. Here is Clemson (DD 186) herself with said AA gun mounted just behind the No. 1 4-inch gun mount:




The why is obvious: the No. 4 4-inch gun was not mounted atop the after deckhouse, but rather on the fantail (main deck), precluding the 3-inch/23 AA gun in that aft position.

Here is another photo of a Clemson (or Wickes) class DD with a fantail No. 4 4-inch gun mount (and her 3-inch/23 AA gun atop the after deckhouse? not clear in this photo), misidentified as USS Peary (DD 226) at or near Darwin.



But a photo taken from HMAS Swan during the convoy to Timor shows Peary, although blurred and at a distance, sufficiently clearly to see her No. 4 4-inch gun mount atop the after deckhouse. The Clemson class DD would be sunk in Darwin harbor two or three days later, February 19, 1942. Go to

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:USS_Peary

and click on "USS Peary (DD-226) in the Timor Sea Feb 1942", the last (fourth) image in the second row of photos (jpegs). One can readily see her Nos. 1 and 4 4-inch gun mounts.

By August 1942, the 3-inch/23 AA gun had been removed from the surviving Clemson and Wickes class DDs, and replaced by six 20mm Oerlikons: one pair installed on tandem bandstands between the rear stack and the after deckhouse, another one each, port and starboard, on bandstands just forward of 4-inch gun mounts Nos. 2 and 3; and yet another two, staggered, in single gun tubs on the main deck, one starboard, abreast of the elevated tandem bandstands, and the other port, aft of the bandstands; also, 4-inch gun mount No. 4 was provided the same type of splinter shield as gun mount No. 1. See USS Alden (DD 211):



Within a month or two, more ambitious modifications had been undertaken, one of which was the reduction in stacks to three, also with the loss of the fourth boiler (to permit additional fuel oil stowage?). Again the example is Alden:




At some point, the torpedo tubes were removed and depthcharge throwers installed in these flushdecker tin cans--one pair aft and two pairs forward of the after deckhouse, split starboard and port--relegating these former fleet destroyers to escort and ASW vessels. Although some descriptions claim the torpedo tubes were entirely replaced by the light AA guns and six depthcharge throwers, it's clear from photos taken as late as 1944 that at least some of the torpedo tubes were still aboard (whether they had any torpedoes to fire is something else again). What does seem to be clear is that the torpedo tubes were removed incrementally to permit the new ordnance and other equipment, but I know no more (**). Anybody??

I hope this exposition has been helpful and of interest.

Nelson Lawry
Kit, Scott, other interested dudes and dudettes:

Got up this morning to find all but one official photo in my photoessay disappeared, gone-zo, outa town. Pulled lots of hair out of my skull, and an hour or two later went back to the site and there they were. In the event they continue to play hide and seek, I'm listing them below in incomplete linker mode. Just highlight the incomplete URL, drop it into the appropriate window and merely ADD .jpg (dot-jpg), then click, and voila, the desired photo should magically appear....at least that's the theory. Here they be in linear order within the text of the essay:

1. Color rendering of Clemson class destroyer (Paul Jones, DD 230)

http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0523005

2. Photos of Asiatic Fleet DDs showing the fantail 3-inch/23cal DP/AA guns, of Bulmer (DD 222), Edsall (DD 219), John D. Ford (DD 228), and Pope (DD 225)

http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0522212
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0521904
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0522803
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0522508

3. Two photos of Clemson (DD 186) showing her fantail No. 4 4-inch gun, and her 3-inch/23 AA gun mounted forward of the bridge superstructure

http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0518601
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0518605

4. A Clemson or Wickes class DD also (though just mebbe Clemson again) with fantail No. 4 4-inch/50, misidentified as Peary (DD 226)

http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0522404

5. See Kit's first response to mine for the attached photo of distant Peary with her No. 4 4-inch gun atop the after deckhouse. Also there are two added photos of her below NOT part of my original essay.

6. Three photos of Alden (DD 211) with initial armament upgrade, late summer 1942, then shortly later more profound modifications, with loss of rear funnel and associated boiler

http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0521107
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0521109
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0521105

7. Again NOT a part of my original photoessay, here are two additional shots of Peary (DD 226) clearly showing her No. 4 4-inch gun atop the after deckhouse. She had the same configuration mere days before her loss, as seen in the Timor Sea from HMAS Swan attached in Kit's response. Thus she is NOT the mystery Clemson class DD with the fantail No. 4 main gun.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0522617
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/0522619

To repeat, none of the above linkers above are complete ones. You must add .jpg to the end of each to visualize the photograph cited. Sorry for the inconvenience IF you're not able to access the photos in my original essay.

Nelson
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Melmoth the Wonderful
Melmoth the Wonderful

September 3rd, 2010, 7:12 pm #6

Nelson,

I don't know what's going on with your photos, but I have always used photobucket to post mine, and it has worked just fine.
I cannot pull up ANY of the links you recently put up, however.

To clarify a few details easily that do not require photos, as I am familiar with all you have tried to put up anyway:

1) PEARY never had her 3" fantail gun during the war. It was lost during the bombing she rec'd. at Cavite in December,'41, and never replaced. That's why you cannot see it in the Australian photo. She most assuredly had .50cal MGs atop her deckhouse, as these were seen firing as the ship sank in Darwin harbor, and it is from one such mount that seaman Billie Green fell overboard off Menado, Celebes, and swam to shore, to begin his long & curious wartime role as civilian internee & POW.

2) BTW, it's nice to see Scott B. post some of the info revealed in Don's A BLUE SEA OF BLOOD such as the torpedo Marks, gunnery director stuff, etc. I'm CERTAIN Don appreciates this!

3) Larger vessels such as CA-30 often transshipped ordnance, empties/shell casings, boxes, etc. from smaller vessels (like EDSALL) to Cavite. In the case of HOUSTON her logs show all manner of ammo, from .30cal MG, .50cal MG, 1.1", 37mm, 3"/50cal, and even black powder charges. I've not seen anything (yet) about artillery transferred aboard her, but it's possible.
In 1941 she had her own Marine detachment, of course, but there's not all that much--if at all--in her logs that touch on this organization's weaponry.
I would have to look over her logs again to see if any references to 81mm mortars exist.
We have had a re-organization within the CA-30 Survivors group and I may well acquire ALL of her logs that we possess, which would please me, although they wouldn't aid my house-keeping too much.

4) ALL of the flushdeckers of DesRon 29 in the Asiatic Fleet were equipped for DC. When the flushdeckers in general received these, I cannot say. Too many of them were built (270 or so) for it to have been done uniformly, IMO, but films I have (or have seen) show the ships on DC-dropping exercises in the late 20s/early 30s.
True to form, these vessels were not really well-designed for this, as their stern shape was too fine and their rudders & large props made them handle badly at low speeds, with a very large tactical diameter. They also had poor sound gear by all accounts, and some may have been practically worthless. (PEARY's was in pieces being overhauled ashore at Cavite when she was bombed in Dec. '41.) There were a number of examples of poor training/technique in their early-war ASW actions as well..but, no lack of enthusiasm or grit, I might add.

FWIW,

MthW
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Scott Belford
Scott Belford

September 4th, 2010, 2:09 am #7

Scott,

Thanks for the additional details, and much appreciated. My first question backatcha is...Can you still see the photos I appended to my essay?? When I went to bed, the photoessay was as laid out, but when I went back this morning, no photos save one remained in visible mode (that of Clemson showing the forward-mounted 3-inch/23), but no linkers either, dang it!

Some comments and questions following your input:

1. What do you know of the DC roll racks as standard gear? More than one such DD shows none on the fantail, well after the conclusion of WWI, so I wonder about those. Still, the flushdeckers did make DC attacks on submerged enemy subs in both Australian and NEI waters, thus at least some of these DDs were equipped with roll racks.

2. The photo of the putative smaller splinter shield I made reference to was admittedly a crummy one for that purpose, but I have seen such lesser shields on other No. 4 gun mounts. Whether home-grown from the ship's shop, or available as a limited standard item, I dunno, but they existed.

3. I too have seen photos of the No. 1 4-inch gun mount sans splinter shield, but that was not the usual fare and I dunno why done (although worthless in stopping anything larger than a .30 cal round, at least the shield could protect the forward gun crew to some degree against spray over the bow).

4. Awhile back--don't know if you were a forum reader at that point--we discussed which of the Asiatic Fleet destroyers still had their 3-inch/23 DP guns mounted. MOST did by far, but I think we did pinpoint Peary as no longer carrying hers, although her stern went down first and fast in Darwin harbor, so 'twas not absolutely certain. In retrospect these popguns are sorta laughable, but it appears Pope did some (minimal) damage to those pestilential Daves on her tail. There was a typical movie--title and star no longer recalled--made during WWII about an old DD in the Atlantic, either attacked or shadowed by an enemy aircraft. The only command from the gun director to the 3-inch AA gun is "On target"...BANG!...."On target"...BANG! The second or third round suffices to shoot down the offending enemy craft. Hey, them 3-inch/23s had to be somethin' else!

5. Speaking of landing parties, what do you know of those generated from the larger ships, CAs and above? Sometime before war engulfed the Philippines, 16th Naval District had given over 14 Mark XI 3-inch landing guns, with panoramic sights, and some ammo (apparently not a lot available) to the army for beach defense. These guns were modern in every other way except, quite understandably, their wooden spoked wheels, and thus were incapable of high-speed truck towing. Their greatest liability was the paucity in the special ammo they needed (non-standard to the stuff the French and British 75mm guns the army used), and I don't think any saw use during the campaign, but who knows. Anyway, before she returned from her final stateside overhaul, Houston took on among a lot of other new ammo, 81mm rounds. I THINK for landing purposes, the old 3-inch landing guns had been supplanted by 81mm mortars (a lot smaller and more compact, and ideal for landing ops, particularly by marine heavy weapons guys), but I've long needed confirmation of that supposition.

Nelson
Hi Nelson,

I couldn't see all of your pictures, but some of them.
Your right about the 81mm weapons anyway. In a log entry for HOUSTON at Cavite (with the date of 30 Novemebr 1941) I found she took on "152 cartridges, 81MM, Proj. H.E.M.-43,(Complete), I&F; 148 cartridges, 81M/M, H.E.M.-45, Lot 4488-1...300 cartridges, 37 M/M, Dupont X3704 1932 H.E. Projectile Mk.III, T.N.T. Loaded Gr.1, Fuze B.D.-M-38, P.A. 2732-3-1933, Pr-20 grains Perc. M23 I.V. 1276 F.S.: 60 cart'gs, 37MM, L.E. S.P.D.N., 25245 Wt. Chg.60 38gr., I.V. 1312 F.S...."

The 81mm rounds were a new addition, except I saw other entries in February 1941 showing the ship receiving 37 MM Dupont cartridges. Ship was then at Machina Wharf, and transfer of ordnance via N.A.D. Cavite.

Scott

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Kevin D
Kevin D

September 5th, 2010, 1:34 am #8

Nelson,

I don't know what's going on with your photos, but I have always used photobucket to post mine, and it has worked just fine.
I cannot pull up ANY of the links you recently put up, however.

To clarify a few details easily that do not require photos, as I am familiar with all you have tried to put up anyway:

1) PEARY never had her 3" fantail gun during the war. It was lost during the bombing she rec'd. at Cavite in December,'41, and never replaced. That's why you cannot see it in the Australian photo. She most assuredly had .50cal MGs atop her deckhouse, as these were seen firing as the ship sank in Darwin harbor, and it is from one such mount that seaman Billie Green fell overboard off Menado, Celebes, and swam to shore, to begin his long & curious wartime role as civilian internee & POW.

2) BTW, it's nice to see Scott B. post some of the info revealed in Don's A BLUE SEA OF BLOOD such as the torpedo Marks, gunnery director stuff, etc. I'm CERTAIN Don appreciates this!

3) Larger vessels such as CA-30 often transshipped ordnance, empties/shell casings, boxes, etc. from smaller vessels (like EDSALL) to Cavite. In the case of HOUSTON her logs show all manner of ammo, from .30cal MG, .50cal MG, 1.1", 37mm, 3"/50cal, and even black powder charges. I've not seen anything (yet) about artillery transferred aboard her, but it's possible.
In 1941 she had her own Marine detachment, of course, but there's not all that much--if at all--in her logs that touch on this organization's weaponry.
I would have to look over her logs again to see if any references to 81mm mortars exist.
We have had a re-organization within the CA-30 Survivors group and I may well acquire ALL of her logs that we possess, which would please me, although they wouldn't aid my house-keeping too much.

4) ALL of the flushdeckers of DesRon 29 in the Asiatic Fleet were equipped for DC. When the flushdeckers in general received these, I cannot say. Too many of them were built (270 or so) for it to have been done uniformly, IMO, but films I have (or have seen) show the ships on DC-dropping exercises in the late 20s/early 30s.
True to form, these vessels were not really well-designed for this, as their stern shape was too fine and their rudders & large props made them handle badly at low speeds, with a very large tactical diameter. They also had poor sound gear by all accounts, and some may have been practically worthless. (PEARY's was in pieces being overhauled ashore at Cavite when she was bombed in Dec. '41.) There were a number of examples of poor training/technique in their early-war ASW actions as well..but, no lack of enthusiasm or grit, I might add.

FWIW,

MthW
For those interested in Flush Deckers, two books that are primarily all photos (i.e. crammed full of them) are;

Flush Deck Destroyers in World War Two by Glenn Arnold (Warship Perspectives).

US Flush Deck Destroyers in action by Al Adcock (Squadron/Signal Publications).

Both OOP (I think) but still available on ABE, etc. (But if interested in Arnolds book, which is very good, then better hurry as only one available at ABE.)

And yes Nelson, as Don says, none of your 2nd attempt links work for me either. ;-(

PS. As an aside, and pardon my ignorance, why did the stack (exhaust) from galley stoves almost always end with a H style outlet at top (and not just be configured with a vertical outlet as normal smokestack are)?

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Melmoth the Whatever
Melmoth the Whatever

September 5th, 2010, 4:36 am #9

Hello,

The classic text remains John Alden's FLUSH DECKS AND FOUR PIPES (1965), which is well worth acquiring--and is still around in affordable used copies, I see. (Less money than when I was after it a few years back...I ended up xeroxing an interlibrary loan copy.)
Additionally, the "Anatomy of the Ship" series on CAMPBELTOWN is a must, and one should also look for Holloway Frost's 1930 classic, ON A DESTROYER'S BRIDGE, which has much firsthand info that you'll get nowhere else. DISASTER AT HONDA has excellent photos of several flushdeckers, although they're 'on the rocks'...Rather heartbreaking to see. But, for another really good study, advise Arnold Hague's DESTROYERS FOR GREAT BRITAIN (USNIP, 1988) which is chockablock full of pics and details--most of them highly unfavorable to the old DDs. (To read Hague you'd think we gave the British 50 radioactive vessels...) I have seen--and own--two different copies of Hague's book...One a hardback and the other softbound, and by different publishers.

Al Adcock's Squadron book may be out of print, but it shouldn't be too hard to find. I see it consistently at a local model shop specializing in these softbound pictorial monographs, and I've actually been to Squadron's warehouse in Dallas, where they have masses of most all of their stock. The other flushdecker book (by Glenn Arnold) has the best photos, but deals primarily with converted fourpipers after the war started, and has little or nothing on the ships of the Asiatic Fleet as they went to war.

The finest book to cover life on one of these ships is still Herman Wouk's THE CAINE MUTINY. Yes, the USS CAINE was a converted flushdecker, and a miserable one at that. But, Wouk knew what he was writing about...He served aboard two converted fourpipers, IIRC.
For an older, but no less relevant, picture of destroyer life, see DELILAH (1941) by Marcus Goodrich.

The true aficionado should also make every attempt to find J. Dan Mullins' ANOTHER SIX HUNDRED, for a vivid--albeit crudely written--memoir by an Asiatic Fleet vet (and quite the character himself, let me tell you!) He gives many good, honest descriptions of the NEI campaign, and of Dutch hospitality, relations, etc. during that period of the war. His text draws heavily on primary sources, from many flushdecker Deck Logs, Asiatic Fleet, ABDA, & COMSOUWESPAC messages, and assorted Action Reports.

Offical USN technical manuals for machinist mates and firemen from the 1930s still show up from time to time in specialty houses, and are worth getting for the nuts & bolts story behind actually operating the powerplants on these old ships.


MthW
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Nelson
Nelson

September 5th, 2010, 5:29 am #10

For those interested in Flush Deckers, two books that are primarily all photos (i.e. crammed full of them) are;

Flush Deck Destroyers in World War Two by Glenn Arnold (Warship Perspectives).

US Flush Deck Destroyers in action by Al Adcock (Squadron/Signal Publications).

Both OOP (I think) but still available on ABE, etc. (But if interested in Arnolds book, which is very good, then better hurry as only one available at ABE.)

And yes Nelson, as Don says, none of your 2nd attempt links work for me either. ;-(

PS. As an aside, and pardon my ignorance, why did the stack (exhaust) from galley stoves almost always end with a H style outlet at top (and not just be configured with a vertical outlet as normal smokestack are)?
Melmoth, Kevin, et alia:

I have opened my photoessay several times since the original problemo made itself known, and all photos now obediently appear, so whatever the difficulty was, the images seem to have stabilized. IF you continue to have difficulty in viewing all, most, or some of the attached .jpg photos in my original essay, taken entirely from NavSource, then use the list of INCOMPLETE URLs provided in my follow-up posting ("photos in 'photoessay' play hide 'n' seek"). The critical first and last steps, it seems, are highlighting each incomplete URL, NOT clicking on it (whereupon NavSource sez there is no such URL), and adding '.jpg'. IF I provide the complete URL, the image will automatically come up....or NOT....likely as a function of your computer and/or ISP. So again in the follow-up posting:

1. Carefully highlight the incomplete URL, do NOT click on it (takes a little practice until you can do this).
2. Copy said incomplete URL.
3. Paste said incomplete URL in the appropriate window in your computer/ISP.
4. Although in my case, the .jpg suffix is then automatically added back (and Bob's yer uncle), you may have to add '.jpg' manually to the end of the accession number.
5. Finally, click on the appropriate place to pull up the desired image, relevant to the point being made in the essay.
6. Repeat the process for the next image, etc.

I think most folks should now get those images when opening the essay, but still if not, sorry for the inconvenience--yeah, a real pain in the neck (or wherever).

Melmoth, thanks for clarifying Peary's lack of a 3-inch/23 AA gun. In chronicling the misadventures of DD 226, Winslow (The Fleet the Gods Forgot) does mention she was restricted to only machine gun AA fire....BUT on page 224, re DD 225 he writes, "To fight [the IJN float planes] off, the Pope had only two .50-caliber and two .30-caliber machine guns." In the face of Pope's well known 3-inch/23 steadily banging away, where does that leave us? I do believe the other dozen DDs of the Asiatic Fleet exclusive of Peary had these stubby 3-inch AA guns still mounted upon the onset of war.

More on all of this later,

Nelson
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