Gunnery Officer and/or Gunners Mate

Gunnery Officer and/or Gunners Mate

Joined: December 22nd, 2008, 3:07 pm

February 19th, 2009, 12:40 am #1

I would love to hear a Gunnery Officer and/or Gunner's Mate explain their duties, their responsibilities on an WWII LST other than during GQ. Thank You.
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Joined: March 11th, 2008, 1:34 am

February 19th, 2009, 11:00 pm #2

Gunner officer was the officer over the gunner section
Gunners Mates Kept the guns in good repair
I was a gunners mate on my LST456
We had a 3.50 in. gun We had an officer in our
gun tub during GQ Every one had a place to be at GQ
some where on guns some where on fire watch some
where on stand by. I hope this will help you.
Ellis
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Joined: March 10th, 2007, 3:06 am

February 20th, 2009, 1:49 am #3

Ellis,
That would be a 3"/50 cal. naval gun. If you multiply the 50 times 3, that is the length of the gun barrel in inches. I was a GMG3 (Gunner's Mate Guns, Third Class) aboard the U.S.S. Mount Katmai, AE-16 (ammunition ship)with the 3"/50 cal. dual-purpose naval guns. I also served aboard the U.S.S. Midway, CVA-41 (aircraft carrier) where I worked on the 5"/54 cal. dual-purpose naval guns. As a third class gunners mate, I still got dirty taking care of the guns as we were constantly undermanned in our division, and 3rd class was not high enough to escape the dirty jobs. Most every day was a series of tedious jobs, such as, clean out the pits of their accumulation of hydralic oil where the breech of the gun mount ended up during high elevations, shining brightwork on the gun mounts, greasing, oiling, painting, constant bore sighting, and manual sight setting calibrations, etc. About once a month we would "drop the block" (breech block) for extensive cleaning, which required block and tackle due to the weight of the block. Also we would periodically go into the magazines for cleaning and varification of rounds and powder cases (5"). During our watches, called magazine & battery watches, we would check and record teperatures and humidity levels as well as security devises - BORING! During GQ my station varied from pointer (elevation of the gun barrel and firing key control) to Gunners Mate of the Mount (in charge of emergency repairs). That responsibility is not to be confused with the Mount Captain, who was usually a 1st class gunner or bosun' mate. All in all, I enjoyed my six years in the U.S. Navy from 1960 to 1966, and do not regret one minute of my service - except when I met Clarita from Olongapo, P.I., who was my first "true love" and who broke my heart. But that's another story.
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Joined: March 16th, 2006, 2:08 am

February 20th, 2009, 5:17 am #4

Hey Bob, did you ever bust your butt from sliding around on those BBs you were supposed to be stacking??????
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Joined: March 10th, 2007, 3:06 am

February 20th, 2009, 6:12 am #5

No, Don, but I do have a picture from one of my cruise books showing me astride the barrel of a 5"/54 naval gun, washing it down as it is trained outboard, and I am NOT wearing a life line! Oh to be young and ignorant again! (Please be kind if you reply to that statement.)

Now what's that got to do with the question you asked me? Senility is gaining ground!
Last edited by Bob-Lenn on February 20th, 2009, 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 22nd, 2008, 3:07 pm

February 20th, 2009, 1:11 pm #6

Ellis,
That would be a 3"/50 cal. naval gun. If you multiply the 50 times 3, that is the length of the gun barrel in inches. I was a GMG3 (Gunner's Mate Guns, Third Class) aboard the U.S.S. Mount Katmai, AE-16 (ammunition ship)with the 3"/50 cal. dual-purpose naval guns. I also served aboard the U.S.S. Midway, CVA-41 (aircraft carrier) where I worked on the 5"/54 cal. dual-purpose naval guns. As a third class gunners mate, I still got dirty taking care of the guns as we were constantly undermanned in our division, and 3rd class was not high enough to escape the dirty jobs. Most every day was a series of tedious jobs, such as, clean out the pits of their accumulation of hydralic oil where the breech of the gun mount ended up during high elevations, shining brightwork on the gun mounts, greasing, oiling, painting, constant bore sighting, and manual sight setting calibrations, etc. About once a month we would "drop the block" (breech block) for extensive cleaning, which required block and tackle due to the weight of the block. Also we would periodically go into the magazines for cleaning and varification of rounds and powder cases (5"). During our watches, called magazine & battery watches, we would check and record teperatures and humidity levels as well as security devises - BORING! During GQ my station varied from pointer (elevation of the gun barrel and firing key control) to Gunners Mate of the Mount (in charge of emergency repairs). That responsibility is not to be confused with the Mount Captain, who was usually a 1st class gunner or bosun' mate. All in all, I enjoyed my six years in the U.S. Navy from 1960 to 1966, and do not regret one minute of my service - except when I met Clarita from Olongapo, P.I., who was my first "true love" and who broke my heart. But that's another story.
Thank you for your detailed explanation. While the guns were not the same as the LST 40MM Bofars, I'm sure the maintenance of the guns and the other responsibilities that you mentioned were similar to those on an LST. I enjoyed reading your note. Thank you! One day I hope to see a gunner's manual.
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Joined: December 22nd, 2008, 3:07 pm

February 20th, 2009, 2:01 pm #7

Gunner officer was the officer over the gunner section
Gunners Mates Kept the guns in good repair
I was a gunners mate on my LST456
We had a 3.50 in. gun We had an officer in our
gun tub during GQ Every one had a place to be at GQ
some where on guns some where on fire watch some
where on stand by. I hope this will help you.
Ellis
Thank You for your response. My father was on the 783 which had twin bofars. I'm have seen the Navy LST training films and other photos which identify the bow bofars as gun Location #41, the port 40MM as gun #42 and Starboard 40MM as gun #43. Seemingly, the aft port 40MM would be gun #44, the aft Starboard 40MM would be gun #45 and the stern twin bofars would be gun #46?



What I'd really like to know is the number designation for each gun, particularly the 20MMs. If the numbering sequence is like the 40s, then was the bow 20MM on the portside gun #22, Starboard bow 20MM gun #21 and numbered sequentially thereafter?



My father mentioned being on Sky 9. Since there was a mention of forward and aft sky lookouts on the Conn, Im guessing that was the Starboard 20MM gun in the forward tub above the Captains quarters? Does anyone remember gun number locations? Thanks!

Last edited by Askerist on February 20th, 2009, 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: October 10th, 2005, 8:42 pm

February 20th, 2009, 5:26 pm #8

I would love to hear a Gunnery Officer and/or Gunner's Mate explain their duties, their responsibilities on an WWII LST other than during GQ. Thank You.
I was a fire controlman FTG2 aboard LST 1180 assigned to the Gunnery Division.
She had two 3"/50 enclosed twin mounts.
The left barrle of each mount had a radar dish on it.
It was my job to keep the radars and other fire control equipment in operation and repair.
Like the gunners, we had PMS to keep us busy. (Preventave Maintenance System) which had daily, weekly and other jobs to do.
One Sunday morning I was awake early way before breakfast so I decided to do some of my PMS ahead of schedule.
One in particular was checking the rubber diaphram on the air compressor that drove the gyros on the gun sights. (much like the ones on our 40mm mounts)
The PMS card told you how to do it. Remove a cover to a crawl space below the gun director. This required removing about 30 nuts and bolts to remove the cover. Crawl inside a cramped space, remove the compressor head and check the diaphram for tears or wear. After the job was complted the last step was to light off the gun director, make sure the pressure was correct and check the gyros for proper speed and operation.
I was busy checking when I heard someone clear their throat. That someone said "excuse me sailor?"
I looked down to see a very sleepy Captain looking up at me. He ask what I was doing.
I explained I was doing some PMS. He poltely reminded me it was not even 0600 yet, the sun had not been up very long, it was Sunday and a work holiday and did I remember that that noisy compressor was mounted on what was the overhead of the Captain's cabin, right above his rack?
What a way to start the day.



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Joined: June 11th, 2004, 11:46 pm

February 21st, 2009, 12:12 am #9

I would love to hear a Gunnery Officer and/or Gunner's Mate explain their duties, their responsibilities on an WWII LST other than during GQ. Thank You.
I did not notice any response to the original question that mentions what the GMs did in addition to their normal daily routine and General Quarters responsibilities.

During the early 1950s GMs on my LST, except for the most senior petty officers, also stood underway watches. Although I was an FT, my duties included being a helmsman (just like the GMs). And sometimes underway, we might be assigned to be Boatswains Mate Of the Watch.

In port we always stood Quarter Deck watches as PO of the Watch.

With a wartime complement aboard, were these assignments not necessary? We often had fewer than 110 enlisted personnel assigned to the ship.

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Joined: March 10th, 2007, 3:06 am

February 21st, 2009, 12:54 am #10

Bob,

On the ships I served on in the early 60's, gunners mates did not stand bridge or deck watches. This was left up to the deck division personnel (bosun's). All the other divisions stood their watches in their respective spaces. Gunners mates stood lower deck security patrol and magazine & battery checks - BORING!. All division rated personnel (3rd class & above) would complement shore based Shore Patrol while we were in port. I stood many of these watches and was I a sight! I stood 5'3" and my leggings came almost up to my knees. My .45 cal. holster ended at my knees and my baton kept getting in the way when I walked. The only things that seemed to fit was my white helmet liner and my handcuffs. One night I tried the handcuffs on myself and couldn't get to my key, which was in a special pouch attached to the back of my web belt. But that's another story!
Last edited by Bob-Lenn on February 21st, 2009, 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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