What do they do: Hull Technician HT

What do they do: Hull Technician HT

Joined: October 10th, 2005, 8:42 pm

June 12th, 2008, 1:15 pm #1

The duties performed by HT's include: installing, maintaining and repairing valves, piping, plumbing system fittings and fixtures, and marine sanitation systems. Repairing decks, structures and hulls by welding, brazing, riveting and caulking; examining, testing welds and various shipboard structures; fabricating with light and heavy gauge metal such as aluminum, stainless steel, sheet copper and brass, steel, sheet and corrugated iron; heat treating, hot and cold forming of metals; pipe cutting, threading and assembly; repairing installed ventilation ducting; repairing metal, wood and fiberglass boats; installing and repairing insulation and lagging; operating marine sanitation systems

Navy ships are made of metal. Metal and water, especially salt water, do not go good together. HT's fight a 24-7 battle against the elements to keep their ship seaworthy and in good repair. The ships systems we often take for granted, plumbing, heating ventilation and air conditioning are in constant operation. They are not luxuries but absolute necessities and must be kept in top operating shape. To compound the problem, most systems are redundant so there is twice as much to keep up.
At sea you can not just run to Lowes or Builder's Square every time you need repair parts. HT's must be creative and resourceful. Talk about no job to big or small? HT's must be ready for anything from fixing a leaky faucet to repairing a gaping hole in the hull from an enemy shell, all at a moment's notice.

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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 10:08 pm

June 13th, 2008, 1:11 am #2

I'm glad you didn't post a chipping hammer... smile....

Bob, were the Hull Technicians also Shipfitters? What is the difference? I always thought that the shipfitters did the work with the valves, piping, welding... are they one and the same?
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Joined: October 21st, 2003, 12:31 am

June 13th, 2008, 2:41 pm #3

The duties performed by HT's include: installing, maintaining and repairing valves, piping, plumbing system fittings and fixtures, and marine sanitation systems. Repairing decks, structures and hulls by welding, brazing, riveting and caulking; examining, testing welds and various shipboard structures; fabricating with light and heavy gauge metal such as aluminum, stainless steel, sheet copper and brass, steel, sheet and corrugated iron; heat treating, hot and cold forming of metals; pipe cutting, threading and assembly; repairing installed ventilation ducting; repairing metal, wood and fiberglass boats; installing and repairing insulation and lagging; operating marine sanitation systems

Navy ships are made of metal. Metal and water, especially salt water, do not go good together. HT's fight a 24-7 battle against the elements to keep their ship seaworthy and in good repair. The ships systems we often take for granted, plumbing, heating ventilation and air conditioning are in constant operation. They are not luxuries but absolute necessities and must be kept in top operating shape. To compound the problem, most systems are redundant so there is twice as much to keep up.
At sea you can not just run to Lowes or Builder's Square every time you need repair parts. HT's must be creative and resourceful. Talk about no job to big or small? HT's must be ready for anything from fixing a leaky faucet to repairing a gaping hole in the hull from an enemy shell, all at a moment's notice.

of the right arm rates! All 7 of them. You name them.
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Joined: September 14th, 2003, 9:51 pm

June 13th, 2008, 3:51 pm #4

Let me see if I can get these correct: Right arm rates (Seaman branches) - boatswains mate (crossed anchors), gunners mate (crossed guns), signalman (crossed flags), quartermaster (ships wheel), torpedoman (a torpedo),fire controlman (a rangefinder), mineman (a mine sticking out of the water), & wasn't there also a gun turret capt.(a gun turret)? What year did the Navy switch all rates to the left arm?
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Joined: October 21st, 2003, 12:31 am

June 14th, 2008, 12:26 pm #5

Ray, you were close and maybe correct and yes there was a turret captain and a later BJM could have had a mineman listed in place of one of the other ratres. But according to my 1944 BJM right arm rates and precedence are as follows: Boatswains, Gunner, Turret captain, Torpedoman, Quartermaster, Signalman, and Fire controlman. Precedence meaning priority in rank and preference in privileges. All of this is clearly spelled out and very much in detail in the BJM but I didn’t think it necessary to go to that much depth.
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Joined: October 10th, 2005, 8:42 pm

June 14th, 2008, 2:10 pm #6

I'm glad you didn't post a chipping hammer... smile....

Bob, were the Hull Technicians also Shipfitters? What is the difference? I always thought that the shipfitters did the work with the valves, piping, welding... are they one and the same?
The Shipfitter rate originally had a narrow function. They were a "person whose work is to lay out, fabricate, and position plates, bulkheads, etc. inside the hull of a ship in readiness for riveting or welding". As ships became more complicated the shipfitter took on more responsibilities.
The rate Hull Technician incorporated the shipfitter's job and added more to it. In the future you may see the Hull Technician, Damage Controlman and Machinery Repairman rates merged into a new Repair Technician rate.
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 10:08 pm

June 15th, 2008, 2:19 am #7

I'm glad you didn't post a chipping hammer... smile....

Bob, were the Hull Technicians also Shipfitters? What is the difference? I always thought that the shipfitters did the work with the valves, piping, welding... are they one and the same?
I had wondered. Many things change over time and since the bulk of my reading has concerned WWII, that's my point of reference usually. I've begun to read a bit more of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and sometimes the terminology is different. Usually I can make a decent guess, but not always!

I don't think I'm ready for shipfitter striker though.. I'll just practice my needlegunning skills (I had a good teacher )... and cleaning/painting/gofer skills...

Looking forward to the next installment... And I sure enjoyed the D-Day and Radio posts everyone made. I agree with Jim Mackie.. when we can't be there, it's great to be able to 'see' it via the website!
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Joined: August 28th, 2003, 8:58 pm

June 15th, 2008, 8:54 pm #8

Let me see if I can get these correct: Right arm rates (Seaman branches) - boatswains mate (crossed anchors), gunners mate (crossed guns), signalman (crossed flags), quartermaster (ships wheel), torpedoman (a torpedo),fire controlman (a rangefinder), mineman (a mine sticking out of the water), & wasn't there also a gun turret capt.(a gun turret)? What year did the Navy switch all rates to the left arm?
Ray, I found this information for Right Arm rates on the Navy Historical Center website (www.history.navy.mil):

Right arm rates were disestablished 2 April 1949, after having been eliminated by Change #1, dated 24 February 1948, to the 1947 uniform regulations. All rating badges were to be worn on the left sleeve with the eagle facing to the right.

Looks like the change to the left sleeve for all, was 1948-49?
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