Archive for the ‘1997’ Category

USS PITTSBURG (CA-72) & her lost bow.

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
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From Wed Dec 31 18:03:04 1997
>X-Sender: john.szalay@postoffice.worldnet.att.net (Unverified)
>X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 1.5.2
>To: mahan@microworks.net
>From: John Szalay
>Subject: RE: USS PITTSBURG (CA-72) & her lost bow.
>Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 00:34:33 +0000
>Precendence: bulk
>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
>Reply-To: mahan@microworks.net
>
>At 03:47 PM 12/31/97 +0000, you wrote:
> >The bow broke off during a typhoon owing to poor plate welds at the
> >Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co. at the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Mass., in
> >April 1943. This was the third case for a U.S. Navy warship, the USS
> >Baltimore (CA-68) also suffered buckling of the bow plates but did not
> >lose the bow.
> >
>
>FWIW: recently a picture of the Pittsburgh minus her bow was posted to
>the REC.BINARIES.PICTURES.MILITARY usenet newsgroup, I captured it
>at that time for reference, since the current topic is the bow. I have
>posted again to the same group.
>
> rec.binaries.pictures.military
>
>.
>
>
>
>
>

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USS PITTSBURG (CA-72) & her lost bow.

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
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From Tue Dec 30 18:48:48 1997
>Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 20:16:51 -0500
>From: Brooks A Rowlett
>Organization: None whatsoever
>X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.01-C-MACOS8 (Macintosh; I; PPC)
>To: Mahan Naval History Mailing List ,
> MARHST ,
> World War II Discussion List
>CC: elmer@wpi.edu
>Subject: USS PITTSBURG (CA-72) & her lost bow.
>Precendence: bulk
>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
>Reply-To: mahan@microworks.net
>
>As is fairly well known, BALTIMORE class heavy cruiser USS PITTSBURGH
>lost her bow in a storm in 1945. Larry Sowinski’s photo book ACTION IN
>THE PACIFIC has a photo of her, moored next to a light cruiser at Guam
>with the bow missing; Paul Silverstone’s US WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR II has
>an aerial photo of PITTSBURGH steaming along without the bow.
>
>The bow was salved and brought into Guam. However, PITTSBURG sailed
>to Puget Sound Navy yard with a false bow and was under repair there at
>the end of the war, and was decommissioned upon completion of repairs.
>So it appears that the original bow was not re-attached.
>
>Is that correct? Was a new bow built? If not, what vessel towed the
>original bow back to the United States; or if the original bow was not
>used, what was its ultimate fate? Scrap? Sunk as target?
>
>Works already consulted: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS
>N-P volume with entry on PITTSBURGH.
>
>Thanks,
> -Brooks

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USS PITTSBURG (CA-72) & her lost bow.

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
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From Wed Dec 31 08:59:55 1997
>From: “Francis.Timothy”
>To: Mahan Naval History Mailing List , MARHST
> , World War II Discussion List
> , “‘mahan@microworks.net‘”
>
>Subject: RE: USS PITTSBURG (CA-72) & her lost bow.
>Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 10:47:33 -0500
>X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.0.1457.3)
>Precendence: bulk
>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
>Reply-To: mahan@microworks.net
>
>The bow broke off during a typhoon owing to poor plate welds at the
>Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co. at the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Mass., in
>April 1943. This was the third case for a U.S. Navy warship, the USS
>Baltimore (CA-68) also suffered buckling of the bow plates but did not
>lose the bow.
>
>This is probably directly related to the extremely high turnover rates
>in labor, and the constant need for worker training, at the west coast
>shipyards during the war. This was partially caused by the “pirating”
>of skilled labor by the new aviation plants in California and
>Washington.
>
>Yet another “evil” influence of the Army Air Corps/Air Force (i.e., the
>superfluous service). [hey, just a joke…]
>
>Incidently, because of this weld failure, BuShips began X-raying
>critical welds on large surface ships (a practice previously limited to
>submarine construction).
>
>The bow was found by a tug (I can’t find the name) and towed to Guam.
>While in tow, it was termed a “suburb of Pittsburgh” and jokingly
>christened “McKeesport” by the crew. Supposedly, the cruiser’s crew
>started a rumor that the bow was filled with hundred’s of cases of beer
>and the bow was “anxiously awaited bu thousands of personnel stationed
>at the island.” While the documents are not clear, it seems the bow was
>”salvaged” at Guam, i.e. investigated and then cut up for scrap, with
>specimen pieces sent to BuShips for study.
>
>An entirely new bow, with about 5 tons of strengthening, was fabricated
>and attached at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
>
>Timothy L. Francis
>Historian
>Naval Historical Center
>email address: Francis.Timothy@nhc.navy.mil
>voice: (202) 433-6802
>
> > ———-
> > From: Brooks A Rowlett[SMTP:brooksar@indy.net]
> > Subject: USS PITTSBURG (CA-72) & her lost bow.
> >
> >As is fairly well known, BALTIMORE class heavy cruiser USS PITTSBURGH
> >lost her bow in a storm in 1945.
> >The bow was salved and brought into Guam. However, PITTSBURG sailed
> >to Puget Sound Navy yard with a false bow and was under repair there at
> >the end of the war, and was decommissioned upon completion of repairs.
> >So it appears that the original bow was not re-attached.
> >Is that correct? Was a new bow built? If not, what vessel towed the
> >original bow back to the United States; or if the original bow was not
> >used, what was its ultimate fate? Scrap? Sunk as target?
> > -Brooks

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Minisub to stay in Texas

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
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From Mon Dec 29 22:44:30 1997
>Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 00:41:15 -0500
>From: Brooks A Rowlett
>Organization: None whatsoever
>X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.01-C-MACOS8 (Macintosh; I; PPC)
>To: MARHST
>CC: Mahan Naval History Mailing List ,
> SubWar list ,
> Steve Hendricks ,
> “C. Patrick Hreachmack” ,
> Andrew Toppan
>Subject: Minisub to stay in Texas
>Precendence: bulk
>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
>Reply-To: mahan@microworks.net
>
>The following appeared on the WWII mailing list:
>
>Subject:
> Midget Submarine
> Date:
> Tue, 30 Dec 1997 02:13:34 -0600
> From:
> Arnold L Gladson
>
>
>[ from the Austin-American Statesman]
>
> Midget sub a big
> coup for Nimitz museum
> Fredericksburg museum glories in its victory after 7-year battle
>for
>the Pearl Harbor artifact.
> Off the coast of Oahu, Japanese pilots rained bombs on the water
>below. Black smoke bellowed from battleships ripped in half. U.S.
>sailors ran for cover, shielding their ears from the thunderous sounds
>of
>war.
> The Japanese had surprised the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor.
> Beneath the surface of the ocean, a midget submarine silently
>sliced through the cold, dark water. Two men moved along the sub’s dim,
>narrow passageways shouting in Japanese, preparing torpedoes for launch.
> But the attack didn’t happen. The Haramaki lost its way and
>became beached off the coast of Oahu. One of its two operators, Ensign
>Kazuo Sakamaki, would live on in shame as the first Japanese prisoner of
>World War II.
> Fifty-six years later, the 80-foot long steel submarine, now
>undergoing restoration, sits in the dank belly of a defunct H-E-B
>grocery
>store off Main Street in Fredericksburg, Texas. And in Fredericksburg
>it
>will stay.
> A seven-year struggle over where the sub would be displayed
>ended
>Tuesday, when the U.S. Navy agreed to keep the historic vessel in
>Fredericksburg, at the Admiral Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War. Hawaii
>officials wanted it returned to the attack site at Pearl Harbor, home of
>the USS Arizona Memorial and a separate display of World War II-era
>ships
>and weapons.
> ”That decision may have averted another sneak attack on Pearl
>Harbor,” said retired U.S. Representative Jake Pickle of Austin. ”We
>would have moved heaven and earth before we’d moved that thing.”
> At the memorial, the midget sub would be just one more artifact.
>At the Nimitz, it will be the centerpiece—a tool for educating new
>generations about the attack. ”The Nimitz appreciates it more than any
>other museum,” said U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of San Antonio.
> Smith sent a letter to President Clinton, signed by all Texas
>members of Congress, asking to keep the sub in Fredricksburg. ”It’s
>taken longer to get official permission to keep the sub here than the
>war
>lasted,” Smith said.
> This is more than just a dusty remembrance of a World War II
>battle. It breathes life into the ghosts of Pearl Harbor, reminding
>visitors that war is tragic, not romantic. ”Nothing tells the story of
>the war more powerfully,” said Bruce Smith, director of the Nimitz
>Museum.
> Fredericksburg is the birthplace of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz,
>who commanded the Pacific Fleet in World War II. The sub will rest in
>the museum’s new George Bush Gallery of the Pacific War, which will open
>in about a year
>
>Arnold Lloyd Gladson
>USMC-Class of 1942

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The *ultimate* BENSON/GLEAVES class U.S. destroyer??

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
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From Mon Dec 29 21:29:41 1997
>X-Errors-To:
>Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 23:26:21 -0500 (EST)
>X-Sender: rickt@pop3.cris.com
>X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Version 1.4.4
>To: mahan@microworks.net
>From: rickt@cris.com (Eric Bergerud)
>Subject: Re: The *ultimate* BENSON/GLEAVES class U.S. destroyer??
>Precendence: bulk
>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
>Reply-To: mahan@microworks.net
>
>
> >The New Georgia had interesting support: SARATOGA and VICTORIOUS,
> > as well as MASSACHUSETTS, INDIANA, and NORTH CAROLINA. Japanese
> > airpower was pretty well exhausted, though, of course … and Adm.
> > Yamamoto had been gunned down in April, further paralyzing the IJN.
> >
> >Lou
> > Coatney, mslrc@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu, ElCoat@Hotmail.com
>
>Interesting post….Roskill on Leander? Learn something every day . I do
>want to take exception with Lou on IJN’s air strength at the time of New
>Georgia. Halsey was rightly worried that Combined Fleet might engage with
>their carriers. What we did NOT know was the degree to which Japanese naval
>aviation had been hurt by the Guadalcanal / New Guinea campaign. The
>Japanese numbers certainly looked ugly from our point of view. Prior to New
>Georgia it dawned on Tokyo what the twin catastrophe at
>Guadalcanal/Buna-Gona meant to Rabaul and their entire position in the
>SOPAC. Consequently, the IJA sent substantial reinforcements to the area,
>(mostly NGuinea) and the IJAAF set up shop at Wewak. Rabaul and its
>surrounding complex was, on paper, greatly strengthened in every category,
>including air strength. Naturally our recon was picking this up. Now
>Combined Fleet had decided to avoid general engagement and ready for the
>”Decisive Battle” in the Central Pacific. (This became the “Turkey Shoot” in
>mid-44). Several new Japanese carriers were getting ready for fray along
>with new air groups. So the POSSIBILITY of a carrier battle was there as
>Halsey knew. As it was, several Japanese carrier fighter groups were
>dispatched to Rabaul to fight from land in the summer of 43. They were
>smashed – making our later job at the Mariannas much easier. As it was, the
>IJNAF contested New Georgia fiercely. It was air fighting in 1943, not 42,
>that cut the heart out of the Japanese air arm.
>
>Halsey’s staff, when they began planning for New Georgia shortly after
>Guadalcanal, were still understandably suffering from the stinging naval
>battles around Guadalcanal. (Even our victories were costly.) New Georgia
>was actually a very conservative move that made sense only if one assumed
>that the Japanese had a lot of fight left in them. What we did do was
>underestimate the ability of the Japanese Army to make life hell on earth
>for us. The resulting battle for Munda etc did serious damage to the 43d,
>37th and 25th Divisions. Disease was the big culprit – predictable after the
>Guadalcanal experience – but the Japanese did not cooperate by launching any
>idiot banzai charges. So close to Kolumbungara, the Japanese garrison was
>hard to starve out. So we ended up losing more men on New Georgia than
>Guadalcanal (and a FAR worse “kill ratio” despite all of our firepower). And
>the whole thing might have been unnecessary. The southeastern portion of New
>Georgia was controlled by friendly natives and that little corner connects
>to rest of the island via a narrow bridge of land. This corner, called Segi
>Point, proved a good place for a fighter strip and was ours for the taking –
>not a Japanese soldier within miles. With Segi in our pocket, Halsey could
>have jumped to Vella Lavella and forced the Japanese to evacuate the central
>Solomons – exactly what he decided to do in August. I am NOT being critical
>of Halsey. He responded reasonably given the knowledge he had. Unfortunately
>he did not properly understand the “sea change” that was taking place in the
>balance of forces between Japan and the US. Halsey was thinking of late 1942
>when, in retrospect, he should have been thinking of mid-44. Because of this
>thousands of GIs were treated to a violent campaign in some of the ugliest
>terrain on the planet.
>Eric Bergerud, 531 Kains Ave, Albany CA 94706, 510-525-0930

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Letow Schnapps

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
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From Wed Dec 17 12:32:14 1997
>X-Errors-To:
>Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 14:31:34 -0500 (EST)
>X-Sender: rickt@pop3.cris.com
>X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Version 1.4.4
>To: mahan@microworks.net
>From: rickt@cris.com (Eric Bergerud)
>Subject: Re: Letow Schnapps
>Precendence: bulk
>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
>Reply-To: mahan@microworks.net
>
> > I don’t remember all the details, but here is what I do recall.
> >
> > Malaria was a problem, and the German forces had exhausted their
> > supply of quinine. They did have available unprocessed cinchona,
> > which Von Letow had brewed into a drink which his troops referred to
> > as Letow Schnapps.
> >
>That experience among others during WWI encouraged German chemists to
>develop synthetic quinine – atabrine. Like dumbkopfs (or good capitalists)
>they licensed it to US drug companies in the 1930’s. Later when the Pacific
>War started it was produced in the US by the megaton. (Quinine comes from
>Indonesia, and the Japanese were not sharing.) I think it is safe to say
>that several campaigns in the South & SW Pacific could not have been fought
>without atabrine. Should note that atabrine, like quinine, suppresses the
>disease – it does not cure it. Thousands of Pacific vets suffered bouts of
>malaria for several years after the war. Their blood, in theory, would still
>not be accepted by a blood bank.
>Eric Bergerud, 531 Kains Ave, Albany CA 94706, 510-525-0930

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The *ultimate* BENSON/GLEAVES class U.S. destroyer??

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
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From Mon Dec 29 17:10:58 1997
>X-Authentication-Warning: ecom1.ecnet.net: mslrc owned process doing -bs
>Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 18:07:24 -0600 (CST)
>From: “Louis R. Coatney”
>X-Sender: mslrc@ecom1
>To: Consim-L@net.uni-c.dk, Mahan@microwrks.com, MarHst-L@qucdn.queensu.ca,
> MilHst-L@ukanvm.cc.ukans.edu
>Subject: The *ultimate* BENSON/GLEAVES class U.S. destroyer??
>Precendence: bulk
>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
>Reply-To: mahan@microworks.net
>
>One of the photos in John C. Reilly’s book about American destroyers
> shows Guadalcanal veteran GWIN sporting four 5″ guns, *ten* torpedo
> tubes, AND 40mm AA guns! However, No. 3 gun mount is entirely open,
> in apparent weight compensation.
>
>After Santa Cruz, the 40mm gun’s reputation was established, and I
> wonder if that led USN commanders to assume so-equipped ships could
> defend themselves self-sufficiently.
>
>GWIN was sunk by Long Lance torpedo in the Battle of Kolombangara
> (night of 12/13Jul43), wherein HMNZS LEANDER and both HONOLULU and
> ST. LOUIS were torpedoed as well … albeit without the fatal
> results suffered by HELENA at Kula Gulf exactly 1 week previously.
>
>Interestingly, LEANDER was captained by S.W. Roskill, a prominent
> name in naval history. Hmm … I also see a Lt. Cdr. Rayner listed
> as captain of the corvette PETUNIA in a big/disastrous N. Atlantic
> convoy battle. I wonder if this is the ENEMY BELOW Rayner. ??
>
>Anyway … back to GWIN … I *assume* the 40mms were added after Nov42,
> when GWIN was in the 2nd Battle of Guadalcanal with WASHINGTON and
> SOUTH DAKOTA. I’ll use the 4-gun/5-tube BENSON/GLEAVES variant model
> and stick the second quintuple tube mount abaft the second stack …
> but *where* did the searchlight go, then? ??
>
>The New Georgia had interesting support: SARATOGA and VICTORIOUS,
> as well as MASSACHUSETTS, INDIANA, and NORTH CAROLINA. Japanese
> airpower was pretty well exhausted, though, of course … and Adm.
> Yamamoto had been gunned down in April, further paralyzing the IJN.
>
>Lou
> Coatney, mslrc@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu, ElCoat@Hotmail.com
> www.wiu.edu/users/mslrc/ (for your free 1ST ALAMEIN lunch-hour
> boardgame and USS MONITOR and U.S. destroyer escort cardstock
> model ship plans … to print off and assemble (and play))

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The Reluctant Seaman

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
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From Mon Dec 29 07:25:36 1997
>From: “Francis.Timothy”
>To: mahan@microwrks.com, “‘mahan@microworks.net‘”
>Subject: RE: The Reluctant Seaman
>Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 09:23:01 -0500
>X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.0.1457.3)
>Precendence: bulk
>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
>Reply-To: mahan@microworks.net
>
>For anyone who wants an intelligent and nuanced view of Mahan and his
>writings I heartedly suggest Jon Tetsuro Sumida’s *Inventing Grand
>Strategy and Teaching Command: The Classic Works of Alfred Thayer Mahan
>Reconsidered* (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1997).
>You can get it for $20 at 202-287-3000, ext.218.
>
>To give you an idea of the book, the preface title is *Musical
>Performance, Zen Enlightenment, and Naval Command.*
>
>Just a teaser. Read *The Influence of Seapower upon History, 1660-1783*
>with the idea that it is NOT about the rise of the Royal Navy. It will
>open your eyes to an entirely new interpretation of the book and Mahan.
>And, the best thing you can do is to ignore Chapter one.
>
>Timothy L. Francis
>Historian
>Naval Historical Center
>email address: Francis.Timothy@nhc.navy.mil
>voice: (202) 433-6802
>
> > ———-
> > From: Tom Robison[SMTP:tcrobi@mindspring.com]
> > Reply To: mahan@microworks.net
> > Sent: Saturday, December 27, 1997 2:15 AM
> > To: mahan@microwrks.com
> > Subject: The Reluctant Seaman
> >
> > “Although a brilliant naval historian and noted theorist on the
> > importance
> > of sea power to national defense, Alfred Thayer Mahan hated the sea
> > and
> > dreaded his duties as a ship’s captain.”
> >
> > That’s the lead-in to an article on the HistoryNet Page about our
> > namesake
> > A.T. Mahan. Read the full text at:
> >
> > http://www.thehistorynet.com/AmericanHistory/articles/1997/0297_text.h
> > tm
> >
> >
> > Tom Robison
> > Ossian, Indiana
> > tcrobi@mindspring.com
> >
> >
> >
> >

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The Reluctant Seaman

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
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From Sat Dec 27 00:16:58 1997
>X-Sender: tcrobi@pop.mindspring.com
>Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 02:15:12 -0500
>To: mahan@microwrks.com
>From: Tom Robison
>Subject: The Reluctant Seaman
>Precendence: bulk
>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
>Reply-To: mahan@microworks.net
>
>”Although a brilliant naval historian and noted theorist on the importance
>of sea power to national defense, Alfred Thayer Mahan hated the sea and
>dreaded his duties as a ship’s captain.”
>
>That’s the lead-in to an article on the HistoryNet Page about our namesake
>A.T. Mahan. Read the full text at:
>
>http://www.thehistorynet.com/AmericanHistory/articles/1997/0297_text.htm
>
>
>Tom Robison
>Ossian, Indiana
>tcrobi@mindspring.com

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Happy Holidays

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
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From Wed Dec 24 10:53:34 1997
>X-Sender: robbins@medusa.nn.com
>X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Light Version 3.0.3 (32)
>Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 22:49:14 -0600
>To: mahan@microwrks.com
>From: Mark Robbins
>Subject: Happy Holidays
>Precendence: bulk
>Sender: mahan-owner@microworks.net
>Reply-To: mahan@microworks.net
>
>Merry Christmas to every one ­čÖé
>
>Mark Robbins
>Visit the HobbyHQ website @ http://www.208.140.66.203
>Visit the Unofficial VA-95 Green Lizard website @ http://www.
>208.140.66.203/lizard/va95main.htm

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Purpose
The Mahan Naval Discussion List hosted here at NavalStrategy.org is to foster discussion and debate on the relevance of Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan's ideas on the importance of sea power influenced navies around the world.
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