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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:53 pm
Posts: 128
Regarding the decision to not update the analog computer systems during the 1980s rebuilds:

The very last BB vs BB battle, at Surigao Strait (part of the Leyte Gulf action of 1944), pitted WWI - era battleships against one another; six on the American side, and two on the Japanese. Three of the six American ships had ultra-modern, for the time, Mark 8 radar system that was used in conjunction with the electro-mechanical analog firing computers. One (and possibly more) of these ships was able to score a direct hit on its Japanese opponents, with the very first salvo, in pitch darkness. Perhaps this experience played a part in the decision to "leave well enough alone" to the targeting systems during the 1980s upgrades to the Iowas.

Also, there is a planned rapid transit line for Oahu. I'm not sure how close to Pearl Harbor (and the Missouri) that their planned route will take them.

JR


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
John Redden wrote:
Also, there is a planned rapid transit line for Oahu. I'm not sure how close to Pearl Harbor (and the Missouri) that their planned route will take them.

JR


A look at a route map or schematic (you have to open it up in the column at the right to see it) shows a station for Pearl Harbor Naval Base and another for the Arizona memorial.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honolulu_Rail_Transit

http://www.honolulutransit.org/

http://66.192.214.182/

http://66.192.214.182/rail-system-guide ... e-map.aspx

As usual, and perhaps with some justification, there have been complaints about the cost.

http://www.civilbeat.org/topics/honolulu-rail-project/


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:57 am
Posts: 182
Location: Sandpoint, ID
SteveC wrote:
I actually think that they would have been kept in service much longer if it hadn't been for the fiasco of an investigation of the turret explosion on the Iowa. This left a big black eye for the navy and their reputation, so the battleships fell from grace. They were also manpower intensive vs. more modern ships, so they were easy targets for arguments for putting them back in reserve. The Marine's were very resistant, but were ultimately unsuccessful, in preventing them from being decommissioned as we did not have a gunship that was capable for infantry support that was anywhere the level of the Iowa class ships.

Steve


I would suggest reading "Explosion Aboard the Iowa" Publisher: Naval Institute Press; 1st edition (April 1, 1999) Language: English ISBN-10: 1557508100 ISBN-13: 978-1557508102 by Richard Schwoebel who was head of the Scandia Labs investigation team.


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:45 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:19 pm
Posts: 378
Location: Bowie, MD
Having followed the work on Destroyer Escort USS Slater, it is almost mind blowing how much effort it must take to keep a ship the size of NJ in decent condition. One has to worry about the future of these ships given the current state of USS Olympia, basically across the river from NJ.

In 1984, I shot this photo from a helicopter off the carrier USS America (CV-66). America was operating in the Gulf of Mexico. America's skipper learned Iowa was just out of the yards (Pascagoula) from reactivation and was getting a weapons on load. Skipper Smith asked if the Iowa could operate with America, but the request was denied since Iowa had a schedule to meet; so America went to visit Iowa. I ended up in the cockpit the helo, on the deck of the carrier, between the pilots who had no idea what was up, as neither did I. But one look out on the horizon showed the unmistakable shape of a Iowa class BB, so I told the pilots that was the target and off we went.

Image

This is Iowa with the USS Mt Baker, an ammo ship. They are transferring either shells or power, both via CH-46 helos (hovering over the fantails of both ships) and via lines between the ships. This was likely a learning experience for both crews with the help of some vets who had come out of retirement to help.

In formation is an oddity; A USS Pegasus class hydrofoil that we had been operating with. These hydros were based out of Key West and were fun to watch.

Later, we were alongside Iowa in Norfolk, VA. I had a photomate friend on her who gave me a grand tour in exchange for using the color photo lab on the carrier to make a bunch of color prints. He later had to document the results of the turret explosion.

I think if you ask any US Marine if they would rather have one of the new Zumwalt destroyers with their non-working guns or one of these guys off shore supporting an operation, the answer would be very clear. The risk today are shore-to-ship missles. Zumwalts use really expensive stealth technology that might work; an Iowa wouldn't hardly notice a modern missile hit, IMHO.

One has to doubt if we have the knowledge to steam one these guys today; The original guys are all but gone and the guys from the short lived recommission period aren't getting any younger.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:11 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:45 am
Posts: 58
Trainlawyer wrote:
NYCRRson wrote:
Doug,

"Question, Was not the Wisconsin sunk through maybe a combination of a torpedo and a typhoon? I seem to recall tails of one ship (thought it was a BB that went down in shark infested waters and few got out."

I think you are remembering the USS Indianapolis, a fast cruiser built in the 1920's.
...
...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Indianapolis_(CA-35)

Cheers, KevinK

A sidenote in the saga of the USS Indianapolis is that after the the survivors were spotted in the water the first surface vessel to reach them was a destroyer escort, the USS Cecil J. Doyle. Its skipper, a Harvard lawyer who had clerked for both Judge Learned Hand and Justice Louis Brandeis before the war, was Lieutenant Commander William G. Claytor, better known by his middle name 'Graham', who went on to become the President of the Southern Railway, Secretary of the Navy, and President of Amtrak.

I know I will upset my son (USMC) and a granddaughter (USN) by saying this but the the Navy's problem is that it is pretty much restricted to the water. A battleship in the context of modern warfare is a very stable firing platform for heavy artillery. Like the A-10, which is really a Tank Destroyer with wings, it needs to be thought of in the context of what it can do rather than what it looks like. The limitation is where it can go. Unlike the self-propelled and trailed cannon in Armoured and Mechanized Divisions it cannot race overland to be within range of its next target, hence the adaptation for cruise missiles.

Of the Battleships which are on public display, I believe the New Jersey is the only one which is accessible by rail.

GME


One thing about the tragedy of the USS Indianapolis was that it was so unnecessary. The role of ego in making the loss so much worse was seldom discussed. At the time, General MacArthur was very much in competition with Chester Nimitz. He wanted no part in "taking orders from a lowly admiral" and so he saw to it that he was overseeing the 7th fleet. Nimitz as CINCPAC should have had ultimate authority over the entire Pacific fleet, but instead was in command of the 3rd or 5th fleet. (The fleet designation changed whether Halsey or Spruance were at sea) These fleets were the offensive fleet arm, and the 7th fleet under Kincaid were there for amphibious operations, which were lead by McArthur. Most of the older battleships were assigned to the 7th fleet for their periods in the Pacific, while the 10 fast battleships were assigned to the 3rd or 5th fleets.

When the Indianapolis sailed from California with the atomic bomb welded to the deck, it was sailing to the Marianas island of Tinian and was part of the 3rd fleet, and after delivery at Tinian and Guam, it was sent to the Philippines to join the 7th fleet. Each fleet had a complicated method of keeping track of who was assigned to which fleet, and the poor Indianapolis was lost in the transition. This split authority ended up causing significant conflicts over the length of the war.

Admiral Lee was still very much in "The Gun Club" and on two occasions, came close to having his premier ships engage the Japanize battle line after Guadalcanal. The first was at The Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944 when we came close to a night action, but the fleets withdrew. The second time would have been as part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf when Halsey was supposed to leave the BB's, as a new task force 34 behind and guard the exit from San Bernardino Straight to protect the landing forces on Leyte. He instead took them north to protect the carriers as they went after the decoy fleet of carriers to the north. This gap lead to the Japanize center fleet getting through and almost achieving their mission. They were only stopped by our destroyers and CVE's in The Battle of Samar which was one of the most gallant battles of US Navy history. (Those sailors ironically were left in the water also.) By the time our fast BB's returned, the Japanize fleet had withdrawn. The Yamato was among the 4 BB's in the Japanize fleet, with it's 18" guns, but the Musashi, it's sister ship had been sunk the previous day by aircraft from the 3rd fleet. The US Navy task group 34 that day would have included 2 Iowa class ships, (Iowa and New Jersey), and one North Carolina and one South Dakota class, (Washington and Alabama). Again, it was communication issues with the 3rd and 7th fleet that lead to the misunderstanding that left the straight unguarded.


Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:46 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 887
Hi,

I was thinking of the Indianapolis. I recall incidents but the details are confused nowadays.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:19 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1217
Location: Strasburg, PA
SteveC wrote:
The second time would have been as part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf when Halsey was supposed to leave the BB's, as a new task force 34 behind and guard the exit from San Bernardino Straight to protect the landing forces on Leyte. He instead took them north to protect the carriers as they went after the decoy fleet of carriers to the north. Again, it was communication issues with the 3rd and 7th fleet that lead to the misunderstanding that left the straight unguarded.

IIRC Halsey didn't realize that all of the BB's had turned north with him that day, another misunderstanding. When he had to turn south to return to San Bernardino Strait the toothless Jap Carriers were only fifty miles off the NJ's bow, leading to a huge lost opportunity for revenge by US BB's on IJN CV's.

Other BB vs. CV trivia (again IIRC since the "All the World's Battlecrusers" history pages seem to have disappeared). It is little understood today how expensive and time consuming BB guns were to make, taking 12 months of precision machine work per gun. I recall reading that an Essex class CV and her entire compliment of planes could be built for less money that the cost of just the big guns of an Iowa class BB.

Several of us took the tour of the New Jersey last year, and it is well worth the price of admission. The mechanical computer for aiming the guns is operable and has its top cover replaced with a Plexiglas sheet. Holy smokes, what a complex piece of clockwork!

My dad was on a destroyer escort in the Pacific during WWII, and was refueling at sea once with the Wisconsin refueling on the other side of the oiler. My dad's little ship 5,400 HP (GM diesels) (a damned canoe, as he would say) finished fueling about a minute ahead of the Wisconsin, and had pulled ahead about a ship length when the Wisconsin dug in (212,000 HP) and took off over the horizon leaving them bobbing in her wake.

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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:36 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:19 pm
Posts: 378
Location: Bowie, MD
At the National Museum of the U.S. Navy on the grounds of the old Washington Shipyard, you can see the remaining US Navy WWI 14-inch rail gun. Sitting quietly near by is is a piece of Japanese belt armor meant to be used on the third Yamato with a huge hole in it from a US Navy 16-inch gun. The test was conducted after the war.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 585
Not related to the NJ or analog computers, is how many of our WW2 vets are fading out fast and crew members of our old BB fleet. Some battleship trivia I guess.

As a nurse in long term {nursing homes} I have been blessed to meet many ww2 vets many at the end of life stage. One lady I was taking care of, her husband had a USS Nevada hat on. Many people wear ball caps with their favorite branch of service or ship and it doesn't mean they are vets or were members serving on the ship. So I stated to him, "nice hat, were you on her". He stated yes and was delighted to talk to someone who even knew what USS Nevada was about. He just opened up about his service, went home and got his "USS Nevada book" and his newspaper article collection which was very extensive. He had went aboard right near the end of the war and think the Nevada was involved in the Okinawa landings as the Nevada was there for fire support? But if he was it was the only battle he was in for. He stayed in the Pacific up to and during the Bikini Atoll bomb testing. He was assigned bomb assessment duty and he and a small crew went back aboard to assess. They were aboard for 24-48 hrs or so when a high ranking navy medical officer came aboard and asked how long they had been aboard. Was informed they were only supposed to be on board for a few hours and then depart. They were sailors and did what they were told and awaited orders and transport off ship. This man was the only survivor of the radiation poisoning and lived to be in his mid to late 80s. He died about a year or so after I met him. He loaned me his book which was awarded to all crew members when they decommissioned the ship. He told me of the ordeal that he and others went through after the radiation problems started to arise. This was all new to everybody. They knew of the dangers but it was all new for the most part. The crew members who had gone aboard started dying off and nothing seemed to help. He being the only survivor was watched very closely his entire life and every year even long after the tests, he would be examined thoroughly to try and find why he survived and others did not. He actually trusted me to take his book and article collection home and I went through it in amazement. A sad ending for a majestic ship and a really nice guy and veteran. By the way I did return to him his collection. What an honor he bestowed upon me. John.


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:06 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Funny that this would come up at about the same timeframe that I got to see the last of the Iowa-class battlewagons, as well as the last one I hadn’t seen before then, the Wisconsin. I was in Norfolk for the change of command ceremony where one of my best friends took command of an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the USS Nitze (DDG-94). So, I hit as many military museums in the areas as I could (not much train stuff in the area in comparison, but it was great to see the Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis.
Photos of that trip with the various stuff can be seen here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/53587910@N05/sets/72157680697527971
The Wisconsin was the final battleship to be decommissioned and I’m still a little unclear as to the status of these ships. At one point, I recall reading that two of them were supposed to be maintained in a ready state, to be able to go back to the shipyard for another active timeframe. But apparently, that hold was released some time ago and they’re all museum ships forever.
I saw the Mighty Mo at Bremerton and at Pearl, the Iowa in 1998 at the Philly Naval yard, the New Jersey at Bremerton and at Camden and then the Wisconsin last week.
I’m an old Army guy and not big on seafaring, but there’s something about battleships that really stirs the blood. If I could have known I’d have served on a battleship, I might have simply enlisted into the Navy instead of later becoming an Army officer. There are still ’30 year’ types in the Navy who served on the Iwo class ships, I’ve been told, but not too many.

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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:46 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Virginia
I was lucky enough to have been able to operate with the Iowa and Wisconsin. We deployed with Iowa to the Med in June of 1989 for a six month deployment. She went around and did her thing as a little Surface Action Group while we were with the USS Coral Sea, another crusty old ship from the real Navy. On a sad note, we were the first ship to render assistance to Iowa when she had the explosion in Turret 2. I later found out that my high school basketball team manager had just enlisted and had been assigned to the Iowa 2 weeks before the explosion. He was assigned to Turret 2 and was lost.

We were the first ship to refuel with the Wisconsin after her re-commissioning. They added an unrep station to her so she could refuel ships in her SAG.

Making our approach

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Alongside

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When Saddam invaded Kuwait in August of 90 we deployed on 5 days notice to the Red Sea along with 3 carriers and a bunch of cruisers. We ended up staying for 7+ months. Wisconsin deployed to the Gulf for her big guns plus her UAV capability as well as Tomahawks.

When we were all directed to return to Norfolk in mid March 91, we did normal speed but Wisconsin was authorized Flank 3 in order to catch up so we could all pull into port together. A few days out she came over the horizon at sunrise, doing Flank 3 with the most awesome bow wake. One sight I will never forget. We all knew it was probably going to be the last time we would see a battleship underway. March 28 1991. 10 years later I ended up getting promoted on the deck of the Wisconsin under the barrels of Turret 1. She was a museum ship by then in Norfolk.

The real killer in ever operating the ships again is manpower which is the most expensive component of operating a ship. And as of today, there are very few steam ships left except for the LHDs. All carriers are Nukes now and the new Amphibs are all gas turbine or hybrid propulsion. All cruisers and Destroyers are gas turbine as well. So there are very few Boiler Technicians and Machinist Mates left in the Navy.

What the battleships did well at in the 80s was as a Tomahawk platform. They could carry 32 which at that time was a lot....some cruisers had 8. Since VLS was introduced in the late 80s, a single Destroyer could carry 80+ Tomahawks

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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:58 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 887
hi,

Thanks for the photos and stories.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4912
John Risley wrote:
Not related to the NJ or analog computers, is how many of our WW2 vets are fading out fast and crew members of our old BB fleet. Some battleship trivia I guess.

As a nurse in long term {nursing homes} I have been blessed to meet many ww2 vets many at the end of life stage. One lady I was taking care of, her husband had a USS Nevada hat on. Many people wear ball caps with their favorite branch of service or ship and it doesn't mean they are vets or were members serving on the ship. So I stated to him, "nice hat, were you on her". He stated yes and was delighted to talk to someone who even knew what USS Nevada was about. He just opened up about his service, went home and got his "USS Nevada book" and his newspaper article collection which was very extensive. He had went aboard right near the end of the war and think the Nevada was involved in the Okinawa landings as the Nevada was there for fire support? But if he was it was the only battle he was in for. He stayed in the Pacific up to and during the Bikini Atoll bomb testing. He was assigned bomb assessment duty and he and a small crew went back aboard to assess. They were aboard for 24-48 hrs or so when a high ranking navy medical officer came aboard and asked how long they had been aboard. Was informed they were only supposed to be on board for a few hours and then depart. They were sailors and did what they were told and awaited orders and transport off ship. This man was the only survivor of the radiation poisoning and lived to be in his mid to late 80s. He died about a year or so after I met him. He loaned me his book which was awarded to all crew members when they decommissioned the ship. He told me of the ordeal that he and others went through after the radiation problems started to arise. This was all new to everybody. They knew of the dangers but it was all new for the most part. The crew members who had gone aboard started dying off and nothing seemed to help. He being the only survivor was watched very closely his entire life and every year even long after the tests, he would be examined thoroughly to try and find why he survived and others did not. He actually trusted me to take his book and article collection home and I went through it in amazement. A sad ending for a majestic ship and a really nice guy and veteran. By the way I did return to him his collection. What an honor he bestowed upon me. John.


John -

Thanks for the interesting info about the sailor who had served on the U.S.S. Nevada. In reading about the attack on Pearl Harbor, I remember two things about the Nevada. It was her bands turn to play the National Anthem at daybreak and they were involved in doing so when the first Japanese planes started their attack. They finished the Anthem despite what was suddenly going on around them! Then, she was actually the only battlewagon to get under way and make a break for the open seas, but the Navy was worried about the Jap planes suddenly concentrating on her and sinking her in the entrance to the harbor, so she was beached, and then pounded there of course. A proud ship. Glad you met one of her sailors.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:59 pm 

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Location: Houston, TX
My next door neighbor's son enlisted in the Navy straight out of high school in the late 1980's precisely because he wanted to serve on one of the Battleships. He trained as a gunners mate and went to sea on the Iowa in 1987. He was assigned to Turret 2 and was a gun captain when he was transferred to the Main Battery Director on the top of the foremast in March, 1989. Thus, his life was spared in the Turret 2 explosion of April, 1989. He knew everyone of those killed. He always said that it was a bad primer, and probably an over-zealous chain rammer operator. He never got over the accident.

Same thing happened on the USS Mississippi during WW2 but you can't find out much about it.

The Iowa's fired a 2700# Armor piercing shell, while the Yamato class fired only a 3200# AP Shell. It was claimed that the Yamato guns had a range between 25 and 26 miles, while the Iowa's only had a range of 23 miles.

Incidently, although it is a principle of naval architecture that a vessel should be armored against its own guns, no American battleship built for WW2, was actually successfully armored against the 2700# AP shell, as they were designed to protect only against the previous 2250# AP round. Only the Montana Class Battleships, which were never built were designed to be protected against the 2700# shell, which also would have been proven to be very effective against the armor scheme of the Yamato class ships as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Off Topic (Marine Preservation)--U.S.S. New Jersey
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:42 pm 

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Posts: 209
Trainlawyer wrote:
One thing about the tragedy of the USS Indianapolis was that it was so unnecessary. The role of ego in making the loss so much worse was seldom discussed. At the time, General MacArthur was very much in competition with Chester Nimitz. He wanted no part in "taking orders from a lowly admiral" and so he saw to it that he was overseeing the 7th fleet. Nimitz as CINCPAC should have had ultimate authority over the entire Pacific fleet, but instead was in command of the 3rd or 5th fleet.


Sorry to take the thread off course, but I have done extensive reading and other research into the saga of the USS Indianapolis and I do not think MacArthur vs. Nimitz had anything to do with what happened. A colossal blunder made by Captain Oliver Naquin, a naval officer with CINCPAC who failed to relay to the Indy's captain, Charles Butler McVay III, ULTRA intelligence about the presence of a group of four Japanese submarines in the Philippine Sea, played a key part in shaping the disaster. What is more, he also failed to relay to McVay the fate of the USS Underhill, a destroyer escort sunk by a Japanese sub days before the Indy set sail for Leyte. Naquin was either A. arrogantly dismissive of the Japanese threat, B. so inept as to not know how to recast ULTRA in terms that did not disclose its source ("Patrol planes spotted four Japanese subs at [coordinates]") or C. a combination of both. If you ask me, Naquin deserved to be court martialed, not poor McVay. Perhaps Naquin's status as a hero of the sinking of the USS Squalus in 1939 (he was her commander) saved him?

Bringing the thread back on course, I am dismayed by how "high tech" the U.S. Navy seems to be getting these days. If the tried and true works, why try to perfect it? I agree that the Iowa class could easily shrug off a shore based missile hit or two (at least in their armor belts) but more modern, smaller vessels could be opened up like tinfoil by a missile if the ships' anti-missile defenses failed.

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