Saw this today in which it appears that a quartet of Confederate submersibles, scuttled in Louisiana mud to prevent those darned Yankees from grabbing them up, have been located– right where they were left 150~ years ago.
Marty Loschen, director of the Spring Street Museum in downtown Shreveport, thinks he’s found remnants of the hand-propelled craft in the banks of a branch of Cross Bayou about a half-mile west of where the Confederate Navy had a shipyard. At Cross Bayou’s mouth on Red River, it was home to the leaky ironclad CSS Missouri and a fast packet, the Webb, whose presence overshadowed the humbler underwater vessels.
Several months ago, before recent rains raised water levels on Cross Bayou and its feeder streams, Loschen and his brother found decades-old rusted metal and some oddly formed tree roots whose shape suggested they had grown over something curved that had rotted or rusted away. The site was on a bank revealed by low water on Bowman’s chute.
“It’s breathtakingly beautiful out there,” says Loschen, who spends much of his time exploring the more remote, forgotten and forbidding parts of old Shreveport. He points to the 1864 Venable map of the defenses of Shreveport which shows several small buildings near where he found the artifacts.
“There’s your sub base,” he said. “On the Venable map there’s an island out there. My theory is if you’re going to have a clandestine sub base, you’re going to put it out there. Look, there are structures out there, near what I found out beached — it has to be.”
Others disagree…the rest here
Besides confirmation of the new Glock Model 40 and the debut of a new line of optics ready factory pistols, a number of aftermarket Glock accessories emerged this week to include innovative (and inexpensive) new magazines, optics mounts, and even a AR-stock with a Glock compartment.
With all that being said, we saw just about everything we could want for/from Glock this SHOT Show.
Well, almost everything…
Those words have never been uttered by space travelers so far, but in the 1960s, it was at least spit-balled by a team of NASA and USAF engineers sitting around a drawing board burning lean muscle tissue into the night as they chain smoked unfiltered Camels and cleaned their horn-rimmed glasses on linen handkerchiefs.
Designed by GE and dubbed the MOOSE, (either Man Out Of Space Easiest or Manned Orbital Operations Safety Equipment) it was the emergency bail out life-pod that was supposed to be able to drop an astronaut back to Earth from orbit ala Orbital Drop Shock Trooper-style if their craft was not going to make it.
So there is this privately owned U-boat in Germany built as part of the Euronaut project and honestly its kinda bad-ass. Its 53-feet long, 32-tons in displacement, capable of diving to 250m (500m crush depth), able to submerge for a week. Powered by a 190hp Diesel on the surface that enables it to make a blistering 8-knots for 250nm or as long as its 250 gallons of diesel let her. Submerged, 107 batteries power a 55hp electric motor allowing her to make 5 knots under the waves.
She comes complete with a wet/dry chamber to lock out divers which is always handy in a tiny sub. She was built by German engineer Carsten Standfuss over a 12 year period. She can carry 3-8 crew/divers.
So far they have used it to find the wrecks of the HMS Seahorse, HMS E-16, SMS Wacht, S.M. UC-71, an unidentified small cargo ship, a RAF Lancaster bomber, and an East German Air Force Mig-17.
There seems to be some sort of civilian midget submarine arms race in the Baltic. Besides the Euronaut boat, in nearby Denmark the 59-foot ‘Art project” UC-3 Nautilus, built for $200,000 and manned by former Royal Danish Navy submariners, has been called (tongue in cheek) the world’s smallest ballistic missile submarine for her recent work in launching offshore sub-orbital rockets.
Either of these craft are likely still far and away better than those operated by the DPRK and Iran.
During the Plains Wars of the last half of the 19th Century, the U.S. Army employed hundreds of volunteer Indian Scouts, first authorized by Congress in 1866. One of these, Al-Che-Say, of the White Mountain Apache, became decorated veteran of the conflict. This Medal of Honor recipient also was a fan of Marlin lever guns.
Born in 1853 Arizona Territory, the 19-year old was already a skilled warrior when he joined the U.S. Army in 1872 as part of Gen. Crook’s Expedition against the Chiricahua Apache, who were at the time on the warpath. For the next fifteen years the scout was Crook’s right arm as the government tracked the last rebel Apache into the mountains, chasing militant shaman and war-band leader Geronimo and his band into the alkali deserts of Chihuahua and the harsh forbidding terrain of the Sierra Madre Mountains.
After Geronimo’s ultimate surrender who Alchesay had helped negotiate on occasion, the two remained friends.
Alchesay said to Gen. Crook in 1886 : “They have surrendered. I don’t want you to have any bad feelings towards them. They are all good friends now…because they are all the same people – all one family with me; just like when you kill a deer, all of its parts are of the one body….No matter where you send (them) we hope to hear that you have treated them kindly….I have never told you a lie, nor have you ever told me a lie, and now I tell you that (they) really want to do what is right and live at peace….I want you to carry away in your pocket all that has been said here today.”
Retiring from the Army as a Sergeant and MOH recipient for “Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches” he returned home and became a successful rancher and chief of his band. He was one of only ten Native Americans recipients before WWI.
Remaining a chief until 1925, he was often photographed with a Series 1889 Marlin rifle which is currently on museum display.
There are 36 plates of these illustrations ranging from officers to artillery, infantry, trumpeters and cavalry of the Geschichte des württembergischen Kriegswesens (Uniforms of the troops of Württemberg) Published by K. Hof-buchdruckerei zu Guttenberg, Stuttgart, 1856
Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all of their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger.
Warship Wednesday January 28, 2015: The Lucky Okie
Here we see the forward 6″/47 (15.2 cm) Mark 16 mount of the Cleveland-class light cruiser (guided missile) USS Oklahoma City (CL-91/CLG-5/CG-5) dropping it like its hot on the heads of Viet Cong forces, “somewhere off the coast of South Vietnam,” in an August 1965 LIFE Magazine cover. At the time the 21-year old Okie Boat, as she was known, was one of the last WWII-era ‘gun cruisers” still afloat but she had been brought into the Atomic-era as a hybrid missile slinger and for nearly a generation served as the “Fighting Flagship” of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific, often coming in close just like this to rain fire and brimstone when called.
She was part of the large and successful USS Cleveland (CL-55) class of light cruisers during WWII. Originally planned to be some 52-ships strong, 9 were carved off to become USS Independence class light carriers, while about half of the others were canceled as the end of the war was fast approaching. These were mighty “10,000-ton” designed light cruisers capable of making 32-knots while cruising some 14,500 nm at half that to reach those out-of-the-way Pacific battlegrounds without stopping for gas.
Packing a dozen Mk.16 guns in four triple turrets each protected by 6-inches of armor themselves) these rapid-fire guns could bring an incredible amount of pain to enemy warships and land forces in a short time. As noted in prewar tests with these mounts, during gunnery trials in March 1939, USS Savannah (CL-42) fired 138 6-inch rounds in one minute. When you keep in mind that each of these guns fired a 130-lb. shell to 26,118 yards at maximum elevation, that’s pretty strong medicine. To augment this, these ships also carried a dozen 5-inch DP guns as well as an impressive AAA suite.
Oklahoma City (as CL-91) was laid down 8 December 1942 by the Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, Pa. She was finally commissioned 22 Dec. 1944, with just nine months left in the World War. Rushing to the Pacific, she joined Carrier Task Group 38.1 by June 1945 and saw some hot service off Okinawa and in Japan’s home waters just before the end of the war. In the first of a stream of luck, she suffered no wartime casualties and won a battle star for her service.
With a surplus of ships and a shrinking Navy, the gently used cruiser was mothballed 30 June 1947 where she sat for the next decade, often surrounded by her sisterships.
While many of her sisters never saw active service again, the Okie was far luckier. In 1957, she began a three-year conversion to a guided missile cruiser to fire the gigantic Talos long-range surface-to-air missile system. Two of her sisters, Galveston (CL-93/CLG-3) and Little Rock (CL-92/CLG- 4), both ironically also built by Cramp, were similarly converted. This conversion consisted of removing the two aft 6-inch mounts and their magazines to make room for the two-armed bandit Talos system and a below-deck magazine for 46 of the comically large (38-foot long 7800-pound) Bendix RIM-8 missiles. These beasts, to include a RIM-8D W30 nuclear-warhead version, could make Mach 2.2 and reach out to 100 nm– that made them among the best SAMs of the era.
Forward of the bridge, the No.2 6-inch mount was replaced by a twin 5-inch DP to help offset the weight of all the added surface search radars, fire control directors and commo gear. Much of her WWII armament, such as the 20mm guns, and gear were ditched. Gone were her seaplanes, which had been retired a decade earlier anyway, and their catapults, replaced by deck space and refueling facilities for naval helicopters. Below decks, she (and Little Rock) was given extra room and facilities to support a fleet flag operation.
All these extras pushed the boat to some 14,000-tons, which included additional ballast to help fight that 113-foot above deck height, all of which resulted in awful hogging in high seas and an increased draft to the near battleship-worthy 26-feet of seawater.
Recommissioned 7 Sept 1960, she became 7th Fleet flagship at Yokosuka, Japan that Christmas Eve. It was a job she would keep for much of her second career.
From the Gulf of Tonkin include in August 1964 to the evacuation of Saigon in April 1975, she spent the majority of those ten+ years somewhere between the coastline of Vietnam, delivering gunfire support, and Yankee Station, providing air defense for the carriers stationed there.
While Talos missiles splashed three North Vietnamese MIGs during the conflict, these came from other cruisers and not the Okie boat. She herself survived an attack by two MIG-17s on 19 April 1972.
Her missiles did draw some significant blood however when she conducted the first surface-to-surface war shot in Navy history, destroying a NVA air control radar with a Talos RIM-8H anti-radar homing missile from fifty miles offshore.
In all she earned 13 battle stars for Vietnam and by 1975, at age thirty, the lucky penny was well-worn but, with all of the other big gun ships of her era turned to scrap or laid up, she was an interesting niche. However, even having the 6-inch hood ornament only went so far.
Her class had all been decommissioned by 1976 and her Talos missile system, designed in the 50s, was an Edsel in a world of AMC Pacers. Oklahoma City‘s last designation, applied at this time, was to simply drop the “L” from her hull number, making her CG-5.
She had one more thing to before being decommissioned.
By 15 December 1979, she was decommissioned, the last WWII-era cruiser in the U.S. Navy on active service, and remained in mothballs for twenty years, contributing many of her parts to help recondition WWII era museum ships around the country.
Finally, she was towed to deep water in February 1999 and subjected to a series of target shoots by U.S. and Allied fleets.
The battered 44-year old was sent to the bottom by a final merciful SUT torpedo coup de grâce from the South Korean Navy Chang Bogo Type 209/1200 Submarine Lee Chun (SS-062) on 26 March 1999. Let us face it; she belonged in the 20th Century and it was better this way than to have her turned to scrap.
As for her sisters, most of them had been long scrapped in the 1950s and 60s. Only three survived into the disco era, USS Springfield (CL-66/CLG-7/CG-7) who was decommissioned in 1974 and sold for scrap in 1980, USS Providence (CL–82/CLG-6/CG-6) who shared the same fate and timeline, and USS Little Rock (CL-92/CLG-4/CG-4) who was decommissioned in 1976 and is now a museum ship at Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.
Please visit her if you have a chance.
Displacement: 10,000 designed, 14,100 full load final
Length: 610 ft. 1 in
Beam: 66 ft. 2 in
Draft: 24 ft. 10 in, 26+ post conversion
Height above waterline: 113 feet
Propulsion: Four Babcock & Wilcox, 634 psi boilers
Four GE geared steam turbines, 100,000 hp (74,570 kW) total, 4 shafts
Speed: 32.5 as designed, 31.6 knots post conversion, 25 post-1975
Complement: 992 designed, 1255 actual (WWII) 1,426 post conversion
Armament (as completed):
12 Mk.16 6 inch guns (4 × 3)
12 5 in/38 cal gun (6 × 2)
28 40 mm Bofors guns (4 × 4, 6 × 2)
10 20 mm Oerlikons cannons
Aircraft carried: Four seaplanes launched from two catapults
• 3 × 6 in (152 mm) guns in 1 Mark 16 turret
• 2 × 5 in/38 cal guns in 1 Mark 32 mount
• 1 × twin-rail Mark 7 Talos SAM launcher, 46 missiles
Aircraft carried: Kaman SH-2B Seasprite (1964–1972) SH-2H Sea King (1975–79) helicopter (Call Sign: Blackbeard 1)
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