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 July 23, Jules Verne, Meet the U.S. Navy
Between the two world wars, the U.S. Navy built a collection of nine more of less experimental “V-boat” submarines. These boats took lessons from British and German submarines learned after WWI, and incorporated these into a more Yankee design. Each of these subs were very different as the design bureau experimented as they went. One of the ships, V-6, a very close pattern of V-5, which came before her, was built to a submarine-cruiser design.
This concept was a huge sub, meant to have very long legs, and capable of taking the war to the enemy wherever they may be. For this they were fitted with large, cruiser-caliber guns, and an impressive torpedo battery. Laid down at Mare Island Naval Yard on 2 August 1927, this V-boat (designated V-6/SC-2) was commissioned in June 1930. Following sea trails, V-6 was renamed USS Nautilus (SS-168) on Feb 19, 1931.
The sub was fitted with a pair of massive 6-inch/53 guns in special Mark 17 wet mountings. This gun was designed as a secondary battery of the Lexington-class battle cruisers and South Dakota-class battleships but were only installed in Omaha-class cruisers. Capable of firing a 105-lb shell to a maximum range was 23,300 yd (21,310 m), at the maximum elevation of 25 degrees, they were a hoss of a battery for a boat meant to operate underwater. With the exception of near-sisters (and fellow V-boats) USS Argonaut (SM-1) and USS Narwhal (SS-167, ex-V-5), the guns carried by the Nautilus were the largest fitted to an American submarine.
Capable of traveling an amazing 25,000 nm as long as she kept it slow and filled her ballast tanks with fuel, Nautilus could cross the Atlantic six times without refueling if needed. However, she was meant to operate in the Pacific against a growing Japanese naval threat, and she soon found herself there as flagship os SubDiv12 at Pearl Harbor. Although her near-sister Narwhal was present there on Dec. 7, 1941 (shooting down two torpedo bombers of the Japanese Combined Fleet), Nautilus was laid up undergoing maintenance back in California.
However she soon got underway and conducted an amazing 14 war patrols. Nautilus found herself in the middle of the Japanese fleet at the Battle of Midway, firing 5 torpedoes at the battleship Kirishima and the carrier Kaga (with little success due to faulty torpedoes) while surviving 42 enemy depth charges. However, just a few weeks after the battle, she ran across the Japanese Shiratsuyu-class destroyer Yamakaze and sent that ship to Davy Jones approximately 60 nautical miles (110 km) southeast of Yokosuka on 30 June 1945. The photo taken of the Yamakaze sinking after being torpedoed became an instant hit and was used for war bond art.
In August, 1942, along with the fellow V-Boat USS Argonaut, the two subs carried elements of the Marine Second Raider Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson to raid the isolated Japanese garrison at Makin Atoll. Carrying 90 men of Bravo Company, the raid annihilated the small force on the atoll, and was a huge propaganda victory for the nation at the time.
Nautilus went back to her life as a fleet submarine, but was also pressed back into duty carrying raiders behind enemy lines.
In 1943 she carried 109 Eskimo Scouts to land on the Japanese-occupied Aleutian island of Attu just before the main assault. Then at Tarawa, she put ashore a 77-man group of the 5th Amphibious Reconnaissance Company. Towards the end of the war she helped carry supplies and recon teams around the Philippines, helping to resupply and tie in local guerrilla groups led since 1942 in many cases by stay-behind (left-behind?) U.S. military members to the effort to liberate the islands.
However, with the war winding down, so did the Navy’s interest in the old and reliable Nautilus. Decommed before the war even ended on 30 June 1945, she was stricken and sold for scrap that fall after a very hard 15-year life. Her war patrol reports are public record.
Displacement, Surfaced: 2,730 t., Submerged: 3,960 t.;
Length 371′ ;
Beam 33′ 3″;
Draft 15′ 9″;
Propulsion, diesel electric, Maschinfabrik – Augusburg- Nurnburg, New York Navy Yard diesel engines, hp 3175,
Fuel Capacity, 182,778 gal., Westinghouse Electric Co., electric motors, hp 2500, Battery Cells 240, twin propellers.
Speed, Surfaced 17 kts, Submerged 8 kts;
Depth Limit 300′;
Complement 8 officers 80 enlisted;
Armament, four 21″ torpedo tubes forward, two 21″ torpedo tubes aft, four 21″ torpedo tubes topside, 24 torpedoes; two single 6″/53 deck gun, two 30 cal. mgs.;
If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International.
They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find http://www.warship.org/
The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.
Nearing their 50th Anniversary, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.
I’m a member, so should you be!
Maj. Gen. John Singlaub, (U.S. Army, retired), has quite the resume. Born in 1921, he graduated from UCLA in the ROTC program during WWII and chose infantry as a young 2nd LT, but soon found himself as part of a 3-man Jedburgh Team of the OSS, dropping behind Nazi lines in occupied France where he worked with local Resistance groups and waited for the Allies to land. From there he found himself in Manchuria, Korea, Vietnam, and so forth. In 1977, while Chief of Staff of the U.S. forces in the ROK, he was relieved by Jimmy Carter after he publicly criticized the Commander-in-Chief.
In the 1980s, retired from the Army and not-officially a member of the Intelligence Community anymore, he was the fixer and organizer that helped funnel training, money and equipment to the Contras in Nicaragua (this included recruiting non-agency assets like Robert K Brown and his Soldier of Fortune magazine crew as trainers, as detailed in Brown’s excellent memoir).
Well, at 93-years young, the General is still making public appearances to veterans groups and others and he is still pretty sharp
“You can’t fly a satellite or a drone over the enemy position and find out what’s in their minds, what they are planning,” Singlaub said. “It’s just impossible. You have to have human intelligence, and the way you have human intelligence is to seduce some of the enemy to give their secrets to us. We need to have a clandestine service.”
Silencerco has come out with what they term to be the first commercially viable, full modular shotgun suppressor. Of course the Brits have used them for a couple of generations, but this new Salvo system looks much more compact. On the downside, it runs about $1200.
“We took the brand-new Salvo 12 shotgun suppressor to the mountains to shoot some clays – and we had a very quiet day.”
The New Orleans Police Department has its own set of problems and issues to contend with, as do their officers. Instead of choir-practice, one homicide detective, Charlie Hoffacker, has taken to painting to get some shit off his mind.
He’s really not bad.
And he’s had a lot on his mind lately. In fact, he was recently pulled from the streets following an incident:
“”Public reaction to Hoffacker’s edgy artwork became even more acute when he was coincidentally taken off of street duty and assigned to a desk job in the aftermath of an alleged crime scene incident. As reported by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune in June, Hoffacker was searching for bullet fragments in a victim’s coagulated blood, according to a source close to the detective. Then he wiped his bloody hands off on the sidewalk, the source said, spelling the word ‘help.’ –Hoffacker said that he remains on desk duty.”
The Devils showed off a half-sized prototype of its Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) last week during Rim of the Pacific exercises in Hawaii, running it from the Navy’s amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore to the beaches of Marine Corps Training Area Bellows on Oahu.
“Showcasing the UHAC during RIMPAC is a big deal,” Dave George of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, which developed the UHAC with funding from the Office of Naval Research, said in a press release. “This is a great way to let people know that this new technology is being developed.”
The full-sized UHAC should be able to carry at least three tanks and a HMMVW, which is three-times the load of a LCAC hovercraft. The UHAC is supposed to be faster (25 knots) than current amtracs, but slower than an LCAC. However it is supposed to be able to scale 16-foot high sea walls.
At least, that’s what they are saying…
Lets roll that beautiful bean footage
“At a Roadblock on the Road to Bataan” by Don Millsap
This painting depicts Staff Sergeant Emil Morello of Company C, 194th Tank Battalion (CA Army National Guard) smashing through a Japanese roadblock with his M3 Stuart tank. After destroying the roadblock, Morello fired upon several Japanese positions before finally being disabled. Morello was awarded the Silver Star in 1983 for his actions.