With small fast attack craft easier than ever to produce in swarms on the cheap in both manned and unmanned versions, it is nice to see the Gator Navy at least practicing on these as targets.
PACIFIC OCEAN (March 21, 2019) A fast inshore attack craft is damaged after being fired on by the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) during a live-fire gunnery exercise in the Pacific Ocean, March 21, 2019. Sailors and Marines of the USS Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) train together at sea to increase the tactical proficiency, lethality, and interoperability in an Era of Great Power Competition. USS Boxer is underway conducting routine operations as a part of USS Boxer (ARG) in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danielle A. Baker)
Of course, today its all just 25mm and 30mm guns as well as some .50s, but back in the old days ‘Phibs bristled with a mix of 3″ and 40mm cannon as well as a smattering of 5-inchers.
Church services for men of the Third Division, on the forecastle of USS LST-4, one day out while en route to the Southern France “Dragoon” landings, 13 August 1944. Photographed by Smith. Note 20mm and 40mm guns, with limiting rails around them to prevent firing into the ship’s structure. Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives. Catalog #: SC 192719
Torch Landings, November 1942: “Navy gun crews man their weapons, on the after deckhouse of a transport en route to Morocco, 26 October 1942. Note other ships of the invasion convoy in the background. Guns seen include 3 inch/50 dual-purpose, 20mm A.A. machine gun, .30cal Lewis Machine Gun, and A 5 inches/51 Low Angle Gun.” Description: Catalog #: SC 162349
Speaking of which, the original first few vessels of the Tarawa-class LHAs– of which Boxer is a later Wasp-class LHD outgrowth off– toted a pair of 5-inch Mk45s forward for just such occasions as well as some NGF support ashore. Not well liked, they were removed to get a little more deck space.
USS SAIPAN (LHA-2) note 5-inch guns forward. Now that will scratch the paint job of an incoming FAC at distance…
Maybe its time to bring a few (bigger) guns back to the Gator Navy?