Forum: General Commentary
Topic: Secondary Guns
started by: Larry Bishop

Posted by Larry Bishop on Aug. 16 2001,2:02
I've been told that some of the BB's on battleship row were beginnig to be outfitted with shielded 5" guns. Can anyone tell which ships were so fitted at the time of the attack, and what were the locations and number of guns on each ship. TIA.
Posted by Brian OConnor on Aug. 26 2001,3:21
Larry,   First, to clarify things, the secondary armament on battleships of this period was for the most part, the 5"/51 "broadside" guns.   Most of these were set in shielded areas, but did not have shields mounted on them.   At the time of the attack I do not believe that any of the battleships had their antiaircraft 5" guns ( 5"/25's & 5"/38's ) in shielded mounts, though they were commonly placed behind deck-mounted splinter shields.   Shortly after the attack, several of the battleships, in the process of their salvage and repair work, had shields installed on many of the topside guns.
Best Regards,
Brian OConnor
Posted by Brian OConnor on Aug. 29 2001,8:52
With apologies to all, I stand corrected on the subject of shielded antiaircraft guns.  I was sent a copy of a photo showing at least one shielded 5"/25 on board the USS MARYLAND.  Thanks Larry.
Best Regards,
Posted by Mike Wenger on Aug. 30 2001,7:54

You need apologize to NO ONE as YOU ARE CORRECT!

Anyone who tells you that there were no 5"/25 shields during the attack are simply mistaken, and, quite honestly, cannot have not researched the attack photography very carefully.  I spent five-plus years going through the PH stuff in DC, and there are a number of images which document just what you contend.

See "Pearl Harbor: The Way It Was" by Wenger, Goldstein and Dillon, and look at photo 8-3.  There is indeed a splinter shield showing on one of the portside 5"/25s.

Personally, I have not gone through all the BuShips correspondence for all the battleship hull numbers (which needs to be done), but that is what will be necessary to put the matter to rest regarding how many shields were actually in place, BUT AT LEAST ONE WAS.

Incidentally, the negative number from the National Archives is:


Contact me offline at and I will pass a scan to you.


Mike Wenger
2438 Medway Drive
Raleigh, NC 27608
919-833-4734 H
919-266-8241 W

Posted by Brian OConnor on Aug. 30 2001,8:56
I do apologize, for I was one of those who had not studied the photographs; and did not think that any of the battleships at Pearl had received the shields for their 5"/25's yet.  Larry Bishop was kind enough to forward two photos to me, one of which clearly shows one of the shielded mounts.  My primary area of study had been the Arizona and of general shipboard information of the period.  Therefore I do again say sorry for spouting off without the info to back it up.


Posted by GM3cUSSMaryland on Sep. 03 2001,11:54
Hi Brian, I was aboard the USS Maryland and during our 1941 overhaul at Bremerton, Washington, 5"/.25 mounts number 3 and 7 had gun-houses put on and the rest remained with open splinter-shields.  I would be very interested in seeing the pictures you were emailed to bring back some memories of the old "Fighting Mary", would you be able to email them to me?
My address is

Thank you very much.

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