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Topic: Birth of a myth?, Arizona bomb down the stack.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 24 2001,7:59  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"a) The battleship Arizona which was destroyed by the explosion of first, its boiler and then its forward magazine due to a bomb which was said to have literally passed down through  the smokestack;"

Thus speaketh no lesser personage than the Secretary of the Navy, the honorable Mr. Knox.  

http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pha/knox/knox_2.html

However, he was wrong.  Anybody know why/how he got bad info?

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Dan Perrine Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 24 2001,12:34 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have always assumed the reason for erroneous belief that a bomb went down the USS Arizona's stack was the large plume of smoke that shot out of the stack during the explosion.  This plume of smoke is quite visible in the film of the explosion taken from the nearby USS Solace.   Secretary Knox probably had seen this footage and heard other eyewitnesses and reached the faulty conclusion.  I have never heard whether the stack was examined to determine an entry point.

Dan

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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 24 2001,12:42 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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Secretary Knox probably had seen this footage and heard other eyewitnesses and reached the faulty conclusion. áI have never heard whether the stack was examined to determine an entry point.

The statement is date Dec. 15th, after his return from Hawaii.  I guess amount of time lapsed since the attack was enough to get a good look at things.   I know that the internal reinforcements on Arizona's forward stack were not broken when they did get around to inspecting it.

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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 24 2001,6:55 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

After thinking about it I am speculating that the "down the stack" rumor may have been deliberate.  This is a weak point in the armor and if we didn't want the enemy to know how well their bomb penetrated  we might have done a little disinformation.  (Gee, am I suggesting a conspiracy?)
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Ken Hackler Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 27 2001,12:27 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Larry,

They did examine her stack during salvage ops later on, and found the screens to be intact. No bomb passed down her stack.

The force of the explposion forward simply force a huge amount of air back through the ship, and a lot of that air escaped by venting through the open boiler fronts and up through the stack. The huge volume of air rushing suddenly through the boilers carried a lot of soot straight up, causing the mistaken belief that she took a bomb down the stack.

Just one of a huge number of myths that some people still believe today, partly because it was mentioned in a lot of books over the years.

But then, after spending so many thousands of hours putting source documents online to help combat rumor, you know that problem all too well!

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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 27 2001,12:32 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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Quote: from Ken Hackler on 11:27 pm on May 26, 2001
Larry,

...

But then, after spending so many thousands of hours putting source documents online to help combat rumor, you know that problem all too well!

I once collected enough documents to make a strong case (if presented on Dec. 6th, 1941) that the Japanese were planning to attack Seattle.  I used the same criteria the conspiracy "fans" used for examining the documents related to Pearl Harbor.

I could be a real pain in the butt if I decided to switch camps.

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DuoDSG Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 27 2001,4:57 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No bomb passed through the arizona smokestack.  Up to 8 bombs hit the Arizona that morning, but the main explosion was from the bomb that penetrated just starboard of Turret #1.  This bomb ignited around 5000 tons of ammunition, which collapsed the bulkheads of the forward half of the ship, which would have allowed the plume of smoke to rise up the smokestack.  The other confirmed bomb hit was just starboard of Turret #3, which occurred around 2 minutes later.
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 27 2001,5:06 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi DuoDSG,
Please use your real name here as your signature so we may learn more about you easier.

Your source for the eight bomb hits comes from sources that quoted the research for Paul Stillwell's BATTLESHIP ARIZONA done by John DeVirgilio and David Aiken.

Since then John has done dives on that ship to measure the holes. Only one in the aft section matched the bomb's diameter. Thus we down graded our total from eight to TWO...one forward and one aft.

HTH,

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Brian OConnor Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 27 2001,10:02 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I concur with the belief that the "down the stack" myth originated from the viewing of the Solace film.  But as a twenty year naval engineer, I must say that the jet of black smoke from the stack just after the initial explosion was not a mass of stack soot, but the result of insufficient air to the boiler(s).  Excessive air forced into the boiler air casing would cause white smoke.  The magazine explosion caused an interruption in the supply of air to the steaming boiler.
Additionally, the ships boiler operators periodically do what is referred to as "firesides and watersides" which is the cleaning of the internal components of the boiler; thus there would not be enough soot to cause such a black stream from the stack.
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Ken Hackler Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 27 2001,11:30 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Brian,

I was in the Navy for 20 years as well, and an engineer. So was Larry, also an engineer.

What you say is true .... they would have blown tubes fairly often.  But you have to remember that it was 1941, not now. They burned heavy black oil, not DFM, and it had a tremendous amount of sulpher in it.  Also, the AZ was already an old ship with outdated boilers.  

I've never interviewed AZ survivors nor have I read her logs to see when she last did the firesides, but I'll bet her boilers and stack were filled with soot simply because of the fuel they burned back then. It was common in all ships back then.

Besides, think of the tremendous force of that explosion and the volume of air blown up that stack.  We know a number of her boiler fronts were open (from reading reports), so that is the likely suspect.

Good to see you here!

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