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Topic: Question about 5" Guns< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Joan Mecteau Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 31 2001,7:41  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am hoping someone can answer my questions on the 5' guns that were used on the Nevada during the attack. These are the guns my father manned.How many were there, and where were they on the ship?I look at the photos of the Nevada, but don't know one gun from the other.I would like to learn everything I can.Dad was on this ship from 1940 to 46.Can anyone help?
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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 31 2001,8:36 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Check out the picture.  The twin 5" turrets are in pairs on either side of the ship.  The guns are pointed straight at you, so they just look like small sheds in this shot.

Go here for some more shots:

USS Nevada

This page also shows the casemate guns.  Those originally were in the funny looking notches on either side of the bow.  Good shot of the gun itself.

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Joan Mecteau Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 01 2001,6:52 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the help Larry.So is there 4 sets totaling 8 guns, or were there more? In my dad's interviews he said that these guns were made for ship-to- ship combat and  only had a 17 degree angle.He said they could only reach low flying planes.
It would be interesting to know what his primary station was since this was his secondary....which brings one more question.Did only certain men learn how to operate the different guns,or did all on the ship have some training in this area?
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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 01 2001,8:08 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 Joan Mecteau on 5:52 pm on June 1, 2001
Thanks for the help Larry.So is there 4 sets totaling 8 guns, or were there more? In my dad's interviews he said that these guns were made for ship-to- ship combat and  only had a 17 degree angle.He said they could only reach low flying planes.
It would be interesting to know what his primary station was since this was his secondary....which brings one more question.Did only certain men learn how to operate the different guns,or did all on the ship have some training in this area?

The picture below is captioned "Underway off the U.S. Atlantic coast, 17 September 1944. Photographed from a blimp of squadron ZP-12."

When we realized that the BBs needed to be floating AA platforms the low-angle guns were replaced with high-angle artillery.  I'm sure some one with Norman Friedman's book can tell you what angle these guns would reach.

As for training, it varied widely.  Some men had a knack for a particular weapon and stayed with it, others were assigned as required.  The more experienced men would be moved around to assure that training levels were even throughout the ship.  You might want to read Fahey's "Pacific War Diary" for a very realistic look at life during those days for enlisted men.  As a Navy vet myself I can still call up pictures from that book in my mind.  If I recall correctly Fahey was assigned to the guns for his GQ station.

If you could give some clue as to your father's primary job we might be able to tell you exactly where he worked.

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Joan Mecteau Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 01 2001,10:18 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

All I recall my father saying is that he was a radio man at that time. I'm not sure what he meant but he was an Electronics Technition.He also said he was the first "official ships photogapher" on the Nevada in 1940.When going through his records I found a commendation letter for "maintaining required steam for  perfect boiler control in the fireroom under your charge".This was for June 25, 1944 off the coast of Cherbourg.So....he could have worked any number of places.
I will look for that book.I think I need to do a lot more reading.
Thanks for all your help.
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Chris Friedenbach Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 02 2001,1:30 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello,

Those 5 inch 38 caliber mounts carried by Nevada in 1944 were capable of elevating from –15 through +85 degrees.  Ships ranging in size from destroyers to aircraft carriers carried variations on this design.

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Chris Friedenbach

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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 02 2001,7:21 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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Those 5 inch 38 caliber mounts carried by Nevada in 1944 were capable of elevating from –15 through +85 degrees.

I was guessing they were capable of high angle from the fact that the tops of the turrets are cut to allow the barrels to point essentially straight up.

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Joan Mecteau Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 02 2001,11:54 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been doing some reading and find that during the attack the Nevada had single mount 5''. The eight twin 38 calibers were installed at Bremerton in 1942. So it is possible that my father's statement of the 17 degree angle was correct.
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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 02 2001,12:01 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 Joan Mecteau on 10:54 am on June 2, 2001
I've been doing some reading and find that during the attack the Nevada had single mount 5''. The eight twin 38 calibers were installed at Bremerton in 1942. So it is possible that my father's statement of the 17 degree angle was correct.

Sorry, I should have been more complete in my reply.  The original guns would have had the 17 degree elevation, no doubt about that.  They were supposed to be used to destroy torpedo boats making attacks on the ship.  The air threat in 1912 (when she was started) was not very great.  It was 30 years later that we knew the planes were more of a hazard than surface attack.  Still, the guns were supposed to be DP, dual purpose, just in case some suicide boat tried to glorify the Emperor the hard way.

For a history of Nevada, check here.

DANFS Ships Histories

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Brian OConnor Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 03 2001,8:04 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Joan, the guns that your father was probably referring to was the 5"/51 single mount.  The NEVADA carried ten of these at the time of Pearl Harbor, and as previously mentioned, their primary use was to counter surface targets, that is patrol/torpedo boats and other ships.  The barrel on these could be depressed 10 degrees and elevated only 20 degrees.  They had a long barrel which contributed to the high velocity and longer range than the 5" anti-aircraft guns.
I hope that this helps.
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