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I wonder how much live main battery ammunition is still onboard the Arizona

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by Dracula, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Dracula

    Dracula New Member

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    Loading or unloading main battery projectile magazines must have been a bear of a job under ideal conditions. How could they possibly have unloaded anything from the forward magazines during the salvage operations. Have at it.
     
  2. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    great question and point.... I recommend reading Descent Into Darkness by Raymer, Edward...tells all about the salvage operations by the divers....please forgive me, though, it's been many years since I've read it....

    '''The Ordnance Section was successful in removing from Arizona in the early days a great deal of the anti-aircraft battery with its ammunition. Much other ordnance material was recovered from the ship even as late as November 1942. The oil which fouled the harbor was gradually removed as it was released from the ship's opened tanks.
    Practically all of the survey conducted in the summer of 1942 had to be performed by divers, mostly from the inside of the ship. It was found that the bow portion was buoyant, the after portion relatively intact, but the central portion of the ship was badly wrecked. Lieutenant Ankers, assisted by Ensign Beauchamp-Nobbs and Carpenter Urbaniak make a thorough survey. Gunner Manthei recovered considerable ammunition from turrets III and IV. The 14-inch guns, except from turret II, were removed and offered to the Army.'''
    [​IMG]
    Takao and Carronade would know more
     
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  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    beat me to it Bronk! I was looking for my copy of Decent before replying. Every attempt was made to salvage anything useful from Arizona and the other wrecks. its possible some ammunition was unsalvagable due to damage to the ship, but I suspect nearly all was.
     
  4. Dracula

    Dracula New Member

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    Why were turrets 3 and 4 removed but 1 and 2 left in place? My guess, a survey was done and concluded that 1 and 2 could not be safely removed. If that is the case, then there would be no way to access the forward magazines. I don't what a typical projectile inventory would be but it must have been at least 50 or 60 projectiles per rifle. Makes you wonder what really is down there and if the threat of a hull collapse and subsequent oil release was really why the archeological survey was done.
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/ussarizona/history/damage.htm

    this link is brief history of USS Arizona

    I'm a bootcamper on Naval history compared to others here....
     

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  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Active Member

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    The forward structure of Arizona collapsed 20 to 28 feet, which gives an indication of the magnitude of the damage from the forward 14-inch powder magazines exploding. The damage to Turret I, which was directly over the magazines, was extensive. Blast and heat damaged the breech and tubes of all three guns, which weren't considered salvageable as a result. The guns in Turret II were not badly damaged so were removed and refurbished, then used as spares, firing from USS Nevada on D-Day.

    The "Explosive D" ammonium picrate HE filler used in the 14-inch projectiles was very stable and is not considered an explosives threat.
     
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  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    View attachment 23350 View attachment 23350 Not sure if this is applicable in this instance, but large turrets like these are not actually secured to the structure of the ship. When sunk in deep water they tend to 'turn turtle' and the main batteries usually just slide out and fall to the sea bottom, often a fair distance away. ( the hull may 'glide' but the turrets fall pretty much straight down) It may have been determined that these turrets would not easily slide out if lifted due to damage.
     

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  8. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Active Member

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    No, not applicable, Pearl is only about 43 feet deep. Oklahoma capsized, but her turrets didn't fall out, the bottom got in the way.
     
  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy WW2|ORG Editor

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    I have a good book on the Arizona and its salvaging. It has been a while since I read but, as mentioned above, I remember that the heavy projectile had all been removed.

    The main gun projectile were not stored in the magazines, only the powder. The projectiles were carried in the barbettes, directly under the turrets.
     
  10. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Here is a past link discussing Batteries Arizona and Pennsylvania. I know I've seen pictures of the installations in the past, including a very nice clear 3/4 frontal of the turret with gun covers in place but the only one I can find on the net now is the one Jeff included in the link below.


    http://www.ww2f.com/topic/9724-battery-arizona/
     
  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    I agree they did not slide out because of depth. My intended point, considering both turrets collapsed within the hull, was that damage due to the magazine explosion might have jammed them into place so tightly that their complete removal was not cost effective. This being true primarily to "B" turret since the guns were salvageable (and removed).
     
  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Active Member

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    Yes, exactly, the shell magazines were separate and when the barbettes collapsed I suspect most of the shells were damaged beyond repair or salvage. We're talking about a five-story house built of very heavy armor steel collapsing onto them.
     
  13. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    allow me to say again--- excellent and interesting reading and information from you guys....concise but well put...thank you
     
  14. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The blast was so intense that the only part of Admiral Kidd found was his Annapolis ring fused to the ship where he was stationed
     
  15. ResearcherAtLarge

    ResearcherAtLarge Member

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    This is actually incorrect. Depth did play a factor, but US turret design also featured a retaining clip that would prevent turrets from falling out, although not expressly for the purpose of when the ship was sinking.
     
  16. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I would assume that there are 600+ shells still aboard the wreck as it would have been difficult or impossible to remove them from the aft magazines, although this might have been done. The forward magazines were destroyed so there would be few if any shells left. There is also likely hundreds of 5" rounds still aboard for the secondary armament as those magazines would have suffered some damage but not been destroyed. That would have made access difficult or impossible.
     
  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The ammunition and powder charges were removed from all of the after magazines of USS Arizona, as well as catapult powder charges and all 100-pound bombs stored in her bomb locker. Most, if not all 5-inch ammunition ans powder charges(that could be reached) were also removed. It was difficult, but not impossible.

    The salvage operations are detailed here, but it is incomplete(the first 3 months of December, January, and February, as well as, several other days are missing - the specific missing dates are noted in the opening).
    http://www.nps.gov/valr/learn/historyculture/upload/War_Diary1-2.pdf
     
  18. Dracula

    Dracula New Member

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    Okay, I am confused. I thought that the black powder magazine, that had been located forward in the 14"powder magazine area, was the charges used for the catapault. If not, what was the black powder for?
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The magazine for the catapult charges(D-3061/2-M) was located on the Second Platform Deck, and was well aft(Frame 113-115), just to the left of centerline.

    The Black Powder magazine, which was located forward on the First Platform Deck, was, IIRC, used for the saluting guns.
     
  20. Oregon Diver

    Oregon Diver New Member

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    In regards to the removal of the turrets, in turret 2, the equipment below the level of the tubes was far too damaged to be feasibly re-utilized. Thus only the guns themselves were salvaged. As for turret 1, in addition to the tremendous damage, there was zero visibility to work there. Remember that the aft turrets were mostly above water level and pumped comparatively dry so work could be done in a timely manner, using normal tools, et al. This is the same reason that all the ammunition so to speak, could be salvaged too.
     
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