Fletcher ammo storage

Looking closely at pictures of Fletcher class destroyers, it appears
that late in the war ammunition for the 20mm guns was stored along the
inside walls of the gun tubs. However, early war pictures don't show
anything at all stored in that location. So where was the ammo for the
guns kept?
Also, how many crew members would be working each gun (both single 20mm
and dual 40mm) in combat? I want to show my 1/350 Fletcher during the
Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (at night, if that matters). And what about
the searchlights? Would there be one crewman at each light, or one per
platform? I'm guessing somebody has to be operating the Mk 51 director
and at least one person per K-gun and at each of the rear depth-charge
racks. Oh, and somebody on the exposed (forward) torpedo launcher. There
wouldn't be anybody standing by the flag bags at night time though,
right? Who else am I missing?
Reply to
Joe Jefferson
Loading thread data ...
: : Also, how many crew members would be working each gun (both single 20mm : and dual 40mm) in combat? : A dual 40mm mount is crewed by 7 men:
2 ammunition passers (perhaps more, depending on the distance to the ready lockers) 2 loaders 1 pointer 1 trainer 1 mount captain
A 20mm is crewed by at least 3 men:
1 gunner 1 trunion operator 1 loader
if it has a Mk 14 sight,
1 range setter
And, again, you may have ammuniton passers depending on the distance to the ready lockers.
Reply to
Bruce Burden
20mm ammo was stored in ready lockers all over the deck. Those odd boxes everywhere. 3 crewman per 20mm was standard. Usually two men per light, not sure about the directors. Torpedos were two man crews. K-guns and roller racks not sure but not likely to be used at night in close quarters.
Joe Jeffers>
Reply to
From a guy who isn't a navvy.
Wouldn't turning on the searchlight at night tell the enemy "Hey shoot me?"
Wouldn't the ship be running at speed and therefore too noisy and too occupied to worry about sinking a submarine at depth charge range? That is the ship will have to be over the sub to drop the DPs, a highly unlikely position during a fleet engagement.
TTs are admidships in a DD. Compared to guns they are slow and relatively short range and therefore unlikely to be the primary form of attack during a running battle. In the confusion of a fleet action TTs may as likely lock on to a friendly ship.
What are radios for? At combat ranges and with all that smoke and noise no one is going to use flags to signal.
This raises the question to those who did serve in the navy. Surely a crewman doesn't just have a single job of passing the ammo and "wabbing the decks." Even in WWII when manpower was not that short surely for the efficiency of the ship crewmen must have several alternative duties depending on the situation.
I visited the BB North Carolina last year. In the write-up enlisted Black crewmen were only allowed menial jobs in the galley, laundry room, etc. The closest they got to shooting was putting the shells into the 20mm ammo clips.
Reply to
If it's dark enough you need them to illuminate your target. Tracers have the same shoot me risk as do naval rifle muzzle flashes.
In the particular battle referred to, both sides used torpedoes at night, in a large fleet action, in very close quarters. One of our DD's even sunk a Japanese BB with them. The best description of the battle is "a gang fight with knives in a phonebooth".
Throughout WWII the USN used flag signals as well as blinker lights and radio. Weather permitting some flags are always flown to indicate what's supposed to happen, who's got the task force CO, who's got the doctor, who's assigned to scout, who's assigned to rescue, etc.
Every man has a battle station, including shipboard marines. Marines were commonly assigned as secondary battery and AA gunners. Some BB's even had specific secondary turrets with all Marine gun crews. If you weren't otherwise critical to the navigation or running of the ship and were not assigned to detection/fire control you were either damage control or gunnery, later in the war gunnery required more hands as AA fits increased drastically.
Even then they might be passing ammo or on damage control parties.
Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.