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Author Topic: 5" Deck Gun Support Structure  (Read 4172 times)
Mark Sarsfield
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« on: May 28, 2008, 11:42:38 AM »

For those boats that have a deck gun still mounted to their deck, we're asking for photos and copies of plans (if you have them) of the support structure that supports the gun base.  My idea is to design one to support the 5" gun plus several men, in case we ever find one that size - we'd even be happy with a 4" deck gun.  We currently have two 3" sub guns on display at the museum grounds.  Thanks.
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Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
Paul Farace
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2008, 12:08:28 PM »

Did your boat lose all of its gun mount superstructure?  The point is if you are in a position to make such improvements, please understand some basics of restoration so you don't paint yourself into a corner, so to speak. Pick a focus date (what ever is best documented and achieveable) and then stick to it.  If you were to pick a 4-in. gun for Batfish, then you'd have to remove the late WWII stuff that was put aboard when she was given the 5-in. she ended the war with. I would say that a good workable focus date would be the Batfish that sank all those enemy subs (you would be making the most of her unique historical claim to fame)... hopefully that was in her last configuration. If not, then consider that last war-time mode. She should have drawings and shipyard pictures available at National Archives. Based on those, you can't go wrong.   The gun mount for a 5-in. is pretty standard and doesn't need to support men besides the 7-ton gun. The deck planks support the crew. Well, the gun does support the two men on the seats, but again, if it can handle a 7-ton gun, it can support two gun crew, even if they're my size (250 lbs). It takes a lot of plate 1/2-in.?? and a good plasma cutting bench, not to mention a good
overhead crane. But it's not impossible for local fabricators.

Finding a gun:
The best, and maybe only source, for deck guns is a military base or VFW post that is closing. Ballast Point sub base, NOT CLOSING, has two 5 in. wet mounts, that would require some negoitations with the local subvets and Navy to obtain. The last CO of the base said he would let them go if the local vets go behind the move and approved it. There you go!  Damn little can be done in the way of major restoration without a national reach, as in joining HNSA and or getting contacs at various other places (NHC, in DC, Ballast Point, etc.)...  it is almost impossible to get much specialized work done by staying within the city limits where you boat is located, I'm sorry to say.  I might be able to get some photos of our mount within a week.

PF
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Rick
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2008, 12:44:58 PM »

Mark S,

This might be another good one for you to track down.  We are members of the NHSA and are quickly gaing support on the local and federal levels.  We are unique in that we are a truely all independant museum.  No one owns us, and yet everyone has a say in what goes on here.  (politial headache)......

Paul,

I like your idea for picking a date to stick by.  I have been milling this around in my head for some time now.

Everyone

watch our board for a new poll.

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Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2008, 12:50:58 PM »

Paul and Rick,

  What is the best way to go about using the NHSA to our advantage?  Do you have a POC for Ballast Point or should I just do a web search?  I would hope that the vets would be understanding and actually want a gun put on a real warship, as opposed to sitting in the middle of a park collecting rust. 

  I did find a base phone list by doing a web search, but since 9/11 it's almost impossible to get public access to most military base websites.  Here are a few important phone numbers that I gleaned from multiple pages.

Naval Base Point Loma (San Diego) C.O. & X.O. Office (Secretary)  619-553-7400
Command Public Affairs Office  619-553-7175
Submarine Squadron Eleven C.O.  619-553-8725  (doubtful he/she would be of any help, but listed it, anyway)
Squadron Public Affairs Officer  619-553-8643
« Last Edit: May 28, 2008, 01:26:49 PM by Mark Sarsfield » Logged


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Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
Paul Farace
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2008, 01:25:55 PM »

HNSA provides people resources... first and foremost.  You meet curators at other ships and contacts in the NAVY.  By networking, you get a lot more done. It's like this BBS, only you meet people in decision-making jobs at vaious museums. That point is not always good. The real do'ers are often not invited to the meetings. But if your director goes and brings one of his crewmen ( or crewwomen) with him, that is really helpful.

My POC at Ballast Point is already four years old. So he's gone. But the important fact is that the active command there will not do anything about the guns unless it comes from the vets!  That is a lesson worth a ton of gold.  If they local vets say "we'd like to send one or both guns to the subs they were mounted on..." it would happen in a heartbeat!  That way the memorial plaza could make room for a Cold War era piece behind the fleet sub conning tower they have mounted.

That focus date stuff is not my idea, but rather is the only sane way to approach any historic restoration.
It also makes virtually all decisions easy!

PF

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Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 01:28:03 PM »

I located the website for the San Diego sub vets and sent their commander an email explaining what we are trying to do: http://www.ussvisandiego.org/Officers.htm.  If we start with them and then let them approach the sub base commander for us or with us, it will be a whole lot easier.  From our museum website, they can see that we take care of the equipment that we have - we don't post the rusty stuff. ;-)


« Last Edit: May 28, 2008, 01:39:32 PM by Mark Sarsfield » Logged


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Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2008, 03:48:29 PM »

Here's the reply that I got.  Looks promising, so far...

Quote
Hi Mark, I'm the Base Commander for USSVI San Diego Base. Our group don't really have anything to do with the Submarine Memorial on Sub Base. I'm a ASSOC. Member of the San Diego Chapter of USSV WWII and know the chapter President pretty good. I can talk to him in the next few days and ask him about it. I also know the Base CO fairly well and the base CMC (COB). I will ask around and try to get you a POC.
 I think it would be great for the USS BATFISH to have a deck gun again.

Sincerely,
Bob Bissonnette
Base Commander, USSVI San Diego Base
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Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
Paul Farace
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2008, 12:21:42 AM »

Good luck... God Speed!!!


Crossing my fingers... COBIA NEEDS A 5 incher TOO!!!

Paul
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Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2008, 10:44:43 AM »

I exchanged another email with Bob last week, but I'm still waiting to hear what his contacts have to say.  He thinks that they will want to swap a 5" gun for one of our 3" guns, but he is only guessing.  None of us know what their current and future wants and needs are for their display.

Also, if they give us one 5" gun, they may not want to part company with the other.

I have gotten an initial shipping quote that it would cost about $8,700 to transport a 3" gun to them and a 5" gun to us.  Each end would have to have a crane waiting for the truck.
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Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
Darrin
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2008, 08:09:33 PM »

HNSA= Historical Naval Ships Association.... AND it is partially run by the USS Pampanito curator Rich Plekney (sp on the last name) and he knows EVERYONE so to speak when it comes to submarine museums and also the surface museums.. He more then likely knows who is currently in San Diego that you need to talk to about your 5" gun situation and he may be able to grease the skids for you if needed.. NOW about your shipping costs, you might want to consider talking to the BIG trucking companies and explaining what you are doing and that you are doing this on a shoe string budget and see IF they are willing to bring back your gun in one of their EMPTY trucks coming back east and so on and so forth. You may also once this deal gets close to being done got to submarinesailor.com and see if anyone knows anyone that is coming back this way with an empty semi because Don Gentry's bbs has a trucker or two on it that might pick it up for you and charge little if anything for the run one way.
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Lance Dean
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2008, 08:35:18 PM »

If you need Rich's email address, PM me.  He's a great guy and responds quickly to emails.
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Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2008, 08:53:53 AM »

Thanks, guys.  More contacts are always better than one contact.    Especially, for the shipping.
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Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2008, 09:24:45 AM »

Rich Pekelney has come through for us... all of us.  He managed to get a copy of the original 5" deck gun mount and barrel mount/lock prints.  I now have a copy of the 29 MB file.  For a short period of time, he will have this download link.  So, you better get it now... http://www.maritime.org/temp/fiveinch.pdf

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Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
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