Towing rigs have saved boats and men many times in the combat areas. You will learn to depend on it. It is the joy and comfort of every boat in off-patrol hours. Waterproof it. Camouflage it. Roll it up when stowing it, rather than creasing it, for creases make it crack and soon you have a leaky, uncomforting canopy. Toe Rail. It is a necessity in tying down the boat awning while at anchor.
Prisoners can be secured to it, thus making the forecastle an ideal brig. Sampson Post. Like the bullnose, never allow it to get loose. If you lack a towing bridle the sampson post will suffice. Both are waterproofed with but a thin sheet of airplane cloth. Rips and weak spots should be patched promptly. A leaky charthouse impairs navigation, ruins charts, and may damage your radio gear.
It has or should have the following items in and around it: Blackout Light : An on-and-off switch secured to the hatch. It cuts off the chart-house lights whenever the cockpit hatch is opened, provided that the proper chartroom switch has been thrown. Traffic through the chart house should be held to a minimum. Below decks is accessible through several other hatches.
Panel Cover : A square piece of canvas which can be neatly rolled over the instruments to protect them from water and sunlight. Sunlight weakens and fades the phosphorous dials. Also it covers the glass which glares in the moonlight. CO 2 Release : For the Lux fire-extinguishing system. Black Light : Is the only exposed light topside that is turned on during patrol. Its ultraviolet rays served to illuminate the phosphorous letters and numerals on the instrument panel.
Its limited range of visibility makes it ideal for night work. Cockpit Seat : Just abaft the wheel, is ideal for the footsore. Megaphone : Keep it handy and ready for shouting orders or for listening for planes and other craft. Carry at least two megaphones. Megaphone communication between boats in a section should be used to minimize radio transmissions.
When your boat is going into the A-frame drydock of a PT tender the antenna is lowered. On patrol, it is ordinarily best to use maximum height. One radio operator is credited with a Jap plane for that reason. The plane came in so low that he hit the whip antenna and before he could recover from the jolt he plopped into the sea. Of course, it is best not to rely on your antenna to knock down planes, but it has happened.
Another thing-lookouts take notice-never touch the antenna, especially in damp weather. During a transmission, it is a veritable powerhouse. No transmissions or receptions can be carried out successfully while you are in contact with the antenna. Brace yourself with the hand rails provided and not with the antenna.
It is a place for work and play. Swimming and fishing over the stern are great pastimes. Just as the gunners use the forecastle for most of their work, the engineers stick to the fantail with theirs. Also everybody has clothes to wash. The fantail is the best place for this, but do not use the ammunition boxes as scrub boards. Another thing, you will want to keep your boat's sides clean of lye stain.
This stain can be prevented by tacking a six-foot lathe along each gunwale. This will form a little lip or gutter and will take all your wash water over the stern. Naturally, they should be complete with each lookout covering a definite sector. Never leave a sector unguarded especially when picking up prisoners.
Lookouts must report all things seen and get an acknowledgment "Very Well" from the conning officer. Repeat the report until you do get an acknowledgment. Everyone on the boat should practice "distance judging" both night and day. Compare your guesses with the charted distances of buoys or points of land. Remember, the enemy may attack or that challenges often come from abaft the beam.
That is because he usually sees your wake before he sees your boat. Do not concentrate attention on flares. Flares are dropped to silhouette you. Cover all sectors. Straining fenders and lines secured to them will rip them off easily. Stuffing rags and clothes in them will make them useless, especially in the engine room. Engines, like men, need air. Dead Lights. Heavy objects dropped on them, such as gun barrels and magazines, will crack the glass and induce serious leaks in the overhead.
Lacking replacement, use plexiglass cut from chart house ports. Since these ports are usually boarded up to insure blackout, the plexiglas can be removed and made to serve many such useful purposes. Cockpit Scupper : Do not sweep dirt down this drain. The deck of the cockpit should be kept clean. Dirt from the cockpit has often clogged this drain. Compass Cover : Made of canvas, the cover serves to protect the compass face and mechanism from the elements during off-patrol periods. Torpedo Director : Can be used as a pelorus for taking relative bearings as well as for its primary use.
It should be stowed below when not on patrol. Torpedo Tools : Keep these tools in plain view and within reach of the torpedoes. Get your instructions. If a hot run cannot be stopped, run to the bow of the boat. An unarmed warhead will not explode. Other signal devices can be stowed here. Always keep recognition gear ready and in reach. Auxiliary Deck Cells. When in use, be sure they are not in contact with sharp projections on the deck and protect them from chafing and puncture. Pumps are difficult to get.
Be sure the valve is shut after the bowl is flushed or else you will start to ship water. An open-head pump underway is-like having a hole in your bottom. This space is also a good spot in which to stow canned goods and your spare anchor, as well as spare soap and toilet tissue. Crew's Quarters. Take care of it. A well-painted deck usually will keep it dry. Don't forget to look under the lower deck plates. You may be carrying an aquarium around and not know it except that your boat will be slow and loggy.
Electrolysis will eat holes in the pipe carrying salt water to the head. Inspect the pipe carefully, especially after your boat has been in commission over 8 months. A small undetected leak will fill your bilges in a short time and wreck vital equipment installed there. Learn the connections and valves. They are few in number and easily understood.
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The gunners are gradually being forced out, but it still is the ideal place for stowage of gun barrels and other spares, as well as for small arms. It is a dry, clean spot and accommodates much ammunition. It is better to stow gunnery and torpedo tools topside in a watertight mm. Many boats have added this feature to the fantail of the boat. The tools are more accessible and the bulkheads below decks will be much cleaner. Many gunners think the bulkheads are "pay chits".
Hence, the many fingerprints often found there. From here the movement of the boat is directed, hence it is the brains of the boat. The equipment it contains need not be listed here. The RM and QM should be well acquainted with their tools and so should the rest of the crew. A few points will be made here as to the use of some items. Like any engine, machine, or apparatus, the equipment in the charthouse was made to be operated.
Hence, it must be used to give efficient operation. If it is not used like a man who doesn't take exercise it gets sluggish and functions poorly, if at all. Remember that a PT is exposed to moisture from both the sea and the atmosphere. All equipment should be run at least 15 minutes a day. This exercising will limber up the parts and dry them as well. To combat moisture from spray, watertight overhead and bulkheads cannot be allowed to wear or leak.
Patch cracks and ruptures in the fabric promptly. A PT galley is much more than that.
Pies, cookies, and cakes flow from this modernistic kitchen if you've got a happy cook. Your refrigerator can make ice cream, ice cubes, and frozen delights especially good is frozen fruit cup. Once a Jap bullet punctured a refrigerator unit and drained it of all its freon.
Several of the boats then decided to put armor plate about the refrigerator. So you see it's really very important, for it contributes to the living comforts which are all too few in the Area. Your refrigerator pump and motor need servicing. Don't let them wear down or overheat. To keep meat, your refrigerator must be in top shape. It is rare to have fresh meat and when issued it comes in pound quantities.
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Hence the necessity for a good freeze or reefer. Have a drip pan properly placed or the meat juices will leak into the bilges and in a week you'll be accused of carrying a dead Jap around in your bilges. He's likely to be temperamental and have his moods. He needs help at meal time. So keep him in good humor by mess cooking without griping and helping him get supplies.
He may serve you breakfast in bed some morning. Generally, he's a good gunner, too. You'll learn to count on "cookie. Above all, remember to have your generator running and galley switch "on", when the stove is operated. Also bear in mind that finding and destroying the enemy is more important than a hot pot of Joe. So don't gripe if the galley must be secured to give the needed juice to the radio equipment. In temperate zones and especially in the Tropics any food particles left about will attract insects and bugs. Cockroach races are swell to watch but not when the race course is your bread box.
Aerosol bombs are used to fumigate the galley effectively. The galley pump is the most used and abused pump aboard. It is probably the only one you will ever have. Be sure the packing is tight and that you do not pump while the faucet is closed. Water on any naval vessel is valuable. So also on a PT which is often based on an island with no fresh-water supply. A leaky fresh-water pump will mean a serious loss. Garbage disposal appears to be a simple procedure on a PT but there are rules. Don't clutter up the beaches near your anchorage with tin cans. Punch holes in them. The best method is to dump garbage overboard at sea, taking care that cans are punctured.
Guard against the loss of your garbage can. It's usually allowed to hang over the side to soak out. Don't forget to pick it up when your boat gets underway. It's wise to make a complete circuit inspection of the boat, just prior to getting underway, checking for fenders, buckets, hoses, clothes, and lines that will foul the screws. Day Room. A half-dozen army-style cots should be carried to accommodate sleepers topside. The day room is usually taken over by the engineers. They often make it into an ideal clubhouse except that smoking is absolutely prohibited in the day room.
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Self-Sealing Tanks. Observe inspection periods and procedures. In case of puncture or suspicion of damage to a cell, have it inspected and repaired within 72 hours by a competent repairman. Notes for Quartermaster. Keep charts in order, clean, and do not erase reefs or allow water to eradicate them.
Your dividers are to pick off distances with and not to prick holes in the charts. Plot courses well clear of navigational dangers. The charts can be wrong in their location of reefs. In particular, stay well clear of river deltas. Many times they are not on your charts, and deltas are forever growing, shifting, and extending themselves. Learn your recognition procedure cold. Have the correct recognition equipment in perfect condition and at hand.
Ef fective recognition signals must be known at all times. Remember the times of signal changes. Get the feel of the lead line at night and be able to yell out the soundings loud and clear. Practice your signalling semaphore and blinker. Learn all the charthouse jobs of the other rates. Dry cells must be kept dry. Some day you may have to use them to help start the generator.
All parts of the Flux Gate Compass must be insured against disturbance and moisture. It is a magnetic compass and must be free of disturbances and loose gear such as guns and engine parts. Check cables and plugs occasionally for corrosion. Like the radio gear, operate it daily. It should be operated uncaged at all times under way. Keep binoculars in good shape. Don't rub off the blue tint. It aids you in night vision. Excessive heat is not good for this type of binocular, so keep them out of the sun. The importance of these glasses cannot be overestimated.
From captured Japanese documents, it is clear that our glasses are better than theirs. The Japs complain and admit in official correspondence that we saw them long before they saw us, chiefly because we have the better glasses. Don't give away this advantage by having dirty, wet, or shattered binoculars. Keep them clean, dry, and safe. Clamp down on the boots who go down hatches with a binocular dangling from their necks. Many glasses have been shattered in this way and replacements are almost unobtainable. It is too technical and large a subject to be covered here, yet some suggestions are in order: 1.
The puncturing of your gas tanks is not usually the cause for explosion. Rather it is the gas fumes that erupt from around the hole in your tank which are dangerous. Gas vapor is what you have to fear most. You don't need much to make the proper mixture for an explosion. Everyone should know where the important switches are, such as for the radio, galley, refrigerator, main feed, etc. Knowing how to start the engines and generator is another all-around job for everyone. The generator is a luxury as well as a necessity. Without a "Jennie" you can't cook or use the refrigerator.
Also your most important chartroom equipment needs the steady and reliable source of current it puts out. The operation of self-bailers is very simple. They function at medium high speed when the valve is opened. The valve should be closed when not under way.
There is usually one self-bailer on every watertight bulkhead. It is essential to keep the engine room dry for the batteries must not be permitted to ground out. Have on hand some wooden plugs for stopping up bullet and shrapnel holes. Rubber plugs are also very helpful for jagged holes in the stacks, exhaust manifolds, and other lines carrying water, oil, and gasoline. Don't stuff clothes or rags in the vents. The engines as well as the engineer need plenty of air. Keep the sound phones in good shape. You never know when your enunciators will go haywire.
Engineers should use the small portable Romec electric pump for draining bilges, transferring oil from barrel to tanks, cleaning out gas tanks, and flushing down generally when in port. A good length of hose is also invaluable. Don't lean or rest your foot on the shifting lever. You are burning out the clutch throw-out collar. Don't slam the shifting lever in and out. A steady push or pull will lengthen the life of the reverse gear and save you work.
Remember, maintenance is much easier than overhaul and repair! Do little things first when you are losing r. There is a schedule of inspection set up which if followed will save trouble. These checks cannot be made from the engine-room hatch. Sniff for gas fumes, particularly when starting the engines. Engineers should do this instinctively, but often other rates must start the engines.
Practice this precaution: Sniff for Fumes! Use the bilge exhaust blower before starting engines if such a blower is installed on your boat. Your cleaning of gas and oil filters periodically is one key to good operation Only by close watch over engines and related equipment can you discover small leaks in the water, fuel, and oil lines. Small apertures in your lines occur usually at the joints and couplings. Keep these tight.
A small hole" will be enough to allow a little gas to spurt out, create fumes and consequently an explosion and fire. Too many men have been killed and injured because of this hazard. Keep close watch on your gas lines. A lot of time, money and effort has been expended on these books. Get acquainted with them Highly skilled technical engineers are continually working to improve the design and performance of your engines so don't try to redesign them yourself-such as changing engine timing. Performance curves prove the books are right. Your job is to operate engines according to the instruction books.
Keep your engines clean inside and out. A dirty engine or engine room is usually the sign of a lax engineer, and soon results in failure of the equipment. The instrument panel tells the story of engine performance. Watch the gasoline, oil and water temperatures, and pressures. Keep them within the limits recommended by the manufacturer. Study your manifold pressure curves in relation to engine rpm and at no time exceed these values.
There is a handy operating manual which can be used to good advantage. Keep your manifold gauges running equally. Your manifold gauge measures the amount of work being done by the engine. Make each engine do its equal share of work. Do not overwork your boat by useless jockeying. You must nurse it and be considerate of your engines if you want the best out of them in emergencies. Whooping along at rpm when there is no need for it is slap happy operation. Great attention must be paid to gas leaks both inside and outside of the engine.
Another check for leaks besides sniffing and looking, is this: Feel the fuel pump drain tube. If this tube is cool while the engine is running it is probable that your fuel pump seal is leaking. This will hold no great danger while the engine is running; but when the engine is secured, gas will seep into the crankcase which may cause explosion and fire when you next start the engine. Don't forget, a cold drain tube is usually the best indication of a leaking fuel pump seal.
This operational casualty is explained quite fully in the "Packard Maintenance Manual, Bulletin," 17, Other such valuable bits of information are contained in this manual. Make use of them. Study them. Only through them can you know your engine room. Some of the latest engine operation dope can be obtained from the "Bureau of Ships News Letter-Motor Torpedo Boats" which appears at irregular intervals. Notes for Radiomen. Stow your phones and mikes in a dry place. Make a receptacle or canvas cover for the bridge phones and mikes for they are most likely to become wet.
Dry this gear out at the base after every patrol. Be clear and concise. Transmit as little as possible to expedite traffic, to reduce confusion, and to avoid enemy interception and RDF tracking. Do not make a radio check when leaving for patrol. If every boat checked on each patrol, the enemy could easily count the number of boats on patrol and learn the strength of the base. Check your frequencies often and calibrate properly. Learn correct procedure. Know your alternate frequencies and when to use them.
Jamming by the enemy is certainly to be expected, so be prepared for it. Your VHF is not as secure as you perhaps assume. Transmissions over VHF have gone to miles beyond the horizon. PTs operating reasonably close to enemy territory or units can give away their position and valuable information by useless chatter over a VHF circuit. And remember, you are not the only pebble on the beach. Our planes use it extensively. Unnecessary PT transmissions must not clutter up communications of a vital operating aircraft squadron. You may think the air is clear because you do not hear any transmissions, but, remember, they may be receiving you several hundred miles away where they may be making a strike.
So do not depend on the term "line-of-sight" transmissions. Jam sessions, razzle-dazzle cowboy stuff, and hot-shot vocalizing are all very amusing to you if you are a lunk head. Just consider the harm you can do to yourself, your shipmates, and our aviators and you will be sure to knock off all unnecessary transmissions. Even when another boat in your section cannot hear you, your transmissions may carry to out-of-sight areas where the enemy may be listening.
Transmission security for both radios is greatly enhanced by the use of follow-the leader tactics, basic formations, and courses established before leaving the base, and prearranged rendezvous points and times if the boats get separated. It is to be expected that they are aware of our approximate frequencies. Give a Jap station enough transmissions and a shore battery will be laying a shell in your cockpit. One of the most important features here is the auxiliary steering apparatus.
Know where the linkage is and how to rig the auxiliary tiller. Keep loose gear-such as oil cans-clear of rudders and steering gear. Oil and paint cans have been known to jam the steering at critical moments. The Navy maxim, "Keep It Clean", is not just for appearance's sake, but more important, for safety's sake. Watertight Hatches. Particularly important is the hatch between lazarette and engine room.
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Slowly but surely, the number of planes operating from Langley expanded, and the time required to launch and recover aircraft decreased. By February sixteen planes could be kept in the air at one time. One year later the number had increased to twenty-two.
This was a big improvement, but Reeves, who had been promoted to flag rank in , now wanted Langley to operate even more planes. When the ship returned from its yearly overhaul in early , he ordered thirty-six aircraft placed on its flight deck.
By then Saratoga and Lexington had arrived on the West Coast. Time after time, the carrier that struck first emerged victorious. This unwritten doctrine—it was not codified until —was responsible for the development of a new aircraft type unique to the U. Navy, the scout bomber. While the U. Navy was busy experimenting with the carrier-versus-carrier duels that would so heavily influence its future battle doctrine, the Japanese were still struggling to perfect their carrier doctrine. Sidetracked by the war in China, Japanese naval aviators made little progress in working out an effective strategy for dealing with enemy flight decks.
Reconnaissance was relegated to a few floatplanes, which would be catapulted from accompanying cruisers. The Japanese also overlooked or failed to develop the deck park, relying instead on the hangar deck to store and prepare aircraft for flight. On the Japanese carriers, aircraft capacity was determined by the size of the hangar, not of the flight deck, as was the case for the Americans.
As can be seen from table 2, the U. Navy, because of its innovative use of the deck park, was able to deploy more planes per carrier. Each carrier operated with seventy-two aircraft, on average, organized into four squadrons: one fighter VF , one scout VS , one bombing VB , and one torpedo VT. The Japanese, on average, operated with just sixty-three aircraft, organized into three twenty-one-plane squadrons: one fighter, one carrier attack, and one bombing. The VS squadron on American carriers and the preponderance of scout bombers in air groups attest to the significance the Americans placed on scouting.
The exercises of the early s had pointed to the need for a fast, well armed scout plane that could not only find the enemy carrier but attack its flight deck. Heeding the advice of the aviators, the U. This was contrary to the view of U. To the Americans, hitting under the waterline did not appear to be a unique advantage; tests conducted in on the incomplete battleship Washington had shown that a heavy bomb falling close alongside would produce the same damage. It was only because the torpedo in the absence of an effective armor-piercing bomb capable of penetrating four inches of hardened steel was the only aerial weapon that could significantly damage a heavily armored battleship that a VT squadron was retained in limited numbers on American carriers.
The conundrum facing all these leaders was how to protect the inherently vulnerable carrier and yet maximize its tactical effectiveness. In the U. Navy, the main question was the positioning of carriers with respect to the main body of the fleet. Navy until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when carriers became its preeminent striking force by default. When hostilities commenced, however, all the pieces were in place for the deployment of a number of carrier task forces, complete with heavy escorts of cruisers and destroyers, and accompanied in every instance by an oiler for logistic support.
In the meantime, the Japanese navy had embarked on a much different path. Operational experiments with this new formation were conducted in early Navy by destroying its battle line at sea. Nimitz, sortied from Pearl Harbor. They steamed in two task forces, the tactical units that had come to dominate U. Unlike its adversary across the Pacific, the U.
Though Nimitz still had a strong force of battleships Task Force 1 comprised Pennsylvania, Maryland, Colorado, Idaho, Tennessee, New Mexico, and Mississippi , he chose not to deploy them; they would only slow the carriers down and would require screening ships that were needed more elsewhere. The outcome of the battle of Midway was decided, and the fate of the IJN was sealed, at precisely AM on 4 June , when the first of three squadrons of American dive-bombers from Yorktown and Enterprise attacked the First Air Fleet as it was preparing to launch its own planes against the U.
The surviving Japanese carrier, Hiryu, quickly retaliated. After an exchange of air strikes that afternoon, Hiryu was burning from stem to stern, while its opponent, Yorktown, was dead in the water, without power. Hiryu sank the next day. Yorktown survived long enough to be taken under tow but then was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The different paths of carrier development taken by the Japanese and American navies led to differences in carrier doctrine—differences that had a tremendous impact once the two forces were engaged.
This principle became sacrosanct in U. Once launched, such a strike would be almost impossible to fend off, since prior to the introduction of radar there was virtually no way to detect approaching enemy planes or direct fighters to intercept them. As Fuchida explained, writing in , Japanese carrier forces were devoted entirely to the attack mission. This type was unique to the U.
Navy and could both locate and attack an enemy carrier. Last, but certainly not least, was the adoption of the deck park and the associated handling procedures devised by American airmen to maximize the number of aircraft that could be operated at one time from an aircraft carrier. This system enabled the U.
Navy to operate more aircraft per carrier than its Japanese counterparts and thus to fly almost as many aircraft as the Japanese at Midway, with one less carrier. It was one of these squadrons, VS-6 from the Enterprise, that made up for the lost planes from the Hornet, which failed to locate the enemy carriers. The extra squadron allowed the United States to strike three carriers at once, leaving just one. The outcome at Midway would have been very different had VS-6 not been present. On the downside, the U. This worked well during the short-range simulated engagements conducted during the thirties, when the various squadron types could circle the carrier while the air group formed up.
The piecemeal commitment of forces that resulted from this approach and the lack of satisfactory air cover had disastrous consequences for the torpedo squadrons, which were all but annihilated. In terms of launching aircraft, the Japanese had devised a workable doctrine that was in some ways superior to the U. The latter enabled the Japanese to conduct the massive air strikes that were the hallmark of the First Air Fleet. The lack of coordination among the American carriers was a major deficiency that could have cost them the battle.
Instead of assembling for a coordinated strike, individual flights from different carriers—both torpedo and dive-bombing—arrived over the target independently of each other and attacked separately. A third flight of dive-bombers from the Hornet never found the Japanese carriers. The American victory at the battle of Midway was abetted by major weaknesses in Japanese carrier doctrine. This fatal flaw in doctrine caused the Japanese to be caught while their hangar decks were packed with aircraft being fueled and armed.
The outcome of an attack in such circumstances had been first predicted in by Commander Hugh Douglas, U. Midway is one of the few instances in the history of RMAs in which the dominant player was successful in implementing a revolutionary change in the basic character of warfare. The Japanese determination to deliver a massed air attack on Midway meant that all four Japanese carriers were committed to preparations for a follow-up strike just as the U. This deprived the Mobile Force of the flexibility it needed to preempt the threat. Further, the box formation, which was established to facilitate the massive aerial attacks invented by the IJN, also contributed to the demise of the First Air Fleet.
It would have been much more difficult to locate and hit three Japanese carriers at once had the elements of the Mobile Force been separated. Various arguments have been put forward in defense of the box formation—indeed, the four-carrier task force was adopted by the U.