Naval Supremecy

24 02 2015

USS New Jersey, BB 62

Launched Dec 7, 1942

Armed with 3 triple banks of 16 inch guns, each gun barrel capable of launching a slug the weight of a small car over the horizon. New Jersey can reach out and touch you from 25 miles away, and that is before she lights off a missile. New Jersey has got some big engines aboard her. With a good tail wind, she can move herself at better than 35 knots (that is about 40 miles/hr for you land lubbers).

On top of her rather awesome fire power, New Jersey has got some awesomely heavy chunks of armour – in places up to 24 inches thick.

When it comes to being a bad ass, look in the dictionary and there will be a photo of New Jersey.

My first ship was HMCS Quappelle.

Launched May 2, 1962

Armed with 2 double barrelled 3 inch guns, each gun barrel capable of launching a slug the weight of a really big turkey about 5 miles. No missiles. HMCS Quappelle ran off of boiler fed steam engines. With a good tail wind we hit 28kts – it was a smooth sea and we clocked ourselves off a small island. When the CO was told 28kts I thought he was going to orgasm right there on the spot.

On top of her somewhat lesser firepower, HMCS Quappelle had no armor at all. Her hull was about 1 inch thick.

Bad ass could not be a word to describe Quappelle, mind you her crew made her do things that made the US Navy shudder.

So, with that little bit knowledge, I can begin the story.

On one of our trips, the ship was to leave San Diego and head to Hawaii. We slipped our berth at Broadway Pier and headed out to sea. On the way out of San Diego harbour, we pass USS New Jersey, at that time, she was tied up at the fuelling jetty.

As we past by the New Jersey, we saluted her. She returned our salute and all was good in the world.

Skip ahead 3 hours. We were safely out to sea, cruising at a comfortable 18 kts. The tropic paradise of Hawaii was 3 days away. The seas were calm, the wind none existent and the world was socked in with a medium weight fog. All was peaceful until….

“HOLY SHIT THEY ARE LOCKED ON!!!!!'”

After a few moments we got the full details that there was fire control radar locked onto us, off of our starboard beam. Well, this was an oddity. We theroretically not at war and certainly were not expecting to be attacked while still in the territorial waters of the US. Half of the eyes on the bridge went looking over the starboard beam, the other half went looking for clean knickers. Peering into the fog, we managed to see the gray shape of a very large ship, after a few more minutes the fog began to this and we managed to make out the shape of 9 16 inch gun barrels pointed at us.

Yes, it was New Jersey. She had locked on to us and was preparing to fire. HOLY SHIT, I thought we were allies.

The fog cleared a bit more and it became very apparent that someone on New Jersey woke up because all of her guns immediately snapped fore and aft and she increased speed and peeled off away from us – doing her best the say “Nope, I wasn’t here, I wasn’t pointing my guns at you, my finger was not on the firing button. Nope, that wasn’t me”

After we had all changed our knickers, the CO sent a message off to the New Jersey, inquiring where we should send the dry cleaning bill.

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