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Mark 6 mine

Started by grenadebaron , Feb 21 2009 12:53 PM

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#1 grenadebaron

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:53 PM

This has to be my most odd piece of militaria.
I got it from my girlfriend now wife as a Valentine's Day gift 3 years ago.
I knew then, that this women was a keeper.
She bought it at a antique store here in Nothern Illinois.
Picture_012.jpg
Here's a little history about the Mark 6 mine.
Spherical antenna type using a K-type pistol, 34 inches (87 cm) in diameter.
This mine was designed specifically for the North Sea Mine Barrage of World War I.
It was still being used operationally as late as 1978.
On 17 October 1917, the Secretary of the Navy authorized the construction of 100,000 mines
of this type at a cost of $40,000,000 (40 million dollars).
By the early summer, these were being produced at a rate of 1,000 a day with a peak of 1,500
being produced in one 24 hour period.
In order to support this rate of manufacture, the Navy built its own TNT factory at St. Julien's Creek,
Virginia, capable of producing 300,000 lbs. (136,000 kg) of TNT per day.
The Mark 6 was very successful and remained in US inventories until about 1985, making it the USA's longest-lived mine.
1,400 lbs. (635 kg) total, charge of 300 lbs. (136 kg) TNT.
Could be moored in waters up to 3,000 feet (914 m) deep.
Three safety devices were employed, one a time delay, one a hydrostatic which held a switch open until the mine had sunk
several feet underwater and the third to keep the explosive steps open until the mine had reached a considerable depth.
Mod 2 was a rising type, Mod 3 had a Mark 9 case with a 100 foot (30 m) lower antenna.
Mod 4 had a Mark 6 case with a 50 foot (15 m) lower antenna.
All of these had a few Hertz (acid) horns as a backup firing mechanism.
Early units used in the North Sea Barrage had reliability problems, with 4 to 8 percent firing shortly after being planted.
Mark 6 mine
Shown being launched from USS Ute ATF-76 in Philippine waters in 1978
WAMUS_Mine_mk6.jpg

Edited by grenadebaron, 21 February 2009 - 12:55 PM.


#2 Brian Keith

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 07:56 PM

I think that is really a neat item. Thanks for the interesting history about it. I had no idea a mine had that long of a service life; nearly as long as the M1911.
Great peice of history. Any idea when yours was made?
You got a keeper there! Both the mine and the wife!
BKW

#3 The Meatcan

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 09:24 PM

very cool and unusual! how heavy is that thing to move around? it looks like it weighs a ton!

#4 grenadebaron

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 04:43 AM

Thanks for your comments guys.
As for the weight, its not that heavy about 100 lbs. max.
It's made of thin sheet metal.
I will have to look at it again to find a date.
Since the diameter is 34 inches it doesn't fit through any doors in my house.
So I keep it in a shed.
I have always wanted to put it on a base like from a bird bath
and have my own gazing ball.
How it ever got this far inland I will never know.
My only thought is it was once at Great Lakes Training Center.
The photo I posted was taken at the antique store,
it was real interesting getting it home.
At the time I had a Ford Ranger Pickup with a cap.
I had to unbolt the cap and raise the rear up about 6 inches.
Then I found a piece of wood for a ramp and rolled it up and into the bed.
Glad I had a cap, could you imagine seeing this thing in the bed of a pickup
going down the highway.

#5 robinb

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:58 PM

My mine is also a Mark 6, but is very different from yours. It's dated 2-43.MVC_130S.JPG

#6 grenadebaron

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 10:05 AM

My mine is also a Mark 6, but is very different from yours. It's dated 2-43.MVC_130S.JPG


Yes yours is very differant, because yours is a MK6 Depth Charge.
Mark 6: An older depth charge that was cylindrical in shape, about 28 inches long and 18 inches in diameter. They contained 300 pounds of TNT. These were primarily used in racks but could also be fired from K-Guns.
Mk 6 (Early War)
Weight: 338 kg /745lbs
Charge: 272 kg /600lbs TNT
Sinking Speed: 2.4m/s/ 8f/s later mods (mid-1942) 3.7m/s / 12f/s
Depth: 9 - 91m /30 - 300ft later mods (mid-1942) up to 183m / 600ft

http://images.search...;sigb=13t6rqtp1

at the bottom of this page click on DC Patterns

#7 mike46

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 07:23 PM

I have a MK6 and a MK 9 (teardrop shape) depth charge. I found a guy that had a set of hydrostatic firing pistols for them, and he lent them to me so I could make a mold and cast replicas. It was going to cost me almost $400 to set up to make the first one. About 2 months ago a friend turned me on to a company that made these for the USS Slater museum ship, at $39 a pair, Since I didn't have the $400, but I did have $50, I bought them. They come complete with the bolts, and fit both MK6 and MK9, and from a few feet away, you can't tell from the real thing. email to:

stuartallyn@aol.com

Mike 46

PS--nice 3"50 case you have there

#8 ordnance

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 07:48 PM

Mike 46,

Glad you mentioned those. I just received my set from Stuart last week. I agree they are very nicely done and help dress up a depth charge with the storage plates. They are complete with the mounting harware, all painted with a realistic brass-tone paint.

I took mine a step further as I already had an original depth setting indicator for the center of the depth charge pistol. So I bored out a 1 1/8" hole in the center of the plastic reproduction and inserted the original parts. I like to think of it as the Mk6 "mod 1" version of Stuart's depth charge pistol plates. Here's how it turned out:

Posted Image

#9 grenadebaron

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:34 PM

I have a MK6 and a MK 9 (teardrop shape) depth charge. I found a guy that had a set of hydrostatic firing pistols for them, and he lent them to me so I could make a mold and cast replicas. It was going to cost me almost $400 to set up to make the first one. About 2 months ago a friend turned me on to a company that made these for the USS Slater museum ship, at $39 a pair, Since I didn't have the $400, but I did have $50, I bought them. They come complete with the bolts, and fit both MK6 and MK9, and from a few feet away, you can't tell from the real thing. email to:

stuartallyn@aol.com

Mike 46

PS--nice 3"50 case you have there


Mike 46 Since you like robinb's 3"50 here is a pic of my 3"50 collection
DSC_0004.JPG
The round in front of the 3"50s is a 75 cal, the BIG ONE is my 120mm and it's nose cone.
The projectile in the 3"50 is from the drill round with my homemade rotating band.
My out of pocket cash for this collection
3"50 Drill round and storage tube $25.00
3"50 brass case 10.00
75 cal round 20.00
120mm brass case and nose cone 50.00
Powder tank free
Total $105.00

#10 robinb

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 06:23 AM

Yes yours is very different, because yours is a MK6 Depth Charge.



Duh on my part! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/blushing.gif It didn't click in my head that I have a depth charge and not a mine. Of course they're different!

#11 MWalsh

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 07:35 AM

Thanks for your comments guys.
As for the weight, its not that heavy about 100 lbs. max.
It's made of thin sheet metal.
I will have to look at it again to find a date.
Since the diameter is 34 inches it doesn't fit through any doors in my house.
So I keep it in a shed.
I have always wanted to put it on a base like from a bird bath
and have my own gazing ball.
How it ever got this far inland I will never know.
My only thought is it was once at Great Lakes Training Center.
The photo I posted was taken at the antique store,
it was real interesting getting it home.
At the time I had a Ford Ranger Pickup with a cap.
I had to unbolt the cap and raise the rear up about 6 inches.
Then I found a piece of wood for a ramp and rolled it up and into the bed.
Glad I had a cap, could you imagine seeing this thing in the bed of a pickup
going down the highway.


Probably 15 to 20 years ago there was a place, I want to say in Illinois somewhere, that put out a catalog and sold all sorts of odd ball things. I specifically recall that they were selling some sort of Naval used mine, and it was not actually all that expensive, even to a teenager in the mid and late 1980's (me!).

I cannot recall the name of the place, you had to send in like $3.00 for their catalog, it had been advertised in like Boys Life or some such place. I want to say the name had SCIENCE or SCIENTIFIC in it - they sold a bit of military surplus, a bit of non-military industrial surplus, some laboratory related things, etc. Anyone remember he name or have one of their old catalogs?

Could be that your mine originated with that company????

Just a thought.

MW

#12 grenadebaron

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:19 AM

American Science & Surplus
http://www.sciplus.com/stores.cfm

It's possible it could have come from there.
Been to the store in Chicago and the one in Geneva/West Chicago.
I live about 30 minutes from the Geneva/West Chicago store.
This place has all kinds of odd stuff.

#13 MWalsh

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 05:05 PM

Thanks! That's the place!!

MW


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