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Salvage Sailor's USN Collection - "it just followed me home"


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This is a chart correction template - it has numerals, letters, and navigational chart symbols for buoys, wrecks, lights, etc. Every month, or sometimes weekly, we would receive a 'Notice to Mariners' update from the Naval Hydrographic Office and update our charts with this template.

 

The paper under it is upside down - that's the backing. It's a piece of clear tape for fixing up charts and making corrections.

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I've mentioned Maneuvering Boards a few times. This is a large pad of Maneuvering Boards published & printed by the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) in 1970. They are basically used for tactical and navigational maneuvers in CIC by the Operations Officer(s) and Operations Specialists (OS - ex RD Radarman rate).

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By using a Maneuvering Board a good OS can make accurate calculations and recommendations to the Bridge & Conn within seconds. They are used to fight the ship in the total air/sea/undersea environment, plot tactical formations, run man overboard drills, zig zag pattern, intercept courses, plot inbound bogies (air targets), skunks (surface targets) and vampires (incomming missiles).

 

They are also used by the ships officers and navigation teams to plan 'what if' scenarios to determine the best way to move the ship and the formations.

 

When you see USN Combat Information Center's (CIC's) in the movies, those plastic toteboards that the OS's are writing on (backwards so they may be read from the other side) are just large Maneuvering Boards.

 

It's all about logarithms and three scale nomograms (speed-time-distance formulas)

 

Using the dividers and parallels I showed in my navigation kit, you work the scales and sliderules until you find the solutions to the problem.

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So basically, with any two known variables you can find the third

 

Simple, eh? Except you have to do it in a dark noisy metal box that's rolling in the ocean full of sweaty sailors, rank coffee, stale cigarette smoke, radios blaring with donald duck voices, one ear stuck in a sound powered phone, one ear off to take it all in.....

 

oh, and you have to write backwards with a grease pencil too!

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This is a USN Maneuvering Board Manual - H.O. Pub No. 217 (Hydrographic Office Publication)

 

Many of the Vietnam era USN Manuals have these hard blue plastic covers with metal screw rivets to hold the pages in. That makes them easy to update by swapping out the superceded pages when new ones are promulgated. (how's that for milspeak)

 

The first edition is dated 1941, the second 1963. This is a third edition 1969.

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In addition to the USN training manuals publised by NAVEDTRA, H.O., the Oceanographic Office, & DMA, for use in the 'A' & 'C' schools, there were Fleet Training Centers (FTC) in the major homeports around the globe.

 

At FTC's, you would go through short intensive courses on specific training for your rate (COMSEC, Rules of the Road, SIGINT, Fleet Tactics, etc)

 

This is a FTC Manual for the Manuevering Board from the Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center (FAAWTC) in San Diego, dated 7 August 1963.

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It is primarily concentrated upon Torpedo tactics, how to launch them at targets & how to avoid being a target when one is coming at you (a very good thing to know beforehand)

 

Usually the LPO's or Training Petty Officers in a division (OI - or Operations in this instance) would go to the FTC courses. After completing the course, you would go back to your ship and then use the materials to train the other men in your Division.

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A General Note regarding the manuals I am depicting: Most of these came from the USS GRASP (ARS-24) when she was decommissioned. She was unceremoniously given to the ROKN on March 31st 1978 and the crew dispersed to new units. 13 of us remained with the Korean crew while they outfitted her (at US taxpayers expense) for her new life with the ROKN. I was kept on as the OI Division liason and also as the Korean Comodore's driver, complete with official USN black staff car (but that's another story). The Navigation & CIC library were tossed out since the Koreans could not read them & the Navy didn't want them.

 

I was told to purge it of classified materials (I burned them) & "get rid of the rest of this stuff" by the Chief, uh, so I did....

 

This next manual is a Radar Navigation Manual Pub. No. 1310 from the DMA, First Edition 1971

 

This manual was very useful in training Quartermasters in radar procedures. In the Salvage forces, you have a very small crew - usually only about 70-75 men and 6 or 7 officers, five of which are Mustangs and two of them are Warrants. Therefore, the Operations rates had to cross-train each other to combine watches and duties to complete our missions. In OI Division the 3 OS's (Radarmen) would train the 3 QM's (Quartermasters) who would train us, and we all would learn Signals from the 2 SM's (Signalmen) & Radio Procedurers from the 3 RM's (Radiomen). Operations was led by a QMC & a LT(jg). The Navigator was a LT & also XO. The Bo'sun (a Warrant) and the BM Petty Officers in Deck (1st) Division would teach us all how to use these skills for boat handling, boarding/landing parties, & particularly Salvage Operations (the heavy lifting & dirty work) which was an all hands endeavor on our ships.

 

The Radar Manual is from NAVSEA for the AN/SPS-10 surface search radar - the primary radar set used by ATF/ARS/ASR/ATA/YTB type ships.

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This is a Radar Plotting Manual H.O Pub No. 257, First Printing 1960. It shows how to do Radar Plots using the radar scope display which are identical to Maneuvering Board Plots except your ship is always in the center. On a Mo Board you can place the enemy in the center or yourself in the center, can't do that on a radar scope.

 

The other manual is Radar Principles, NAVPERS 93586, July 1967, used for radar directed fire control. This manual is also used for training Fire Control Technician rates (FT).

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Now, getting back to instruments.....

 

Since Salvage ships typically steam independently and transit waters outside of the normal commercial sealanes, we were also routinely used as floating weather stations.

 

One of the duties as Quartermaster of the Watch (QMOW) was to make and take weather observations each hour, log them, and then compile a pattern each eight hours on data sheets. This would be transmitted by the RM's to the Naval Observatory in Washington D.C. (aka the Vice Presidents Residence).

 

We would make cloud type/height observations during the day, wind speed & direction, wet point temp, dry temp, dew point temp, sea surface temp, salinity, etc. and log this data.

 

Here are some of the instruments we would use for sea temperature.

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I'll plow through the rest of these manuals quickly so I can post some more 'eye candy'

 

This is a DOT Coast Guard MERSAR manual. One of our primary tasks was Rescue and admittedly the Coast Guard is the best in the business, so we used their manuals (or ripped them off and slaped USN on them).

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This is a Vietnam era edition of the INTERCO - International Code of Signals H.O. 102

 

I won't elaborte on this important manual as it's covered on some other forum topics including this one I posted a while back:

 

USN Signal flag & Pennants info

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