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What would a Navy Blacksmith Do?


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I know this is probably a strange question coming from me, but I don't have an answer for it...

 

I just got research back on a fellow who served from 1913 to 1945. He was a Chief (MM) for a couple years during WW2, but retired as a Metalsmith 1/c! Prior to WW2, however, he was a Blacksmith. Now, this fellow made Blacksmith 2/c no less than FOUR times...but that's a different story when I post his career up (oh, he also fought Chinese bandits in 1917!)

 

But my thought goes to...what would a Blacksmith have done? I know what a traditional blacksmith does (or did) but yesterday was the first time I've ever seen a Navy Blacksmith rate.

 

Any of the pre-WW2 Navy guys savvy on the duties of odd rates?

 

Thanks!

 

Dave

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Blacksmithing was taught and is in the shipfitter manual until the late 40's before electric welding came along welding was done the same way on board ship as it was on land by the blacksmith. Although I have heard that during WW1 the craft took a bit of a hit skillwise.

 

John

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Picture a low-tech tool and die maker. And many are the blacksmiths that have never been near a horse!

 

Tom

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Odd rates? says who?

 

How about "not common"??? ;)

 

I actually couldn't find the rate in Stacey's book, until I read the part under Shipfitter. It's also interesting to note in there that all Blacksmith 1/c were reduced in 1917 to Blacksmith 2/c. That would explain ONE of his reductions in rate...though his special court martials and captain's masts would explain the others... :pinch:

 

They were also merged into Metalsmith in 1936...which would explain why he was retired as a M1/c. It doesn't explain how he became an MMC though. More research to do!

 

Dave

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Picture a low-tech tool and die maker. And many are the blacksmiths that have never been near a horse!

 

I think they did on occasion shoe a seahorse....

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It seems there is the same confussion here as on the civilians regarding the difference between a blacksmith and a farrier...

 

A blacksmith deals with ironworking. Not just on "placing horseshoes on horses."

 

A farrier is the guy that works with horses and horseshoes.

 

Luis Ramos

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great photos of the shops on Camden and Prometheus!

How appropriate to have a forge on a ship named Prometheus :thumbsup:

Terry

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Can't say for sure why all the engineering rates were lumped under one specialty or why they did not rate a CPO for so long. I know that in the begining there were issues between Line and the early Engineering communities.

You can find more on Navy Blacksmiths in The Naval Artificers Manual 1918 Pgs 647-687 old school welding specifically on page 668.

And Metalsmith 3&2 1948 pgs 472- for forging tools.

The line between Blacksmith and Farrier was pretty thin in small communities.

Those tender pics are great.

THe problem in WW1 was that on any given day the navy would request x number of blacksmiths and the recruiters only saw a number to fill with little reguard for skill.

 

John

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I actually couldn't find the rate in Stacey's book, until I read the part under Shipfitter.

 

My old WWI rate book actually lists it as "Blacksmith, or shipfitter".

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There is quite a bit of difference between Shipfitter and Blacksmith. The Artificers Manual really explains the duties of each of the engineering repair specialties.

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