torpedochief Posted February 9, 2015 Share #1 Posted February 9, 2015 Little tough building this guy so far. It has nothing to do with the technical aspect of building the model. This brings back some memories of the USS BONEFISH which had a battery fire and burned out, with the loss of three shipmates. At the time of the fire I was on shore duty in Charleston serving in Engine build up of Navy Torpedo Facility. When we heard of the fire we knew our shipmate TM2/SS Ken Kutcher was aboard. We also knew they were abandoning ship. The theory about what the PBXN-103 explosive within the warheads of the MK-48 torpedoes would do when exposed to high temp was just that, a theory. We watched on CCTV as our shipmates lined on the smoldering deck that was so hot their shoes melted to the steel. True submariners they waited as helicopters carried a few at a time to safety. Each second seemed hours as we prayed the weapons designers were right. The plastic explosive should just melt and burn....should. Finally the last soul left the burning ship. There was little else to do but watch it burn and hope for the best. Three days later the fires went out. After a week the sad submarine was towed back to her berth at Pier Mike. I was divorced at the time and volunteered to go inside the burned submarine to check the status of the 12 MK-48 Mod 3 torpedoes. The explosive had indeed melted and some had burned. The situation was now very dangerous. The melted explosive was now devoid of a desensitizer and could detonate from shock or being stepped on. 700 gallons of peanut oil was used provide some reduction of risk as we cleaned up the explosive and off load the weapons. Each day we had to walk by where one of our Sailors departed on Eternal Patrol. I will not go into it but he was unable to be moved until our work was done. BARBEL and her sisters BLUEBACK, and BONEFISH known as the "B Girls" were the first "combat" submarines to use a teardrop hull for greater underwater performance. Diesel powered these little submarines played a big roll in the future development of our Submarine Fleet. Originally launched with bow planes like ALBACORE, BARBEL was soon fitted with planes on the forward end of the sail or as we call them "Fairwater Planes." This move provided two major advantages for the time. 1. Moving the planes gave better depth control at periscope depth. Radar at the time was becoming effective enough to detect periscopes. The whole sail sticking out would be a very good way to have a bad day. 2. This eliminated any mechanical noise near the passive sonar array. for that matter it left more for additional systems that for some strange reason are still classified. To begin the model I selected a very closed grain lemon wood. Tough but workable. Using plans I made half templates, and turned the hull on my little Dremel lathe. Once turned and sanded, the hull was fastened into a building cradle. This not only held the hull secure but gave me a way of making perfect holes for the stand. It also enabled a secure work surface as I planed and sanded the flat deck area. With modern submarines it is very ease to get the hull out of round. Whenever I work I continue to use my waterline marker to ensure the lines are where they should be as I remove material. Ok up next I will get some detail scribed in, build the sail, and see what other trouble we can get into. Chief! hexnut, ScottRC and GLakie 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.