Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This snapshot shows a great angle on the big guns of a destroyer or other big Navy ship. Once you look past the size of those guns, you notice the fellow in shorts on his hands and knees…doing something. Even closer inspection reveals a volleyball net being strung and another fellow in shorts standing just next to the superstructure, below the kneeling guy. Busy day on board ship, I guess. :-) I’m going to guess this is in the 1950s rather than the 40s, just by the casual atmosphere.

4 thoughts on “Swabbing the deck?

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    The long square box with the two dark openings on each end is a “optical range finder” used to determine range to target.

    With its twin turrented forward guns, I think you are right, this is a Destroyer. The guns would be relatively small (5 to 8 inches diameter) compared to the Battleship’s typical 14-16-18 inch guns.

    While the net might of been used for volleyball – I’d hate to have to go retreive the ball if it went overboard! – I think the net might be used to “crash land” remote controlled airplanes (also used for gun spotting/targeting)

    Badminton anyone?


  2. IntenseGuy says:

    I think this ship might be either the USS New York (BB34) or the USS Texas (BB35) which were old pre-WWI vintage “Battleships” that fought in both World Wars.

    http://www.usstexasbb35.com/introduction.htm shows the unusual “dog-tooth” (zigzag) of the decking.

    ..if so, these guns are 14 inchers.

    http://www.usstexasbb35.com/All-Photos/Drawing-blue-prints/USSTexasturretdrawing.jpg gives you a sense of size/scale. :)


  3. Auntie Kat says:

    Wow! Iggy! Thanks for the leg work on this one. I was guessing destroyer from the photo. Gives me something to do when ever I take my tour of Texas.


  4. Ed Donnell says:

    no Question, this is a Battleship, a Destroyer was a much smaller ship, any old salt would know that right off. thoswe are 14″ guns. the lines of the bow (front) sides are typical USN WWI design, later WWII battleships had no such curves. also the wooden decks, dead ringer for pre 1940s Battle ship. INtenseGuy I think nailed it as well as could be, either the New York or Texas they where in both wars. the texas is still around as a museum piece, check out it’s pictures and see for yourself. the range finder is dated from before the 1950s, this could during of just after WWII. the NY served in the north atlantic, and was painted dark gray during the war, this is a lighter gray, not white, no white ships after abt 1912. this may be the Texas in warmer waters.


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