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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 11/30/2010 6:01:00 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hasegawa and Hidaka stand, as they so often do now, side by side . Zuiho's bows cream, and rise, and fall, an easy motion this day.
"Its good to be away again yes?" Hasegawa murmers
'Yes"

Silence, a moment to share, this first step of the next adventure.

'Do we have our orders yet Captain?"
Hasegawa imperceptably nods 'yes'

......................'And"

And the old eyes twinkle "Oh -more fun and games I should think. The Xo is running a book I believe"
He turns to his operations officer -and heavens! -actually smiles 'I'd go for the long odds if I was you..............."

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Post #: 151
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/30/2010 6:06:12 AM   
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Extract from Shattering the sword -a Cantona production


............The siege of singapore continues, yet the end can only be one way -Japan has plenty of time yet.
The battle for Clarke rages - and here hopes for the American troops continues to rise -a false hope, Japan has many more men enroute-but such is human nature.
The conquest of the Dei continues, by now, Batavia can here ther sound of approaching guns, and the brave dutch prepare for a hopeless last stand.
Japanese eyes, however, are already turning elsewhere. Zuiho is but a small part of the gathering effort. But no small part will she play. Yamamoto has bold plans for this little ship............

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Post #: 152
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/30/2010 6:12:01 AM   
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15/2/42

Night orders

Continue steaming on Port fwd, Stbd Fwd boilers.
Conduct soot blows during middles.
There is too much water in bilges -keep bilges dry!
call me any problems promptly


PS: Congrats to PO Okano on your board result -now don't break anything!


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Post #: 153
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/1/2010 1:34:18 AM   
pws1225

 

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Welcome back, 1275psi. We've missed you!

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Post #: 154
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/1/2010 6:45:15 AM   
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LTJG Kamisaka




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 155
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/1/2010 6:59:08 AM   
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Kamisaka settles himself down into his cockpit, adjusts his arse for the nth time.
There is, again, some sort of delay
The engine idles, beating steadily, numbingly.

The mind, inevitably, wanders.
he misses, as always, his wife, and wonders, again, what she is doing today. probably sorting fish -if the catch has been good. Such a good woman, so little time together.
China was to have been a quick 6 months, ended up being two damn long years...........
and now this, another bloody war.
Somehow though, this one feels so different from China.

His ear piece crackles......'whats the delay sir?'
Kamisaka glances to the flight deck edge -raises a quizzical eyebrow to Hidaka
His boss shrugs -stuffed if i know -and points meaningfully down at his feet.
'I think dear crew, that Minobe has let us down again..........."

But he is wrong -this time - one of Zuiho's communication masts has not been lowered - something very urgent coming in -or going out -and now men crank frantically to lower it to the horizontal.

And Hidaka now has his little flag ready -and waves it at them -you may go now.

Good

A last check -manifolds good, magneto good, flaps set, brakes fully on, and pitch................, and throttle -and the beast roars, shakes, brakes off -and away.
It is good to be aloft again, away from the stink, the confinement of that bloody ready room.
The bomber feels good under his hand -the difference between a bomb and a torpedo to her handling is startling -she feels so much lighter, responsive.
he eases the canopy back, the air blasting past cool and sweet.
'Eyes peeled men.......a bottle of scotch to anyone who spots a sub"

Zuiho has resumed her primary role -putting assets into the air.

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Post #: 156
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/1/2010 7:08:05 AM   
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Deep in the bilges of the engine room, Okano slithers under a mass of pipes , his back soaking up the oily scum on the hull.
here, under the deck plates, it is dark, and confusing -but at least cool .
For the third time, he cranes his head, angles his torch, probing the darkness -the tight beam folowing the pipes, one pipe in particular.
'Where in the hell are you going you bitch?'
he consults a dirty, tattered piece of paper - turns it one way, then another, compares the scribbles on it to the pipes he faces.
and sees it.
'Ahhhhh -so thats where you go, my beauty."
he notates his sketch, makes a correction.
Contemplates the pipes, the bilges, plots his next move through the maze ahead.


You do not learn systems on a ship by magic. You have to trace them, trace every inch.
But he is winning, by this watches end, he will know the oil system of the port main engine by heart.
Only 20 odd systems to go...........

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Post #: 157
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/2/2010 8:57:59 AM   
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17/2/42

Kurihama waits his turn. The wind whips about them still today, and the taste of salt is in the air. His kate rumbles, the ground crewman still in the cockpit, the chocks still in place.
His rear gunner, navigator stand patiently behind him, backs to the wind.
"What is the delay?" Kurihama barks -bloody useless servicemen -all day to get her ready..............
'Hara says he say a drop on the left magneto -please wait" the crew chief reports, face anxious -keen to avoid the cut of Kurihama's tongue
The beast suddenly bellows -straining at the shocks -it does not falter.
'That will do Chief -lets be off "

Across to her, a quick survey, and up onto the wing, and the deposit of the essentials. Map board, flight log, binoculars, a water flask, a small wrapped bundle -lunch-each item finding its own special little niche.
Arrange the belts, and , haul the leg up and over, and in, finding the pedals, and hands helping to bring the straps over the shoulders -the calm here out of the breeze, and the mind racing ahead, checking, checking.
'Are we secured?'
Two brief affirmatives from behind
he grunts -good. A last look, the walk the stick around the world -so familiar to every pilot that has ever been, will ever be- flaps -out, trim, thus -another check of the stick, and goggles down.

And Kurihama takes his turn, trusting in the engine, the men that prepare the engine, and, of course -that prig of a mechanic Hara.
But this -I suppose, is what flying really is -trusting in so many things, and people.

toady the trust is justified, and soon they are climbing steadily out across the great blue - still settling in when the observer barks
'CONTACT- SUBMARINE BEARING 090! -range 1000 yards!

090!
the mind automatically registers, calcuklates, adjudicates, and even as the call comes in -stick is slamming over, and the right leg pushes hard, hard against the iron of the bar -hard on the arch, hard as iron, and his head is swivelling looking, straining over the right shoulder -looking straight down the wing, and the shock hits hard -there IT is! -a conning tower -unmistakable -the long feather of wake trailing behind..

At a 40 degrees bank -as steep as he dares haul thei bird about, he comes about -balancing between stall and turn, top ruderring, top ruddering - eyes fixed on the tower -a tower slipping under the blue........

'Anti submarine action! -prepare to attack!"
Nose down, full throttle - range closing, closing -but even now obviously too late -the submarine too quick---------and the ocean is undisturbed again.....

"Barsted!"

They report, circle, and circle again
Task force swift eagle alters course away, and within two hours the threat is well astern......

Patrols will be increased. It is obvious that nowhere in this ocean can one assume that one is safe from the sharks lurking below.

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Post #: 158
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/2/2010 9:13:07 AM   
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Zuiho, and the charge, quite frankly, have so far had an incredible run.
The hard fact is this. Japanese engineering world war two -was not very good.
her machinery is crude, most of it obsolete in design if not age -and a vast number of those who tend it -have only vague knowledge of operational theories.

Zuiho is lucky -almost blessed.
Her Charge (whio if he survives long enough I suppose we can question him) has had a long history of many different boilers -many british, some japanese, even an american one -in a previous life before this war. he is a rare commodity in this Navy -an expert in his craft .
PO Okano too is a bonus -so few sailors in this navy with actual pre war mechanical trade experience - although working on cars is a far cry from a turbine.
No -if you want to see a typical japanese engineer - i suppose we can show Minobe. Oh, he can operate it all right -but to actually extract lasting performance from it........

The differences between equivalent british boilers, and her own -are stark.
British boilers for a start change burner numbers with demand changes. the crude japanese burners , once lit, are rarely pulled.
British ships operate cam sooties, japanese are straight valve type - incredibly inefficient.
But the greatest difference (for today before boredom sets in) is the preheater -british boilers use economisers -japanese, air heaters.
Air heaters with horrible thin pipes, with little room for corrosion pitting, or anything worse.
In fact -japanese boilers -when it comes to tubes, and tube protection via chemistry, are sorry things indeed.

And 1A boiler -the Port forward one, has had a very sorry time of it this war.
And, now, just after 10 PM, the first bill is presented...............

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Post #: 159
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2010 5:16:36 AM   
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Its been building for a while now.
Scale
Scale –hard deposits of salts and other crap on the inside of the boiler tubes –products of poor water quality.
Its hard to imagine , but the very steam itself inside those pipes is what keeps them cool enough against the hellish heat of the furnace flames, the conversion of water to steam enough to prevent failure, melting, disaster…………

Upriser 17, inboard row (ie, on the furnace face), 1A boiler 0thats the port forward one –now has, hidden away inside it, a horrible patch of scale –nearly the size of a largish coin –and nearly a millimeter thick.
Worse, deep in the metal itself, a fine network of crystalline cracking is present –a result of Okano’s little ‘incident of a month ago

First, just locally, under the scale –a hot spot develops, and the metal begins to glow red, then white, and the metal softens, softens to butter.
Butter against boiler pressure.

It is just after 5 am in the morning, Zuiho steady steaming on two boilers, when the tube fails

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Post #: 160
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2010 5:27:18 AM   
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Hasegawa never awakens well –always the dis orientation as the steward shakes him, the moments of where is he, what? –and the struggle to focus old, old eyes.
The lights blare too brightly in his cabin…………………and something is wrong

Deep, deep in her bowels, he can feel it, no, he can hear it –that something is wrong……..and even as he swings his feet from the bed, seeking his slippers, the lights over head are going brown, dimming, and deep below –the scream of the blowers is now winding down –and in the shocking silence –he can hear the thuds of many, many feet racing.

The door to the bridge now, quickly, mind trying to assess the problem, the bridge –faces turning to him….’ Situation report! –is it an attack?”

‘Sir! –flame out reported in port boiler room –and port engine reports loss of steam, and communications to port boiler room!”
‘A torpedo?’
‘No sir –internal problems it seems……”

Instinctively Hasegawa knows what is going on –Damn Kanpow boilers –Damn them……..
‘Where is Minobe? – I need a damage report –have we gone to stations yet?’
‘Ship is at station sir”

“very good”
And as if to emphasize -the lights dimming, begin to regain strength again……





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Post #: 161
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2010 5:52:00 AM   
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The charge too, struggles to awaken.
He awakens to heavy shaking –and its –heavens, Oh crud, its Minobe –eyes goggling –face ashen –the Engineer himself -shaking him –
‘Burst tube!, burst tube!”
And the man is shuttling away, gone, and he is already flinging himself out of his hammock, boots being a barsted as he struggles into them, doing up the overalls, the torch, the torch –here it is –crap –the lights are going down, and the fans –yes, the fans are winding down, and are they cross connecting, and even as he enters the passageway, enters the lower hanger –startled men –watching him – other stokers ahead –men streaming for the machinery hatches, and the tannoy calling the ship to stations, the mind is racing, what have we lost, what have we lost –and even more important –what have we left, what have we left?
Burst tube, burst tube –the engineers words keep slamming through his mind.
The nightmare casualty

Yet, even as he enters the Port engine room hartch, begins to descend to the shouting, the darting figures below, he smiles.
Minobe may be bug eyed. Minobe may be panicking - but he knows what to do.

Yes. He is the charge, he knows what to do………..

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Post #: 162
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2010 6:10:12 AM   
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PO Okano stares at the gauge board casually, one hand at easy rest on the main steam guard valve above him, the other nursing a cup of tea.
Lurch is relating to him –in a very amusing manner, his efforts to secure accommodation as a student in Tokyo prior to the war –and said failures to do same.

As interesting as the tale is, Okano’s eyes never cease to wander routinely over the gauge panel - Engine rooms are one place where not looking at your conversing friend is not considered rude –watching, tea drinking, and war stories can easily be done all at once down here.

1a boiler –pressure good. 2A is low –the boiler is banked though –one burner in, main stop shut, recirc valve cracked. Highly un economical, but simple. Also allowing a boiler to come on quickly –essential in a carrier –doubly essential in any warship at war.

2A boiler on line –pressure good, although they could raise the fuel pressure really.
2b –no pressure –good –they must be well on the way with the gauge glass replacement by now……

Okano takes a sip, and wonders if it worth sending Lurch on a hunting trip to the galley – the cooks may be generous today………

Through the bulkhead –abruptly, the fans begin to scream, and above –a terrible roar….and behind lurch –1A boilers gauge does an incredible thing, swinging in a blink of an eye from full to nothing……..

It takes a moment for the mind to register, for the shock to process –they have told him about this –and he has to learn it –this he knows –but now –now when he is so green down here?
But the Engineer of the watch –a scarred veteran of many of these Kanpow moments –is yelling at him –and the adrenalin dumps – and he leaps for the main steam guard, and grasping it –turns the great wheel as if his very life depends upon shutting it –which –if he stopped to think about it (but the thought might freeze you with fear) –it just might do.

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Post #: 163
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2010 6:21:32 AM   
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Of course –isn’t it the nature of these things? –its poor Hirate who is steaming 1A boiler when the tube bursts.

He has just turned to adjust the drain on the fuel pump, when the boiler goes –Thump! –not a gentle thump of a door slamming shut, but a THUMP –a great jarring jump that shakes him through his feet, that brings the dust into the air –and then, with a noise he will never, ever forget –or be able to describe –the roar –the scream –the NOISE bursts upon him.

Impressions

The thump
The noise
His sprayer tender –standing near the boiler front –flinging backwards, spinning – arms flung up –protecting the face from an invisible attacker.

Debris –flinging from the boiler front –shrapnel like

The boiler front – bulging –literally bulging towards them

And the mighty fist of heat smashing into him –a wave of frightful ness.

Hirate turns his head away –and , again, why me –again?- the hand reaches for the fuel stop –and pulls it.

And now he is on his knees –and they are crawling, running, scrambling for the exit…..





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Post #: 164
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2010 12:55:22 PM   
Whipple

 

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This is not going to go well. I was part of the investigation team that looked into the cause of the SSTG stop valve body/bonnet separation back in November 1990 on the USS Iwo Jima when ten snipes were killed.

Worst two weeks of my life.
Whipple


_____________________________

MMCS(SW/AW) 1981-2001
1981 RTC, SD
81-82 NPS, Orlando
82-85 NPTU, Idaho Falls
85-90 USS Truxtun (CGN-35)
90-93 USS George Washington (CVN-73)
93-96 NFAS Orlando
96-01 Navsea-08/Naval Reactors

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Post #: 165
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2010 2:59:12 PM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Whipple

This is not going to go well. I was part of the investigation team that looked into the cause of the SSTG stop valve body/bonnet separation back in November 1990 on the USS Iwo Jima when ten snipes were killed.

Worst two weeks of my life.
Whipple



No inspection when an inspection was necessary.

_____________________________

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"For a number to make sense in the game, someone has to calibrate it and program code. There are too many significant numbers that behave non-linearly to expect that. It's just a game. Enjoy it." herwin@btinternet.com

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Post #: 166
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/6/2010 8:48:19 AM   
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gee, i really appreciate the comments -me thinks my experience might be a little short compared to some here -and My memory not the best, but i am enjoying your comments very much

OH -yes -I know, a game is being played - cantona's turns are very slow at the moment -so...........



Minobe is just leaving the wardroom when he hears it –the sudden rise in blowers, feels the thump, hears the roar of escaping steam.

For a moment he freezes –he has heard this sound before, he too has the thought –crap Kampon boilers , flash through his mind.
But whether he has heard that horrible roar before or not – whether he knows what it is –unlike so many stunned men on Zuiho – it does not help the fear. For a moment he stares down the aft towards the hanger deck –and the hatches – mind in turmoil.
Then, abruptly he breaks –and charges to the CPO’s mess.

‘Burst tube!, Burst tube! –he shakes the Charge –he yells burst tube –he must assume it is a burst tube –he prays it is not something worse.

He enters the lower hanger deck – moves towards the open hatch, the shriek of escaping steam growing as he approaches.
He cannot do it, cannot do it.
Hirate flings, literally flings himself out of the hatch –rolling onto the deck.
He scrambles about, reaches in -and down –and now Minobe can hear it –hear it above hell escaping.
Screams.

He has heard these before too.

But this time, this time, he does not turn away.
He leans -or tries to lean into the hatch –into the superheated air – the unbreathable air –the searing skin shredding air –and with Hirate , takes the young stokers out reached hands –and with no conscious thought –other than –I can feel my skin, my hand melting – they drag the fainting man out.

Other men arrive –there is nothing for it, nothing for it at all –the hatch is slammed shut, and hell is contained below.
The Charge races past, behind ….”Sir! –you must get to Damage control! –I have this now!”

Blindly, feeling no pain –but OH –that will come, that will come for sure, he stumbles aft towards damage control central.

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Post #: 167
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/6/2010 9:03:20 AM   
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Okano reaches for the cross connect valve –the great valve that will allow the starboard boiler to feed the port engine.
A yell stops him –“NOT UNTIL WE KNOW WHAT THE %$#@ HAS HAPPENED! – secure the Turbo generator!” the Engineer of the watch yells –even as he slams the main guard valve shut, killing the engine.
All, every one of them is conscious of the chance of water carry over , and what that would do to the turbines………

The men move swiftly –and the Port engine room steadily winds down……….





Hasegawa looks about –dawn is breaking,, and the ship is closed up, dawn Action stations sufficient for this emergency…….

‘Port engine room secured sir –no word on port boiler –the engineer reports the space secured –and suspects a major rupture.”
‘casualties?”

“Unknown, but there are some…….”
Damn.
He looks around –Zuiho is loosing speed, and already falling back – a destroyer already knifing in towards them.
“Tell Shoho to assume command – and task force to slow to 12 knots”
“Sir!’

The bridge is silent – below a great struggle is taking place, here, here they feel nothing. Nothing but anxiety for shipmates below……

“Message from LT Kurihama! –submarine sighted –bearing 030!, range 5000 yards, course 270!”

Double damn!. An intercept course? –have they been sighted?.
12 knots max speed, Zuiho is as helpless as a fat cow……….
He must act. Cannot act,
God, so helpless when it goes wrong below. Goddam Kampon boilers……….
“tell Starboard Engine I must have as much speed as possible as soon as possible!”

“Sir”


Hasegawa changes his tone, tries to sound relaxed, to exude confidence he does not feel.
“tell them, that the torpedo will get them first………….”



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Post #: 168
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/6/2010 9:50:41 PM   
Whipple

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin

No inspection when an inspection was necessary.



Worse than that. It was a failure of leadership at all levels.

The Engine room crew gave the contractors the wrong studs for the flanges. They were coated with neo-lube so had a dull black luster to them that hid that they were of the wrong material.

The work package didn't include the hydro procedure, ships company were to write that, but had no experience with hydro's.

The CPO in the space was an overweight, under qualified ogre of a supervisor who ruled with terror vice ability. He flaunted his authority, blew off orders from the CHENG and on down. He was being admin separated due to these reason, it just didn't occur soon enough.

After the work was done, the Div-O left orders he was to be called to the space to inspect the work because he didn't have faith that the CPO would do any inspections. Work was finished about 1900, and the Div-O was never called. Div-O didn't follow up with CPO the next morning due to making underway preps.

CPO says a hydro was done, unfortunately anyone who could back up what he says (the sailors he says were on the hydro team) were the ones killed in the accident. No procedure could be produced to prove that a hydro was done, not equipment found that was connected, nor any inspection reports.

This was the job that was holding up Iwo Jima from getting underway. The CO knew of the CPO's lack of leadership skills and running of the Engine room as his own personal kingdom, but didn't ensure the safety of the crew prior to lighting off boilers. The XO was told to ensure all Quality Control steps were completed. He delegated this to the CHENG. The CHENG told the Div-O to make sure to personally inspect the valve and paperwork prior to accepting steam into the plant.

Yea, it was MUCH worse than a failure to do an inspection. Most reports only list 2 as killed, that's because the other 8 died anywhere from 2 to 34 hours later due to respiratory problems due to breathing in the hot vapor. Four others survived but were horribly burned. Well enough of that.

Whipple


_____________________________

MMCS(SW/AW) 1981-2001
1981 RTC, SD
81-82 NPS, Orlando
82-85 NPTU, Idaho Falls
85-90 USS Truxtun (CGN-35)
90-93 USS George Washington (CVN-73)
93-96 NFAS Orlando
96-01 Navsea-08/Naval Reactors

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Post #: 169
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/6/2010 10:09:21 PM   
herwin

 

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Very slack.

Reminds me of some incidents when I was working with the FAA.

_____________________________

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"For a number to make sense in the game, someone has to calibrate it and program code. There are too many significant numbers that behave non-linearly to expect that. It's just a game. Enjoy it." herwin@btinternet.com

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Post #: 170
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/7/2010 9:17:53 AM   
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The Charge hits the plates in the Port engine room.
It takes but one experienced sweep of the steaming platform, a single glance of the gauge board - Port engine room is secured.

‘What heve we got, what have we lost?”
The engineer of the watch is brief, as he must be
“major failure port boiler room –burst tube, or worse. Steaming 2A. Speed 12 knots, starboard engine only. 1 TG only”

Good –still mobile, still steaming. But we must assume the worse………
‘What is the state of 2B –is the gauge glass fitted yet?’
The answer comes quickly. ‘yes - bringing on the boiler now”

‘Time?”
20 minutes –maybe more”

he looks about, so many pale faces. ‘A sorry business men. But well done –we could have lost a lot more”
He turns again to the EOOW. “I can’t bring on , or even consider 1 B boiler.. get us cross connected ASAP –but for heavens sake –watch the condensate and feed - get port boiler totally isolated…..”

And now –only now can he ask the most important thing ‘Did they all get out?
A shake greets his question, a shake of sorrow.

Goddam Kampon boilers……………….

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Post #: 171
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/7/2010 9:28:28 AM   
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19/2/42

Zuiho rests at anchor.
Alongside, the great bulk of a repair ship – and already the little carrier seems permanently attached to her –the mass of hoses, lines, gangways a spaghetti mess.

Swarms of laborers, boiler makers, welders, and brick workers have come onboard, and already the repairs to the boiler have commenced. Regretfully, it is familiar work – a job they have done many times before –will do many times again.
Life –in the Imperial fleet is , after all, cheap.

Already Hirate has been taken ashore – as has Minobe –Hirate for some time –Minobe,, for maybe half a day –although he will not be using his right hand for some time –it now is a white club of bandages.

Okano watches his friend go ashore –almost unrecognizable under the bandages over his face – and wonders if he will see him again.

Three others go ashore – bodies tightly wrapped. Their families may be lucky, in these early stages of the war to actually receive the ashes.

Gloom hangs over the ship.
It is not an honorable way to die……………….

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Post #: 172
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/7/2010 9:30:42 AM   
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20/2/42

Southern command has reached Singapore
all units report ready for the final assualt

"Attack"
Confident of victory, the troops swarm forward.

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Post #: 173
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/9/2010 8:43:43 AM   
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20/2/42

Extract from Shattering the Sword - A cantona production


..........two weeks have passed since the shattered, disorganised British army has fallen back into Singapore. They have left many units behind in the malayan jungles, and for all the world - they are a defeated army.
But the Australian battalions are not, and on this, the first night of the "last offensive" -they stand firm.
japanese troops advance in many areas - but not to the primary target -the reservoir.
Dawn sees the Australian flag still firmly flying over it, and a bitter harvestlying dead before it.
The fighting continues all day, and -against orders -many japanese troops surge forward recklessly again as dusk falls.
The rebuff is frightening, by dawn, japans malaya adventure appears to be in serious trouble..........





(This is not going well..............grrrrrrrrrrrrrr)

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Post #: 174
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/9/2010 8:51:59 AM   
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Ironically, for the charge, the Burst tube actually makes his life somewhat easier. AR Akashi is fairly brimming with help -and he takes full advantage of what is offered -like a kid in a candy store told to help yourself.
Tube replacement is "a dockie job" -but everything else is not.
1B boiler is pressure tested -and to great relief all round -is found sound. Nor has any other machinery been damaged.
1A is -of course, a mess. It will need not one, but three new tubes -a new furnace floor, bnew brickwork - three new burners, quite a bit of sheet metal work -and the rest.
Akashi will deal with this..

But, that candy store...........

Zuiho smoulders -a dozen, or more, borrowed welders are at work - new gun bays, sand bag holders, armour plate never contemplated before -machine gun mounts (that history will never know about -nor for that matter 1st or combined fleet) sprout all over the ship.
Hasegawa knows what HE wants too.......

The men will work, and work -there will be no shore leave this visit.
Yamamoto is urging on her repairs - he needs every ship he has.

Quite simply - the war is not going well.

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Post #: 175
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/10/2010 7:49:31 AM   
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Hirate lies in -surprisingly -good comfort.
The naval hospital here has been established for a long time now -long enough for the paint to fade under the tropical sun.
But the floors are polished, and the nurses are clean, and proffesional.
Better yet, the low wooden building lies near the beach, overlooking the lagoon -and it recieves the evening breeze.

He is, of course, in some pain - but counts himself very, very lucky. Some how -somehow, he has not breathed the superheated air that has killed his friends.
But the burns on his neck, his arms, his face - the right side especially, will take time to heal.
But he is lucky, and knows it.

The rest of the ward is empty, and is silent, the nurses away somewhere.
he looks out the window -again, and looks across the lagoon.
Zuiho rests beside the repair ship -a chick beneath its hens wing, and even from here he can see the bustle of work on her..
The ward is silent -and a different type of pain strikes him, a deeper pain.
It surprises him, this pain, for its a pain he would never believe he would have felt just three months ago.
Hirate stares at his little ship -and is homesick
The ward is quiet, and for the first time in many months, he is very, very much alone.

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Post #: 176
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/10/2010 8:00:06 AM   
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Hosho stares up from the rice pot, and idly wonders if it is worth taking cover.
High, very high in the sky -the B17s rumble -vapour trails stark against the blue.

Bando too stares at the sky and grumbles "Once again my friend -not a bloody Japanese plane to be seen"
"As if they could hurt those buggars anyway"

Bando judges the trails -"Moulmien field you think?"

"Not here -thats all that matters -ready to eat?"

No, the B17s are not to be feared -not really -it was those damn p40's that one had to listen for ....
The war here on the Burma front is nothing like any one expected - no fighting, just days of stock piling supplies, of digging trenches, and of waiting.
But thats what soldiers do.
wait
Hosho, busy shoving food down, does not mind. He is very good at waiting, especially if it did not mean getting shot at.

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Post #: 177
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/10/2010 8:10:42 AM   
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Goddam Kampon boilers...............

The tubes are out now, the rubble of brickwork removed. The Port Boiler room is now a chaotic jungle of welding leads, high pressure hoses, light leads, portable air driven pumps, and tools, and rubbish, and the million other bits and pieces that major work attracts to a job

Men blithly go about this chaos -unconcerned that within three days they must be finished -the war calls loudly.
There is no shortage of men either - Hasegawa has seen to that. At this moment a chain of them are bucket brigading the rubble away, another chain manouvering tubes down the same hatch.

Sweat glistens on all, and the dust sticks.
the work goes well -this is work men enjoy -work where with every hour -you see progress.
Work cures many things, and hides much -especially grief.
It will not be long, and Zuiho will once again be the happy Phoenix

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Post #: 178
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/12/2010 2:45:12 AM   
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Kamisaka, Kurihama again are sitting out on the starboard 'balcony' - trying as best they can to escape the stifling humidity of the tropical midday.

The ready room, the hanger deck are almost unlivable today -dust from the boiler brick work is getting into everything.
That, and the unspoken desire to get out of sight of so many hard working men -while they have little to do.
Hidaka is ashore -on briefings with Hasegawa, and all planes are stood down for maintenance.

"its been a while" notes Kamisaka, to the world in general -which can only mean Kurihama, as they are alone out here.
'A while since what?'
'Since George came out"
Kurihama glances swiftly at is friend.
"I thought you left him in China?"
"Well........."
"And, if I recall -I believe you swore after our last little effort that he would stay in China"
"Yes , but -.........."
Kurihama stares very steadily at kamisaka. 'You would not dare..................would you?, not here, not on a ship -you will never get away with it"
Kamisake grins -its a big grin, full of teeth " I think george needs to come out of retirement -at least one more time -we need a laugh"
Kurihama willfully shakes his head ' I think we need our heads read really"
'But are you in?"
"yes, Ok -I am in................"




Dictator herbiesan reads the report of the attack on Singapore
"And who -exactly, ordered the attack to continue?'
His aids shuffle feet in the silence of the room.
A clock ticks, loud.
'Well, who?'


'I see." herbiesan begins that pacing of the room that has so often spelt trouble, or victory, or a dramatic change in the Empires status
" Inform 25th Army that I expect to hear of slitted bellies by tonight -5 at least! This is not about weapons, or tactics!. It is about will!, and courage!. Who has ever heard of Bushido beaten!

he is getting going now, is the dictator. The rant will go on for many hours yet..............


Yamamoto also reads reports
They are not good.
In a simple sentence. The fleet is tired -very tired. So many miles steamed. An awful lot of wear and tear.
He looks up at Captain Hara of the Akagi ' Have you ever wondered how the ships of Nelsons day could go to sea for years - and we need to port in months?. And they call this progress..........."
Hara agrees 'how do we carry out phase two like this?"
"We must capture Singapore -we must. Yamamato rubs his face over his brow. "stalled at clarke, bleeding in Malaya. A right mess indeed..............."






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Post #: 179
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/14/2010 8:32:38 AM   
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22/2/42

If there is a war on, few Engineers on Zuiho care about it now.
Now, it is all about getting the boiler back on line. Just before midday, the new tubes are declared rolled in -and the teams of men swarm over the boiler. There is the internal steam pipes to replace -the tubes to prove clear, the casings -old, and shining new, to be bolted on.
By midnight however -the boiler is re assembled - and back filled with plain fresh water.
The small, but powerful air driven pump is attached, and soon the entire space rings to the Psst, psst, psst of its work, as the boiler is pressure tested.
This is the the test -the real test.
There are -as always -problems - a cock leaks here - two hand hold inspection doors there -and soon the ringing of sledge hammers joins the pump.

Time crawls, and mens eyes -already tired now, become grainy in their sockets.
But the work continues -it must.


The Chareg rests against the fuel pump -watching the pressure guage slowly creep again past 100 lbs.
'This time you barsted.....this time"
He is tired. no, he is beyond tired. But grimly detirmined to do this right, to do it right with no mistakes.

Minobe has been down. Minobe has suggested that the test be conducted under feed pump pressure. A shortcut.
Viable for repairs to cocks and that blood sucking mud drum door that Always, always leaks at the most inconvienient time.
But not for this.
Too risky

"Hasegawa wants to sail. The war needs us"

Hasegawa wants to sail? he needs to remind me -me with a son in the famous 47th sentai? -that there is a war on?
It will be fixed, when I can get it fixed.
Bushido cannot overcome physics.

it will be fixed, when it is fixed.

The needle quivers -yes, curving upwards -steadily now.
Got you this time you barsted.

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Post #: 180
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