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USS Helena: Tales of the Machine Gun Cruiser -Marshall(J) vs Dadman(A)

 
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USS Helena: Tales of the Machine Gun Cruiser -Marshall(... - 5/31/2015 7:19:18 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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quote:

In the tradition of other AAR's told from the point of view of one ship, so shall this one be - to some extent. There are times where I may wander outside of the parameters of storytelling to comment on events or describe other actions not privy to Helena. But for most intents and purposes, this will be her story for as long as she exists.

At this time, I wish to cite several sources from which that I may pull material, either in part or whole, so as to properly credit those authors:
    -Department of the Navy, United States of America. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. 3, pp.287-289. United States Department of the Navy, 1968
    -Casten, Ray J. USS HELENA The Machine-Gun Cruiser. Self Published, 1991
    -Dibner, Martin. The Admiral. Doubleday, 1967
    -Morris, Craig G. with Hugh Cave. The Fightin'est Ship: The Story of the Cruiser Helena. Dodd, Mead & Company, 1944
    -Morison, Samuel Eliot (RAdm., USN Ret.) History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. X. Little, Brown and Company. 1947-1962


USS Helena, the second Navy ship bearing the name of the city of Helena, Montana, was launched on 27 August 1939 by the New York Navy Yard, sponsored by Ms. Elinor Carlyle Gudger, granddaughter of Senator Thomas J. Walsh of Montana, and commissioned on 18 September 1939, Captain Max B. Demott in command.

Helena departed 14 October 1939 from New York Navy Yard for her sea trials and shakedown cruise. She arrived in Annapolis on 22 December 1939 and departed there on 27 December 1939 for her first voyage to South America. She stopped in many ports including Norfolk, Virginia from 27 December 1939 to 3 January 1940 and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba from 6–7 January 1940. She crossed the equator on Longitude 40 West on 13 January 1940.

Helena visited Buenos Aires, Argentina from 22–28 January 1940. From 19 January to 3 February 1940, she stopped at Montevideo, Uruguay, where her sailors boarded the wreck of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. Further stops included Santos, Brazil from 5–10 February 1940, Guantanamo Bay from 12–24 February 1940, and Norfolk from 27 February to 1 March 1940. She arrived back at the Navy Yard in New York on 2 March 1940.

In November 1940, Helena transferred to the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Capt Robert Henry English in command. Most of 1941 was spent on training excercises in and around Pearl, with the occasional jaunt out with the carriers or the Battle Fleet.

Today, however, is the first Saturday of December, and Helena is tied up to the 1010 Dock in Pearl, as she is on modified in-port stand down for liberty. Even though she is tied up pierside and drawing power like Pennsylvania would be if she were tied up here, Capt. English's standing orders are that Helena is to keep one of her eight boilers lit at all times.

By 07:30, James Mayfield, Chief Shipfitter of Helena has already been to breakfast. His family calls him by his middle name, and to his friends he's "Jim", but aboard ship, it's "Chief" or "Chief Mayfield" (and sometimes worse behind his back). He's the kind of man who will gladly do you a favor or help a man in need, but at 6 feet and 190 pounds, Heaven help you if you cross him.

As he steps out on to the deck, he circles over to the starboard side forward five inch dual-purpose gun mount, and takes his first lungsful of air on what is the beginning of a beautiful day outside here in God's paradise. He leans on the rail, looking out across to Ford Island where the big girls are moored, the Battle Line of the US Pacific Fleet. He could do worse, he thinks. His biggest decision for tonight is whether to go ashore for liberty, or stay on board for the movie...

< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 6/23/2015 7:18:39 PM >


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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 5/31/2015 7:22:56 PM   
KenchiSulla


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Here is to hoping she'll survive Pearl Harbor... Or this will be the forums shortest AAR ever...

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 5/31/2015 7:29:34 PM   
Lowpe

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cannonfodder

Here is to hoping she'll survive Pearl Harbor... Or this will be the forums shortest AAR ever...



+1, lol.

Although a little editing can save the day.

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 5/31/2015 7:49:45 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lowpe


quote:

ORIGINAL: Cannonfodder

Here is to hoping she'll survive Pearl Harbor... Or this will be the forums shortest AAR ever...



+1, lol.


Although a little editing can save the day.



It's PBEM, so if she dies, she dies. Should that happen, the AAR will continue.


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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 5/31/2015 8:39:03 PM   
witpqs


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Good luck!

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 5/31/2015 11:29:29 PM   
dr.hal


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Why not pick the Phoenix and ride it all the way to Argentina? Or if you're really testing the waters, the Boise. See if she makes it out of the PI.

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/2/2015 6:11:01 PM   
Argos

 

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I always thought the Helena was a great concept; think they should have added a time component to throw weight to allow more accurate comparison between class and armament instead of just one 'broadside'.

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/2/2015 11:08:34 PM   
Canoerebel


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Great to have Admiral Dadman back. Has there ever been a well-known veteran to be gone so long from the game and to then come back?

I've said this many times before, but Admiral Dadman's game vs. Speedy in early WitP days got my full attention. I don't think the good Admiral has done an AAR since then, so it was probably about eight or nine years ago! That WitP/AE continues to draw folks is a testament to it's quality.

In fact, I faced the Admiral in a UV game perhaps 12 years ago! He beat my pants off (so to speak), but it was a fun game in which I learned a few things.

Good luck to the Admiral and to the USS Helena!

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/3/2015 1:03:57 AM   
pws1225

 

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/3/2015 2:40:45 AM   
Admiral DadMan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Great to have Admiral Dadman back. Has there ever been a well-known veteran to be gone so long from the game and to then come back?

I've said this many times before, but Admiral Dadman's game vs. Speedy in early WitP days got my full attention. I don't think the good Admiral has done an AAR since then, so it was probably about eight or nine years ago! That WitP/AE continues to draw folks is a testament to it's quality.

In fact, I faced the Admiral in a UV game perhaps 12 years ago! He beat my pants off (so to speak), but it was a fun game in which I learned a few things.

Good luck to the Admiral and to the USS Helena!


Thank you for your kind words, Canoerebel, and oh yes, I remember you from Uncommon Valor. I miss playing UV. You gave me a run for my money.

Actually, I am working on finishing out an AAR from a 2007 WitP game with Mogami over in the WitP forum. Mogami used to make fun of my Rabbit's foot...

Poor Speedy, he just couldn't believe some of the things I did to him. But alas, our game was suspended due to real life.

I really miss the relative simplicty of WitP, and I'm anxious that AE may overwhelm me.

This AAR is different from any other that I've done before, in that I will try to tell it in a personal way, almost like "Small Ship, Big War - The Voyages of the Hibiki" done by Cuttlefish on the WitP forum.

For those who are curious, I picked Helena for a couple of reasons, the biggest of which are that she was at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, and my late father served aboard her and throughout the war.

And now, on with the show...

< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 6/3/2015 1:33:06 PM >


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RE: USS Helena: "I Asked for You." - 6/3/2015 3:49:40 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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The day seemed to have an odd feel to it. For Chief Mayfield, there was nothing out of the ordinary beyond already having to break up a fight between SF2c Goldmann and SF3c Gutterman in the galley. Jim suspected it was over -what else, a woman- but he really didn't much care. For as much as he was good natured in the morning, and loved waking up with the sun, these two guys were acting like morons.

They originally ignored him until they saw the chevrons on his shoulders. And that was only after he put his body between theirs to break them up. That's when they also noticed that he had at least 40 pounds on either of them. But suddenly, everyone snapped to attention. Lt. (jg) Watson had entered the room.

"Officer on deck!" someone called out.

"At ease" said the young officer. "Is there a problem here, Chief?"

"No sir, Lieutenant. We... were trying to work out a how to break a judo hold. "

Watson shrugged. He knew that wasn't it, but it was clear no one was talking, and the chief had interceded. And besides, Watson had a wicked headache from his hangover. He didn't want to be doing paperwork on this if the chief could sort it out.

"Alright, Chief. Let's keep this sort of thing OUT of the galley, understood?"

"Yes sir."

"Carry on men."

"Aye sir," they said in unison.

After the young Lieutenant was gone, Jim turned on the combatants. The smile on his face disappeared completely. "You two assholes do that again, and I will throw you BOTH over the side, and leave you to the sharks. Or the Captain. Got it?!?"

"Yes Chief!"

At barely 21, Jim should not be a Chief Petty Officer already. He was, no doubt the youngest CPO on Helena, in the Battle Fleet, and quite possibly the entire Command. He wasn't the smartest man in the world, the bravest, or the strongest. What he had was exceptional mechanical abilities, and a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He knew how people worked. And most of all, a quickly expanding United States Navy needed guys like him.

He didn't choose Helena. The Navy chose her for him. His then current billet, the carrier USS Ranger, already had a CSF, so after his frocking for Chief was approved (and being the new guy), he had to be reassigned. The Navy said, "Go to a shore billet in Boston, or to a new ship out in Pearl." Jim, being a southern boy from Alabama, did not much like the thought of winter in Boston, so it was off to paradise in the Pacific.

When Jim reported aboard, he was directed to proceed immediately to the Captain's stateroom. Captain English was not an overly tall man, but he had a stern countenance to him that belied his calm exterior. You sensed he was not a man to be trifled with.

A knock at the door drew an "Enter" response. "Chief Shipfitter Mayfield, reporting as ordered, sir," came the thick Alabama drawl. Captain English looked Jim up and down once.

"At ease, son." The Captain looked over Jim's service jacket. "Hmmm... Interesting... Well... You come highly recommended young man. If I weren't reading your record, I would suppose that you asked to come out here to lay about in the sunshine all day with fruity drinks and girls in grass skirts all around you." He looked up at Jim. "Most men transferred out here do."

Jim said nothing. He knew better.

"My last CSF went Asiatic on me. Had to wrap him in a Love Me Jacket and send him packing. Don't make the same mistake.

Jim continued staring straight ahead.

"Alright, you're dismissed."

"Aye sir."

As Jim was about to open the door, the Captain spoke.

"Chief, I know what is not in this jacket. You never would have made it to Boston." He looked Jim in the eye. "I asked for you."

That was weeks ago, but it still felt like days. And now, there seemed an unusual electricity in the air. Something has changed, he thought.


< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 6/9/2015 8:26:06 PM >


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RE: USS Helena: "Short of War" - 6/4/2015 10:12:33 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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The need to let this game get down the road a few turns may slow the pace of this AAR for now, so I may feature more background stories as we ramp up.

The men were restless - the kind of restlessness that comes when you know action is close at hand, and you're not part of it. Not yet at least. The stories of Hitler and Stalin dividing up Poland like a Porterhouse steak in 1939. The "Phoney War" along the French border, the Battle of Britain, and the London Blitz of 1940. Then just this past June the German Wehrmacht blitzing into Paris were events still even now, were not so distant.

By July 1941, America was "Short of War".

President Roosevelt was attempting (with the British, Chinese, and Dutch) to restrain Japan's further expansion into Indochina. Economic sanctions were levied for that, as well as for Japanese occupation of China itself, but it was to no avail. If nothing else, their actions spurred Japan to further aggression, and further plans...

Over in the Atlantic, there were stronger measures - and direct consequences.

First, on 4 September, destroyer USS Greer, on patrol out of Reykjavík, Iceland, was attacked and narrowly missed by a German U-Boat. The Germans at first denied it, but soon insisted that Greer had assumed an aggressive posture first.

Barely a month later, 16 October 1941, destroyer USS Kearny and three other U.S. destroyers were summoned from Reykjavík to assist a nearby British convoy that was attacked by a "wolfpack" of German U-boats. Upon reaching the scene of the action, Kearny dropped depth charges on the U-boats, and continued to barrage throughout the night. At the beginning of the midwatch on 17 October, a torpedo fired by U-568 struck Kearny on the starboard side. The crew confined flooding to the forward fire room, enabling the ship to get out of the danger zone with power from the aft engine and fire room. There were many acts of heroism that day. Some that had far-reaching effects.

Less than two weeks later, on 31 October, destroyer USS Reuben James was sunk by a U-Boat while escorting merchantmen near Argentia, Newfoundland. Of all the acts of valor in the Battle of the North Atlantic, this "Short of War", Reuben James went one step further: she put herself in the path of torpedo fired by U-552. Every event was upping the ante.

One would have thought that any of these events, either individually or in total, would have brought America into the European war. But America was not ready, not by a long shot. She needed more ships, more planes, more guns. And she needed more men. Men like Jim Mayfield. Men who were steady under fire. The NCO's who could be a core of influence to the others that would come after. The men who must come after. For all of these things though, America needed the one thing that she could not harvest, produce, manufacture, or manipulate. America needed time.

But on this 7 December, 1941, time had run out. From Helena's radio shack, came the first signs that "Short of War" was not so short anymore. And it was happening as so many prewar scenarios like "War Plan Orange" had envisioned. No more talk of needing "casus belli".

The Japanese had struck, and struck hard. The Philippines and Indonesia would never be the same again.

Life would never be the same...


< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 6/9/2015 8:26:33 PM >


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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/5/2015 7:22:32 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

Over in the Atlantic, there were stronger measures - and direct consequences. First, on 4 September, destroyer USS Greer, on patrol out of Reykjavík, Iceland, was attacked and narrowly missed by a German U-Boat. The Germans at first denied it, but soon insisted that Greer had assumed an aggressive posture first. Less than two months later, on 31 October, destroyer USS Reuben James was torpedoed and sunk by a U-Boat while escorting merchantmen near Argentia, Newfoundland.


There was also the torpedoing of the USS Kearny on October 17. (Granted, she had fired first by dropping depth charges.)

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/5/2015 9:06:36 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

quote:

Over in the Atlantic, there were stronger measures - and direct consequences. First, on 4 September, destroyer USS Greer, on patrol out of Reykjavík, Iceland, was attacked and narrowly missed by a German U-Boat. The Germans at first denied it, but soon insisted that Greer had assumed an aggressive posture first. Less than two months later, on 31 October, destroyer USS Reuben James was torpedoed and sunk by a U-Boat while escorting merchantmen near Argentia, Newfoundland.


There was also the torpedoing of the USS Kearny on October 17. (Granted, she had fired first by dropping depth charges.)


I KNEW that I was missing something. It actually dovetails in a lot better.

Thanks man.

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/6/2015 12:13:39 AM   
Admiral DadMan


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Apparently, my esteemed opponent has decided to forgo the obligatory decimation of Pearl Harbor, and instead struck the Philippines - hard.

This is now being followed by the sacking, pillaging, and plundering of the Dutch East Indies. The effect, shall we say, has been... devastating... much worse due to the fact that this cat knows his stuff.

I suspected that this strategy was a possibility, which is why I wrote the opening scenes the way that I did.

But still...

Ow. Ow. Ow...


< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 6/10/2015 3:28:27 AM >


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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/6/2015 12:59:15 AM   
BBfanboy


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So Helena is not going to be sunk in the first week? Huzzah!





Attachment (1)

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/6/2015 1:43:42 AM   
Admiral DadMan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

So Helena is not going to be sunk in the first week? Huzzah!





Hawaiian waters are filthy with Japanese subs, take nothing for granted...

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/6/2015 10:02:49 PM   
Rio Bravo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Admiral DadMan


quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

So Helena is not going to be sunk in the first week? Huzzah!





Hawaiian waters are filthy with Japanese subs, take nothing for granted...



Admiral-

I am having the same problems in my war with El Lobo. The Evil Empire's subs infest the waters around Pearl and the west coast of the U.S., taking an average of one allied ship down a day. Even DD escorts aren't helping much.

Regards,

-Terry

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RE: USS Helena: Tales of the Maching Gun Cruiser - 6/7/2015 4:17:35 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rio Bravo

Admiral-

I am having the same problems in my war with El Lobo. The Evil Empire's subs infest the waters around Pearl and the west coast of the U.S., taking an average of one allied ship down a day. Even DD escorts aren't helping much.

Regards,

-Terry


I will PM you suggestions on how to deal with that :)

< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 6/7/2015 5:20:36 PM >


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RE: USS Helena: "We Are at War"... - 6/7/2015 11:50:51 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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Due to my opponent NOT attacking Pearl Harbor on Turn One, I've been in a quandary the last few days as to how to write this AAR incorporating the arbitrary International Date Line. I decided to say "screw it", and just write it in a compressed time format as each day's turn unfolds.

So here it is:


Activity in the harbor seemed to be on an uptick, and Captain English reported back aboard Helena by the midwatch. Orders were being issued with a sense of urgency that Jim had seen once before, and he didn't like what had happened then. The ship was coming to life, as were the other ships in the harbor, as if everyone was preparing to get underway. No, Jim did not like this at all.

As the day progressed the Senior Staff and those on leave were scurrying back to Helena. Tender Ogalala, which had tied up abeam of the cruiser, was ordered to cast off and move to berth number one ahead. Helena, it seems, was to get underway ASAP.

Within two hours of Captain English's return, Helena cast off her lines and stood down the channel to exit the harbor, Jim noticed she was not alone. Her sister ship St. Louis fell in line astern, as did half-sisters Phoenix, and Honolulu. In line ahead of the column were the destroyers Selfridge and Phelps. Astern of the column were two other destroyers types that Jim couldn't make out, and truthfully, didn't much care about.

Once they were clear, there was a call over the speakers of, "All stations, all stations, stand ready for the captain."

"Men, this is the Captain," he began brusquely.

Slowly, he said "We are at war."

He paused to let them sink in.

"The Japanese have attacked our bases and ships in the Philippines, namely Manila. Extensive damage was done, many vessels have been sunk and damaged... many of our men - our brothers - are wounded. Many are dead... British territories such as Singapore and Hong Kong have also been attacked, as have several important Dutch bases, which doubtless you have not heard of."

Although we were issued no specific orders to sortie from the harbor, prudence demands that we do so - that we not get caught tied up to a pier and made into easy pickings. I will update you as I receive more information to relay to you. Until then, know that your families are safe, and it is our job to keep them that way. And we will do our job. This is the job you have been training so hard for.

We are now on a wartime footing. Make no mistake - we are at war. That is all.
"

The losses are far worse than the Captain detailed. The British lose battleship Prince of Wales, battlecruiser Repulse, and cruisers Dragon and Durban to Japanese bombers while the task force was moving to intercept the Japanese landings on the Maylay Peninsula north of Singapore.

In Manila, air defenses at nearby Clark Field are shredded. The port at Cavite Naval base is wrecked. 14 submarines are destroyed in the harbor, as are several merchant ships. Many other ships are damaged.

The carnage is catastrophic...


< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 6/10/2015 3:27:46 AM >


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RE: USS Helena: "Turn-to and Evade" - 6/8/2015 7:45:49 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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8DEC41
At sea, south of Pearl Harbor...

Helena's task force is cruising in Condition III, air and surface watch stations are manned, guns have skeleton crews, and ammo is at near ready. It was a nice break from Battle Stations, and then the rest of yesterday spent at Condition II. The Forewatch was just changing over with the sun high in the sky when there was a terrified cry:

"TORPEDOS! FOUR POINTS OFF STARBORD BOW!"

On the Bridge, the Executive Officer, Commander Richardson, quietly uttered an expletive followed by a series of rapid fire orders: "Helm, come right, four-five degrees, right standard rudder."

"Aye sir, coming right forty five degrees, right standard rudder. New course two fifty five relative."

"Easy on the wheel Stick, damnit."

Then to the JA Talker: "Engine room: all stop on the starboard shaft. Repeat full stop on the number four shaft. Flag bag: hoist Turn Starboard Niner NOW!."

"Aye sir full stop number four shaft," came the reply from the engine room.

"Commander, what are you doing?"

"Mind your helm Stick. And god damnit how many times do I have to tell you, I want each number individually." Stick looked at him, puzzled. "I want to hear 'four five' repeated to me, not 'forty five'.

"Aye sir."

Helena heeled a bit, but responded smartly to her rudder and screws. As she steadied onto her new course, Cdr. Richardson called down to the engine room again, and ordered number four shaft back online. The ship threaded the torpedoes perfectly.

"And that, Stick, is how you turn-to and evade, ya Asiatic sonofabitch."

Commander Richardson turned back to Stick to say something else, when the deck beneath them shook. Honolulu, which was directly astern of Helena, did not see the full spread, and had not turned as quickly as her half-sister. One passed ahead, two passed astern, but one planted itself in Honolulu's forward chain locker, blowing off about 20 feet of bow with it.

Captain English was now on the bridge, and ordered the group to increase speed to 25 knots, which Honolulu could still make, so they could clear the area. He then ordered Condition I be maintained for the next hour. At that point, the crippled cruiser would be detached with a destroyer and head for Pearl.

From Jim's station at the main damage control board, he was uneasy. Torpedo attacks by submarines were something he thought he had gotten away from over here in the Pacific. 24 hours in, and the war is at my front door, he thought. What have I gotten myself into? At least they were at Condition II now, and he could have one of the mess boys bring coffee down. He both loved and hated the stuff. Coffee was often a staple for, and the measure of a fighting man. Jim could do without it.

His thoughts were broken by the PA:

"... and it is my sad duty to inform you that our sister Honolulu did not make it back to Pearl. She was hit again, and in vulnerable condition, she was... finished." He was silent for a moment. "Her survivors have been picked up, and they will fight again."

"We will remain at Condition II until we meet up with the rest of our ships in the next day or so. Stay vigilante. Stay focused. Do your job. That is all."


The Japanese continue raiding Manila and Singapore, and are now being seen as far south as Kendari. This is faster than expected, and not a good sign for units in the Philippines or the Java area...


USS Antietam (CG-54)



< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 6/10/2015 11:59:04 AM >


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Post #: 21
RE: USS Helena: "Cat With Paper Bag on Head" - 6/9/2015 5:41:24 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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9DEC41

As Helena journeys to join her assigned task force, the work of war continues apace.

Japan's inexorable march to take control of what they refer to as the "Southern Resource Area", also known as Java, Borneo, and the Dutch East Indies continues with alacrity. He has split up Kido Butai's six carriers. CarDiv One (Akagi/Kaga) and CarDiv Two (Soryu/Hiryu) have taken station off of Soerbaja, Java and are giving the Dutch a hell of a time. They've left a swath of destruction in their wake. CarDiv Five (Shokaku/Zuikaku) has not been heard from.

It concerns me, as they have significant endurance, and could pop up somewhere unexpected.

One thing I failed to notice was that the Japanese took a base on the north east peninsula of the island of Celebes, called Manado. It's about halfway between Davao in the Philippines to the north, and Kendari to the south. It was taken with ease, and as such he based Nells there immediately. The Celebes Sea exits through that choke point, and was where I was routing my shipping from Manila.

So imagine my surprise when I had formed CA Houston into a task force with CLs Boise and Marblehead with some destroyers, that they were jumped first by planes from CVL Ryujo and then by Nells from Manado. Marblehead is sunk, and the other cruisers are damaged. Now I have to retire them to Darwin ASAP through the Banda Sea. Not happy.

As I have said before, these moves are not unexpected. It seems however, that four years off from playing has caused me to take the "Cat With Paper Bag on Head" approach.

The one good bit of news is that my efforts at sub suppression around Pearl Harbor seem to be having an effect for now.



< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 6/11/2015 7:56:35 PM >


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Post #: 22
RE: USS Helena: "That Kind of Thinking Will Make Y... - 6/9/2015 7:40:30 PM   
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10DEC41

The body blows are staggering. The Japanese, it seems, are everywhere. Aboard Helena, life continues, but with a higher tempo - and higher tension. Not the mindless, "when are we going to get on with it" kind of tension of last week. The kind of tension that comes from vigilance, and "are we getting it next."

Jim can't think that way. "That kind of thinking will make you crazy," he tells Gutterman.

Three days ago, Jim was pulling Gutterman out of a fight over something neither man cared remember. Now, they're minding watch at Aft Damage Control. A Minnesota native, and the youngest of five boys, John Gutterman was no stranger to mixing it up. Seven years older than his boss, he wondered how this southern hick kid got promoted over him. The Navy has it reasons, he thought. He just better not have to be changing this kid's diaper when stuff hit the fan.

In his stateroom, Captain English is re-reading a message from his new boss, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, informing him that he has been promoted to Rear Admiral, and that at his earliest ability, report to Fleet Headquarters for assignment.

He was of two minds as he re-read the message a fourth time. On the one side there was the excitement and satisfaction of being promoted. On the other, it was always hard to say goodbye to men you developed a bond with. "Well," he thought, "if I'm reporting to Malakapa, then I'll still be out here near the action and not in some backwater command." The message did not name his relief, rather, it gave a number, and that number was garbled. No matter, the change of command won't happen until they make port anyway.

Houston and several DDs tangle with a couple of IJN CAs at night near Manado, with not much damage either way. However Houston is hit again hard, this time by bombers, and she is now limping toward Darwin. Boise was also hit by those bombers as well.

Rabaul is now being assaulted, as is Guam.

CarDiv Five has been found 200mi North of Darwin, and has begun airstrikes on the port and airfields. There's also an invasion fleet right behind. This I did NOT foresee. No sense worrying about it. Can't stop it, but I do have plans for it....



< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 6/11/2015 7:56:48 PM >


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Post #: 23
RE: USS Helena: "Cat With Head in Paper Bag" - 6/9/2015 10:05:24 PM   
dr.hal


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If I had torpedoes coming at me off the starboard bow at four points, I wouldn't say "right standard rudder" that's for sure. It would be "RIGHT FULL RUDDER" and "PORT ENGINE AHEAD FLANK, STARBOARD ENGINE EMERGENCY BACK FULL" or words to that effect!!!!

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RE: USS Helena: "Easy on the Wheel, Stick, Damnit.... - 6/10/2015 2:21:43 AM   
Admiral DadMan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

If I had torpedoes coming at me off the starboard bow at four points, I wouldn't say "right standard rudder" that's for sure. It would be "RIGHT FULL RUDDER" and "PORT ENGINE AHEAD FLANK, STARBOARD ENGINE EMERGENCY BACK FULL" or words to that effect!!!!


If you did that, the ship would go hard over with a loss of momentum, risking a collision with the vessel behind, with the added risk of throwing the column into disarray. And you'd be explaining to the Captain why the starboard screw now chatters, or the shaft is bent, or the bearings are fried.

Or why he's now wearing his coffee...

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RE: USS Helena: "Easy on the Wheel, Stick, Damnit.... - 6/10/2015 2:37:28 PM   
dr.hal


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No Admiral, I don't agree with your analysis in terms of being hit by the ship astern (I was an OOD on a CGN, a DDG and a CV so I know something about the ramifications of such a turn) and I would MUCH rather have the captain wear his coffee than a life jacket while swimming in the sea!

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RE: USS Helena: "Easy on the Wheel, Stick, Damnit.... - 6/10/2015 3:43:59 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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Points taken.

I had some misgivings about writing the scene the way I did, and I should have more carefully considered my response to you.

What I should have said was that although the protocol for the evasive maneuver was not what you would expect, it fit where the story is going. Insofar as the physics of it, I'm going to ask for some suspension of disbelief.

The movie of this AAR plays in my head...

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RE: USS Helena: "Easy on the Wheel, Stick, Damnit.... - 6/10/2015 7:08:05 PM   
dr.hal


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Not to worry Admiral, my response was really of the knee-jerk variety (with emphasis on the last word for my part!) in that it seemed an odd thing to say given a crisis! However, admittedly I've never been on a ship facing a spread of torpedoes. Yet, while on a cruise in the Indian Ocean, I was the JOOD on the CGN (DLGN at the time) at night (a VERY black night, no moon) when a wooden dhow (small sailing craft NOT visible to radar) right off the bow lit a "pot bomb" or oil light as he obviously saw US, and it was clear that we were going to run it down if no drastic action was taken. We DID do the maneuver that I describe. There were ramifications, but the dhow was not run down but it was rocked badly! The backing of the starboard screw was largely symbolic as it never backed but it was seriously slowed so as to facilitate the turn. It was followed quickly by a left full rudder so as to swing the stern away from the dhow. Hal

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RE: USS Helena: "Easy on the Wheel, Stick, Damnit.... - 6/10/2015 7:27:26 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

I would MUCH rather have the captain wear his coffee than a life jacket while swimming in the sea!


Very sound point. However, if the Exec was trying to "comb" the spread instead of going outside it, a standard rudder rather than full rudder might possibly have been the better choice after all.

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RE: USS Helena: "Easy on the Wheel, Stick, Damnit.... - 6/10/2015 8:36:24 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

quote:

I would MUCH rather have the captain wear his coffee than a life jacket while swimming in the sea!


Very sound point. However, if the Exec was trying to "comb" the spread instead of going outside it, a standard rudder rather than full rudder might possibly have been the better choice after all.

Perhaps next time the OOD will be prepared to warn the ships behind by hoisting the "torpedoes incoming" signal. A pair of soiled underwear would do ...

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