S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Naval & Maritime Continuation Page 3 keywords = naval navy marine maritime nautical ship boat Constitution Essex Chambers multi-barrel repeating swivel gun tall sail frigate hull Massachusetts

Updated:   14 Feb 2017; 13:25  ET
[Page created:nbsp; 09 Feb 2017

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/nav-mar3.html

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Naval & Maritime Continuation Page 2


Please refer to the HELP section on the main Naval and Marine page.


    On the main Naval and Maritime page:

    Tall Ships.
    Nautical Reminiscences and Miscellany.
    Jakobson's Rail-Marine Tugboats.
    Rail-Marine Service.
    HELP! - requests and offers.

    On the Naval and Maritime Continuation Page 1:

    The USS Franklin.
    Submarines (moved from main page 06 May 02).
    PT Boats.
    Mahogany speedboats (raceabouts, sportabouts, etc.).
    Comet Authenticast ship models.
    Yet More Yarns.

    On the preceding Naval and Maritime Continuation Page 2:

  Tall Ships - continued. (20 Sep 2016)
  Rogue Wave(?).
  Costa Concordia Today (26 Mar 2015)
  Ship Models.
  USCGC Eagle Out (for repairs). (06 Aug 2015)
  U.S.S. Missouri ("Big Mo", BB-63) at Tokyo Bay Surrender Ceremony (19/20 Sep 2016, moved to Cont. Page 3 on 09 Feb 2017).

    On this Naval and Maritime Continuation Page 3:

  U.S.S. Missouri ("Big Mo", BB-63) at Tokyo Bay Surrender Ceremony (19/20 Sep 2016, moved here 09 Feb 2017)
  U.S.S. Constitution ("Old Ironsides").   new (09 Feb 2017)
  Chambers Multi-Barrel Repeating Swivel Gun (moved to own page on 14 Feb 2017).   rev (14 Feb 2017)

    On the Naval and Maritime Regina Maris Page:

  Regina Maris. (29 Aug 2013)

The Iowa-class battleship U.S.S. Missouri ("Big Mo", BB-63) is well known (at least to those who remember WWII) as the site of the formal surrender of the Empire of Japan to the Allies.  After a long and illustrious active career, she was donated to serve as a museum ship in Pearl Harbor, positioned to "guard" the sunken U.S.S. Arizona.  Her fo'ard starboard deck, just abaft the #2 turret, the site of the surrender ceremony, is marked with a circular bronze tablet.  All this is "old hat" to me BUT - - -

1. - just exactly where was the Missouri anchored in Tokyo-wan (Tokyo bay) at the time of the ceremony?

2. - why were her forward turrets facing approximatelty 30° to starboard?

An aerial view of the Missouri, taken during the Japanese Surrender Ceremony on 02 Sep 1945 from a USAAF B-29 Superfortress; the Fletcher-class destroyer alongside is probably either USS Nicholas (DD-449) or USS Taylor (DD-468) from Destroyer Squadron 21, used to transport the attendees of the ceremony:

(National Archives/Wikipedia image)

One fact that I never before realized, what with all the small craft in the harbor, at least four destroyers, the U.S.S. Buchanan (DD-484), U.S.S. Lansdowne (DD-486), the U.S.S. Nicholas (DD-449), and the U.S.S. Taylor (DD-468) were detailed as "water taxis", ferrying participants and press to and from the Missouri.  Japan's delegates were taken aboard the Lansdowne.

Overcast skies and low clouds shadowed the ceremony but the clouds lifted and the sun broke though just in time for a planned massive overflight as the ceremony ended.  Participants, press, and the crews of over 280 ships, not to mention the citizens of Tokyo, were treated to/stunned by massed formations of 450 U. S. Navy carrier-based planes from the Third Fleet's carriers, stationed off-shore in reserve - just in case:   rev (19 Sep 2016)

USNFlyOver1 USNFlyOver2 USNFlyOver3
(National Archives/Wikipedia images)

They were followed a few minutes later by U. S. Army Air Forces high-flying Boeing B-29 Superfortresses:

USAAF-FlyOver1 USAAF-FlyOver2
[Two versions of same photo.]
(National Archives/Wikipedia images)

for a supposèd total of some 2,000-2,800 planes!

Now, the Navy flights are well-documented but from whence cameth the B-29s?  Guam?  Tinian?  Saipan?

I have only been able to find two B-29 flights, one lone "rogue" flight of 330th Bomb Group K-16 "City of Kanakakee" (a.k.a. "Lucky Strike"), s/n 42-94029, from Guam, piloted by Capt. Vivian Lock, who dropped out of formation and buzzed the Missouri during the ceremony, and another "rogue" flyover, one of a pair of stray B-29s that were "sightseeing" in the area, piloted by Capt. George Bertagnoli.

The 330th definitely came from Guam but did other B-29s fly from Saipan or Tinian?

Seek and ye shall find!  From the USAF's Historical Studies Office (AFHSO), the straight skinny (ever-so-slightly edited):   new (20 Sep 2016)

- - - * - -

Immediately after hostilities ceased, General Carl (Tooey) Spaatz directed the 20th Air Force elements, based both on Tinian and Guam, plus the 7th Fighter Wing based on Iwo Jima, to provide a "display of air power ....continuous and increasing between 19 August and VJ day".  Operational plans called for almost daily flight over the Tokyo plain by B-29s drawn in rotation from the five wings assigned to the 20th and by Iwo Jima-based fighters of the 7th Fighter Wing.  These mission, like the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay, were postponed by weather and other complications.  The first flyover, a low-level flight flyover of 98 B-29s was staged on 30 August in conjunction with the landing at Atsugi airfield of the 11th Airborne Division, with General Douglas MacArthur.  A similar force flew over the next day, and on 02 Sep, as the ceremonies were conducted aboard the Missouri, a force of 462 B-29's circled in the air.  An additional flyover was scheduled for the 4th but was cancelled when XXIV Corps occupied Korea on 29 and 30 Sep; 140 B-29 flew over the ceremony.  In addition to the 799 B-29 sorties, the "show of force" project involved 117 sorties by Very Long Range (VLR) fighters from Iwo Jima.

20th Air Force Wings:

58, 73, 313, 314, and 315.  The 330th BG was assigned to the 314 Bombardment wing, 457 Bombardment Squadron.

The USAFHSO added this footnote to Lock's plane:  42-94029, on a Sunset Project Mission, the redistribution of excess aircraft to the United States, crashed on Johnson Island in early Nov 1945 on the way to Hamilton AFB, California; 42-94029 had flown 26 Combat Missions.

My sincere thanks to the USAFHSO for ths record of history.

- - - * - -

From the L. A. TIMES, a 2015 interview with James L. Starnes, navigator of the battleship Missouri, who was 24 years old when he learned he would play a key role in the ceremony to mark the end of World War II.

After the Japanese conceded defeat, President Truman announced that "Mighty Mo," the behemoth 58,000-ton flagship of the 3rd Fleet, would host the signatories of the instrument of surrender in Tokyo Bay.

"My job was to make sure we did not screw up," said Starnes, 94, who performed the role of officer of the deck the morning of Sept. 2, 1945.

A former lieutenant commander in the Navy who now lives in a retirement community in Stone Mountain, east of Atlanta, Starnes is one of the few remaining veterans who organized the ceremony on the Missouri 70 years ago.

Five years after joining the Navy Reserve's officer-training program as a student at Emory University in Atlanta in 1940, Starnes was responsible for working out the logistics of the ceremony to mark the formal end of the six-year war that had killed more than 60 million people. End of World War II

At first he prepared for an elaborate, formal affair with ceremonial dress and gleaming sabers.  "We thought, well, this has never happened before," he said. "We'll have a big celebration, put on the white uniforms and polish up our swords."

Before the ceremony, however, Starnes got word that Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of the U.S. Army in the Pacific, wanted officers to wear their daily service clothes — khaki button-up shirts with open collars and no ties.  "We fought them in our khaki uniforms, and we'll accept their surrender in our khaki uniforms," MacArthur was reported to have said.

In the run-up to the big day, Starnes' main responsibility was working with the ship's captain, Stuart "Sunshine" Murray, and the admiral's staff on getting all the various parties — the Allies and the Japanese, as well as nearly 200 correspondents and photographers from all over the world — on and off the battleship.

Starnes likened the job to conducting a symphony orchestra.  The timing had to be precise, so there was a lot of fine-tuning: MacArthur made it plain he didn't want Japanese dignitaries on the Missouri's deck more than five seconds before 9 a.m., but he also didn't want them to arrive late.

Rehearsals were staged again and again to work out how long it would take members of the Japanese delegation to disembark from their small boat, come up the gangway, cross the quarterdeck and then reach the surrender deck.

Of particular concern was the Japanese foreign minister, Mamoru Shigemitsu, who had an artificial leg — his right leg had been blown off by a Korean independence activist in Shanghai several years before.  Young sailors with swab handles strapped to their legs stood in for Shigemitsu in practice to make sure that the ceremony would be able to accommodate him.

On the morning of Sept. 2, clouds loomed over Tokyo Bay and the mood aboard the gray battleship was somber as the U.S. Marine band played "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Just before 9 a.m. as planned, Starnes — dressed in pressed khakis, with a pair of binoculars around his neck — waited to meet the Japanese delegation, including Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu, chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff.

Once reaching the deck, the Japanese had to walk past eight seamen, each one more than 6 feet tall.  Starnes had picked them out in a calculated effort to emphasize Allied superiority and intimidate the Japanese delegation.

When the Japanese — some wearing tails and top hats — saluted and asked for permission to come aboard, Starnes said, "Permission granted."

There was no anger or hostility, Starnes said. "This was peacetime," he said. "It was a very formal, very dignified ceremony."

Just before proceedings got underway and the surrender documents were brought onto the battleship, it became clear that the elegant mahogany table, a present from the British fleet, was too small to hold both documents during the signing.

With only minutes to go, a humble folding table was grabbed from the crew's mess, where cooks had just finished cleaning up after breakfast. Hurriedly, Capt. Murray grabbed a green tablecloth, stained with coffee spots, to drape on top.

Thousands of men, from the military's top brass to regular crewmen, watched as officials signed the documents formalizing the surrender of the Empire of Japan; the Allied copy was bound in leather, the Japanese copy in canvas.

There were a few hitches — the Canadian representative signed on the wrong line — yet for the most part the 23-minute ceremony, broadcast around the world, ran smoothly.

"Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world, and that God will preserve it always," MacArthur told the assembled crowd.  "These proceedings are closed."

MacArthur then turned to Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey. "Where are the damn planes?" he asked, referring to the plan to have 450 carrier planes from the 3rd Fleet, followed by B-29 bombers, fly in formation above the battleship.

Suddenly, as the Japanese were escorted off the deck, a swarm of U.S. aircraft roared overhead.  "They were so low they made the sky black," Starnes said.

When it was all over, Starnes said, he felt tremendously elated.  "I'd gotten through all of it — I had a lot of friends who died — and here it was all over."

Yet throughout, Starnes remained stoic, carrying out his business.  "I was on duty," Starnes said.  "I wasn't in a position to jump up and celebrate.  I had to write the log after the ceremony."

After the war, Starnes enrolled in Emory University's Lamar School of Law and went on to have a successful career in real estate and banking.  A decade ago, he traveled to Pearl Harbor to celebrate the 60th anniversary of V-J Day aboard the Missouri, and last year he published a short book, "Surrender: September 2, 1945," chronicling his wartime experience.

"A lot of people have looked at me as a hero," Starnes said. "I wasn't a hero. I was just a participant who happened to be in a particular spot at a particular time."

USS Constitution - "Old Ironsides" - I have been aboard Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution, our "Nation's Ship", many times over many years but was given a special tour of the USS Constitution Museum at the Charlestown Navy Yard across the river from Boston by a new friend who is a docent there.  Much as I know about the ship, I learned far more.  She's high and dry in drydock, the historic 1833 Drydock No. 1, a national civil engineering landmark located right outside of the Museum’s front doors:

(25 Jan 2017 picture by and © 2017 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
First View - USS Constitution in Drydock No. 1

UpClose HeadOn
(25 Jan 2017 pictures by and © 2017 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
Up Close (left) - USS Constitution in Drydock No. 1 - Head On (RIGHT)

A treat was to be able to sign one of the last sheets of new copper to be affixed to her hull;

(25 Jan 2017 picture by and © 2017 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
Re-coppering the Bow - USS Constitution in Drydock No. 1

Here's about where it will end up:

(25 Jan 2017 picture by and © 2017 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
Location of "My" Sheet of Copper - USS Constitution in Drydock No. 1

The museum has many interactive exhibits, including uniform-sized blocks of the various woods, used for compzarionm, and that reminded me of the tiny sailboat I made from a scrap of Lignum Vitae from her immediate-post-WWII rebuild:

early carved sailboat
(Lignum Vitae Model and Photo by SB,III)
{approximately full size}

As noted on my main Naval and Matitime page, "the sailboat (a little the worse for wear at the moment) was carved from an actual fragment of Lignum Vitae wood left over from the ca. 1948 refitting of the frigate U.S.S. Constitution; Lignum Vitae is hard as rock, almost impenetrable ("wherefor Old Ironsides"), sinks in water, and next to impossible to cut."

Chambers Multi-Barrel Repeating Swivel Gun of 1814 -   new (09 Feb 2017) and rev (14 Feb 2017)

(after Wilkens)

At the USS Constitution Museum, I looked twice at a painting of the ship's fighting top (one of the three - fore or mizzen most likely):

(USS Constitution Museum image)
[Click on thumbnail for larger image]

Whoa!  What's that monstrosity blasting away from the near corner [to the right (your left) of a standard swivel gun)?

It turns out to be the Chambers Multi-Barrel Repeating Swivel Gun of 1814 of which no less tha THREE Well, I turned up far TOO much information about Joseph G(aston). Chambers and his gun so I gave up on posting it her and moved the entire entry to its own page on 14 Feb 2107.

THREE seven-barreled Chambers guns still exist:

The one from the USS Constituton, recently on display at the Museum of the U. S. Navy in Washington, D. C., is held by the Abram Hewitt collection at Ringwood Manor in Ringwood, New Jersey; it is missing a few small accessories.

A longer-barreled version is held in the collection of le Musée d'Armes in le Grand Curtius, a municipal museum in Liège, Belgium.

The third Chambers, a stubby, short-barreled version, more of a big swivel pistol, is held by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Holland; it has all (or most of) its accessories.

(credits with full images on Chambers Gun page)
Hewitt Gun ‖ Liège Gun ‖ Rijks Gun

Intrigued?  For more (MUCH more!) on the Chambers Gun, go to my Chambers Gun page.

See also the main, continuation, and second continuation Naval and Maritime pages.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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