Comments regarding the “Guns—Help Wanted” in the last issue

From Don Krautter:

We went to sea with two 40m guns and one 5" gun. I pointed the forward 40, and John Stafford trained it. Tom (Keily) was in charge of this gun.

On the way to the Pacific, we were only in that ocean for a few days, Commander Crowley sent John and I to gunnery school at Guantanamo Bay. Soon after that we were to have 40m practice at a sleeve. It was a bright morning over a calm sea. The U.S. government had just given an old 4 stack tin can to China. A Chinese crew was aboard it. We were strung out in a line of 4 ships; the tin can being the first to commence firing, while IREX and 2 other boats waited for the sleeve to pass by. When the small plane came into view, the Chinese opened fire on it thinking it was one of those drones they had been shooting at in gunnery school. The pilot dropped his sleeve, dove, and radioed all of us this message: “Somebody tell them Chinamen that I am pulling this damn thing, not pushing it.”

On the other side of the big ditch, Crowley got into a 5" shooting match with another submarine going to Pearl, shooting at a big rock, and lost $100.00. The war ended a few days later.

From Ray Henken:

I can help but barely on the forward 5"-25. It seems that the forward 5 inch gun was my assigned surface battle station. The powers to be saw fit to make me the first loader. Well let me tell you each shell weighed about 70 pounds. Some how after we had fired a bunch of these heavy critters I saw fit to drop one on the deck. I bent over to pick it up only to discover the remainder of the gun crew had moved behind the canning tower. My guess is they thought that there was a chance that I had done something very dumb. Perhaps, they thought I was out to prove the big bang theory. I was then assigned to the forward 40m , more shells, but lighter. Hell, electricians were not cut out to be gunners mates, or God forgive, torpedomen.

From Emery Castimore:

I seem to remember all the guns were removed in the yard. (prior to 1949)

Ed Note

My recollection is that when l went aboard in '51, 3 years or so after the Snorkel conversion, IREX still had the forward 40mm and after 5". We only had one gunnery drill, and it was nothing to write home about. We were shooting at a floating box or can, and someone was overheard saying “Why don't we just ram the damn thing?” Both guns were removed at the subsequent overhaul. The magazine, under the Control Room, was converted to a Sound Shack. When we went out for our first dive, we couldn't get down. Someone (that elusive someone…) had screwed up the compensation. First everything possible was flooded, then all hands were sent to the forward room. We still couldn't get under. Finally, the only way we could submerge was to punch her down, and hold her down with speed. When we returned to the yard, additional lead “pigs” were added to various bilges throughout the boat as ballast.

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