Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bugs and Destroyers - A Great Day With a Little Disc Golf Thrown In

Taking a break from writing the Alaska Journal we headed to Bremerton, Washington.  It was a short 1 1/2 hour drive from Dungeness into a beautiful area of the Kitsap Peninsula. 

We left in the afternoon after work to take advantage of our next two days off.  Our first stop was for Mark to play disc golf at one of the many courses in the area. 

This area averages 39 inches of rain a year.  Both disc golf courses Mark played were in beautiful, lush, green forests with towering trees.  On our 2 1/2 day trip Mark played 3 18-hole rounds on 2 different golf courses.   

We had a couple of other things planned besides disc golf!

The USS Turner Joy was named after Admiral Charles Turner Joy (1895 - 1956), a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.  It was selected as a Naval Memorial in 1988 and is now a permanent attraction on the Bremerton waterfront.
USS Turner Joy

The Turner Joy was the last Forrest Sherman Class destroyer built.  Of the 18 vessel class, only 2 remain.  As we boarded we were met by a wonderful volunteer who served on a different destroyer (in the Forrest Sherman Class) during the Vietnam War.  He was very interesting to talk with as he had firsthand experience. 
Mark talking to a volunteer.

With lots to see we headed down.

With a crew of 332 there wasn’t a lot of personal space.  We went through several berthing rooms.  They did not look very comfortable.
A tight fit!

The outer hull is only 3/8 of an inch thick.  This makes the ship lighter so it can go faster.  It is also the reason Destroyers are called Tin Cans.  Top speed 32.5 knots (37 1/2 mph).
3/8 inch thick.

Originally built with 3 5-inch Mark 42 guns and 4 3-inch Mark 33 guns, the 3-inch guns were removed in 1970.  The 3-inch guns had a limited effectiveness and were too difficult to maintain.
5-inch gun.

Loading was entirely automatic from an ammunition drum (containing 20 rounds) in the handling room, up to the loading tray by means of a rotating hoist. 

The weapons targeting control center was the culmination of a series of US radar-equipped antiaircraft systems developed during World War II.  The MK 56 became a dual-ballistic system, with the capability of issuing simultaneous gun and fuse-setting orders to two different batteries of different calibers, such as the 3-inch and 5-inch guns.  It was extremely fast, producing a weapons firing sequence with just two seconds of the time it began tracking an enemy vessel.
Weapons Director Control Room
Remember our wonderful volunteer that we met when we came on board?  He found us again as we were touring the ship and told us that his job was in the Weapons Director Control room.   (His first job when he came on board was to cook breakfast for the officers).  He had some wonderful stories.

The Turner Joy was commissioned in 1959.  After several tours in Pearl Harbor and Guam she was used for air-sea rescue duty near the Mariana Islands for President Eisenhower.  Best remembered for her participation with USS Maddox in 1964 - an action that led to the United States’ increased involvement in the Vietnam War.

This projectile (bullet) weighs 70 pounds.  The Sailors would have to handle each of the 600 projectiles until they were all put away in the magazine.  They would have to do that for all three of the 5-inch 54 caliber guns on the ship.  Each gun had a crew of 14 men.
70 pound projectile.

This is a second-generation, lightweight anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedo and the first service torpedo with a seawater-activated battery as a power source.
Anti-submarine Warfare Torpedo

The torpedo launchers utilized compressed air 1500 psi to catapult their torpedoes into the water.
Torpedo tubes.

The Combat Information Center is often called the nerve center of the ship.  It is responsible for collecting and distributing operational information by using its radar, sonar, radio wave, and other electronic search equipment.  “Rigged for red” means only the red lights are turned on.  White lights are detectable from great distances at sea.
Combat Information Center (CIC)

The bridge is the main control point for the entire ship.  It is the duty station of the captain and the officer on the deck.  All orders and commands come from the bridge while the ship is underway.
Mark on the Bridge

We saw many other areas of the ship.  I’m not sure if we saw everything as there were lots of hallways and different levels, but we sure made an effort to see it all.

Next time: The promised bug museum.


  1. We've been fortunate also to get tours a few times from the men and women who have served on the ship or plane. It makes it so much more personal, and sometimes poignant.

    1. They have some wonderful stories.

  2. Nice post Teri. I prefer those type of tours over normal museums. Adding to what Serene said, in 10 years, I wonder how many volunteers who actually served on ships like that will be around.

  3. Thank you!
    I wonder that also.

  4. We tried our hand at disk golf here at Farragut. There was a pro brought in to give pointers to us beginners. Had a good time. The courses are growing here to five 18 hole courses.

  5. We want to get back there sometime soon.