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Gunnery Practice

Gunnery Practice image
Parent Issue
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An officer of the United States uavy f elates the following as illustrating sonie of the perils of gunnery at sea : "I caine very near gomg up into the air iu suiall bits on tliis last squadron cruise. We were at heavy guu practica ai sea aud but for the quickness ot' a guuuer's mate wouid uevei liave returned As you probably know, the heavy guiis in the tnrreta are fired by electricity, the gun being discharged sirnply by pressing a button. The officer in coiuniaud of the forwai'd turret on our shipduringrapid firiag practico was jast about to the button tofire one of our big guns when a gunner's niate was een to grab at .soniething on the wall oí' the ttirret and then íall iu a beap on the floot' The offieer pressed tlie button, but the gtm was uot discharged.. Wheu tho mate oame to, lie was asked what had happened, and ha infornied the oflieer that the breech of the gnu iiad uot been locked and fchat what he grubbed at on the wall was the wires förining the electric n'ring circuit. ' ' When he saw that the offieer was preparing to fire the gun and at the same time öbserved that the breech of the gun was uot locked, the only thing that ocourred to liim to prevent the gun being discharged was to destroy the circuit, whiidi ])v did promptly and effectively Wlien all this occurred, there was a charge of 2H0 pounds of powder in the gun, another charge of the same size iu the turret ready to be served, and the passageway leading to the powder magazine was wide open. But for the quickuess of the gunuer's mate the gun would have been blown out inside the turret, the gases from the burning powder would probably have ignited the charge lying in the turret, this explosión would have ignited the powder in the magazine, and the chances are that the whole ship, crew and all, would have gone up in the air. A thought that has occurred to me is this : Snppose the accident had occurred, what do you imagine the verdict of a board of inquiry as to the cause of the loss of the ship would have been? Sinoe his experience the department has adopted electrioal meaus to prevent the discharge of any of the large suns until the breecb is locked. "-


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News