The Turner Joy was a typical early Cold Warrior, in many ways.
This was a late fifties destroyer, designed to operate in a
potentially nuclear environment, but neither powered by nuclear
means, nor equipped with nuclear weapons. So by most standards,
it was not a nuclear ship, and yet it was firmly set as a
nuclear warrior. This was the last of the Hull class, a slightly
modified Forrest Sherman class
destroyer, and had some experimental design features, mostly in
the engineering spaces. Sadly, most did not work as hoped, and
were never put into production. This ship served until 1982. The
Turner Joy, along with destroyer Maddox, were the catalyst which
started the Viet Nam war. These ships were attacked in the Gulf
of Tonkin, and returned fire.
Hull Class Ship
Displacement 4200 tons
3 x 5"/54 guns
2 x triple torpedo tubes
8 tube ASROC launcher
end of the Turner Joy was it's guns. This was the last class of
American destroyer to have guns as it's primary armament.
Subsequent destroyer classes would be armed primarily with
missiles, and would have guns serving as secondary armament. The single mount Mk. 42 gun was developed just
in time for this class of destroyer, and was a huge improvement
over the old double mount guns, of the Second World War
destroyers. This class had a pair of these guns mounted in
tandem, aft, and a single mount forward. These were radar
directed guns, using an automatic loader, feeding from a 20
round drum magazine, below decks. The photo to the left shows
the forward gun, while the photo above looks forward from the
stern of the ship. These guns are capable of firing a variety of
projectiles, including laser guided types. They are still in
service, in a number of ship classes, though they were succeeded
by the new Mk. 45 lightweight gun, for new construction. The
Turner Joy also carried six torpedo tubes, in two triple mounts.
It was also one of the first ships to deploy the then new ASROC
anti sub missile. The previous class (Forest Sherman) was
equipped with depth charge racks, for ASW. For it's day, the
Turner Joy was a very advanced ship, having radar, sonar, and
these new advanced radar controlled guns. These were primarily
Anti submarine ships, and would probably not have done too well
under air attack.
Projectile Weight 70 Lb
Rate of fire 20
The gun was fed from a 20 round drum, and could either be fired
remotely, or locally within the mount itself. There was a
fourteen man crew for each gun mount, with as many as four being
in the mount itself. This is pretty hard to believe, after
having been in one. Despite the large size of the mount itself,
the interior space is very cramped. The gun is entered through
the left hand side, with an access door in the back permitting
servicing of the machinery. As large as this mount appears, most
of the machinery is below decks.
||The rear of the mount, showing the access to
the machinery spaces. Steps and rungs permit maintainance of
every part of the mount.
||Some local students, on a tour group, line up
to get inside of the mount.
||One of the local boys finds his way to the
gunners station. He is looking out of the bubble window,
which can be seen on the upper left hand side of the mounting,
when viewing from outside.
||Yes, this is just what it looks like. It is
the trigger that fires the gun, when it is under local control.
||This is how you aim, Unfortunately, I have
become too much of a portly gentleman to easily fit in some of
these tight spaces, and could not quite get into a position,
where I could fit my camera to the sighting optics.
||The indicator for
elevation, and traverse.
||Looking towards the breech of the gun, which
is largely hidden by the mechanism for loading, and elevating
||A look towards the rear of the interior of
the gun mount.
||A deck below, is the mechanism and control
for aiming the gun, and getting the ammunition from the below
decks magazine, to the autoloader of the gun.
||This control panel may be used to remotely
fire the gun. This can be done, either by radar, or by inputting
coordinates, the way that an artillery unit of the Army would
fire, according to a grid.
||Even further below decks, one more level
down, are the ammunition handling and storage areas. These guns
are fed by a twenty round drum magazine. This is where the drums
are loaded, and contains the mechanism which drives them.
||A look around shows some of the control and access
panels, for the loading mechanism.
||The other main weapon of the traditionally
armed destroyer was the torpedo tube. Today, this role is mostly
filled by the anti ship missile; but back in the day, a torpedo
had double the range of a destroyers main gun, and could pack
over five times the explosive power, though a torpedo could not
penetrate like a shell. Today, torpedoes are mostly limited to
submarine use. The Turner Joy had one triple mount 21" set of
tubes on each side.
All of the side decks are generously equipped with rails, nets,
and life preserving gear. A warship might find itself in
any kind of seas, and any climate or part of the world. The men
must be able to survive, in order to fight.
A hallway (companionway) on the main deck. Note how narrow
everything is. Space is at a premium here. In addition, a very
rough sea, or a list from battle damage might require a man to
brace himself against the bulkhead in order to remain standing.
||If the brains of the ship are on the bridge,
and the upper levels, where decisions are made, then the vital
organs are below. A sign on the hatch invites the curious
to go below and check out the machinery, living spaces, and
working areas of the ship.
||We are now below decks, where most of the
work gets done. If the upper decks are the offices, then these
lower decks are the factories. These are also the living
and sleeping areas of most of the crew. The stairs, like those
of most of the below decks areas, are little more than glorified
ladders, with chain railings. From here on in, we are in a
windowless place, with no air other than that blown in through