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cyclops2

How it was.

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I watched several different videos of US ships shooting live ammo at too close Iranian PT boats.  Very depressing on the loads of very close  misses all around the PT boat.   The ship inflated a 8' X 8' x 8' ORANGE target to hit with manual and computer controlled machine guns up to about 40 mm. Range was  1/4 of a mile at most . Clear calm daylight.    How could USN allow such terrible accuracy to be allowed on our warships. 

I served 1957 to 1961. Our ship with 5" / 38 was only allowed to fire last at the end of the day . At most 2 rounds were fired. 1 for range & bearing corrections.  Next  shell was always blowing up the towed raft of telephone poles. Range was about 5 miles. 

Tow tugs gave us a thumbs up to  our ship. They could come home at full speed as they reeled in the tow rope.  I enjoyed keeping the radars & computers locked in so accurately.

The same gun Was just as deadly on aircraft.  We were doing a air defence  practice shoot with plaster warheads for safety reasons. The P2V patrol plane flies past us towing a long target sleeve. I am told to activate & lock the radar on if possible.  Done in a blink.  Plane make s a i80 degree turn to make the attack run. Commence firing. The stern gun starts rapid firing. The P2V dives straight down to the water.  With the first  2 shell holes in the tail body of the plane.  Experienced pilot did the right thing.  Safety observers were ALL not watching thru the gun shield windows. Seems my radar had locked on target instantly going away. Then JUMPED to the larger plane radar echo  while it was turning around. Normal. sleeve was now behind the plane.  the early locking on time going away was never allowed again.  Thankfully the shells passed thru the empty  tail portion.

I had the 3/ 50  radar guns just as deadly.  Guantanamo had a white painted jeep as a  reference point. We would apply a offset with live ammo. to save the jeep. 

First live round for range & bearing sent it to jeep heaven.  We were all very sad as the ship had Ice cream that night...................

Do not wake up a target.    KILL IT first shot or 2nd at most. 

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Guilty as charged.  

Our ship was manned by dedicated professionals.  We saved people blown off the deck of the carrier during night operations. More ice cream dinners.  Great times and 1 terrible time.

 

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