Grenade Tubes on American Pickers


#1

It was last week’s episode, but History Channel’s “American Pickers” had a piece wherein the boys found a warehouse in North Carolina containing what was said to be a half-million empty hand grenade storage/shipping tubes. Not much detail provided, but these 2-part tubes appeared to be made of cardboard with metal ends, maybe 3"-4" in diameter, with one end telescoping into the other. If anyone knowledgeable in such items saw this episode I’d like to know what grenade they were used with.


#2

I am pretty sure that there were a number of variations made with minor differences in diameter and height for use with everything from Incendiary grenades to lemon and baseball type fragmentation grenades. Usually they are marked on the container with the type and lot number, and sometimes there are pressed markings on the metal ends to identify the specific type of container.


#3

Lots of sizes. I believe the “Pickers” samples were surplused, unfilled, unmarked. The crates they were in are probably more valuable. Still, interesting in their variety.


#4

Sweet reference photo, Rick! I watched that episode and was amazed at the inventory shown.

Jason


#5

One of those missed moments in life!
In the late 1970’s I was assigned to a cruiser, the USS BAINBRIDGE, out of San Diego and we spent a great deal of time retraining in preparation for a deployment. My job was to simulate torpedo attacks by dropping concussion grenades into the water alongside the ship and my grenades were issued to me in these containers. I had a chance to keep every one of them but didn’t. I could kick myself now!


#6

[quote=“Shotmeister”]One of those missed moments in life!
In the late 1970’s I was assigned to a cruiser, the USS BAINBRIDGE, out of San Diego and we spent a great deal of time retraining in preparation for a deployment. My job was to simulate torpedo attacks by dropping concussion grenades into the water alongside the ship and my grenades were issued to me in these containers. I had a chance to keep every one of them but didn’t. I could kick myself now![/quote]

In the mid-60’s I was serving on the carrier HMS Eagle. The Gunnery Officer was asked to do a similar thing - simulate torpedo hits using the Scare Charges that we used against frogmen. These have a square thin metal case, a quarter pound block of TNT inside and a grenade-type pin/lever/fuze.

On the first day it was thought that single charges dropped over the side were a bit puny, not producing the spectacular effect that was wanted. So he strapped 16 charges together with duct tape, leaving the four corner pins and levers free.

This one worked!! He yanked out the outer four pins and chucked it overboard, the result was excellent, I felt the jolt through the mattress on my bunk and we all reacted quickly to the various alarms. The gunnery officer was very pleased with himself until he returned to his cabin/office later to find he had over a foot of sea water slopping around - he had sprung a hull seam right by his cabin. The problem was never solved very well over the next few months so he worked in bare feet and his waste paper bin was “moored” to the desk leg by a cord.

gravelbelly


#7

The moral of this story is - never go below the water line! That is Snipe Country. No Gunnery Officer or Gunners Mate should EVER go below the water line except, maybe, for short periods, for things such as getting a cup of coffee. ;) ;)


#8

[quote=“gravelbelly”]

On the first day it was thought that single charges dropped over the side were a bit puny, not producing the spectacular effect that was wanted. So he strapped 16 charges together with duct tape, leaving the four corner pins and levers free.

This one worked!! He yanked out the outer four pins and chucked it overboard, the result was excellent, I felt the jolt through the mattress on my bunk and we all reacted quickly to the various alarms. The gunnery officer was very pleased with himself until he returned to his cabin/office later to find he had over a foot of sea water slopping around - he had sprung a hull seam right by his cabin. The problem was never solved very well over the next few months so he worked in bare feet and his waste paper bin was “moored” to the desk leg by a cord.

gravelbelly[/quote]

It’s really not wise to mess around with things made of explosive compounds that were designed and built for a given purpose. I did a little experimenting myself but not with any similar effect to what your GO did. I can tell you this, you would be amazed at how much memory can be processed by the brain in 1-2 seconds of burn time with a 3-5 second grenade fuse!

Still wish I had one of the tubes though!


#9

Shot

A bubble-head on a cruiser!?!?!?!? The imagination wanders. BTW, wish noted.


#10

What Ray said…but he forgot to mention the cup of diesel …:) :)

And, to keep it cartridge, or in this case, “tube/container” related, when we did REFTRA excersises, we had smoke grenades to simulate fires, the grenades were olive drab and came in the same black tubes, had a chance to keep several of each and never did…

Randy


#11

It was common practice to use Concussion Grenades to simulate a mine or torpedo hit. Duc-Tapping three together produced a nice underwater explosion that could be heard all through my Destroyer. The only problem was the blast caused an imbalance in all four gas turbine engines and shut them down instantly. You would think the engineers had tested the ships survivability from an underwater blast from 1.5 pounds of TNT.
The Navy made changes real fast.


#12

I was aboard the USS Kidd, DDG 993 for her shock trials off of Key West in 1981. The charges of HBX were huge, but classified by the Navy, which didn’t stop the sand crabs from Ingalls from printing the weights on a commemorative T-shirt for each of the three shots. Let’s just say it put your teensy puny pound and half charges to shame. I was a PHAA (Photographers Mate Airman Apprentice, E2) and my partner, Kirk Gardner was a PHAN. I distinctly remember PH1 Greg Toone (AC) warning us that, “You’re a couple of airmen on a tin can, so watch your step. There is a whole different level of professionalism here, your not on a Naval Air Station any more.” That was a major under statement, but I always enjoyed my times on tin cans. (Toone had been on the USS Newport News during Viet Nam and had an eight inch shell casing that occupied a prominent place in his living room. I helped him move and hauled that shell down to the moving van. I was SO tempted to just keep walking with that beast… I have since renounced the urge to collect large ordnance but just thought I would throw that in to see if all the drooling would cause flooding that was visible on Google Earth)

The point of the shock trials is to subject the first ship in each class to a simulated near miss with a conventional torpedo. They used to do this with depth charges, but the effects were too localized, so they went with a MUCH bigger charge at a distance to stress the whole ship uniformly. Gardner and I were there to photograph the damage and boy were we busy! Lots of cracked welds and damaged gear and things that I can’t really discuss but will never forget. Let me set your minds at ease by stating that there was no live ordinance on board for the shots. The shock waves put the engines out every time, but never permanently, we never had to be towed in but I think there was a tug standing by just in case. I will dig out some of the aerial shots of the blast that Toone took and post them for your enjoyment.
Curt


#13

I put DD-966 USS Hewitt into the water. The Spruance DD-963 had all ready done the underwater blast test and was in port being repaired from the serious damage inflicted. We had just been commissioned. One of the new DD’s had lost a screw due to the “ninth bolt syndrome” and the Kinkade and Paul F. Foster were in port with damage to their sonar dome’s from ‘running into things" at sea. We were doing many high speed test and testing the then new Harpoon Cruse Missile and Super ARBOC.
My puny 1.5 pounds of TNT really opened up a can of worms and we were no longer allowed to used them unless the charge was dropped off of the fantail and were going at least 25 knots. Typical reaction by the Navy.
I spent 18 years on Destroyers and we had the first permanently deployed helo crew and bird on my first ship DE-1078 USS Joseph Hewes. HLS-30. We got along well. I always got a kick from the Airedales taking off to "get some flight time’ when the weather was rough because they were sea-sick.


#14

Where in North Carolina is this place?