Large scale ammo at NAS Oceana Dam Neck Annex


#1

I figure someone likes these (and knows what they are). For WWII buffs, pay attention to the plaque on 40mm Bofors.




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#2

Picture #1 is of a Terrier missile. As I recall, these are 2 stage, USN anti-aircraft missiles. We carried them on the USS Bainbridge CGN-25. There were several variants I think, one being a lot more powerful than the others.
Pictures #2-5 are the Talos, another anti-aircraft Naval missile, carried on some of the older, converted cruisers but also on the rear of the USS Long Beach CGN-8. A USS Oklahoma City website has an excellent description of this system. It’s a lot chunkier than the Terrier or the Standard. I find the Inert Ordnance Certification plate very interesting. I was around when that program started… because someone took a fatal ride in an ejection seat that had LIVE pyrotechnics in it, inside a training building! Nothing promotes change in the Navy like accidental death!
Picture #6 is the A-1 (maybe A-2) version of the Polaris Strategic Ballistic Missile fired from U.S. SSBN submarines until they were replaced by Posiden in the 70’s. I believe these only carried one warhead, unlike the MRV’s that came later.


#3

Thanks Vlad. Great photos from you, as usual.

You would think something as historic as the USS Missouri guns would have been better taken care of. I was in the mothball fleet in San Diego and we would never have allowed guns to reach that stage of deterioration. I would assume that those sailors up in the Bremerton mothball fleet would have been just as careful, so I can only assume that the damage occured after they were removed. That’s what happens when you take guns from Gunners Mates and turn them over to NAS sailors. :(

Ray


#4

In retrospect, a few of those 40s would have been great to have for small boat attacks. We had a couple 25mm guns installed before heading to the gulf, but they certainly did not project the firepower of the quads! We were tasked with guarding the Straights of Hormuz when the Iranians were hitting American-flagged Kuwaiti tankers back in the late 80s. The Iranians would send a few small boats out to peek at us, then turn around.


#5

GREAT photos, Vlad! Thank you. Sad about those 40’s and so many other historic artifacts are left to rust away and not preserved better.

Jason


#6

Jason, when we reactivated Missouri, it was amazing how well it was put up in the 50s. Our hydraulic systems were drained and filled with cosmoline and other evil concoctions. All the exposed brass and steel was painted. She was laid up for eternity! I left a few months shy of decom. My buddy told me that it was not put away anywhere near as thoroughly as in the 50s. It is a shame. There were tons of miles left on her. Admiral Halsey’s name was still painted on his stateroom door when I checked aboard. I was dismayed to find that it was painted over eventually. Why it couldn’t have been left there…


#7

GOVERNTMENTS ONLY CARE ABOUT THEMSELVES AND PREACH THE PAST WHEN IT MAKES THEM LOOK GOOD.


#8

[quote=“RayMeketa”]Thanks Vlad. Great photos from you, as usual.

You would think something as historic as the USS Missouri guns would have been better taken care of. I was in the mothball fleet in San Diego and we would never have allowed guns to reach that stage of deterioration. I would assume that those sailors up in the Bremerton mothball fleet would have been just as careful, so I can only assume that the damage occured after they were removed. That’s what happens when you take guns from Gunners Mates and turn them over to NAS sailors. :(

Ray[/quote]

I dount that you would have enjoyed the lack of care refected in the Aberdeen Proving Grounds collection either.

After Col. Jarrett died the museum was taken over by bureaucrats who were more interested in promoting themselves than in care or authenticity . We tried to put toether a band of interested parties who would care for and upkeep the displays. The govt. said no for a variety of reasons including liability and union labor problems.

For years the German Nebelwerfer just outside the front doors had a Japanese fuze welded in the nose. My several letter went unanswered and I expect to see the same thing when the NEW ordnance museum opens at Ft Lee - IF IT EVER DOES.

The Navy Yard Museum , DC and the Old Marine Corps Museum were good. The new Marine Corps Museum is more “touristy” and I have not been to the Navy Yard in some time.

Col. Chinn made it clear in his will that his collection would not go to APG. He told me that , well, it would be censored , so I will say - he didn’t care for them and his objections included several words not considered PC .


#9

Such a shame so much history is lost to neglect and rust.


#10

While I share the sadness at the deteriorated condition of these artifacts, especially the 40mm Bofors mounts, I need to point out that these are outdoor displays, intended mainly as decoration, at a school that teaches current Navy weapons systems. Their viewpoint is that this sort of stuff is just “old, obsolete junk” and that we need to concentrate on current systems.

These are on the base at Dam Neck, which was set up during WW2 as a gunnery training site, with naval gun mounts set up on concrete foundations so gun crews could engage in live firing practice against towed sleeves and later drone targets. The gun line is right at the edge of the beach, less than 100 yards from the surf, and the school house buildings are only a few hundred yards further inland. This area has extremely high humidity all year long, and lots of rain, so preservation of steel objects is a real challenge. Limited maintenance dollars are properly applied to current weapons systems first— and seldom enough funds to do everything needed.


#11

It is hard for collectors to understand “current mission”. The military cares little for anything which is not related to their “current mission” because that is their job. Out of date ordnance is not important. Much of the reference info. which I have distributed over the years has gone to U.S. and other Allied units for their EOD and BOMB Squad people because they had NOTHING in their references about older ordnance which they encountered. Rendering this info on CD has allowed these units which often have little or NO money for purchasing reference materials to develope more of a library and thus increase their ability to respond more safely to the recovery of out of date and sometimes ancient ordnance items.


#12

In the USAF, static display aircraft, at least one, and usually several to many, which are found at almost every base, were in my experience, always well maintained and kept painted as required (but generally not using aircraft paint). I don’t think I ever saw one that looked shabby, even close up. Maybe there’s a different attitude of respect toward the USAF historical heritage with more concern about maintaining appearances for PR reasons.


#13

DennisK,
That is an interesting observation. A couple of random thoughts of mine that relate: If Ordnance types (at Aberdeen) or Gunner’s mates and Ordnance types (at NAS Oceana) were running these locations, maybe we would see a difference; In the AF we nearly always have pilots running our installations… The AF was nearly always better than our sister Services at providing funding for facilities and bases, dating back throughout my career, when the Navy really poorly funded ashore facilities, and the Army has only recently tried to improve their facilities. However, the new fiscal realities are that this “non-mission-related” stuff is going to suffer from budget cuts in all Branches. Over the years, I have always been impressed at how nicely Naval Facility “quarter-deck” displays were maintained with lots of polished brass, freshly painted projectiles, nice white rope–I mean lines!–in intricate Turk’s Heads and other knots.


#14

Correct - a good point. USAF Base Wing Commanders (the base commanding officer) are predominately pilots, at least at those bases which have flying missions (not all do). Likewise, top brass at the various USAF MAJCOM HQs (at least the flying MAJCOMs) are also for the most part pilots. I only knew one flying MAJCOM commander (a 4-Star General) who was not a pilot, but rather came up through the personnel route. I’ve had some experience over the years in working, and being assigned to projects, at various Naval installations, and can confirm that the appearance and maintenance standards at Naval shore facilities I’ve seen are well below corresponding USAF standards. I well remember seeing a semi-humorous sign in one of the buildings at Atlantic Fleet HQ at Norfolk VA that said something like “Don’t Complain About The Facilities - You Could Be On A Ship.” Many of the buildings at Norfolk looked to date from the 19th Century, with no upgrades (inside or out) made since World War I. I don’t know too much about Army facilities, as I’ve only been at a few.


#15

Gunners Mates love their guns. Fly Boys love their airplanes. Grunts love their rifles. Marines must love each other, if the latest recruitment ads are to be believed. ;) ;)

Ray