USS New Mexico

A photo of the USS New Mexico that I found on .


I think that’s Ray in the lower left.

There IS something wrong with THAT!

I bet there were some pissed off Gunners Mates that had to handle all those projectiles just for a picture.

Musta flooded a magazine or something. Had a jerk pull a fire suppression handle which resulted in the dissassembly, then a fresh water wipe down and then oiling the internals of 60 Terrier missiles. Really made a mess. Can’t imagine why they’d have all those projos up on the deck to air out.

Ray, do you remember why? Oh wait! You were “napping”! In your skivs!!! On the O2 level, no less. That is so wrong.


That’s a very interesting picture. Thanks for posting it.

14"/50 cal. shells are what we see there? Over 100 in view! Why would they be on the deck like that is something I’m very curious about. I wouldn’t think that would be “SOP” with that much material.

Maybe Ray will remember…


  1. Obviously not underway. If you could see the entire ship you’d probably see the Baker flag flying = replenishing ammo dockside. (Flying the Baker Flag has another meaning, but it’s not appropriate for a family forum such as this.)

  2. That’s not me and it’s obviously not a Gunners Mate. We are in the Gun Shack drinking coffee. GMs are like Snipes. We’re not often seen top-side and we do not do ordinary physical labor such as moving those heavy projectiles around. That’s what Cooks, Yeomen, and other assorted left-arm ratings are for.

  3. FYI - Projectiles would be moved into the turret and stowed using projectile carriers and the projectile hoists.


Yea. That’s what is. Smooooooth, Ray.

Very interesting picture! Looks to me like a bunch of sailors milling around aimlessly waiting for a MARINE to give them some direction…


Semper Fi AKMS.

Some of my best friends were Marines. No. Really.

How old is this pic? Are battleships still used today? Would seem like a ginormous target for present day computer savvy weapons.


That’s a WW II photo. The New Mexico was decommissioned and scrapped in the late 1940s. The last of the Battleships was decommissioned in the 1990s.

A big target, yes. But to paraphrase that old military saying, if you are in range, so are they.

And Rick would reach out and touch them before they knew what had happened. ;)


Hey Vlad

Pic was taken mid-‘44. Nope. No more battleships. Except for lookin’ at.

Those are 14 inch HE projectiles.
New Mexico was used for shore bombardment, and she was armed with 12 14 inch guns.

Possibly rearming from some source (barge, ammo ship, pier side) and had a problem with the strikedown machinery so they elected to lay the projectiles out on deck while it was being repaired, so they could let the ship/barge/pier be used by other customers on a tight schedule.

May also have been necessary to empty out a projectile room (magazine) in order to do some essential “hot work” involving welding in that space, or possibly on the bulkhead shared with an adjacent space where the work was actually being done.

Or, as previously mentioned- cleaning and drying ammo after an accidental magazine flooding.

There is a LOT of work involved with moving all those. Weights are in the range of 1,275 pounds to 1,500 pounds each.


Laying the projectiles out on deck was a normal step in replenishing a turret. A shell carrier is fitted around each one and an electric hoist then lowers them in a vertical position through hatches alongside the turret where they are transferred to a second hoist and overhead trolley. They are then hoisted one at a time and stowed standing on their bases, and lashed to the bulkhead.

Smaller projectiles and fixed cartridges come on board on pallets. The pellets are broken open and the ammunition transferred by hand or by hoists to the appropriate ready rooms and ready lockers.


Here’s a question from a Gunners Mate test.

What do you call a ship that is shooting at you?

Answer -

A target.


Look in:

Naval Ordnance And Gunnery
Volume 1, Naval Ordnance
Chapter 7, Turret Installations
Part E, Ammunition Handling


I found this photo also on MaritimeQuest. … page_3.htm

The caption MaritimeQuest that has for this photo “July 1944: 16” shells lined up on the deck of the USS New Mexico BB-40.“
But below it says 14” .

"Phase 2 of the Marianas occupation (Phase 1, the storming of Saipan, had taken a little longer than estimated) was the reconquest of Guam Island. Undisputed control of Marianas approaches had been gained by thoroughly whipping the Japs in the Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19-20).

Indeed, lots of live ordnance spread out on that deck, in the hot sun. Note the lack of clothing from the waist up and some guys even less. Wonder how effective that blanket was at keeping the heat from crisping that snow white tender meat laying on that steel!

Would have been a bad time for an I-Class submarine to scoot a Type 95 torpedo into her side!

Slics missiles are awesome, Ray’s guns are neat but torpedoes are the dragons of the sea! You’re sitt’n there, feeling all safe and secure and the next thing you know, the deck plates are rising up to your chin! Row-boat time.

I wouldn’t worry about that sailor frying himself on that steel deck, or those projectiles cooking off. One thing about a big steel ship - it never gets hot, or even warm. I’m not sure how thick the armor was on New Mexico’s turrets but it would take a long time to heat that much steel to a point of being uncomfortable. I don’t think there was a sea-going sailor who didn’t have hemorroids from the constant cold.


Everybody has probably lost interest in this thread by now, but something is bugging me so I have to bring it up.

There were a couple of references to “magazines” for the stowage of the big projectiles. There is no such thing in a turret. Projectiles are stowed in the turret at different levels, on projectile rings, parts of which are stationary and parts that rotate with the gun. The big turrets can stow as many as 400 projectiles.

The nearest thing to a “magazine” is the area where the powder is stowed, adjacent to but not a part of the turret.

The lesser turrets and mounts use a similar system. It’s only on certain ships, such as some carriers, where the guns are mounted on the edge of the hull, that true magazines are used. Even then, the majority of the ammunition for immediate use is stowed in the mount itself, in a ready room directly below the gun. Ammunition stowed in the magazine is used to replenish the ready room, when needed.

Nit-picking to be sure, but important to an old Gunners Mate.