Canada Kicks Ass
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xerxes @ Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:08 am

Wreck of Famed WWII Destroyer USS Johnston May Have Been Found

A few days past the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Samar, researchers from Vulcan Inc.’s research vessel R/V Petrel believe they’ve found wreckage from the engagement’s famed Fletcher-class destroyer, USS Johnston (DD-557).

Images of twisted metal, a destroyed deck gun, a propeller shaft and other less recognizable debris were posted to Petrel’s Facebook page Wednesday, with a video narrated by Rob Kraft, Vulcan’s director of subsea operations, and Paul Mayer a submersible pilot with the team started by the late billionaire and philanthropist Paul Allen.

“This wreck is completely decimated,” Kraft says in the video. “It is just debris. There is no hull structure.”


Petrel’s crew found the wreckage about 20,400 feet below the water’s surface, just at the edge of a steep undersea precipice and at a depth that pushes the limit of their underwater search equipment.

Without finding identifying material – such as a portion of the hull with the hull number 557, other equipment with the ship’s name, personal effects of the crew – positively identifying the wreckage as Johnston is difficult, Robert Neyland, the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Underwater Archaeology Branch Head, told USNI News.

Neyland, who was familiar with Petrel’s search efforts, explained researchers might have enough evidence to confirm the wreckage is from a Fletcher-class destroyer. However, when Johnston sunk, another Fletcher-class ship, USS Hoel (DD-533), was also in the area.

“There was a lot of confusion in that battle,” Neyland said.

Some of the wreckage appears to be equipment such as blast shields behind guns that researchers know were on Hoel, based on old photos of the ship. Equipment could have been added to Johnston after the few confirmed pictures of the destroyer were taken, Neyland said.

The location of the wreckage, in the southern part of the area where the battle took place, suggests the wreck is Johnston, Kraft said. Johnston was the last ship to sink.

On Oct. 25, 1944, a Japanese force of four battleships, six cruisers and 12 destroyers surprised a U.S. task unit. The Japanese force was trying to run-down five U.S. small escort carriers, three destroyers – including Johnston – and four destroyer escorts defending the north Leyte Gulf, east of Samar. The U.S. ships were supporting the landing on the Leyte beachhead by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, retired Rear Adm. Samuel Cox, director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, told USNI News.

“Johnston, under Cmdr. (Ernest) Evans was the first on to conduct an attempted torpedo attack on the Japanese force,” Cox said. “Evans made the attack without waiting for orders to do so because he knew it was clear that unless he did something, the Japanese were going to run down the slower U.S. force, and they had the power to wipe it out.”

Evans knew his ship and the others in the task unit were outgunned, yet he attacked anyway, Cox said. In hindsight, such action isn’t surprising. A year earlier, Evans predicted he’d take such actions during Johnston’s commissioning.

“This is going to be a fighting ship. I intend to go in harm’s way, and anyone who doesn’t want to go along had better get off right now,” Evans said at Johnston’s commissioning in Seattle on Oct. 27, 1943, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Of the crew of 327 men, 141 survived the battle. Of the 186 sailors lost, 50 were killed by enemy action, 45 died from battle injuries on rafts, and 92 men – including Evans – were alive in the water after Johnston sank but were never seen again, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Johnston was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. Evans, a 1931 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who was believed to be the third Native American graduate, was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, Cox said.

“He also said that he would never run from a fight, and on the 25th of October, 1944, he proved true to his word,” Cox said.

A well timed find since 75 years ago, minus a week, the ship was sunk during the US Navy's finest hour.


Thanos @ Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:26 am

What happens when you attach swords to a Hellfire missile? Well, this... 8O ... ives-works

After the most recent known use of the AGM-114R9X Hellfire missile, a weapon that uses blades instead of explosives to kill its target with minimal collateral damage, literally smashing and slicing through them, evidence of exactly how the bizarre weapon works has come to light. Imagery from the scene of the attack, located less than 10 miles from where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in Syria, shows what appears to be the core of the weapon and its deadly appendages. It appears to be a gruesome, but stunningly effective device.

The image, seen at the top of this story, shows a thick central hub structure that would act as a penetrator with six swing-out skeletonized blades. Basically, anything in the radius of the blades would die.

The standard AGM-114 flies at roughly 1,000 miles per hour. It isn't clear if this version of the weapon hits those speeds, but there is no indication otherwise. It's unclear when exactly the blades deploy during use, but it is likely that they extend out from the missile via fairings that pop-off shortly before its flight ends or swing-out through slots in the missile's body. A fuze system or direct inertia system could deploy them once the missile makes contact with a surface, as well.

Normally I'd like to meet someone so insanely creative at making devices of horrifying death. In this case though? The lead designer is probably this guy. 8O 8O 8O 8O



DrCaleb @ Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:31 am

I'm not sure if that thing is terrifying, or beautiful. Perhaps both. :twisted:


Thanos @ Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:39 am

The US has been plunking targets for years with non-explosive warheads, using just the kinetic energy of the missile alone to destroy them. It became a requirement in 2003 due to Saddam placing anti-aircraft batteries and radar stations in civilian areas on purpose in order to create as much collateral damage embarrassment as possible for when non-combatants close to the targets inevitably got killed. Doing this with a warhead to reduce the chance of harm to nearby innocents is actually about as moral as war can get. Adding spinning blades to a non-explosive missile though, simply for that terrorist-puree effect? As King Arthur would say, JESUS CHRIST! 8O


xerxes @ Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:16 pm

I used to know a guy who used to be a sapper in the Army and he'd been to all the major peacekeeping operations from back in the day; Kuwait, the Balkans et al. And one day he was talking about the different trigger mechanisms there are for landmines and the all the various booby traps there are for them too.

It was fascinating I have to admit. But it also made me a bit sad at the same time too when I thought of all the creativity that had been put into such things that could have been directed to somewhere more positive...


herbie @ Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:24 pm

It was fascinating I have to admit. But it also made me a bit sad at the same time too when I thought of all the creativity that had been put into such things that could have been directed to somewhere more positive...

What I used to say about satellite TV & Internet: all that science, effort, expense and creativity so you could watch porn and Jesus channels.....


DrCaleb @ Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:48 am

Russia’s only carrier, damaged in shipyard accident, now on fire


MURMANSK, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 12, 2019: A fire has broken out aboard the Project 11435 aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov of the Russian Northern Fleet. Admiral Kuznetsov is the only aircraft carrier of the Russian Navy. Lev Fedoseyev/TASS

The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia's only aircraft carrier, caught fire today during repairs in Murmansk. While officials of the shipyard said that no shipyard workers were injured, Russia's TASS news service reports that at least 12 people (likely Kuznetsov sailors) were injured, some critically. In addition, three people, possibly including the third-rank captain in charge of the ship's repairs, are unaccounted for.

The Kuznetsov has had a long string of bad luck, experiencing fires at sea, oil spills, and landing deck accidents—including a snapped arresting wire that caused a landing Sukhoi Su-33 fighter to roll off the end of the deck and into the ocean. Its boilers belched black smoke during the ship's transit to Syria in 2016, and it had to be towed back home after breaking down during its return in 2017. Then last year, as it was undergoing repairs in a floating drydock in Murmansk's Shipyard 82, the drydock sank and a crane on the drydock slammed into the Kuznetsov, leaving a gash in the ship's hull. It looked like completion of repairs might be put off indefinitely because repair of the drydock would take over a year, and the budget for repairs had been slashed.

The fire was caused when sparks from welding work near one of the ship's electrical distribution compartments set a cable on fire. The fire spread through the wiring throughout compartments of the lower deck of the ship, eventually involving 120 square meters (1,300 square feet) of the ship's spaces.

In total, 12 victims were delivered to hospitals, 10 of them were saved during the fire. One is assessed as serious, and one suffered a head injury. Most received poisoning from combustion products, according to a report from TASS. ... w-on-fire/


Thanos @ Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:55 am

It'll be like the Springfield tire-pile fire on The Simpsons where the fire never goes out. Twenty years from now the Kuznetsov hulk will probably still be burning.

Damn shame for those sailors and repair workers though. Going by the traditional Russian cotempt for the lives of their military personnel they all probably got fatal lung cancer the second the interior paint and other coatings inside the ship started smoking. Poor bastards.


DrCaleb @ Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:03 am

Yup. I have no animosity toward the sailors, but it's just the sad fate of the Kuzentsov to burn.


BartSimpson @ Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:54 am

This isn't the first major fire on the Kunt. The Russians have been out of the carrier business for a long time now and they're not coming back so ultimately this has no impact on their military power as it stands.

The Russians are a second rate land power armed with possibly 20-40 functional nukes.



Thanos @ Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:02 am

BartSimpson BartSimpson:

The Russians are a second rate land power....

Yup. Anyone who's wildly scared of them militarily hasn't paid too much attention to their rapid decline. The media scares about things like their ram-jet torpedoes, nifty Flanker maneuvers posted on YouTube, or being wowed by the T-14 Armata platforms miss the far larger picture. All those munitions they built over the decades and when they went to Syria the best they could do was lend out helicopters to Assad to drop barrel bombs on civilians? Meh. It's hard to disagree with the Fulda Fuckheads who wanted NATO to get into it with Russia, just to see how badly the allied armour and helicopters would nearly annihilate the Soviet armoured columns altogether before the conflict went NBC. Or, more likely, the Warsaw Pact countries mutinied and attacked the Russians from behind.


xerxes @ Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:23 am

Wow. That ship has a nasty jinx on it.


BartSimpson @ Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:35 am

Update on the Kuznetzov is that the Russians are starting to write it off as a total loss.

Which is good news because the analysis here is that Ivan wasn't refitting it but instead getting it minimally seaworthy to sell...probably to China.


Thanos @ Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:47 am

BartSimpson BartSimpson:
Update on the Kuznetzov is that the Russians are starting to write it off as a total loss.

Which is good news because the analysis here is that Ivan wasn't refitting it but instead getting it minimally seaworthy to sell...probably to China.

China has at least one brand-new carrier of their own that will soon be ready, if it isn't already. They're no longer in an inferior manufacturing or construction position so they don't need to take Russian cast-offs anymore. The Kuznetsov probably would have been pawned off on Brazil or India instead. After the fire though all it's good for now is target practice.


llama66 @ Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:51 am

Thus ends Russia's fabled existence as a Carrier super power.



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