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March 16 2013 at 9:44 AM
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Nelson  (no login)
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Response to MARBLEHEAD’s 3”/50s



> I recall that 3 x 3"/50s were removed from HOUSTON to make place for the quad 1.1"s. Is it possible that these were then transferred to MARBLEHEAD? >

The arithmetic makes this possibility a tantalizing one....but alas, nothing else does.

1. Marblehead (CL 12) was supposed to have a yard availability following that of Houston (CA 30), but that never happened. By the time Houston vacated Machina Wharf on December 1, 1941, having had her remaining three 3-inch/50cal AA guns dismounted there, Marblehead had already been at Tarakan, Borneo, for a few days as part of the Asiatic Fleet's southern dispersion plan. She never returned to Manila Bay, much less to Cavite Navy Yard.

2. It has long been my understanding that the Cavite marine detachment set up Houston's three 3-inch/50s, as well as a number of other guns of this same type, and used them for AA protection of the navy yard, mostly after the devastating raid on December 10. I suppose it's possible that the three guns from Houston and their ammunition were put on one of the tenders withdrawing from the Philippines, and somehow Marblehead got these three extra 3-inch/50s, such installation entirely or largely undocumented. I've never read of this later addition to Marblehead elsewhere, in either Java or Australia.

3. My problem is that other than the centerline gun aft, none of the three AA guns somewhat forward on the port side look to me like the characteristically long and slender 3-inch/50 AA guns. They look more like water-cooled M2 .50-caliber AAMGs to mine tired eyes. Not to mention they be just where the standard pair of 3-inch/50s should be.

I just dunno....


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