I wanted to try to do something about Pearl Harbor and December 7 today, possibly because today is December 7, and if my finger counting worked correctly, today is the 78th anniversary of that Day of Infamy.
But you know, stuff.
Rather than what I planned, let me just do a couple of brief things and share the wealth that John Blackshoe laid down in comments a couple of days ago in response to the UNREP video I tacked on to the end of the post at the last moment.
UNREP/RAS is not fun in heavy weather, nor is it very safe, but while you can go on short rations for a few days, the thirsty boilers insist on a steady ration of fuel. Sticky, foul NSFO (Savy standard fuel oil) during WW2 through the early 1960s, then DFM (diesel fuel marine) until boilers were abandoned in favor of jet boats which I think like JP-5 and also reduces the variety of liquid cargo needed.
Here are some links for USS DAMATO (DD-871) fueling in the North Atlantic 1971.
First two photos- ROMEO closed up, making their approach.
Third photo- click on the enlarged version and you can see that they have a shotline across to the forward fueling station on the 01 level by the torpedo tubes, and are pulling in the phone and distance line. The Bosn's mates/riggers in yellow helmets look like they have another messenger and are beginning to haul over the spanwire to connect to the white painted fittings on the bulkhead. This was before the FRAM DDs had the probe receivers, so they will have to stick the hose pigtail down the refueling trunk.
Every one is hanging on, and some may have some sort of lifeline connecting them to the ship. The safety observer in white helmet is hanging onto the starboard torpedo tubes.
And, sometimes it really was too rough to do- see USS Astoria (CL-90) January 1945 attempt in an interesting newsletter:
But, in nice weather you can UNREP while the airdales go flying- as with this F6F taking off from USS Hancock ca 1944.
For a good history of underway replenishment 1898 to date, see:
John Blackshoe- when you're out of FRAMS, you're out of cans!
Here are the first three images John provided webdresses to. You can click 'em bigger.
And here's the image of the Hellcat launching from Hancock during UNREP. You can make this one bigger too.
Here is a link to the USS Astoria (CL-90) newsletter. What a great read! Halsey flinging 800 sorties against Saigon, sinking more than 40 Japanese ships. And the saga of Captain Gerry Armitage, USMC.
Here's the link to a history of underway replenishment. Fascinating. It is ever true that you can't put fused ordnance on target on time if you don't have the fuel to steam and fly, the bombs to drop and the bullets to shoot, the chow to feed Sailors and Marines, etc. And that all comes from the tail, doesn't it? And among the fascinating facts in this presentation is a little piece about USS Cyclops, which was a fleet collier. This was, obviously, during the time when the USN still had some coal fired ships along with fuel oil fired ships. In 1913 USS South Carolina (BB-26) and cyclops (AC-4) tested stores and ammunition UNREP, which was "slow but feasible." Who remembers what Cyclops is most famous for?
The thing that leaped out at me on this Pearl Harbor day is this. There was a whole Pacific war ahead of the U.S. Navy on this day 78 years ago. A couple of the untold thousands of events that followed are outlined in the Astoria newsletter.
Another of those events is enshrined in the name of the Destroyer pictured above, preparing to UNREP in the North Atlantic during operation Clean Sweep in 1971. That unassuming FRAM Can is USS Damato, DD-871, which is named for Anthony Peter Damato.
It's a good day to be reminded that there are things in our national history for which adequate words have not yet been invented.
Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.