Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Union Monitor


Today's picture shows a Union Monitor in the Civil War. With the sailors on the deck, the ship looks a lot bigger than I had expected. I also notice that the ship appears to have lifts to carry the row boats along with it.

12 comments:

  1. The presence of the field gun onboard (to the right background) is interesting. Either it's hitching a ride or providing security while the ship (boat?) is moored. I don't think they used extra cannon (especially on that type carriage) for additional firepower during a naval engagement.

    John

    ReplyDelete
  2. I too am surprised with the size of that ship. I guess all the other photos I have seen of it were without any size perspective. Just a ship on the water. Now with men on her deck it does give your some idea of her real size.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Even yesterdays photo was just a ship on the water. Without knowing how far out she was you have no idea how big she was.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Roger, zoom in on yesterday's photo, and the day before. You can see at least crewman on the deck of the monitor. They look really tiny on the carrier. There are two guys crouched on the middle of the flight deck and many crewmen lining the recessed areas (AA guns?) bordering both sides of the flight deck.

    John

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very interesting pic and informative in terms of the size of the ship.

    Incidentally, the "lifts" are called "davits" - you know how naval terminology varies from landlubber language: floor=deck / wall=bulkhead etc.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Follow up comment about pictures and size.
    I had never seen a B-17 up close. I knew they had a crew of ten. At a flying warbirds show at Republic Airport, Long Island I got the chance to walk through a B-17. I was amazed how cramped it was inside. I measure just about average according to WW2 stats (about the same as your average bull rider) plus I was wearing a t-shirt not a shearling flight suit.
    When I got out I asked the pilot if the plane was a 3/4 sized replica? No sir! This is a full-sized WW2 vintage B-17. My already huge respect for the men who flew and fought in these aircraft became immeasurable.

    John

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had a simIlar thoughts when I toured a B-17, a few years back. Seeing them in the air and in the movies I thought they were a lot larger than they were. Walking inside seeing the aluminum struts and skin, they reminded me of what great engineering went into them. And how very brave the crews were. I don't think they had much protection.

    ReplyDelete
  8. the Mariner's Museum in Newport News VA has a full-sized mockup of the main deck and turret of the Monitor outside the museum. You can walk through the Monitor exhibition itself (with the turret and engine and so forth) and walk outside to stand on the deck of the replica to get a sense of how big the ship was.

    ReplyDelete
  9. There are 14 B-17's flying in the world today, all that is left of a fleet of thousands upon thousands. One of them is in Seattle for the Memorial Day weekend...$465 will get you a ride, and for $5 you can walk through the aircraft at the Museum of Flight.

    The crew of 10 had no armor protection (the pilots may have had a steel seat pan - can't remember) because armoring the plane meant it had to carry fewer bombs. The crew did not wear body armor. Published in 1965, Edward Jablonski's book "Flying Fortress" is an excellent overview of this aircraft and the men who flew them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Old Navy,
    US AAF crews began receiving body armor as early as 1942.
    I've seen this stuff first hand since one friend's dad was a B-17 gunner and another was same in B-25

    The steel helmet was a modified M-1 with ear flaps. I was told the crew would take off the flak jackets and squat on while flying though flak.

    John
    Here's a link on this

    http://www.olive-drab.com/od_soldiers
    _gear_body_armor_wwii.php

    ReplyDelete
  11. You have a great Job...congrats. And thanks for your time, go on the right way, god bless you, be happy and enjoy your life, Antonio From Mexico

    ReplyDelete
  12. I live about 4 miles from the final resting place of the Monitor's turret.....The Mariner's Museum in Newport News, VA. The exhibit is terrific. Come and visit!

    ReplyDelete