Monday, March 12, 2012

Mk 7 16-inch gun barrels-A Correction!

Pictured at left are three views of a Mark 7, 16-inch/50 gun barrel at St. Juliens Creek Naval Annex. The Navy used the weapon on all four of the Iowa-class battleships. The U.S. Navy's NAVSEA Inactive Fleet division recently found permanent homes for this barrel and two others just like it (read more about the donation and the move at the Daily Press' website here).

These pictures were taken as part of an initial historic preservation survey of St. Juliens Creek. Museum staff identified the barrels as being surplus equipment left over from the cancelled battleship Kentucky. Built by Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Kentucky was to be the fifth Iowa-class battleship. The Navy cancelled the order halfway through construction in 1943 to shift Yard resources over to more pressing ship needs such as amphibious assault ships.

Inactive Fleet staff, however, recently did some research into these gun barrels and discovered that these barrels never were intended for Kentucky. Rather, research shows that the Navy removed the barrels from exisiting commissioned battleships, and they were to serve as spare parts for Iowa-class ships.

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