Photo by C. Jeff Dyrek
Here's the Complete USS Sample Operations Manual
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The men on the destroyer, USS Sample DD1048 caught the line and are ready to pass a larger cable back to the Kitty Hawk.This larger cable is used to support a heavier fuel line which is passed back to the kitty hawk. Then the fuel hose is passed between the ships. It's really interesting to see how perfectly even these two ships sailed together. As rough as it was I don't think that a person at the helm could have handled the navigation without having a computer link keeping the ships in perfect sync. I wish someone that knew more about this operation would send me e-mail with a more detailed explanation of the process.
Here's a great description of the Un Rep operation.from IC2 Don Wagler 9-22-01
Regarding the UNREP [underway replenishment] I was on the USS Kawishiwi AO146 [Viet Nam] . The first line shot over is with a 12 gauge shotgun with a nylon line tied to a plastic bottle, the bottle fits sorta tight over the barrel, and there is no shot in the shell, like a blank. That line is tied to a larger line, till you get up to the steel cable that supports the oil or fuel line. ON the booms of the tanker are weights tuned for the size of the hose, to automatically take up and let out the slack from the ROLL of the ship. So the tension allows for the two ships rolling apart and together. This way the line/hoses don't break.
Your photo of "heavy seas" isn't much as we refueled DD's where the front half of it would go COMPLETELY under water and the crew on the DD was on lifelines to the flying bridge. When a wave would come over they would hang on and go underwater for 15 sec or so. I have movie footage of seeing daylight under the middle, the DD supported on both ends by a waves. We had a 33 ft draft and was rather stable. The DD was really being tossed about as its draft was but oh 14-17 feet and that surface water was ROUGH!
On another mission we hit the plane elevator on some flattop as it was in the down position. When two ship get too close together the water sucks them together. We did ALL UNREP's without a computer, just skill. Off Nam the Russians would try and make us alter course while refueling. We got a great laugh of a Russian "fishing ship" with more antenna than you thought possible....we put about a 3 foot wave across the main deck!! Missed by 20-30 feet!! The Viet Nam fishing people would try and get hit by crossing in front of us. We would steam straight. We did hit one and did a man overboard drill, tossing the guy the life ring and such.
Any time there was a 'copter around, like refueling a cruiser or any ship with one, the copter would go 1/2 mile aft to pickup anyone accidentally tossed or fallen over. We had one guy break his leg when he hit the water and was fished up by a 'copter. Its risky business.
We had a personnel transfer with a helo and we were in moderate seas. Well the Sea Knight pilot got over the bow and then shifted to moving up and down with the rhythm of the ship. Those guys are GOOD. The rise and fall of the deck at the bow was about 25 feet he would just follow it up and down.
We would refuel DD's every 3-5 days, keeping them at no less than 87% full so they could steam a 1000 miles at a minutes notice. Course crossing the date line was always done on a week day so we would work an extra day. Never an extra Sunday!! Couldn't have two days off in a row!! We carried mostly 10 million gal of JP5 and refueled carriers in the Tonkin gulf from Subic hope that helps some. If you post this please give me a by line.
IC2 Don Wagler in Portland, OR
|From the Webmaster:
I'm a little
bit of a dummy, especially in those days.
I worked on airplanes not ships.
Me and the guys in the Avionics shop called it an On Rep for taking supplies
and fuel onto the carrier and we thought it was called an Off Rep when
supplies went off of the carrier.
Really, it's an UnRep for Underway
Replenishment, whether you are taking supplies on or off of the carrier.
It's because of the readers like you that have giving me a great awakening
and a little bit of knowledge.
It's funny because every time I feel
like I'm getting smart, I realize how dumb I really am.
C. Jeff Dyrek, webmaster.
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