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THE LAUNCHING OF THE NEW YORK
The battleship New York was launched at the New York Navy Yard, on October 30. President Taft, Secretary Meyer, and a number of army and navy officers and prominent civilians were present.
The keel of the New York was laid May 1, 1911. She will have a trial displacement of 27,000 tons; a speed of 21 knots; is 565 feet long and 95 feet beam, with a mean draft of 28.5 feet. Her triple expansion engines will be of 28,000 horse-power. The main battery will be ten 14-inch guns, with a secondary battery of twenty-one 5-inch guns, and four submerged 21-inch torpedo tubes. The vessel will have a complement of sixty-three officers and one thousand men.
At the dinner of the navy yard employees, on the evening of October 30, President Taft and Secretary Meyer made strong pleas for a larger navy. The keynote of Loth addresses was the necessity of a fleet of twenty battleships of the first line and an equal number in the reserve fleet.
President Taft said in part:
Regulations of London Wireless Convention
Article III, of the Regulations of the London Wireless Convention, provides: "Ship and coast stations are obliged to exchange radio-telegrams without regard to the radio-telegraphic systems used by these stations. Each ship station is obliged to exchange radio-telegrams with every other ship station without regard to the radio-telegraphic system used by these stations.
"However, in order not to hinder scientific progress, the resolutions of this article shall not interfere with the future use of a system of radio-telegraphy incapable of communicating with other systems, provided that this inability be due to the specific nature of the system, and not the result of arrangements adopted solely for the purpose of hindering inter-communication."
Article IX reads: "The radio-telegraphic stations are obliged to give absolute priority to appeals of distress wherever they may come from, to reply in the same manner to these appeals, and to give them the precedence."
Radio Communication Law
The Department of Commerce and Labor, at Washington, has issued instructions for enforcement of the radiocommunication law, which becomes effective December 13. The act places all wireless operations under government control, and provides for licensing all operators working across State lines or with ships at sea.
Applications for licenses for ship stations must be sent to the Radio Inspector at port of departure, and those for coast stations will be issued by the nearest inspector or by the Commissioner of Navigation at Washington. Examinations will be held at navy yards, naval stations, and the Naval Academy, as well as at other places designated by the department.
Amateur stations are limited to the use of a wave length of 200 meters, but the department is authorized to modify this restriction in special cases.
Ship stations are divided into three classes, passenger steamers, cargo steamers (with crews of fifty or more), and vessels voluntarily equipped with wireless apparatus.
Land stations are classified as coast or shore stations, public service stations, limited commercial stations, experiment stations, technical and training school stations, general amateur stations, special amateur stations, and special class stations.
Course in Radio Engineering
A scientific course in Radio Engineering has been established at the College of the City of New York. The
laboratory has been provided with a complete telephone and telegraph equipment of the Poulsen system. With this and a number of standard radio measuring instruments, variable and fixed capacities and inductances, together with the usual physical apparatus of a technical school, the college is well equipped for giving thorough and extensive instruction.
Lieutenants Theodore G. Ellyson and Bernard L. Smith, of the Navy Aviation Corps, who started from the Naval Academy on a flight to Washington on October 16, fell to the waters of the harbor from a height of twenty-five feet. Neither officer was seriously hurt, but the trip was postponed. A navy launch picked the aviators up.
Shortly after leaving Cape May Point for the Philadelphia Navy Yard on October 11, the motor of the hydroplane in which Lieut. Comdr. Henry C. Mustin, U.S.N., and Aviator Marshall E. Reid were making a flight stopped, and the machine dropped into Delaware Bay. The pontoons kept the machine afloat until the aviators were rescued by an oyster boat, sixteen hours after the accident.
The first German naval airship was completed at Friedrichshaven on October 6, and has been inspected by the Naval Commission. The details of the dirigible as given out are: length, 160 meters; diameter, 15 meters; capacity, 22,000 cubic meters. There are 18 gas chambers, and motive power is furnished by three motors of 170 horsepower each. One motor is in the forward gondola and two in the after gondola.
An observation platform, built of aluminum, is placed on top of the balloon. Instead of a cabin, a room for officers and men operating the wireless equipment is built into the gangway. The ship carries a machine gun on top of the balloon and is equipped with a kitchen, where cooking is done with the exhaust of the motors. The airship is expected to be able to stay afloat at least two and a half days.
The first ascent was made on October 7. On October 14 the airship landed at Berlin, with twenty-one persons aboard, after making the twelve hundred-mile journey from Lake Constance in thirty-one hours. This is a new record for dirigibles, both for duration and distance.
The first dirigible especially constructed for naval use has just been completed. The complement will be two naval officers, a mechanician, a pilot, and a crew of ten.
Jouett and Jenkins
In a speed trial for two consecutive hours the destroyer Jouett, at Narragansett Bay, October 2, averaged 32.266 knots. The Jenkins is credited with 31.272 knots over the same course.
The Utah has taken the place of the Connecticut as flagship of the Atlantic Fleet. The Utah was docked, her hull scraped and painted, and the vessel floated out ready for service within twenty-four hours — a record performance.
Naval Bases Closed to Foreign Vessels
The following ports which are naval bases of the United States were formally closed to foreign vessels on October 16, unless granted a special permission by the Navy Department or by an executive order from President Taft: Tortugas, Florida; Great Harbor, Culebra; Guantanamo, Cuba; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Guam and Subig Bay, Philippine Islands. The purpose of the order is the protection of government military secrets.
Torpedoes for the Navy
About $600,000 will be spent this year in the manufacture and purchase of torpedoes for the navy. The E. W. Bliss Company, of Brooklyn, has a contract with the Department for the manufacture of one hundred torpedoes of the Bliss-Leavitt type. The Department manufactures the Whitehead torpedo. The cost of a torpedo varies from about $5,000 to about $6,000.
Hingham Naval Magazine
During the present fiscal year, $40,000 will be spent on improving the approaches to the Naval Magazine, located on the Weymouth Back River. The channel will be deepened and a new drawbridge constructed across the river. On the magazine itself, $13,000 will be expended in improvements. The ammunition formerly stored at Chelsea has been transferred to Hingham and the reservation at Chelsea turned over to the Naval Hospital. The new magazine is about fifteen miles from the Charlestown Navy Yard.
Turret of the Old "Maine"
The forward turret of the old battleship Maine has been found by divers engaged in removing the remains. of the forward section of the wreck. The turret, mounting two 10-inch guns, was practically intact, although it had been hurled a distance of forty feet by the force of the explosion which destroyed the battleship.
Destroyer Efficiency Pennant
Owing to an error in computation, the Preston was awarded the pennant for battle efficiency of destroyers. The revised figures give the award to the McCall, which vessel now flies the pennant.
Efficiency of Officers on the Maryland
Capt. J. W. Ellicott, of the Maryland, has submitted the names of Lieut. Comdr. Lloyd S. Shapley, Lieut. Claude A. Bonvillian, and Chief Machinist Frederick F. Krainek, as the officers contributing most to efficiency of the Maryland in winning the efficiency pennant in competition with twenty-six other battleships.
Letters of commendation to these officers have been sent by the Department and placed in their records. Lieutenant Bonvillian is now attending the School of Marine Engineering, at Annapolis.
Admiral Farragut's flagship, the Hartford, which has been used by the Naval Academy for many years for the training of midshipmen in practical seamanship, has been transferred to Charleston, S. C., where she will be roofed over and used as a station ship.
Examination for Commanders of Auxiliaries
Boatswain G. Cullen, on duty on the tug Patuxent, has requested an examination to determine his qualifications for commanding tugs and other small auxiliaries. The examination will be conducted by a board appointed by Rear Admiral Osterhaus, Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, in accordance with instructions from the Navy Department. Heretofore, warrant officers who have been capable of commanding have had no way of getting their qualifications into the official record.
Contracts for Projectiles
Awards for projectiles, as recommended on September 20, 1912, were:
1,000 12-in. target
Bethlehem S. Co. . . . . 1,000 14-in. target at $54.00
E. W. Bliss Co..
Wash. S. & O. Co. . . .
Crucible S. Co.. Hadfield Co..
Battleship Target Practice
In the coming practice of the Atlantic Fleet the minimum range has been reduced from 12,000 to 8,000 yards. It is proposed to experiment this year with shrapnel, to determine the effectiveness of this form of ammunition against air craft.
The program, as outlined, includes the use of the old condemned torpedo boats Cushing, McKee, and Ericsson as targets in night torpedo practice, the firing of dummy torpedoes against other vessels of the fleet, and spotting practice.
Ten naval militia officers have been invited by the Department to witness the target practice. The Department is attempting to interest the naval militia in the various. exercises of the fleet and hopes that all invitations will be accepted.
The practice of the Pacific Fleet will take place at San Diego early in November.
Accident to the Naval Vessels
While making a twenty-hour endurance test, on October 3, over the Rockland, Maine, course, several boiler tubes of the Nebraska were blown out, without injuring any one. The vessel returned to Newport.
Damage estimated at $100,000 was sustained by the submarine F-1, which grounded near Port Watsonville, California, on October 12. The F-1 was pulled off by the tug Iroquois and was convoyed to the Mare Island yard. for repairs by the cruiser Maryland, on October 20.
When the Connecticut was docked at the New York Navy Yard after the review, it was discovered that one of her propeller shafts was cracked. The accident necessitates the laying up of the Connecticut for nearly two months.
On October 7, the destroyer Patterson, in command of Lieut. Comdr. John M. Luby, was blown onto a bar in Newport harbor. She was pulled off by the tug Chicka
On board the Illinois, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, on October 28, a 1,000-pound shell fell on and crushed to death seaman H. E. Thompson.
The destroyer Beale collided with a coal barge in the Delaware River, off Newcastle, Delaware, on the night of October 3. The force of the collision knocked a hole in the Beale fifteen feet long and extending eight feet below the water line. The closing of the watertight compartment prevented the sinking of the destroyer. Her engines were disabled and a tug towed her into the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
During the Review, Ensign Andres H. Butler, of the
Rhode Island, fell overboard from a shore launch in the North River and was drowned, despite the efforts of his companions to rescue him.
Great Lakes Naval Training Station Accident
The bodies of the ten apprentice seamen who were drowned at Lake Bluff, Illinois, have been recovered by men from the 27th Infantry, U.S.A. Private Richard McGrath, of Troop M, 15th Cavalry, recovered some of the bodies by swimming some distance and towing them ashore.
The ten apprentice seamen and one chief petty officer lost their lives on September 15, while attempting to wade from a sailing launch to the shore. A party of twentyfour apprentice seamen, in charge of Chief Gunners' Mate William E. Negus, were returning from a sail on the lake. When near the shore, a strong wind prevented their launch from making harbor. The launch was grounded on a bar, which the officer in charge supposed to be shallow water. The men were drowned in deep water between the sand bar and the shore, while attempting to wade ashore from the launch.
Reduction of Time Refit
The time of the annual refit of a war ship has been reduced from forty to thirty days. Eight years ago sixty days were allowed for the annual refitting.
Submarine Bell Signalling
The flagship of Admiral Sir G. A. Callaghan, the Neptune, carried out on her voyage from Scapa Flou to Portland a series of experiments in submarine bell signaling in which the lightship on the East Coast took part. The information obtained will be of use to the Admiralty in extending this method of signaling to the ships of the
The New Zealand
The New Zealand, the vessel presented to the Admiralty by New Zealand, arrived at Spitshead on October 14, and left the next morning to make steering and circle trials, later proceeding to Portsmouth to get ready for gun and torpedo tests.
The cruiser Ersatz-Kaiserin-Auguste, building at Dantzig, will be equipped with Parson turbines designed to develop a speed of 28 knots.
The cruiser Magdebourg developed, on her trials, a speed of 27.5 knots.
The Delphin, the first submarine for the Grecian navy, built at Creusot by Schneider and Company, made the voyage to the Piraeus, a distance of eleven hundred miles, in five days, without a tender. The Delphin is of the Schneider-Laubeuf type, 50 meters in length, with a surface displacement of 300 tons, a submerged displacement of 460 tons. The armament comprizes five torpedo tubes.
On October 11, the Grecian Government purchased the Chao-Ho, recently completed at Elswick for a Chinese training ship. The Chao-Ho has a displacement of 2,750 tons, a length of 300 feet, a beam 39 feet, and a draft 15 feet. She is armed with two 6-inch guns, four 4-inch guns, four 12-pounders, six 3-pounders, and two 18-inch torpedo tubes.
In addition to the Chinese cruiser Chao-Ho, Greece has purchased four destroyers which were built for Argentina, Santa Fe, San Luis, Santiago, and Tucuman. The Argentine Government will order four new destroy