The firm of Hooven, Owens and Company manufactured steam and diesel engines in Hamilton, Ohio. Because the firm was known by its initials, H. O. R; the Hooven is sometimes incorrectly rendered as Hoover, the Owens may be mistaken for Owen. The firm was the successor to the firm of Owens, Ebert & Dyer which went into receivership in 1876. In 1882, George A. Rentschler, J. C. Hooven, Henry C. Sohn, George H. Helvey, James E. Campbell merged the firm with the iron works of Sohn and Rentschler, adopted the name Hooven, Rentschler Co. In 1883 the firm began the manufacture of Corliss steam engines, producing a total of 700 such engines by 1901. By World War I, the Hooven-Owens-Rentschler Company operated the largest exclusive Corliss Engine plant in the country, employing nearly 800 men. In 1928 the company merged with the Niles Tool Works to form the General Machinery Corporation. However, it continued to make diesel engines under the H. O. R. Brand, supplied many of the powerplants for United States submarines and liberty ships during World War II.
General Machinery Corporation ranked 91st among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts. In the 1930s H. O. R. Developed a double-acting two-stroke diesel engine based on the German cruiser Leipzig's MAN engines but with eight cylinders instead of seven, expanded to nine cylinders in the final submarine version; the double-acting design produced more power from a physically smaller engine than conventional designs. However, H. O. R.'s double-acting engines those of USS Pompano, gained notoriety for their unreliability in the submarine force, where they were nicknamed "whores." Owing to the limited space available within the submarines, either opposed-piston or, in this case, double-acting engines were favored for being more compact. An inherent problem with double-acting cylinders, owing to the piston rod reducing the piston area on one side, is an imbalance in the force on each side of the piston; the H. O. R. Engines were plagued by other problems as a result.
This in turn overstressed the drive train and caused the gears to shed teeth, create torsional vibration, rendered the engine and gear train inoperable. As an example of the problems caused by the unreliability of the H. O. R. Engines, Captain Charles Herbert Andrews of the USS Gurnard recalled concerning a war patrol in support of Operation Torch, "I only used three, saving the fourth for a spare; when two of them broke down in the Bay of Biscay, I cut the patrol short and limped back to Scotland."During World War II, all submarine H. O. R. Engines were replaced by early 1943 with General Motors Cleveland Division engines or Fairbanks-Morse Model 38 engines; the wartime performance of the H. O. R. Engines was so poor that Captain Tommy Dykers of the USS Jack said, "The H. O. R. Engines saved the Japanese thirty or forty ships." In 1947, General Machinery Corporation merged with Lima Locomotive Works to form Lima-Hamilton Corporation, which, in turn, merged in 1950 with Baldwin Locomotive Works to form the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation.
BLH, Hamilton Div. moved to the Eddystone Pa. plant of BLH in 1959. BLH went out of business around 1966. An HOR combination steam engine is preserved in the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan, it is one of 12 units that were made for Mr. Ford for his Highland Park assembly plant where he produced the Model T from 1908 until its production demise in 1927; this engine was removed from the Highland Park facility and placed in storage after the Ford Motor Company took up permanent residence at the giant River Rouge facilities to produce the Model A. Mr. Ford donated the steam engine to his Edison Institute as the cornerstone display in 1929; the Edison Institute was renamed the Henry Ford Museum and is known today as "The Henry Ford"
USS PC-1264 was a PC-461-class submarine chaser built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was one of only two U. S. Navy ships to have a predominately African-American enlisted complement during the war, the other being the Evarts-class destroyer escort USS Mason. PC-1264 was in service for less than two years, but the performance of her crew—and of USS Mason's—led the U. S. Navy to reevaluate its perception of African Americans as members of the fleet. Although sold for scrapping, the ship remains at the Donjon Marine Yard in Staten Island. USS PC-1264 was laid down at Consolidated Shipbuilding Company in Morris Heights, New York, on 7 October 1943 and launched on 28 November 1943. PC-1264 was a United States Navy PC-461-class submarine chaser; this patrol class of submarine chaser was intended to intercept and destroy German U-boats stationed off the coast of the United States. Less expensive and faster to build than destroyers or destroyer escorts, requiring smaller crews, they filled an important need for coastal convoy protection and anti-submarine warfare.
PC-1264 was commissioned in April 1944 and decommissioned in February 1946, serving a little less than 22 months as a U. S. Navy fighting ship. On 9 December 1941, the NAACP sent a telegram to Frank Knox, U. S. Secretary of the Navy, asking that African Americans be accepted into the navy in other than the messman branch; this request was refused. A 17 December letter from the NAACP to President Roosevelt resulted in the president turning the matter over to Mark Ethridge, chairman of the Fair Employment Practices Committee; this committee received a negative response from the Navy Department. The president sent a note to Secretary Knox stating: I think that with all the Navy activities, BUNAV might find something that colored enlistees could do in addition to the rating of messman; the navy's General Board, the group charged with the formulation of navy policy, countered with a suggestion that African Americans either be enlisted as messmen, or, "...if this proved not feasible," for general service.
The problem was that the navy believed that integrated units would disrupt discipline aboard ships ignoring the fact that integrated crews had worked aboard U. S. Navy ships during the American Civil War; the president responded, agreeing that "...to go the whole way in one fell swoop would impair the general average efficiency of the Navy," but still felt that something could be worked out. On 27 March 1942, the Board replied, "The General Board recognizes, appreciates the social and economic problems involved, has striven to reconcile these requirements with what it feels must be paramount at any consideration, namely the maintenance at the highest level of the fighting efficiency of the Navy...", adding that "...if so ordered.." Negro units could be used "...with least disadvantage..." in shore establishments, local defense vessels, construction units and selected Coast Guard cutters. On 7 April, the president'so ordered,' and the navy announced that—beginning on 1 June—Negroes could enlist for the general service.
As a result, the groundwork was laid for establishing African-American crews on USS Mason and USS PC-1264. White officer Lieutenant Eric S. Purdon served as PC-1264's commanding officer from her commissioning on 25 April 1944 until 17 September 1945, he was replaced by his engineering officer, Lieutenant Ernest V. Hardman, who served as skipper until 31 October 1945; the third commanding officer was Lieutenant Jack W. Sutherland who came aboard on 31 October and helped decommission PC-1264 on 7 February 1946. From that point, until PC-1264 was out of service, she was in the charge of African American Ensign Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Ensign Gravely had first reported aboard on 2 May 1945, and, at the time of the ship's decommissioning, was serving as her executive officer. PC-1264 was the first sailing assignment of future Admiral Gravely, the first African American to attain that rank. In addition to the all-white officer complement, until the day Ensign Gravely reported aboard, eight white navy Petty Officers, one in each specialty required on PC-1264, were assigned to the ship.
Their job was to train the African-American crew until Lt. Purdon considered some of the men expert enough in their specialty to rate promotion to petty officer. Months when eight African-American crewmen were promoted in their specialties, the white petty officers were transferred; this made PC-1264 the only U. S. Navy ship with a African-American crew, as USS Mason never replaced its white petty officers with African Americans. On 30 April 1944, after four days of intensive drills, PC-1264 went up the Hudson River to Iona Island to load ammunition for her guns for the first time. After loading, Lt. Purdon expected to moor there for the night, but was not allowed due to the danger from the large amount of ammunition stored there. Looking for a berth for the night, he called the duty office of the nearby U. S. Military Academy at West Point to ask if his ship could tie up at its pier. There was some confusion. However, PC-1264, with its African-American crew was made welcome, numerous visitors walked along the dock inspecting her.
In addition, the U. S. Army provided two buses, many of the enlisted crewmen were taken on a tour of the Academy under the guidance of knowledgeable sergeants. For PC-1264, a number of other U. S. Navy bases and towns where the ship moored during its tour of duty did not extend the same hospitality as West Point. In the southern United States, PC-1264's crew experienced various degrees of racial intolerance. For example, although most U. S. Navy seamen from nearby training facilities took their swimming t
USS PGM-18 was a PGM-9-class motor gunboat built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was built and commissioned as USS PC-1255, a PC-461-class submarine chaser, was decommissioned and converted in late 1944. USS PGM-18 struck a mine off the coast of Okinawa in April 1945. PC-1255 was built by the Luders Marine Construction Company in Connecticut, she was laid down on 29 September 1943 and launched on 23 January 1944. She was commissioned as USS PC-1255 on 1 September 1944, she was decommissioned in October 1944 and converted into a gunboat at the Dade Dry Docks Shipyard in Miami, Florida. She was recommissioned as USS PGM-18 on 18 December 1944, she was destroyed on 7 April 1945 after striking a mine and foundering off the coast of Okinawa during the Battle of Okinawa. After being commissioned as USS PC-1255, the subchaser received her captain, Lieutenant John C. Bigham, Jr. USNR, she spent the first month of duty receiving her crew, bringing on supplies, being inspected and inventoried.
On 16 September 1944, she set sail for the Naval Training Center in Miami, arriving there on the 19th. The next day PC-1255 received orders to report to the Dade Dry Docks Shipyard to undergo conversion from a submarine chaser into a patrol gunboat, her submarine hunting technology and antisubmarine weapons were replaced with six 20 mm, one twin 40 mm, one twin.50 cal machine guns and a 60mm mortar. She was decommissioned in October 1944 at the start of the conversion and recommissioned as USS PGM-18 when the conversion was finished on 18 December 1944. With her conversion complete, PGM-18 returned to the Naval Training Center to undergo shakedown training; the training lasted for two straight weeks of intense drills and exercises, excluding Christmas Day and New Years Day. With her training complete she spent the next several days getting her hull scrubbed clean and repainted. On 17 January 1945 she set out for San Diego, California via the Panama Canal, arriving there on 2 February. PGM-18 spent several days resupplying before dispatching to Pearl Harbor, arriving there on 14 February.
While at Pearl Harbor, the ship's captain, Lieutenant Bigham, broke his ankle and was replaced with Lieutenant Cyril Bayley, USNR. On 26 February, she set out for Eniwetok Atoll with fellow gunboat, USS PGM-29. On 28 February 1945, an unidentified ship approaching the pair of gunboats at an overtaking parallel course opened fire, firing two rounds which fell short; the unknown ship reversed course and attempts to contact her failed. PGM-18 monitored a radio message reporting a sighting of a submarine. PGM-18 proceeded to send out a message reporting that the submarine sighting was false and that they had been mistaken for a submarine. Due to the low profile of PGM gunboats and PC submarine chasers it was not uncommon for them to be misidentified as a submarine; the same ship overtook them and was revealed to be US Army freighter, SS Minot Victory. On 6 March 1945, the two gunboats arrived at Eniwetok. While anchored, PGM-29 was accidentally struck by Liberty ship SS John G. Tod. While she underwent repairs, PGM-18 proceeded without her to Guam and to Ulithi.
After a week of shoreleave, she proceeded to Kerama Retto, Ryukyu Islands with a group of YMS-1 class minesweepers. Throughout heavy kamikaze attacks during the Battle of Okinawa, PGM-18 and the minesweepers cleaned up Japanese mines at Kerama Retto and off the west coast of Okinawa; the minesweepers turned their attention to the waters of Nakagusuku Bay. PGM-18, while following behind YMS-103 and destroying mines she and other minesweepers cut loose and detonated a mine. Eyewitnesses on nearby ships reported that the explosion was so powerful they could see five feet of sunlight under her keel before she came back down into the water, rolled over, foundered. YMS-103, in an attempt to rescue survivors, struck two mines, blowing off her stem. Despite this, she was able to remain afloat. PGM-18 suffered thirteen dead or missing and YMS-103 suffered five killed and seven wounded; the survivors were picked up by other ships in the area. PGM-18 was only in service for 111 days before her destruction and received a battle star for her involvement in the Battle of Okinawa
The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale, classifies hurricanes – Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms – into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds. To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have one-minute maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph; the highest classification in the scale, Category 5, consists of storms with sustained winds over 156 mph. The classifications can provide some indication of the potential damage and flooding a hurricane will cause upon landfall; the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale is based on the highest average wind over a one-minute time span and used only to describe hurricanes that form in the Atlantic Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line. Other areas use different scales to label these storms, which are called cyclones or typhoons, depending on the area; these areas use three-minute or ten-minute averaged winds to determine the maximum sustained winds—which is an important difference and makes direct comparison with storms scaled with the Saffir–Simpson method difficult.
There is some criticism of the SSHWS for not accounting for rain, storm surge, other important factors, but SSHWS defenders say that part of the goal of SSHWS is to be straightforward and simple to understand. The scale was developed in 1971 by civil engineer Herbert Saffir and meteorologist Robert Simpson, who at the time was director of the U. S. National Hurricane Center; the scale was introduced to the general public in 1973, saw widespread use after Neil Frank replaced Simpson at the helm of the NHC in 1974. The initial scale was developed by Herbert Saffir, a structural engineer, who in 1969 went on commission for the United Nations to study low-cost housing in hurricane-prone areas. While conducting the study, Saffir realized there was no simple scale for describing the effects of a hurricane. Mirroring the utility of the Richter magnitude scale for describing earthquakes, he devised a 1–5 scale based on wind speed that showed expected damage to structures. Saffir gave the scale to the NHC, Simpson added the effects of storm surge and flooding.
In 2009, the NHC made moves to eliminate pressure and storm surge ranges from the categories, transforming it into a pure wind scale, called the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The new scale became operational on May 15, 2010; the scale excludes flood ranges, storm surge estimations and location, which means a Category 2 hurricane that hits a major city will do far more cumulative damage than a Category 5 hurricane that hits a rural area. The agency cited various hurricanes as reasons for removing the "scientifically inaccurate" information, including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ike, which both had stronger than estimated storm surges, Hurricane Charley, which had weaker than estimated storm surge. Since being removed from the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, storm surge predicting and modeling is now handled with the use of computer numerical models such as ADCIRC and SLOSH. In 2012, the NHC expanded the windspeed range for Category 4 by 1 mph in both directions, to 130–156 mph, with corresponding changes in the other units, instead of 131–155 mph.
The NHC and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center assign tropical cyclone intensities in 5 knot increments, convert to mph and km/h with a similar rounding for other reports. So an intensity of 115 kn is rated Category 4, but the conversion to miles per hour would round down to 130 mph, making it appear to be a Category 3 storm. An intensity of 135 kn is 250.02 km/h, according to the definition used before the change would be Category 5. To resolve these issues, the NHC had been obliged to incorrectly report storms with wind speeds of 115 kn as 135 mph, 135 kn as 245 km/h; the change in definition allows storms of 115 kn to be rounded down to 130 mph, storms of 135 kn to be reported as 250 km/h, still qualify as Category 4. Since the NHC had rounded incorrectly to keep storms in Category 4 in each unit of measure, the change does not affect the classification of storms from previous years; the new scale became operational on May 15, 2012. The scale separates hurricanes into five different categories based on wind.
The U. S. National Hurricane Center classifies hurricanes of Category 3 and above as major hurricanes, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center classifies typhoons of 150 mph or greater as super typhoons. Most weather agencies use the definition for sustained winds recommended by the World Meteorological Organization, which specifies measuring winds at a height of 33 ft for 10 minutes, taking the average. By contrast, the U. S. National Weather Service, Central Pacific Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center define sustained winds as average winds over a period of one minute, measured at the same 33 ft height, and, the definition used for this scale. Intensity of example hurricanes is from both the time of the maximum intensity; the scale is logarithmic in wind speed, the top wind speed for Category “c” can be expressed as 83×10 miles per hour rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 – except that after the change mentioned above, Category 4 is now widened by 1 mph in each direction and that the
USS PC-496 was a PC-461-class submarine chaser built for the United States Navy during World War II. She sank on 4 June 1943, in the Mediterranean. Although the cause was speculated as a naval mine at the time of her sinking, it was revealed that PC-496 had been sunk by an Italian submarine. PC-496 was built by Leathem D. Smith Coal and Shipbuilding Co. in Sturgeon Bay, being laid down on 24 April 1941. She was commissioned on 26 February 1942 at New Orleans, Louisiana, she was assigned to the European Theater of Operations where she was destroyed by an Italian torpedo off the coast of Bizerte, Tunisia, on 4 June 1943. After PC-496 was built in Sturgeon Bay, she traversed the Mississippi River to New Orleans where she received her commission and captain, Lieutenant James S. Dowdell, USNR. PC-496 underwent a brief training period at the Subchaser Training Center in Miami, before she was reassigned to convoy duties running out of Norfolk, Virginia, her area of operation expanded to include escorting oil tankers between New York City and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where British Royal Navy frigates would escort them the rest of the way to Recife, Brazil.
PC-496 continued escorting convoys until she was tasked with escorting a convoy of LCIs to North Africa in April 1943. Upon arriving in North Africa she first made port in Beni Saf, before moving east to Mers-el-Kebir and to Arzew. PC-496 set out from Arzew towards Bizerte. On 4 June 1943, eight miles from Bizerte, a massive explosion ripped through the hull of PC-496 and she foundered in under a minute. Five members of the crew were killed in subsequent foundering of the ship; the surviving crew members were rescued by allied ships in the area and transported to the American-occupied French naval base at La Pecherie, at Lake Bizerte, Tunisia. The Navy reported that the cause of PC-496's foundering was due to underwater explosions or a single blast; the surviving crewmen remember it as a single explosion and believed it to most have been caused by an underwater mine. However, several years Second Class Yeoman Carter Barber, on board PC-496 at the time, heard that the explosion was caused by a torpedo fired from an Italian submarine, the commander of which had mistaken PC-496 for a destroyer, being court-martialed for wasting a torpedo on such a small ship
Ceremonial ship launching
Ceremonial ship launching is the process of transferring a vessel to the water. It is a naval tradition in many cultures, it has been observed as a solemn blessing. Ship launching imposes stresses on the ship not met during normal operation, in addition to the size and weight of the vessel, it represents a considerable engineering challenge as well as a public spectacle; the process involves many traditions intended to invite good luck, such as christening by breaking a sacrificial bottle of champagne over the bow as the ship is named aloud and launched. There are three principal methods of conveying a new ship from building site to water, only two of which are called "launching"; the oldest, most familiar, most used is the end-on launch, in which the vessel slides down an inclined slipway stern first. With the side launch, the ship enters the water broadside; this method came into use in the 19th-century on inland waters and lakes, was more adopted during World War II. The third method is float-out, used for ships that are built in basins or dry docks and floated by admitting water into the dock.
If launched in a restrictive waterway drag chains are used to slow the ship speed to prevent it striking the opposite bank. Ways are arranged perpendicular to the shore line and the ship is built with its stern facing the water. Where the launch takes place into a narrow river, the building slips may be at a shallow angle rather than perpendicular though this requires a longer slipway when launching. Modern slipways take the form of a reinforced concrete mat of sufficient strength to support the vessel, with two "barricades" that extend well below the water level taking into account tidal variations; the barricades support the two launch ways. The vessel is built upon temporary cribbing, arranged to give access to the hull's outer bottom and to allow the launchways to be erected under the complete hull; when it is time to prepare for launching, a pair of standing ways is erected under the hull and out onto the barricades. The surface of the ways is greased. A pair of sliding ways is placed on top, under the hull, a launch cradle with bow and stern poppets is erected on these sliding ways.
The weight of the hull is transferred from the build cribbing onto the launch cradle. Provision is made to hold the vessel in place and release it at the appropriate moment in the launching ceremony. On launching, the vessel slides backwards down the slipway on the ways; some slipways is launched sideways. This is done where the limitations of the water channel would not allow lengthwise launching, but occupies a much greater length of shore; the Great Eastern designed by Brunel was built this way as were many landing craft during World War II. This method requires many more sets of ways to support the weight of the ship. Sometimes ships are launched using a series of inflated tubes underneath the hull, which deflate to cause a downward slope into the water; this procedure has the advantages of requiring less permanent infrastructure and cost. The airbags provide support to the hull of the ship and aid its launching motion into the water, thus this method is arguably safer than other options such as sideways launching.
These airbags are cylindrical in shape with hemispherical heads at both ends. The Xiao Qinghe shipyard launched a tank barge with marine airbags on January 20, 1981, the first known use of marine airbags. A Babylonian narrative dating from the 3rd millennium BC describes the completion of a ship: Openings to the water I stopped. Egyptians and Romans called on their gods to protect seamen. Favor was evoked from the monarch of the seas—Poseidon in Greek mythology, Neptune in Roman mythology. Ship launching participants in ancient Greece wreathed their heads with olive branches, drank wine to honor the gods, poured water on the new vessel as a symbol of blessing. Shrines were carried on board Greek and Roman ships, this practice extended into the Middle Ages; the shrine was placed at the quarterdeck, an area which continues to have special ceremonial significance. Different peoples and cultures shaped the religious ceremonies surrounding a ship launching. Jews and Christians customarily used wine and water as they called upon God to safeguard them at sea.
Intercession of the saints and the blessing of the church were asked by Christians. Ship launchings in the Ottoman Empire were accompanied by prayers to Allah, the sacrifice of sheep, appropriate feasting. Chaplain Henry Teonge of Britain's Royal Navy left an interesting account of a warship launch, a "briganteen of 23 oars," by the Knights of Malta in 1675: Two friars and an attendant went into the vessel, kneeling down prayed halfe an houre, layd their hands on every mast, other places of the vessel, sprinkled her all over with holy water, they came out and hoysted a pendent to signify she was a man of war. The liturgical aspects of ship christenings, or baptisms, continued in Catholic countries, while the Reformation seems to have put a stop to them for a time in Protestant Europe. By the 17th century, for example, English launchings were secular affairs; the christening party for the launch of the
USS PGM-17 was a PGM-9-class motor gunboat built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was laid down and launched as USS PC-1189, a PC-461-class submarine chaser, but was renamed and reclassified before her November 1944 commissioning, she ran aground near Okinawa in May 1945. She was salvaged a month but was never repaired, she was towed to deep water and sunk in October 1945. PC-1189 was laid down on 10 August 1943 and launched 14 April 1944, she was renamed and reclassified PGM-17, a PGM-9 gunboat on 16 August 1944. She was assigned to the Pacific theater. USS PGM-17 participated in the assault and occupation of Okinawa between 25 March and 4 May 1945 before striking a reef, she was beached at Agana Ura. She was decommissioned on 2 June 1945. USS PGM-17 was disposed of by sinking off the coast of Kerama Retta in October 1945. After her commission, PGM-17 was sent to the Pacific theater and was involved in the Battle of Okinawa. During the first days of the battle, PGM-17 spotted and destroyed several Japanese mines with small arms fire.
On the first day of the ground invasion of Okinawa, on 1 April 1945, PGM-17 shot down a Japanese Aicha "Val" dive bomber. PGM-17 spent the month of April and the beginning of May scouting and destroying mines, offering assistance to disabled and damaged ships, running supplies, fending off kamikaze attacks. On 4 May 1945, USS PGM-17 ran. A salvage tug arrived a few hours and prepared to tow the ship. At first, the hull had no damage, but as high waves caused PGM-17 to relentlessly bash into the reef, it became clear that salvaging the ship was unlikely. On 5 May, Lieutenant Edwin L. Williams Jr. ordered all hands to abandon ship. The salvage attempt was abandoned due to rough waters. On 7 May 1945, salvage ship USS Deliver began salvaging PGM-17. Deliver spent five days patching the hull. However, Deliver was called off to assist USS Hugh W. Hadley, struck by three kamikaze aircraft, it wasn't until two weeks that LCI-738 began salvaging PGM-17 on 27 May 1945. After two weeks of salvage work, PGM-17 was pulled off the reef on 9 June 1945, spending over a month stranded on the reef.
Despite heavy kamikaze attacks throughout the region, PMG-17 managed to go the entire time without taking enemy fire. On 9 June 1945, USS PGM-17 was towed to the Agono Urn Cove on Zamami Shima where she was grounded on shallow water. On 2 July, she was decommissioned and left until October 1945 when she was towed out to deep waters and sunk