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The primary mission of the Gunnery Department was to destroy any target objective, land, sea or air.  Firing the guns required the coordinated effort of several hundred crew.  The principal responsibility for maintaining the guns fell on the Gunner's Mates, who were typically part of the 7 different topside, or deck divisions.  Every recruit learned to load the 5"38 at boot camp, and every crewmember, from Captain to mess cook, could be called upon to "man the guns".

The actual aiming and firing of the guns was the responsibility of the Fire Control Technicians (Fox Division), who used both optical sighting and radar for target acquisition.  In the case of a loss of the primary fire control director, control could be switched to another director or even given to the mount itself, which had pointer (elevation) and trainer (bearing) controls on the mount.

Many skills were brought into play.  Maintaining the gun mounts and turrets required knowledge of mechanics, electrical, & hydraulic systems.  Maintain the fire control equipment called on skills in electronics and analog computer systems.   We all chipped paint, cleaned, lubricated, and otherwise kept the gear ready to thunder.

This section is underdevelopment, but we won't keep you waiting forever.
Check back often to see what's happening.
In the meantime... CREW: Send me your Gunnery and Fire Control photos
and yarns.  Email:


Home of the Fire Control Technicians!

Our primary AA battery!

Sorry, we don't have any 5 inch stuff ready yet... send me some!

Here's your chance to see a plotting room!


Nearby Whitehall, New York, was the
birthplace of the U.S. Navy!