USS Scorpion

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  • wlambing
    Commander
    • Nov 2020
    • 296

    #16
    That was something that happened in the early 70's. Kept the bad guys from knowing who was in port and who was gone. The numbers inport didn't come back until around 1990-ish. By then when used, the numbers were some kind of portable thing, like giant 'fridge magnets, that didn't require actual painting. You had to be careful how they were stored while underway, as they would lose their stick and be useless the next time around. Fun stuff!!! That's also why a lot of photos have the numbers in the wrong location on the sail.

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    • He Who Shall Not Be Named
      Moderator
      • Aug 2008
      • 12456

      #17
      Originally posted by wlambing
      That was something that happened in the early 70's. Kept the bad guys from knowing who was in port and who was gone. The numbers inport didn't come back until around 1990-ish. By then when used, the numbers were some kind of portable thing, like giant 'fridge magnets, that didn't require actual painting. You had to be careful how they were stored while underway, as they would lose their stick and be useless the next time around. Fun stuff!!! That's also why a lot of photos have the numbers in the wrong location on the sail.
      Not only that. A directive came from God-knows-where to the Fleets boats to not only omit the hull numbers, but to also grind flush all the weld 'cheat marks' that told ships company were to paint the white hull numbers and boats name (at the stern)!

      Satellite imagery is that good?????? Anyway, as a leading seaman, which made me a deck slave, I was glad to have that particular painting chore done away with.

      David
      Who is John Galt?

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      • Davjacva
        Commander
        • Nov 2022
        • 267

        #18
        Originally posted by BWRIGHT
        when did the navy stop painting numbers and names on the boats?
        Operational submarines only had the numbers displayed during initial sea trials and ceremonies so everyone can get their photos, after that they're blacked out. I'm pretty sure this was during WWII, but not sure. I would highly think they wouldn't have their numbers displayed. Submarines are incredibly difficult to see even when you know they're there. Prior to commissioning, like Merriman was talking about with the welded on hull number. After commissioning, these got ground down, so afterward, it was an in-exact science as to how big or where the numbers were placed on the sail (You'd not see them on the sides of the bow anymore), and it was usually cut-out white placards taped down, but sometimes you'd see them painted. This is absolutely not a stupid question, as on my first sub I asked our COB (had 34 years in since the early 50's) and our Weps Master Chief (28 years since the early 60's) and neither of them could answer this same question.

        Every boat I was on had a portable placard made of some high-grade wood like teak that hung on the side of the sub while in port. It's supposed to be treated with Tung oil, but the sub's manufacturer would supply it with a plastic coating which had to come off for obvious reasons. Additionally, you would also have a banner with the hull number and ship's name and symbol on it for the brow. It sucked royally if the sub didn't have the banner on the brow back in the day. We had 34 subs in Norfolk and I was usually on about 3-4 a day and they were parked on four 1000ft piers. If you couldn't tell 688's apart, you'd do a lot of walking.

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