��Popular Science Monthly
��Major Evans — They have heavy lino- leum coverings. When we go below you'll notice two curious things: rough paint on the bulkheads and magazines and gaily striped bands on piping wherever we go.
Landlubber — What's the reason?
Major Evans — The rough paint is broken cork mixed in a sticky paint. The cork prevents the steel from "sweat- ing" and helps keep
��the magazines and ammunition pas- sages at a more nor- mal temperature. The piping has the colored bands so that the leads of the piping can be fol- lowed to expedite repairs. Steam has a black and white band, salt-water green and black; fresh water is lead and black; and ven- tilation piping has yellow and black.
Landlubber— What are those plugs in the ends of the guns with the five-pointed stars in the center?
Major Evans — Tompions. They keep spray from dashing into the muzzles and rusting the bores.
Landlubber — What other guns does she carry?
Major Evans — Twenty five-inch guns on the broadsides for defense against tor- pedo attacks at night; four semi-automatic three-inch anti-aircraft or "sky" guns mounted on special platforms; four six- pounder saluting guns amidships and three- inch field pieces for landing purposes.
There are only three kinds of guns in the Navy: the turret guns running from eight to fourteen inches; the intermediates running from four to seven inches; and the smaller or secondary guns running from three inches down to automatics that fire rifle ammunition.
Landlubber — How many officers and men would be on board in a battle?
Major Evans — In round numbers, one thousand, of whom about forty would be
��officers. A flagship would have ten or twelve more officers. Each ship has its captain, executive, gunnery, navigating, engineer, first lieutenant, medical, pay and marine officers. Most of these have one or more assistants. The size of the crew is based on the number needed to fight, navi- gate, keep the ship at full speed through a protracted battle, feed the crew, attend the wounded, fight fires, make repairs and keep the fire control
���The sailor's private wardrobe is a canvas bag which is cleaned and inspected every few days
��and communications going.
Landlubber — When a ship goes into battle does she carry her boats to take off the crew in case she is sunk?
Major Evans — When a ship leaves port for impending battle she is stripped of most of her boats. The ones left on board are stowed on deck and lashed with canvas to keep down splinters. All wooden gear except the mess tables and benches are re- moved, and they go overboard before the fighting begins. All inflammable or splinter- producing equipment is either stored ashore or throwr overboard except the mattresses of the sick bay. Stanchions and davits are stowed, and the life lines on deck are removed. Ir battle practice all these articles are eithei marked "store" or "overboard."
Landlubber — But what becomes of the crew with so few boats available ?
Major Evans — If the ship sinks they trust to life preservers, wreckage and rescue by other ships. Otherwise it's Davy Jones' locker.
Landlubber — Where does the crew live? Major Evans — On the two decks below. The compartment in which a man slings his hammock is his home. Here he keeps his sea bag, ditty-box, and rifle. He eats there and is stationed at the compartment's gun. When not at mess the tables and benches are slung up above. The Government sup- plies an excellent ration, and the officers pay for all their food and other supplies.