Radio Tubes and Melting Wax Bases
May 2008 Last month a set of radio room photos was posted. Recently added to that set is a segment of an article from tube collector describing a problem with the radio equipment: the temperature in the radio room was sometimes so high that the wax used in the base of the radio tubes would melt, resulting in the tube being stuck in place.
May 2008 Among the issues addressed in developing the chaser fleet was armament. As with the changes in models of deck guns - early photos showing Hotchkiss and Davis models, while the "standard" gun was to be the Poole 3"/23 caliber deck gun - there were multiple models of machine guns mounted on chasers.
In most of the photos that show deck guns mounted on stanchions on the bridge wings, a Colt machine gun is shown. However the Lewis machine gun was the superior weapon, and some photos show Lewis guns instead of the Colt.
This document, a pre-typed ordinance, material and ammunition inventory form, filled in to show inventory on subchaser SC 93 in September 1918, shows the chaser carrying two Lewis guns.
Extra Signal Lights
May 2008 A document scan recently posted, "Preliminary Orders and Notes on Communications," helps explain an unusual device shown in a few chaser photos.
This photo of SC 90 shows the device, an add-on light unit attached to the bearing indicator.
The document indicates that, at the time the document was circulated, recognition signals were being sent using the lights on the bearing indicator, and orders had been given to install twin lights instead of the single lights at the tip and feather of the bearing indicator. Very few photos show this device. My guess is that the idea of using the bearing indicator for this purpose was abandoned in favor of using the mast/truck lights (which were used for various different kinds of night time signals).
Vol. 4, No. 5, May 2008
My thanks to the Maine Maritime Museum for inviting me to speak at the 36th Annual Maritime History Symposium in April, on life on a WWI chaser. It was a real pleasure, both presenting and meeting other attendees, and the staff are top-notch both in their knowledge and in being very kind and dedicated people.
If you're in Bath, Maine, the museum is a great place to spend a chunk of a day. Having spent a fair amount of time preparing for the conference, I spent proportionally less time posting new content. But while I'm no closer to "caught up" with the collections I'm working on posting, there are some interesting new items, and as always, more to come!
--Todd Woofenden, editor