The Dreadnought Project Forum Index The Dreadnought Project
Naval History in the years 1890-1920
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   Reg1sterReg1ster 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

They really are smaller than they look in the movies

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Dreadnought Project Forum Index -> Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Iain



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:42 pm    Post subject: They really are smaller than they look in the movies Reply with quote

These photos are all now rather old, and my camera has died so I have not been able to take more.







It is a World War II LCVP, commonly known as a Higgins Boat, after the guy that designed the bottom of the hull. I am helping to restore it at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. This particular boat is owned by the First Division Museum of Wheaton, Ill. It was found in France and purchased by a company in West Virginia; they moved it to England and then sold it to the First Division Museum. Dr. Paul Fontenoy, my boss over at the museum, bid on the restoration.

Each one of these boats could hold 36 soldiers or a jeep. The 1/4" steal armour along the sides was capable of stopping or deflecting oblique shots and shrapnel, but little else.

Seeing one of these things in person makes me appreciate how crammed they really were.



My project has been removal and restoration of the steering gear.



The top of the image is amidships, right is aft, left is forward, down is the port side.

Just above the exhaust pipe in this photo is the main rudder shaft, with the link to the secondary rudder running forward. This link consists of an iron bar with bronze fittings at each end. There is a large bell crank on the main rudder shaft, just below where the rudder shaft connects to the shaft from the steering quadrant. Below the bell crank is the stuffing box. The bell crank is bronze with threaded steel rod embedded in the casting on one side of the shaft and a threaded hole on the other. This allows a half round steel casting to clamp the whole assemble to the shaft.

The rudder shaft itself is a solid bronze casting about 20" long and weighing around 30 lbs. The stuffing box is a heavy casting of as yet unknown material (I haven't cleaned it yet) that supports the rudder and secures it to the keel. Four half-inch bronze bolts go through the stuffing box, keel, a canvas gasket, and a bottom plate secure everything together. The rudder shaft goes through a tube, threaded at one end, that is cast integral to the bracket. A bronze cap screws on the threaded (top) end and holds the stuffing around the rudder shaft.

The crank for the secondary rudder has the only ID numbers thus far found, along with a US centered on an anchor. It also is a solid bronze casting.

It is interesting to note that many of the bolts bear evidence of having been sand cast and then cleaned up by hand on a lathe. Here is first hand evidence of the work of "Rosie the Riveter."

It is also interesting to note that the bronze is a lighter colour than usual, almost looking like brass. There is some speculation that a wartime shortage of copper led to a mixture with a lower percentage.

So, how many of you have actually been able to work on the real thing?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tone
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 479
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iain, that's very cool! It needs a lot of work.

tone
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Iain



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:28 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

I have to gloat about my work a little here; all bronze that will follow I cleaned.




The maneauvering rudder had to go in before the prop shaft.




Crank to connect maneauvering rudder to main rudder.


Sheave for steering cables, one of two I have restored (thus far).


False bottom on the bow that made the Higgins (and forerunner Eurika) boats good for what they did.


Skeg looking aft.


Another view of my lovely prop.


_________________
John H. Dulaney
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MarkD



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How big is the propeller on that? It barely looks big enough to do anything!!
_________________
Ship's Historian. USS King (DLG-10/DDG-41) Association
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Iain



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember correctly, the prop is a little less than two feet in diameter.
_________________
John H. Dulaney
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Iain



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully I can get photos tomorrow of the nearly complete LCVP. Todays work was mounting of most of the remaining steering gear. The rudder shaft, cable, and fairleads have all been replaced. The original shaft was bent to one side and twisted around 45 degrees when some Frenchman hit something rather hard.

In truth, it is rather exciting to see six months of work this close to completion.
_________________
John H. Dulaney
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Iain



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full galery:
http://picasaweb.google.com/jhdulaney/WWIIHigginsBoatRestoration

















This has been a most interesting project, and I am glad I have had the opportunity to work on a piece of history.
_________________
John H. Dulaney
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tone
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 479
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks great. I wonder, though, if they ever looked this pristine?

tone
[/i]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Iain



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tone wrote:
It looks great. I wonder, though, if they ever looked this pristine?

tone
[/i]

Remember the Navy axiom: "If it moves, salute it, if it doesn't, paint it." It certainly applys here. Also keep in mind that these things were largely disposable, and as such probably still looked pretty much factory fresh until the invasion.
_________________
John H. Dulaney
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Dreadnought Project Forum Index -> Discussion All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group