The Massive Work That Goes Into Remodeling an Old Aircraft Carrier

from Wired Magazine 

by Kathertine Kornri



F/A-18C Hornets assigned to the Vigilantes of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 fly in formation above the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Official US Navy Photo


AIRCRAFT CARRIERS ARE complicated. They’re floating cities and mobile airbases, housing thousands of sailors and airmen, tens of aircraft, multiple nuclear reactors, and their own hospitals, barbershops, chapels, and zip codes. Carriers support defense and humanitarian efforts worldwide and can travel upwards of 100,000 nautical miles each year. Each United States aircraft carrier—there are 10 in active service—is designed to last 50 years. But the only way they get there is with a massive remodeling effort conducted once in the middle of its lifespan to update its technology and infrastructure.

Because “remodeling” is a term more often applied to home kitchens and bathrooms, the multi-year, multi-billion dollar process of modernizing the ship and readying it for at least two more decades of service is called Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH).

US Navy sailors and shipyard workers work together to update, clean, and restore nearly every square foot of a carrier: They refuel the nuclear reactors, overhaul living spaces, replace catapult systems used to launch aircraft, and repaint the hull, among other things.

In 2013, the ship was placed in drydock in Newport News, Virginia, the same shipyard that laid down its keel in 1984. “We have dozens of shipbuilders that worked on Lincoln during new construction 25 years ago who are working on the RCOH. These shipbuilders have a level of expertise and a bond with the ship that you cannot find anywhere else in the world,” says Bruce Easterson, construction director of Newport News Shipbuilding.”‘

the rest of the article is here:


150827-N-IJ275-015  NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Aug. 27, 2015) Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Casey Boatner participates in pipe patching training aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Abraham Lincoln is undergoing a refueling and complex overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ciarra C. Thibodeaux/Released)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Aug. 27, 2015) Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Casey Boatner participates in pipe patching training aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Abraham Lincoln is undergoing a refueling and complex overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ciarra C. Thibodeaux/Released)


Collision Course with a Hurricane: How Doomed US Ship Met its End


SS El Faro

from Marine Link webzine:
“The ill-fated U.S.-flagged El Faro cargo ship sunk by Hurricane Joaquin was sailing at near full speed into the center of the storm before it lost propulsion amid mountainous waves and brutal winds, according to ship tracking data.

The data on Thomson Reuters Eikon raises questions about the ship owner’s assertion that the vessel’s captain had chosen a “sound plan” to pass around Joaquin “with a margin of comfort” but was then thwarted by engineering problems. It shows that even before the ship lost power it was in stormy waters that many mariners interviewed said they would never have entered.

After reviewing the data, Klaus Luhta, a former ship’s officer and chief of staff at the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, went silent for a moment as he contemplated what has been called the worst cargo shipping disaster involving a U.S.-flagged vessel in more than 30 years.

“I don’t know what he was thinking – I can’t even speculate,” said Luhta in a telephone interview. “He headed right into the track.”

You can read the rest of the story by clicking here:

The U-Boats Are Out! German Film Poster from 1917


uboat heraus

poster and description courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

“This German film poster publicises a version of the first U-boat propaganda film released by Bufa (Königliche Bild- und Film-Amt) early in 1917. Widespread stories of the exploits of the auxiliary cruiser/commerce raider ‘Möwe’ had alerted the German public to the abilities of this new marine technology. Erdt’s poster design offers the U-boat commander as a new kind of hero who is in control of his vessel and of the battle, manipulating events from a hidden underwater perspective. In fact, the majority of confrontations occurred when the submarine was on the surface. Submarine technology was not advanced and the vessels could not stay underwater for long periods. This and the shorter version of the film (‘Ein Besuch bei unseren Blaujacken’) paved the way for the extraordinary film ‘Der magische Gürtel’, promoting the effectiveness of submarine warfare to both the German public and to audiences in friendly and neutral countries. Hans Rudi Erdt designed a number of film posters for Bufa which exhibit a confident graphic expertise. In common with German poster designers of the period he combines hand-drawn lettering and bold areas of flat colour, integrating image and text into one message. This particular poster, where the ‘U’ is both part of the text and fundamental to the design, is an elegant example of his work.”

“Image: Within the shape of a large black letter ‘U’ emerge the head and shoulders of a U-boat commander, identified by his cap and jacket, who peers into the sights of a periscope toward the right of the poster. Beneath and beyond the ‘U’ shape are grey waves. On the horizon is the dark outline of a ship, broken in two and sinking, a cloud of white smoke rising from the wreck. Behind it can be traced the pale outline of another vessel. text: U BOOTE HERAUS! [The U-boats are out!] H R ERDT. Hollerbaum & Schmidt, Berlin.”

“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…”


Dec. 7, 1941: This captured Japanese photograph was taken aboard a Japanese aircraft carrier before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (US National Archives)


In the articles and online discussions over the anniversary of the atom bomb being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US, no one seems to mention the following:

The Japanese attacked the United States. Not the other way around. 

“On December 7, 1941, the Japanese military launched a surprise attack on the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii…”

“The Japanese planned to give the U.S. a declaration of war before the attack began
so they would not violate the first article of the Hague Convention of 1907, but the message was
delayed and not relayed to U.S. officials in Washington until the attack was already in progress….”

“The Japanese strike force consisted of 353 aircraft launched from four heavy carriers. These
included 40 torpedo planes, 103 level bombers, 131 dive-bombers, and 79 fighters. The attack
also consisted of two heavy cruisers, 35 submarines, two light cruisers, nine oilers, two
battleships, and 11 destroyers….”


USS W.VA aflame

Dec. 7, 1941: The USS West Virginia is aflame after the surprise attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (US National Archives)
The attack killed 2,403 U.S. personnel, including 68 civilians, wounded 1,178 including 38 civilians and destroyed or damaged 19 U.S. Navy ships, including 8 battleships…

The battleship USS Arizona remains sunken in Pearl Harbor with its crew on-board. Half of the dead at Pearl Harbor were on the Arizona. A United States flag flies above the sunken
battleship, which serves as a memorial to all Americans who died in the attack….

On December 8, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Congress for and received a declaration of war against Japan. On December 11, Germany and Italy, allied with Japan, declared war on the U.S. The United States had entered World War II.”


“Eight US B-29 crewmen were killed by un-anaesthetised vivisection carried out in front of medical students at a hospital. Their stomachs, hearts, lungs and brain segments were removed. (1944)


The Biblical Verse is Hosea 8:7, King James Version of the Bible

information quoted on Pearl Harbour from:

Queen Elizabeth II, senior royals mark 75th anniversary Battle of Britain


Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, fourth left, waves beside from left, Sophie Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward, Prince William and her husband Prince Philip after they watched a Royal Air Force flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain from a balcony at Buckingham Palace, in London, Friday, July 10, 2015. On July 10, 1940, during World War II, the Battle of Britain began as the Luftwaffe started attacking southern England. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II and other royals have watched from the balcony of Buckingham Palace balcony as vintage aircraft flew overhead to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Spitfires and Hurricanes from World War II flew along with modern counterparts Friday as six elderly veteran pilots joined the royals for the ceremony.

The 10th of July is widely viewed as the start of the famous air battle because of a series of Luftwaffe attacks on shipping convoys off the British coast on that day in 1940.

The British eventually beat back the German air forces, dealing the Nazis their first significant defeat.
The queen was joined by her husband, Prince Philip, her sons Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, grandson Prince William and other royals on the balcony.

posted by author Charles McCain

AVRO Lancasters Best RAF Strategic Bomber of World War Two






AVRO Lancaster

photo above from the official  Royal Air Force history site which you can below. At the end of the post I have put the long description and details from their site.

“Born out of the failure that was the Manchester, the Lancaster has become the one bomber most associated with the RAF night offensive over Germany.” RAF



Avro Lancasters of No. 50 Squadron (No. 5 Group), based at Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire, UK. These wartime aircraft carry the exhaust shrouds intended to conceal the exhaust flames from night fighters

Lancaster B Mark Is of No 50 Squadron, Royal Air Force, based at Skellingthorpe, flying in spread formation. The two aircraft beyond the wing tip are ‘VN-D’ and ‘VN-J’ the former, serial number JA899, was missing on the night of 24 – 25 June 1944 with Pilot Officer L G Peters and crew.

Official RAF photo Imperial War Museum


A Royal Air Force Avro Lancaster I (s/n NG128, coded “SR-B”) of No. 101 Sqn out of Ludford Magna and flown by Fg Off R.B. Tibbs as part of a thousand-bomber raid, dropping its load over Duisburg, Germany, on 14-15 October 1944. Note the large aerials on top of the Lancaster´s fuselage, indicating that the aricraft is carrying ‘Airborne Cigar’ (ABC), a jamming device which disrupted enemy radio telephone channels. Over 2,000 sorties were dispatched to the city of Duisburg during 14-15 October 1944, in order to to demonstrate the RAF Bomber Command’s overwhelming superiority in German skies (“Operation Hurricane”). Left image: the Lancaster releases bundles of ‘Window’ over the target during a special daylight raid on Duisburg. Right image: a fraction of a second later, the aircraft releases the main part of its load, a 4000lb HC “cookie” and 108 30lb “J” incendiaries.

Official RAF Photo courtesy Imperial War Museum


Three Avro Lancaster B.Is of No. 44 Squadron, Royal Air Force, based at Waddington, Lincolnshire (UK), flying above the clouds. Left to right: W4125,`KM-W’, being flown by Sergeant Colin Watt, Royal Australian Air Force; W4162,`KM-Y’, flown by Pilot Officer T.G. Hackney (later killed while serving with No. 83 Squadron); and W4187,`KM-S’, flown by Pilot Officer J.D.V.S. Stephens DFM, who was killed with his crew two nights later during a raid on Wismar.

Official RAF Photo IWM


Sergeant H H Turkentine, the bomb aimer on board an Avro Lancaster B Mark I of No. 57 Squadron RAF, at his position in the nose of the aircraft. Sergeant Turkentine were killed with the rest of the crew of Lancaster R5894 ‘ DX-T’ (“T for Tommy”) when it collided with high tension cables near Scampton upon returning from a raid on Berlin in the early morning of 2 March 1943.

Official RAF Photo courtesy Imperial War Museum


Flying Officer J B Burnside, the flight engineer on board an Avro Lancaster B Mark III of No. 619 Squadron RAF based at Coningsby, Lincolnshire, checks settings on the control panel from his seat in the cockpit.

Official RAF Photo courtesy Imperial War Museum


Flight -Sergeant J Morgan, the rear gunner of an Avro Lancaster of No 630 Squadron RAF at East Kirkby, Lincolnshire, checks his guns in the Nash & Thompson FN120 tail turret before taking off on a night raid on the marshalling yards at Juvisy-sur-Orge, France.

Official RAF Photo courtesy Imperial War Museum


The bomb load used for industrial demolition (Bomber Command executive codeword ‘Abnormal’), loaded in the bomb-bay of an Avro Lancaster of No. 9 Squadron RAF at Bardney, Lincolnshire, before a night raid on Stettin, Germany. ‘Abnormal’ consisted of 14 x 1,000-lb MC high-explosive bombs.

Official RAF Photo courtesy Imperial War Museum

Lancaster in flight RAF history

Lancasters in flight

official RAF photograph

From the official history site of the Royal Air Force. The link appears above.

“When it became clear to Avro’s Chief Designer, Roy Chadwick, in 1938 that the new Rolls Royce Vulture engines intended for the Manchester were suffering from a lack of development, the company set about revising the design to include an additional pair of engines, preferably the well-proven Merlin. As a matter of fact, so dire was the Manchester situation that the Ministry of Aircraft production seriously considered scrapping the production line at the Avro factory at Newton Heath in Manchester after its contract for 200 Manchesters had been completed, and switch to the rival Handley Page design, the Halifax. Fortunately, the plan never came to fruition and Avro was allowed to continue development of the Manchester III (the name Lancaster had not yet been chosen).

In September 1940, a contract was signed with Avro for two prototype aircraft, the first of which was to fly within four months. To do this, Avro was to use as many existing Manchester components as possible to reduce cost and the timescale. Within a month, Avro had had prepared the requisite technical drawings for the Lancaster and things progressed smoothly with the first flight being made on 9 January 1941. The first aircraft was very much a hybrid design, and a more representative aircraft followed in May 1941. The second prototype had larger tail fins, a new undercarriage and improved Merlin engines and the true potential of the aircraft could now be tested. Test flying continued throughout the summer and the first production Lancaster I was flown on the last day of October 1941.

The first Lancaster squadron was No 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, based at Waddington and commanded by Wing Commander RAB Learoyd VC and deliveries commenced on Christmas Eve 1941. Shortly after, No 97 Squadron traded in its Hampdens for Lancasters and both units commenced their operational work-up. By May 1942, No 44 Squadron was ready for operations and during the night of 10th/11th March 1942, a number of its aircraft took part in a raid on Essen.

Barely a month later, Lancasters from both Nos 44 and 97 Squadrons, had carried out a daring, low-level daylight attack on the MAN diesel engine factory at Augsburg, deep in Germany. A number of diversionary raids in northern France partially failed to draw enemy fighters away from the Lancaster’s route further south and as result four aircraft from the twelve involved were shot down before reaching the target. The remaining aircraft successfully attacked, with a number of direct hits being achieved, but three further aircraft failed to return. Only one aircraft of the six despatched from No 44 Squadron survived – that of Squadron Leader JD Nettleton, the squadron commander. For his leadership, Nettleton was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Throughout the remainder of 1942, the transition to Lancasters in Bomber Command was relatively slow, but the increase in the total tonnage of bombs in operations was increasing rapidly because of the ability of the Lancaster to carry bombs greater than the 4,000lb High Capacity (the only aircraft that could do so).

Lancaster bombers
One of the new Lancaster squadrons, No 106, was frequently chosen to carry out a number of high-risk attacks. It’s leader was Guy Penrose Gibson and early in 1943, Gibson was chosen to recruit the best Bomber Command pilots available to form a new, elite squadron in No 5 Group to perform one very daring attack. Gibson chose as many pilots as possible from his old squadron and made up the rest with many he had previously flown with who had since joined other squadrons.

The new recruits were told to report to Scampton but given no clue as to why they had been picked and what lay ahead for them. In the weeks that followed, the crews were ordered to carry out as much low flying as possible and an identity for the new squadron chosen – No 617. Finally, in May 1943 the reason for the enormous amount of low-level flying was revealed to the crews – three dams in the heart of the Ruhr that would, it was believed, bring the industrial reason to a halt if they could be breached. More information will appear elsewhere in the site about No 617 Squadron’s daring raid on the dams in May 1943, but suffice to say that no similar raid has ever been attempted since, and the success of the operation, despite the great bravery of the crews involved, failed to live up to expectations of the ‘boffins’ who had dreamt the plan up.

No 617 Squadron was not disbanded, and remained as part of No 5 Group for the remainder of the war for highly-specialised attacks, culminating in the use of the incredible 12,000lb ‘Tallboy’ and 22,000lb ‘Grand Slam’ attacks on the ever-elusive Tirpitz (which was finally sunk in late-1944) and the destruction of a number of important bridges in Germany during the final months of World War II.

Elsewhere in Bomber Command, the Lancaster continued on more mundane duties (including minelaying). The Battles of the Hamburg, theRuhr and Berlin in 1943 and early 1944, the famous attack on the V1 establishment at Peenemünde in August 1943 were some of the high points of the Lancaster’s service. At the other end of the scale, ovr 60 Lancasters alone were lost during the raid on Nuremberg in March 1944. Almost half of all Lancasters delivered during the war (3,345 out of 7,373) were lost on operations with the loss of over 21,000 crew members.

The basic Lancaster, the B.I was such an excellent airframe, that few changes were made to improve it. The B.II was a Bristol Hercules-powered variant built to counter possible supply problems with the Merlins; the B.III was powered by improved Merlins and, along with the B.I, the standard mount of many Lancaster squadrons. The final version built in significant numbers was the Mark X which was built under licence in Canada.

Of those 7,000+ aircraft built, only two airworthy examples exist as a tribute to the many thousands who lost their lives in Bomber Command; one with the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the second based in Canada.”