Back out to sea

Posted by Rebekah
Jul 30 2010

Flier is back in the water and running her sound tests today.  According to the transcript of the investigation into loss of the Flier, Captain Crowley personally heard the second sound test and was very satisfied with the results.  Of course, since Flier was most likely downed by a mine and not something like an acoustic torpedo or a mine attack, the sound check would end up being irrelevant, but of course, no one could know that.

I wonder what happened to the props that were removed off of Flier.  Most submarine props were engraved with the name and registration number of the submarine they were mounted on.  If you come to the museum for the Flier ceremony (or anytime for that matter) you will see a pair of Bronze props by the front doors.  You can touch them (don’t climb on them!) but you can clearly read the name of the submarines they came from.  I seem to remember one is from the Argonaut, which ended up being lost due to Japanese destroyers in January 1943.  If my memory is correct, then these props were removed prior to Argonaut’s last patrol, much like Flier’s props were removed last minute and replaced with spares.  Whether these spares had her name engraved on them before they left on patrol or not is likely irrelevant.  But I do wonder where her original props went, though the most likely fate is that they were melted down.

Next, Flier was checked thoroughly to see if she needed to be degaussed.  Degaussing is a process that reduces or eliminates a magnetic field around an object.  This was necessary because the Germans at least had invented magnetic sea mines.   Mines before now had been contact mine.  You had to touch one of these mines with enough force to get it to go off.  Magnetic mines however, just had to be within the magnetic field of a passing ship and it would be drawn to the ship and detonate upon contact.   These mines had taken out a large number of British ships in the Atlantic before this trick was discovered.  Now all warships were routinely checked and degaussed if necessary if it had a large enough magnetic field.  The Japanese did not seem to be using these magnetic mines, but then again, since the Germans and Japanese mines were allies, one could never know when the technology may show up in the Pacific, so all precautions were taken.

Flier, however, was clean, and cleared to go on practice runs.

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