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these being augmented by four French men-of-war and 13 foreign merchant vessels, a grand total of 83 ships. In spite of the constant menace of submarines only three of these troopships were lost—the Antilles, Lincoln, and Covington. All were sunk on the homeward voyage.
Four naval vessels were lost as a result of submarine activity—the destroyer Jacob Jones, the converted yacht Alcedo, the coast guard cutter Tampa, sunk with all on board, and the cruiser San Diego, sunk in home waters by striking an enemy mine. The report recalls the loss of the collier Cyclops, whose disappearance is one of the unsolved mysteries of the seas.
The estimates for the next fiscal year, which were submitted, in accordance with requirements of law, on Oct. 15, before the armistice was signed, total $2,644,307,046. But the Secretary states that the signing of the armistice will enable radical reductions to be made, and that these will be submitted later.
The report tells of notable achievements in ordnance, especially the work of the 14-inch naval guns on railway mounts on the western front, which hurled shells far behind the German lines, these mounts being designed and completed in four months. The land battery of these naval guns was manned exclusively by blue jackets under command of Rear Admiral C. P. Plunkett. The work of the Bureau of Ordnance is praised, and Admiral Earle, the chief of the bureau, is declared “one of the ablest and fittest officers.'
North Sea Mine Barrage.--An account is given of the mine barrage in the North Sea, one of the outstanding anti-submarine offensive projects of the year, thus closing the North Sea, and for which 100,000 mines were manufactured and 85,000 shipped abroad. A special mine loading plant, with a capacity of more than 1000 mines a day, was established by the Navy Department.
A star shell was developed which, when fired in the vicinity of an enemy fleet, would light it up, make ships visible, and render them easy targets without disclosing the position of our own ships at night.
The Bureau of Ordnance, under the direction of Rear Admiral Earle, is stated to have met and conquered the critical shortage of high explosives which threatened to greatly prolong the time of preparation necessary for America to smash the German military_forces, TNX, a high explosive, being developed to take the place of TNT, this being sufficient to increase the available supply of explosives in this country to some 30,000,000 pounds.
The work of the bureau in completing a successful Davis non-recoil aircraft gun is declared to be “a great milestone in aircraft armament," and there is given an account of a heavy airplane bomb developed for anti-submarine warfare. Naval gun production is stated to have kept pace with war needs, while the smokeless powder output was increased,
In the future, it is stated, American dreadnoughts and battle cruisers will be armed with 16-inch' guns, making these the heaviest armed vessels in the world.
Depth charges are stated to be the most effective anti-submarine weapon. American vessels were adequately armed with this new weapon. A new type was developed and a new gun, known as the “Y” gun, was designed and built especially for firing depth charges.
The navy that fies” receives special attention, it being stated that the expansion of naval aviation has been of gratifying proportions and effectiveness, many air stations being established at home and abroad. In this branch of the service the total enlisted and commissioned personnel on July 1, 1918, was about 30,000, with 823 trained naval aviators, 2052 student officers, 400 ground officers, 7300 trained mechanics, and 5400 mechanics in training. Naval aircraft had been a big factor in the war, and aircraft has come to stay," says Secretary Daniels, who plans for its permanency and development.
When war was declared, the navy numbered 65,777 men. On the day Germany signed the armistice this number had increased to 497,030 men and women. When war was declared, there were 197 ships in commission; now there are 2003 vessels in service.
The value of the Naval Reserve is emphasized, and the evolution which brought this into being as an essential part of the navy is recounted. From a small enrollment when the war broke out, this grew to 85,473 by April, 1918, and now numbers about 290,000.
Airmen in Convoy, Work." In convoy work," The Army and Navy Journal continues, the developments were exceedingly rapid. In this there was complete co-operation between the heavier-than-air and lighterthan-air craft. great many of the fighting ships were also fitted with kite balloons for observation purposes. The dirigibles were specially useful in that their operation could keep exact pace with the ships in the convoy. The airplanes, because of their speed, had to maneuver in successively progressive loops around the convoy. How successfully this was done is demonstrated by the fact that no transport was lost when under convoy of navy aviators.
Submarine hunting had a greater development than any other line of seaplane work, and was brought to a point of scientific exactness truly remarkable. In this specialized service the areas to be covered were charted and each patrol was mapped off, the patrols following some mathematical design like a square, triangle, octagon, etc. Such patrol work is generally out of sight of land, and the courses are followed by the use of the compass. It required a tremendous amount of practice, but it was successfully accomplished. Scout work was incident to submarine hunting, and the machines engaged located numerous mines and the positions of many ships.
Bombing was divided into seaplane and land machine operations. As planned the navy seaplane operations were to be carried on from the southeast coast of England, using lighters as bases when long distance raids were contemplated. The machines were carried many miles toward the Flanders coast by these lighters. Obviously most of the seaplane bombing work was done at night. Land bombing involved both day and night operations and pilots for each class were specially trained. Day flying was at great heights, while night flying was at lower altitudes. It required special study for making lands in the dark.
Fliers on French Coast.-" There are 16 navy aviation stations in France -nine seaplane, three dirigible, three kite, one seaplane training-covering the coast line from Dunkirk on the north well down the west coast toward Spain. In addition there were bombing, training, and supply stations. The stations were headquarters for heavier-than-air and lighter-than-air craft and some combined both classes which, with the exception of the equipment at Dunkirk, were principally used for convoy work and submarine hunting. Dunkirk was almost exclusively used for bombing operations, from which the German bases at Zeebrugge and Ostend received frequent, and, to the enemy, uncomfortable attention.
“Several of the stations in France were equipped only with land machines. These collectively were known as the Northern Bombing Squadron. The principal activities of the squadron were confined to day and night attacks on the various German naval bases and supply depots along the Flanders coast. Several stations were also maintained in Ireland and in England. An extensive station was located at Killingholme, which combined the work entailed in submarine hunting, convoying, and long distance bombing. In addition, there were two stations in Canada and two in Italy on the Adriatic coast. It may now be said that American Navy'aviators took part in the bombing of the Austrian naval harbor and arsenal at Pola."
The outstanding single feature of the overseas operations was the northern bombing program which had just got under way in earnest when
Germany collapsed and the fighting ended. Many men were in training for these operations while at Pauillac, France ; 4939 picked men were ready to begin the campaign against the Germans when the armistice was signed. Over 500 seaplanes and flying boats were used in patrolling the Atlantic coast of the United States, the patrols covering in September of this year 404.775 miles.-N. Y. Times, 9/12.
U. S. S. “OPHIR” DESTROYED BY FIRE IN THE HARBOR OF GIBRALTAR. The Navy Department is informed that the U. S. S. Ophir was destroyed by fire on November 11 in the harbor of Gibraltar. The Ophir was en route to Marseille, France, laden with army supplies, when the fire broke out and she was forced to return to Gibraltar. Both ship and cargo were a total loss and two members of the crew lost their lives.
The following men were lost:
Guy Alton Comstock, engineman, second class, United States Naval Reserve Force. Father, Mark Herbert Comstock, 1623 Forty-sixth Avenue, Oakland, Cal.
Oscar Wilson, engineman, first-class, United States Naval Reserve Force. Brother, William Wilson, Bedford Hills, N. Y.-Official Bulletin, 20/11.
DESTRUCTION OF U-BOATS BY U. S. WARSHIPS.—United States warships have been credited by the British Admiralty 'with sinking or capturing nine German submarines, and in a tenth case the Admiralty is not quite certain that the submarine was destroyed, although it seems likely. Destroyers accounted for two submarines, yachts for three, submarines for one and submarine chasers for four. Forty-six vessels were engaged in fights in which it was known that submarines were present. The navy places the total number of fights in which it was reasonable to suppose that a submarine was lurking near at 500. In addition to the German submarines destroyed or captured by American warships, 36 of them sustained damage. Participating in the sinkings were the destroyers Fanning, Nicholson and Tucker; the armed yachts Lydonia, Wakiva, Kanawha, Second, Noma and Christobel; the submarine chasers Nos. 215, 128, 129, 95, 179 and 338, and the submarine A1-2.-Army and Navy Journal, 30/11.
AMERICAN SQUADRON Now CONTROLS POLA.–An American squadron has arrived at Pola, formerly the principal Austrian naval base, and has taken over the command of the port.
Jugoslav war vessels in the harbor have hoisted the American flag, according to a telegram from Laibach, reporting the arrival of the Americans.-N. Y. Times, 14/12.
MERCHANT MARINE INCREASING TONNAGE OUTPUT.-According to the figures just published by the British Admiralty, the world's output of new shipping in the third quarter of the year amounted to 1,384,130 gross tons as contrasted with 870,317 and 1,243,274 gross tons respectively during the first and second quarters. For the nine months ending September 30, the total output foots up 3,497,721 tons. Towards this total, the United States contributed 1,722,730 tons, Great Britain 1,174,641 tons, and allied and neutral countries 600,450 tons. Despite the fact that losses from war and other causes reached the large figure of 892,446 tons, the world's tonnage increased during the last quarter by no less than 491,584 tons. Gratifying as these figures are, they will be far eclipsed during the coming quarter now that the U-boats have ceased their depredations and only losses from floating mines and from ordinary marine disasters have to be reckoned with. New shipping placed in service during the coming quarter bids fair to exceed 2,000,000 tons, three-fifths of which will be turned out in the United States. Indicative of the speed with which our ship
building output is being accelerated, it appears that 359,521 gross tons of shipping were completed in American yards in November, or 30,000 tons more than during the first three months of 1918. Astonishing as this record is, it is bound to be surpassed in the near future. Only four of the 180 ships to be constructed at the Hog Island yards have thus far been completed. In no month as yet have 400,000 tons deadweight been launched for the Emergency Fleet Corporation, while Director-General Schwab has recently stated that the Shipping Board is aiming to work up to a launching rate of 700,000 tons deadweight a month by next spring. It is apparent, therefore, that our maximum shipbuilding effort will not be attained for some little time to come.-The Nautical Gazette, 16/12.
STEAMSHIP LINES RETURNED TO OWNERS.—The Clyde, Mallory, Merchants and Miners', and Southern Steamship Companies were relinquished from federal control to-night by order of Director General McAdoo. Steamship companies owned by railroads will be retained under management of the Railroad Administration.
The four lines turned back to private management were taken over by the government on April 13 under war powers of the President and their operation consolidated with other steamship lines under the Railroad Administration. The relinquishing order becomes effective at midnight to-night, but for accounting purposes it is regarded as effective from Dec. I.
Leading steamship lines which will remain under Railroad Administration control include the Southern Pacific, or Morgan Lines, Old Dominion, Baltimore Steam Packet, Chesapeake Steamship, Ocean, Fall River, Harttord & New York, and San Francisco, Portland & Seattle Lines.
Harry H. Raymond, President of the Mallory Steamship Company and Vice President and General Manager of the Clyde Steamship Company, declared last night that an effort would be made immediately “to resurrect those lines, so that they might be operated on the basis obtaining before Federal control went into effect.”
He said that although no unusual expansion had been planned by these companies, more boats would be needed if trade with South America increased.-N. Y. Times, 6/12,
SHIPS BUILT BY U. S. IN NOVEMBER.-One hundred and sixty-five vessels were constructed by the United States Shipping Board during November. Of these 102 are ocean-going, with a gross tonnage of 330,366, and 63, with a tonnage aggregating 18,108 gross, will be used for minor carrying operations.-Washington Evening Star, 6/11.
ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE AMERICAN VESSELS SUNK DURING THE WAR.-Loss of 145 American passenger and merchant vessels of 354,449 tons and 775 lives through acts of the enemy from the beginning of the world war to the cessation of hostilities Nov. II, is shown by figures made public to-day by the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Navigation. The report does not include several vessels, the loss of which has not been established as due to acts of the enemy.
Nineteen vessels and 67 lives were lost through use of torpedoes, mines and gun-fire prior to the entrance of the United States into the war.-N. Y. Times, 22/11.
ORDNANCE AND GUNNERY Navy HAS A STAR SHELL THAT MEETS ALL TESTS.—The fighting efficiency of the American Navy at night will be increased about 25 per cent by the perfection of a star shell operating at long range under all conditions at sea. The new shell, which is said to excel any produced by other nations, and the history of its development are described in a statement to-night by the Navy Department.
The shell is said to be suitable for firing from guns of from three to five inch caliber, and is fitted with a parachute attachment. The shell is filled with illuminating material, guaranteed to burn in spite of the terrific rush of air it meets when freed. The value of the shells lies, said the Navy Department's statement, in illuminating the ships of the enemy without disclosing the position of the craft using the shell.
Experimental work to develop such a shell was started by the Bureau of Ordnance of the Navy Department in 1909. The war experience of the Allies, both on land and sea, and of the American Navy was utilized in perfecting it.-N. Y. Times, 8/12.
NAVIGATION AND RADIO WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY AND STATIC.-How the Conquest of This Phenomenon Would Greatly Aid Radio Communication.-By an Old Radio Operator.-Once more the claim is made that "static"—that bugbear of all wireless men-has been conquered. This time it is in the form of the recent announcement of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America, which gives full credit for the achievement to the well-known radio engineer, Mr. Roy A. Weagant, who heads the engineering staff of that organization.
By static the wireless man means that form of atmospheric electricity which interferes with the operation of a wireless station. Static is most troublesome during summer months, generally during the hours from noon onward, and particularly from sunset to sunrise. In certain installations the static disturbance appears to be due to the periodic charging and discharging of the aerial system; that is to say, atmospheric electricity is induced and stored in the elevated wires forming the aerial until such time as the potential of the accumulated charge is sufficient to break down the barriers and a current flows through the apparatus and to the earth connection.
Near the waterfront it is often noticeable that static conditions are most severe. The writer has in mind a former U. S. Army wireless station in New York Bay, where it was almost always possible to accumulate quite a static charge in the aerial. When the aerial was disconnected from the ground and from all apparatus, the static charge accumulated until it broke down spark gaps measuring two and even three inches across. When it is remembered that it takes roughly 20,000 volts to spark across a one-inch gap between needle points, the potential of the accumulated charge is soon obvious.
But the usual form of static is far milder than that just mentioned. Instead of accumulating in the aerial system, it flows steadily through the aerial and the apparatus to the ground, making its passage known by affecting the receiving apparatus and thus interfering with the reception of signals. Such static is due to electrical discharges between clouds and between clouds and the earth. Even with a blue sky overhead, such disturbances often prove most troublesome, in which case they are most likely due to a distant thunderstorm. Lightning discharges can be detected at considerable distances by any wireless receiving set, and such static disturbances generally prevent the handling of wireless traffic long before the storm clouds come over the horizon.
Static disturbances in the early days of radio communication, when the coherer and Morse register were employed for recording the signals in the form of dots and dashes on a paper ribbon, took the form of a jumbled lot of dots and dashes. Often these nondescript dots and dashes persisted for hours and even days; for it was next to impossible to eliminate the static and still receive the signals because of the comparatively insensitive detectors and weak transmitters of those days. Furthermore, there was no way of differentiating between the static rumble and the signals, as is possible to some extent with the audible receiving systems of to-day.
With the introduction of the telephone receivers and the audible method of reception, static took the form of strange sounds. Generally, static