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Engine Room Entrance USS Edson DD-946
Dedicated to all the Mullinnix
BTs "Boiler Rats" and
MMs "Flange Heads".
The men, know simply as "Snipes", the men who arguable had
the worst job in the Navy...

Boiler room

Bravo 1 (Foward Boiler Room)
USS Mullinnix in early 70's.

    Pictures courtesy of BT3 Greg "BO" Bohmert.    

Bravo 1
Bravo 1 - Forward Fire Room - early 70's. Courtsey BT3 Greg "Bo" Bohmert.
Bravo 1
Bravo 1 - Forward Fire Room - early 70's. Courtsey BT3 Greg "Bo" Bohmert.
Bravo 1
Bravo 1 - Forward Fire Room - early 70's. Unknown shipmate. Courtsey BT3 Greg "Bo" Bohmert.
Main Control Throttles - Terry TR Daniels
Terry "TR" Daniels @ the Main Control Throttles - 1971-2 Carribean Cruise. Courtsey MM3 Dale Schultz.
Lowver Level Main Control 1971-2 - MM2 Merlyn Gaddis
Lower Level Main Control 1971-2 Carribean Cruise. MM2 Merlyn Gaddis is hard at it! Courtsey MM3 Dale Schultz.
MMC Akers - BTC Bobby Richards
MMC Akers & BTC Bobby Richards - a couple of the 'good guys' (1971-2 Carribean Cruise). Courtsey MM3 Dale Schultz.


The Mullinnix had two firerooms, B-1 and B-3. The 4 main spaces were designated fore to aft as B-1, B-2, B-3 and B-4. Or phonetically, Bravo-one,Bravo-two, etc. In days of old when ships were made of wood and men were made of steel....a ship's decks below the main deck were lettered A, B, C etc with A being the main deck and each deck down was a letter greater. Levels above the main deck were numbered going up from 01, 02, 03, etc. The main engineering spaces being the first space below the main deck (in that section of the ship) were considered to be on the "B" deck and the space numbers began with a "B". Then, sometime before Zumwalt a whole new numbering system was established that didn't change much above the main deck. However, all the letters below the main deck went away and the decks now were numbered 1-2-3-4-5 instead of A-B-C-D-E. So actually, Main Control, Forward Engineroom, B-2, Bravo-two, and 5-82-E were all the same place. These enginerooms and firerooms were commonly referred as "the hole" or more correctly "the hold" as in down in the "hold" (cargo area of a sailing vessel) of a ship. "Hole" or "hold" was usually preceded by an adjective beginning with the letter "f". Their were also sometimes called "the pit", MM's were "Flange Heads", BT's were "Boiler Rats", and collectively they were known as "Snipes". The engineers that worked in A-gang and maintained auxiliary machinery throughout the ship were "fresh air snipes".


2 Geared Steam Turbines, 2 Shafts
4 Foster Wheeler 1,200 psi
NAVY Distillate Fuel
2 General Electric geared steam
4,500 NM @ 20kts
32.5-33 knots


3,950 tons
2,850 tons


Aft Engine Room on USS Edson (very similar to Mullinnix)

Following picture courtesy of George Cochran

Mullinnix B-4 Engine Room 1978-9
Unknown Shipmate

Eck and Charlie Farmer after a hard day "in the hole" - early 1970s

My good friend Greg "Bo" Bohmert - he hasn't changed a bit...

Bravo Boiler Room - 1978 (Middle East)

"Engineering - 1978 (Middle East)

               THANKS GUYS!               

A funny story from my friend "BO" (see above) about the forward fire room Bravo 1 or the "Hole" as we called it. We had big supply and exhaust blowers that pumped air into that pit. We would put the exhaust blowers on high and the supply blowers on low, that would put the fire room under a slight negative pressure and draw cool air down the entrance ladder that was on the starboard side aft of the post office. If we didn't do this, the ladder would get so hot at the top because heat rises, that you couldn't touch the ladder without gloves. Every now and then when we got feeling sorry for ourselves and felt the world needed to feel our pain, we would reverse the settings of the blowers and pump some of our sunshine up to the main passageway, but since it was so close to the wardroom, they'd make us stop quickly.

We would freak-out a newbie on his first day in the hole by making it 125 degrees in the passageway, having all that hot air roaring up out that hatch. They would look like the dammed at the gates of hell. Once I did my fireball trick, where you fill your mouth with lighter fluid and forcefully spray it out past a lit lighter and you got that fireball those guys on TV would do. But the straight guy up in the passage way would tell the newbie that you had to check for "Fire" leaks before going down the ladder. He would peak down and wink at me and I'd blow the fireball up the ladder where it would get caught in the up draft, and would blast up into that little cut out in the passageway. One guy ran away and got put on report for refusing to go down into the fire room ever!

It used to piss us off bad when some dickhead would go to Captains mast, get busted, and assigned "hard labor". For punishment they would send them down into our engineering spaces and give us some "help". So what are you going to do when one of us gets into trouble? What kind of "hard duty" you going to give us? Oh well...

Contact makers are the heavy-duty switches which are activated to set off the various emergency alarms. They are water-resistant (immersible to 15 feet without leakage) and guarded to prevent accidental activation. Some contact makers are painted distinctive colors for easy recognition. The handles that activate critical contact makers are fashioned with special knobs (such as the "T-handle" for the power plant casualty alarm) that allow for the activation of the correct alarm in darkness by feel.


© 2003 by Frank Wood, All rights reserved.