USS MULLINNIX DD-944
Torpedo Tubes on Mullinnix - Springboard 1971
Mullinnix was commissioned with two MK 32 Launchers with Triple Tubes
The torpedo was the primary ASW weapon. The original design (SCB 85) for the Forrest Shermans had four fixed long torpedo tubes, a dropping system for lightweight torpedoes, and two fixed Hedgehogs. A subsequent design (SCB 85A ) was to have incorporated eight tubes, but in 1956 the Bureau of Ordnance became disenchanted with long torpedoes as the primary ASW weapon. There was a prospect of a much better long-range ASW weapon in the form of rocket-boosted torpedoes, and the long TT seemed a waste of weight if they were to be primarily anti-ship weapons. Hence, for the time being only the short (Mk 32) triple torpedo tube would be fitted, and consideration would be given to fitting the new RAT and ASROC. But the latter were resisted on the ground that they would cost part of the gun armament - which was more important in a fleet escort.
Only DD 931/932 were completed with four torpedo tubes, the remainder having the torpedo dropping system. However, BuOrd turned back towards the long torpedoes in 1958/59 in view of the success of the new Mk 37 ASW torpedo and the slow development of ASROC/RAT. This is why some FRAM destroyers had long torpedo tubes. Similarly, DD 931-933 had four torpedo tubes in December 1961.
On the other hand, as early as January 1, 1959, the SCB 85/85A group were all slated for an ultimate armament of two 5-in./54s (aft super firing gun deleted), two twin 3-in./50s, 2 Hedgehogs (MK 11, as built), ASROC, and the torpedo dropping system. Eight ships were ultimately modernized (less the 3-in./50 and the Hedgehogs) in 1967-1972. Six others were dropped because of cost escalation. The Mullinnix was one of these six dropped.
In the late fifties all 18 Forrest Shermans were scheduled for conversion to missile destroyers, a program stopped by Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara because of the limited value of the Tartar missile and the high cost of the conversion.
Mullinnix Crew leans over Torpedo Tubes while taking pictures
during Mux shore bombardment in Vietnam 1972.
2 shipmates with cameras are IC2 Robert J. "Bimbo" Clarno and SM3 "Bernie" Gauthier.
Torpedo Launch From Unknown Ship
Back to Ship Armament
© 2003 by Frank Wood, All rights reserved.