USS MULLINNIX DD-944
LT Scrope, Weapons Officer,
Vietnam 1972, on 50-caliber machine gun
50-caliber machine gun on bridge in Vietnam in 1969
Courtsey Joe Leatherman
50-caliber Machine Guns
In 1969 and again in 1972, Mullinnix was equipped with 50-caliber machine guns on each of her bridge wings. This defensive weapon was to be used to repel any attempt by the enemy to board Mullinnix, place mines on her hull, or attacks from river gunboats.
GMG2 Robert Tyng (center)
demonstrates the finer points of the 50-cal
to 2 Signalman - God help us all!
50-cal practice - Vietnam 1972
In 1972, Mullinnix was assigned a small contingent of Marines to operate the "Redeye" Missiles. These missiles were still semi-experimental at the time. Today they are known as "Stinger" Missiles.
Mullinnix was faced with the continuous threat of attack from MIGs as well as Russian made STIX missiles.
The problem with this defensive weapon was that to be effective the Marine firing the Redeye had to be able to see the exhaust of a MIG. Meaning? Meaning the MIG would already had completed their bombing run on the Mux and were leaving the scene. Fortunately, we never had to prove this in combat.
"Redeye" Marines assigned to Mullinnix - Vietnam 1972.
CO "Boom Boom" Cannon inspecting the "Redeye" Team - Vietnam 1972.
Mullinnix Hedgehogs - Date Unknown
The cruise book will say "the crew was scheduled for small arms practice".
In truth, GMG3 Kenneth "Maggot" Klann (with Mux hat on backwards)
was showing us how to keep all 10 fingers in place!
Shredded Aluminum Tubes
In 1972, Mullinnix was equipped with hollow steel tubes attached to each stack. The ends of these tubes extended well above the opening of the stacks. Compressed gas was used to propel shredded aluminum up and out the top of these tubes. The hot exhaust for each stack would continue to carry the aluminum pieces up into the atmosphere and away from the Mullinnix.
< br> This defensive weapon was to be used against radar lock-on and any subsequent enemy missile attach and/or shelling. Very similar to the countermeasures that submarines launch during a torpedo attack. When successful, the enemy radar would lock onto the aluminum in the atmosphere and NOT the Mullinnix.
Though the Mullinnix had enemy radar lock on her a number of times, FTG Frank Wood does not remember every using the shredded aluminum as a defensive weapon.
The steel tubes were attached as per the red lines on the MULLINNIX photo above.
Period Armament NOT fitted on the Mullinnix
ASROC Weapon System
Variable Depth Sonar
Unknown Forrest Sherman 1962
Note the small radar dish mounted directly on the gun mount. These were actually a 3rd independent fire-control system that would allow a ship to be able to acquire 3 independent targets at the same time (with the use of the MK68 and MK56 fire control directors/systems). They were great – once. One round would trash them. Researchers could not find a way to harden them against the recoil of the 5”. The Navy finally said, “take’m off.”
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© 2003 by Frank Wood, All rights reserved.