One of the oft repeated parts of GTMO REFTRA, was gunnery exercises. More about all of them a bit later. There was one that i found dizzying in its complexity…and fun, really.
i no longer am sure of its nomenclature. The Allied Tactical Publications (ATPs) from my time are long gone. i think it was Z-44-G. Perhaps some old gunner’s mate who reads this can give me the right name.
Boy, was it a hoot.
The old destroyer would come steaming over the horizon at 30 knots on a 45 degree angle with the shoreline. The forward five-inch guns, two in Mount 51 on the FRAM 1 tin cans and two on both Mounts 51 and 52 on FRAM II’s would be blazing away at some target on the shore — unfortunately this was one gunfire exercise i experienced with live fire; all of the ones i saw were simulated fire.
Then at a designated distance from the beach, a mile or two, the ship would turn parallel to the beach and the after Mount 53 would also open fire. All six big guns on the FRAM II’s and four on the FRAM I’s would blaze at the shore for about a mile at high speed. Then the ship would turn away 45 degrees and head for the horizon with the after two guns of Mount 53 firing until cease fire was ordered.
It was absolutely thrilling even without actually firing the guns. Oh, how i wish i had done that once.