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USS Boise Radar


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#1 Frank

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:27 PM

I've been working on a scenario where the Asiatic fleet defends Davao bay against the Japanese landing. The Ryujo staged an air attack early on, and a division of destroyers sailed into the bay, tipping the Japanese hand.

TF-5, the three cruisers, four destroyers, along with the Pecos, Langley, and supply ships, will hide out by day among the many inlets, using camouflage, and move at night practicing night combat. (Captain Rooks of the Houston knew the Japanese had trained extensively at night fighting.) PBY's would aggressively search for the Japanese. One sub (Stingray?) was already assigned to patrol Palau. I would put two fleet and two S-boats off Davao. B-17's stand by to attack the Japanese. TF-5 was to make a night attack on the transports in Davao bay.

My research came across this snippet: http://www.network54...USS BOISE radar

Can anyone confirm or definitely deny that the Boise had radar at this time? She was, after all one of the newest ships in the fleet. Radar would not be implausible. Any guess which type? Obviously an early type. This would definitely help out in a night battle.

Also interesting to find Glassford was using her as his flagship, as the Houston was equipped specifically as a flagship. Boise was bigger and newer, however.

#2 Bob Benge

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:30 AM

According to the Deluxe Ship logs for the US Navy 1941-1943, which were compiled from extensive research from Mike Baulch and Mal Wright, the USS Boise had RFC Radar available starting mid 1942.
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#3 Frank

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 08:45 AM

Thanks, I have the radar table. Other sources seem to agree. But as the snippet states, Glassford supposedly mentioned it in his diary at the time. A postwar memoir could be written off as bad memory. Would love to get my hands on the diary to confirm that.

Nothing like a little note from nowhere to muddy the waters. What radars would be available at the time? Assume it was installed not long before she departed for the Philippines. If at all.

#4 Cpt M

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 07:28 PM

Thanks, I have the radar table. Other sources seem to agree. But as the snippet states, Glassford supposedly mentioned it in his diary at the time. A postwar memoir could be written off as bad memory. Would love to get my hands on the diary to confirm that.

Nothing like a little note from nowhere to muddy the waters. What radars would be available at the time? Assume it was installed not long before she departed for the Philippines. If at all.

The radar in question, the FA fire control radar, was produced pre-war and installed in the 9 ships of the Brooklyn class and the heavy cruiser Wichita during 1941. Only 10 sets were produced in total. The radar was not particularly successful as some its components only had a 75 hour service life before needing replacement. Also, due to its limited capabilities in the fire control role, most were used in surface search role (a role for which it was not optimized and, consequently, not very effective). Additionally, this was well before any effective radar use doctrine had been developed and before general acceptance of radar by the fleet as whole (even as late as 1942, the effectiveness of radar was still being questioned by many commanders in the fleet). Due to the above limitations and its short time in use (all were replaced by late 1942 by the superior FD/Mk 3 radar), it was felt it was not worthwhile to include this radar in the game.

Lacking any definite information as to its use and effectiveness, I would not include it in your scenario.

#5 Frank

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 12:06 AM

Thank you. Glad you could clear things up. Apparently it WAS just being used as a navigation radar. Always good to learn something new, though.

#6 Aman

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:38 PM

from my 1942 reading, I'll also say that there are strong indicators that the technical ability or radar was not matched by use effectiveness on the sea until will into the Solomons Campaign, and successfuly use of it would be - in my opinion - ship or commander specific.

However, one can certainly game this easily by giving plus or minus to the Detection / Acquisition rolls on the charts, so it is definitely playable and scenario driven rules can make this an exciting part of the game.

#7 Cpt M

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:02 PM

from my 1942 reading, I'll also say that there are strong indicators that the technical ability or radar was not matched by use effectiveness on the sea until will into the Solomons Campaign, and successfuly use of it would be - in my opinion - ship or commander specific.

However, one can certainly game this easily by giving plus or minus to the Detection / Acquisition rolls on the charts, so it is definitely playable and scenario driven rules can make this an exciting part of the game.

One easy way to reflect the radar problems that the USN experienced during the early battles is to use a D20 instead of a D12 for Radar Acquisition rolls. It nicely (and painlessly) reflects the problems without additional modifiers. In fact, this method is used in The Solomons Campaign game for the Savo Island scenario.

#8 Jim O'Neil

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:50 PM

FWIW, The FA (or Mk-1 fire control radar) became the FC (Mk-3 FC radar) with the change out of some components.  Friedemann's "Naval Radar" is a good source.  The FA was able to pick up a couple of Merchant ships at 55,000 yards when tested on USS Wichita, but couldn't discriminate that there were two ships picked up. That was also likely with highly trained Naval engineers, not normal operators. As said, in service, it wasn't that good and it was misused by several ships as a search set by having the director sweep back and forth. This is also not very effective as these radars had a range gate that limited the area reported on, so that if the gate is set out at long range, it will not report (or display)  any returns closer in; furthermore, while it could report a contact, the deflection error was quite large (as much as 5ยบ) . One of the things done with FC sets was to use different antennas shapes to improve the desired returns. Reliability issues have already been mentioned.






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