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Gato Sub Question

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Gato Sub Question

Postby JimDavis » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:56 pm

All the experts on the Gato Class Sub in WW II I have a question, Did they use liquid mercury to fine trim the subs, transfer from front tanks to back? I am following up on a story I was told.
Thanks
jd :D
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Re: Gato Sub Question

Postby Tom Dougherty » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:12 pm

I have never seen any mention in any Fleet Submarine manual about using liquid mercury. The trim tanks used seawater, and the amounts fore and aft were adjusted as needed with trim pumps.
Here's the manual if you want to look yourself: http://www.hnsa.org/doc/fleetsub/trim/index.htm

The only large scale use I am aware of in a submarine of mercury was in the short lived sodium reactor on SSN 575 in the 1950's. Mercury was used as in intermediate loop between the liquid sodium primary (reactor) loop and the steam secondary loop. Obviously any direct contact of highly reactive sodium and water was to be avoided, so mercury was initially employed in an intermediate heat transfer system. Cooler heads prevailed after some leaks, and the mercury replaced with a potassium-sodium liquid mix.
Last edited by Tom Dougherty on Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gato Sub Question

Postby PaulC » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:09 pm

I second Tom here -- seawater was used for trim (though I don't consider myself a Gato expert by any stretch).

What I do recall (I think) is that the Cousteau Diving Saucer used mercury pumped back and forth for trim.
Warm regards,

Paul Crozier
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Re: Gato Sub Question

Postby JimDavis » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:33 pm

Thanks for the replys, I think I was told a tall tail, as it involved diving on the wrecks after wwII and drilling the hull and pumping out the mercury, the story teller has passed on, but it was a good story
JD
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Re: Gato Sub Question

Postby Giovanni » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:16 pm

There was mercury in storage vats on a torpedoed Type VII off the Scandinavian coast.
It was torpedoed by the British submarine. The type that OTW produces.
Kind regards,
Giovanni

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Re: Gato Sub Question

Postby JimDavis » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:58 pm

No the story that was told it was US ships and Mercury, I know of the U-boot that you are speaking of and I beleive they are trying to figure a way of cleaning up that mess.
jd
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Re: Gato Sub Question

Postby Tom Dougherty » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:49 pm

it involved diving on the wrecks after wwII and drilling the hull and pumping out the mercury

Most lost fleet boat wreck locations were not known after the war, and some have only been found in recent years. Almost all are sunk well below any depth a diver can reach, and further are considered war graves, not to be disturbed. Again, I know of no large scale mercury on board those boats.

The only other story that is true is that metal from the scuttled German U-boats of Operation Deadlight is currently being recovered to use in extremely sensitive radiation detection instruments. Steel made after the war (which uses prodigious amounts of oxygen to make from iron ore) has higher background radiation from all of those atmospheric nuclear tests we (and others) conducted post WWII. No mercury there, either...
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