the chamber and pass it out to a member of the team for
disposal over the side. While this is occurring, team
members may be called upon to set up fire hoses with
special attachments for internal and external gun
cooling. External cooling will normally begin
immediately after a misfire. Internal cooling can only be
started after the propelling charge has been removed.
These procedures are directed by the mount captain.
External cooling directs cooling water to the outside
of the gun barrel through a standard fire nozzle
configured to be attached to the barrel. Internal cooling
uses a special applicator, which is inserted into the gun
barrel, to directly cool the inside of the barrel and
Another similar task for magazine crew members is
to assist in the disposal of leaking white phosphorous
projectiles. Both tasks require regular training and
practice. Since the procedure for the disposal of leaking
white phosphorous projectiles is subjected to regular
revision, this procedure will not be discussed here.
All hands aboard ship should become familiar with
certain standard gunnery commands. All gun and
magazine crew members, however, need to become
especially familiar with these commands. Like the gun
crew, the magazine crew must operate as a smooth, safe
NOW MAN ALL GUNNERY STATIONS is the
command used to direct gun and magazine crew
personnel to Lay to assigned stations; get in battle
dress; and make preparations to service gun(s) for
Other standard gunnery commands, along with the
proper interpretation, are as follows:
LOADAmmunition handlers in magazine crews
fill projectile hoists or mechanisms with prescribed
COMMENCE FIRINGThis is a command from
gunfire control indicating that firing of designated
gun(s) is authorized.
CHECK FIREA gong or siren is sounded and all
guns immediately stop firing.
RESUME FIRINGGunfire control orders firing to
start again. This command is given AFTER a CHECK
CEASE FIREAll guns stop firing immediately
upon receipt of this command. A gong or siren is
sounded. Gun captains automatically report to gunfire
control on the condition of the gun bore, the number of
rounds fired and the number of casualties, if any. An
example would be Mount 51 bore clear, 10 rounds
expended, no apparent casualties.
SILENCEAny member of the gun crew or
magazine crew who observes a serious casualty or
dangerous condition requiring immediate attention for
safety reasons will sound off SILENCE.
All personnel hearing this command freeze in
position until further orders or CARRY ON is heard. The
senior person at the scene will take charge and remedy
the unsafe condition.
In this chapter, we discussed today's naval gun
systems and the type of ammunition used by each. This
basic knowledge should enable you to perform as an
integral member of a gun or magazine crew. This manual
should help you in your at-sea experiences and, together
with practical experience gained over a period of time,
provide the necessary guidance you will need to become
a top-notch Seaman. Your time at sea should be both
challenging and rewarding.