History of ATR-7  -  Page 9

    When ATR-7 was underway at sea, each morning before sunrise, general quarters was called and stayed in that condition for an hour before securing for breakfast. During this interval the fireroom got permission to blow tubes and pump bilge's. The same routine took place in the evening at sundown. During general quarters, YN2 was stationed on the flying bridge wearing a telephone headset and relayed orders from the Captain who stood beside him in command of the ship.
    Looking down on the forecastle, there was a big three inch gun mounted on the deck. The first time YN2 saw the crew fire this thing was a jolting experience. The Captain called orders from the flying bridge to the gun crew. The barrel of the monster would slowly move upward, pointing to the sky. The end of the barrel was then level with the deck of the flying bridge and about 15 feet away. The Captain shouted "fire" and in a split second, an orange flash with bluish smoke appeared as the gun discharged. The blast from the gun wrapped YN2's dungarees snugly around his legs. Boy -- what a shock.

    During one exercise off Miami, the ATR-7 crew practiced dropping depth charges. Firing into the air from one of her two "Y" guns mounted on the fantail, a 50 gallon drum of explosives hurled out and into the sea. From the flying bridge YN2 watched the drum splash into the water and sink out of sight. As the Captain counted off the seconds, nothing happened. The charge was set too deep, so the can of explosives ended up resting on the ocean floor off Miami Beach -- and may still be there to this day.

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