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Operations Manual Chapter 46 - Magazine Flooding and Sprinkling Bill

Operations Manual provided courtesy of CDR Art Burke (U.S.N. Ret).

  1. General.
    1. There will be very little time in which to decide whether to flood or not to flood magazines in an emergency. The man on the scene is the best judge of existing conditions and is therefore authorized to flood if in his opinion it is necessary. Too much valuable time may be lost in trying to get permission from Sky Control or Central Station and the delay involved may mean losing the ship. Also, in flooding of magazines it is best to flood an entire group or groups and then if it is desired to except a certain magazine in a group its individual outlet hand operated valve must be closed. The same instructions apply to the personnel at the scene in regard to sprinkling magazines, and the sprinkling systems should be turned on when it is necessary to cool the overhead, decks and bulkheads of magazines which are being heated by fires in adjacent spaces. The flooding or sprinkling of magazines should be reported to Central Station or Sky Control as soon as possible using any communication facility available.
  2. General Arrangement.
    1. Magazine flooding and sprinkling is provided for all magazines below the waterline except D-609-M and D-611-M which are fitted for sprinkling but not fitted for flooding.
    2. The supply of water for flooding the magazines is taken directly from the sea through sea chests, each group of magazines having one source of supply.
    3. The supply of water for sprinkling the magazines is taken from the Damage Control Main.
    4. The remote control stations for the control of both flooding and sprinkling are located forward and aft on the third deck. The control station for magazine groups 1 through 6 inclusive is located in compartment A-306-L. The remote control station for magazine groups 7 through 9 inclusive is located in D-302-1M. There are indicator lights at these control stations, a green light indicates that there is electrical power to the valve and that it is closed; a red light indicates that the valve is open. Also there are indicator lights for the electrical damage control pump, a green light showing there is power to the pump, and a red light showing that the pump is running. Each sprinkling valve motor controller is arranged to start the motor driven damage control pump automatically when the valve motor starts and to give audible and visible signals at the two generator boards, two distribution boards and the steam damage control pump.
    5. Each group of magazines have controls and indicators for local operation electrically of the flooding and sprinkling valves of the magazines in the group. These controls are similar to those at the control stations on the 3rd deck. All group control valves have handwheels for manual operation. A gate valve, locked open, is provided between each magazine sprinkling system group control valve and the damage control main. The sea valve for each flooding group control valve is locked open.
  3. Magazine Groups
    1. The following table indicates the grouping of magazines, location of valves and of distant control stations for flooding and sprinkling each group of magazines:
    Compt. and Group No. Control Location Location of Flood Valve Location of Sprinkling Valve Location Push Button Group Control
    Group No. 1 
    A-506-M A-306-L A-30-T A-506-M A-417-A A-506-M 5" shells
    A-507-M5" shells
    A-509-M5" shells
    A-510-M5" shells
    Group No. 2 A-306-L A-31-T A-517-M A-417-A A-517-M  
    A-514-MSmall arms - 40MM high explosive A.P. incendiary and tracer.
    A-515-MSmall arms - .30 cal. and .50 cal. belted and unbelted.
    Group No. 3 A-306-L A-702-T A-701-E A-701-E A-701-E  
    A-520-M500 lb. G.P. and 100 lb. G.P. bombs.
    A-521-M1000 lb. G.P. and 100 lb. G.P. bombs.
    Group No. 4 A-306-L A-703-T A-701-E A-701-E A-701-E  
    A-524-M500 lb. G.P. and 100 lb. G.P. bombs.
    A-525-M1000 lb. G.P. and 100 lb. G.P. and auxiliary boosters.
    A-531-M40MM high explosive.
    Group No. 5 A-306-L A-703-T A-701-E A-701-E A-701-E  
    A-601-M1600 lb. A.P. and 1000 lb. A.P.
    A-705-MAN-M54 and AN-M54X incendiary bombs, 4 lb.
    A-713-MBomb fuzes Mk's 19, 21, and 23, Mk. 28, 21AS, Mk. 24.
    Group No. 6 A-306-L A-702-T A-701-E A-701-E A-701-E  
    A-602-M1600 lb. A.P. and 1000 lb. A.P. bombs.
    A-604-M325 lb. and 650 lb. depth bombs.
    A-704-M1000 lb. G.P. and 500 lb. G.P. bombs.
    Group No. 7 D-302-1LM D-706-E D-505-T D-706-E D-505-T  
    D-506-M1000 lb. G.P. Bombs.
    D-507-M1000 lb. G.P. and 500 lb. G.P. bombs.
    D-508-MSmall arms, 20MM high explosives.
    D-511-MSmall arms .50 cal. belted A.P.
    D-603-MSmall arms .50 cal. belted A.P. incendiary and tracer.
    Group No. 8 D-302-1LM D-614-M D-509-T D-614-M D-509-T  
    D-606-MSmall arms, 20MM high explosive.
    #D-609-MDemolition blocks and mine wrecking charges.
    #D-611-MEmpty. (Occasionally used for small explosives.)
    D-612-M5" shells.
    D-613-MSmall arms 20MM and aircraft starter cartridges
    D-615-MShot gun shells.
    D-616-MSmall arms, .50 cal. and .45 cal.
    D-618-M5" shells.
    D-619-MBomb fuzes, Mk's 19, 21, and 23.
    #Note. D-609-M and D-611-M can be sprinkled but not flooded.
    Group No. 9 D-302-1LM D-614-M D-516-M D-614-M D-516-M  
    D-512-M5" powder
    D-513-M5" powder
    D-514-M5" powder
    D-515-M5" powder
    D-516-M5" shells
    D-519-M5" shells
  4. Operation of Controls.
    1. Push button group control valves when opened will flood or sprinkle all magazines of the group.
    2. Sprinkling and flooding outlets in magazines are in all cases fitted with individual valves which are kept locked open.
    3. If it is desired to except a certain magazine when its group is flooded or sprinkled, its individual magazine outlet hand-operated valve must be unlocked and closed.
    4. Group control valves for flooding and sprinkling magazines can be operated manually, at the valve.
  5. Communication to Control Stations.
    1. Communication facilities available for communicating with flooding and sprinkling Control Stations.

    [Table in original document omitted here.]

  6. Sprinkling Protection in Storerooms.
    1. Sprinkling is provided in the airplane wings and parts storerooms and dope shop from the Damage Control flooding system. Open type sprinkler heads are located overhead in these spaces, and the water for each space is controlled by a motor-operated valve which is opened by thermostats. Each motor control valve may be electrically operated by means of a push button, which also starts the electric damage control pump. Certain spaces are fitted with sprinkler systems which are operated only by a manually operated stop valve.
    2. The following table lists the miscellaneous sprinkler systems and specifies the location of valves, types of control, and location of local and distant controls:
    Compt. Designation and contents Location of valve Type Remote Compt. Fr. Local Compt. Fr.
    C-402-AAviation StoresC-301-1LMElect.& Thermo C-408-1A118 (S)C-302-1LM106 (P)
    D-404-AAviation StoresD-301-1LMElect.& Thermo C-408-1A132 (S)D-301-1LM142 (P)
    D-409-AAviation StoresD-301-1LMElect.& Thermo C-408-1A132 (S)D-301-1LM142 (P)
    D-414-AAviation StoresD-202-LElect.& Thermo D-417-A157 (P)D-202-L157 (P)
    D-414-AAviation StoresD-202-LElect.& Thermo D-417-A157 (P)D-202-L157 (P)
    D-267-AWing StowageD-203-1LM(S)Elect.& Thermo Hangar174 (S)
    D-102-EDope ShopD-203-1LMManual, at valve Hangar174 (P)
    D-211-MPyrotechnic Mag.D-207-1A Pass. Fr. 187-CLManual, on fantail Fr. 187 (P)
    D-212-MPyrotechnic Mag.D-207-1A Pass. Fr. 187-CLManual, on fantail Fr. 187 (P)
    A-113-AAviation Parts Issue RoomHangar Fr. 75 (S)Manual, at valve
    C-109-ETorpedo StowageHangar Fr. 112 (S)Manual, at valve
    Hangar Fr. 128 (S)Manual, at valve
    A-0205-M40MM AA Clip Rm.Gallery Deck Fr. 68 (S)Manual, at valve
    C-0205-M40MM AA Clip Rm.Gallery Dk. Fr. 108 (S)Manual, at valve
    C-0202-EMotion Picture Projection RoomPass.Fr. 107(P) Amp'fr.Rm.Manual, at valve
    Fr. 109 (P)Manual, at valve
    Fr. 130-143, below flight Dk. Stbd.Side40MM StowageFlight Deck, StarboardManual, at valve
  7. Characteristics and Hazards of various types of explosives.
    1. Black Powder.

      Black powder possesses practically unlimited stability if stored in tight containers and kept perfectly dry. It deteriorates irregularly when exposed to moisture; consequently all ammunition containing it, such as powder-train time fuzes, ignition charges, etc., must be protected from a moist atmosphere. Black powder is not affected by moderately high temperatures, nor is it subject to spontaneous combustion at ordinary storage temperatures.

      Black powder and components containing it that have become damp or wet or are packed in badly corroded containers should be regarded as unserviceable and turned in to an ammunition depot at the first opportunity.

      Black powder is one of the most dangerous of explosives and should be handled with the greatest care, and then only by experienced personnel.

      It is highly flammable and is sensitive to friction, shock, sparks or heat, and is extremely quick and violent in its action if ignited. Though black powder is classed as a low explosive, it approaches a high explosive in the violence and destructive effect of its explosion.

    2. Navy Smokeless Powder.

      Smokeless powder is used as a propellant powder for cannon and small arms. It is readily ignited by flame and burns with little residue, giving off brownish fumes. Unconfined it burns without explosion, but when confined or in large quantities the rate of burning increases rapidly with the increase of temperature and pressure. Unlike black powder, smokeless powder burning in the open can be extinguished with water provided it be drenched immediately, before the temperature and pressure have been built up. Smokeless powder is a progressively burning powder whose speed of burning is readily controlled by the size of the grain and the percentage of residual volatiles.

    3. Fixed and Semifixed Ammunition.

      Fixed ammunition combines the hazards of separate loading propelling charges, projectiles and primers. Detonations of projectiles and explosions of propelling charges are not likely to occur "en masse", although in case of fire both projectiles and charges will continue to explode for some time with great tossing about of adjacent rounds and containers. Such fires should be fought until extinguished.

      Semifixed ammunition cartridges are somewhat more hazardous than separate loading bag-gun propellant charges, because assembled with primers. The projectiles possess the same hazard as separate loading projectiles for bag-guns.

    4. Small Arm Ammunition.

      Small-arms ammunition is principally a fire hazard. In case of fire it is advisable to keep everybody not engaged in fighting the fire well clear. Bullets and cases are not likely to fly over 200 yards.

    5. T-N-T.

      In a granular or crystalline form, and when unconfined, it burns away without detonation; but there are a few instances on record of large quantities being detonated after having burned for awhile. In the cast form it will almost invariably detonate in a fire. Where small quantities of unconfined TNT have been ignited, sprinkling and flooding systems or steam drenching will be effective in checking the fire, since it does not explode immediately. Cast TNT is rather difficult to detonate. It usually requires a booster charge of refined granular TNT or of tetryl to insure complete high-order detonation.

      Thin-walled projectiles, bombs, depth charges, mines, warheads, etc., containing TNT bursting charges are subject to sympathetic detonation or detonation in mass. This property makes it necessary to separate TNT storages from other explosive storages, especially fuzes and detonators and from fire hazards, which may initiate a detonation.

      TNT has many uses, such as for main bursting charges of projectiles, warheads, depth charges, mines, bombs, grenades, boosters, demolition blocks, etc. It is sometimes used as a component in other explosives; for example, used with ammonium nitrate it forms "amatol", which is sometimes found in bombs, etc.

    6. Bomb Type Ammunition. Hazards.

      The hazards of bomb-type ammunition are those of the explosives involved, but are greater than those of the explosives in bulk; in fact, this type ammunition and bulk black powder are the most dangerous with which the Navy has to deal.

      The hazards arise not so much from instability or deterioration of the explosives, but from the enormous destructive effect from the detonation of one round followed almost instantaneously by sympathetic or mass detonation of all rounds in close proximity.

      Fire is sure to produce detonation of bomb-type ammunition; therefore, safety demands not only prevention of fires but absolutely fireproof magazines, fireproof packing cases or crates, and fireproof dunnage.

      In the event of a fire in the vicinity of bomb-type ammunition where there is danger of heating the cases or of firebrands falling among them, the threatened magazine should be flooded or thoroughly drenched with water.

    7. Pyrotechnic Ammunition.

      Pyrotechnic ammunition consists of fireworks (pyrotechnic mixtures) adapted to military purposes and is divided into four classes: Signaling, illuminating, screening, and incendiary. It is further divided into pyrotechnics for ship or ground use and pyrotechnics for aircraft use.

      Pyrotechnics are mixtures of oxidizing agents and combustibles (powdered metals and nonmetals; reducing agents) to which is frequently added materials for a particular purpose, such as to give colors to flames or smokes, flame brighteners, deterrents, binders, stabilizers, accelerators, etc.

      Pyrotechnic ammunition is in general a fire hazard and forms a very hot fire, difficult to extinguish. Most all types furnish their own oxygen upon combustion but large volumes of water and copious sousing may serve to cool the materials, or at least adjacent materials, below the ignition temperature.

      Certain types, such as aircraft flares and illuminating projectiles, may explode in fires.

    8. Chemical Ammunition

      All projectiles, bombs, grenades, candles, etc., containing gas, smoke-making and incendiary materials (other than pyrotechnic mixtures), and all gas, smoke, and incendiary materials used alone from aircraft supply tanks, projectors, sprayers, etc., are classified as chemical ammunition.

      FS (Sulphur Trioxide Solution) is a heavy colorless liquid with an acid or acrid odor. On exposure to the air or in the presence of moisture it produces large volumes of white smoke which, although not poisonous, will produce a choking sensation and smarting of the eyes. Workers exposed to the smoke should be provided with gas masks for comfort. It is supplied in metal drums.

      FS is used as a smoke making material for the production of smoke curtains or screens from aircraft spraying apparatus.

      When exposed to moisture or water FS reacts violently like strong sulphuric acid which will cause plugging and corrosion of piping, valves, and other metals.

      The hazards arising from chemical-ammunition are principally due to leaks caused by rough handling, deterioration, rust or corrosion, and from fire.

      A good circulation of air should be maintained around chemical-ammunition containers. A leaky container should be easily detected by the odor or smoke and should be removed immediately.

      Men handling leaky containers should wear gloves and gas masks and should exercise the greatest care that the leaking material does not come in contact with clothing or person.

      Leaky containers should be approached from the windward side if possible and blowers should be so controlled as to rid the compartment of gas and smoke.

      Men entering a smoke-filled magazine or compartment shall wear gas masks and have a life line tied to them to prevent their getting lost or to assist in removing them in case they are overcome.

      Fires involving FS should be fought in the usual manner, except that it is essential for the men to wear gas masks.

      Personnel to leeward or in compartments likely to be gas or smoke filled should be warned to keep clear.

      When water is poured on any appreciable amount of FS a large amount of heat is liberated and decomposition may take place with explosive violence. The will cause drops of FS to be scattered around, the area covered and the amount of FS thus distributed depending upon the original volume of FS, the volume of water, and the speed of mixing. When any FS is spilled it will be destroyed by repeatedly drowning with water.

      If any liquid FS gets on the body it should immediately be removed with a piece of dry cloth or waste followed by washing with an abundance of water and in turn with a weak solution of sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda) in water.

      If liquid FS in any considerable quantity gets on the clothing, remove the garment immediately. Do not put water on it while it is being worn, as the heat of reaction is apt to cause severe burns.

      Rubber protective clothing should be warn with gas masks when possible.

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