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serial 0112323

From: The Chief of Naval Operations
To: The Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance.
The Chief of the Bureau of Ships.
Subject: 20 mm. Antiaircraft Machine Ouns - Priority of Installation. (Docs. 32777, 32841, 32952).
Reference: (a)   C.N.O. Conf. ltr. Op-23-l, (SC)S74-1, Serial 091923 of July 7, 1941.
Reference: (b) Combasefor Conf. ltr. S79/F11-1(0654) of June 13, 1941.
Reference: (c) Buord Conf. ltr. S74(20mm/92)(A2) of July 10, 1941.
Reference: (d) Buord Conf. ltr. S74(20m/m)(A2) of July 16, 1941.

      1.    Reference (a) established a priority of assignment of Oerlikon (20mm.) machine guns based on a Bureau of Ordnance estimate of the delivery dates of the first few guns. Reference (b), written prior to receipt of reference (e), requested assignment of guns to the machine gun school at Puuloa, T.H. In reference (c), the Bureau of Ordnance recommended a minor change in the priority list established by reference (a) and in reference (d) discussed the subject of ammunition for the 20 mm. Antiaircraft guns and requested that the Chief of Naval Operations advise as to the initial distribution of service ammunition.

      2.    Considering the various matters brought up by the above-referenced letters, and the latest available information concerning deliveries, the Chief of Naval Operations hereby changes and amplifies the priority assignment of 20 mm. Antiaircraft guns as indicated in the following paragraphs.

      3.    The first four guns received should be shipped, together with 3,000 round per gun, to Commander, Base Force, Pacific Fleet, for installation at Puuloa, T. H. The next 16 guns, together with 3,000 rounds of ammunition per gun, should be shipped as follows:


Enclosure (102) Page - 1 -

serial 0112323


(a)   4 to UTAH
(b) 4 to WYOMING
(c) 4 to Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
(d) 4 to the Commandant, Fifth Naval District, Norfolk, for installation at proposed machine gun school to be located in the Norfolk area.

      4.    Based on the latest information in the Bureau of Ordnance, on estimated deliveries of the 20 mm. guns up to December 1, it is further desired that guns delivered after those mentioned in paragraph 3. above, be installed on the following ships:

      Name No. Commence
Guns Availability

*  PRESIDENT ADAMS (AP38)  8 Completes Conv. Sept. 30 Newport News
*  CRESCENT CITY   (AP40)  8 Completes Conv. Oct. 9 Ala.S.B.&
D.D. Co.,
Mobile, Ala.
   LASSEN          (AE3)  4 Oct. 2 Oct. 16 NYD Norfolk.
   BISCAYNE        (AVP11)  4 After arrival East Coast
 for trials about Oct. 18
   BARNEGAT        (AVP10)  4 Oct. 4 Oct. 19 NYD Boston.
** HORNET          (CV8) 24 Completes F. O. Nov. 1 NYD Norfolk
*  PRESIDENT HAYES (AP39)  8 Completes Conv. Nov. 7 Bethlehem
Steel, Hoboken,
N. J.
   ELLYSON         (DD454)  4 Completes F.O. Nov. 15 NYD New York.
   GEO. F. ELLIOTT (AP13)  8 Oct. 13 Nov. 24 NYD Norfolk.

NOTE:   In each case ammunition stowage should be provided for the ships as follows: magazine capacity 5000 rounds per mount; ready service stowage 2400 rounds per mount, (of which at least 480 rounds per mount shall be directly at the mount).

*  The Bureaus, when mutually agreeable, may install guns at the fitting out Navy Yard immediately after completion of conversion if deemed advisable.

Enclosure (102) Page - 2 -

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serial 0112323


  Enclosure (A) to
Directive Summary Case 10(19) Serial 288 of Aug. 5, 1941.

**   The allowance of guns for HORNET is 24 but it now appears that only 12 guns will be available for installation by the estimated date of completion. It is desired, however, that installations be provided for the full allowance of 24 and that the remaining 12 guns be provided as soon after the ship's completion date as the guns become available, and after other November allocations have been met.

    5.      If availabilities of any of the ships listed in paragraph 4, above, are canceled, the Chief of Naval Operations will advise as to reassignment of the guns.

    6.      It is desired that the Bureau of Ordnance advise the Chief of Naval Operations on or about November 1, 1941, of the estimated schedule of delivery of 20 mm. guns for the following few months in order that a new priority list for installation can be made out.

    7.      By copy of this letter the Commanders-in-Chief of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets are requested to submit recommendations in regard to desired priorities of assignment of these guns based on a total estimated delivery of 40 guns per month during the months of December and January (1942) and an increase in this rate, starting in February, reaching approximately 200 per month by May 1942.


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Copies to:
  Compatwing 8
  I. C. B. (2)
Comcardiv 3
Comtrainron 3


Enclosure (102) Page - 2 -

National Archives & Records Administration, San Bruno
Record Group 181, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard General Correspondence 1941-45

Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.

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