Recently people have been joining me on my Sunday Walks in Downtown Albany. Typically, I walk in Albany when I'm scheduled as a tour guide on the USS Slater. A slide show and a map are detailed at this blog entry. I plan on walking on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. You can contact me at:

More on the USS SLATER (

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tour 11/11/2007, Depth Charge Magazine

I stood my tour guide watch this week on Sunday, instead of my typical Saturday. I had a little help during a tour from RPI University Midshipman (NROTC). During the last year the NROTC students from RPI have been a great asset.

On one tour I was asked - "How many depth charges were stored on board?". I thought that this would be a relatively easy question to answer, but I was wrong. One week later I still don't have a definitive answer. The Destroyer Escort Sailor's Association noted that - "...A DE carried about 100 depth charges." USS Slater personal told me that they believe that the ship carried enough Depth Charges for 14 patterns. On the USS Slater, a typical pattern uses 12 depth charges (8 from K-Guns, and 2 charges each from 2 Depth Charge Racks). However, it should be noted that not every pattern used 12 charges. Fourteen Patterns of 12 Charges would equal 168 Depth Charges. Since each K-gun has a ready storage rack of 5 charges, and each rack can contain 8 charges, then the total number of charges in on-deck storage is 56. If the 14 patterns (of 12 charges) is correct, then an additional 112 depth charges would have to be stored in the magazine. During the week we checked the dimensions of the depth charge magazine, and determined that mathematically (1), the USS Slater Depth Charge magazine could hold over 300 charges. However, at 300 pounds a piece, it was felt that the weight would cause stability problems. Most likely, the USS Slater carried approximately 168 Depth Charges, but the number could be any number between 100 and 300.

For a good general description of Depth Charge patterns check out:

Historic Navy Ship Association
Gene Slover's Fire Control Page

(1) Details on math - The magazine is 24' x 10' by approx. 5' high. (2,073,600 cubic inches). A Mk. 6 charge is 17" x 28" (6,370 cubic inches). Using those numbers, the magazine could mathematically hold 325 charges.

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