Friday Photo – Wrath of USS Barry

USS Barry DDG-52

US Navy (USN) Arleigh Burke class Destroyer USS BARRY (DDG 52) fires her forward mounted Mk-45/5″ 54 cal lightweight gun. The BARRY is participating in a Sink Exercise (SINKEX), which is a live-fire operation that provides navy personnel the experience of launching operational weapons against decommissioned vessel targets to improve their war-fighting skills. Camera Operator: PHAN RYAN O`CONNOR, USN Date Shot: 26 Apr 2004

The Barry teamed with the USS Thorn (DD 988) to sink the Ex-USS Portland (LSD-37) using Harpoon missiles and gunfire.

Yeah, yeah. Missiles rule. But don’t tell Murdoc naval gunfire isn’t just plain awesome. Even from 5 inchers.

UPDATE: Forgot to ask the question that made me pick this pic in the first place. What’s purpose to those pallets and mats on the deck?

UPDATE 2: The answer is that the pallets and matting protects the deck from ejected shell casings. Photo below.

USS Barry DDG-52 close-up

Pic originally from DVIC.


  1. The pallets and mats are there to protect the deck from getting dinged up by the spent cartridges. You can see three cartridges in this picture, one just exiting the discharge chute under the barrel, the second lying on the deck just to the right of the one exiting the gun mount, and the third a bit further to the right lying on the pallets.

  2. Actually I heard a rumor that they did a Sinkex with a decomissioned. Problem was that they couldn’t get any of the missles to penetrate enough to cause significant damage and actually had to hit it at the waterline with a few volleys of AP 5′ rounds to actually get her to go down.

  3. Regards missles not penetrating,that is highly unlikely. However, missles generally hit above the waterline, they let in air, not water. It is entirely possible that having utterly wrecked the upperworks they needed to give the derelict ‘a little hulling’ (and the 5′ crews some practice) in order to get her to go under and not be a hazard to navigation…a twofer:) Missles can hit hard, on those occasions that its warhead actually detonates, a French exxocet has the punch of a WW1 13.5 inch battleship shell, and it has a fairly small warhead compared to our Harpoon. Most ASuW missiles are big and expensive though, they are about the size and weight of historical torpedos and quite expensive per shot, this can make a gun with a couple of hundred rounds a quite useful thing to have.

  4. Captain Ned: Thanks for the tip. Now that you mention it, I see what you’re talking about. I had actually totally missed the cartridge getting kicked out. It appears to me that the cartridge that is ‘on’ the pallets is actually the one coming out and is in mid-air above the pallets. The two forward of the turret appear to be lying on the deck. The one that looks like it’s just exiting the turret has a shadow that makes me think it’s lying on the deck. I added a close-up. Also, the that Buchanan page is AWESOME. Thanks!

  5. I am still confused as to why the mats and pallets are there ‘protecting the deck.’ why would the deck of all things need protecting? isn’t it steel?

  6. It’s not so much the steel deck that needs protecting. It’s the pain in the ass to repair non-skid deck coating that’s being protected. Preservation against the elements above all else is the name of the game on a ship. Non-skid deck coating is not rubbery and shock absorbing. It’s like really large grit sandpaper paint applied with a thick napped roller. It’s brittle when subjected to impact of that type (it will shred dungarees and flesh like nobody’s business if you fall down however). Additionally, not all shipboard surfaces are taken care of by the Boatswain’s Mates. That particular area of the deck would be maintained by the GMG’s (Gunner’s Mate Guns). GMG’s, FC’s GMM’s, and pretty much every other rating other than BM’s have better things to do, like actually shoot our gear and maintain it rather than patch up non-skid deck coating when we don’t have to.