Practice makes perfect?:

		Ok, The fact is: I dont know if the end of this story is true but the salient
	facts of the story are true. The Desron 24 squadron went to sea for the purpose of doing
	gunnery exercises at a surface target. We soon met an ocean going tug that was towing a
	sled behind it. I think the sled was supposed to be 1000 yards behind the tug but Im not
	sure it was that close to the tug. The squadron formed up in a line led by the flagship
	USS Blandy. The idea was that each ship would take a turn firing at the sled. I think we
	were supposed to put in a deliberate spot deflection so that the sled would not be hit
	and destroyed. It was however delightful when it was actually hit. Anyhow, the Blandy
	fired first and the first salvo hit the tugs bow with a piece of shrapnel, it seems they
	had some sort of a fire control problem! The tugs captain was not amused! He immediately
	left the range and returned to port. When the squadron returned to Newport the tug had
	been tied up at the front between pier one and two, so that everyone on the destroyers
	could see the damage on the tugs bow and, I assume, be totally ashamed of our collective
	poor performance.

		Some time after this incident the Blandy was awarded the Battle efficiency E 
	for gunnery. The explanation was that they had been the only ship to fire that day! 
	After all it was the flagship!

 

					David Fickle FT2 58-60