|U.S.S. Allen M. Sumner DD-692|
|Anti Submarine Warfare|
Contact and Depth Weapons
Sumner's weapons systems included ASW contact and depth weapons throughout her time with the fleet. The only known use of these weapons occurred during her shake down cruise to Bermuda in 1944 when depth charges were rolled onto a possible submarine target. This incident is not entered in the Deck Log but was related to us by LTJG Philip G. Arneson (SC). The following weapons summaries and photographs display these weapons as they were actually installed on Sumner.
Mark 9 Depth Charge Release Track
The Mark 9 release track was a set of four inclined rails on which the Depth Charges were stored until their release by gravity mechanically at the tracks or by a system from the Bridge. Two sets of tracks were on the fantail with one on each side angled outboard. next to and in between these racks were stowed additional ready service charges which could be moved to the roll racks by davit and fall. The charges used on the Sumner were the Mark 9 and Mark 14. They both contained 200 pounds of TNT with the Mark 9 detonating by hydrostatic pressure ranging from 30 to 600 feet and the Mark 14 utilizing an acoustic influence-type firing mechanism which could be detonated at any depth. They were 18 inches in diameter and 28 inches long. During the ammunition load of May 1, 1944 Sumner took aboard 66 Depth Charges Mk 9-2, 66 Depth Charge Boosters Mk 6-1, 66 Depth Charge Booster Extenders Mk 6-1, 66 Depth Charge Pistols Mk 6-1 and 66 Detonators Percussion Mk 1-1. This system was installed during construction at Federal Shipbuilding.
Mark 6 Depth Charge
a/k/a "K Gun"
The Mark 6 Depth Charge Projector was also installed during original construction with units on both the Port and Starboard sides. The same depth charges as used in the Mark 9 Release Track system were used in the K-Guns but were propelled by a charge which depending on the impulse cartridge used would fire the depth charge from 60 to 150 yards from the ship. The charges along with a special arbor were manually loaded from the racks adjacent to the K-Guns themselves. Both of the above systems were removed during the FRAM II overhaul in 1961.
Mark 10 and Mark 11 Hedgehog Projectors
The Mark 10 and 11 Hedgehog projectors were located behind and outboard of 5"/38 Mount 52. They were ahead throwing weapons capable of launching a pattern of 24 7.2 inch Mark 6 projectiles ahead of the ship. These mounts could be tilted and rotated to change the angle of attack. The charges were fired electrically in pairs with an interval of .10 seconds via a ripple switch. The Mark 6 Projector Charge contained an impulse charge of black powder that burned for 8 seconds. The charges were 3.88 feet in length with a 30 lb. charge of TNT or 34 lb. of Torpex. They contained a contact fuze requiring a direct hit for detonation. This system was installed during the FRAM II overhaul at Charleston Naval Shipyard.
Note that the ASW weapons system known as DASH has it's own page within the Specifications Chapter.
Many thanks to Don Marion, Harold Jackson, Jim Walker, Glen Burdett, Al Payne, Jim Poston John Boeckeler and Paul Rando for sharing these pieces of Sumner history.