Sunday, February 26, 2012

More about the USS Timmerman

1955 Navy USS Timmerman Ship Solar Gas Turbine Engine Print Ad (44042)


The TIMMERMAN almost did not make it into this world. Her keel was laid on 01 October 1945, and at that time, she was intended to be just another standard destroyer of the class. On 07 January 1946, the Bureau of Ships ordered work suspended and what there was of her was transferred to the reserve fleet. This was remarkable due to the fact that many ships were cancelled and subsequently scrapped on the building ways....

When commissioned on 26 September 1952, the U.S. Navy had one of their first completely experimental ships. Her propulsion system was rated at 100,000 Shaft Horsepower and a speed of 43 knots was anticipated. Naval records do not show that she ever exceeded 35 knots, but strong evidence indicates that the 43 knots was achieved and perhaps even exceeded during sea trials prior to commissioning....

The TIMMERMAN was a successful experiment in many ways. She proved that higher steam pressures and temperatures were possible, thus allowing for the development of the 1200 psi plant, which was first installed in the USS FOREST SHERMAN (DD-931) class and other later classes of ships. One of her emergency generators was driven by a gas turbine engine, believed to be one of the first marine installations of a gas turbine. There were other contributions to future ship design such as the aluminum super-structure, raised bow and other experiments, which were classified at the time. Her short life of 46 months was a productive one. She was decommissioned on 27 July 1956 and sold for scrap on 21 April 1959.



The Timmerman was  offered up by a Philadelphia Naval Yard PR officer, as the ship most likely to have been confused with the disappearing Eldredge. The visible effects of testing the generator on a reverse current was the explanation given for the PX story. A fascinating ship...entirely experimental and in the possession of the Naval Reserve. But not around in the same time frame as the purported 1943 Philadelphia experiment.

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