Talk:USS Brooklyn (CL-40)

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Background[edit]

Background for USS Brooklyn CL-40: Verbal recollections of First Class Gunner's Mate George Earle Tomlinson, aboard Brooklyn during WW II. These 'Action Reports' are not intended to modify the history of the ship, but to provide depth and breath. My Father has been dead for twenty years and both his memory and mine may have been - or be in error in details. He was a 20 mm gunner on the stern and at some time was a gun spotter in the superstructure. When sister ship Savannah caught a bomb in a forward turret, Brooklyn was ordered across the Atlantic. The weather was too rough for the Escorts and Brooklyn's C.O. ordered them back to port. Brooklyn proceeded at maximum speed without zigging (a good tactic for a fast ship and Brooklyn was lightly armored and very fast). Torpedo tracks were seen aft once during the trip. In the battle at Casablanca against the Viche French ships (My Father called this the battle of Malta, but must have been Casablanca?), Brooklyn set a record for firing her 6 inch guns. His account of the fight was that the destroyers were racing around laying down smoke. Brooklyn would go through a smoke screen and look fast for a target on the other side. This was a line of sight fight. At one point, Brooklyn came out side-by-side with a French destroyer, struck it with all turrets point blank which caused it to roll and sink immediately. The Vishe French had one battleship, Jean Bart which was unfinished - having only one turret operational. Jean Bart fired on Massachusetts, which majestically turned from the action and proceeded over the horizon. (My Father's belief was that the battleship was in drydock when it fired on Massachusetts from the blocks! - this was incorrect. I toured Massachusetts in the late 70's/early 80's and mentioned it to my Father. His thoughts concerning Massachusetts were - sailor like. He indicated that Brooklyn's C.O. sent a flashing light signal to Massachusetts as she left to the effect, "Want me to take care of that Battleship for you?") Jean Bart was later damaged by Ranger's aircraft and forced to run aground. In Southern France, the foramtion was at anchor when a Heinkel bomber approached. The fleet opened up and shot and shell was raining back down of the ships. Cease fire was ordered, the Heinkel being a reconnaisance bomber. Every day he returned and was ignored. Finally one day as the Heinkel approached Brooklyn, her bombay doors opened. All ships were fully ready to get underway at an instant. Brooklyn had a watch stationed on the foredeck to slip the anchor, and ordered flank speed while the bombs fell. My Father said he was on the fantail with the 20 mm guns. Brooklyn dug a hole in the ocean with her screws so deep that he could not see the surface from where he stood. A bomb hit on either side of the stern and several landed in her wake. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jtomlinson (talkcontribs) 13:19, 16 January 2006

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