Mark 14 torpedo

Mark 14Mark XIVMark XIV torpedotorpedoMk.14torpedoesfailed to explodeMark XIV steam torpedoMk 14 torpedoMk-14
The Mark 14 torpedo was the United States Navy's standard submarine-launched anti-ship torpedo of World War II. This weapon was plagued with many problems which crippled its performance early in the war.wikipedia
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Mark 6 exploder

Mark VI exploderMark 6Mark 6 magnetic pistol
The design for the Mark 6 exploder used in the Mark 14 torpedo had started at the Naval Torpedo Station (NTS), Newport, in 1922. This technology required the sophisticated new Mark 6 magnetic influence exploder, which was similar to the British Duplex and German models, all inspired by German magnetic mines of World War I. The Mark 14 shared this exploder with the concurrently-designed surface ship Mark 15 torpedo.
It was the standard exploder of the Navy's Mark 14 torpedo.

Mark 10 torpedo

Mark 10Mark XMk.10
The Mark 14 was to serve in the new "fleet" submarines and replace the Mark 10 which had been in service since World War I and was standard in the older R- and S-boats.
It was succeeded by the problematic Mark 14 torpedo, but remained in service in S-boats & fleet submarines through the Pacific War.

Torpedo

torpedoeshoming torpedotorpedoed
The Mark 14 torpedo was the United States Navy's standard submarine-launched anti-ship torpedo of World War II.
In the United States Navy (USN), there was an extended wrangle over the problems plaguing the Mark 14 torpedo (and its Mark 6 exploder).

Ralph Waldo Christie

Ralph W. ChristieRalph ChristieChristie
At Ralph Christie's urging, equatorial tests were later conducted with, which fired one hundred trial shots between 10°N and 10°S and collected 7000 readings.
The result of this was the development of the Mark 6 exploder and the Mark 14 torpedo.

Mark 15 torpedo

21 in21 in (53 cm)Mark 15
This technology required the sophisticated new Mark 6 magnetic influence exploder, which was similar to the British Duplex and German models, all inspired by German magnetic mines of World War I. The Mark 14 shared this exploder with the concurrently-designed surface ship Mark 15 torpedo.
The Mark 15 torpedo, the standard American destroyer-launched torpedo of World War II, was very similar in design to the Mark 14 torpedo except that it was longer, heavier, and had greater range and a larger warhead.

Pacific War

Pacific TheaterPacificPacific Theatre
Nonetheless, the Mark 14 played a major role in the devastating blow U.S. Navy submarines dealt to the Japanese naval and merchant marine forces during the Pacific War.
Furthermore, the standard-issue Mark 14 torpedo and its Mark VI exploder both proved defective, problems which were not corrected until September 1943.

Mark 18 torpedo

Mark 18Mark 18 electric torpedoMark 18-1 electric torpedoes
It was supplemented by the Mark 18 electric torpedo in the last two years of the war.
Kirk and Reich drafted a scathing memo, which ended up on the desk of Admiral Lockwood, who took the matter to William H. "Spike" Blandy, Chief of BuOrd, who (after months of disparaging submariners over the problems with the Mark 14, and while still complaining he could not get a good project officer from Lockwood) agreed to push the Mark 18 ahead.

Naval Undersea Warfare Center

Naval Torpedo StationUnderwater Sound LaboratoryNaval Underwater Sound Laboratory
The design for the Mark 6 exploder used in the Mark 14 torpedo had started at the Naval Torpedo Station (NTS), Newport, in 1922.
Fuze design and production was undertaken in great secrecy for the newly designed Mark 14 torpedo.

United States S-class submarine

S''-class submarineS-classS-class submarine
The Mark 14 was to serve in the new "fleet" submarines and replace the Mark 10 which had been in service since World War I and was standard in the older R- and S-boats.
In World War II, S-class boats did not use the newer Mark 14 torpedo, standard in fleet submarines, due to shorter torpedo tubes, relying on the World War I-vintage Mark 10 instead.

Bureau of Ordnance

Chief of Naval OrdnanceChief of the Bureau of OrdnanceBureau of Naval Ordnance
Chief of Naval Operations William V. Pratt offered the hulk of Cassin-class destroyer Ericsson, but prohibited the use of a live warhead, and insisted the Bureau of Ordnance (commonly called BuOrd) pay the cost of refloating her if she was hit in error.
It was heavily criticized during the Second World War for its failure to quickly remedy the numerous issues with the Mark 14 torpedo which had an over 70% dud rate.

USS Sargo (SS-188)

SargoUSS ''SargoUSS ''Sargo'' (SS-188)
On 24 December 1941, during a war patrol, Commander Tyrell D. Jacobs in Sargo fired eight torpedoes at two different ships with no results.
In exasperation, Sargo signaled headquarters, questioning the Mark 14's reliability on an open radio circuit.

U.S. Naval Torpedo Station, Alexandria

U.S. Naval Torpedo Station
The supply problems prompted the Navy to build the U.S. Naval Torpedo Station, Alexandria, VA, but WWI ended before the plant was built.
A green Mark XIV torpedo manufactured in the factory in 1945 is still on display.

James Fife Jr.

James Fife, Jr.James FyfeJames J. Fife
Despite being set for a depth of 10 ft, the torpedo pierced the net at a depth of 25 ft. James Fife, Jr. (formerly Chief of Staff to COMSUBAS Wilkes, whom Lockwood was replacing) followed up the next day with two more test shots; Fife concluded the torpedoes ran an average 11 ft deeper than the depth at which they were set.
About this time he and Captain J. E. Wilkes, his former squadron commander, were instrumental in identifying several deficiencies of the submarine force, especially the difficulties with the Mark 14 torpedo and the Hooven-Owens-Rentschler diesel engine.

James Wiggin Coe

James W. CoeJim CoeJames Wiggins "Red" Coe
Jim Coe's fired a single torpedo with an exercise head from a distance of 850 yd.
Coe also fired the first Mark 14 torpedo to be shot with its magnetic influence disabled as part of a new test run ordered by Rear-Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, which took place off of King George Sound in June 1942.

Charles A. Lockwood

Charles LockwoodLockwoodCharles A. Lockwood, Jr.
Shortly after replacing John E. Wilkes as Commander of Southwest Pacific submarines in Fremantle, Western Australia, newly minted Rear Admiral Charles A. Lockwood ordered a historic net test at Frenchman Bay on 20 June 1942.
In fighting for better torpedoes, Lockwood had to fight the Mark 14 torpedo and Mark 6 exploder supporter Rear Admiral Ralph Waldo Christie, who had been involved in the development of these weapon systems in the 1920s and 1930s, and who was convinced that their reported problems were caused by poor maintenance and errors on the part of the captain and crew.

Mark 16 torpedo

Mark 16Mark 16 Mod 6Mark 16-8
After the war, the best features of the improved Mark 14 were merged with the best features of captured German torpedoes to create the hydrogen peroxide–fueled Mark 16 with a pattern-running option.
The Mark 16 torpedo was a redesign of the United States Navy standard Mark 14 torpedo to incorporate war-tested improvements for use in unmodified United States fleet submarines.

Magnetic pistol

magnetic influenceMagnetic Explodermagnetic
This technology required the sophisticated new Mark 6 magnetic influence exploder, which was similar to the British Duplex and German models, all inspired by German magnetic mines of World War I. The Mark 14 shared this exploder with the concurrently-designed surface ship Mark 15 torpedo.
Eventually, the US Mark 6 magnetic pistol was replaced by contact pistols (which, in the cases of the US Mark 14 submarine torpedo and Mark 15 ship torpedo, proved to be unreliable as well).

William H. P. Blandy

William H.P. BlandyBlandyAdmiral William Blandy
Only in May 1943, after the most famous skipper in the Sub Force, Dudley W. "Mush" Morton, turned in a dry patrol, did Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, Commander Submarine Force Pacific ( COMSUBPAC ), accept the Mark 6 should be deactivated, but waited to see if Bureau of Ordnance commander Admiral William "Spike" Blandy might yet find a fix for the problem.
involving the initially practically useless Mark 14 torpedo,

USS Tinosa (SS-283)

TinosaUSS ''TinosaUSS ''Tinosa'' (SS-283)
The experience of Dan Daspit (in Tinosa) was exactly the sort of live-fire trial BuOrd had been prevented from doing in peacetime.
This was the third strike for the Mark 14 torpedo.

Charles Momsen

Charles B. "Swede" MomsenCharles B. MomsenSwede" Momsen
Taylor, "Swede" Momsen, and others fired warshots into the cliffs of Kahoolawe, beginning 31 August.
While Momsen was ComSubRon 2 in the U.S. Pacific Fleet, captains under his command reported their Mark 14 torpedoes were not functioning properly.

United States Navy

U.S. NavyUS NavyNavy
The Mark 14 torpedo was the United States Navy's standard submarine-launched anti-ship torpedo of World War II.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
The Mark 14 torpedo was the United States Navy's standard submarine-launched anti-ship torpedo of World War II.

World War I

First World WarGreat WarWorld War One
The Mark 14 was to serve in the new "fleet" submarines and replace the Mark 10 which had been in service since World War I and was standard in the older R- and S-boats.

United States R-class submarine

R''-class coastal and harbor defense submarineR-class coastal and harbor defense submarineR-class
The Mark 14 was to serve in the new "fleet" submarines and replace the Mark 10 which had been in service since World War I and was standard in the older R- and S-boats.