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Snargfargle

Operation Raptor Rescue (Part 2)

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Part 1

I was informed that my new ship, the Mongoose, had already been fueled and provisioned and was only waiting for her commander to arrive before heading south to rendezvous with a small force that was tasked to locate, repair, and re-supply a crippled aircraft carrier. The carrier was the USS Ranger (codename “Raptor”), which had suffered significant damage during a clandestine mission. The Ranger had a distinguished career in the Atlantic before being assigned to Pearl Harbor. She had purportedly left Pearl to serve out of San Diego as a training ship. In the history books it is noted that the Ranger never saw combat in the Pacific during WWII. However, much of what the Navy does is classified and never makes it into the history books. The Ranger did see combat in the Pacific, for it served with Admiral Ardfargle's clandestine intelligence-gathering task force.

The Mongoose was docked in a far-removed section of the harbor, surrounded by a high fence and heavily guarded not only by Marines but also by two PT boats. Even though I was to be its new captain, it took several ID checks and phone calls before even I was let through the heavy security and into the vicinity of the ship. I began to wondered just what I'd gotten myself roped into here. The Mongoose, was not on the Naval Vessel Register, nor would it ever be, for it was an experimental ship, a technology research vessel that had been rather hastily pressed into active service due to a specific need. The Mongoose was a “destroyer” but unlike any destroyer that the Navy currently operated. It was half the size of a Farragut-class destroyer, with a crew consisting of no more than fifty officers and men. At first I was doubtful that only fifty men could operate even a ship as small as The Mongoose but I soon was to find myself very wrong in this assumption. In fact, it took far fewer than 50 men to operate the ship, for there were twenty engineers and technicians on board who we would be transporting to the floating workshop that was tasked to repair the Ranger.

When I finally came within sight of my new command she appeared like nothing I'd ever seen. I followed the strange, angular lines of the ship, wondering where her torpedo tubes and guns were located. Presumably they were behind hatches, not unlike those of old-fashioned ships of the line. I thought that this actually wasn't a bad idea, although there would have to be a way to “run the guns out” before firing.

Speaking of guns, those of the Mongoose, though few in number. Were more powerful than those usually mounted on a destroyer. A Farragut-class destroyer's normal five-inch guns had an effective range of only a few thousand yards. At distances further than that, armor plating would shatter five-inch HE shells like icicles fallen onto a sidewalk and send AP shells ricocheting off into the sea. However, the Mongoose, although much smaller a Farragut-class destroyer, was outfitted with the six-inch guns usually only found on cruisers. And, though she only sported four of them, I'd been informed that her guns were both auto-loading and radar controlled, not to mention that their shells were of a special rocket-assisted, high-velocity and high-density type. I'd asked just what “high-density” referred to and pondered if the shells might not be capped with tungsten. However, my musings were quickly quelled by a “Sorry, sir, that's classified.” Yet another thing I was not going to know about this mission until decades later. I then asked of the gun's range and capabilities, saying that I'd need to know this as her captain. I was informed that I should be able to sink anything the enemy had afloat, other than possibly a large battleship, at up to twenty-thousand yards.

To supplement its guns, the Mongoose also was outfitted with six experimental long-range guided torpedoes which would do well against even battleships. While these torpedoes were highly classified at the time, with a few modifications they would be later known as the Mark 35. Although highly powerful, the Mongoose's ordinance, being experimental, also was limited. I would have to be judicious should we encounter resistance in our mission.

As I was pondering all this, and also wondering why the Mongoose was painted a simple gray and not camouflaged in any way, she suddenly shimmered and became very difficult to see, much as if I was viewing her as mirage over hot desert sands. I knew better to ask exactly what specifically was going on here but was informed that I could order this active camouflage turned on for a short duration if I needed extra concealment. That's all I was officially told about the camouflage. However, my hearing was pretty good back then and before the technicians all clammed up on the matter I heard someone mention something called the Philadelphia Experiment.

Edited by Snargfargle
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@Snargfargle Omg what is this space age ship... this DD is going to be the memes... then again I have shipgirls so I guess it balances out. Excited to see what you do with your ship 

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5 minutes ago, Incendiary_Tanker said:

@Snargfargle Omg what is this space age ship... this DD is going to be the memes... then again I have shipgirls so I guess it balances out. Excited to see what you do with your ship 

If you have read my stories you will notice that they are all linked by an underlying theme.

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