Vintage Boom: Testing the Navy’s WWII Big Guns in Kodachrome
By Chris Eger
The Naval Proving Ground in Dahlgren, Virginia was established in 1918 and has been testing ordnance for the fleet ever since. We found a great series of original color photos taken at Dahlgren during World War II showing the big guns at work.
“14-inch gun fires a test round down range, during World War II. Gun crewmen are covering their ears with their hands for noise and shock protection.” (All Photos/Quoted Captions: Naval History and Heritage Command)
“Five-inch gun makes a hit on an armor plate target, during World War II ordnance testing. This test does two jobs in one, checking gun and armor in the same operation. Note flashes made by gunfire, and by the projectile striking the armor plate.”
“Firing an eight-inch, 55-cal. Gun, during tests in World War II. This is a triple, single sleeve gun mount, with the right barrel removed. Shells on the stand in the foreground are of about 16″ size, possibly for the 16″ gun at right.”
“Tracer bullets from a twin 40mm machine gun mount arc across the sky, aimed at targets in the Potomac River, in a test of both guns and ammunition during World War II.”
“6”/47 triple mounted guns, destined for one of the