By Dave McComb
The USA Navy's newest destroyers because it entered international conflict II have been a hundred ships from 11 periods brought within the Nineteen Thirties: 1,500-tonners and 1,850-ton destroyer leaders designed to comply to the 1930 London Naval Treaty, plus the successor 1,570-ton Sims classification and the first-commissioned 1,620- and 1,630-tonners of the Benson and Gleaves sessions. jointly, those destroyers carried the military during the war's first yr while the result was once unsure: whereas so much 1,500-tonners and leaders have been assigned to entrance line responsibility within the Pacific earlier than being relegated to secondary assignments, the later Bensons and Gleaves grew to become the traditional destroyers for Atlantic and Mediterranean operations and remained famous within the Pacific in the course of the conflict. This quantity describes the attention-grabbing layout tale at the back of those developmental periods - from the restrictions of peacetime treaties to advances in propulsion engineering and wartime adjustments. With an operational evaluation in their carrier and tables directory all 169 ships through type, builder, and preliminary squadron, it is a definitive consultant to the pre-war US destroyer classes.
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Extra resources for US Destroyers 1934-45: Pre-war classes (New Vanguard, Volume 162)
Low-key C o m m a n d e r Frederick Moosbrugger w a s well liked by subordinates. Victor at the battle of Vella Gulf in 1943, he w a s placed in overall c o m m a n d of the destroyers on the picket lines at O k i n a w a in 1945. (NARA 80-G-331686) The Aleutian Islands The South Pacific was not the only front. The need to contest the Aleutian Islands, the "birthplace of bad weather," stemmed from a misperception of their strategic value. After the Japanese had occupied Attu and Kiska Islands in 1 9 4 2 , the US Navy devoted resources - eventually including three battleships - to rooting them out.
It also selected 14 destroyers of prewar design for special honors. Smith, Sterett, Maury, Laffey, and Buchanan all received the Presidential Unit Citation for their roles in the Solomons campaign; Hobson was part of a hunter-killer task group in the Atlantic in 1944 that received the same award. Bailey was singled out to receive the Navy Unit Commendation for the torpedo attack at the battle of the Komandorski Islands in 1943; Woolsey, Plunkett, and Hilary P. Jones were also recognized for their performances in the Mediterranean in 1943-44, as were minesweepers Rodman, Emmons, Macomb, and Butler for Okinawa.
These ships lived on, however, in the memories of shipmates, some of whom still held annual reunions 70 years later - and, in the case of some Operation Monstrous veterans who developed a warm relationship with the U-616 survivors they had rescued - their legacy treasured by family members, friends, admirers, and even their former enemies. Enemies no more: destroyers had t h e honor of receiving t h e surrender at several locations. Here in Dunlap's wardroom after t h e surrender of the Bonin Islands, Captain Harold S m i t h , USN discusses additional details with J a p a n e s e Captains Nishiyotsuji a n d S u g i m u r a .
US Destroyers 1934-45: Pre-war classes (New Vanguard, Volume 162) by Dave McComb