Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer

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Allen m sumner-2.jpg
USS Allen M. Sumner (DD-692), the lead ship of her class, seen here in 1970.
Class overview
Name: Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer
Builders: Various
Operators:

 United States Navy
Taiwan Republic of China Navy (Taiwan)


Argentina Argentine Navy
Brazil Brazilian Navy
Chile Chilean Navy
Colombia Colombian Navy
Greece Hellenic Navy
South Korea Republic of Korea Navy (South Korea)
Turkey Turkish Navy
Iran Imperial Iranian Navy
Venezuela Venezuelan Navy
Preceded by: Fletcher class
Succeeded by: Gearing class
Subclasses: Robert H. Smith class
Cost: $8 million, excluding armament
In commission: 1943-1975 (USN)
Planned: 70
Completed: 58
Lost: 4
Preserved: 2
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 2,200-2,220 tons standard
3,515 tons full load
Length: 369 ft (112 m) waterline
376 ft 6 in (114.8 m) overall
376 ft (114.6 m) overall (DD.725-728 & 730-734)
Beam: 41 ft (12 m)
40 ft (12.2 m) (DD.692-709)
40 ft 9 in (12.4 m) (DD.744)
41 ft 3 in (12.6 m) (DD.770-776)
Draft: 15 ft 9 in (4.80 m) normal
19 ft (5.8 m) full load
18 ft 9 in (18.4 m) full load (DD.735-40 & 749-751 & 771-773)
Propulsion: 4 Babcock & Wilcox or Foster Wheeler boilers; two General Electric or Westinghouse geared steam turbines, 60,000 shp (45 MW) total; two shafts
Speed: 34 knots (63 km/h; 39 mph)
Range: 6,000 nmi at 15 knots (11,100 km @28 km/h)
503 tons oil fuel (except DD.692-709 500 tons, DD.735-740 515 tons)
Complement: 336-363
Armament:

As built:

Typical by 1950:

Typical after FRAM II: (1960-65)

The Allen M. Sumner class was a group of 58 destroyers built by the United States during World War II. Another twelve ships were completed as destroyer minelayers. Often referred to as simply the Sumner class, this class was characterized by their twin 5"/38cal-gun mounts, dual rudders, additional anti-aircraft weapons, and many other advancements over the previous Fletcher class. The Sumner design was extended 14 feet (4.3 m) amidships to become the Gearing class, which was produced in larger numbers.

Completed in 1943–45, four were lost in the war and one was damaged so badly it was scrapped, but the surviving ships served in the US Navy into the 1970s. After being retired from the US fleet, 29 of them were sold to other navies, where they served many more years. Two still exist as museum ships, one in South Carolina, and one in Taiwan.

Description[edit]

The first ship was laid down in May 1943, while the last was launched in April 1945. In that time the United States produced 58 Allen M. Sumner-class destroyers. The Sumner class was an improvement of the previous Fletcher class, which were built from 1941 until 1944. In addition to three twin 5"/38cal mounts replacing the Fletchers' five single mounts, Sumners had twin rudders, giving them better maneuverability for ASW work when compared to Fletchers. The 5-inch guns were guided by a Mark 37 Gun Fire Control System with a Mark 25 fire control radar linked by a Mark 1A Fire Control Computer stabilized by a Mark 6 8,500 rpm gyro. This fire control system provided effective long-range anti-aircraft (AA) or anti-surface fire. The Sumners also had much more short-range anti-aircraft armament than the Fletchers, with 12 40 mm guns and 11 20 mm guns compared with 8 40 mm and 7 20 mm for a typical late-war upgraded Fletcher. The initial design retained the Fletchers' heavy torpedo armament of 10 21" (533mm) tubes in two quintuple mounts, firing the Mark 15 torpedo. As the threat from kamikaze aircraft mounted in 1945, and with few remaining Japanese warships to use torpedoes on, most of the class had the after quintuple 21" torpedo tube mount replaced by an additional 40 mm quadruple mount for 16 total 40mm guns.[1][2]

The Sumners achieved a 20% increase in 5" gun armament and almost a 50% increase in light AA armament on a hull the same length as a Fletcher, only 15 inches (38 cm) wider, and about 15" (38 cm) deeper in draft. The increase in standard displacement was only 150 tons, about 7.5%. Thus, the Sumner class was a significant improvement in combat power at a small increase in cost.

See also Robert H. Smith-class destroyer minelayer (DM), twelve of which were built on hulls originally intended as Sumners. Gearing class-destroyers were of the same design, modified with a 14-foot (4.3 m) midship extension to carry more fuel to extend the ships' range.

Construction[edit]

Eighteen were built by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Kearny, New Jersey. Fourteen were built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. Ten were built by Bethlehem Steel's Mariners Harbor shipyard on Staten Island. Six were built by Bethlehem Steel's Union Iron Works in San Francisco, California. Five were built by Bethlehem Steel in San Pedro, California. Five were built by Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle, Washington. USS Barton (DD-722) was the first ship of the class to be laid down and the first to be commissioned. USS Henley (DD-762) was the last commissioned.

Service[edit]

The Sumners served on radar picket stations in the Battle of Okinawa, as well as other duties, and had several losses. Cooper, Meredith, Mannert L. Abele, and Drexler were lost during the war, and Hugh W. Hadley was so badly damaged by a kamikaze attack that she was scrapped soon after the war ended. After the war most of the class (except some of the light minelayers) had their 40-mm and 20-mm guns replaced by up to six 3"/50 caliber guns (76 mm), and the pole mast was replaced by a tripod to carry a new, heavier radar. On most ships one depth charge rack was removed and two Hedgehog mounts added. One of the two quintuple 21-in (533 mm) torpedo tube mountings had already been removed on most to make way for a quadruple 40-mm gun mounting and additional radar for the radar picket mission. 33 ships were converted under the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization II (FRAM II) program 1960-65, but not as extensively as the Gearings. Typically, FRAM Sumners retained all three 5"/38 twin mounts and received the Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH) and two triple Mark 32 torpedo tubes for the Mark 44 torpedo, with all 3-inch and lighter guns, previous ASW armament, and 21" torpedo tubes being removed. Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) was also fitted; however, ASROC was not fitted. Ships that did not receive FRAM were typically upgraded with Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes in exchange for the K-guns, but retained Hedgehog and one depth charge rack.[2]

In Navy slang, the modified destroyers were called "FRAM cans", "can" being a contraction of "tin can", the slang term for a destroyer or destroyer escort.

Many Sumners provided significant gunfire support in the Vietnam War. They also served as escorts for Carrier Battle Groups (Carrier Strike Groups from 2004) and Amphibious Ready Groups (Expeditionary Strike Groups from 2006). From 1965, some Sumners were transferred to the Naval Reserve Force (NRF), with a partial active crew to train Naval reservists.

Disposition[edit]

USS De Haven (DD-727) c.1970 fitted with FRAM II modifications.

The ships served in the US Navy into the 1970s. DASH was withdrawn from anti-submarine warfare (ASW) service in 1969 due to poor reliability. Lacking ASROC, the Sumners were left without a standoff ASW capability, and were decommissioned 1970-73, with most being transferred to foreign navies. The FRAM Sumners were effectively replaced as ASW ships by the Knox-class frigates (destroyer escorts prior to 1975), which were commissioned 1969-74 and carried a piloted helicopter, typically the Kaman SH-2 Seasprite, and ASROC. After the Sumners were retired from the US fleet, seven were sunk by the US in fleet training exercises and 13 were scrapped, while 29 were sold to other navies (two for spare parts), where they served for many more years. 12 were sold to the Republic of China Navy and 2 were sold to the Republic of Korea Navy. 2 were sold to the Shah of Iran and 1 was sold to Turkey. 1 was sold to Greece. 2 were sold to Venezuela, 2 to Colombia, 2 sold to Chile, 5 sold to Brazil and 4 to Argentina.

Two ships are now museum ships: USS Laffey (DD-724) at Patriot's Point, Charleston, South Carolina, and USS Taussig (DD-746) in Taiwan.


Ships in class[edit]

Ship Name Hull No. Builder Commission–
Decommission
Fate Link
Allen M. Sumner DD-692 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1973 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping [1] [2]
Moale DD-693 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1973 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping [3] [4]
Ingraham DD-694 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1971 Sold to Greece 16 July 1971 as Miaoulis [5]
Cooper DD-695 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944 Torpedoed and sunk by destroyer Take while intercepting a Japanese convoy into Ormoc Bay 3 December 1944 [6]
English DD-696 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1970 Sold to Republic of China Navy 11 August 1970 as Huei Yang [7]
Charles S. Sperry DD-697 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1973 Sold to Chile 8 January 1974 as Ministro Zenteno [8]
Ault DD-698 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1970 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping [9] [10]
Waldron DD-699 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1973 Sold to Colombia 30 October 1973 as Santander (DD-03) [11] [12]
Haynsworth DD-700 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944-c.1970 Sold to Republic of China Navy 12 May 1970 as Yuen Yang [13]
John W. Weeks DD-701 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1970 Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise, 11/19/1970 [14] [15]
Hank DD-702 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1972 Sold to Argentina 1 July 1972 as Segui [16] [17]
Wallace L. Lind DD-703 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1973 Sold to Republic of Korea Navy 4 December 1973 as Dae Gu [18] [19]
Borie DD-704 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1972 Sold to Argentina 1 July 1972 as Hipólito Bouchard (D-26) [20]
Compton DD-705 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1972 Sold to Brazil 27 September 1972 as Mato Grosso [21]
Gainard DD-706 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1971 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping [22]
Soley DD-707 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944–1970 Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise [23]
Harlan R. Dickson DD-708 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1944-c.1972 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 4 January 1973 [24] [25]
Hugh Purvis DD-709 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company 1945–1972 Sold to Turkey 1 July 1972 as Zafer (F 253) [26] [27]
Barton DD-722 Bath Iron Works 1943–1968 Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise. [28]
Walke DD-723 Bath Iron Works 1944–1970 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 3 January 1975 [29] [30]
Laffey DD-724 Bath Iron Works 1944–1975 Preserved as memorial and berthed at Patriot's Point, Charleston, South Carolina [31] [32]
O'Brien DD-725 Bath Iron Works 1944–1972 Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise, 12 January 1972 [33] [34]
Meredith DD-726 Bath Iron Works 1944 Sunk 9 June 1944, Wreck sold and scrapped 5 August 1960 [35]
De Haven DD-727 Bath Iron Works 1944–1973 Sold to Republic of Korea Navy, 5 December 1973 as Incheon [36] [37]
Mansfield DD-728 Bath Iron Works 1944–1973 Sold to Argentina 4 June 1974 for spare parts [38] [39]
Lyman K. Swenson DD-729 Bath Iron Works 1944–1971 Sold to Republic of China Navy 6 May 1974 for spare parts [40] [41]
Collett DD-730 Bath Iron Works 1944–1970 Sold to Argentina in 1974 as Piedra Buena (D-29) [42] [43]
Maddox DD-731 Bath Iron Works 1944–1969 Sold to Republic of China Navy as Po Yang [44] [45]
Hyman DD-732 Bath Iron Works 1944-c.1969 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping [46]
Mannert L. Abele DD-733 Bath Iron Works 1944–1945 Sunk by an Ohka bomb during the battle for Okinawa 12 April 1945 [47]
Purdy DD-734 Bath Iron Works 1944-c.1973 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 6 January 1974 [48]
Drexler DD-741 Bath Iron Works 1944–1945 Sunk by kamikaze 28 May 1945 [49]
Blue DD-744 Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island 1944–1971 Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise, 04/28/1977 [50] [51]
Brush DD-745 Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island 1944–1969 Sold to Republic of China Navy 9 December 1969 as Hsiang Yang [52]
Taussig DD-746 Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island 1944–1970 Sold to Republic of China Navy as Lo Yang (DD-14). Now a museum in Taiwan. [53] [54]
Samuel N. Moore DD-747 Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island 1944–1969 Sold to Republic of China Navy 10 December 1969 as Heng Yang (DD-2) [55]
Harry E. Hubbard DD-748 Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island 1944–1969 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping [56]
Alfred A. Cunningham DD-752 Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island 1944–1971 Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise, 10 January 1979 [57] [58]
John R. Pierce DD-753 Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island 1944–1973 (Decommoisioning phamplet) Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 10 January 1974 [59] [60]
Frank E. Evans DD-754 Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island 1945–1969 Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise, 10 October 1969 [61] [62]
John A. Bole DD-755 Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island 1945–1970 Sold to Republic of China Navy 6 May 1974 for spare parts [63] [64]
Beatty DD-756 Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island 1945–1972 Sold to Venezuela 14 July 1972 as Carabobo [65]
Putnam DD-757 Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco 1944–1973 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 6 January 1974 [66] [67]
Strong DD-758 Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco 1944–1973 Sold to Brazil, 31 October 1973, as Rio Grande do Norte (D-37) [68] [69]
Lofberg DD-759 Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco 1945–1971 Sold to Republic of China Navy 6 May 1974 for spare parts [70] [71]
John W. Thomason DD-760 Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco 1945–1970 Sold to Republic of China Navy 6 May 1974 as Nan Yang [72] [73]
Buck DD-761 Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco 1945–1973 Sold to Brazil 16 July 1973 as Alagoas [74] [75]
Henley DD-762 Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco 1945-c.1973 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 6 January 1974 [76] [77]
Lowry DD-770 Bethlehem Steel, San Pedro 1944-c.1973 Sold to Brazil 31 October 1973 as Espirito Santo [78] [79]
Hugh W. Hadley DD-774 Bethlehem Steel, San Pedro 1944–1945 Sold 2 September 1947 for scrap [80]
Willard Keith DD-775 Bethlehem Steel, San Pedro 1944–1972 Sold to Colombia as Caldas (DD-02) [81]
James C. Owens DD-776 Bethlehem Steel, San Pedro 1945–1973 Sold to Brazil 15 July 1973 as Sergipe [82] [83]
Zellars DD-777 Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle 1944–1971 Sold to Iran 12 October 1973 as Babr [84]
Massey DD-778 Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle 1944-c.1969 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 10 January 1974 [85] [86]
Douglas H. Fox DD-779 Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle 1944–1973 Sold to Chile 8 January 1974 Ministro Portales (DD-17) [87] [88]
Stormes DD-780 Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle 1945–1970 Sold to Iran 16 February 1972 Palang (DDG-9) [89]
Robert K. Huntington DD-781 Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle 1945–1970 Sold to Venezuela as Falcon [90] [91]
Bristol DD-857 Bethlehem Steel, San Pedro 1945–1969 Sold to Republic of China Navy 9 December 1969 Hua Yang [92]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ."The Sumner Class As Built Retrieved 25 August 2009."
  2. ^ a b Friedman, Norman "US Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History (Revised Edition)", Naval Institute Press, Annapolis:2004, ISBN 1-55750-442-3.

External links[edit]