Cassin-class destroyer

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USS Cassin (DD-43).JPG
USS Cassin (DD-43) in Coast Guard service
Class overview
Name: Cassin-class destroyer
Operators:  United States Navy
 United States Coast Guard
Preceded by: Paulding class destroyer
Succeeded by: Aylwin class destroyer
Built: 1911-13
In commission: 1913-35
Completed: 4
Retired: 4
Preserved: 0
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,020 tons (normal)
1,139 tons (full load)
Length: 305 ft 3 in (93.04 m)
Beam: 30 ft 4 in (9.25 m)
Draft: 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
Propulsion: 4 Normand boilers
2 direct drive Parsons steam turbines
2 shafts
16,000 ihp (11,931 kW) shaft horsepower
Speed: 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph)
Capacity: 312 tons/oil (fuel)
Complement: 8 Officers
8 Chief Petty Officers
90 Enlisted
Armament: Four 4 inch/50 caliber (102 mm) guns
Eight 18 inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes (4 × 2)

Four destroyers in the United States Navy formed the Cassin-class. All served as convoy escorts during World War I. The Cassins were the first of six "second-generation" 1000-ton four-stack destroyer classes that were front-line ships of the Navy until the 1930s. They were known as "thousand tonners", while the previous classes were nicknamed "flivvers" for their small size, after the Model T Ford.

They were the first to carry the new 4 inch/50 caliber (102 mm) guns. The number of torpedo tubes was increased from the six carried by the Paulding-class to eight. The additional armament significantly increased their tonnage to over 1,000 tons and decreased their speed to less than thirty knots (56 km/h), despite an increase in shaft horsepower from 12,000 to 16,000.

The Aylwin-class was built concurrently, and those four ships are often considered to be Cassins.

The class performed convoy escort missions in the Atlantic in World War I. Hulls 43-45 served in the United States Coast Guard as part of the Rum Patrol in 1924-31. All were scrapped 1934-35 to comply with the London Naval Treaty.[1]


The increase in normal displacement to over 1,000 tons was due to the desire to combine a heavy armament with a substantial cruising range. The US Navy at the time had only three modern light cruisers of the Chester class, so the destroyers had to double as scouts.[2] The engineering arrangement of two-shaft direct drive turbines was similar to some previous ships, but the poor performance of early cruising turbines caused a reversion to reciprocating engines for cruising. Hulls 43 and 44 had a triple expansion engine that could be clutched to one shaft for cruising; the other pair of ships had a similar arrangement on both shafts..[3]

"Thousand tonner" development[edit]

The "thousand tonner" type included 26 destroyers in five classes: four Cassins, four Aylwins, six O'Briens, six Tuckers, and six Sampsons.[4] The ships were commissioned 1913-17. As the type developed the gun armament remained the same, torpedo armament greatly increased, and displacement rose by about 100 tons. The O'Briens introduced the 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo to the US destroyer force, but the number of tubes remained at eight. In the Sampsons, torpedo armament was increased to twelve 21 inch tubes by replacing the twin mounts with triple mounts. The subsequent "flush deck" types retained the gun and torpedo armament of the Sampsons on a new hull with displacement increased by about 100 tons, and with a new engineering plant. The thousand tonners also debuted US destroyer anti-aircraft armament: two 1 pounder (37 mm) autocannons were specified for the Tuckers but not fitted until the Sampsons.[5]

In engineering, cruising turbines were re-introduced with the Tucker and Sampson classes. USS  Wadsworth (DD-60) had prototype fully geared turbines without cruising turbines; this arrangement was later adopted for the Clemson-class "flush deckers"; other flush deckers had geared turbines with varying cruising arrangements.[6]


The gun armament of four 4 inch (102 mm) Mark 9 guns was a significant increase from the five 3 inch guns of the Paulding class, and remained the standard US destroyer gun armament through the "flush deck" Clemson-class destroyers commissioned through 1921. It reflected the increasing size of foreign destroyers that the Cassins might have to fight. The torpedo armament of eight 18 inch (456 mm) torpedo tubes was an increase of two tubes over the Pauldings. A factor in the size of the torpedo armament was the General Board's decision to use broadside rather than centerline torpedo tubes.[7] This was due to the desire to have some torpedoes remaining after firing a broadside, and problems experienced with centerline mounts on previous classes with torpedoes striking the gunwales of the firing ship.[8]

The class was probably equipped with one or two depth charge racks each for anti-submarine convoy escort missions in World War I.[9]

Ships in class[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gardiner, p. 122
  2. ^ Friedman, p. 32-33
  3. ^ Friedman, p. 29
  4. ^ 1000 tonner page
  5. ^ Gardiner, p. 122-125
  6. ^ Gardiner, p. 122-125
  7. ^ Friedman, p. 24,34
  8. ^ Friedman, p. 24
  9. ^ Friedman, p. 68

External links[edit]