Mitscher-class destroyer

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USS Wilkinson (DL-5) underway in late 1950s
USS Wilkinson (DL-5) underway in late 1950s
Class overview
Name: Mitscher-class destroyer
Builders: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine (2)
Bethlehem Steel, Fore River Shipyard (2)
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: Gearing-class destroyer
Succeeded by: Forrest Sherman-class destroyer
Built: 1949–1954
In commission: 1953–1978
Completed: 4
Retired: 4
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 3,642 tons standard; 4,855 full load
Length: 490 ft (150 m)
Beam: 47.5 ft (14.5 m)
Draft: 14.7 ft (4.5 m)
Propulsion: 2 shaft; gear steam turbines; 4 boilers; 80,000 shp (60 MW)
Range: 4,500 nmi (8,330 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h)
Armament: 2x 5in (127 mm); 4x 3in (76 mm); 8x 20 mm; 4x 21in (533 mm) TT; 2x Weapon Alpha ASW rocket launcher; 1x depth charge rack

The Mitscher-class destroyer was an experimental destroyer class of four ships that were built for the United States Navy shortly after World War II. Considerably larger than all previous destroyers, they would have been the first post-war destroyer class had they not been reclassified during construction as destroyer leaders (DL). Commissioned in 1953-1954, two of the class served until 1969, and were scrapped in the 1970s. The other two were converted into guided missile destroyers (DDG), served until 1978, and were sold for scrap by 1980.

Description[edit]

All four Mitscher class ships were ordered 3 August 1948 and were named for admirals of the Second World War. Each ship displaced 3,331 tons light, 3,642 tons standard and 4,855 tons under full load with a length of 494 feet (151 m), a 50-foot (15 m) beam and a 26-foot (8 m) draft.

Beyond that, each ship had a different loadout of propulsion and other systems so as to determine the best course of action for future destroyer design.

In the early 1960s, the Mitscher class underwent modernization through the Class Improvement Program (CIP), which included the replacement of the boilers on the first two ships of the class.

USS Mitscher (DDG-35) after her conversion to a guided missile destroyer, 1971.


Ships in class[edit]

Ship Name Builder Commission–
Decommission
Fate Ref
Mitscher (DL-2) Bath Iron Works 1953–1978 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 1 August 1980 [1]
John S. McCain (DL-3) Bath Iron Works 1953–1978 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 13 December 1979 [2]
Willis A. Lee (DL-4) Bethlehem Steel, Fore River Shipyard 1954–1969 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 1 June 1973 [3]
Wilkinson (DL-5) Bethlehem Steel, Fore River Shipyard 1954–1969 Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 1 June 1975 [4]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]