Somers-class destroyer

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USS Somers (DD-381)
Class overview
Name: Somers-class destroyer
Builders: Federal Shipbuilding
Bath Iron Works
Operators: US flag 48 stars.svg United States
Preceded by: Bagley class
Succeeded by: Benham class
Built: 1935–39
In commission: 1937–45
Completed: 5
Lost: 1
Retired: 4
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,850 tons (standard)
2130 tons (full)
Length: 381 ft (116 m)
Beam: 36 ft 2 in (11.02 m)
Draught: 10 ft 4 in (3.15 m)
Propulsion: 4 Babcock & Wilcox or Foster Wheeler boilers
2 General Electric geared steam turbines
52,000 horsepower
Speed: 36.0 knots
Complement: 16 Officers
278 Enlisted
  • Weapon configuration varied greatly from ship to ship during the war.

The Somers-class destroyer was a class of 1850-ton United States Navy destroyer based on the Porter-class. They were answers to the large destroyers that the Japanese navy was building at the time, and were initially intended to be leaders for destroyer flotillas. This class featured controversial (for the time) high-temperature air-encased boilers derived from the ones installed in the modernized New Mexico (BB-40). This was the first US destroyer class to use 600 psi steam superheated to 850°F, which became standard for US warships built in the late 1930s and World War II. Despite the added weight, the new boilers permitted use of only a single smoke stack for the engines, allowing for a third centerline torpedo tube mount. Even so, they were still over-weight and top-heavy.

Like the Porters, they were originally built with eight Mk 12 5 inch/38 caliber (127 mm) guns in four Mark 22 Single Purpose (surface action only) twin mounts.[1] Anti-aircraft protection was initially provided by two quad 1.1" mounts and four .50-caliber machine guns. As with the Porters, the Somers' main armament was gradually reduced and replaced with dual-purpose mounts during World War II, with the anti-aircraft armament replaced by 40mm and 20mm guns.

The first two ships were laid down at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Kearny, New Jersey in 1935, the following three in 1936 by Bath Iron Works Corporation of Bath, Maine.

The ships were commissioned between 1937 and 1939 and served during World War II. Warrington foundered in a hurricane in the Caribbean in 1944. The others survived the war to be scrapped in 1946.

Ships in class[edit]

See also[edit]

Media related to Somers class destroyers at Wikimedia Commons

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "5"/38 (12.7 cm) Mark 12". Retrieved 2007-08-29.