Bagley-class destroyer

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BagleyDD386.jpg
USS Bagley (DD-386)
Class overview
Name: Bagley-class destroyer
Builders:
Operators: US flag 48 stars.svg United States Navy
Preceded by: Gridley class
Succeeded by: Somers class
Built: 1935–37
In commission: 1937–46
Completed: 8
Lost: 3
Retired: 5
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement:
  • 1,407 tons (light),
  • 1,624 tons (standard),
  • 2,245 tons (full load)
Length: 341 ft 8 in (104.14 m)
Beam: 35 ft 6 in (10.82 m)
Draft:
  • 10 ft 4 in (3.15 m) light
  • 12 ft 10 in (3.91 m) full
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 shafts
Speed: 36.8 knots (68.2 km/h) on trials
Range: 6,940 nmi (12,850 km; 7,990 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement:
  • 8 officers, 150 enlisted (peacetime)
  • 251 (wartime)
Armament:

The Bagley class of eight destroyers was built for the United States Navy. They were part of a series of USN destroyers limited to 1,500 tons standard displacement by the London Naval Treaty and built in the 1930s.[1] All eight ships were ordered and laid down in 1935 and subsequently completed in 1937. Their layout was based on the concurrently-built Gridley class destroyer design and was similar to the Benham class as well; all three classes were notable for including sixteen 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, the heaviest torpedo armament ever on US destroyers.[2] They retained the fuel-efficient power plants of the Mahan-class destroyers, and thus had a slightly lower speed than the Gridleys. However, they had the extended range of the Mahans, 1,400 nautical miles (2,600 km) farther than the Gridleys.[3] The Bagley class destroyers were readily distinguished visually by the prominent external trunking of the boiler uptakes around their single stack.

All eight Bagley-class destroyers were present at the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. They all served in the Pacific during World War II, with Jarvis, Blue, and Henley lost in combat. In 1944 Mugford suffered extensive damage from a kamikaze hit that put her out of combat for six months. Ralph Talbot later received a kamikaze hit off Okinawa. After the war, Bagley, Helm, and Patterson were decommissioned in 1945 and scrapped in 1947. Mugford and Ralph Talbot, still in commission, were targets during the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests at Bikini atoll in 1946. Contaminated by radiation, they were scuttled off Kwajalein in 1948.[4]

Design[edit]

The eight Bagleys were part of a series of three classes with similar characteristics laid down 1935-1937. The other two were the Gridley class (4 ships) and the Benham class (10 ships). All three featured four 5 inch (127 mm) dual purpose guns (anti-surface and anti-aircraft) and sixteen 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes in four quadruple mounts as built, the largest number of torpedo tubes on any US destroyers.[2] Although all had only one stack, they differed primarily in their machinery. The Bagleys were a Navy design that duplicated the machinery of the preceding long-range Mahan class; this led to their prominent boiler uptakes around the single stack that were their main recognition feature. The Gridleys were designed by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company with advanced high-pressure boilers (also built by Bethlehem) but turbines generally similar to the earlier Farragut class, which limited their range. The Benhams were a Gibbs & Cox design with another new boiler design that allowed a reduction from four boilers to three, with an efficient turbine arrangement resembling the Mahans'.[1][2][5]

Engineering[edit]

The Bagleys' propulsion plant repeated that of the Mahans. Steam pressure was 400 psi (2,800 kPa), superheated to 700 °F (371 °C).[6][7][8] Features that improved fuel economy included boiler economizers, double reduction gearing, and cruising turbines. The ships' range was 6,940 nmi (12,850 km; 7,990 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph), 1,400 nmi (2,600 km; 1,600 mi) farther than the Gridleys. The engines developed 47,191 shp (35,190 kW) on Bagley's trials.[9] The main turbines were manufactured by General Electric.[10] Each main turbine was divided into a high-pressure (HP) and a low-pressure (LP) turbine feeding into a common reduction gear to drive a shaft, in a similar manner to the machinery illustrated at the following reference.[11] Steam from the boilers was supplied to the HP turbine, which exhausted to the LP turbine, which exhausted to a condenser. The cruising turbines were geared to the HP turbines and could be engaged or disengaged as needed; at low speeds they were operated in series with the HP turbines to improve the efficiency of the overall turbine arrangement, thus improving fuel economy.

Armament[edit]

The Bagleys had the same armament as the Gridleys and Benhams: four 5 inch (127 mm) dual purpose guns (anti-surface and anti-aircraft (AA)) in single mounts and sixteen 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes in quadruple mounts.[2] The class was initially equipped with the Mark 11 torpedo or Mark 12 torpedo, which were replaced by the Mark 15 torpedo beginning in 1938.[12] This was the heaviest armament in torpedoes ever on US destroyers. Compared with the Mahans, they sacrificed one gun for four additional torpedo tubes. It was suggested that these ships could use "curved ahead fire", using the adjustable post-launch gyro angle of their torpedoes to launch a sixteen-torpedo spread ahead of the ship.[2] One reason for the heavy destroyer torpedo armament was that, alone among the major navies, the last nine of the seventeen US Treaty cruisers built in the 1920s and 1930s lacked torpedoes; eventually all of the US Treaty cruisers' torpedoes were removed in 1941 in favor of additional heavy AA guns.[13]

As with most other US destroyers of this period, the 5 inch guns featured all-angle power loading and were director controlled, making them as effective as the technology allowed against aircraft. By late 1942, radio proximity fuses (VT fuses) made them much more effective. As in the last two Maurys, the two forward 5 inch guns were in enclosed mounts, while the after guns were open. However, in common with all US surface combatants in the 1930s, the light AA armament was weak; only four .50 caliber machine guns (12.7 mm) were equipped. It was apparently felt that the heavy AA armament would shoot down most incoming aircraft in all situations, but the attack on Pearl Harbor showed that this was not true.[14] The Bagleys' weak AA armament was partially remedied after Pearl Harbor by replacing the machine guns with one twin 40 mm Bofors (1.6 in) mount and six 20 mm Oerlikon cannon (0.8 in).[15] Most of these destroyers had some or all torpedo tubes replaced by light AA guns during World War II, but not the Bagleys.[clarification needed][16]

As with their contemporaries, the Bagleys' anti-submarine warfare (ASW) armament started with two depth charge racks aft. Photographs show that these were augmented during World War II by four K-gun depth charge throwers on at least some ships.[15]

Service[edit]

All eight Bagley-class destroyers were present at the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, comprising Destroyer Squadron Four. They all served in the Pacific during World War II, with Jarvis, Blue, and Henley lost in combat. In 1944 Mugford suffered extensive damage from a kamikaze hit that put her out of combat for six months. The remaining four Bagleys continued to operate as Destroyer Squadron Six, with Ralph Talbot receiving a kamikaze hit off Okinawa. Bagley accepted the surrender of Japanese forces on Marcus Island. Bagley, Helm, and Patterson were decommissioned in 1945 and scrapped in 1947. Mugford and Ralph Talbot, still in commission, were targets during the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests at Bikini atoll in 1946. Contaminated by radiation, they were scuttled off Kwajalein in 1948.[17]

Ships in class[edit]

The eight ships of the Bagley class were:[18]

Name and hull number Builder Laid Down Launched Commissioned Fate DANFS link
Bagley (DD-386) Norfolk Navy Yard 31 July 1935 3 September 1936 12 June 1937 Sold for scrap, 8 September 1947 [19]
Blue (DD-387) Norfolk Navy Yard 25 September 1935 27 May 1937 14 August 1937 Sunk by enemy action off Guadalcanal, 22 August 1942 [20]
Helm (DD-388) Norfolk Navy Yard 25 September 1935 27 May 1937 16 October 1937 Sold for scrap, 2 October 1947 [21]
Mugford (DD-389) Boston Navy Yard 28 October 1935 31 October 1936 16 August 1937 Scuttled off Kwajalein, 22 March 1948 [22]
Ralph Talbot (DD-390) Boston Navy Yard 28 October 1935 31 October 1936 14 October 1937 Scuttled off Kwajalein, 8 March 1948 [23]
Henley (DD-391) Mare Island Navy Yard 28 October 1935 12 January 1937 14 August 1937 Sunk by enemy action off New Guinea, 3 October 1943 [24]
Patterson (DD-392) Puget Sound Navy Yard 23 July 1935 6 May 1937 22 September 1937 Sold for scrap, 18 August 1947 [25]
Jarvis (DD-393) Puget Sound Navy Yard 21 August 1935 6 May 1937 27 October 1937 Sunk by enemy action off Guadalcanal, 9 August 1942 [26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Comparison of 1500-ton classes at Destroyer History Foundation
  2. ^ a b c d e Friedman, pp. 90-91
  3. ^ Friedman, pp. 468-469
  4. ^ Bagley-class destroyers at Destroyer History Foundation
  5. ^ Bauer and Roberts, pp. 186-187
  6. ^ Bagley class General Information Book with as-built data at Destroyer History Foundation
  7. ^ Comparison of 1500-ton classes at Destroyer History Foundation
  8. ^ Friedman, pp. 468-469
  9. ^ Friedman, pp. 468-469
  10. ^ Bagley class General Information Book with as-built data at Destroyer History Foundation
  11. ^ Turbine and reduction gear illustration at the Leander Project
  12. ^ "Torpedo History: Torpedo Mk 11, Mk 12 and Torpedo Mk 15". Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  13. ^ Gardiner and Chesneau, pp. 112-116
  14. ^ Friedman, pp. 203-204
  15. ^ a b USS Ralph Talbot photo gallery at NavSource.org
  16. ^ Friedman, pp. 208-209
  17. ^ Bagley-class destroyers at Destroyer History Foundation
  18. ^ Bauer and Roberts, p. 186
  19. ^ "Bagley". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  20. ^ "Blue". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  21. ^ "Helm". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "Mugford". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "Ralph Talbot". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  24. ^ "Henley (DD-391) ii". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  25. ^ "Patterson (DD-392) ii". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  26. ^ "Jarvis". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 

External links[edit]