Gleaves-class destroyer

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Gleaves-class destroyer
USS-Gleaves.jpg
USS Gleaves underway on 18 June 1941
Class overview
Name: Gleaves class
Builders:
Operators:
Preceded by: Benson class
Succeeded by: Fletcher class
Subclasses: 48 Bristol class
Built: 1938–43
In commission: 1940–56
Completed: 66
Lost: 14
Retired: 52
General characteristics
Class and type: Destroyer
Displacement:
  • 1,630 tons standard,
  • 2395 tons full load
Length: 348 ft 3 in (106.15 m)
Beam:   36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
Draft:   13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 shafts
Speed: 37.4 knots (69 km/h)
Range: 6,500 nautical miles (12,000 km; 7,500 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 16 officers, 260 enlisted
Armament:
Notes:
  • Ship data sources:
  • Destroyers.org,[1]
  • Friedman, pp. 95-109, 470-471[2]

The Gleaves-class destroyers were a class of 66 destroyers of the United States Navy built 1938–42, designed by Gibbs & Cox.[3][4] The first ship of the class was USS Gleaves. They were the production destroyer of the US Navy when it entered World War II.

The Gleaves class were initially specified as part of a 24-ship Benson class authorized in fiscal years 1938–40; however, Bethlehem Shipbuilding requested that the six ships designed by them use less complex machinery. Initially, Gleaves and Niblack, although designed by Gibbs & Cox and built by Bath Iron Works, were to follow the Benson design. This temporarily made Livermore the lead ship with more complex machinery, so the class was initially called the Livermore class, and this name persisted through World War II. However, it soon proved possible for Gleaves and Niblack to be built to the Livermore design.[2] Since Gleaves was completed before Livermore and had a lower hull number, the class is more correctly the Gleaves class. Eighteen of these were commissioned in 1940–41.[5] The remaining 48 “repeat Gleaveses” were authorized in 1940–42. These plus the 16 "repeat Bensons" were also known at the time as the Bristol class, after USS Bristol. During World War II the Bensons were usually combined with the Livermores (more correctly the Gleaves class) as the Benson-Livermore class; this persisted in references until at least the 1960s.[6] The classes are now called the Benson-Gleaves class.[7] In some references both classes are combined and called the Benson class.[2] The Benson- and Gleaves-class destroyers were the backbone of the pre-war Neutrality Patrols and brought the action to the enemy by participating in every major naval campaign of the war.

Related classes[edit]

The Bensons were originally envisioned as a single class of 24 ships, the first eight of which were ordered in fiscal year 1938 (FY38). Six of these were designed by Bethlehem Shipbuilding, to be built at a Bethlehem yard and several naval shipyards, and two were designed by Gibbs & Cox, to be built at Bath Iron Works. All were to have 600 psi (4,100 kPa) steam (references vary) superheated to 750 °F (399 °C), with cruising turbines and double-reduction gearing to maximize fuel efficiency.[2] After contract award, Bethlehem requested that their design be modified to use less-complex single-reduction gears and no cruising turbines. Bethlehem claimed they could achieve comparable fuel efficiency with the simpler machinery. This request was granted, but FY39 and FY40 ships, beginning with Livermore, would use the more complex machinery.[5] So the class was known through World War II as the Benson-Livermore class, and this name persisted in many references until at least the 1960s.[6] In the spring of 1938 the Navy's Bureau of Steam Engineering requested that the FY39 and FY40 ships be modified for 850 °F (454 °C) superheat.[2] It proved possible for Bath to build their two FY38 ships, Gleaves and Niblack, to the new design. Gleaves was completed prior to Livermore and had a lower hull number, thus the class name is more correctly the Benson-Gleaves class.[5][8]

The only external difference between the Benson and Gleaves classes was the shape of the stacks; the Bensons' were flat-sided and the Gleaves were round.

After the Fall of France in 1940 a rapid expansion of the Navy was envisioned. To fill the gap until the Fletcher-class destroyers would be ready for service, an additional 72 "repeat" Benson- and Gleaves-class ships were ordered in FY41 and FY42. 24 repeat Bensons were built by several Bethlehem yards, while an additional 48 repeat Gleaves were built by various other builders.[5] These were initially called the Bristol class after Bristol, a repeat Gleaves and the first of these to be completed, although the machinery of the repeat Bensons was different from the repeat Gleaveses. The repeat ships were ordered with reduced torpedo and gun armament and increased anti-submarine and light anti-aircraft armament.[9]

In some references the Benson and Gleaves classes are combined as the Benson class.[2]

Design[edit]

The Gleaves class was designed as an improved version of the Sims class with two stacks and a new "echeloned" machinery arrangement that featured alternating boiler and engine rooms, designed to give the ships a better chance at surviving torpedo damage. Loss of one compartment, or even two adjacent compartments, would no longer disable the entire propulsion system. This design was credited with the survival of USS Kearny after she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-568 near Iceland in October 1941, before the US entered the war. The Benson-Gleaves class also introduced quintuple torpedo tube mounts. Their scantlings, or framing dimensions, were increased to carry the weight of the new machinery. This increased the ships' displacement by about seventy tons, to 1630 tons standard displacement.[2][9] Twenty ships (DD-493-497, 618-28, and 645-648) had square-faced bridges in an attempt to speed production.[5]

Engineering[edit]

The Gleaves class were all completed with 600 psi (4,100 kPa) steam (references vary) superheated to 850 °F (454 °C), double-reduction gearing, and cruising turbines.[5] The main steam turbines were designed and built by Westinghouse.[2][9][10]

Armament[edit]

The class was completed with four or five 5-inch (127 mm) dual purpose guns (anti-surface and anti-aircraft (AA)), controlled by a Mark 37 Gun Fire Control System as in the previous Sims class. The introduction of two centerline quintuple torpedo tube mounts in the Benson-Gleaves class was a significant improvement and was continued in subsequent World War II classes. This allowed a broadside of ten tubes with savings in space and weight compared to previous classes, which had twelve or sixteen tubes and an eight-tube broadside.[2] However, most of the Gleaves class spent most of the war with only five torpedo tubes equipped in favor of greater light anti-aircraft armament. This varied considerably in different ships as the war went on; for example, the specified pair of twin 40 mm (1.6 in) guns were not widely available until mid-1942 and a quadruple 1.1 in (28 mm) machine cannon mount and a 20 mm (0.79 in) gun were temporarily substituted.[9] In 1945 sixteen ships (DD-423-424, 429-432, 435, 437-440, 443, 497, 623-624, and DD-628) were modified for maximum light AA armament as an anti-kamikaze measure, with four 5-inch guns, no torpedo tubes, twelve 40 mm guns in two quad and two twin mounts and four 20 mm guns in two twin mountings.[11][5] Photographs indicate that, as with most pre-1942 destroyers, the initial anti-submarine armament of two depth charge tracks was augmented with four or six K-gun depth charge throwers in 1941-42 on most ships.[12] In 1943 twelve ships (DD-493, 609, 620, 622-623, 635, 637-639, and DD-646-648) were temporarily equipped with three Mousetrap ASW rocket launchers, but this was unsuccessful and the only such installation on post-1930 US destroyers. They were removed beginning in March 1944.[9][13]

DMS conversions[edit]

Twenty-four Gleaves-class ships were converted to destroyer minesweepers (DMS-19 through DMS-42) in 1944 and 1945.[9][14] Twelve Atlantic Fleet ships (DD-454-458, 461-462, 464, 621, 625, 636, and 637) were converted in 1944, with the rest in the Pacific in 1945 (DD-489-490, 493-496, 618, 627, and 632-635). Magnetic and acoustic minesweeping gear was fitted, with armament reduced to three 5 in guns, no torpedo tubes, two K-guns, four 40 mm guns in two twin mounts, and seven 20 mm guns on the Atlantic ships. The Pacific ships and Hobson had increased light AA armament, with eight 40 mm guns in two quad mounts and six 20 mm guns in two twin and two single mounts. Twelve DMS conversions were the only Benson-Gleaves-class ships retained in service postwar. However, they were judged ineffective in the Korean War due to requiring a large crew compared with purpose-built minesweepers, and were decommissioned in 1954-56.[14]

Service[edit]

Twenty-one were in commission when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Eleven were lost to enemy action during World War II, including Gwin, Meredith, Monssen, Bristol, Emmons, Aaron Ward, Duncan, Beatty, Glennon, Corry, and Maddox. Six of these were in the Pacific, two were off Normandy, and three were in the Mediterranean. Ingraham was lost in a collision with an oiler in 1942, and Turner was lost to an internal explosion in 1944.

Most were decommissioned and placed in the Reserve Fleet just following World War II. Twelve DMS conversions remained in commission into the 1950s, the last withdrawn from service in 1956.[5] Hobson was sunk in a collision with the aircraft carrier Wasp in 1952. Baldwin grounded while under tow and was scuttled in 1961 while out of commission, thus is not counted as a loss.

Eleven ships of the class were transferred to foreign navies 1949-1959; two to Greece, four to Turkey, one to Italy, two to Taiwan, and two to Japan.[15] On 19 October 1954 Ellyson and Macomb were transferred to the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force where they served as JDS Asakaze and JDS Hatakaze, the latter was further transferred to Taiwan in 1970 as Hsien Yang to replace the ex-Rodman of the same name.[16]

Modernization was considered in the 1950s but not implemented except on the transferred ships.[17] Those ships not transferred to other countries were mostly sold for scrap in the late 1960s and early 1970s.[5]

Ships in class[edit]

The 66 ships of the Gleaves class were:[5]

Ship name Hull No. Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
Gleaves DD-423 Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine 16 May 1938 9 December 1939 14 June 1940 8 May 1946 Sold for scrap, 29 June 1972
Niblack DD-424 8 August 1938 18 May 1940 1 August 1940 June 1946 Sold for scrap, 16 August 1973
Livermore DD-429 6 March 1939 3 August 1940 7 October 1940 24 January 1947 Sold for scrap, 3 March 1961
Eberle DD-430 12 April 1939 14 September 1940 4 December 1940 3 June 1946 Transferred to Greece as Niki, 22 January 1951
Plunkett DD-431 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey 1 March 1939 7 March 1940 17 July 1940 3 May 1946 Transferred to Taiwan as Nan Yang, 16 February 1959
Kearny DD-432 9 March 1940 13 September 1940 7 March 1946 Sold for scrap, 6 October 1972
Gwin DD-433 Boston Navy Yard 1 June 1939 25 May 1940 15 January 1941 N/A Sunk, Battle of Kolombangara, 13 July 1943
Meredith DD-434 24 April 1940 1 March 1941 Sunk by air attack near San Cristóbal, Solomon Islands, 15 October 1942
Grayson DD-435 Charleston Navy Yard 17 July 1939 7 August 1940 14 February 1941 4 February 1947 Sold for scrap, 12 June 1974
Monssen DD-436 Puget Sound Navy Yard 12 July 1939 16 May 1940 14 March 1941 N/A Sunk, First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 13 November 1942
Woolsey DD-437 Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine 9 October 1939 12 February 1941 7 May 1941 6 February 1947 Sold for scrap, 29 May 1974
Ludlow DD-438 18 December 1939 11 November 1940 5 March 1941 20 May 1946 Transferred to Greece as Doxa, 22 January 1951
6 June 1950 22 January 1951
Edison DD-439 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey 18 March 1940 23 November 1940 31 January 1941 18 May 1946 Sold for scrap, 29 December 1966
Ericsson DD-440 13 March 1941 15 March 1946 Sunk as target, 17 November 1970
Wilkes DD-441 Boston Navy Yard 1 November 1939 31 May 1940 22 April 1941 4 March 1946 Sold for scrap, 29 June 1972
Nicholson DD-442 3 June 1941 26 February 1946 Transferred to Italy as Aviere, 15 January 1951
17 July 1950 15 January 1951
Swanson DD-443 Charleston Navy Yard 15 November 1939 2 November 1940 29 May 1941 10 December 1945 Sold for scrap, 29 June 1972
Ingraham DD-444 15 February 1941 19 July 1941 N/A Sunk in collision with USS Chemung near the Azores, 22 August 1942
Bristol DD-453 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey 20 December 1940 25 July 1941 22 October 1941 Sunk by U-371 near Algeria, 13 October 1943
Ellyson DD-454 26 July 1941 28 November 1941 19 October 1954 Transferred to Japan as Asakaze, 19 October 1954
Hambleton DD-455 16 December 1940 26 September 1941 22 December 1941 15 January 1955 Sold for scrap, 22 November 1972
Rodman DD-456 29 April 1942 28 July 1955 Transferred to Taiwan as Hsien Yang, 28 July 1955
Emmons DD-457 Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine 14 November 1940 23 August 1941 5 December 1941 N/A Sunk by kamikazes near Okinawa, 6 April 1945
Macomb DD-458 3 September 1940 23 September 1941 26 January 1942 19 October 1954 Transferred to Japan as Hatakaze, 19 October 1954, later transferred to Taiwan as Hsien Yang, 6 August 1970
Forrest DD-461 Boston Navy Yard 6 January 1941 14 June 1941 13 January 1942 30 November 1945 Sold for scrap, 20 November 1946
Fitch DD-462 3 February 1942 24 February 1956 Sunk as target off Northeast Florida, 15 November 1973
Corry DD-463 Charleston Navy Yard 4 September 1940 28 July 1941 18 December 1941 N/A Sunk by shore-based gunfire off Carentan River, France, 6 June 1944
Hobson DD-464 14 November 1940 8 September 1941 22 January 1942 Sunk in collision with USS Wasp, 26 April 1952.
Aaron Ward DD-483 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey 11 February 1941 22 November 1941 4 March 1942 Sunk by air attack off Guadalcanal, 7 April 1943
Buchanan DD-484 21 March 1942 21 May 1946 Transferred to Turkey as Gelibolu, 28 April 1949
Duncan DD-485 31 July 1941 20 February 1942 16 April 1942 N/A Sunk, Battle of Cape Esperance, 12 October 1942
Lansdowne DD-486 29 April 1942 2 May 1946 Transferred to Turkey as Gaziantep, 10 June 1949
Lardner DD-487 15 September 1941 20 March 1942 13 May 1942 16 May 1946 Transferred to Turkey as Gemlik, 10 June 1949
McCalla DD-488 27 May 1942 17 May 1946 Transferred to Turkey as Giresun, 29 April 1949
Mervine DD-489 3 November 1941 3 May 1942 17 June 1942 27 May 1949 Sold for scrap, 27 October 1969
Quick DD-490 3 July 1942 28 May 1949 Sold for scrap, 27 August 1973
Carmick DD-493 Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation 29 May 1941 8 March 1942 28 December 1942 15 February 1954 Sold for scrap, 7 August 1972
Doyle DD-494 26 May 1941 17 March 1942 27 January 1943 19 May 1955 Sold for scrap, 6 October 1972
Endicott DD-495 1 May 1941 5 April 1942 25 February 1943 17 August 1955 Sold for scrap, 6 October 1970
McCook DD-496 30 April 1942 15 March 1943 27 May 1949 Sold for scrap, 27 August 1973
Frankford DD-497 5 June 1941 17 May 1942 31 March 1943 6 March 1946 Sunk as target near Puerto Rico, 4 December 1973
Davison DD-618 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey 26 February 1942 19 July 1942 11 September 1942 24 June 1949 Sold for scrap, 27 August 1973
Edwards DD-619 18 September 1942 11 April 1946 Sold for scrap, 25 May 1973
Glennon DD-620 25 March 1942 26 August 1942 8 October 1942 N/A Sunk by mine off Quinéville, France, 10 June 1944
Jeffers DD-621 5 November 1942 23 May 1955 Sold for scrap, 25 May 1973
Maddox DD-622 7 May 1942 15 September 1942 31 October 1942 N/A Sunk by air attack off Sicily, 10 July 1943
Nelson DD-623 26 November 1942 January 1947 Sold for scrap, 18 July 1969
Baldwin DD-624 Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation 19 July 1941 14 June 1942 30 April 1943 20 June 1946 Grounded at Montauk, New York 15 April 1961, scuttled 5 June 1961
Harding DD-625 22 July 1941 28 June 1942 25 May 1943 2 November 1945 Sold for scrap, 16 April 1947
Satterlee DD-626 10 September 1941 17 July 1942 1 July 1943 16 March 1946 Sold for scrap, 8 May 1972
Thompson DD-627 22 September 1941 15 July 1942 10 July 1943 18 May 1954 Sold for scrap, 7 August 1972
Welles DD-628 27 September 1941 7 September 1942 16 August 1943 4 February 1946 Sold for scrap, 18 July 1969
Cowie DD-632 Boston Navy Yard 18 March 1941 27 September 1941 1 June 1942 27 April 1947 Sold for scrap, 22 February 1972
Knight DD-633 23 June 1942 19 March 1947 Sunk as a target near Southern California, 27 October 1967
Doran DD-634 14 June 1941 10 December 1941 4 August 1942 29 January 1947 Sold for scrap, 27 August 1973
Earle DD-635 1 September 1942 17 May 1947 Sold for scrap, October 1970
Butler DD-636 Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 16 September 1941 12 February 1942 15 August 1942 8 November 1945 Sold for scrap, 10 January 1948
Gherardi DD-637 15 September 1942 17 December 1955 Sunk as target near Puerto Rico, 3 June 1973
Herndon DD-638 Norfolk Naval Shipyard 26 August 1941 2 February 1942 20 December 1942 28 January 1946 Sunk as target, 24 May 1973
Shubrick DD-639 17 February 1942 18 April 1942 7 February 1943 16 November 1945 Sold for scrap, 28 September 1947
Beatty DD-640 Charleston Navy Yard 1 May 1941 20 December 1941 7 May 1942 N/A Sunk by air attack off Algeria, 6 November 1943
Tillman DD-641 4 June 1942 6 February 1947 Sold for scrap, 8 May 1972
Stevenson DD-645 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey 23 July 1942 11 November 1942 15 December 1942 27 April 1946 Sold for scrap, 2 June 1970
Stockton DD-646 24 July 1942 11 January 1943 16 May 1946 Sold for scrap, 25 May 1973
Thorn DD-647 15 November 1942 28 February 1943 1 April 1943 6 May 1946 Sunk as target off Northeast Florida, 22 August 1974
Turner DD-648 16 November 1942 15 April 1943 N/A Sunk by internal explosion near New York City, 3 January 1944

Film appearances[edit]

The 1954 movie The Caine Mutiny was filmed on USS Doyle and possibly USS Thompson. In the 1951 novel, Caine is a Wickes or Clemson-class destroyer minesweeper.

The destroyer shown in the opening and closing scenes of the movie musical On the Town is USS Swanson.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gleaves Class at Destroyers.org
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Friedman, pp. 95-109, 471-472
  3. ^ "Benson- and Gleaves-class Destroyers". Destroyer History Foundation. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  4. ^ "The GLEAVES-Class Destroyers". The National Association of Destroyer Veterans. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bauer and Roberts, pp. 188-191
  6. ^ a b Silverstone, pp. 126-135
  7. ^ Benson-Gleaves classes at DestroyerHistory.org
  8. ^ Archived notes on Gleaves class at Destroyers.org
  9. ^ a b c d e f Gardiner and Chesneau, pp. 128-129
  10. ^ USS Gleaves (DD-423) and USS Niblack (DD-424) General Information Book with as-built data at Destroyer History Foundation Archived February 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Friedman, p. 107
  12. ^ NavSource Destroyer Photo Index Page
  13. ^ Friedman, pp. 194-195
  14. ^ a b Friedman, pp. 108-109
  15. ^ Gardiner & Chumbley, pp. 160, 206, 222, 455, 469
  16. ^ Gardiner & Chumbley, p. 222
  17. ^ Friedman, pp. 107-108

External links[edit]