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USS Wilkinson (DL-5) underway in late 1950s
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Preceded by:||Gearing class|
|Succeeded by:||Forrest Sherman class|
|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 (60,000 kW)|
|Speed:||30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)|
|Range:||4,500 nmi (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
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.
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.
Ships in class
|Ship Name||Hull No.||Builder||Laid Down||Launched||Commissioned||Decommissioned||Fate||Ref|
|Mitscher||DL-2||Bath Iron Works||3 October 1949||26 January 1952||15 May 1953||1 June 1978||Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 1 August 1980|||
|John S. McCain||DL-3||24 October 1949||12 July 1952||12 October 1953||29 April 1978||Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 13 December 1979|||
|Willis A. Lee||DL-4||Bethlehem Steel, Fore River Shipyard||1 November 1949||26 January 1952||5 October 1954||19 December 1969||Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 1 June 1973|||
|Wilkinson||DL-5||1 February 1950||23 April 1952||29 July 1954||19 December 1969||Disposed of, sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping, 1 June 1975|||
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