Synopses & Reviews
The US Navy's most modern destroyers as it entered World War II were 100 ships from eleven classes introduced in the 1930s: 1,500-tonners and 1,850-ton destroyer leaders designed to conform to the 1930 London Naval Treaty, plus the successor 1,570-ton Sims class and the first-commissioned 1,620- and 1,630-tonners of the Benson and Gleaves classes. Collectively, these destroyers carried the Navy through the war’s first year when the outcome was in doubt: while most 1,500-tonners and leaders were assigned to front line duty in the Pacific before being relegated to secondary assignments, the later Bensons and Gleaves became the standard destroyers for Atlantic and Mediterranean operations and remained prominent in the Pacific throughout the war. This volume describes the fascinating design story behind these developmental classes – from the constraints of peacetime treaties to advances in propulsion engineering and wartime modifications. With an operational overview of their service and tables listing all 169 ships by class, builder, and initial squadron, this is a definitive guide to the pre-war US destroyer classes.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, destroyers have been all-purpose ships, indispensable in roles large and small - from passing the mail at sea to screening larger ships, and, where larger ships were not present, forming the frontline in battle. This first of two titles on US Destroyers details the 169 ships of ten classes introduced in the 1930s: early 1500-tonners and 1850-ton destroyer leaders designed to conform to the 1930 London Naval Treaty plus the successor 1570-ton Sims class and 1620- and 1630-ton Benson and Gleaves classes. In wartime, most 1500-tonners and leaders initially saw front line duty in the Pacific but were relegated to secondary assignments as newer construction arrived; while the later 1620- and 1630-tonners became the standard destroyers of the Atlantic War.
This volume reveals the design story behind these crucial wartime vessels - from the confines and constraints of peacetime treaties to wartime modifications. This, together with an operation overview of their service and specially commissioned artwork, creates a definitive book on the pre-war US destroyer classes.
About the Author
Dave McComb is a management consultant specializing in business process development. A lifelong student of World War II destroyer history, he has in recent years promoted the subject extensively via the web and numerous articles. He is president of the Destroyer History Foundation, which he organized in collaboration with World War II shipmates for the purpose of making original source documents accessible and preserving their perspectives and collections. The author lives in Bolton Landing, NY.