USS Barker in 1928
|Cancelled||6 (DD-200 to DD-205)|
|Length||314 ft 4.5 in (95.822 m)|
|Beam||30 ft 11.5 in (9.436 m)|
|Draft||9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)|
|Speed||35.5 knots (65.7 km/h)|
The Clemson class was a series of 156 destroyers which served with the United States Navy from after World War I through World War II.
The Clemson-class ships were commissioned by the United States Navy from 1919 to 1922, built by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, New York Shipbuilding Corporation, William Cramp & Sons, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Bath Iron Works, some quite rapidly. The Clemson class was a minor redesign of the Wickesclass for greater fuel capacity and was the last pre-World War II class of flush-deck destroyers to be built for the United States. Until the Fletcher-class destroyer, the Clemsons were the most numerous class of destroyers commissioned in the United States Navy and were known colloquially as "flush-deckers”, "four-stackers" or "four-pipers".
As finally built, the Clemson class would be a fairly straightforward expansion of the Wickes-class destroyers. While the Wickes class had given good service there was a desire to build a class more tailored towards the anti-submarine role, and as such several design studies were completed, mainly about increasing the ships' range. These designs included a reduction in speed to between 26–28 knots (48–52 km/h; 30–32 mph) by eliminating two boilers, freeing up displacement for depth charges and more fuel. This proposal foreshadowed the destroyer escorts of World War II.
Upgrading the gun armament from 4-inch (102 mm) to 5-inch (127 mm) guns was also considered, but only five ships (DD-231 to DD-235) were armed with 5-inch guns. In addition, the tapered stern of the Wickes-class destroyers resulted in a large turning radius and a correction to this defect was also sought, although this was not corrected in the final design. In the end the General Board decided the 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph) speed be retained so as to allow the Clemson class to be used as a fleet escort. The pressing need for destroyers overruled any change that would slow production compared to the proceeding Wickes class. Wing tanks for fuel oil were installed on either side of the ships to increase the operational range. This design choice meant the fuel oil would be stored above the waterline and create additional vulnerability, but the Navy felt a 4,900- nautical-mile (9,100 km; 5,600 mi) range was worth the risk. Additional improvements included provisions for 5-inch guns to be installed at a later date, an enlarged rudder to help reduce the turn radius, and an additional 3-inch (76 mm) anti-aircraft gun on the after deck-house.
The class resulted from a General Board recommendation for further destroyers to combat the submarine threat, culminating in a total of 267 Wickes- and Clemson-class destroyers completed. However, the design of the ships remained optimized for operation with the battleship fleet.
The main armament was the same as the Wickes class: four 4-inch (102 mm)/50 caliber guns and twelve 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes. The Mark 8 torpedo was initially equipped, and probably remained the standard torpedo for this class, as 600 Mark 8 torpedoes were issued to the British in 1940 as part of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement.
Although the design provided for two anti-aircraft (AA) guns, most ships carried a single 3-inch (76 mm)/23 caliber AA gun, typically on the aft deckhouse. A frequent modification was replacing the aft 4-inch gun with the 3-inch gun to make more room for the depth charge tracks. Anti-submarine (ASW) armament was added during or after construction. Typically, two depth charge tracks were provided aft, along with a Y-gun depth charge projector forward of the aft deckhouse.
Despite the provision for 5-inch guns, only seven ships were built with an increased gun armament. USS Hovey and USS Long had twin 4-inch/50 mounts for a total of eight guns, while DD 231–235 had four 5-inch (127 mm)/51 caliber guns in place of the 4-inch guns.
As with the preceding Wickes class, the fleet found that the tapered cruiser stern, which made for a nice depth charge deployment feature, dug into the water and increased the turning radius, thus hampering anti-submarine work.While an increased rudder size helped, the answer would be in a redesigned stern, but this was not implemented. They were reported to be prone to heavy rolling in light load conditions. The flush deck gave the hull great strength but this also made the deck very wet.
156 Clemson class destroyers were built, with an additional six cancelled.
Fourteen ships of the class were involved in the Honda Point Disaster (aka Point Pedernales) in 1923, of which seven were lost.
Many never saw wartime service, as a significant number were decommissioned in 1930 and scrapped as part of the London Naval Treaty. About 40 Clemson-class destroyers with Yarrow boilers were scrapped or otherwise disposed of in 1930–31, as these boilers wore out quickly in service. Flush-deckers in reserve were commissioned as replacements.In 1936 only some 169 of the flush deck destroyers would be left, four Caldwell class and the rest Wickes and Clemson class. In 1937 four Clemson class were converted to destroyer minelayers (hull classification symbol DM), joining several Wickes-class ships in this role.
Nineteen were transferred to the Royal Navy in 1940 as part of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement, where they became part of the Townclass. Others were upgraded or converted to high-speed transports (APD), high-speed minesweepers (DMS), destroyer minelayers (DM), or seaplane tenders (AVD) and served through World War II. Four Wickes-class DM conversions and the four Clemson-class DM conversions survived to serve in World War II.
Most ships remaining in service during World War II were rearmed with dual-purpose 3-inch/50 caliber guns to provide better anti-aircraft protection.The AVD seaplane tender conversions received two guns; the APD high-speed transport, DM minelayer, and DMS minesweeper conversions received three guns, and those retaining destroyer classification received six. Their original low-angle 4-inch/50 caliber guns (Mark 9) were transferred to Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships for anti-submarine protection. For the ships converted to minesweepers, the twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes were replaced by minesweeping gear.
USS Stewart was scuttled at Soerabaja on 2 March 1942, following the surrender of the Dutch East Indies to the Japanese. She was raised, repaired and recommissioned as Japanese patrol boat PB-102 by the Imperial Japanese Navy. She was surrendered to the US Navy following the end of World War II. In addition, 17 Clemson-class destroyers were lost during the war.
The wrecks of two Clemson-class destroyers remain in the San Francisco Bay area, USS Corry a few miles north of Mare Island Navy Yard on the Napa River, and USS Thompson in the southern part of the Bay, used as a bombing target in World War II.
A number of ships in the class were christened by the initial batch of women who enlisted in the Navy as Yeoman (F) in World War I. The USS Hatfield (DD-231) was sponsored by Mrs. J. Edmond Haugh (Helen Brooks) who had been a Yeoman during the great war.
High-speed transports were converted destroyers and destroyer escorts used in US Navy amphibious operations in World War II and afterward. They received the US Hull classification symbol APD; "AP" for transport and "D" for destroyer.
The Fletcher class was a class of destroyers built by the United States during World War II. The class was designed in 1939, as a result of dissatisfaction with the earlier destroyer leader types of the Porter and Somers classes. Some went on to serve during the Korean War and into the Vietnam War.
The Wickes-class destroyers were a class of 111 destroyers built by the United States Navy in 1917–19. Along with the 6 preceding Caldwell-class and 156 subsequent Clemson-class destroyers, they formed the "flush-deck" or "four-stack" type. Only a few were completed in time to serve in World War I, including USS Wickes, the lead ship of the class.
USS Mahan (DD-102) was a Wickes-class destroyer, built for the United States Navy. Commissioned in 1918, Mahan was a flush deck destroyer, and the first ship to be named for Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan. Her main battery consisted of four 4-inch/50 caliber guns.
The Town-class destroyers were a group of 50 destroyers of the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy that were in service during the Second World War. They were transferred from the United States Navy in exchange for military bases in the British West Indies and Newfoundland, as outlined in the Destroyers for Bases Agreement between Britain and United States, signed on 2 September 1940. They were known as "four-pipers" or "four-stackers" because they had four smokestacks (funnels). Later classes of destroyers typically had one or two.
Three Truxtun-class destroyers were built for the United States Navy. Part of the original 16 destroyers authorized by Congress on 4 May 1898 for the fiscal year 1899 program, they were commissioned in 1902. They were very similar to their Bainbridge-class contemporaries, except for mounting six 6-pounder (57 mm) guns instead of five. They were considered the most successful of the first 16 US Navy destroyers, and were succeeded by the larger Smith class.
Four destroyers in the United States Navy comprised the Cassin class. All served as convoy escorts during World War I. The Cassins were the first of five "second-generation" 1000-ton four-stack destroyer classes that were front-line ships of the Navy until the 1930s. They were known as "thousand tonners" for their normal displacement, while the previous classes were nicknamed "flivvers" for their small size, after the Model T Ford.
The Aylwin class was a class of four destroyers in the United States Navy; all served as convoy escorts during World War I. The Aylwins were the second of five "second-generation" 1000-ton four-stack destroyer classes that were front-line ships of the Navy until the 1920s. They were known as "thousand tonners". All were scrapped in 1935 to comply with the London Naval Treaty.
The Sampson-class destroyers served in the United States Navy during World War I. Commissioned in 1916 and 1917, the class was a modification of the O'Brien and Tucker classes, with the number of 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes increased from four twin-mounts to four triple-mounts. The Sampsons were the final six ships of the 26 "thousand tonner" destroyers. They were the largest and most heavily armed of the "thousand tonners", and the subsequent "flush deck" classes differed mainly in hull design and the engineering plant.
USS Semmes (DD-189/AG-24) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the first Navy ship named for Commander (USN), Rear Admiral (CSN), Brigadier General (CSA) Raphael Semmes (1809–1877).
The first USS McCook (DD-252) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy. Entering service in 1919, the ship had a brief active life before being placed in the reserve fleet. Reactivated for World War II, the ship was transferred to the Royal Navy and then to the Royal Canadian Navy and renamed HMCS St. Croix. Assigned as a convoy escort in the Battle of the Atlantic, St. Croix was torpedoed and sunk on 20 September 1943.
The Caldwell class was a class of six "flush deck" United States Navy destroyers built during World War I and shortly after. Four served as convoy escorts in the Atlantic; the other two were completed too late for wartime service. Two were scrapped during the 1930s, but four survived to serve throughout World War II, three of these in service with the Royal Navy under the Destroyers for Bases Agreement and the fourth as a high speed transport.
The Farragut-class destroyers were a class of eight 1,365-ton destroyers in the United States Navy and the first US destroyers of post-World War I design. Their construction, along with the Porter class, was authorized by Congress on 29 April 1916, but funding was delayed considerably. Limited to 1,500 tons standard displacement by the provisions of the London Naval Treaty of 1930, the ships were laid down beginning in 1932 and were completed by 1935. After 12 years since the last of the previous class of American destroyers was commissioned, the Farraguts were commissioned in 1934 and 1935.
The Porter-class destroyers were a class of eight 1,850-ton large destroyers in the United States Navy. Like the preceding Farragut-class, their construction was authorized by Congress on 26 April 1916, but funding was delayed considerably. They were designed based on a 1,850-ton standard displacement limit imposed by the London Naval Treaty; the treaty's tonnage limit allowed 13 ships of this size, and the similar Somers class was built later to meet the limit. The first four Porters were laid down in 1933 by New York Shipbuilding in Camden, New Jersey, and the next four in 1934 at Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Quincy, Massachusetts. All were commissioned in 1936 except Winslow, which was commissioned in 1937. They were built in response to the large Fubuki-class destroyers that the Imperial Japanese Navy was building at the time and were initially designated as flotilla leaders. They served extensively in World War II, in the Pacific War, the Atlantic, and in the Americas. Porter was the class' only loss, in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on 26 October 1942.
The 3"/50 caliber gun in United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 50 calibers long. Different guns of this caliber were used by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard from 1890 through the 1990s on a variety of combatant and transport ship classes.
The QF 3-pounder Hotchkiss or in French use Canon Hotchkiss à tir rapide de 47 mm were a family of long-lived light 47 mm naval guns introduced in 1886 to defend against new, small and fast vessels such as torpedo boats and later submarines. There were many variants produced, often under license which ranged in length from 32 to 50 calibers but 40 caliber was the most common version. They were widely used by the navies of a number of nations and often used by both sides in a conflict. They were also used ashore as coastal defense guns and later as an anti-aircraft gun, whether on improvised or specialized HA/LA mounts.
The 4″/50 caliber gun was the standard low-angle, quick-firing gun for United States, first appearing on the monitor Arkansas and then used on "Flush Deck" destroyers through World War I and the 1920s. It was also the standard deck gun on S-class submarines, and was used to rearm numerous submarines built with 3-inch (76 mm) guns early in World War II. United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 4 inches (100 mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 50 calibers long.
The 3"/23 caliber gun was the standard anti-aircraft gun for United States destroyers through World War I and the 1920s. United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 23 calibers long
12 cm/45 3rd Year Type naval gun was a Japanese naval gun and coast defense gun used on destroyers, and torpedo boats of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clemson class destroyers .|