Proposed destroyer

Scheme “B” — Destroyer Study

This is one of several designs contemplated by the Navy in late 1941 for a class of successor ships to Abbot and the other Fletchers. Anti-aircraft firepower was just barely being recognized as a priority for escort ships such as destroyers; the Pearl Harbor attack was still several months away, and its aerial warfare lessons were only vaguely anticipated.

We have taken an image of the blueprint from the U.S. Naval Historical Center and have added the ability to zoom in and see some the fascinating details. The unaltered image is also available.

Here is the U.S. Naval Historical Center’s original caption:

Preliminary design plan prepared for the General Board as part of the process leading to the Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) class design.

This 30 September 1941 plan, for a 2150-ton (standard displacement) ship, provides a slightly updated Fletcher (DD-445) class destroyer, retaining its five single 5”/38 gun mounts (although two are semi-open mounts) and ten torpedo tubes. Among notable changes are a modified bridge arrangement and two twin 40mm anti-aircraft gun mounts (in place of the single quad 1.1” weapon of the original Fletchers).

The original plan is in the 1939-1944 “Spring Styles Book” held by the Naval Historical Center in Washington.

It is interesting to see the Navy’s thinking a full year before Abbot’s keel was laid in Bath, Maine. In fact, the next two classes of destroyers were basically updated Fletchers.

Use the navigation tools to zoom and pan, or use a mouse to zoom and drag; the return arrow button restores the original view.

Source: U.S. Naval Historical Center