USS Farragut (DD-1934)


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The last of the four pipers were completed in 1924 and it was another ten years before the Farragut class started completing. The original order for the Farragut class was placed in 1916 but due to the circumstances of the war and its aftermath, the lack of finances and all of the four pipers that were laid up waiting to enter service there was no need for a new class of destroyers. What the delay did do was to allow BuShips to do a lot of advanced design work for what was needed in the next generation of destroyers.

The new class was to be built to the 1500 ton limit set by treaty. The design was finally signed off in 1931 for production and the first units were laid down in 1931 and completed in 1934. The design was not radical.. The French and British 1500 tonners had been in service for 4-5 years and would have been studied by the US Navy to get the best bits of their designs for the Farragut class.

The main advantages of the new design over the four pipers was thought to be:

So what went wrong? No losses to enemy action, but one goes aground and becomes a total loss. The other two casualties are lost in hurricane conditions when they capsized and sank. Like most destroyers of their period they were designed to the absolute limit and had stability problems from the start. Once additional equipment started being added stability became worse. To add light AA guns the ships had to give up their center 5" to maintain some stability. Eyewitness accounts of the capsizings said that the ships had been different when they came out of their last refits. Stability and how the ship rolled had become much worse.

Above: four months after Pearl Harbour the class had already lost the center 5", being replaced with light AA.

These last two drawings show the class as they were at their last refits. All the extra topweight from Radar and AA guns has not been alleviated by removing something, anything. My first thing would be to remove at least one set of torpedo tubes. By 1944, ship to ship actions were rare and destroyers had little need of torpedoes.

The five remaining ships did not last long past the end of the war and were deleted and scrapped 1945-47.

  • 1,365 tons standard
  • 2,064 tons full load[1]
Length 341 ft 3 in (104.01 m)
Beam 34 ft 3 in (10.44 m)
Draft 16 ft 2 in (4.93 m)
Installed power
  • 4 Yarrow boilers
  • 2 Parsons geared steam turbines
  • 42,800 shp
Propulsion 2 shafts
Speed 37 knots
Range 5,980 nautical miles at 12 knots
  • 10 officers, 150 enlisted (peacetime)
  • 250 (wartime)
Sensors and
processing systems
  • Mk33 GFCS
  • 1  SC radar (1943)
  • As built:
    • 5  5 in (127.0 mm)/38 caliber guns
    • 4  .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns
    • 8 21 in (533.4 mm) torpedo tubes (2 4)
  • circa 1943:
    • 4  5 in (127.0 mm)/38 caliber guns
    • 4  40 mm (1.6 in) Bofors guns (2 2)
    • 5  20 mm (0.8 in) Oerlikon cannons
    • 8 21 in (533.4 mm) torpedo tubes (2 4)
    • 4  K-gun depth charge throwers
    • 2  Depth charge stern racks

I have not done anything drastic with this class. It is as completed into the US Navy. What I wanted was a starting point I could work from. The original treaties that I work with for these scenarios, are the Washington and Geneva Treaties which are exactly the same, just signed in different countries. My idea was that the 'Geneva" Treaty would come from the League of Nations and actually show that it had done good things and not been completely useless. The Farragut class would be the first and last class of US 1500 ton destroyers. Having waited so long to start the class meant they only built eight of these ships, which were suspect from the start. Other countries, that started production of their 1500 ton classes earlier, did not have the same problem as the Farragut class did. The British A-I type had only 4x4.7" or 4x4.5" and never had any stability problems.

With the abrogation of the treaties in 1930, the next classes of destroyer for the US Navy can be slightly bigger and more capable. Not much needed to be changed to make the next classes better. Armament was fine. Torpedo numbers were fine. Speed was okay. It was in the size of the ship that could do with enlargement in displacement and dimensions. The eventual Fletcher class, which was the culmination of the 5x5" destroyers, were 2100 ton ships compared to the 1500 ton Faraguts, they were 40% bigger. My aim is to increase the size of the destroyers and their capabilities in steps that culminate in the Fletcher. I have not mentioned the Porter and Somers classes which were 1850 ton destroyer leaders. How did they manage to fit into the Treaties 1500 ton limit? There was a clause in the Treaties that allowed the building of 13 x 1850 ton 'destroyer leaders'. For the US these were an imperative as the Four Pipers needed a separate leader as the ships themselves were not really big enough to have a Captain 'D' and his staff aboard. I change that imperative quite a bit by building quite a few more Omaha class light cruisers which can act as leaders for any destroyer class that required one. Onward and upward.

Ship Name Hull no. Builder Laid Down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
Farragut DD-348 Fore River Shipbuilding 20 September 1932 15 March 1934 18 June 1934 23 October 1945 Scrapped 1947
Dewey DD-349 Bath Iron Works 16 December 1932 28 July 1934 4 October 1934 19 October 1945 Scrapped 1946
Hull DD-350 Brooklyn Navy Yard 7 March 1933 31 January 1934 11 January 1935 Lost in Typhoon Cobra, 17 December 1944
Macdonough DD-351 Boston Navy Yard 15 May 1933 22 August 1934 15 March 1935 22 October 1945 Scrapped 1946
Worden DD-352 Puget Sound Navy Yard 29 December 1932 27 October 1934 15 January 1935 Grounded near AmchitkaAlaska, 12 January 1943
Dale DD-353 Brooklyn Navy Yard 10 February 1934 23 January 1935 17 June 1935 16 October 1945 Scrapped 1946
Monaghan DD-354 Boston Navy Yard 21 November 1933 9 January 1935 19 April 1935 Lost in Typhoon Cobra, 17 December 1944
Aylwin DD-355 Philadelphia Navy Yard 23 September 1933 10 July 1934 1 March 1935 16 October 1945 Scrapped 1946


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