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.
|Length||341 ft 3 in (104.01 m)|
|Beam||34 ft 3 in (10.44 m)|
|Draft||16 ft 2 in (4.93 m)|
|Range||5,980 nautical miles at 12 knots|
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 Amchitka, Alaska, 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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