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Thread: Destroyers - Fletcher Class

  1. #3691
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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    When a Fletcher-DD was returned to service after a time in Fleet reserve it was often undated. Common update may include.... Two Hedgehog anti-submarine (ASW) launchers and two torpedo carriages for the Mark 32 torpedo were added, with one 21 inch (533 mm) quintuple torpedo tube mount removed. Also, four 40 mm Bofors twin mounts were often replaced by two quadruple mounts. The forward pole mast is usually the giveaway at a distance of an update when it was replaced by a tripod mast to accommodate improved radar and electronics systems.
    Correct me if I am wrong but The fletchers although the prime Destroyer of WW2 were not suited for upgrades to todays warfare. Hhe hulls could not take the additional weight of the upgrades more did they have the needed real-estate to accept major modern upgrades. They were extremely effective for the mission they were intended for and served the USA well, they were and are beautiful well proportioned ships, none of those ships owed us anything..we owed them....therefore I submit not many Fletchers were returned to service. Although a few saw service in the Korean War and performed admirably. Many of them went to FMS Sales (Foreign Military Sales), a few went to reserves such as the Pineapple fleet out of Pearl
    And few reserve contingents on the East and West Coast. to be truthful I do not believe there is a class of ship currently in the navy inventory now or in the past that has the following the fletchers have. Perhaps the for stackers run a close second.

  2. #3692
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boilermaker9 View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong but The fletchers although the prime Destroyer of WW2 were not suited for upgrades to todays warfare. Hhe hulls could not take the additional weight of the upgrades more did they have the needed real-estate to accept major modern upgrades. They were extremely effective for the mission they were intended for and served the USA well, they were and are beautiful well proportioned ships, none of those ships owed us anything..we owed them....therefore I submit not many Fletchers were returned to service. Although a few saw service in the Korean War and performed admirably. Many of them went to FMS Sales (Foreign Military Sales), a few went to reserves such as the Pineapple fleet out of Pearl
    And few reserve contingents on the East and West Coast. to be truthful I do not believe there is a class of ship currently in the navy inventory now or in the past that has the following the fletchers have. Perhaps the for stackers run a close second.
    While the Fletchers did not get the FRAM-style upgrades that the Gearing and Sumners did, a quick search shows that a significant number of them sailed for the USN well in the 60s and a few into 1970. So no, it was not cost effective to upgrade them as too many compromises would have had to be made, but they did soldier on for a good long while.

  3. #3693
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCT View Post
    While the Fletchers did not get the FRAM-style upgrades that the Gearing and Sumners did, a quick search shows that a significant number of them sailed for the USN well in the 60s and a few into 1970. So no, it was not cost effective to upgrade them as too many compromises would have had to be made, but they did soldier on for a good long while.
    Yes they did JTC but most were relegated to reserve duty as the Gearings and Summers and finely the 1200 pounders took over the prime missions and shoved the remaining fletchers to the back waters. They were a fine ship tried and proven served U S well for a long time!

  4. #3694
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boilermaker9 View Post
    Yes they did JTC but most were relegated to reserve duty as the Gearings and Summers and finely the 1200 pounders took over the prime missions and shoved the remaining fletchers to the back waters. They were a fine ship tried and proven served U S well for a long time!
    I'll gladly take the correction! I only did a superficial search and did not see anything about Fletcher FRAM conversions.

  5. #3695
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCT View Post
    I'll gladly take the correction! I only did a superficial search and did not see anything about Fletcher FRAM conversions.
    FRAM 1 Fletchers upgraded them to DEs. Most of these were sold to foreign countries.

    3 Fletchers received FRAM 2 upgrades Radford, Jenkins and Nicholas
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  6. #3696
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCT View Post
    I'll gladly take the correction! I only did a superficial search and did not see anything about Fletcher FRAM conversions.
    No correction intended just an expansion of your theme which is absolutely true JTC, just polite conversation. One thing I have learned on this board is thhat all who participate have something”to bring to the table”. This by itself makes it interesting and fun. The fletchers in my opinion are the beginning of the modern destroyer. Even though I am not a fan of gas turbines!

  7. #3697
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    FRAM 1 Fletchers upgraded them to DEs. Most of these were sold to foreign countries.

    3 Fletchers received FRAM 2 upgrades Radford, Jenkins and Nicholas
    I forgot about the DDE conversions. But I understand that intailed the removal of guns and install of hedg hogs and other anti sub weapons. Weren’t the fram upgrades to expensive and they decided to Fram the 692-710 instead?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boilermaker9 View Post
    I forgot about the DDE conversions. But I understand that intailed the removal of guns and install of hedg hogs and other anti sub weapons.
    Yes FRAM 1. Hedgehogs, triple torpedo tubes (removal of the 5 tube sets) hedge hogs, tripod mast, better sonar and sometimes weapon alpha. I think about 35 Fletchers were done that way for the US Navy

    Weren’t the fram upgrades to expensive and they decided to Fram the 692-710 instead?
    Less about cost, more about "room to grow" and the fact that during the war Fletchers got very little yard time. They had been rode hard and were wore out
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Less about cost, more about "room to grow" and the fact that during the war Fletchers got very little yard time. They had been rode hard and were wore out
    Sort of like what is happening today.....

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    They had been rode hard and were wore out
    This is kind of an ambiguous comment that I would dispute - Of the 175 FLETCHERS built, 50 were transferred in the 50s/60s to foreign countries, several of which served into the early 2000s. 18 FLETCHERs were designated as DDE's in the 1950s and this group included the 3 FRAMed DDs mentioned in the earlier post. 82 FLETCHERs were designated as "Fleet" destroyers and were given the ASW treatment of tripod mast, Hedgehog Launcher additions, Mk. 32 triple Torpedo Tubes, (3) 3"-50 RF Mounts and Mk. 56 GFCS as well as various other SONAR/RADAR upgrades which took place in the 50s/60s/ early 70s. My particular ship, DD-566 was decommed in 1969 and then in 1974 was used in a series of at-sea weapons tests (utilizing two huge outboard remote controlled motors on the stern) to prove the first version of the Phalanx Block 1 CWIS system. It was a success. She finally was put back into storage in 1984 having survived these live-fire missile attacks.

    During my time aboard (1966-68, the common practice was that upon return from a Westpac (or Med cruise), the ship usually had a 3-6 month homeport schedule and then went into the yards for a 6 mo. overhaul before returning to the fleet and further operations. Many of my boot camp associates wound up on FLETCHERs either in San Diego or Long Beach and most of these ships outperformed the newer DDs in speed, endurance (not breaking down at sea during ops), and gunfire support. I recall several of the HULL class DD's we operated with couldn't maintain station with the carrier during flight ops but we were always chugging along at 30+ knots. Says something for the simplicity of design and construction, etc.

  11. #3701
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbvet View Post
    I recall several of the HULL class DD's we operated with couldn't maintain station with the carrier during flight ops but we were always chugging along at 30+ knots. Says something for the simplicity of design and construction, etc.
    Wish we had a Like button!

  12. #3702
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    The 600 psi plants had the reputation as being more reliable as the newer destroyers had 1200 psi systems, which were more "advanced" in design" but had a host of teething problems when they reached the fleet in the mid fifties The auto loading 5/54 guns while having some advantages were just not as reliable as the proven 5/38s on the Fletchers and Sumner/Gearings.

    As a matter of course during flight operations escorting Destroyers rarely needed to go 30+ knots. At the time typical stationing speed was 25kts. Going over 30 knots routinely would have been a real PITA. Normally all destroyers (Vietnam era) ran two boilers which produced almost as much speed (27/28 knots) and a lot more flexibility especially for sustained operations (weeks) never mind the fuel problem. Occasionally Carriers required 30 knot speeds to launch aircraft in low true wind conditions and or strike aircraft which were loaded at max ordnance loads. Often when running in low wind conditions, the carriers would steam at high speeds and then slow drastically between cycles. Going really slow was almost as much problem for the 600 pounder escorts as that was a lot of high energy (superheated) steam to get rid of and it was not practical to secure the manually controlled superheaters.

    Normally on a plane guard destroyer we would cheat on our stationing and move in closer astern at the start of Flight OPs so that as the Carrier slowly moved ahead we would just be a little out of Station when the launch/recovery cycle was complete. This technique became more problematic if the Carrier was chasing the wind or larger strikes were being launched. Lots of fun on the bridge though!

    All in all the 600 plants pioneered in the late thirties and standardized with the Fletchers and Sumners was resilient albeit with manning challenges. The 5/38s and Mark 37 fire control systems did yeoman work during Naval Gunfire support operations off Vietnam and were the work horse of the NGFS destroyer operation. Having between four to six guns also gave our destroyers more redundancy.

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