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    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Destroyers - Fletcher Class

    Introducing a thread for Fletcher Class Destroyers.

    A recent tour of the U.S.S. Kidd, ( DD-661) moored, Baton Rouge, LA provided the motivation to create a thread addressing a specific class of naval ship that generally is accepted by students of warships to be well designed.

    During the day long inspection of the Kidd, ( during low river stage) I was able to connect with the function of design for this class of naval vessel. Of note, many of the orginal features of the "as-built" Kidd remain today, or have been modified to "as built" condition.
    The course of this thread will extend with limits insuring that abusing bandwidth does not occur.

    Note for the academic historians, I'm not an expert on the Fletcher class, nor have I ever been charge with building a naval warship. The submittals that follow are for the viewer who desires to explore a ship they may not have access to in as great of detail as one would like (as will be provided through illustrations / pictures) or would care to join in participating with information that compliment the effort undertaken.

    Enough said:

    Step 1 : Introduction

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    I have read, and found in my own design exercises that it is harder to design a destroyer than it is to design a larger ship, getting everything to fit and juggling things on a small displacement is the issue.

    I beleive the Fletcher class was an excellent design at the time, I look forward to your presentation
    Last edited by USSWisconsin; 01 Oct 10, at 21:58.
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    Military Professional dundonrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    I have read, and found in my own design exercises that it is harder to design a destroyer than it is to design a larger ship, getting everything to fit and juggling things on a small displacement is the issue.

    I beleive the Fletcher class was an excellent design at the time, I look forward to your presentation

    and here we are, (have been for 30+ years) building "destroyers" that are the size of WW2 heavy cruisers.. (Arleigh Burke and Spruance class come to mind for size) and ,more firepower than any WW2 battleship could only have dreamed of (Arleigh Burke destroyers)

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dundonrl View Post
    and here we are, (have been for 30+ years) building "destroyers" that are the size of WW2 heavy cruisers.. (Arleigh Burke and Spruance class come to mind for size) and ,more firepower than any WW2 battleship could only have dreamed of (Arleigh Burke destroyers)
    I suspect the Navy has found it hard to fit everything they need on a WWII destroyer displacement too But they do build the best destroyer in the world IMHO (AB).

    I was just thinking about what made the Fletchers such great destroyers, and realized the Main Gun Director and the 5"/38 with its excellent ammunition - VT and AP, were both enough to make almost any destroyer good - especially in AA duties. It will be interesting to study some of the other features that made the Fletcher such a good design.
    Last edited by USSWisconsin; 02 Oct 10, at 17:31.
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    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    As the discussion of the Fletcher Class destroyer advances there will be many photographic illustrations which will provide the reader views not readily available when touring a naval warship. This is due to unique design undertaken by the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial Group in addressing the problems of silting and expense of a coffer dam when placing a ship on display with its O & M issues. The Kidd is "docked" @ Baton Rouge, Louisana on the Mississippi River. During those weeks when the River is running low, the Kidd rests on keel blocks and when the water is running high is floats while being "moored" to a structure permitting the Kidd to rise and fall. After inspecting the keel blocks I was left with the question if more ships being displayed could use this idea as a practical design to avoid the problem of resting in the mud. A significant event for a midwesterner landlocked from the sea is the opportunity to view the "as built" normally hidden below the water line.

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    One mean motor scooter there.

    The best of all the destroyer classes beyongd doubt. (That is with exception to our latest)
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    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Keel laid

    This photo provides the starboard view of the USS Kidd's hull, roll chock and keel when the Mississippi River is low.
    Last edited by blidgepump; 04 Oct 10, at 20:03.

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    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    On the port side the Kidd is secured fore and aft by two standards which allow the ship to rise and fall as the Mississippi River experiences seasonal stages. Orignally the design for mooring the Kidd was a cost saving effort to avoid the expense of a coffer dam. The design permits seasonal inspection of the hull and allows for scheduled repair. ( Note the barge used for painting and inspection tied off to the standard )
    This design seems to work well for display and maintenance. Would it work for larger ships? BB's, CV's ????
    Last edited by blidgepump; 05 Oct 10, at 14:01.

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    Noted a few of this class of destroyer in Hong Kong around 1963. Always thought they were fine looking ships.

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    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    At least there are some examples of ships with most WWII armament intact. North Carolina, Alabama and Texas BBs come to mind since they didn't have later lives like the Iowas where all the armament and radar suites kept changing. In addition to the historical significance, keeping examples like the DDs around is a way to preserve our technical history as well. It's the same thing as preserving old locomotives. A big shame was the NY Central and Pennsylvania Railroads scrapping every one of their big engines. All gone. No Hudsons, Niagaras, Mohawks from NYC, or T1s, S1s, Q1s, Q2s or Js from the Pennsy. Both of those roads would have sold their grandmothers if it could have made them a few bucks.

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