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Allen M. Sumner Class, U.S. Destroyers


Photograph of USS Waldron, an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer

Naval Historical Center #NH-96832

Schematic diagram of Allen M. Sumner class destroyer

ONI 222


Specifications:


Tonnage

2610 tons standard displacement

Dimensions

376'6" by 40'10" by 14'2"
114.45m by 12.45m by 4.32m

Maximum speed      

36.5 knots

Complement

336

Armament

3x2 5"/38 dual purpose guns
2x4, 2x2 40mm Bofors AA guns
11 20mm Oerlikon AA guns
2x5 21" torpedo tubes
6 depth charge throwers
2 depth charge tracks (56 depth charges)
Machinery
2-shaft G.E.C. geared turbines (60,000 shp)
4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers

Bunkerage

504 tons fuel oil

Range

3300 nautical miles (5300 km) at 20 knots
Sensors
SC air search radar
SG surface search radar
QGA sonar
Modifications
Some units were completed with QC sonar due to a shortage of QGA.

1945: One bank of torpedo tubes replaced with 1x4 40mm guns and the 20mm outfit increased to 10x2 20mm guns.


The Allen M. Sumners, completed in 1943-45, were an attempt to improve on the firepower of the Fletchers. They were a disappointment to the U.S. Navy, which expected more from the new design. Few of the ships actually achieved the design speed of 36.5 knots, with some units unable to do better than 33.6 knots in trials. The bridge and living quarters were quite cramped to make room for fire control directors and electronic equipment. The twin mounts had a longer firing cycle and trained significantly more slowly than the single mounts of the Fletcher. However, the focused firepower proved beneficial in combat. These ships also had twin rudders (significantly improving maneuverability) and radar accommodations prefiguring the C.I.C. concept. Their greatest deficiency was the great weight of the forward mounts, which tended to drive their bows into the water and introduced stress points in the hulls. However, they proved durable in combat with the kamikazes.

The notion of twin gun mounts for destroyers had been tested in the Porter and Somers classes, but these had no antiaircraft capability, and a suitable twin dual-purpose mount could not be developed in time for the Fletchers. Such mounts were later produced for large warships, and by 1943 production was sufficient to permit their use in destroyers. A design for a six-gun destroyer was completed in 1942 in anticipation of the availability of the mounts.

A peculiarity of the Allen M. Sumner design was that the after 5"/38 twin gun mount was capable of firing dead ahead, over the masts and bridge structure.

Nimitz recommended that a dozen of these destroyers should be completed as offensive mine layers by replacing the torpedoes, two depth charge throwers, and three of the 20mm guns with mine laying gear for 120 mines. These ships could carry 120 mines and were thought fast enough to sneak into enemy waters by night to carry out their mission. They are listed separately as the Robert H. Smith class.


Units in the Pacific:

Blue

arrived 1944-5

Ault

arrived 1944-6

Charles S. Sperry

arrived 1944-6

De Haven

arrived 1944-7

Lowry

arrived 1944-7-23

Brush

arrived 1944-8

Cooper

arrived 1944-8  Sunk 1944-12-3 off Leyte by Take

English

arrived 1944-8

Lyman K. Swenson

arrived 1944-8-7

Allen M. Sumner

arrived 1944-8-29

Barton

arrived 1944-9

Moale

arrived 1944-9-1

Taussig

arrived 1944-9-1

Laffey

arrived 1944-9-2

Maddox

arrived 1944-9-3

Mansfield

arrived 1944-9-3

O’Brien

arrived 1944-9-4

Walke

arrived 1944-9-6

Hyman

arrived 1944-9-25

Collett

arrived 1944-10

Waldron

arrived 1944-10-1

Putnam

completed 1944-10-12 (San Francisco)      

Ingraham

arrived 1944-10-15

Samuel N. Moore

arrived 1944-10-15

Zellars

completed 1944-10-25 (Seattle)

Mannert L. Abele

arrived 1944-11-10  Sunk by kamikazes 1945-4-12 off Okinawa

John W. Weeks

arrived 1944-11-20

Massey

completed 1944-11-24 (Seattle)

Hugh W. Hadley

completed 1944-11-25 (San Pedro)

Wallace L. Lind

arrived 1944-11-27

Hank

arrived 1944-11-30,

Borie

arrived 1944-12

Haynsworth

arrived 1944-12-1

Douglas H. Fox

completed 1944-12-26 (Seattle)

Willard Keith

completed 1944-12-27 (San Pedro)

Hubbard

arrived 1945-1-23

Stormes

completed 1945-1-27 (Seattle)

Compton

arrived 1945-2

Gainard

arrived 1945-2-9

Purdy

arrived 1945-2-14

James C. Owens

completed 1945-2-17 (San Pedro)

Drexler

arrived 1945-2 
Sunk by kamikazes 1945-5-28 off Okinawa

Robert K. Huntington

completed 1945-3-3 (Seattle)

Strong

completed 1945-3-8 (San Francisco)

Alfred A. Cunningham      

arrived 1945-5

Frank E. Evans

arrived 1945-5-4

John A. Bole

arrived 1945-5-22


References

DANFS

Gogin (2010; accessed 2013-2-9)

Jane's

Whitley (1988)

Worth (2001)



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