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Topic review - Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans
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  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Thanks to all who have assisted my endeavor. With the information available in the thread, I believe there is enough data to proceed with my project. My intent is to construct three models of the USS Forrest depicting three general phases of its service history: early (1942 Operation TORCH timeframe); mid-war (1944 Operation NEPTUNE timeframe); late-war (1945 Operation ICEBERG timeframe). All comments, advice, and insight is very welcome. Thank you.
Post Posted: Thu May 20, 2021 11:31 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote

I had forgotten about this photo that I scanned at NARA back in 2015. Initially, I was surprised at this date that a DMS was still painted in dazzle. But, going to Lee Johnson's website and to the GLEAVES class DMS conversions ... ... for_num=19 ... it turns out that all of the first group of twelve converted units were assigned this pattern (Ms 32a/29D) or a couple of other patterns (Ms 32/3D(rev), Ms 32/25D and Ms32a/22D). The period prior to Okinawa Invasion, saw many Pacific units being repainted during the return of Ms 21 and Ms 22. But, I do have a few photos of some units still painted in dazzle into April 1945.

Reading Lee's notes for Ms 32a/29D, he couldn't find a drawing for this pattern and apparently the darker paint varied as well.

I miss Lee. For a longtime whenever I was at NARA, Lee would be there.
Post Posted: Thu May 13, 2021 11:23 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Wow. That's an unusual camouflage scheme for 1945, isn't it?
Post Posted: Thu May 13, 2021 9:01 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Another fantastic data set - thank you! Mystery solved in such short order. Amazing.

Reference's for DesRon 10 and MinRon 20: ... /desron10/ ... /minron20/
Post Posted: Wed May 12, 2021 8:56 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
I have one revision to make to what I wrote before. After I looked at the 25 March 1943 photos again and thought about them, I suspect that USS FORREST was upgraded with the twin 40-mm mounts earlier, likely late 1942 or early 1943 after Operation Torch. I say that because the circles on the photos indicate "modifications" made during that yard period. The only circles are to relocation of the searchlight and relocation of the Mk 51 directors further inboard and raised. BINGO!! I just checked the Weekly Overhaul Reports that I have copied at NARA, and by pure chance (I have VERY few pages of these reports for Norfolk Navy Yard!!!) I captured FORREST's work at NorNY when the twin 40-mm armament upgrade was accomplished. See attachment. She arrived at the yard on 30 Jan 1943, and completed in early February 1943 or or after 9 February 1943. I don't have the actual finish date, since it would have shown up in a subsequent report I don't have. But, by checking DANFS for DesRon mates also at NorNY for similar work, I found that USS CORRY (DD-461) departed Norfolk for duty on 13 February 1943. That means that these three destroyers likely finished on time to the projected 9 February 1943 date authorized to finish the work, or shortly after that day. It normally took a day or two to do a checkout of work done cruise and to ready the ship for sea duty.


The only way you can find the detailed yard period work you are looking for on USS FORREST, is to go to NARA II, College Park, MD and pull her BuShips Textual Records and look for Departure Reports (or hire someone to do it for you). But like everything else, NARA is closed. There are rumblings that they MAY open yet this summer, but not likely before early August.

As to posting images, you can post images of a smaller size in data and pixels directly via the "Upload Attachments" function below. But, you would need to really downsize 5MB images to do that. The method I use is utilizing an image hosting service like Photobucket. I pay for this service with Photobucket, but there are other services out there, some that are free as long as you don't post too much. I have not looked at what services are available for quite sometime, so I can't recommend any for your needs.

Also, you want, you can PM me in this forum and we can arrange for me to post them here for you.
Post Posted: Wed May 12, 2021 7:41 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Wow!!!! Thank you very much for posting such excellent photo's and a great rundown of DD-461's history. Yes, you are correct in that it's last assignment in 1945 was with MinDiv 58 (MinRon 20). (I have an interesting crewmember anecdote about one of the 50cals a few days before the kamikaze strike of May 27th 1945). I have seen 229313/335595/15821 photo's before but never with such resolution. Thanks again for posting! The March 25th 1943 is completely new to me. Do you have a primary source reference for the yard overhaul order(s) for the new weapon configuration that I could look up? I would like to share some of the ship's photos I have located but they average 5MB: can you explain how I can downsize them for attachment? Thank you.
Post Posted: Wed May 12, 2021 6:22 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
"USS Forrest DD-461",

USS FORREST (DD-461), built at the Boston Navy Yard, was completed in April 1942 to the standard configuration for "Repeat-Gleaves Class" units. Because the planned two twin 40-mm mounts were not yet available, one quad 1.1-in mount was installed on the starboard side, and five 20-mm guns. Initially she was painted in Ms 12R(mod). By October 1942 she had repainted to Ms 22 with the same armament. In February-March 1943, completing about 25 March 1943, FORREST was upgraded to the standard two twin 40-mm mounts and seven single 20-mm guns at Norfolk Navy Yard. (DANFS skips over this) She remained in this configuration until converting to the DMS configuration (as DMS-24) in November 1944. The DMS configuration that FORREST was modified to, retained three 5-in/38cal guns, two twin 40-mm mounts, and seven 20-mm guns. The 54 mount and torpedo tubes were removed to accommodate the minesweeping gear. Any additional guns added isn't known by me. Likely no additional 20-mm guns would have been added, due to a lack of space for such a weapon. Adding 50-cal MGs around the ship was actually a pretty common installation late in WWII to counter floating mines and "Kamikaze Boats". In the last image I posted, you can see two 50-cal MG's atop the pilothouse.

Her operational history is outlined in DANFS, as an escort for USS RANGER and various convoys, plus D-Day support. More specifics can be found on Fold3 in her War Diaries. An interesting mission, was her escort mission and assignment to serve with the RN Home Fleet in the summer-fall of 1943. I have her noted as being assigned to DesRon 10, DesDiv 20. She could have been reassigned at some point, but I don't have that info. Her unit assignment was as a DMS was I believe with MineDiv 58.




Post Posted: Wed May 12, 2021 4:16 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote ... d-461.html
Post Posted: Wed May 12, 2021 2:13 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Greetings to the forum - new member here:
Thank you for posting such informative data and useful discussions on the Benson/Gleaves class- its greatly appreciated. I am currently working on a deep-dive into my grandfather's ship, the USS Forrest DD-461 (later, DMS-24; he served on it from May1942 to Oct1945): I am interested in any and all data related to the ship - including its design, contracting, and build process, its operational history (including its squadron and division's: DesRon 10 with DesDiv 19 and DesDiv20), as well the history of any of its crew member's. Lately and in particular, I am trying to determine the configuration/alteration history of its machine guns: the 1.1inch/20mm Oerlikon/40mm Bofors weapon systems. For instance, when did the ship remove its 1.1" and receive its first set(s) of 40mm's? Which yard conducted the work? When and where on the ship were additional 20mm's added (if any)? I had heard a 7th 20mm may have been added by spring 1945 for the Okinawa campaign (as well as adding 50calibrer Browning's throughout various deck and rail spaces). I have access to Ancestry/Fold3 War Diary and other operational reports for the ship but the level of technical detail is lacking. Any comments, research advice, tips, and discussion are welcome and appreciated. Thank you.
Post Posted: Wed May 12, 2021 10:03 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Great info, thx Rick & Ian. Agreed, its tough to see the TBS.
Post Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:20 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote

Maybe this will help with understanding why we say the TBS antenna is "likely" located at the front of this platform. The TBS system was one of those required pieces of equipment for communication between units during combat operations. Attached are images of USS LAFFEY's sister USS WOODWORTH (DD-460) foremast with an arrow pointing to her TBS antenna in this location. Also, an image of the 66015 TBS Antenna shows just how small, or rather "THIN" this antenna was. It is difficult to spot at any distance. Yards for some destroyers in early 1942, installed the TBS Antenna out on the yardarm, while other yards used this "open" location since the SG radar wasn't yet available. It was relocated on SURVIVING units once the SG radar was available for installation.

Also, as an aside note. Once SG radar's were installed, the platform received a reinforcing brace to support the platform/SG radar antenna assembly, once it was realized it was needed.

zDD460x2crop2-14Aug42.jpg [ 125.93 KiB | Viewed 641 times ]
zTBSantenna66015.jpg [ 178.13 KiB | Viewed 641 times ]
Post Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:31 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
I concur that the yardarms are bare (the only items I can see are the blinker lights at the ends of the yards). The horizontal shape on the SG platform looks to me like the T-shaped base of the "66015" TBS antenna (the actual antenna is too thin to be visible in this shot). Like Rick said, I've seen several ships with this configuration -- that platform must have been an easy place to mount the TBS antenna.
Post Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:06 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Thx Rick , you figure its the empty SG platform ? That makes sense, since comparably, these units were designed with gun director tubs (ie on stern deckhouse) that were director-less in Laffeys case anyways. I suppose that the technology advanced so quickly that it was first come, first served during refits.
Studying photos, I see no evidence of any addition tech equip, so will leave my yardarm bare.
Post Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:03 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Your #1 is the platform that would be enlarged for the SG radar that wasn't available when USS LAFFEY was completed and went to the South Pacific. Sometimes the TBS antenna is mounted at the front of this platform. Also, it was used as a platform to work on the radar.

LAFFEY and other early destroyers lacked the "stovepipe" BL IFF antenna, etc at that stage of the war. There could be a TBS antenna on the backside of the mast or just too hard to see. The new built FLETCHER's and BENSON-GLEAVES units built/completed at the same timeframe (summer of 1942) as the FLETCHER's, did have SG radar, stovepipe BL IFF, etc., but LAFFEY was completed earlier (March-April). The stovepipe BL antenna was installed on ships with older radars, SC-1 and SA. The SC-2 (after the first few) came with an IFF antenna colocated atop the radar antenna.

Studying the photos is the only way to be sure of what that the configuration of that units was.
Post Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:27 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
great discussion guys!
Moving right along on 1/350 Laffey, next question is the mast; specifically:
What is the structure at #1 in the attached image? Its different than on the DML Laffey kit.
I see that the fighting lights (the lower set, #2 on the image) are different on the DML Laffey kit; luckily GMM set has the solution, although I modified the DML ones, as I like the 3D look rather than PE.
Also, GMM has TBS, IFF & other tech stuff on their yardarm, but I dont see it on Laffey, does anybody see anything different? Maybe Laffey hadnt had these updates in Sept '42?

Laffeys mast setup.JPG
Laffeys mast setup.JPG [ 45.92 KiB | Viewed 381 times ]
Post Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:07 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Yes, THANKS Jamie, Rick and Martin for posting the photos you have!
Post Posted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:15 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Thanks guys. To my un-trained eye, they look lighter than the ship, so I went with 5-O.
Post Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:24 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
We have had discussions about what paint depth charges were "painted with". It depends. I have seen so many variations I don't have a solid answer. Early war depth charges were painted with 5-D for awhile to match Ms 1. And "most" times, the crews tired to paint the depth charges according to the camo rules of the pattern their ship had applied. There are photos of destroyers headed to North Africa for Operation Torch where the crew went to the trouble to paint the "top" of depth charges "deck blue" and the lower half "5-H". Most times one paint was selected. When the Atlantic Fleet had Ms 22 as a standard, it appears most depth charges were paint in 5-H. In the Pacific Fleet while Ms 21 was the standard, it appears that 5-N was the standard. It seems that at some point depth charges were painted in a paint like 5-O at the manufacturer (since new depth charges on Atlantic ships were repainted to 5-H). See image below. They were suppose to be painted by the crew/shipyard to conform to camo rules of "the day".



So in the photos of USS LAFFEY, the ship probably was supplied with new depth charges (300-lb for the K-Guns and 600-lb for the Drop Tracks) painted as delivered, and no one bothered to repaint them. If they are "new supply" to the ship, the paint on them is fresh and may well appear more glossy than ones that have been riding around on the ship for a month. As with any ship's paint, the next day or week, this could have been remedied by the deck Chief. :big_grin: If you are lucky and have photos for the timeframe you are modeling your destroyer to, use your judgement.

As for the Drop Track used on the fantail for 600-lb depth charges, should be the standard Mk 3. All marks of drop tracks for 600-lb charges had the same basic design, the only difference was how many charges could be loaded on it.
Post Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:41 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Hey Martin:
Looking at color 'Benson' photos, these seems to be same color as ship ie. 5N blue in Laffey's case.
Im glad you asked, cause Ive been researching depth charge types, and am wondering what type of depth charge & launch rack Laffey would have carried?
Im guessing the earlier Mk3 type rack, for the larger Mk 6 DC?

DD_459-4.jpg [ 123.11 KiB | Viewed 547 times ]
Post Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:32 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Rick E Davis wrote:

Color of the depth charges here? They almost look metallic in color. The ones in the racks on the stern are even lighter color.
Post Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:22 pm

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