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Topic review - Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Thank you again, Rick! Those are indeed very helpful.

Michael
Post Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Michael,

Here are four of eleven photos taken of USS RODMAN (DD-456) during Operation Torch. USS RODMAN was a favorite subject and many of the photos came out great. These four views provide views of just about the whole ship. As you get questions in your build, I may be able to find a good view of that area. The one thing I don't have, are photos of her while she was in Ms 12R(mod), but plenty while she was painted in Ms 22.

When I say the "square-front" on the 02 deck level, I'm not talking about the Pilothouse, it is the deck below that. When she was launched, RODMAN had the earlier Rounded Front shape that BUCHANAN had, but was altered by the time she was operational. Squaring allowed for more room to place two 20-mm guns in the area between the bridge and the 52 mount.

In these views you can see some unique things like a ammo ready use cabinet across from the quad 1.1-un mount and note her Mk 51 director covered in canvas. In the October 1942 views, she doesn't have Mk 14 gunsights installed on her 20-mm guns. However, in the image dated November 1942, they are installed. I'm not certain that this image is of USS RODMAN, there are differences in her configuration. But, some of those differences like an additional raft float stacked atop a previous one can be done pretty easily. In either case, the aft deckhouse configuration is pretty typical in this timeframe. Also, these photos were taken before the three additional 20-mm guns were installed during her upgrade with two twin 40-mm mounts replacing the quad 1.1-in mount and the single 20-mm gun opposite the 1.1-in mount on the aft deckhouse.

USS RODMAN has the SC-1 radar atop her foremast, but doesn't yet have a SG radar.

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Post Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:29 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Though this picture, borrowed from the Destroyer History Foundation's site on Rodman, looks very similar when blown up, including the searchlight platform and aft deck house. The mizzen mast is truncated, however.

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Michael
Post Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Rick,

After looking at the info on DANFS, The Destroyer History Foundation, and NavSource, I think Rodman, DD456 fits the bill. From the few photos I've seen, the configuration sure looks like the 1942 Buchanan in the Dragon kit, and she was on the N. Atlantic convoy runs as well as the Russian convoys, so that's what I was looking for. I do note that your post above says that the bridge was square faced on Rodman as opposed to round faced on Buchanan, but the launch pictures I see on NavSource sure look round to me. Maybe I'm missing something. It looks like the searchlight platform and perhaps the aft deck house might be different, but it's hard to tell the time frame of many of the pictures I'm seeing.

Any further help would be much appreciated!

Michael
Post Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:38 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Rick,

This is great info, thanks! I have the first boxing of the kit, the 1942 version. Let me do some looking at your list and I'll see if I can narrow down my choice.

Michael
Post Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Michael,

I don't know which BUCHANAN kit you have, the 1942 one or 1945 one. The 1945 kit has more options available with I believe all the parts for the 1942 version plus the 1945 configuration. I will try to give you a list of options based on first the 1942 version of the kit and then add that most of those and other units could also be modeled with the 1945 kit. The DML BENSON and GLEAVES class kits have a lot of common parts, but depending on the specific ship called out "on the box", not all the optional parts for other units may be available. Examples, would be the lack of 40-mm guns for early versions of any of these units. Boxes labeled as 1945 do have twin 40-mm mounts.

First off, the 1942 BUCHANAN kit shows a typical Repeat-GLEAVES class (DD-453 and higher) unit sent to the Pacific with a single quad 1.1-in mount. Other Repeat-GLEAVES class units also armed with the quad 1.1-in mount were operated in the Atlantic with most of them being deployed to Operation Torch off North Africa. But, in fact there wasn't much difference between Pacific-based and Atlantic-based units until local alterations started to appear in the Pacific, which are not reflected in the DML 1942 kit. A total of 24 Repeat BENSON-GLEAVES dual class units were completed with the quad 1.1-in before the planned twin 40-mm mounts were available for installation in July 1942. Units with the quad 1.1-in mounts didn't immediately get upgraded to the two twin 40-mm configuration until after Operation Torch. Actually, the Pacific-based units retained the quad 1.1-in mount longer than the Atlantic-based units.

Repeat-GLEAVES class units with a quad 1.1-in mount in the Atlantic were;

DD-454 ELLYSON - Federal built
DD-455 HAMBLETON - Federal built
DD-456 RODMAN - Federal built
DD-457 EMMONS - BIW built
DD-458 MACOMB - BIW built
DD-461 FORREST - BosNY built
DD-462 FITCH - BosNY built
DD-463 CORRY - ChNY built
DD-464 HOBSON - ChNY built
DD-632 COWIE - BosNY built
DD-640 BEATTY - ChNY built

Configuration "details" varied by yard where the units were built and generally were the same or nearly the same for the units built at the same yard. USS BUCHANAN was a Federal-built unit and I have labeled which units above were also built by Federal. However, some units of the Federal-built Repeat-GLEAVES class units had the original "rounded-face" to the 02 level of the bridge (same deck as the 52 mount was on), which USS BUCHANAN was one. All of the Atlantic based units above had the "square-face" to 02 level of the bridge. The kit comes with both options.

If you bought the 1942 version of the USS BUCHANAN kit, the above list are your options of modeling with most accuracy. However, you can model the others, but should consulate photos to note differences. One noticeable difference is the location of the searchlight, aft of the second stack or on the aft deckhouse.

All of these units were upgraded to the two twin 40-mm configuration late 1942-early 1943. At about the same time, three 20-mm guns were added (one on an elevated platform forward of the bridge and two in bridge wings), making a total of seven 20-mm guns. The remaining units of the Atlantic-based Repeat-GLEAVES class units were completed with two twin 40-mm mounts. The list below does NOT include the 20 Square-Bridge Repeat-GLEAVES class units which the BUCHANAN kit and any of the DML kits, DO NOT include. (However, a 3-D printed Square-Bridge has recently became available)

DD-489, DD-490, DD-633, DD-634, DD-635, DD-636, DD-637, DD-638, DD-639, and DD-641.

There were also a number of Repeat-BENSON class units that can be modeled from this kit since the kit comes with the BENSON class stacks ... but the BUCHANAN kit may not have all the optional parts needed to be completely "accurate".

OH ... A NOTE!!! If you are building a unit with a quad 1.1-in mount, ONLY install ONE Mk 51 director directly forward of the quad 1.1-in mount. Actually, from the photos I have scanned, I "think" only the Atlantic-based units had Mk 51 directors installed just prior to Operation Torch. The Pacific-based units don't appear to have gotten directors for their 1.1-in mounts and relied on local control.

As far as camo schemes used, the early Repeat-GLEAVES (and BENSON's) units were painted in Ms 12R(mod) then starting in August 1942, new-built and overhauled units started to be painted in Ms 22 or for a few in Ms 18, for service in the Atlantic. There was a mass repainting to Ms 22 (and Ms 18 for a few) of the majority of units involved with Operation Torch in September and October 1942. Ms 22 was the standard camo for Atlantic Fleet until late 1944 when dazzle became the standard.

PS. Once you figure out which ship and timeframe you wish to model, I may be able to help you with more info and images.
Post Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:25 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
I'm pretty much a newby to ship modeling but I picked up the Dragon 1/350 Buchanan when it was first released, along with the extra PE set. I would like to do an Atlantic based destroyer and wonder if this kit could be built as one out of the box or with a minimum of modification. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

Michael
Post Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:03 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Kevin,

The early period of the SOLOMONS campaign saw a frantic effort to add to Air Defense armament. There are several examples of ships with "extra" authorized and unauthorized 20-mm guns being added. In one FLETCHER class destroyer War Diary, I read that a PacFlt directive went out in October 1942 allocating "AN"extra 20-mm gun to units with six or fewer 20-mm guns onboard. What happened was the distribution of multiple 20-mm guns on a wide scale at the forward bases and installed by the ship's crews, wherever they could find a "likely" location, beyond what was intended. Where these extra guns were located isn't known for all the destroyers in service during that period. Also, I have read that Army air-cooled 50-cal MGs were also added to a ship'ss "unofficial" armament. Once these units returned for overhauls, the unauthorized "weapons" were removed.
Post Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:45 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Unfortunately Rick, I can't help you with a pic of the 20mm on Monssen's stern, as as you saw, she is way too deep for scuba divers. Deepest wreck I dived / has been dived there in IBS, is USS Atlanta in 130m/430ft (we were first to scuba dive her back in 1995, and she still gets the occasional visit today). But we did sonar locate what we believe to be one of the APD's (either USS's Little, Gregory or Calhoun) in about 180m / 600ft of water, but did not have the technology (or the cojones) at the time to attempt to dive it, as we were still using open circuit scuba then. Once closed circuit rebreathers became common for deeper diving - and I used one myself till I hung up my fins recently - it is certainly a diveable wreck, but for very very experienced divers only of course. However, first someone has to relocate it, dive an ID whatever wreck it was we located back in circa 1997. I just never got back to Guadalcanal after I moved my focus to SE Asian wrecks, so whatever it is it still sits there undived.

Anyway, back to rarely seen 20mm's. While not on a DD, below is a pic of an oft debated one - as no 'above water' pics exist / or have appeared of same - on the very bow tip of the wreck of HMNZS Moa (buried into the mud in Tulagi Harbour). Certainly not a standard regulation issued / installed item, but by all historical accounts, shortly before her sinking, was 'acquired' from the 'dry' USN when, greased by two bottles of gin, it mysteriously slipped off the back of a USN truck :cool_2:


Attachments:
Moa-bow-20mm-left.jpg
Moa-bow-20mm-left.jpg [ 223.97 KiB | Viewed 374 times ]
Post Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:38 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Kevin,

From the other images and knowing the general configuration of the class, I knew what was what ... mostly. I was just pointing out that higher-res scans on these prints wasn't going to provide much more details. The grouping of three-four sailors on the starboard side of the pilothouse roof, looks close to the canvas covered 20-mm guns before the bridge. :smallsmile:

By the way, do you happen to have images of USS MONSSEN wreck's fantail area? Right now I'm not sure of the wreck's depth without hunting for that info, to know if she is "dive-able". Chuck Haberlein (formerly NHC) has said that there was a 20-mm gun added on the main deck in that area, besides the nine other 20-mm guns she had onboard. He can't provide images because they belong to the Ballard exhibition. Ok not likely you could have dived on MONSSEN, she lays at 2,000-ft depth. :roll_eyes:
Post Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:40 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Thanks for those Rick! Much appreciated. I hadn't seen that overhead one before. :thumbs_up_1:

As for your comment "As you can see in the blown-up view of the bridge, trying to figure out some details is next to impossible (is that a gun or a sailor?)"

Not exactly sure which of those blurry shapes you refer to, but am sure you know - but for the benefit of others - there were 5 x 20mm surrounding the bridge. The two u/w photos below were taken in IIRC, 1995 and 1998, or circa there abouts. The two 20mm on the aft bridge wings (positions 3 and 5) were 'there' but already 'hanging down' so to speak, as became #1 by circa 1998 IIRC. (There were then two more adjacent to the aft funnel, making for a total of seven 20mm when sunk.) Unfortunately now - well, for many many years now - there is none, repeat none of the bridge standing whatsoever. It is just a pile of rubble, literally, on the deck as it were.

Also below is a photo of the torp tubes. As anyone who has read her AAR knows, she had a hot run in the port tube caused by the shock from the very near miss bomb port abeam, which caused it to 'eject' but was stopped when it hit the back of the forefunnel(!). The photo below shows that torp sticking out of the tube (the funnel having already collapsed by time the photo was taken.)

Anyway, I am not a modeller, so I wont bore you all with u/w photos of the wreck (although I think I may have posted some here before?), but if anyone would like to see a few more, then just ask.


Attachments:
DD483-5x20mm-Bridge-Area.jpg
DD483-5x20mm-Bridge-Area.jpg [ 394.27 KiB | Viewed 613 times ]
DD483-port-torp-hot-run.jpg
DD483-port-torp-hot-run.jpg [ 375.67 KiB | Viewed 613 times ]
Post Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:19 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Kevin,

I have scanned those images at NARA II, College Park, MD, plus three other images taken off Oahu dated 27 January 1943 (I learned that the dates the PHNY put on the images taken in 1942-43 by USN Patrol aircraft off Hawaii, may not be the exact days when the photos were taken). I have posted at least three of these elsewhere in I think this thread back in late 2008. I have reposted them below, including a close up overhead view of the bridge, along with newly uploads of the same images close cropped (Photobucket and Modelwarships size "rules" were different in 2008 when I uploaded these then). These images aren't going to be as high-res as what I scanned, for that matter not as high-res as I would scan prints these days (I scanned these images back in 2007). But, in this case, I don't think it will make much difference given that the original photos were not the highest quality photography to begin with. Doubling the res wouldn't give you much more details.

What PHNY did on this GLEAVES class destroyer was "technically" what was authorized, but not to the authorized configuration-wise structurally. Note the clipping room added under the centerline 20-mm gun forward of the bridge and the "towers" that the Mk 51 directors would installed in.

As you can see in the blown-up view of the bridge, trying to figure out some details is next to impossible (is that a gun or a sailor? :scratch: ).

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:55 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Gents,

I wonder if anyone here would have high res versions of images 1 and 2 below (especially 1) of USS Aaron Ward DD483 (post and pre refit pics respectfully) that they would be kind enough to send me offline? (I'd say 'post here' but the size limit here seems to be limited to a mere 400kb.)

I cant do much in exchange, except post some u/w images of her wreck taken back in the mid 90's not long after her discovery, when she was still looking like a fine DD (well, with a bent 'tail' and a few holes in her hull of course), that is long prior to all her upper-works collapsing into the sad and sorry pile of rubble she is today.

BTW; the 'two in one image' below is just a 'crop' of 1 and 2 I made up to compare the pre and post refit differences.

Any help would be much appreciated.


Attachments:
1     DD483 - 27-Jan-1943.jpg
1 DD483 - 27-Jan-1943.jpg [ 318.74 KiB | Viewed 689 times ]
2    DD483 - 1942.jpg
2 DD483 - 1942.jpg [ 352.04 KiB | Viewed 689 times ]
DD483 - 1942 top and 1943 bottom.jpg
DD483 - 1942 top and 1943 bottom.jpg [ 346.25 KiB | Viewed 689 times ]
Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:24 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
fred_sirois wrote:
Oh yeah! When will the conversion parts to make the 1/350 Monssen be available? :thumbs_up_1:


Hoping to have final release and availability of them by the end of this month. Watch the Manufacturer’s section of this message board for official release info.

Rick E Davis wrote:
Matt,

That Nine 20-mm configuration was also installed on the other DesDiv 22 sisters, (DD-433 through 436) not just MONSSEN.

There are some other possible useful configuration ideas, first in my mind is the aft deckhouse for the 50-cal MGs installed in mid-1941 and only slowly replaced with 20-mm guns in early 1942. There were two configurations, one for the DesRon 7 units (five 5-in guns, 5-TT, 10-MGs) and one for the remaining units of the early group (four 5-in guns, 10-TT, 12-MGs).

Rick


Thanks Rick!

Matt
Post Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:14 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Matt,

That Nine 20-mm configuration was also installed on the other DesDiv 22 sisters, (DD-433 through 436) not just MONSSEN.

There are some other possible useful configuration ideas, first in my mind is the aft deckhouse for the 50-cal MGs installed in mid-1941 and only slowly replaced with 20-mm guns in early 1942. There were two configurations, one for the DesRon 7 units (five 5-in guns, 5-TT, 10-MGs) and one for the remaining units of the early group (four 5-in guns, 10-TT, 12-MGs).

Rick
Post Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:53 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Oh yeah! When will the conversion parts to make the 1/350 Monssen be available? :thumbs_up_1:
Post Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:05 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Working on some great new accessories for the Gleaves class-

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2 Different Styles of Square Bridge available in 1/350 and 1/700.
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Latest print with heightened MK37 Barbette fitted with Dragon 5/38 and MK37

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Conversion parts to turn your Dragon 1/350 Livermoore into a USS Monssen in late 42

More exciting stuff to come!

Matt
Post Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:06 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Excellent - thanks Rick.
Post Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:59 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Well, at least some were NOT plated over. The exact number and locations can be disputed.

Here are a couple of the last images of USS LAFFEY (DD-459) in September 1942, some portholes appear to be open and others could be simply closed with the cover in place or plated over.

In this 4 September 1942 image of USS LAFFEY, I have adjusted the contrast, etc to try and pull out the portholes;

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This image was taken on 16 September 1942.

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And here is an image of her near identical sister, USS WOODWORTH (DD-460) on 13 August 1942. She still has all of her above the main deck portholes in place.

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Post Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:09 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
I am pretty sure the answer is "yes", but want to confirm... Were Laffey's portholes all plated over by November, 1942?
Post Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:37 am

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