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Topic review - Calling all Fletcher class DD fans
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  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

Is there a reason you want to do USS WADLEIGH in particular? Just curious because it is a limited set of configurations.

I already spelled out and posted images of the two configurations that USS WADLEIGH (DD-689) was in during 1951-55. The first image shows her with basically the final WWII configuration she had and was recommissioned with. About the only changes that FLETCHERS had upon being recommissioned in 1951-52 were updating the 20-mm guns from seven single 20-mm (Mk 4 or Mk 10) mounts to six two 20-mm (Mk 24) mounts, unless that is what they already had at the end of the war. These 20-mm guns were all of the hand-operated types. All FLETCHERS were authorized in April 1945 to make the change to six twin 20-mm mounts during their next overhaul period. Two twin 20-mm mounts replaced the single mounts on both sides of the midships main deck locations and two twin mounts replaced the three mounts on the fantail. When they made this change during recommissioning, the USN retained the original bulwark shape for those units that still had single 20-mm mounts prior to recommissioning. The plan was to upgrade ALL the FLETCHER class Fleet Destroyers with twin 3-in Rapid Fire Guns (RFG) mounts when ALL of the 20-mm guns would be removed, so no effort was made to modify the bulwark shape. Actually, it was decided that the 20-mm guns and their ammo weight and the extra crew to man them were not worth the military value and were ordered removed in 1952.

So you have two choices, only one if you don't want to do the more complex 4-Gun mod, during the 1951-55 period.

1. From recommissioning on 3 October 1951 to late 1952 before her overhaul and modification to a "4-Gun" configuration in early 1953;

USS WADLEIGH had five 5-in/38cal mounts, five twin 40-mm mounts (the mounts before the bridge were twin 40-mm mounts, not twin 20mm mounts), two quint Torpedo tube mounts, SC-2/3/4 air search radar (antennas are all basically the same appearance), SG-1 surface search radar, Mk 12/22 fire control radars on the Mk 37 director. She likely retained all six of her twin 20-mm mounts until her early 1953 overhaul. She didn't get the hedgehogs, tripod mast, upgraded radars, until her 1953 overhaul/upgrade.

2. From May 1953 to 1962, USS WADLEIGH was in the 4-Gin configuration. But this would require quite a bit of modification from any "Out-of-the-Box" FLETCHER kit. So I "assume" you don't want to go that route.

If you which to model USS WADLEIGH as she appeared during her first year after recommissioning, then the easiest path would be to use the Trumpeter 1/350 scale THE SULLIVANS kit and use the parts for the five twin 40-mm configuration, not the version parts for the Anti-Kamikaze Mod with quad 40-mm mounts. Use of aftermarket upgrade parts is up to you, but I would suggest at LEAST getting a set of twin 20-mm mounts, Black Cat makes a nice looking 3-D printed version of these (AC-350003a). Trumpeter's 20-mm guns are terrible. Replacing the single 5-in mounts would also be a good idea, Black Cat and Model Monkey make these.

Depending on how much you are interested in absolute accuracy, there are other things that can be added or modified; Black Cat makes a boat winch and bridge equipment not in the Trumpeter kit. The bridge shape isn't exactly accurate shape, but you you aren't concerned, it can be ignored.

The Revell 1/144 scale FLETCHER kit is a Round-Bridge type and a much more extensive list of aftermarket components are needed, starting with getting a Square-Bridge assembly.

Oh, as for the three images you tried to hot link from Navsource (they don't allow hot linking);

Yes the first two images show her as I describe above in likely 1952 and the third shows her early (1953-55) in the 4-Gun configuration prior to ECM gear being added.
Post Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:43 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
David P - Yea, 5 tube torpedo mount - my bad!

Rick - I certainly yield to you on historical details & facts concerning the class; my commentary is only from what I saw aboard ship during my tenure in San Diego & Long Beach in the mid-60s - YOU are the "go to guy" for details on the correct research and class details, etc.

PAscalemod - the Revell kit I am going to convert is their 1/144 scale FLETCHER kit. It is now back on the market after a time when it was out of production except for a German version produced by Revell of Germany.

RFG - Rapid Fire Gun (not RNG) - 20mm mounts were removed, not modified to my knowledge. They were way out of date by war's end anyhow!

Hope this helps!

Post Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:38 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
GUYS thats quite a response, Im very thankful for this. My idea is the 1951-5 Wadleigh, to narrow things a little. Whichever version will be requiring least amount of changes vs Sullivans? Was there a giant upgrade mid 50s or that was late 50s?

Hank mentioned Revell? What about Revell? Im considering Trumpeter Sullivans as starting point in 1/350. Makes sense? Or your comment re deck applies to the Sullivans also.

Im more of a battleship, royal navy and kriegsmarine experience, so this is a super new thing for me. I have built only one USN destroyer, a Clemson one and in smaller scale, plus a USS Washington and USS Gato. So my experience with USN is limited also.

You guys mentioned RNG mounts? You mean more modern 20mm twin Bofors? Ive seen on pics only 3 of them. I assume no ASW stuff yet will be on the build.

Here is what I would target:

tubs up front, 4 20mms twins?

This in particular may be? No tubs on front around 20mm twins...
Post Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:20 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

There wasn't a "Standard 4-Gun FLETCHER" directed configuration. The SCB 74A mod was just installing the twin 3-in RFG mounts and associated fire control, planned for ALL USN destroyers. New radars and other equipment were actually Fleet-wide improvements. For destroyers three out of four units were suppose to get SPS-6 air search radar mounted on a tripod mast, set at different frequency ranges, and the remaining destroyer for radar diversity was to use at first a SC-4/5 or SRa or SRb air search radar (installed on either a pole mast or at the standard tripod mast). Initially FLETCHERS had the WWII era SG-1B surface search radar with a new antenna, which was replaced with a SPS-10 radar. Actually not ALL 4-Gun FLETCHERS had tripod foremasts, three units had pole masts (with a SC-4/5 then SR radars) for many years before getting tripod masts. The most common 4-Gun configuration had a SPS-6C radar on a tripod mast and SLR-1 ECM suite.

The 4-Gun FLETCHERS went through several iterations, even in the first few years. Like the first handful of FLETCHERS to be upgraded retained the two torpedo directors in the bridge wings. But, the USN found after inclining that they needed to reduce top-weight and going to one torpedo director on the aft side of the aft stack became the standard location.

Actually, several of the items you listed were not unique to the 4-Gun FLETCHERS. For example, Hedgehogs were "authorized" to be standard on ALL USN destroyers in 1951, but took a couple of years to be installed on all destroyers.

The KW mobilization FLETCHERS actually had an Anti-Torpedo system installed as they were recommissioned, the "FOXER" (FXR) system from WWII used in the Atlantic as a counter to German acoustic torpedoes. This system was quite simple, involving two pieces of metal towed behind the ship, that banged together to attract the acoustic torpedo. See attached images for the system on a CVE in 1944 and as installed on an early FLETCHER. This piece of equipment was considered to be so important that it was one of the very few items actually to be installed during the reactivation process prior to shakedown training and evaluation (up-to-date radios were the other high priority equipment). After that period a destroyer would go through a modification overhaul. The FANFARE system started to replace the FXR system in 1956 on FLETCHERS; the S-Mk6 (single towed device reel) in 1956 and the T-Mk6 (two towed device reel) in 1957. Because units of the class were being decommissioned in 1953, assigned to NRT or decommissioned in 1957, and then almost annually after that, some never did have FANFARE installed.



It wasn't until after the last FLETCHERS to get the SCB 74A mod completed in FY54, did the USN realize that they needed to track two separate FLETCHER "Fleet Destroyer" configurations; 4-Gun and 5-Gun and establish how those two were to be equipped. The 5-Gun FLETCHERS were "suppose" to be the first units decommissioned, but that wasn't always the case. The units in best material condition were retained and the poorest units were selected for reductions in active units or assigned to NRT. Once a destroyer was assigned to NRT, virtually ALL class upgrades ceased to be applied to them.

There were many "across the board" upgrades done. A noticeable one was the enclosing of the open bridge front, first with plexiglass windows, then with a canvas cover, and finally a more permeant roof. In 1966 USS PRESTON (DD-795) was modified with a "German Navy" style bridge. Which was strange, given that the FLETCHERS were slated to be retired in the then near future. Then in about 1962 enough Mk 32 ASW triple torpedo tubes were available, that the surviving 23 FLETCHERS on active duty had them installed.
Post Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:40 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Hank, it is not 6 tube torpedo mount but 5 tube torpedo mount. look closely at the picture & you will see. which Revell kit as in the 1/305 scale kit or the 1/144 scale model?
Post Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:27 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
PAscalemod & Rick,

So, how did I miss the name of your intended model (WADLEIGH)? :doh_1: :doh_1: :doh_1:

My initial reply was to allow Rick to come through with his usual detailed descriptions and historical content without my somewhat Peanut Gallery approach to an answer. Having said that I would like to comment further:

The last photo of WADLEIGH posted above shows her in what I could call a "typical" 1st stage modernization of the FLETCHER class DD in that she had a new tripod foremast, (3) 3"/50 cal. secondary armament replacing the old 40mm mounts, a single aft Mk. 56 GFCS but has not had her original 6 tube torpedo mount replaced. She also has lost her original Mt. 53 5"/38 single mount and has gained her two Hedgehog Launchers up forward. At this point in time (photo), the old WWII era rafts were still carried aboard and she's retained both her after depth charge racks and has not received any FANFARE or other towed noise array (ASW gear). These were mods made in the later '50s to many of the FLETCHERS and I can only recall one or two of the San Diego based DDs that did NOT have these aboard in the mid-60s. I also recall one of those ships still had her WWII pole mast and that was a true oddity by that time.

I may have mentioned this in an earlier post on this thread, but when I do get started on my conversion, I will more than likely replace all the decks in the original Revell kit with sheet styrene because trying to sand off all the old WWII stuff does not always come out as expected. I think starting with a clean slate might be the best and easiest way to make this conversion.

Hope this helps,

Post Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:58 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

Hank is generally correct in a broad view of the FLETCHER class configurations from 1950 to 1972 while in USN service. But, you are asking about USS WADLEIGH (DD-689) "during the Korean War". I have to ask for what period during the KW are you wanting to model this ship?

When the FLETCHERS were mobilized from mothballs at the start of the KW and for that matter, what became the more intense Cold War, the plans for upgrading them evolved over their service life. The authorized upgrades changed configuration appearances and depending on when a destroyer was overhauled or retired, would last for only a short while or remain until the ship was scrapped.

Initially 41 out of the 82 (all Square-Bridge units) "Fleet Destroyer" configured FLETCHERS and recommissioned in the mobilization (18 other FLETCHERS were being converted to the ASW DDE configuration), were authorized to be upgraded with three twin RFG mounts in place of one 5-in/38 mount and all their 40-mm guns. Due to cost overruns, only 39 FLETCHERS while in USN SERVICE were were upgraded with 3-in RFG mounts in 1950-54 period. This modification became known as the "4-Gun FLETCHERS". USS WADLEIGH was one of those units, being so modified in early 1953 (corrected) at BosNY. The remaining FLETCHERS in service, were modified to what was known as the "5-Gun FLETCHERS", that basically was the late WWII Anti-Kamikaze Mod with two quad 40-mm mounts, also replacing the forward twin 40-mm mounts with two Hedgehogs and "generally" new radars (most on tripod foremasts) and sensors.

Prior to that upgrade, she was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and didn't see service in the Southeast Asia area until, AFTER she was upgraded and a year of training, in May-November 1953 timeframe. Actually she didn't see service off Korea, but rather off Taiwan during a crisis period with China, before returning to Atlantic Fleet service. She went on to serve in the USN in the Atlantic Fleet until 1962 and saw additional modifications to her configuration, primarily upgraded electronics.

So to fully answer your question, I need to know just when, timeframe, you which to model USS WADLEIGH?

Early recommissioning configuration for WADLEIGH has her still in a basic WWII configuration that could be best matched by the Trumpeter "THE SULLIVANS" 1/350 kit. This image shows her during March 1952 when she was used in a movie.


After her 3-in RFG upgrade, she had the standard configuration as authorized at the time. Note that she has the SPS-6C radar and minimal ECM suite at this time. The ECM suite and her ASW armament would be upgraded in late 1950s.


AS for upgrading a 1/350 scale kit to a 1950's configuration, the Trumpeter 1/350 scale THE SULLIVANS kit is likely your best option. The Tamiya 1/350 FLETCHER kit would require more work with an aftermarket 3-D printed Square-Bridge form Model Monkey beside all the other components. There are aftermarket twin 3-in RFG mounts, Mk 56 GFCS, and Mk 63 GFCS available. But, you will need to scratch build the revisions to the midships deckhouse and aft deckhouse along with the "tubs" required for the RFG mounts. Model Monkey has "generic" twin 3-in RFG "tubs" that appear to be close enough when modified for a 4-Gun FLETCHER build.

At one time there "WAS" a 4-Gun conversion set for Tamiya 1/350 kit in resin. But, it had a LOT OF ERRORS and is no longer available in any case.
Post Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:58 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Pascalemod wrote:
How can I convert Fletcher DD into Korea era ship? Is there a conversion kit out? What are the core changes required? Hull, weapons, radar.

Well, these three questions can be answered as such:

1) Yes, but it will entail a LOT of research and scratchbuilding
2) No!
3) Hull - probably not, unless you want to correctly configure and create the sea chests, underwater intakes, etc.
Deck - Major changes involved
Superstructure - Major changes involved
Weapons - Yes, and there are 3D printed weapons available online
Masts/RADARs - YES!!! This will all have to be scratchbuilt

Now, having said that, a lot depends on WHICH ship you intend to build, what time period the model will represent, and which group that particular ship was modified with in regards to the type of modifications it went through. This is where the research comes into play. Most of the MAJOR changes in FLETCHER class DDs took place in the very early 1950s during the Korean War and therefore the research is critical. My particular ship (USS STODDARD DD-566) went through this modification process and when I served aboard (1966-68) she had already been modified and only major items were changed during our 1967 yard period.

I have been doing research on the FLETCHER modifications for the last 2 1/2 years and while many of the group changes were similar - you cannot assume that all the ships were modified identically - they were not. As I have said in my USS NEW JERSEY build several times, individual shipyards making conversions to ships did things differently and a general modification that was sent to the fleet didn't always result in sister ships having identical modifications when the work was completed. I saw this first hand in San Diego where many of these ships were homeported.

Hope this helps, etc.

Post Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:40 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
How can I convert Fletcher DD into Korea era ship?

Is there a conversion kit out?

What are the core changes required? Hull, weapons, radar.

Appreciate insights!

Tamiya 1/350 and 1/700 WW2 versions would be a start, the ship to build would be USS Wadleigh dd689.
Post Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:08 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Steve and Hank, thanks.

Hank to answer your questions. I am using Fusion360 on my home computer. And, nope, not using the Revell kit. This model was actually started before Revell released their kit. I have been using the excellent Fletcher CD set that I purchased years ago and building pretty much everything from scratch. The Kingfisher you see in the background is carved from basswood.

Good modeling all,
Post Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

Very nice work! In your prior post you used the term "Imagineering" - well, I for one, know what that word means (in the CAD world) and am wondering what software package you're using. Just curious. I am guessing (don't recall if you've posted prior build iterations, or not) that you are kitbashing the Revell 1:144 FLETCHER - as will I when I get finished doing the CAD drawings for the superstructure of my 1st duty station (USS STODDARD) DD-566 in her '66-'68 configuration.

Anyhow, your model looks quite convincing, to date!

Post Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:15 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
:big_grin: Looks excellent.

KkPw5eI.gif [ 176.67 KiB | Viewed 2003 times ]
Post Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:12 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Greetings all,

Just wanted to share with you a minor achievement on my USS Stevens project. After a number of iterations over the years I've finally gotten a representation of the Steven's aircraft handling crane that I think is acceptable and I can live with. The assembly was built in CAD so I could make changes as needed to the dimensions and then printed out on a 3d printer that I purchased not too long ago. Still need to do a couple of minor touch-ups so its just pinned into place for the picture.


I will attach the three back supports when its time to do the final assembly. The lines you see coming out from underneath the turntable will eventually lead back to the winch used to control the vertical movement of the boom.

A shout out to Rick Davis for his help with pictures and suggestions.

good modeling all,
Post Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:32 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Hey Guys,

Thanks. Rick I'm in no screaming hurry, whenever you have the time it will be appreciated as always. (on a side note: what would the destroy modeling community do without you!!!)

BB62Vet, thanks. I have the BIW plans and about all you get there is that its a rated 2-ton trolley hoist and the drawing just shows a bunch of circles. If worse comes to worse I'll end up imagineering something and dare anyone to prove me wrong! :)

thanks gain,
Post Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:01 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

Does this help -
21 inch Torpedo Loading Crane.jpg
21 inch Torpedo Loading Crane.jpg [ 85.39 KiB | Viewed 2187 times ]

If I can locate the BIW crane plans I'll post that, but it may take some time.
Post Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:49 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote

I'm traveling right now. If you can wait, in a couple of days I can get you images.

Post Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:16 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Greetings all,

I'm looking for some "relatively" up close pictures of the early Fletcher Torpedo Loading Crane (the ones mounted on the starboard side aside the aft stack). I've managed to look through the first roughly 72 pages of this tread and can't find anything. In particular what I'm looking to define is the chain falls and trolley that hang from the crane. Once I can work that into the assembly my crane is done and I can move on.

thanks in advance,

Post Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:26 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Thanks, that is quite interesting. A great find, but also another sad story for those of her crew lost. I have had a keen interest in the destroyer and crew that came alongside USS STRONG and succeeded in getting most of her crew off, 7 officers and 232 enlisted, about 75% of the crew. The rescue destroyer was USS CHEVALIER (DD-451), a sister ship built at BIW. The account of the torpedoing of USS STRONG (DD-467) and USS CHEVALIER coming to her rescue in the face of enemy fire from her CHEVALIER's War Diary is attached. Below the account is a picture of USS CHEVALIER tied to the pier at Tulagi where she off-loaded STRONG's crew survivors on 6 July 1943. Ironically, USS CHEVALIER herself was sunk by a torpedo three months later.


Post Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:08 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Paul Allen’s research vessel, the ‘Petrel’, has just found Fletcher-class DD-467 'Strong', which was torpedoed in Kula Gulf, off the Solomon Islands, on July 5, 1943. My uncle Albert Oberg [1921-1943], USNA '42, LTJG USN, grandson of Swedish immigrants, raised in Brooklyn, loved the sea, beloved by his shipmates, was mortally wounded in the sinking of 'Strong' in action in the South Pacific while assisting crew evacuation to another ship while under fire from Japanese shore batteries. He died of injuries while eluding Japanese patrols on Arundel Island, Solomons, was buried by surviving shipmates [only one of whom returned alive]. His body was never recovered, and he left behind a widowed mother and grieving fiancée. I wasn't even born yet, but we remember.

Facebook page:
Post Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:09 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Fletcher class DD fans  Reply with quote
Timmy C wrote:
Here's a thread that would be of interest by someone who did a CAD model of a Fletcher catapult: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=88150&hilit=fletcher+catapult

Also on page 35 of this thread: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=8105&p=332172&hilit=fletcher+catapult#p332155

Thank you Timmy, gives me something to work on.
Post Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:04 pm

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