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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
Ok gots another question...

K-guns, when did the King board modified Gleaves receive them and where were they located.... The Livermore Kit has them in the wrong places for this fit?

The Gwin had 4 K-guns... I'm having trouble pinning down where they were located... The aft two were abreast the #3 mount P/S, the forward two were either P/S under the middle .50 cal splinter shield or at the forward end of the aft deckhouse P/S....

I've looked through the books and where isn't much on this location out there for the early Gleaves...

Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:37 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
DavidP wrote:
Egilman, don't swell his head too much or he'll think he is a god.

I'm sure he has plenty of pins..... (not that he's ever needed to use one) Besides, he's earned it....
Post Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:22 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Egilman, don't swell his head too much or he'll think he is a god.
Post Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:29 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Thanks Rick, those pics really are helping me decide what I'm going to do....

It looks like even that installation was subject to the different needs of the ship at different time and executed differently by different yards....

Like that central stanchion with the three flat plates kinda in the middle of the MG platform on the Kearney (and the Monssen as well) that isn't present on the Meredith, (or Woolsey for that matter) which have two pipe stanchions and an electrical conduit arrayed along the outside edge of the MG platform...

The Meredith and Woolsey I believe were built at Boston, as was the Gwin which was laid down the same day as the Meredith in the adjoining slipway... (they were built right next to each other using the same supervisor of construction to the exact same plans)

So without further investigation, I'm going to go with the images of the Meredith and Woolsey as they seem to match the details of Gwin much closer with the Meredith being an absolute sister kinda pushes the preponderance of evidence that way....

Thanks for all your help....

You Sir, are a godsend to modelers....
Post Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:23 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
All four units of DesDiv 22 had the nine 20-mm mod done. USS GRAYSON (DD-435) was modified at MINY in May-June 1942, along with other work. The other three were modified at PHNY as you say after the Battle of Midway; USS GWIN (DD-433) and USS MONSSEN (DD-436) 26 June to 2 July 1942, and finally USS MEREDITH 6 to 15 August 1942.

As for Midships details WHILE any of the original group of GLEAVES class units had 50-cal MG's, these are about the best I have (several other views taken at Boston in stream on a typical cloudy Boston day, that show little closeup details), three of USS KEARNY and one of USS MEREDITH;





Plus, here is a close-crop of this area from another photo taken of USS WOOLSEY (DD-437) at the same February 1942, alongside the oiler, as the one you referenced. As you can see, she had collision damage in the area, so I don't know exactly what you are asking about "triangular" support structure. There is a triangular brace further aft that helps support the aft torpedo tubes mount. (The area under the aft torpedo tubes (and the forward TT mounts well) is a non-structural area open for uptakes to the stacks. So the braces provide support out to sounder structural under the deck.)

Post Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:25 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Ok Thanks for clarifying that Rick,

Unlike you studying all the different ship modifications for many years, I'm only interested in the modifications to the USS Gwin up to April 18th '42... Probably never get it completely correct but want to come as close as I can...

Matt told me about the 9 gun update and it looks gorgeous.... Perfect for that after Midway configuration that three of them had for their short histories... (and saves one from having to modify the aft deck house roof again for the 4 20mm's)

Matt's a great guy as well....

I've already seen a different configuration on the pilot house splinter shields in DesDiv 22 ships as well, the Monssen had hers slightly outboard of where the Gwin had hers. The Gwin's pilot house splinter shields were just inside the railing on the pilot house top, (the canvas dodgers show an unbroken line the same as the Woolsey's as they cross in front of the shield) while the Monssen's were overhanging the pilot house edge and the railings terminate against it....

Your absolutely right, the differences are there even between ships built to the same plans but in a different yard...

The variations must be endless...

I do got a question... do you have any detail shots or images of the midships, aft stack .50 install from a closer, lower angle, there is a triangular support structure underneath in the Woolsey pic but it's too indistinct to really see in detail.... Of course the Gwin's structure may be a bit different so I'm asking, I have an idea of what I'm going to do based upon that Woolsey pic, but I need more detail and sorta confirmation on what I'm seeing... (just in case my mk1 eyeballs are playing tricks)

I know they built it that way and took the photo that way just to make it more difficult on me today..... {chuckle}
Post Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:13 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
No it isn't for a "Square-Bridge" unit. Early on the building of the Repeat- BENSON-GLEAVES classes, the lowest level of the bridge had the front "face" squared-off to ease construction and to provide more room for the 20-mm guns. This "flat-face" lower bridge was one of the options available on the DML BENSON-GLEAVES class units kits. That is why I said you may need to "modify" this deck to fit the round face lower bridge deckhouse.


Matt makes the conversion set for the nine 20-mm configuration for the 1/350 scale GLEAVES class kits. Including the single 20-mm "tub" replacing the starboard boat.

... ... -dd433-436 ...

The BENSON-GLEAVES dual class units have a large number of variations throughout their WWII career. Between the builder's variations (Beth-Sldg had their own way to do things with the BENSON class), upgrade changes happening as the units were being built, armament mods as the war progressed, and other changes to sensor suites, there are a lot of different configurations to choose from. It wouldn't be cost effective to try and include versions parts in one kit. With all the versions that DML did do, you can get to many of the different versions. However, the BENSON 1945 kit has most ALL of the various sprues used in all the kits.

Also, the DesDiv 22 units once they moved to the Pacific, had a separate configuration path than the units stationed in the Atlantic. Even the Pacific based Repeat BENSON-GLEAVES units had some unique modifications not seen in the Atlantic.
Post Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:52 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Thanks Rick,

The Livermore '42 doesn't have Sprue M, but then when you look at that sprue, isn't M10 a squared off bridge variant?

The raised section for the next level up is square not round...

A10 has the curved bridge front which we do need for an early Gleaves.....

I'm working on a scratch built solution, but going to wait until Matt gets back to me on a question I asked him....

Another fit I can't do out of the box is the 9 20mm setup I don't have the tub for the starboard side forward stack. (part B19 would have to be modified for the 4 20's there)

I can do the 6 20's configuration and the configuration with the 1.1 gun mount.. (they give 2 sprue D's for 12 20mm guns)

It gets confusing for sure and takes a bit of study to get an idea of what you can represent out of the box.... But for sure you can't do a 12 .50 cal setup....

I think right now there is a half a dozen different early variants you can build right out of the box or with a little bit of modding.....

Nice kit, just a hair more engineering and they could have made a complete kit to model any early variant, it wouldn't have taken much....

And comparing the Woolsey's .50 cal config in that pic with pics I've seen of the Gwin, their .50 cal setups are identical..... there are lots of differences between the two ships, but the King Board mod is the same
Post Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:23 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Actually, with as many variations that DML made, there is a version of the two 20-mm/50-cal MGs forward of the bridge that has tubs that don't extend past the edge of the deck. Sprue "M" that came with BENSON (and maybe some of the GLEAVES class kits) kits, meets that configuration. However, the bulwark wall doesn't go far enough around to where it should to represent the initial King Board mods. Some fitting may be needed for the early bridges however to fit.

Sprue-M.jpg [ 106.84 KiB | Viewed 433 times ]

I don't remember which kits (without going through all the kits I have to fully document), will have this sprue. I do know that DML included some sprues for only a few parts in many of their BENSON-GLEAVES class kits. Two kits right off the top of my head that have this sprue are the BENSON 1945 (this deck isn't needed for that kit so is surplus), and the LAFFEY (1942) kits. The GLEAVES 1942 kits don't appear to have sprue "M".

Also, the BENSON 1940 kit has a deck for two 50-cal MG's forward of the bridge and the two waist 50-cal MG's on the midship deckhouse without the bulwarks as sprue "K". Also, unsure without studying images, but I think that sprue "B" may well be close for the midship deckhouse with the bulwarks.

Aside note; The USN found that they needed to move these 20-mm gun positions outboard (twice) to get better forward arcs past the 52 mount. The bulwarks for the 50-cal and 20-mm guns were basically the same diameter. I found drawings in the King Board files that had both as being 10-ft (20-mm) or 11-ft (50-cal MG depending on Mk installed) diameter working circles dictating the bulwark diameter. This surprised me, I figured the 20-mm guns would have a larger working circle? However, in some cases 12-ft diameter was desired. Confusing, yes.

I have so many BENSON-GLEAVES class units that I'm working on in parallel, that I found it easier to put most of the sprues in one box and hunt for parts I need with a particular variant. Hence I have a lot of spares - maybe. :smallsmile:
Post Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:23 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
A note for those who are building a 1941 King Board modified Gleaves class destroyer...

You can get the Kraken update set for the after deck house roof with the proper .50 cal machine gun layout, it comes with the proper splinter shields to add to the pilothouse roof as well...

But for the MG positions on the O1 deck level and the midships deckhouse opposite the aft funnel, your going to have to remove the existing 20mm gun tubs from parts A8 and B1 and replace them with .50 cal splinter shields... On part A8 they should be in the same spot as the 20's but the shield is flush with the bulkhead underneath... On part B1 the MG is mounted just inside the deck edge and the splinter shield extends over the main deck about half the distance the 20mm shield does....

Here is a photo of the USS Woolsey DD437 that shows this.... (I believe this is a pic that Rick Davis posted earlier in the thread)
zDD437USS Woolsey x10-2Feb42lr.jpg
zDD437USS Woolsey x10-2Feb42lr.jpg [ 123.95 KiB | Viewed 468 times ]

And here are the two kit parts that need modification....
DCP_2861.JPG [ 171.19 KiB | Viewed 468 times ]

Part A8 on the left and B1 on the right.... I haven't determined if the slight pedestal extensions on part A8 for the 20mm's need to come off yet as well but I will advise when I get there....

Post Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:10 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Hi, Matt
Thanks for your reply on the pm mail. I look forward to your January update.
Post Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:47 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Please tell/show me more about the two 1/350 items that you posted July 5 on page 55 of this subject - the Gleaves class square bridge and square bridge with 20mm tub. Prices? I want to vary the look of my Dragon and Cyber-Hobby Benson and Gleaves class kits by replacing the round bridges with square.
Thank you.
Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:34 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
There are some people who swear they can tell the difference in grayscale B&W photos between 5-N/5-H and the neutral gray paints (even from third or fourth generation copies seen in small size low-res images online). I know they can't. At least not with certainty and without helping documentation. There are enough variations in taking the photos with different cameras and settings, processing negatives of different types and prints in a darkroom, that it is impossible to be certain. I have looked at and scanned literally 1,000's and 1,000's of original photos at NARA and elsewhere (~1750+ for the BENSON-GLEAVES class alone, ~4700 for the FLETCHER class, etc), both B&W and color. Generally one knows that a given ship in the middle of WWII was painted using "standard" paints. But, at times other paints were used on USN ships (Mountbatten Pink, 5-S, experimental colors of all sorts) that trying to figure out what you have in a given image is impossible. Even the variation in color images is enough to make you scratch your head as to what the "original" colors were. Sometimes you see a light area, that likely is primer.

When you realize that the neutral grays were mixed to match the "CONTRAST" of the older paints, it makes sense that they are hard to tell apart in grayscale images.
Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:41 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Rick, thank you for a very comprehensive and detailed explanation. I'm glassy-eyed after spending this weekend trying to distinguish blue-purples from neutral grays via Navsource blank-and-white photos. R/Dave
Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:32 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
That is a question that can't be answered with a clear cut answer.

The transition to the "Neutral Grays" wasn't clearcut from the older paints to the new paints by a day or even month. The USN was still trying to get the new paints into production in (a late January 1945 memo sent out the formulas for the new paints) February 1945. The USN paint makers started, but getting the private paint suppliers going took time. Hence supplies of the new paints were limited. The switch from the dazzle schemes back to Ms 21 and Ms 22 (and adding a "new" Ms 12) happened in late 1944, roughly starting in October 1944. So you can see that there were ships painted in these schemes with both types of paint. To make it further confusing, initial directions for Ms 22 said to use the older 5-N paint and the newer Haze Gray paint.

.... ... ation.html ....
.... ... eBlue.html ....

Also, as was the case for many transitions in the USN when going from something "old" to something "new", the instructions said to use existing stocks of paint first. What we don't know is how much of the old paints were still "in the supply chain" at stateside bases and yards, contractor yards, and at forward bases, and when the new neutral gray paints replaced them.

Then there is when the Anti-Kamikaze program ramped up from directions for destroyers in late April 1945, throughout the war. For the FLETCHER class, the bulk of the Anti-Kamikaze Mods accomplished were done on the West Coast at USN and contractor yards. The majority of BENSON-GLEAVES classes had been based in the Atlantic. Starting in late 1944, units of the Atlantic-based BENSON-GLEAVES classes started to be sent to the Pacific in small numbers as the threat from Germany fell. Just as Germany surrendered, the Anti-Kamikaze mod program for the BENSON-GLEAVES classes ramped up in May 1945, prior to those units transitioning to the Pacific. The majority (but not all) of the Anti-Kamikaze BENSON-GLEAVES mods were done on the East Coast.

Out of 29 BENSON-GLEAVES classes units upgraded to the Anti-Kamikaze Mods (27 got the full upgrade with two quad and two twin 40-mm mounts, and two because of a shortage of quad mounts, had four twin 40-mm mounts), only five were done on the West Coast. Boston, New York, and Norfolk Navy Yards did the East Coast mods. The majority of these conversions were done in May-June 1945, with the West Coast units trending to be done after those. The further into the upgrades and repair of war damaged units process the closer to the transition from Blue-Purple paints to Neutral Gray paints.

Note; Verified with photo (yes or n/a)

Original Gleaves Group (12 units)

DD-423 Gleaves ... yes-NYNY ... 16 May – 8 June 1945
DD-424 Niblack ... yes-NorNY ... 6 May – 14 June 1945*
DD-429 Livermore ... yes-NYNY ... 29 May – 19 June 1945 NRT
DD-430 Eberle ... yes-NYNY ... 10 May – 4 June 1945 NRT
DD-431 Plunkett ... yes-BosNY ... 27 May – 25 June 1945*
DD-432 Kearny ... n/a-BosNY ... 6 May – 21 June 1945*
DD-435 Grayson ... yes-Todd Pac ..11 June – 28 July 1945
DD-437 Woolsey ... yes-NYNY ... 28 May – 18 June 1945
DD-438 Ludlow ... yes-NYNY ... 6 May – 4 June 1945 NRT
DD-439 Edison ... yes-NYNY ... 7 May – 4 June 1945
DD-440 Ericsson ... n/a-BosNY ... 6 May – 18 June 1945*
DD-443 Swanson ... yes-PSNY ... 28 April – 29 June 1945*

Repeat Benson Group – 12-40mm (11 units)

DD-600 Boyle ... yes-NYNY ... 1 May – (3 July 1945?)
DD-601 Champlin ... yes-NYNY ... 1 May – (3 July 1945?)
DD-603 Murphy ... n/a-BosNY ... 2 June – 10 July 1945*
DD-604 Parker ... yes-NYNY ... 1 – 22 June 1945
DD-608 Gansevoort ... yes-MINY ... 20 May – 18 August 1945?
DD-610 Hobby ... yes-Todd-Pac ..19 July – 4 October 1945?
DD-612 Kendrick ... yes-NYNY ... 1 – 22 June 1945
DD-613 Laub ... yes-BosNY ... 19 June – 29 July 1945*
DD-614 MacKenzie ... yes-BosNY ... 8 July – 13 August 1945
DD-616 Nields ... yes-NYNY ... 1 May – 3 July 1945
DD-617 Ordronaux ... yes-NYNY ... 1 May – (3 July 1945?)

Repeat Benson Group – 8-40mm (2 units)
DD-606 Coghlan ... yes-MINY ... 4 May – 4 July 1945*
DD-615 McLanahan ... yes-BosNY ... 8 July – 14 August 1945

Repeat Gleaves “Square-Bridge” Group – 12-40mm (4 units)
DD-497 Frankford ... yes-NYNY ... 23 May – 18 June 1945
DD-623 Nelson ... yes-NYNY ... 31 May – 21 June 1945
DD-624 Baldwin ... n/a-NYNY ... 31 May – 21 June 1945
DD-628 Welles ... n/a-PSNY ... 17 July – 2 September 1945?

The best I can tell you is that, depending on when (and maybe where) your modeling subject was upgraded to the Anti-Kamikaze Mod, will indicate the "probability" of which paints were used to repaint that ship. Also, many units upgraded, have few to no photos available showing their Ms 21 of Ms 22 scheme.

As best I can say, is make a judgement based on what you think.
Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:41 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
WRT camouflage measures for anti-kamikaze modification late-war Benson/Gleaves class,
would the two-color scheme be
Ms 22 [with Navy Blue 5-N and Haze Gray 5-H vertical, and Deck Blue 20-B] or
Ms 22 (1945 Revision) [with #7 Navy Gray and #27 Haze Gray vertical, and Deck Gray 20]?
Buried in the trivia - thanks for your help.
Post Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:40 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Well they were under orders after Pearl to paint in 5-N with no ambiguity after 12/16/41 that was one of the first orders issued..... (I'm sure Adm. King was a huge influence there) They no longer had time to ponder the issue...

Given the pics your offering up I probably figured wrong on the color and yes it was easy to convert Sea to Navy just add 5 more pints of tinting paste to mixed 5-S.....

I know there was an issue of ships coming from the Atlantic fleet to the Pacific Fleet and being in Sea Blue, especially if they were new construction.... but that was quickly resolved....

Thank you my friend for the answers, now I know....

5-N Navy blue it is..... It would have to be for the Hornet as well she was built in Prewar Standard Grey and was put into Ms. 12m on her second to last availability just prior to shipping out to the pacific. That means she had to be Navy Blue base color as well...

Thanks again....
Post Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:41 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
By March 1942, all destroyers in the NORTH Atlantic were using 5-N and not 5-S. It was an easy matter to convert a "pre-mixed" batch of 5-S into 5-N by adding tint. How then someone will come up with an exception .... As for USS VINCENNES and NASHVILLE, it would be dependent on WHEN they were first painted in Ms 12R(mod) and if their CO liked it or rather saw no need to bother repainting. From the images of VINCENNES and NASHVILLE I have scanned, they look to be painted using 5-N while in the Pacific. 5-S tased out of use pretty fast.

The South Atlantic (and maybe Canal Zone) destroyers were a different matter. USS WINSLOW was "reportedly" painted in solid 5-S in December 1941 and after seeing Mountbatten Pink, painted into that!!!!

In the images of USS VINCENNES below, note that the darkest hull side color is a close match to the deck color.



Post Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
Ok Rick, I can buy that.....

Some ships from Norfolk were painted in Ms. 2 Sea Blue as Adm. King was issuing his directive to substitute Navy Blue as supplies and availability allowed..... at the same time the BOS was issuing orders for painting that specified Sea Blue..... Which included Ms 12 Mod.... A month or two afterwards the BOS issued a clarification letter of it's orders that Adm King preferred Ms. 12 in Navy Blue and Admiral Kimmel preferred Ms. 11 in Sea Blue.....

There was a LOT of confusion going on back then, Atlantic Fleet was on a wartime footing and Pacific Fleet was not, Orders were communicated on the eastern seaboard within days and on the west coast in weeks, (sometimes months) After the attack on Pearl, and Adm. Stark was moved out to be Roosevelt's naval aide and Admiral King took over as Cominch, (he held both Cominch and Cinclant posts during the war) and he sent Nimitz out west to be Cincpac, things improved quite a bit.... He kinda cut through all the red tape.....

This is why within a week of BOS's orders on paint Admiral King had his preferences into BOS within two days and with Kimmel it was almost two months and then it still took another three weeks for BOS to issue it's revised orders...

I've always understood that the Hornet, Vincennes and Nashville were in Ms. 12m Sea Blue, Norfolk type pattern, (I call it tiger stripe pattern) and one thing that was an issue is they didn't repaint large capital ships that often as it took a while where a destroyer could be repainted in a day. (my nickname for the BosNY pattern is smoke on the water) and I know two of the destroyers were repainted just before they left in march.... (1 or 2 days in fact)

Well given the issues and the orders in hand, I'll shift over to Navy Blue rather than Sea Blue for TF-18, although I'm still not quite convinced/sure..... I haven't studied the paint schemes of the atlantic fleet as much as I have the pacific I suppose....

Now I have two bottles of Late 42 5-N Navy Blue coming from True North..... I would rather have them look the same cause that is how they appear in photos.... Now I still have to find the GMM PE for this kit, I wish Loren Perry had an online shopping cart....

Anyway thanks for all the help, it might be a while yet but when I get everything together and started I will post a log showing progress...

Post Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:09 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USS Benson/Gleaves class (DD) fans  Reply with quote
The darkest color on the Ms 12R(mod) patterns on ALL the early and repeat BENSON-GLEAVES class units would have been 5-N. The Atlantic fleet replaced the 5-S with 5-N before they started applying the "splotchy" pattern Ms 12R(mod) .... ... CL-41.html .... in early November 1941. The first "Ms 12R(mod) splotchy camo" painted destroyers began appearing in late November into December 1941, with the "jigsaw" pattern at BosNY. This pattern was NOT acceptable (to Adm King?) and was replaced by "most yards" (but not all), USN and private builders, with patterns with larger "splotches". Some of the early BENSON-GLEAVES class units in DesRon 7 carried the jigsaw pattern into as late as May 1942. There appears to have been a different style of Ms 12R(mod) applied by many yards, although the BosNY style does seem to be the most common prior to the switch to Ms 22.
Post Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:43 pm

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