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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:24 pm 
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Lets talk about the Benson/Gleaves class DDs and the Ellyson class DMS conversions here.

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1/350th Kits
Dragon:
* USS Buchanan DD-484 1942 (Gleaves Class)
* USS Buchanan DD-484 1945 (Gleaves Class)
* USS Laffey DD-459 1942 (Benson Class)
* USS Livermore DD-429 1942 (Livermore/Gleaves)

Yankee ModelWorks
USS Aaron Ward DD-483 1942 (Gleaves)



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:51 am 
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On the SN site, Sully asked:
:
Quote:
"I am confused. Are there any kits of this DD
: out there and are these classes in fact all
: the same in appearance?
:
: Internet searches have left me confused and
: tired.
:
: Would like to collect that represents
: 'Satterlee'. "

My response:

The "class" is divided a number of ways. The primary difference has been mentioned - the funnels. That was the main external difference between the ships built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding yards and the rest, which were built to the Gibbs and Cox variation on the design. The Bethlehem ships are the Benson's, and the others are Gleaves/Livermore's. (DD's 425-428 are Benson's - built in Navy yards to the Bethlehem plans - long story. That long story includes why the other variant is sometimes called "Gleaves" class, and sometimes called "Livermore's".) Hull numbers 444 and lower were part of the original batch, and these are the ones with the canvas-topped "half shield" or open mounts on the guns in the original #3 and #4 positions. Hull numbers 453 and higher had only 4 guns with full shields on all four. Also, the last 20 Gleaves variants had "square" bridges, and lowered MK-37 directors, similar to the changes made to the Fletcher bridges, but without the "walk-around" on the front. These 20 included the last 10 from Federal Shipbuilding and all 10 from Seattle-Tacoma. Satterlee was a square-bridge unit. Unfortunately, nobody has a kit of that variant, although it is possible DML might include that option in their new 1/350 scale kits. (Could be just dreaming on that one, though.)


Last edited by Dick J on Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:21 pm 
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Rick E Davis wrote:
The first photo is of the Swanson at PSNY in June 1945 getting her Anti-Kamikaze upgrade. I'm not use to seeing in yard photos at PSNY very often. I think the Maryland is in the background.

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The second photo is of the Bristol's bridge in Jan 1942 at the NYNY ...
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The third photo is of the Ellyson also at NYNY in Feb 1942 ... notice the difference in the bridge fronts (both ships were built at Federal) and that the Ellyson has 20mm and the Bristol has 50cal MG's.

Image

I forgot to mention that the Bristol's AA armament at this time was in-line with the earlier ships in this class ... only 50cal MG's. She got the pair of twin 40mm guns about a year later. I don't think that she ever did get a Quad 1.1" ... maybe some or all of the 50cal MG's were replaced by 20mm before the Jan 43 upgrade ... but I have found no photos.

The Ellyson got a Quad 1.1" at the same time of this photo. I was really surprised that the Bridge front was modified at this time ... I guess for the benefit of giving the 20mm guns more room?

When I went to the National Archives I was only going to pursue Fletcher class photos/data on my first trip there. Charles Haberline at NHC suggested that I go through the BurShips photos files first for me to get the most "Bang for the Buck/Hour of Looking-n-Scanning". This file has mostly delivery and yard photos of mods (unfortunately NOT a complete history of ALL work done to a given ship) Since these files are by Hull Numbers and come in boxes, I got some overlap with the Benson/Gleaves class. The very first photo I pulled out was the Swanson ... one I had not seen and I was over joyed that it was a PSNY photo. That is since PSNY photos are harder to come by out here in the wild. I did stop by the Bristol and Ellyson because I had suspected that they were the Break point between the as completed for service (as opposed to as delivered) w/o and with the Quad 1.1" install because of other photos I had seen at USNI. It appears to be the case. I picked the close-up of the 50cal MG's because of the detail and the general install scheme in that area. Then when I saw the Ellyson with a shot of the same area and noticed the bridge difference, I was really surprised. Both ships came from Federal one right after the other. Also, the photos are only one month apart and the big difference in AA Armament was amazing. I have not gone to looking to see if this bridge front change was a design change for the class at that time and the Ellyson was a first to be changed (during construction or afterwards?). I have a couple more onboard shots of these two ships showing the midship AA guns (6-50cal MG for Bristol and the "standard double tub design to be used for two twin 40mm guns when available, but temp installed with a Quad 1.1" and a 20mm single) and will be sending all five of the Gleaves/Bristol class photos I have to Navsource.org when I get the time.

While at NARA this last week, I found these photos of the Mayo (DD-422) dated 30 April 1943 as she was being refueled by the brand new USS Independence (CVL-22). What is of interest is the fact that she has a quad 1.1" gun mounted where the former #53 mount was located. No one has ever mentioned that any of the early Benson/Gleaves class destroyers carried the quad 1.1" gun. A couple of years ago DickJ spotted the quad 1.1" on the Plunkett in an August 1942 photo that has been published several times, but unlike the Mayo her installation lacked any splinter shields. It would be interesting to find out if any others of the early Benson/Gleaves class were so modified?

Photos 1 and 2 below are NARA 80-G-54434, with two just a closer crop of the area where the quad 1.1" is located.

Photo 3 is NARA 80-G-54441, a view of the Mayo's starboard quarter from the Independence.

Image

Image

Image

You know out of the photos of NOW two early Benson/Gleaves (DD421-444) and about two dozen post DD453 units with the quad 1.1" I have seen photos of ... about 9 out of ten had the gun covered with canvas and in many photos were hard to see the gun because it had a "boxy" appearance. Many times 40mm guns were covered with canvas, but not as often as the 1.1" in photos anyway, and the 40mm mounts had much longer barrels that are easier to notice.

As for the class with the MOST variations in configuration ... I'll have to think about that. It will depend on now you want to define what counts as a variation? Basic armament, stack/machinery, bridge configurations is one thing. The Benson/Gleaves class do have a large number of variations in that category ... some we may not even know about ... yet. Smile They had the pre-war 5-5", 10TT and a few MG's, early-war with so many options ... 4 and 5 5", 5 and 10TT, 0.50 cal MG's or 20mm ... holy cow, with quad 1.1" (at least four different configurations counting the two stack differences), with two twin 40mm (several layout variations and with 5 or 10 TT with two types of stacks and bridges), and the Anti-Kamikaze upgrade with either four twin 40mm or two quad 40mm and two twin 40mm. Don't forget the DMS conversions. But, the Fletcher's also had a large number of armament variations ... in some cases with two different bridge structures ... quad 1.1", one twin 40mm (three configuration versions at least, one with a catapult), two twin 40mm (two configurations of that, one in two different bridges), three twin 40mm (two different configurations, again one with two different bridges), four twin 40mm (three ships?), five twin 40mm (two bridges), SIX twin 40mm (one ship?), and the Anti-Kamikaze two quad 40mm and three twin 40mm (again two bridges). That is just in WWII and I didn't factor in the variations in numbers of 20mm carried, if we go post WWII, there are more. If all the quirks in the construction styles between yards count, then the Fletcher's would likely come out on top with 175 units built by 12 yards, compared to the 96 Benson/Gleaves built at, I think, 12 yards also. That is an interesting question.



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:08 am 
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After reading Steve Wiper Benson - Gleaves Class Destroyers ( by far the best of the series) One thing that has always interested me with this class is why at the end of war did the USN appear to put back the second set tubes on the Atlantic fleet boats ? was it for training in torpedo tactics ? some sort of "secret heavy weight ASW weapon launcher" or they redid their topweight sums and figured they could do it Certainly the threat read in the Atlantic couldn't justify 10 TT

Any ideas

Graham Murdoch
The Skywave Benson is a great little kit I hope the Dragon do M4 sherman job on it and issue 57 differnt subtypes :smallsmile:


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:19 pm 
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graham wrote:
After reading Steve Wiper Benson - Gleaves Class Destroyers ( by far the best of the series) One thing that has always interested me with this class is why at the end of war did the USN appear to put back the second set tubes on the Atlantic fleet boats ? was it for training in torpedo tactics ? some sort of "secret heavy weight ASW weapon launcher" or they redid their topweight sums and figured they could do it Certainly the threat read in the Atlantic couldn't justify 10 TT

Any ideas


Actually, this had more to do with the way the class was originally divided. The first 24 (DD-421 to 444) were treated differently than the later 72. The USN maintained a list of "authorized" weapons fits for each class (or group within a class) of ships. This was called the "ultimate battery". The ultimate battery for the first 24 ships was set at 4 5" guns, 10 TT, 4 40MM, and 4 20MM. The ultimate battery for the later 72 was set at 4 5", 5 TT, 4 40MM and 7 20MM. As weight compensation for the second set of TT, the first 24 had the half-shield (or no shield) on 5" mount #3, 3 fewer 20MM (obvious from the ultimate battery list), and fewer depth charges. This battery could be "temporarily" modified for specific threats, such as the additional AA added for the invasions of Normandy and Southern France, or the more radical anti-kamikaze mods, but these were all expected to revert back to the "ultimate battery" carried on the books. Since all but 4 of the first 24 remained in the Atlantic until the European part of the war had ended, I can understand why you would believe that all of the Atlantic ships seemed to add the second set of tubes. Of the 4 "early batch" ships transferred to the Pacific in '42, only two survived to see 1943, and only one made it to 1944, but it was still treated like its Atlantic sisters.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:33 pm 
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I'm finding this discussion fascinating, but I'm still confused. I'm interested in USS Ellyson (DD-454) which would fall into the 'second 72' of the class, with an ultimate battery of 5 torpedo tubes. Pictures before her conversion to DMS-19 show 10. All the 5" mounts have full shields and these great pictures show 20mm instead of .50 cal AA. Have I misunderstood the posts?

Also, I'd like some advice about which of the several YMW Benson class kits would be the closest match for DD-454. I'm afraid if I wait until the Dragon Benson kit is released, my Ellyson veteran friend won't be able to appreciate the gift.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:05 pm 
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DrDull wrote:
I'm interested in USS Ellyson (DD-454) which would fall into the 'second 72' of the class, with an ultimate battery of 5 torpedo tubes. Pictures before her conversion to DMS-19 show 10. All the 5" mounts have full shields and these great pictures show 20mm instead of .50 cal AA. Have I misunderstood the posts?


A lot depends on when the photos were taken. DD's 453 and 454 were delivered from the builder essentially fitted as the earlier ships, except the original mount #3 was missing. The intended fit for the "repeat" ships was still in flux. Eventually, the 4 gun 5 tube config was made standard for them and Bristol and Ellyson ultimately entered service in that config. The reason for the difference in tubes was that the original batch were intended to work with the "battlefleet", while the later ships were geared more as escorts. In actual practice, they were used interchangeably. In true bureaucratic fashion, though, the difference remained on the books through the end of the war. If you have a photo of Ellyson with 10 tubes and 20MM guns at the same time, I am definitely interrested in it. A number of unique "non-standard" outfits, like the Mayo photo with the 1.1" guns, have been discovered lately.

One oddity that I find interresting on Ellyson is the bridge face. The "as delivered" photos seem to indicate she had the same rounded lower bridge as Bristol. In fact, later units, also built by Federal, still had the rounded lower bridge. Somehow, Ellyson switched from the original rounded bridge to the later flat-plate version. Perhaps she was redone as a prototype.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:05 pm 
To add to Dick's posting. The Bristol after commissioning was delivered to the New York Navy Yard for completion. The NYNY completed the Bristol (~10 January 1942) close to the configuration that many of the earlier units of this dual class had been modified to ... four 5-in. guns, 12 0.50 cal MG's, and one bank of Torpedo Tubes. The only real difference being that all the 5-in. gun mounts were enclosed. She was assigned to DesRon 13 with early Gleaves units and fit right in.

The Ellyson followed the Bristol into NYNY for completion (~26 Feb 42), BUT was the FIRST Benson/Gleaves to have the bulwarks for the new authorized two twin 40-mm mounts and four 20-mm guns. But since the twin 40-mm guns and most important the directors were NOT available, the temporary installation of a quad 1.1-in. mount on the starboard side w/o a director and a single 20-mm on the port side, were placed where the two twin 40-mm mounts would go. About 24 Benson/Gleaves units had this temporary quad 1.1-in. mount installation. Not counting the Mayo's and Plunkett's non-standard quad 1.1-in. mount installation.

Dick, I have been going through photos of the Benson/Gleaves class and discovered that Federal did something strange with the bridges on the ships they built. The Bristol and all of the earlier built Benson/Gleaves (DD421-444) units had the rounded lower part of the bridge superstructure below the navigation bridge. Starting with the Ellyson (DD-454) all of the closed bridge ships completed by the various builders had the same squared off lower bridge seen in the Ellyson photo. EXPECT, for some of the Federal built units. DD454-456 were either completed by Federal SB or NYNY modified them to the new squared off lower bridge. However, for the next eight destroyers, DD483-490, built by Federal SB were completed with the original rounded lower bridge. The only reason I can see for this is that Federal was not instructed to change their design to save time or because they had already fabricated these components. Maybe DD454-456 were modified by the NYNY to the new bridge configuration along with the temp quad 1.1-in. in the two twin 40-mm bulwarks. The follow-on ships, DD483-490, were completed as far as I can tell by the photographic evidence, except for maybe DD483-484, by Federal SB to this new configuration and it didn't warrant NYNY changing the bridge.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:21 pm 
DrDull,

I forgot to answer your question about which YMW kit is the closest to the Ellyson. None are exact copies to the Ellyson. The Ellyson is a Gleaves unit with a Squared off flat lower bridge and none of the kits YMW fits this configuration exactly. The Farenholt kit is a Benson, the Aaron Ward and Gwin were Gleaves units with the round bridge. The Tillman has the right bridge configuration, but may need some work with some modifications to the other parts of the ship to match the Ellyson. The Tillman was built by the Charleston NY and had a Mk 49 director and a Mk 51 director ... for another oddball configuration.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:57 pm 
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Rick: I wonder if part of the idea was to create more space for the 20MM battery, like the 40MM mod on the square-bridge Fletcher's. But then, with only single 20MM, it may have proven unnecessary. The flat bridge face may then have been retained on production grounds, and limited to later construction. BTW, do you have a good overall view of Bristol with all those .50's?

Barry: Contact YMW. They have, I believe, been talked into doing a mix-match of parts before, as long as all the parts are still in production. Maybe you could work something out and save yourself the frustration of trying to modify your "expensive hunk of resin".


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:51 pm 
Dick,

Sorry I don't have a photo or scan of the Bristol "overall" showing the 12 0.50 cal MG's, other than the two onboard photos I posted at Navsource.org. I did get verification from someone who has a overhead shot (photo taken by the British) of the Bristol in his collection that she had 12 MG's in May 1942. The two before the bridge, two on the bridge, two amidships one on either side of the second stack, and six on the aft shelter-deck. I'll recheck her photo files and see if there are some more photos available at NARA. One of the questions I have is did the Bristol get six 20-mm guns replacing the 0.50 cal MG's before the two twin 40-mm guns were installed in December 42/January 1943. Many of the early units of this dual class did exchange the MG's for 20-mm guns in the summer of 1942. But I have not found any photos of her in that configuration.

As for the cut out - flat face to the lower bridge, I had thought that the likely reason was to make more room for the 20-mm guns and ready service ammo. Also, it may have simplified the construction some. I hope records will shed some light on that. But that doesn't explain why the eight Federal-built ships following the DD454-456 retained the rounded face and they had 20-mm guns in that location and had the elevated centerline platform with a 20-mm as well. No good answers right now.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:03 pm 
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Rick,

I think the easy answer is that someone made a decision that it was not cost effective to modify already completed ships to the flat-faced config. In view of the fact that the 20MM were being moved a bit more outboard, making more room for the raised centerline mount (and making more room for the shelterdeck mounts at the same time), the pressure to modify would have been greatly diminished. Whether the easy answer is the right answer . . .

(Would also be nice to see what version of the MS-12 mod camo Bristol carried with the 12 .50's.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:40 pm 
When I was at NARA last month I scanned photos of a large number of the Benson-Gleaves class. This sequence of photos of the USS Laub (DD-613) at Boston Navy Yard on 20 November 1944, shows her being repainted to a dazzle camo scheme. Nothing special here, I just found the process interesting. Note the over-spray at the waterline towards the stern. I assumed that this will be cleaned up before they are done (in a drydock?).

By the way, the new web "process" here takes some getting use to as regards to posting photos ... it was real easy and straight forward before. The "SYSTEM" ... Max Headroom? ... required me to resize the photos I had in photobucket and that took me awhile to figure out and then it took several tries to get it to work. I posted these same photos over at Steelnavy and didn't want to "change" the sizing on the "originals" I had posted there ... so I made copies, renamed them, posted the renamed images on photobucket, and resized on photobucket ... after all that, my copy and pasting was all messed up between Photobucket, my computer, and Modelwarships new Forum. Finally, I closed everything down and got back into Photobucket and Modelwarships Forum and was able to copy and paste. After all that and because I'm under the weather ...I'm going to go take a nap now. :-)


Image

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:34 pm 
What we would really be interested in seeing would be a photo of one of those of the class that were fitted with single 40mm.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:43 pm 
Actually, I found no photos of any Benson-Gleaves with single 40-mm in any of the BuShips photos for the units that were suppose to have been equipped with them. There are several photos of some of these ships with the platform in the location where the aft Torpedo Tubes bank was for four additional 20-mm guns. These modifications were largely done in the March-April 1944 time period prior to the invasions of France. Many of the other ships listed as scheduled to get this mod ... didn't have it from available photos. I didn't have time to dig through 80-G photos to check on photos taken during the Invasion period. I have not given up that the single 40-mm mod was never done on these ships, but I'm pretty sure it could not have been applied to ALL of the proposed units. I don't know what documentation Friedman and Reilly based this on, but my guess is an authorization for a "temporary approved armament" was issued for these ships and if it did happen was only applied to a few of the ships. I believe that the temp install of the additional four 20-mm guns was the alternative.

Several of the early Benson-Gleaves were not updated to the two twin 40-mm mounts until late in 1943 to early 1944 and that alone may have made the single 40-mm install unnecessary on these ships. The authorized armament for the surviving early Benson-Gleaves (DD421-444) units was four 5-in., two twin 40-mm mounts, four 20-mm and ten (2x5) Torpedo Tubes. In early 1945, the USN had standardized this armament for all of the surviving ships until the anti-kamikaze upgrades in the May 1945 period.

Actually the most interesting information I found is that the Mayo and Plunkett were the only units of the early Benson-Gleaves class (DD421-444) directed to have a quad 1.1-in mount replace the #3 5-in. gun mount in February 1942. The Mayo was modified in February 1942 at Boston Navy Yard and the Plunkett was modified sometime prior to May 1942. The Mayo retained this non-standard "temporary approved armament" into early 1944 when she was torpedoed off Italy.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:06 pm 
I believe that the ships fitted with the single 40mms were done in the UK, probably at Portsmouth and/or Plymouth.
Spmewhere in the 80g boxes.
Maybe under a heading such as "D Day". "Normandy invasion". THat sort of thing.
Friedman got his data from the armament returns, NOT proposed fits. Which means that this was actually done.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:19 pm 
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Rick E Davis wrote:
Note the over-spray at the waterline towards the stern. I assumed that this will be cleaned up before they are done (in a drydock?).


Not uncommon to see that and it's on top of a semi-gloss black plastic compound to which it won't stick very well. Most likely they just left it alone and hydrodynamic action cleaned it off fairly quick.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:01 am 
Mr Raven,

If the source for the two single 40-mm guns on Benson-Gleaves class ships are the Armament Returns (Weekly Armament Summary Updates?), some caution is in order. I have found many errors in these. Some ships would be "updated" in one report and it's entry needed to be corrected at another date. I have been able to get through the 1942 through to about June 1943 Armament Summary/weekly updates and the late war (Nov 44 and Dec 45) and early post-war. As an example, the Fletchers listed as having had the 14-40mm Anti-Kamikaze mod, are only about 90% accurate in those summaries. Some ships are not listed that did get the mod and some listed didn't get the mod. Mostly this is because ships still having repairs done as the war ended, had some work cancelled. But, a few ships ended up being modified in overhauls in 1946 and 1947 ... making this a confusing subject.

The Weekly Updates did provide "policy" style information (dispatches from the CNO or VCNO) about the armament for ships. The Temporary "Approved" Armament was just that ... it was to be temporary and it was only authorized to do it, but didn't mean that it was actually done.

The photos of ships modified at New York Navy Yard are pretty clear that they had four extra 20-mm guns (for a total of eight) added in the Spring of 1944. Ships modified at Boston Navy Yard are a problem in that dockside photos showing work done seem to be rare. Many ships worked on at Boston Navy Yard had broadside as completed photos taken and sometimes aerial photos taken. If work was done at an UK yard, then that may explain why there are no US yard photos. The problem with assuming that ALL of these ships had this mod, is that a good number (if not most) of the DesDiv's involved went direct to the MED for Italy and Southern France operations in late Spring 1944 and never were involved with the Normandy operations.

Since I live and work in Ohio, it may be awhile before I get back to the Archives and/or the NHC to search for additional photos.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:32 am 
Your points are well made.
Keep looking, as my instinct tells me that some ships were so fitted.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:40 pm 
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Hi folks,

I was having a browse through some of the sites in my favourites and I think I've found a previously unknown pic of DD-436 in her wartime configeration.

This site:

http://users.bigpond.net.au/elliget/ausran/wecosh/cindex.html

Has this pic:

http://users.bigpond.net.au/elliget/ausran/wecosh/photos/wec00326.jpg

labelled as the Meredith. On closer examination, the ship looks to be the Monssen - you can make out 436 on her counter. What I find interesting, apart from the fact it gives a better view of the Ms12 scheme, is the fact that she appears to have a gun tub for a 20mm abreast her fore funnel.

What do the experts think?

I'm not sure if this is the right part of the board for this, so any of the mods wish to move it a more appropriate area, feel free to do so. :thumbs_up_1:

Mike. :wave_1:


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