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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:17 pm 
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Tim Dike, Rick Davis and I have been discussing this photo off and on since last June, when someone pointed us toward the Lexington photo in the same batch. The 9 20MM outfit was a known config for the Grayson, and at first thought to be unique. But Rick discovered documentation authorizing the layout for all 4 DD's in her DESDIV (the only group from the first 24 Benson/Gleaves types to be transferred to the Pacific). The camo pattern matches the other known photo of Monssen in camo, but doesn't completely match Grayson's.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:45 pm 
Just a little to add to Dick's comments. The four ships in DesDiv 22 were authorized to this nine 20-mm configuration (two in front of the bridge, four on the aft superstructure deck just ahead of 53 mount, one on each side of the second stack and the odd-ball 20-mm replacing the starboard boat) in early May 1942. The Grayson (DD-435) was modified at Mare Island Navy Yard during May into early June 1942. and there are photos of her available. As best I can tell the Gwin (DD-433) and Monssen (DD-436) were modified in the Carrier Task Force yard period at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard after the Battle of Midway ~10 June to 15 July 1942, before they headed off to the South Pacific and the Solomons campaign. The fourth ship, Meredith (DD-434) appears to have been modified at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard during July-August 1942. The Monssen didn't have any other yard periods before her loss in November 1942. Since the source of this photo (miss-identified as Meredith) was from the HMAS Australia and most likely in the South Pacific, this photo was likely taken in the Solomons area or close by there in late summer to fall 1942. The Grayson and Monssen configurations look to be very close and seem to have followed the same design plans for this modification.

The Atlantic sister ships to these four from the earlier group of Benson-Gleaves ships, prior to the addition of twin 40-mm mounts, were being armed with six 20-mm guns.

Interesting side note to this story, during the underwater exhibition to explore the ships lost in Ironbottom Sound about a decade ago, Chuck Haberlein at NHC saw the remains of the Monssen, ID'd her and noted the 20-mm gun that replaced the starboard boat. His relating that story in passing sparked a curiosity about that ship and this odd-ball 20-mm gun location, so I kept an eye out for information about her and as it turned on her sister DesDiv mates as I researched other ships in Armament Summaries and photos. Dick pointed out this excellent fairly close-up photo of the Monssen to me and it answered to me the question as to how close the Pearl Harbor modified ships were to the MINY modified Grayson.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Since HMAS Australia was flag for the Guadalcanal invasion support force, and Monssen was part of the San Juan (CL-54) group off Tulagi, the first couple of weeks in August '42 would be the most likely timeframe for the photo to have been taken.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:51 am 
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I did a big update on the Benson Camouflage Page at shipcamouflage.com tonight. It's not done, but it's a good start. Remember, if you like the shipcamouflage resources, consider buying from Randy so he can keep the site online. He's a Modelwarships sponsor!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:21 am 
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Hi Tracy
I'm very happy to see that you are making the updates to the shipcamouflage lists.
I would make 2 suggestions:
1) It would be good idea to give corrections to errors a higher priority (for example, DD602 is still listed as pattern 16D when it should be 6D).
2) Many ships carried pattern 3D with the port and starboard sides reversed (612, 625 etc.) There should be some indication of this. (And maybe also an indication of of patterns worn after conversion to DMS where applicable?)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:37 pm 
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Good points. I actually haven't finished with it yet as you might have noticed; I left the Measure 22s alone as Ron SMith suggested that some might have been Measure 18 rather than 22 and I'm trying to go through one-by-one to see. I wasn't aware of the port/starboard reversal; I'll have to figure out a way to note that and then check each one =P

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:28 pm 
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How hard would it be to build USS Gwin out of the Dragon Buchanan? Would it be doable or will Dragon release a ship that would be closer? I know they like to get alot of mileage out of their kits so before I go off on a major conversion, I'd like to see if Tim knows anything.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:46 am 
Avery,

The answer is yes it can be done ... BUT it depends on how much work you wish to do and in which configuration you desire.

The Gwin was one of the early group of Gleaves units and the Buchanan is one of the follow-on Gleaves units. Lucky the basic bridge configuration and stacks will be the same since Federal didn't change over to the modified cut away bridge in the ships of this class that they built. The Gwin originally had five 5-in. gun mounts that were reduced to four. She had ten to twelve 50 cal MGs and at some point just before or after transferring to the Pacific, she had a mix of 50 cal MGs and 20-mm guns (for a while she had two 20-mm guns and eight 50 cal MGs) before getting the unique nine 20-mm configuration that all of the Des Div 22 ships (DD433-436) got in the summer of 1942. The Gwin was updated to the two twin 40-mm mount configuration in Jan-Feb 1943 at MINY and was one of the few Benson-Gleaves ships to get Mk 49 directors installed to control them. She was lost shortly after that mod on 13 July 1943. The Gwin would have had a canvas covered 53 mount, but the Buchanan kit does not have the canvas covered 5-in. mount since she was built with the fully enclosed gun mount.

It will take some work to modify the Buchanan kit to the Gwin. I doubt that the nine 20-mm configuration parts that applied to only four ships would be provided with a future early Gleaves class kit. But, I may be wrong. The aft deckhouse bulwark that held six 20-mm guns is a unique shape and can be seen in photos of the Grayson (DD-435) at MINY photos on Navsource.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 10:06 am 
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Can anyone recommend a source for a rigging diagram appropriate for Ellyson (DD-454) in early 1942? I browsed through the Floating Drydock plan list, but didn't see anything that looked right. Thanks, Barry


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 10:40 am 
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I've got some photos of one of the class I've been meaning to post that has the main mast really well shot. Give me a couple of days to track them down.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:54 pm 
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I've got a question about the 36" searchlight platform. I want to try to replace Buchanan kit parts (K11 and K10) with scratch built pieces. Does anyone know if the four "posts" in the pedestal (K11) were made of angle or were they circular in cross section? The kit piece suggests that they were not circular (I'm assuming that this is a molding limitation intended to represent angle). The best reference photo I've found is Rick Davis' contribution to the Ellyson navsource page that shows the platform - its very hard to tell, but the posts look circular in the photo to me. Is there a better reference photo somewhere? Thanks, Barry


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Barry,

I don't have a good close-up view of the searchlight platform on the Buchanan (DD-484). However, I do have several close-up views of her twin sister Aaron Ward (DD-483). Below is an onboard view of the area with the searchlight platform from the portside and a close crop of the searchlight platform. I don't know what shape/size of supports may have been used by other builders or on future units built at the same builder.

Image

Image


Last edited by Rick E Davis on Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:11 pm 
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Thanks, Rick. These are great - I also found this one of Bristol (very close to my model subject Ellyson) by going through every Benson/Gleaves DD photo in navsource!

Image

I really appreciate your help. Barry


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:34 pm 
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Barry,

Sorry, I forgot that your interest is Ellyson (DD-454). Here is a close crop of Ellyson's searchlight in February 1942, taken at a different angle than the view on Aaron Ward. Hopefully this helps a little more.

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:27 pm 
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Attached is a drawing showing the front gun tub arrangement on the Aaron Ward. This is one of the visable differences in the Buchanan and Aaron Ward.


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File comment: Aaron Ward detail
aaronward-detail.jpg
aaronward-detail.jpg [ 64.19 KiB | Viewed 3013 times ]

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:35 pm 
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Thanks for that drawing, Tim. Now that you've posted that something tells me I've seen a photo of it somewhere before. When I was building Farenholt and Laffey I ordered a bunch of photos from Real War Photos and Floating Dry Dock, and it might have a shot of that area on either Aaron Ward or another of the class. From what I found doing research for the other ships, it seems that if there was going to be ANY variation between ships of that class, it would be in those forward splinter shields.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:51 pm 
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I feel a little self-conscious mentioning Ellyson again, but Rick's photo on page 1 of this thread shows yet another variation on the front gun tubs. They (at least the starboard one) are flat on the outboard side and extend fairly far toward the centerline. Very interesting indeed. Barry


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:06 pm 
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I don't think two Benson/Gleaves were ever identical. Even the Aaron Ward and Buchanan that were built side by side each have their own tweaks here and there. Add to that refits at different times upgraded them to the standard fit of that time. A standard fit that was constantly evolving.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:42 pm 
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Barry,

When you get down to details like the Splinter Bulwarks used on ships, there can and is a great deal of variation. Each builder and repair yard had their own "styles" of doing things and that could vary at the same yard. Bristol (DD-453) and Ellyson (DD-454), as well as Hambleton (DD-455) and Rodman (DD-456), were delivered to the New York Navy Yard in a "transition" configuration ... between the pre-war and the new revised configuration. Bristol was completed by New York Navy Yard pretty much in the same configuration that the last of the pre-war Benson-Gleaves (DD421-444) were modified to just prior to the war. She had twelve 0.50-cal MG's and no 20-mm or 1.1-in. gun mounts along with four 5-in. mounts and one bank of TT. Ellyson and the others were modified to the new standard that was intended to accept eventually two twin 40-mm mounts. However, since the twin 40-mm mounts were not available until July 1942, Ellyson and 23 other Benson-Gleaves received the interim configuration of one quad 1.1-in. mount (on the starboard side) and a single 20-mm (on the portside) where the two twin 40-mm mounts would go. Ellyson was the first new construction Benson-Gleaves to receive the quad 1.1-in. mount. DD454-456 had their 02 level bridge squared off by the New York Navy Yard which conformed to the new standard design for the class. However, the next group of Federal built Gleaves class units, DD483-490, retained the earlier round-shape to the 02 level of the bridge as seen on Aaron Ward and Buchanan and were modified by Federal to the new standard BEFORE delivery to the Navy and the New York Navy Yard did only minor modifications. Aaron Ward and Buchanan were near twins ... near not identical ... and required removal of earlier structures and installation of new decks etc. The remaining units, DD485-490, were modified during construction before it had progressed too far. Bottom-line, there was a learning curve and several changes to "styles" resulted ... variation to splinter bulwarks, where the searchlight platform was located and how it was built, etc. ... were seen on these ships for reasons we may never know. As construction progressed, there were other adjustments to what was considered standard and the other builders had their own ways of doing things. Then once these ships went to other yards/theaters of operation ... near sisters could end up not looking anything alike. :smallsmile:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:36 pm 
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Thanks, Rick. The copy of Steve Wiper's book I ordered just arrived today and glancing through it I see exactly what you mean. The individuality of these ships is really something - and makes them all that much more interesting. Barry


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