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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:28 pm 
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Here are a sample of images of the aft deckhouse that 53 mount and either the quad 1.1-in. mount or two twin 40-mm mounts were installed on. These will illustrate some of the variation in configuration in just this area.

The image below shows Hambleton (DD-455) in a view similar to the one above for the Aaron Ward (DD-483). Note the differences.

Image

The next image shows the Woodworth (DD-460) with a variation to the bulwarks for the quad 1.1-in. mount and future director locations. The shape of the deckhouse deck is the same as on the Aaron Ward and many other Gleaves class units, but the bulwarks are much different.

Image

When the two twin 40-mm mounts were finally installed on the ships that had been equipped with the quad 1.1-in. mount, at first the bulwark configuration stayed basically the same and the Mk 51 directors were installed where the Mk 49 directors were intended to be installed. The image directly below shows Mervine (DD-489) after her twin 40-mm mounts and Mk 51 directors were installed replacing the quad 1.1-in. mount. The next image below shows the Mk 51 directors installed on Laub (DD-613). For both of these ships, the Mk 51 directors were initially installed almost directly on the deck in the original intended locations ... in-line forward of the twin 40-mm mounts.

Image

Image

Apparently the "on the deck" locations for the Mk 51 directors didn't provide an adequate clearance for training on aircraft targets, so some of the units in the Benson-Gleaves class raised the Mk 51 directors as seen on Kalk (DD-611).

Image

Ultimately the Mk 51 directors were relocated inboard of the twin 40-mm mounts on elevated platforms ... of various designs as seen here on Murphy (DD-603) and Bancroft (DD-598).

Image

Image

Once the twin 40-mm mounts and Mk 51 directors were installed on the Woodworth (DD-460), the bulwarks were revised and the Mk 51 directors were moved inboard and raised.

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:09 am 
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Hi Rick,

I know it has to be the result of lots of research time, but where do you find these great pictures?

Barry


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:23 pm 
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The National Archives & Records Administration, College Park Branch is the source for most.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:02 pm 
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Tracy got it right, these images came from scanned NARA photos. I have some photos, a few that I took of mothball ships at Philadelphia Navy Yard, from as far back as the early 1970's of the Fletcher and Benson-Gleaves class. I bought these "hardcopy" prints from Int'l Naval Records Org., Floating Drydock and a few from USNI. I had done research over the years at the NHC and USNI without benefit of a scanner and only took notes ... page after page of notes. It wasn't until December 2007 that I started going to NARA College Park (also known as NARA II) after I bought a scanner (for the first time) for my laptop. I spent almost a week on one trip going though and scanning some of the photos for "most" of the Benson-Gleaves ships in the BuShips Photo files at NARA II. I have a few photos that I scanned at the Naval Historical Center as well. I have scanned some of the prints I have, particularly for views that I can't find at NARA, and I do more as I get the time. Other people have sent me scans/hardcopy photos, but I don't post those without their permission. My main interest is the Fletcher class, but I got hooked on doing more Benson-Gleaves than I expected as I found more and more different configurations. I can figure out which class has the most variations ... the 175 Fletchers or the 96 Benson-Gleaves class. :smallsmile: Most (but not all) of the close-up photos of USN ships that you will see in any source came from New York Navy Yard and Mare Island Navy Yard. Since most of the Benson-Gleaves units served in the Atlantic theater, there were many photos taken at New York Navy Yard over the war years and I saw changes in their configurations I didn't know about. Some of the most interesting configurations for either class of destroyers were done at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard and as I discovered at Puget Sound Navy Yard.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:10 am 
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Back to rigging. There is a post on the Steelnavy board commenting that the March/April 1984 issue of "Model Ship Builder" has an excellent article on Benson/Gleaves rigging. Has anyone seen it or have a copy? I'm not familiar with the magazine and wondering if it would be worth searching out. Barry


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:33 pm 
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I've got some photos from DD-628 Welles taken August 1943 I've been meaning to pop online... you can see one of them on Navsource that should cover the forward mast fairly well. I'll try and get them up by the weekend.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:39 pm 
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Barry,

I don't know if these views will help or not. The top view is Grayson (DD-435) at Mare Island in June 1942. The one below is of the BIW built Emmons (DD-457), which has a different rigging scheme. I don't find many photos strictly focused on the "rigging" in the New York Navy Yard ships where the Federal built ships would have gone to for final fitting-out and in many photos that show the mast area, the rigging just doesn't show up well. The rigging may well have varied quite a bit from ship to ship in the class? These begin to look like rat's nests to me when I try to trace the rigging lines. :smallsmile:

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:24 am 
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Wow. Thanks, guys. That's going to be a lot of fun to try and model! I guess some of the lines are stays, some must be antennas, there have to be halyards (so many?), but are those foot ropes under the yard arms? Barry


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:41 am 
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Can anyone explain what the big D on the bridge is for? Was this some kind of special surrender ceremony marking?


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File comment: Buchanan 1945 at Tokyo Bay
DD484-45.jpg
DD484-45.jpg [ 118.33 KiB | Viewed 3675 times ]

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:27 pm 
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Gentlemen....this is my first post on this forum. I recently acquired the Dragon model of the USS Buchanan and I agree that it is one of, if not the best, 1/350 plastic kits I have seen. After I finish the New Jersey I am working on at present I plan to model Buchanan as she appeared in August, 1942. I am collecting research materials, books, plans, etc. I realize that several of you have a significant body of knowledge about this and I would appreciate any assistance you might give. Are you aware of any obvious changes one needs to make to get an accurate model ? I thought I would get the Aaron Ward plans from The Floating Drydock to help out and possibly substitute some L'Arsenal fittings for kit parts. Are the kit camoflage instructions accurate? Jump in and comment, please.
Regards, Walt Haynes


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:23 pm 
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The camo drawings are spot on and were drawn using photos of her in from the time period. The plans, and I think I have a set at home are dated August 42. Give me a few days and I will check them against mine.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:08 pm 
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Thanks, appreciate all the help I can Get. After "further review" the 20mm's look good enough that I don't think I will need L'Arsenal's. Each time I look at this kit I am more impressed.

Regards, Walt


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:31 am 
Does anyone know what the Gwin's configuration was in April 1942 for the Doolittle Raid? I would like to convert Dragon's Buchanan to this configuration but I am having difficulty finding sources on it.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:46 pm 
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Trevor,

I will give you my guess on Gwin's armament in April 1942 based on Armament Summary Weekly's and known yard periods. The 15 June 1942 edition of the Armament Summary showed only six 0.50-cal MG's for AA armament. But there were many errors in this listing and the Weekly Updates for the next few weeks were full of "corrections" from the fleet and home yards of USN ships. When Gwin and the rest of DesDiv 22 left the Atlantic for the Pacific in I think February 1942, she likely had the standard AA configuration at that time of 12 0.50-cal MG's (two atop the pilothouse, two before the bridge, two amidships by the second stack, and six on the aft deckhouse). The 2 July 1942 update gave Gwin an AA gun armament of two 20-mm and eight 0.50-cal MG's. There was no note on this entry as to when the 20-mm guns were added (some updates do provide that information). Based on DANFS, Gwin had yard periods at San Francisco and San Diego in March and early April. It is also possible that she was updated before going to the Pacific, but unlikely. My best guess is that this mixed battery is her armament at the time of the Doolittle raid ... with some BUT's. I have found out that it was pretty common for the early Benson-Gleaves destroyers (DD421-444) to get the 20-mm guns in batches during short Availabilities resulting in mixed batteries. NORMALLY the first 0.50-cal MG's replaced by 20-mm guns were the ones in front of the bridge. They were suppose to remove the ones atop the pilothouse at the same time as weight compensation ... but from photos of the Meredith ... it seems that the Pacific ships kept as many guns as they could and retained the pilothouse MG's. Blowing up the only "good" photo I could find on short notice of Gwin on Doolittle raid, appears to show 0.50-cal MG's on the pilothouse as well. Without checking into Gwin's textual records ... and there is no guarantee that there will be records for this ... that is the best I can do. There may be some reasonable photos of Gwin out there that would verify her armament on the raid.

I got interested in the destroyers in DesDiv 22 (DD433-436) when I found an authorization for these four ships and only these four, to be armed with nine 20-mm guns on 11 May 1942. This made me curious about if and when these four received this mod. The 5 September 1942 Armament Summary Destroyer section update showed all four ships with nine 20-mm guns. There are photos of the Grayson at MINY after getting this configuration (check out Navsource). The other three destroyers in DesDiv 22 appear to have been modified at Pearl Harbor. It appears that Gwin and Monssen were modified to the nine 20-mm configuration after the Midway Battle during a yard period at Pearl 10 June to 15 July 1942.

You could modify the Buchanan kit or you could wait and see if one of the next promised versions will provide a more suitable kit for conversion to Gwin in April 1942.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:36 am 
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Check this out!

http://www.dragonusaonline.com/item_detail.aspx?ItemCode=CHC1030

Bob Wescott


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:15 pm 
Thanks Rick,

From one of my few photos of the Gwin in April '42 I can also make out several .5 cal MGs, so I think I'm going to go with the mixed battery for my model.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:07 pm 
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Now that the 1945 version of the Buchanan has made the rounds a little bit (and I've got 2 on order) I'm wondering if someone can answer a couple of questions. First off, did the ships of this class receive similar work in their refits throughout the war? Which leads to my second question: can other ships be built from this kit from the box or with minimal additional work?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:42 pm 
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Pete,

This is a loaded question. With enough work and skill any Gleaves COULD be modeled from the Buchanan kits. Second, you are dealing with two kits of the Buchanan now ... 1942 and 1944-45. But, out-of-the-box ... the best options are any of the Federal-built units: DD483-490. The Aaron Ward and Buchanan were pretty close sisters when completed (after they got twin 40-mm mounts they looked much different). DD483-490 had the same bridge more or less and except for the last two, had the quad 1.1-in. mount when completed. DD483-488 all served in the Pacific and the other two served in the Atlantic. The rest of the Gleaves units with the round-bridge front from DD-453 onwards (as well post DD-453 Benson units) had a modified deckhouse below the round bridge face. However, once they started to be upgraded all bets are off that they retained EXACTLY the same configuration. The armament progression for DD-454 onwards was standard in going from one quad 1.1-in. mount and five 20-mm guns to two twin 40-mm mounts and first four 20-mm guns then five and finally seven 20-mm guns. The two 20-mm guns installed in the bridge wings alone have at least six different configurations as to how they were mounted by different yards. The 40-mm tubs varied as did the 20-mm tubs, the directors (mostly Mk 51's a few Mk 49's) for the 40-mm mounts varied in location, the location and platforms for the searchlight are different. It goes on. New York Navy Yard did things different from Boston, as did Mare Island, Puget Sound, Pearl Harbor, Philadelphia, private builder yards, etc. Give me some candidates and I may be able to give you a better idea of what differences there are over time for that ship. Also, there are twenty Square-bridge units that would require all new bridges. Other than that ... any Gleaves can be built from the same hull. :smallsmile: :smallsmile:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:34 pm 
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It really depends on the ship you want to do. However this new sprue has opened up the possibilities quite a bit. Since the Buchanan 45 kit includes parts from both versions, you can mix and match to a lot of different ships.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:21 am 
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Rick and Tim, Thanks for the replies. I posted the question without doing any real research into the possible candidates. Once I get the kit and find some time to actually build it I'll have to revisit it. For some reason I've got this thing about building more than one model of a particular subject. Just one facet of my modeling disorder.

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