Squadron Signal Publications
US Destroyers in Action Part 2
Warship #20

By Al Adcock
color by Don Greer, illustrated by David Gebbardt and Darren Glenn
Squadron Signal publications has added another book to their In Action series for the modeler. This one covers some of the early prewar destroyers build after the Flushdeck DD's. It covers the Farragut, Mahan, Dunlap, Gridley, and Porter Class. Although the book erroneously refers to the Dunlap class as the Fanning Class, and the Gridley class as the Craven class.
As with their other book, this one begins with and overview of their design and development. A history of the destroyer is told in word and pictures showing the early types that led up to these classes. There are chapters devoted to each class with photo's and line drawings that illustrate the main differences in each successive class. 

My favorite feature is the centerfold with the color drawings of the destroyers in plan and elevation. Don Greer has done a nice job in showing the ships in their camouflage and prewar colors. 

The photo's give a general idea of what each class was like and how they were modified throughout the war. Most of pictures are pretty good, but many are enlarged beyond their intended resolution and appear pixelated. I would suggest that the authors try to get original photo's from the National Archives instead of relying on what looks like photo's designed for web viewing.

My biggest gripe with this book is this plan and elevation labeled as the USS Cushing. This is not correct for that ship, and it calls into question other views in the book. The Cushing had two 20 mm gun in front of the bridge not three as shown. Also there were no twin 40 mm guns installed as is shown on the plans. There should be 20 mm guns in place of those and there was another 20 mm mount where the gun director is shown. Interestingly the specifications listed list the armament of the Cushing list five 5"-38 cal guns instead of the four shown. Perhaps this is a simple mistake, but with good plans of the Cushing available, and photo's on both Navsource.org and the Naval Historical Center site this should never have made it into print.

There are over 90 photos and about 35 illustrations in this 49 page 8-1/4" x 11" soft cover book. With a retail price of $9.95 it is still a good value for the modeler even though I am disappointed in the mistakes. The modeler should be careful about using this as an absolute reference for building a destroyer. 

You can find the Squadron Signal "In Action" books in any well stocked hobby shop or direct from Squadron Mail Order.

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