Warship Perspectives
Fletcher, Gearing & Sumner
class Destroyers in World War Two

by Jeffery J. Herne
click images
below to enlarge
This is the first Warship Perspectives book and while is has been out for a while I though it would be good to review as it is still a valuable resource. The subject of this book is as the title says, Fletcher, Gearing & Sumner class destroyers, and each is covered in good detail. The early and late war Fletchers are featured in the first part showing the way the class evolved. There are a great number of detail photo's that the modeler and warship enthusiast will find very helpful. Many of those neglected details are shown such as the hawser reel in the photo on the right.
A number of drawings also show the different ships as they were fitted at various times during their careers. There are also a number of detailed drawings of the various guns and fittings found on all three classes of ships. The Gearing and Sumner classes are each shown in the second and third sections and the differences in them are noted in photo's plans and notes.
Also included are a number of camouflage design sheets showing some of the different measures worn by these ships. They are all color keyed with the color names noted and a color sheet is included. Some of the image like the one on the right include extra views that show the turret and superstructure fronts and backs so there will be no guess work on the painting.
Some of the drawings included are:
  • Anchor
  • Mk 1 26' whaleboat
  • Sky lookout
  • 24" searchlight
  • Torpedo director
  • Mk 37 Fire control director with Mk 4 radar
  • Mk 4 radar perspective view
  • SG radar antenna views
  • SC-5 radar views
  • SA radar views
  • SC-1 radar perspective view
  • 30" searchlight
  • Standard rope reels and hose reels
  • Depth charge impulse locker
  • 5" practice loading machine
  • 21" torpedo tubes with and without blast shield
  • 20 mm Mk 4 gun
  • 40 mm Mk-1 gun
  • 5" 38 cal gun views
  • K-gun Mk 6 mod 2
  • Mk 9 depth bomb
  • late war depth charge roller racks
  • Mk 1, Mk 3, and Mk 9 depth charge rack with Mk 1 track extension
  • 5" 38 cal twin mount Mk 32
  • SP radar
  • Stack emblems for 
    • Desron 52 DesDiv 103
    • Desron 52 DesDiv 104
    • Desron 53 DesDiv 105
    • DD-798, DD-537, DD-663, DD-661, DD-796, DD-687, DD-686, DD-797, DD-683, DD-540, DD-541, DD-684, and DD-658
  • USS LaVallete 1942 elevation and deck levels
  • USS Fullam 1944 elevation and deck levels
  • USS Black 1944 elevation and deck levels
  • USS Charles S. Perry 1944 elevation and deck levels
  • USS Gwin 1944 stern plan and elevation (mine layer conversion)
  • USS Gearing 1945 elevation and deck levels
  • USS Perkins elevation showing radar picket conversion with mast views
  • USS Fletcher MS 12 camo sheet 1942 (color)
  • USS LaVallete 1942 camo sheet 1942 (color)
  • Measure 31 Design 16d (color)
  • Measure 32 Design 3d (color)
  • Measure 32 Design 9d (color)
  • Measure 31 Design 6d (color)
  • Measure 31 Design 25d (color)
  • Measure 31 Design 16d for DD-692 class (gray scale)
  • Measure 31 Design 11d (gray scale)
  • Measure 31 Design 21d (gray scale)
  • Measure 31 Design 22d (gray scale)
  • Measure 32 Design 1d (gray scale)
  • Measure 32 Design 10d (gray scale)
  • Measure 32 Design 24d (gray scale)
  • Measure 32 Design 14d (gray scale)
  • Measure 31 Design 23d (gray scale)
  • Measure 33 Design 28d (gray scale)
  • Measure 22 (gray scale)
There is a short history on the design of each class and many illustrations that clearly show the major class differences. Some of the variations of the class such as radar picket ships and minelayer conversions are also well documented. A complete class list with commission dates and fates as well as camouflage measures and notes on bridge type and AA fits are included.
My only complaint with this book is that a few of the photo's are enlarged beyond their resolution. It would have been better to leave them at their original size. Those photo's are few and are offset by the large number of clear photo's of the ships and their details. If you haven't picked up a copy of this book I would recommend that you do so. It is a valuable addition to your reference library. It is soft cover 9" x 12" with 80 pages and over 120 photo's.

Other WR Press books reviewed here.

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