Warship Perspectives
Flush Deck Destroyers of World War Two
by Glen Arnold

reviewed by Timothy Dike
Mostly overlooked in the history books were the vintage "flush deck" destroyers or "four pipers". The ships were built in three classes; the Caldwell, Wickes, and Clemson class from 1917 to 1920. Many survived to serve on in various capacities during the second world war and saw action in both theater of operation. 50 of them served with the British Navy as Town Class DD's as a part of a Lend Lease program in 1940.
Like the other books by WR Press this one is full of detailed photo's and drawings as well as 18 camouflage design sheets showing many of the patterns these ships wore. Drawings included show:
  • USS Breckenridge DD-148 in plan and elevation w/deck levels.
  • USS Dorsey DMS-1 (ex DD-117) in plan and elevation w/decklevels.
  • Triple torpedo mount.
  • SC-1 Radar assembly.
  • HF/DF Antenna.
  • 3" 50 caliber gun.
  • 24" searchlight.
  • MK 1 Depth charge rack.
  • MK VI depth charge.
click images
to enlarge
The Flush deck destroyers were the basis of many conversions, including APD (high speed transports). There are many detailed photo's such as the one on the right that show these changes. This photo of the Rathburne APD-24 is one of several included in this book that were taken from both sides of the dock and show the whole length of the ship.
The DM (mine laying) conversions are well documented as are the DMS (mine sweepers). These ships were also used as AVP and AVD class seaplane tenders, AG Miscellaneous Auxiliaries, Coast Guard DD's, test ships, target ships, and YW class water barges.
An added bonus is a very detailed  D size (22" x 36") fold-out plans for the HMS Montgomery drawn by Alan Raven. The sheet has plan and profile views, with deck levels and hull cross section views. There are a number of detail views drawn that even show some of the wiring conduit on the superstructure. The plans alone make this book an excellent value at $26.00.

Other WR Press books reviewed here.

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