|The USS Dunlap was a later variant
of the Mahan Class that included the new fully enclosed 5" 38 cal
gun mounts up front. These new guns offered the gun crews more protection
and eliminated the need for the splash shields on the forward part of the
ship. These new gun mounts became the standard on all future Destroyers
through the Fletcher class.
The Dunlap operated along the east coast on training duty, and in June 1938 served as escort at Philadelphia for SS Kungsholm, carrying the Crown Prince of Sweden. On 1 September she got underway for the west coast; except for a cruise to the Caribbean and east coast for a fleet problem and overhaul in the first 6 months of 1939, Dunlap served along the west coast until 2 April 1940 when she sailed for Pearl Harbor, her new home port.
On 7 December 1941 Dunlap was at sea bound for Pearl Harbor with TF 8 after ferrying planes to Wake Island. She entered Pearl Harbor next day and patrolled in the Hawaiian area until 11 January 1942 when she sortied with TF 8 for air strikes on the Marshals, returning 5 February. After taking part in the raid on Wake Island of 24 February, she continued to patrol in the Hawaiian area until 22 March, then escorted convoys between various ports on the west coast until returning to Pearl Harbor 22 October 1942.
Dunlap arrived at Noumea, New Caledonia, 6 December 1942 and operated from that base on training and patrol duty, and as escort for convoys to the Fiji, Tonga, and New Hebrides Islands until arriving at Guadalcanal 30 July 1943 for duty in the Solomons. On the night of 6-7 August she was sent with five other destroyers to intercept a Japanese force carrying reinforcements to Kolombangara. In the resulting Battle of Vella Gulf, a brilliant night torpedo action, the ably handled task group sank three Japanese destroyers and drove the fourth back to its base at Buin. They suffered no damage themselves.
After overhaul at San Diego, Dunlap sailed 23 November 1943 for patrol duty out of Adak until 16 December when she left for Pearl Harbor, arriving 6 days later. She joined the 6th Fleet to screen carriers in strikes of the Marshall Islands operations from 19 January to 4 March 1944, then touched at Espiritu Santo briefly before sailing for Fremantle, Australia, to rendezvous with the British Eastern Fleet. After training here and at Trincomalee, Ceylon, she took part in the strikes on the Soerabaja area of Java on 17 May, and next day sailed for Pearl Harbor, arriving 10 June.
Dunlap returned to San Francisco 7 July 1944 to join the screen for Baltimore (CA-68) carrying President F. D. Roosevelt for conferences and inspections with top Pacific commanders of Pearl Harbor and Alaskan bases. Detached from this task group at Seattle 12 August, Dunlap returned to Pearl Harbor. She sailed 1 September, bombarded Wake Island 3 September, and arrived at Saipan 12 September for duty with the Marianas Patrol and Escort Group.
Dunlap took part in the bombardment of Marcus Island on 9 October. On 16 October 1944 she rendezvoused with the 3d Fleet units for strikes on Luzon, then supported the Iandings At Leyte. When the Japanese forces made a three-pronged attack on the Philippines, she was underway for Ulithi but reversed course to screen TG 38.1 in its attacks of 25 and 26 October on the enemy fleeing after the decisive Battle for Leyte Gulf. Dunlap arrived at Ulithi 29 October for patrol duty and took part in the daring bombardments on Iwo Jima in November and December 1944 and January 1945. She returned to Iwo Jima 19 March to support its occupation, and until the end of the war patrolled to intercept Japanese ships attempting to evacuate the Bonins. On 19 June she sank an enemy craft attempting to evacuate Chichi Jima, picking up 52 survivors. Japanese officers came on board 31 August to discuss surrender terms for the Bonin Islands, and returned 3 September to sign the surrender.
Dunlap sailed for Iwo Jima 19 September 1945 touched at San Pedro
Calif., and arrived at Houston Tex., for Navy Day. she arrived at Norfolk
7 November where she was decommissioned 14 December 1945 and was sold 31
MidShip has produced this new kit based on one of the many variants of the Mahan class destroyer. This one is the USS Dunlap, one of the last two Mahan to be built. Together with the USS Fanning these ships represent a sub class of the Mahans often referred to as the Dunlap class.
|HULL AND SUPERSTRUCTURE PARTS|
|The hull is molded one piece with a bow insert. The molding is very good, the pictures below show flash where the hull breaks. This is exaggerated in the photo's and will be easily corrected with a light touch of sandpaper. The deck features some nice chock details. These destroyers were steel decked so there is not a whole lot of surface detail.|
|The deck insert is correct for the two later Mahan's
and Dunlap. Most of the parts on this sprue are nicely molded and
some are very thin and fine. Superstructure parts have port hole and door
detailing and in some cases a handrail running along the side.
Click images to enlarge
|The decal sheet includes flags and pennants as well as both prewar and early and late war hull numbers. These are printed by Microscale and are typical of the high quality decals they usually produce. They are nicely registered and sharp.|
|The instructions are nicely done on an four pages
Page 1 includes a color profile with Model Master and White Ensign Colorcoats
paint equivalents. The color profile is however so dark it is hard to make
anything out on it, I would recommend lightening this view. A class list
and specs of the ship are included as well.
The different parts are shown in contrasting colors and you will have no problems following them. Page four shows some of the other kits you will want in your collections.