U.S.S. Fletcher, DD-445
Fletcher Class Destroyer
The Ships, (a brief history)
|Designed in 1939, Fletcher Class Destroyers served in World War 2, the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
design to compete with the Japanese “special type” destroyers and were capable of absorbing enormous amount of damage and continue fighting.
Used almost exclusively in the Pacific during World War II, the Fletcher-class ships had the speed and durability to stay with the carrier battle groups, performing anti-submarine and anti-aircraft warfare as the first line of defense for the carrier battle groups and engaging in numerous surface actions.
As designed, the Fletcher Class Destroyers carried five 5" 38 caliber dual purpose guns in single turrets, Ten 21 inch torpedo tubes fitted in two quintuple centerline mounts, firing the Mark 15 torpedo.
During the war, the anti-aircraft weapons were increased, normally five twin 40 mm Bofors mounts and several single 20 mm Oerlikons. with the increased threat from kamikaze attacks, many of the ships received further AA modifications replacing the forward torpedo tubes and midships 40 mm twin Bofors with two quadruple 40 mm and the 20 mm singles with six 20 mm twins. Stating with the naval battles around Guadalcanal the Fletcher class fought in every U.S. naval engagement in the Pacific. 44 of these ships earned ten or more service stars, 19 were awarded the Navy Unit Commendation and 16 received the Presidential Unit Citation.
Nineteen were lost during World War II, and six were damaged, Beyond repair
After the War, many of the remaining ships of the class were sold to foreign Navies.
|Build notes & Photos
This is the early version of a "Round Bridge" Fletcher class with the original Anti-Aircraft armament.
|There were a lot of things I added to this kit based on the many photos of this class on NavSource
On the back of the conning tower on either side of the masts are the "flag bags" used for the Signal flags...
|On several photos, I found some fire fighting nozzles, what looked like acetelene tanks and a first aid kit along the Starboard midship area.
About as simple an addition as it gets. Stretched sprue for the nozzles and scrap sprue got the tanks.
The tank brackets and first aid kit were made out of flat strip stock. I made the blocks for the ships boats and Depth Charge Racks from round stock, the cleats were made from sewing pins filed flat and cut to length
This kit's an old warhorse and a standard from Tamiya. It's been around for decades and still comes out of the box pretty clean.
There are some pretty big mold lines on the hull but they're easily cleaned up. The Addition of the Tom's PE set enhanced the finished product immensly.
At the time It was built, the Model Master 20mm AA guns weren't yet in production so I used the guns from the Tom's kit.
They're not to bad from the side but looking straight on they're a little on the thin side so the Model master units will be a dramatic improvement when I build the Gearing, Benson and Gleaves, and the "square bridge" fletcher kit.
|Products used in the construction:
Tamiya 78012 Fletcher Class Destroyer