Benson DD- 421 - History

Benson DD- 421 - History

Benson

Born in Macon, Ga., 25 September 1855, William Shepherd Benson graduated from the Academy in 1877. Following command of Albany (CL-22), Missouri (BB-11), Utah (BB-31), and Philadelphia Navy Yard, he was appointed first Chief of Naval Operations In 1915. Admiral Benson served as CNO, until his retirement 25 September 1919. He died in Washington, D. C., 20 May 1932.

(DD-421: dp. 1620; 1. 348'2"; b. 36'1"; dr. 17'6"; s.
36.5 k.; cpl. 276; a. 5 5", 10 21" TT.; cl. Benson)

Benson (DD-421) was launched 15 November 1939 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. W. S. Benson, widow of Admiral Benson; and commissioned 25 July 1940, Lieutenant Commander C. A. Fines in command.

Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, Benson patrolled along the cast coast until 1 July 1941 when she commenced escorting convoys to Iceland. By the end of the year she had escorted six convoys between Newfoundland and Iceland. She remained on the Iceland escort run until 29 March 1942 when she switched. to escorting transAtlantic convoys to Britain and North Africa. On 19 October 1942, during one of these crossings, Benson was extensively damaged in a collision with Trippe (DD-403). Following repairs at New York she returned to convoy duty until May 1943 when she went to the Mediterranean.

She took part in the invasion of Sicily (6 July-21 August 1943), during which she had 18 men wounded by the near miss of a bomb (11 July), and the Salerno landings (5-21 September 1943). After escorting Mediterranean convoys during October-December 1943 she returned to New York for repairs and training which lasted until 20 April. She returned to the Mediterranean for convoy duty (May-July 1944) and participated in the invasion of southern France (13 August-17 September 1944). From 30 September 1944 to 18 January 1945 she furnished fire support along the French and Italian coasts and then returned to the United States for overhaul. After one convoy run to Britain (April 1945), Benson transferred to the Pacific. She arrived at Pearl Harbor 28 May and during 13-20 June screened the air strikes against Wake Island. From July to October 1945 she escorted convoys between Ulithi and Okinawa, and between the Philippines and Japan. Ben-son reported to Charleston Navy Yard 7 December 1945 to commence inactivation and went out of commission In reserve there 18 March 1946. She remained in reserve until transferred to Nationalist China 26 February 1954.

Benson received four battle stars for her service in the Mediterranean.


Benson DD- 421 - History

Dragon Models have announced that they are in the advanced development stages of releasing their 1/700 U.S.S. Benson DD-421.

Check out these released image of the kitset.

Details as to availability and price are yet to be confirmed.

We will of course update you with more precise detail as it comes to hand.

Ships History
USS Benson (DD-421) was launched 15 November 1939 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass. sponsored by Mrs. W. S. Benson, widow of Admiral Benson and commissioned 25 July 1940, Lieutenant Commander C. A. Fines in command.

Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, Benson patrolled along the East Coast until 1 July 1941 when she commenced escorting convoys to Iceland. By the end of the year she had escorted six convoys between Newfoundland and Iceland. She remained on the Iceland escort run until 29 March 1942 when she switched to escorting Trans-Atlantic convoys to Britain and North Africa. On 19 October 1942, during one of these crossings, Benson was extensively damaged in a collision with Trippe (DD-403). Following repairs at New York she returned to convoy duty until May 1943 when she went to the Mediterranean.

She took part in the invasion of Sicily (6 July-21 August 1943), during which she had 18 men wounded by the near miss of a bomb (11 July), and the Salerno landings (5-21 September 1943). After escorting Mediterranean convoys during October-December 1943 she returned to New York for repairs and training which lasted until 20 April. She returned to the Mediterranean for convoy duty (May-July 1944) and participated in the invasion Of southern France (13 August-17 September 1944). From 30 September 1944 to 18 January 1945 she furnished fire support along the French and Italian coasts and then returned to the United States for overhaul. After one convoy run to Britain (April 1945), Benson transferred to the Pacific.

She arrived at Pearl Harbor 28 May and during 13 to 20 of June screened the air strikes against Wake Island. From July to October 1945 she escorted convoys between Ulithi and Okinawa, and between the Philippines and Japan. Benson reported to Charleston Navy Yard 7 December 1945 to commence inactivation and went out of commission in reserve there 18 March 1946. She remained in reserve until transferred to Nationalist China 26 February 1954, Taiwanese ship Lo Yang. She was finally stricken from service in the early 1970's after a long and fabulous career.

Benson received four battle stars for her service in the Mediterranean.

History courtesy of Richard Angelini , Harold Manwaring, & James Vaughan.

Images courtesy of Dragon Models & Richard Angelini , Harold Manwaring, & James Vaughan.


Benson DD- 421 - History

Design History
An improved version of the preceding I>Sims class, the Benson 's general layout followed the Sims . The most important difference to that class was found belowdecks: the Benson s introduced the alternating engine room - boiler room layout that characterized all new designs at this time. The Bureau of Engineering had announced the availability of boilers equal to such an arrangement in the spring of 1937. The new design required two stacks, since the boilers were now further apart. The alternating arrangement increased tonnage, and a still more durable hull increased tonnage by another fifty tons over the Sims , which everyone concerned considered most acceptable. Controversy arose, however, over the selection of the steam plant to be installed.

Although Navy Yards would build four ships, the other four were split two-two between Bath Iron Works and Bethlehem (Fore River Yard). Arguments arose over who would do the design work, and who thus get to decide on the steam engineering used. In the end, Bethlehem designed the steam plants for the four Navy Yard ships, and Bethlehem's own, which used machinery which returned to the designs of before the Mahan class, which Bethlehem however claimed still equalled those plants in effectiveness. The two Bath boats, designed by Gibbs & Cox of New York, used the more advanced plant of the Mahan s, forming a subclass with the Benson s, the Gleaves (& Livermore ).

Although similar to the Sims class in other respects when ordered, the ships of the Benson / Gleaves classes would be significantly modified prior to going into service. Returning to study its destroyer designs after having placed the orders for the Benson s, the General Board found that the design itself was fairly good added anti-aircraft armament might be needed. Since the 28mm L/73 guns which the Board wished for could not be provided on the displacement of the Benson s, the Board asked for two more 12.7mm L/90 guns. Furthermore, it asked for the use of the new quintuple torpedo mounts in place of the quadruple mounts previously asked for BuEng added that a higher-temperature steam plant could be added. Leaving the external characteristics as they were, the General Board asked for eight such destroyers in FY39, the Livermore s. Since the progress of the eight Benson / Gleaves was not so great yet, these changes were also applied to those ships (although only the Gleaves could accomodate the higher temperature boilers). Destroyer production was increasing rapidly now that the limitations of the London Treaties had fallen this, and the 1938 Naval Expansion Act (the Vinson-Trammel Bill) allowed for increased naval expenditures. Thus, not long after the General Board had approved the eight destroyers for FY39 (in the spring of 1938), it asked for eight more of the Livermore s for FY40 (approved by the Secretary of the Navy in December 1939). This request was, so to speak, "advance funded" by the Vinson bill.

The final batch of the Benson design, the Bristol s, were similar to the War Emergency destroyer program in Britain: ships which were not the latest design, but could be built rapidly and were still useful. During the considerations for the ships to be built under the FY41 program (by now essentially unrestricted through several acts of Congress), the General Board pointed to the desirability of maintaining destroyer production at high speeds, without incurring the lapse from the old design ( Livermore ) to the new one ( Fletcher ). Concurring, the orders for 12 units were placed in May 1940 followed by 15 more in September, and 41 more in December. All units traded in the No.3 gun for a combination of 20mm and 40mm guns (initially only 20mm guns in ships commissioned early). The machinery, gun-fire control and general design followed the Livermore class, although wartime expediency required less streamlining. However, all 5" guns were in enclosed mounts in this class.

Modification History
The difficulty of tracing the modifications to so many different ships is obvious it must necessarily be abbreviated here. All ships traded their 12.7mm L/90 guns against 20mms in 1942, and received search and fire-control radars. Some had additional 20mm guns added. Atlantic ships had additional depth charge storage and more throwers, removing one quintuple torpedo mount. As time and availability permitted, starting in late 1942, these ships were equipped with 40mm twins, or alternatively for some time with a 28mm quad, and had open 5" guns (where used) replaced by enclosed mounts. Late in 1944, a number of ships received more AA guns instead of one quintuple mount. Between 1944 and 1945, twenty-four ships were rebuilt as fast minesweepers. Sixteen underwent Kamikaze refits in mid-1945. Armament varied. For examples, see below.

Service History
It is impossible to trace the service history of individual ships given the huge numbers concerned. Suffice it to say that ships of this class participated in every naval operation of World War II. Although most were scrapped in the 1940s, some were retained into the fifties. The majority of these destroyers was initially deployed to the Atlantic, while the later Fletcher s went to fleet operations in the Pacific. However, as the Atlantic became less of a battlefield in 1944/45, many of the previously assigned destroyers went to the Pacific.


Ships in class:

Bristol-type
DD-453 Bristol
DD-454 Ellyson
DD-455 Hambleton
DD-456 Rodman
DD-457 Emmons
DD-458 Macomb
DD-459 Laffey
DD-460 Woodworth
DD-461 Forrest
DD-462 Fitch
DD-463 Corry
DD-464 Hobson
DD-483 Aaron Ward
DD-484 Buchanan
DD-485 Duncan
DD-486 Lansdowne
DD-487 Lardner
DD-488 McCalla
DD-489 Mervine
DD-490 Quick
DD-491 Farenholt
DD-492 Bailey
DD-493 Carmick
DD-494 Doyle
DD-495 Endicott
DD-496 McCook
DD-497 Frankford
DD-598 Bancroft

Benson-type
DD-421 Benson
DD-422 Mayo
DD-425 Madison
DD-426 Lansdale
DD-427 Hilary P. Jones
DD-428 Charles F. Hughes

Gleaves-type
DD-423 Gleaves
DD-424 Niblack

Livermore-type
DD-429 Livermore
DD-430 Eberle
DD-431 Plunkett
DD-432 Kearny
DD-433 Gwin
DD-434 Meredith
DD-435 Grayson
DD-436 Monssen
DD-437 Woolsey
DD-438 Ludlow
DD-439 Edison
DD-440 Ericsson
DD-441 Wilkes
DD-442 Nicholson
DD-443 Swanson
DD-444 Ingraham


DD-599 Barton
DD-600 Boyle
DD-601 Champlin
DD-602 Meade
DD-603 Murphy
DD-604 Parker
DD-605 Caldwell
DD-606 Coghlan
DD-607 Frazier
DD-608 Gansevoort
DD-609 Gillespie
DD-610 Hobby
DD-611 Kalk
DD-612 Kendrick
DD-613 Laub
DD-614 Mackenzie
DD-615 McLanahan
DD-616 Nields
DD-617 Ordronaux
DD-618 Davison
DD-619 Edwards
DD-620 Glennon
DD-621 Jeffers
DD-622 Maddox
DD-623 Nelson
DD-624 Baldwin
DD-625 Harding
DD-626 Satterlee

DD-627 Thompson
DD-628 Welles
DD-632 Cowie
DD-633 Knight
DD-634 Doran
DD-635 Earle
DD-636 Butler
DD-637 Gherardi
DD-638 Herndon
DD-639 Shubrick
DD-640 Beatty
DD-641 Tillman
DD-645 Stevenson
DD-646 Stockton
DD-647 Thorn
DD-648 Turner

Stats Displacements :
Standard :
Benson etc.: 1,911 tons
Gleaves: 1,838 tons
Full :
Benson etc.: 2,591 tons
Gleaves: 2,572 tons
Length :
Benson etc.: 106,09m / 348ft 1 13/16"
Gleaves: 106,08m / 348ft 3 5/8"
Beam :
Benson etc.: 11,02m / 36ft 2 1/8"
Gleaves: 11m / 36ft 1 3/8"
Draft (Full Load) :
Benson etc.: 4,10m / 13ft 9 3/4"
Gleaves: 4,97m / 13 8 1/4"
Crew (Officers/Men) :
Benson etc.: 10 / 182
Gleaves: 9 / 199
Endurance :
Benson etc.: 3,880nm at 20 knots
Gleaves: 3,630 at 20 knots
Speed : 35 knots
Armor Belt: No belt armor
Deck: No deck armor
Barbettes: No barbette armor
Conning Tower: No conning tower armor
Armament and Equipment (As designed):
Main : 5 x 127mm L/38, in single mounts: two forward, superfiring, one in front of after deck house, two aft, superfiring
Secondary : None
AA : 6 x 12.7mm L/90 in single mounts
Torpedoes : 10 533mm torpedo tubes in two quintuple centerline mounts
Depth Charges : 2 x depth charge track, 10 depth charges

( Ingraham , May 1942):
Main : 4 x 127mm L/38, two forward superfiring, two aft superfiring
Secondary : None
AA : 6 x 20mm L/70
Torpedoes : 10 533mm torpedo tubes in two quintuple centerline mounts
Depth Charges : 4 x K-Gun, 2 x depth charge track

( Quick , March 1944):
Main : 4 x 127mm L/38, two forward superfiring, two aft superfiring
Secondary : None
AA : 4 x 40mm L/56 in two twin mounts, 7 x 20mm L/70
Torpedoes : 5 533mm torpedo tubes in one quintuple centerline mount
Depth Charges : 6 x K-Gun, 2 x depth charge track


BENSON DD 421

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Benson Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid May 16 1938 - Launched November 15 1939

Struck from Naval Register November 1 1974

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

Postmarks

This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
 
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


Benson DD- 421 - History

From The Log of the U.S.S. Benson DD-421

The U.S.S. Benson (DD-421), is one a class of thirty-two destroyers, known as "Benson Class of 1937-1940." The Benson is one of thirty destroyers built to Bethlehem-prepared plans.

The Benson is named for Admiral William S. Benson, U.S.N., and was built at the Bethlehem Steel Company Plant, Quincy, Massachusetts -- authorized March 27, 1934 keel laid May 16, 1938 launched November 15, 1939 and first commissioned July 25, 1940.

Some of the characteristics of the Benson class are: square funnel caps and bases uneven height of stacks. Destroyers of this class are ten tons lighter and eight inches narrower than destroyers of a later class, known as the "Livermore" type otherwise they are similar. Both classes have four high-pressure boilers, geared turbines and twin screws. Cruising range exceeds 9,000 miles at 15 knots. The "Benson " class, DD-421 to DD-428 were originally armed with five 5-inch-38's, and ten tubes. A few still carry ten tubes. Light armor protects bridges and controls in all newer destroyers.

Little has been written of the part that destroyers played in World War II, where they were called on to fulfill such a variety of missions that they were multi-purpose ships, engaging in any form of combat. Because we lacked suitable escort ships, destroyers were used to protect convoys, as well as to guard our combatant Task Forces. Destroyers were used to bombard enemy shore positions, and to carry bombs and aviation gasoline, and stores to Guadalcanal during the lean weeks, early in the campaign in those far-distant seas.

By nature as well as by name, the purpose of the destroyer is wholly offensive Bantamweights in comparison with the great battlewagons, they pack a punch out of proportion to their size. They are triple-threat weapons, built to strike at the enemy on or over or under the sea. They are the "fightingest things afloat."


Asbestos on the USS Benson: What you Need to Know

Like other ships of her time, the USS Benson was built with asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos was prized for its resistance to heat, water, fire, and corrosion, so it could be found in virtually all areas of the destroyer. Anyone who served onboard the USS Benson or was involved in her repair and overhaul was put at risk of developing serious asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.

Family members of those exposed may also be at risk due to secondhand exposure. Any person exposed to asbestos fibers could have carried those fibers home in clothing and hair, and family members could have suffered secondhand exposure from hugging the worker or laundering clothes with asbestos fibers.


DD-421 Benson

Benson (DD-421) was launched 15 November 1939 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass. sponsored by Mrs. W. S. Benson, widow of Admiral Benson and commissioned 25 July 1940, Lieutenant Commander C. A. Fines in command.

Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, Benson patrolled along the east coast until 1 July 1941 when she commenced escorting convoys to Iceland. By the end of the year she had escorted six convoys between Newfoundland and Iceland. She remained on the Ic eland escort run until 29 March 1942 when she switched to escorting trans-Atlantic convoys to Britain and North Africa. On 19 October 1942, during one of these crossings, Benson was extensively damaged in a collision with Trippe (DD-403). Following repairs at New York she returned to convoy duty until May 1943 when she went to the Mediterranean.

She took part in the invasion of Sicily (6 July-21 August 1943), during which she had 18 men wounded by the near miss of a bomb (11 July), and the Salerno landings (5-21 September 1943). After escorting Mediterranean convoys during October-December 194 3 she returned to New York for repairs and training which lasted until 20 April. She returned to the Mediterranean for convoy duty (May-July 1944) and participated in the invasion Of southern France (13 August-17 September 1944). From 30 September 1944 to 18 January 1945 she furnished fire support along the French and Italian coasts and then returned to the United States for overhaul. After one convoy run to Britain (April 1945), Benson transferred to the Pacific. She arrived at Pearl Harbor 28 May and during 13 20 June screened the air strikes against Wake Island. From July to October 1945 she escorted convoys between Ulithi and Okinawa, and between the Philippines and Japan. Benson reported to Charleston Navy Yard 7 December 1945 to commen ce inactivation and went out of commission in reserve there 18 March 1946. She remained in reserve until transferred to Nationalist China 26 February 1954.

Benson received four battle stars for her service in the Mediterranean.


Benson Class Destroyer USS Benson DD421 3D Model

Benson Class Destroyer USS Benson DD421 3D model by Dreamscape Studios.

This model is built very near to actual scale. The model has animateable features and is fully textured. It comes in several formats including 3ds, asc, dae, dwg, dxf, lwo, max, obj, stl, u3d

Features
- Ready for rendering
- Clean topology
- Well detailed
- Based on actual scale
- Separated materials
- Includes all textures


Benson DD- 421 - History

From: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, Vol. I, pp. 118-19.

Born in Macon, Ga., 25 September 1855, William Shepherd Benson graduated from the Academy in 1877. Following command of Albany (CL-22), Missouri (BB-11), Utah (BB-31), and Philadelphia Navy Yard, he was appointed first Chief of Nav al Operations in 1915. Admiral Benson served as CNO until his retirement 25 September 1919. He died in Washington, D. C., 20 May 1932.

(DD-421: dp. 1620 l. 348'2", b. 36'1", dr. 17'6" s. 36.5 k. cpl. 276, a. 5 5", 10 21" TT. cl. Benson )

Benson (DD-421) was launched 15 November 1939 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass. sponsored by Mrs. W. S. Benson, widow of Admiral Benson and commissioned 25 July 1940, Lieutenant Commander C. A. Fines in command.

Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, Benson patrolled along the east coast until 1 July 1941 when she commenced escorting convoys to Iceland. By the end of the year she had escorted six convoys between Newfoundland and Iceland. She remained on the Ic eland escort run until 29 March 1942 when she switched to escorting trans-Atlantic convoys to Britain and North Africa. On 19 October 1942, during one of these crossings, Benson was

extensively damaged in a collision with Trippe (DD-403). Following repairs at New York she returned to convoy duty until May 1943 when she went to the Mediterranean.

She took part in the invasion of Sicily (6 July-21 August 1943), during which she had 18 men wounded by the near miss of a bomb (11 July), and the Salerno landings (5-21 September 1943). After escorting Mediterranean convoys during October-December 194 3 she returned to New York for repairs and training which lasted until 20 April. She returned to the Mediterranean for convoy duty (May-July 1944) and participated in the invasion Of southern France (13 August-17 September 1944). From 30 September 1944 to 18 January 1945 she furnished fire support along the French and Italian coasts and then returned to the United States for overhaul. After one convoy run to Britain (April 1945), Benson transferred to the Pacific. She arrived at Pearl Harbor 28 May and during 13 20 June screened the air strikes against Wake Island. From July to October 1945 she escorted convoys between Ulithi and Okinawa, and between the Philippines and Japan. Benson reported to Charleston Navy Yard 7 December 1945 to commen ce inactivation and went out of commission in reserve there 18 March 1946. She remained in reserve until transferred to Nationalist China 26 February 1954.


USS Reuben James (DD-245)

USS Reuben James (DD-245) was a Clemson class destroyer that became famous as the first US warship to be sunk by enemy action during the Second World War, several weeks before the official US entry into the war.

The Reuben James was named after Reuben James, who served in the US Navy during the Quasi-War with France, the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, where he was taken prisoner after the loss of USS President.

The Reuben James was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corp at Camden on 2 April 1919 and launched on 4 October 1919. She was sponsored by Miss Helen Livingston Strauss, the daughter of Rear Admiral Joseph Strauss. She was commissioned on 24 September 1920.

The Reuben James joined Flotilla Three, Squadron Two, Division Forty-one, part of the Destroyer Force of the Atlantic Fleet, but on 30 November 1920 she departed for European waters, reaching Zelenika on the coast of Yugoslavia on 18 December. She spent the spring and summer of 1921 operating in the Adriatic from bases at Zelenika and Gruz/ Gravosa. She was used to carry the US Ambassador to Italy from Naples to Venice in September 1921 and carried out a mix of patrols and humanitarian duties. In September she helped close down the US Naval Supply Base at Spalato/ Split, and took part in the ceremonies that saw Tug No.60 handed over to the new Yugoslavian Navy. She left Split on 29 September, the last US naval vessel to withdraw from the Adriatic.

After leaving the Adriatic the Reuben James moved to Cherbourg, where she was caught up with the plan to bestow the Medal of Honor on the British Unknown Warrior. The date of the ceremony had been brought forward to 17 October 1921 to allow General John Pershing to present the medal before his departure for the United States, originally planned for 15 October. On 12 October the Reuben James embarked Vice Admiral Albert P. Niblack, who wished to get to London before the ceremony. Niblack was able to get permission for a delegation of US sailors to take part in the ceremony, although they came from the cruiser Olympia (CA-15).

The Reuben James then moved to Le Havre, where she took part in the ceremonies that marked the departure of the American Unknown Soldier for the United States. She then moved to the Baltic, spending the period from 29 October 1921-3 February 1922 at Danzig. While in the Baltic she worked with the American Relief Administration. She spent the last few months of her time in European Waters operating in the Mediterranean, before departing for the United States on 17 July 1922.

The Reuben James settled into the standard pattern of US navy life for the period, with the summers spent operating along the US East Coast and the winters in the Caribbean. This was punctuated by a series of unusual activities.

In July 1926 she took part in a cruiser for members of the USNR&rsquos Sixteenth Division, including a visit to Nantucket for a baseball game between the ship&rsquos team and a local team, and exercises with other destroyers. After landing the reservists she acted as a &lsquoexhibition destroyer&rsquo at Philadelphia during the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. In October she took part in exercises with the steamship Leviathan helping to take moving pictures for the Fox News Agency.

At the end of January 1927 she passed through the Panama Canal to join the Special Service Squadron operating in the Gulf of Fonseca to try and prevent gun running during a civil war in Nicaragua. Anyone who landed in Nicaragua between 21 January-15 March 1927 qualified for the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal. In March-April she took part in the Fleet Concentration in the Caribbean. In June she carried Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore D. Robinson during a visit to New London, Conn., and Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The Reuben James was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 20 January 1931.

The Reuben James was recommissioned on 9 March 1932 and resumed the previous pattern of life in the Atlantic and Caribbean, this time with the Scouting Force.

From September 1933-January 1934 she was used to patrol Cuban waters during a revolution on the Island.

On 19 October 1934 she left Norfolk to move to the Pacific, arriving at her new home port at San Diego on 9 November 1934. She spent the next five years operating off the west coast, carrying out a mix of training exercises and showing the flag visits.

Second World War

In January 1939 the Reuben James joined the Atlantic Fleet. On 29 August she was selected for conversion into a small seaplane tender (AVP-16), but that plan was cancelled after the outbreak of war in Europe at the start of September. The Reuben James was instead selected to form part of the first Neutrality Patrol, which had the task of watching the movement of any ships of the fighting powers in the approaches to the east coast and the Caribbean. The conversion was officially cancelled on 12 September, and the George E. Badger was chosen to replace the Reuben James. The Reuben James was allocated to Patrol Three, which was to operate from Chesapeake Bay, but then almost immediately moved to the Kew West Patrol.

On 28 October the Reuben James and the Gilmer (DD-233) replaced the Fairfax (DD-93) and Badger (DD-126) as plane guards for the carrier USS Ranger (CV-4), and the group then departed for Cuba, arriving on 3 November. The Reuben James then ran aground in the Old Bahama Channel on 30 November, and the Ranger came to her aid, using some of her fuel oil to create a slick around the destroyer to calm the seas. Three torpedoes, ammo and depth charges were then moved from the destroyer to the carrier to lighten her, and later on 1 December the Reuben James floated free. She then moved to Charleston, before heading to New York for repairs.

The Reuben James was able to rejoin the fleet on 3 June 1940, joining the Atlantic Squadron at Newport, but this appears to have been premature, as she had to return to the New York Navy Yard twice over the next few months, finally leaving for Cuba on 17 August. She spent the next few months operating along the east coast, seemingly moving somewhat at random between a series of ports.

On 1 March 1941 the Support Force, Atlantic Fleet, was formed to protect convoys in the North Atlantic, and the Reuben James was one of eighteen old destroyers allocated to the force. On 11 March the Lend-Lease act was passed, so the Support Force would soon be used to escort American arms as far as Iceland, where the Royal Navy would take over. This almost inevitable led to a series of clashes with German submarines, especially after the US Navy demonstrated that it was perfectly happy to depth charge any suspected submarines found near its convoys.

In May-August the Reuben James continued to work up and down the coast, visiting Newport, New London, Argentia and Casco Bay. On 6 September she finally headed out into the Atlantic, escorting a convoy heading towards Iceland as part of Task Force 15. During the voyage the Truxton (DD-229), MacLeish (DD-220) and Sampson (DD-394) all carried out depth charge attacks on a submarine that had been sighted on the surface close to the convoy. The force reached Iceland on 16 September.

The Reuben James returned to the east coast on 19 October, and then departed from Argentia on 23 October as part of the escort of Convoy HX-156 (along with the Niblack (DD-424), Hilary P. Jones (DD-427), Benson (DD-421) and Tarbell (DD-142)). On 25 October the Hilary P. Jones fired one depth charge at a possible contact, which probably turned out to be a school of porpoises. On 29 October she dropped two depth charges on another possible contact. On 30 October the Reuben James herself detected a probable submarine, and dropped two depth charges.

All of these incidents indicated that there were probably submarines in the area, and on 31 October one of them would account for the Reuben James. At 0534 U-552 (Kapitanleutnant Erich Topp), on her sixth war patrol, fired two torpedoes at the destroyer. They hit on the port side, causing explosions close to the forward fireroom. The explosions caused massive damage, killing all but two of the men in the forward part of the ship, and she immediately began to sink. It was quickly clear that the destroyer was doomed, and her crew managed to launch three rafts and abandon ship, although no formal order to do so was issued. The aft part of the ship soon sank, and tragically at least two of her depth charges exploded, killing some of the survivors. The Germans later claimed that Topp was actually aiming at an ammunition ship within the convoy rather than at the destroyer.

The attack happened at night, so the only way the convoy escort&rsquos commander, Cmdr Richard E. Webb of the Benson was able to discover what had happened was to try and contact each destroyer. When the Reuben James failed to reply he sent the Niblack and Hilary P. Jones to search for her. The Niblack began rescue operations at 0600, while the Hilary P. Jones circled around the scene to guard against further attack. After just over an hour the two destroyers detected a possible submarine and the Niblack had to suspend her operations. She was replaced by the Hilary P. Jones. By 0805 all 44 of the survivors had been rescued, but all seven of the ship&rsquos officers and 93 enlisted men were killed in the attack.

Anyone who served on her between 22 June-13 July, 1-17 August or 8 September-31 October 1941 qualified for the American Defense Service Medal.


Watch the video: WoWS Blitz - USS Benson. Как Мэхэн, только круче!