Fletcher-class Destroyer

First introduced during World War II as a solution to the Japanese “special type” destroyers that were being deployed in the Pacific Ocean. These ships, at the time, were the most advanced and dangerous of the American navy.

There were over 175 Fletcher ships built in total, among them, perhaps the most decorated and respected ship in US history was the USS Nicholas (DDE 499), the second ship named Nicholas. The Nicholas was ordered on June 28, 1940, built by Bath Iron Works Corp., and launched February 19, 1942.

She joined the Guadalcanal campaign and served as the flagship of the Destroyer Squadron 21. The squadron battled its way to the Solomon Islands over 7 months and participated in many bombardments and battles including the Battle of Kula Gulf. In 1943, it was reassigned to escort duty for the Gilbert Islands operations before it sailed back to America for refit. It made its reappearance in the pacific in February 1944 and resumed its escort missions, as well as the bombardment of the shores of New Guinea, the Philippines, and Borneo.

In its campaigns, it earned a total of 16 battle stars. Also, the Nicholas or “Nick” received the Presidential Unit Citation for its actions in the Solomon Islands in 1943. These added with yet other prestigious awards such as the Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation Badge serve well to show “the respect and esteem which this ship, her officers and men have well earned throughout the Navy.” – Admiral Nimitz

In August of 1945, Admiral Halsey ordered Nick and her twin sister O’Bannon with the Taylor to be present in Tokyo bay for the surrender of the Japanese Empire. The Nick, serving as the flagship of the group helped in the movement of emissaries and was the ship that on September 2, 1945, transferred American and Allied representatives to the Missouri for the surrendering ceremony.

After World War II, the Nick was converted and recommissioned as an escort(hence DDE) and participated in both the Korean War and Vietnam War wars. Earning 5 battle stars, a Korean Presidential Unit Citation Badge, and 9 more stars for her actions in the Vietnamese war. It also participated in recovery missions for Apollo 7 and 8 before being retired and scrapped in 1970.

Specifications:

Dimensions

  • LOA: 376’ 6”
  • LWL: 369’ 0”
  • Beam: 39’ 8”
  • Depth: 22’ 8”
  • Block Coefficient: 0.499
  • Midlength: 0.799
  • Waterplane coefficient: 0.756

Propulsions

  • Boilers: 4
  • Screws: 2
  • Rudder: 1

Trials

  • Displacement: 2800 tons
  • Speed: 35.1 knots
  • SHP: 60000
  • Tactical Diameter: 950 yards at 30 knots
  • Endurance: 4800 nm at 15 knots

Armament

1942-1943

  • Main gun battery: 5 x 5-inch/38 cal. In five single mounts
  • Long range anti-aircraft battery: 4 x 1.1-inch cannon in one quadruple mount
  • Short range anti-aircraft battery: 6 to 13 20 mm Oerlikon in single mounts
  • Torpedo tubes: 10 x 21-inch in two quintuple mounts
  • Depth charge tracks: 2 for 600-lb. charges
  • Depth charge projectors: 6 “K”-guns

1943-1945

  • Main gun battery: 5 x 5-inch/38 cal. In five single mounts
  • Long range anti-aircraft battery: 10 x 40 mm Bofors in five mounts
  • Short range anti-aircraft battery: 7 x 20mm Oerlikon in single mounts
  • Torpedo tubes: 10 x 21-inch in two quintuple mounts
  • Depth charge tracks: 2 for 600-lb. charges
  • Depth charge projectors: 6 “K”-guns

Electronics

  • Radar: SC and SG
  • Sonar: QC

Selected sources: www.ussnicholas.org, www.domeisland.com/ussobannon/dd450.html

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.