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Gleaves-class destroyer
USS Gleaves (DD-423)
Class overview
Name: Gleaves class destroyer
Builders: Bath Iron Works
Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
Boston Navy Yard
Charleston Navy Yard
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Operators: US flag 48 stars.svg United States
Preceded by: Benson-class destroyer
Succeeded by: Fletcher-class destroyer
Built: 1938–1943
In commission: 1940–1956
Completed: 62
Lost: 13
General characteristics
Class & type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,630 tons
Length: 348 ft 3 in (106.15 m)
Beam:   36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
Draft:   13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
Propulsion: 50,000 shp (37 MW);
4 boilers;
2 propellers
Speed: 37.4 knots (69 km/h)
Range: 6,500 nautical miles at 12 kt
  (12,000 km at 22 km/h)
Complement: 16 officers, 260 enlisted

The Gleaves-class destroyers were a class of 66 destroyers of the United States Navy built 1938–1942, and designed by Gibbs & Cox.[1][2] The first ship of the class was the USS Gleaves (DD-423). The U.S. Navy customarily names a class of ships after the first ship of the class; hence the Gleaves class. They were the production destroyer of the US Navy when it entered World War II.


Gleaves-class destroyers were virtually identical in appearance to the Benson-class destroyers (DD-421), distinguishable only by the shape of their stacks— the Gleaves class had round stacks, and the Benson class had flat-sided stacks. Thus, the two classes were often collectively referred to as the BENSON/GLEAVES class.

Initially they were known as the Livermore- class destroyers because the design was standardized with USS Livermore (DD-429), after a requested design change — increasing temperature from 700 °F to 825 °F for follow-on ships from Gibbs & Cox.[3]

"Gleaves emerged as the class leader for all the Gibbs & Cox-designed ships, which also included all sixteen FY 1939 and 1940 ships (DDs 429–444), as Bethlehem’s follow-on bid to build more [Benson- class] ships with its own machinery was rejected."[3]

An article at the National Destroyer Veterans Association site notes:

"Some references identify the BENSON-GLEAVES class as the BENSON-LIVERMORE class. This was a designation for the FY 38-destroyer procurement coined by popular writers in compiling a number of fleet handbooks, for example James C. Fahey’s The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, volumes 1–4, 1939–45. Some handbooks further split the class, adding the Bristol (DD-453) as yet another division. According to tradition, however, a class is identified by the lead ship; hence BENSON-GLEAVES is the proper designation for this group of destroyers."[2]

Twenty one were in commission when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Eleven were lost to enemy action during World War II, including Gwin, Meredith, Monssen, Ingraham, Bristol, Emmons, Aaron Ward, Beatty, Glennon, Corry, and Maddox.

Most were decommissioned just following World War II. Eleven remained in commission into the 1950s, the last withdrawn from service in 1956.[3] Hobson was sunk in a collision with the aircraft carrier Wasp in 1952. In 1954 Ellyson and Macomb were transferred to the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force where they served as the JDS Asakaze and JDS Hatakaze (DD-182).

Ships in class

Film appearance

The 1954 movie The Caine Mutiny was filmed on the USS Doyle (DMS-34) and possibly the USS Thompson (DMS-38). In the 1951 novel, the Caine is a Wickes-class or Clemson class destroyer minesweeper.


  1. "Benson- and Gleaves-class Destroyers". Destroyer History Foundation. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The GLEAVES-Class Destroyers". The National Association of Destroyer Veterans. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "DD-423 Gleaves". 2005-04-27. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 

See also

External links

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