DD-692 Allen M. Sumner class

Design History
The completion of the Fletcher design left many desirous of a completely new design to remedy what were considered weaknesses in the new design. Especially the high silhouette was of concern to the designers, but the proposed attempts to rectify this problem in the Fletchers, manifest in attempts in the design stage to eliminate the superfiring guns forward in favor of a single twin mount, came to nothing then. What was more, there was considerable agitation for the design of a radically new ship, a large destroyer, to carry the then under-development 5" L/54 gun, to be used also in the new Montana class battleships and Midway class cruisers.

While this design would take time (and did, in fact!), an improved Fletcher design could be had relatively quickly and might remedy the most problematic features of that class. This new design, then, became the Sumner class.

Quickly, the primary defects of the previous, then under-construction designs (the Fletcher and the Livermore classes) were analysed. These consisted of the lack of stability due to excessive top weight from superfiring guns and high-up directors, lack of anti-air firepower, and early installation of ballast in order to balance ships against added top weight.

The General Board asked for a design of 2,100tons, with a twin 5" forward and a 28mm L/73 superfiring it, with a lower bridge. However, this design was impossible: the amount of space lost by a lower bridge, given the immense amounts needed for the radio, radar, sonar, and combat control rooms, could not be spared. Nor could the reduced visibility forward be accepted. This July 1941 proposal, then, went nowhere, and nothing occured to further the design until September, when the General Board asked that increased anti-air armament be considered for new destroyers. For that purpose, the Bureau of Ships (the amalgamation of the Bureau of Construction and Repair and the Bureau of Engineering) drew up several plans, including four in which twin mounts only were used. The hull design followed the Fletcher class, although some designs were beamier and all were heavier, and there was a wide variety of small AA and torpedo armament. BuShips suggest a six-gun, three-twin mount design with two twin 40mms and five torpedo tubes. The Bureau did not particularly like some of the General Board's following objections, but the combined support of BuShips and BuOrd carried the day. However, claims by both Bureaus and several of the fleet's officers that the reduced torpedo armament was borne out by the developments of the war in Europe, where destroyer torpedo attacks had not taking place in any significant numbers, were rejected by the General Board in December 1941 letter calling for ten torpedo tubes. The Bureau of Ships followed the request in a new design, which added some 180 tons and reduced speed by a knot. It now carried 6 5"L/38 guns in twin mounts, ten torpedo tubes, 4 40mm guns in twins and 4 20mm guns in singles. This design received the okay of the CNO and the Secretary of the Navy in April 1942. On August 7th, 1942, the first batch of 69 ships was ordered, and another run followed in June 1943.

Several changes were made in the final design prior to completion of the first ship. In September 1943, the Vice Chief of Naval Operations approved the installation of a Combat Information Center, or CIC, in the new ships below the bridge, making them the first destroyers to have such an installation. In the summer of 1943, the replacement of the twin 40mm mounts in the waist by quads was ordered, the addition of two twin 40mms alongside the forward stack, and the installation of further 20mm mounts.

The final design, then, as completed, had three twin 5" L/38 mounts, two superfiring forward, one aft; 12 40mm guns and 11 20mm mounts, ten torpedo tubes in quintuple mounts, 6 K-guns, and two depth-charge tracks. Rated at 36,5 knots, the Sumners did however never manage this speed in service. As designed, air and surface-search radar, fire-control radar for both the heavy and the AA guns, sonar, electronic warfare devices and the latest emergency power technology was provided.

Open-bridge SUMNER Modification History
Given the already powerful AA armament and late commissioning of these ships, the Sumner class received little modifications. In 1945, the aft torpedo mount was replaced by a quad 40mm mount and the single 20mms were upgraded to twin 20mms. In June 1944, twelve ships of the class were converted to minelayers, sacrificing their torpedo tubes and three 20mm guns in favor of 120 mines.

Service History
Ships of the Sumner class were first commissioned in early 1944, and saw service ever afterward, participating in most major operations from mid-1944 onwards. In the course of these operations, four destroyers were sunk and several severely damaged. Meredith was sunk by mine and aircraft off Normandy; Cooper by destroyer torpedo off Ormoc; Mannert L. Abele by Kamikaze off Okinawa, as was Drexler. Of eight Sumner class ships severely damaged off Okinawa, only Hugh W. Hadley was considered a constructive loss.

Ships in class:
DD-692 Allen M. Sumner
DD-693 Moale
DD-694 Ingraham
DD-695 Cooper
DD-696 English
DD-697 Charles S. Sperry
DD-698 Ault
DD-699 Waldron
DD-700 Haynsworth
DD-701John W. Weeks
DD-702 Hank
DD-703 Wallace L. Lind
DD-704 Borie
DD-705 Compton
DD-706 Gainard
DD-707 Soley
DD-708 Harlan R. Dickson
DD-709 Hugh Parvis
DD-722 Barton
DD-723 Walke
DD-724 Laffey
DD-725 O'Brien
DD-726 Meredith
DD-727 De Haven
DD-728 Mansfield
DD-729 Lyman K. Swenson
DD-730 Collett
DD-731 Maddox
DD-732 Hyman
DD-733 Mannert L. Abele
DD-734 Purdy
DD-741 Drexler
DD-744 Blue
DD-745 Brush
DD-746 Taussig
DD-747 Samuel N. Moore
DD-748 Harry E. Hubbard
DD-752 Alfred A. Cunningham
DD-753 John R. Pierce
DD-754 Frank E. Evans
DD-755 John A. Bole
DD-756 Beatty
DD-757 Putnam
DD-758 Strong
DD-759 Lofberg
DD-760 John W. Thomason
DD-761 Buck
DD-762 Henley
DD-770 Lowry
DD-774 Hugh W. Hadley
DD-775 Willard Keith
DD-776 James C. Owens
DD-777 Zellars
DD-778 Massey
DD-779 Douglas H. Fox
DD-780 Stormes
DD-781 Robert K. Huntington
DD-857 Bristol

Minesweeper Conversions:
DM-23 Robert L. Smith
DM-24 Thomas E. Fraser
DM-25 Shannon
DM-26 Harry F. Bauer
DM-27 Adams
DM-28 Tolman
DM-29 Henry A. Wiley
DM-30 Shea
DM-31 J. William Ditter
DM-32 Lindsey
DM-33 Gwin
DM-34 Aaron Ward

Standard: 2,535 tons
Full: 3,315 tons
Length: 114,75m / 376ft 6"
Beam: 12,43m / 40ft 10"
Draft (Full Load): 4,29m / 14ft 1 1/4"
Crew (Officers/Men): 11 / 325
Endurance: 3,240nm at 20 knots
Speed: 36,5 knots
Belt: No belt armor
Deck: No deck armor
Barbettes: No barbette armor
Conning Tower: No conning tower armor
Armament and Equipment
(As designed):
Main: 6 x 127mm L/38, in twin mounts: two forward, superfiring, one aft
Secondary: None
AA: 12 x 40mm L/56 in two quadruple and two twin mounts, 11 x 20mm L/70
Torpedoes: 10 533mm torpedo tubes in two quintuple centerline mounts
Depth Charges: 6 x K-Gun, 30 depth charges, 2 x depth charge track, 26 depth charges

(Hyman, July 1945):
Main: 6 x 127mm L/38, as above
Secondary: None
AA: 16 x 40mm L/56 in three quadruple and two twin mounts, 20 x 20mm L/70 in twin mounts
Torpedoes: 5 533mm torpedo tubes in one quintuple centerline mount
Depth Charges: 6 x K-Gun, 2 x depth charge track