DD-397 Benham class

Design History
Twelve more destroyers were ordered under the FY35 program: two ships of the Gridley class, to be build by Bethlehem, and ten ships following that general layout. Designed by Gibbs & Cox of New York, the new class dispensed with one boiler (for a total of three), the remaining boiler units being individually more powerful. The reduction allowed for a smaller uptake without a loss in speed. Otherwise similar to the previous classes, the Benhams were the last class to nominally have 1500tons light ship displacement; even they, however, were badly overweight and exceeded that light ship displacement by a bit.

Modification History
Only two Benhams were initially in the Pacific; they received radar and 20mm guns in 1942, and two twin 40mm mounts on the after deckhouse in 1943. Sterett and Lang received a Kamikaze refit in 1945, for a total of 8 40mm, 8 20mm guns and a complete removal of torpedo tubes.

The Atlantic units disposed of two of their torpedo mounts (the two aftermost) in 1941, in favor of more depth charges and depth-charge throwers. In some units, the no.4 5" L/38 gun was provided with an open-topped half shield.

Service History
Two units, Benham and Ellet, served in the Pacific at the start of the war. These participated in the early war operations of the Pacific Fleet. In June 1942, four other destroyers of this class, Lang, Sterett, Stack and Wilson escorted the carrier Wasp to the Pacific. The six destroyers operated off Guadalcanal (were ELLET had to sink the Australian Heavy Cruiser Canberra after the Battle of Savo Island), and several participated in the Naval Battles of Guadalcanal, were Sterett was heavily damaged and Benham sunk. The remaining five ships participated without further loss in all subsequent operations.

Ships in class:
DD-397 Benham
DD-398 Ellet
DD-399 Lang
DD-402 Mayrant
DD-403 Trippe
DD-404 Rhind
DD-405 Rowan
DD-406 Stack
DD-407 Sterett
DD-408 Wilson

Standard: 1,656 tons
Full: 2,449 tons
Length: 104m / 341ft 4.25"
Beam: 10,8m / 35 5,75ft
Draft (Full Load): 4,15m / 13ft 7,5"
Crew (Officers/Men): 9 / 175
Endurance: 3,600nm at 20 knots
Speed: 38,8 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: 4 x 127mm L/38, in single mounts: two forward, superfiring, two aft, superfiring
Secondary: None
AA: 4 x 12.7mm L/90 in single mounts
Torpedoes: 16 533mm torpedo tubes in four quadruple wing mounts
Depth Charges: 2 x depth charge track, 10 depth charges

(Mayrand, April 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, 4 x 20mm L/70
Torpedoes: 8 533mm torpedo tubes in two quadruple wing mounts
Depth Charges: 6 x K-Gun, 2 x depth charge track