DE-5 Evarts class

Design History
Given that the fast majority of the ships under production in 1940, especially the destroyers, were intended for fleet work, not for convoy escort, the United States Navy had a clear deficiency in that regard. The escort vessels of World War I, SCs and "Eagle" boats, had been scrapped or where in such state as to be useless; and certainly, technological progress had rendered them obsolete in any event.

Thus it was as soon as 1939 that some noted that there would be needed for something resembling a "second-line" destroyer, smaller than the fleet destroyer, yet capable of mass production. The proposal originated with the Shore Establishments Division, oddly enough. The principal service intended for these ships was screening against various threats, with the parenthical note that two ships might occasional come handy with the same capabilities as one larger ship, where otherwise only one larger might be available for the same price.

The General Board asked for proposals. The War Plans Division suggested a ship suitable for escort duty would be needed. It added that the flushdeckers had been expected to take over that task, but that there had to be some consideration for their suitability and age; therefore, the division argued that three or so little, simple destroyers should be built, the rest to be procured on an emergency basis. Anti-submarine and anti-air armament were stressed. A speed of no less than 25 knots, sufficient gun armament, strong depth charge outfit, and high endurance. However, the General Board proved reluctant to accept such a second-rate ship, preferring instead to build something on the order of Farragut.

Nothing came of the idea in 1939, but by mid-1940, Gibbs & Cox of New York and BuShips concurrently offered designs for small destroyers, but while Gibbs & Cox' design was simply a small destroyer, with all the speed characteristics of a regular destroyer, and including eight torpedo tubes, the BuShips design was more austere. It had a speed of 24,5 knots, mounted four 5" guns and two quad 28mm L/73 guns, at 1,175 tons.

Alternative designs were pursued only shortly, and abandoned quickly as their small size resulted in a very poor combination of characteristics. However, there was considerable doubt as to the usefulness of any smaller design, since estimates showed that there would be little saving in cost, compared to a larger, more capable destroyer.

Again, the proposals led nowhere, but again, they were resurrected. In January 1941, a CNO request led to the demand for fifty small escort vessels. A month later, the General Board asked for studies for such a ship. Simple design and a low 17 knot speed were features of the new proposal, and the General Board took to refining these ideas into new characteristics issued late in February, 1941. With 22 knots and single purpose guns, this design was not yet an all-around escort. It was left to Preliminary Design to make sense of the various requirements. They chose to modify the BuShips design of 1940, offering batteries of either two 4" L/50 or 5" L/38 guns, a triple torpedo tube mount, a quadruple 40mm mount and two 20mm guns. But the design led nowhere. The orders of fifty ships which had been placed already were annulled in May 1941; the entire program seemed to be fated to demise, given the General Board's utter lack of interest in the weak destroyers. It was the British that saved the project. Unawares that it had been cancelled, the British War Supply Council in the United States requested a hundred such ships on June 23rd. The British asked for 3" L/50 guns, three in total, in place of the 5" L/38, and twin rudders instead of single rudders. The British demand was approved in August by President Roosevelt. This was the Evarts class as the United States procured it.

Propulsion difficulties rendered some of the specifications unreachable. The initial proposal for a 12,000hp diesel engine would have provided for the 24,5 knots demanded, but the great number of destroyer escorts being ordered in other demands on diesel engines (not the least of which was tanks) resulted in smaller, 6,000hp engines being installed in the Evarts class, for 4,5 knots less than hoped.

The initial weapons outfit included 3 3" L/50 guns, a quadruple 28mm L/73 mount, and several 20mm guns.

Modification History
Various minor modifications were made to these ships in the anti-air armament. Radar equipment was installed as the availability permitted.

Service History
Escort destroyers of this class served in all theaters on general escort duty.

Ships in class:
DE-5 Evarts
DE-6 Wyffels
DE-7 Griswold
DE-8 Steele
DE-9 Carlson
DE-10 Bebas
DE-11 Crouter
DE-13 Brennan
DE-14 Doherty
DE-15 Austin
DE-16 Edgar G. Chase
DE-17 Edward C. Daly
DE-18 Gilmore
DE-19 Burden R. Hastings
DE-20 Le Hardy
DE-21 Harold C. Thomas
DE-22 Wileman
DE-23 Charles R. Greer
DE-24 Whitman
DE-25 Wintle
DE-26 Dempsey
DE-27 Duffy
DE-28 Emery
DE-29 Stadtfeld
DE-30 Martin
DE-31 Sederstrom
DE-32 Fleming
DE-33 Tisdale
DE-34 Eisele
DE-35 Fair
DE-36 Manlove
DE-37 Greiner
DE-38 Wyman
DE-39 Lovering
DE-40 Sanders
DE-41 Brackett
DE-42 Reynolds
DE-43 Mitchell
DE-44 Donaldson
DE-45 Andres
DE-47 Decker
DE-48 Dobler
DE-49 Doneff
DE-50 Engstrom
DE-256 Seid
DE-257 Smartt
DE-258 Walter S. Brown
DE-259 William C. Miller
DE-260 Cabana
DE-261 Dionne
DE-262 Canfield
DE-263 Deede
DE-264 Elden
DE-265 Cloues
DE-301 Lake
DE-302 Lyman
DE-303 Crowley
DE-304 Rall
DE-305 Halloran
DE-306 Conolly
DE-307 Finnegan
DE-528 John J. Powers
DE-529 Mason
DE-530 John M. Bermingham

Standard: 1,192 tons
Full: 1,416 tons
Length: 88,2m / 289ft 5"
Beam: 10,66m / 35ft
Draft (Full Load): 3,06m / 10ft 7/8"
Crew (Officers/Men): 15/183
Endurance: 4,150nm at 12 knots
Speed: 19 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: 3 x 76mm L/50, in three single mounts
Secondary: None
AA: 2 x 40mm in one twin mount, 9 x 20mm L/70 in single mounts
Torpedoes: None
Depth Charges: 1x Hedgehog, 8 x K-Gun, 2 x depth charge track; perhaps 120 depth charges