Gearing Class

    With the DD 692 SUMNER class continuing to be overloaded with anti-aircraft capabilities to protect the carrier forces, the resulting effect was a lack of speed and required range. By 1943, Adm. King accepted the BuShips recommendation that the SUMNER hull be lengthened by 14 feet so that an additional 160 tons of fuel could be carried resulting in an increase of range over the basic SUMNER by 30 percent. The first ship to receive this new hull, was the GEARING (DD-710) and it became the lead ship of the 2,200 ton GEARING class destroyers. Of the 98 commissioned GEARING class destroyers, 47 retained their DD classification prior to FRAM with three being disqualified due to having been modified for improved steam machinery testing (TIMMERMAN), advances in missile technologies (GYATT) and testing of an advanced propulsion system (WITEK). Of the remaining 44, ALL GEARINGS received the FRAM MK I reconstruction.

    With the 14 foot extension provided in the middle of the ship, the added space proved vital in relocating some machinery for better balance whereas the Sumners were noted for being "Bow heavy". Other than the 14 foot extension, the SUMNERs and GEARING class destroyers were visually identical. 

    HOW FRAM EVOLVED For the GEARING class: By FY 1959, there remained 44 original GEARING class destroyers that had not been converted into either dedicated submarine warfare destroyers (DDE), hunter-killer destroyers (DDK), radar picket destroyers (DDR) or for specialized research. Further, several GEARINGS were simply not completed with their various parts going to other GEARINGs damaged in the course of operations (see "notes" below). The longer length GEARING class made excellent candidates for the FRAM program and while only 49 of ALL variants of GEARING class destroyers were scheduled for FRAM, that number eventually grew to include 80 vessels of the 98 commissioned. Of the remaining 18, 15 vessels received the MK 2 modernization. 
    The first GEARING to receive FRAM was the PERRY (seen left) whose conversion commenced on 1 May 1959 and was completed on 1 April 1960 at the Boston Naval Shipyard. At a cost of $ 7,700,000, the FRAM MK 1 reconstruction level PERRY received set the level for all GEARINGS, except the WITEK. This reconstruction included the installation of ASROC aft of the first stack, the DASH hangar and flight deck, the new SQS-23 sonar system and dome which had a detection range of 40,000 yards as well as either the SPS-29, -37 or -40 air-search radar which was needed to track the DASH helicopter in flight. Also included was the installation of two MK-32 triple torpedo launchers as well as a new superstructure with the main machinery either being replaced or overhauled. From the propellers to the shafts to the distilling plant to fuel systems, all machinery systems were either overhauled or replaced while maintaining below decks arrangement. The top deck however, with the installation of the DASH flight deck and hangar along with the ASROC launcher installed required a complete rearrangement. 
     The FRAM MK 1 reconstruction was somewhat different for the top deck arrangement of the GEARINGS. There were 2 variants of the FRAM MK-1 for the GEARINGS:
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GROUP A Ships: Removal of aft Twin 5 inch/38 caliber Gun mount (mount 53). GROUP A ships also received two MK10/11 Hedgehogs fitted on each side of the bridge at the O-1 level and had their MK-32 triple torpedo launchers aft of the second stack.
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GROUP B Ships: They kept their more forward 5 inch mount (mount 51), lost the second mount (Mount 52) behind it and kept their aft 5 inch mount (mount 53). In place of mount 52, a practice 5 inch reloading machine was installed with the MK-32 triple torpedo launchers aft of the loader. Group B ships also received greater ASROC and torpedo storage areas next to the port side of the DASH hangar.

    Herein is the listing of ALL non-converted 44 GEARING Class destroyers (DD) existing as of 1960; those ships that received either the GROUP A or B variation of FRAM MK I are noted as such. Total cost to FRAM this class: $ 338,500,000.

 GEARING CLASS DESTROYERS 
(all received FRAM Mk I)

Name of Ship

Hull No.

 Group Variant

Builder

Launched

Stricken Date

AGERHOLM
826
A
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
30 Mar 1946
01 Dec. 1978
ARNOLD J. ISBEL
869
B
Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island, New York
06 Aug. 1945
01 Feb. 1974
BAUSSELL
845
A
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
19 Nov. 1945
30 May 1978
BRINKLEY BASS
887
B
Consolidated Steel, Orange TX
26 May 1945
03 Dec. 1973
BROWNSON
868
A
Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island, New York
07 July 1945
30 Sept. 1976
CHARLES H. ROAN
853
B
Bethlehem Steel, Quincy
15 Mar. 1946
21 Sept. 1973
CHARLES R. WARE
865
B
Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island, New York
12 Apr. 1945
30 Nov. 1974
CONE
866
B
Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island, New York
10 May 1945
01 Oct. 1982
EVERSOLE
789
B
Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle
08 Jan. 1946
21 Sept. 1973
FLOYD B. PARKS
884
B
Consolidated Steel, Orange TX
31 Mar. 1945
02 July 1983
FORREST ROYAL
872
B
Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island, New York
17 Jan. 1946
01 Feb. 1973
GEARING
710
B
Federal Ship Building & D.D. Co. Newark, NJ 
05 Mar. 1944
01 July 1973
GEORGE K. MACKENZIE
836
B
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
13 May 1945
01 Oct. 1976
GLENNON
840
B
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
14 July 1945
01 Oct. 1976
GURKE
783
B
Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle
15 Feb. 1945
30 Jan. 1976
HAMNER
718
B
Federal Ship Building & D.D. Co. Newark, NJ 
24 Nov. 1945
01 Oct. 1979
HAROLD J. ELLISON
864
B
Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island, New York
14 Mar. 1945
01 Oct. 1983
HENDERSON
785
B
Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle
28 May 1945
30 Sept. 1980
HOLLISTER
788
B
Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle
09 Oct. 1945
31 Aug. 1979
JAMES E. KYES
787
B
Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle
04 Aug. 1945
31 Mar. 1973
JOHN R. CRAIG
885
B
Consolidated Steel, Orange TX
14 Apr. 1945
27 July 1979
JOHNSTON
821
B
Consolidated Steel, Orange TX
19 Oct. 1945
27 Feb. 1981
JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, JR.
850
B
Bethlehem Steel, Quincy
Preserved as memorial; berthed at Fall River, Mass
26 July 1945
01 July 1973
LEONARD F. MASON
852
B
Bethlehem Steel, Quincy
04 Jan. 1946
02 Nov. 1976
MEREDITH
890
A
Consolidated Steel, Orange TX
28 June 1945
07 Dec. 1979
NOA
841
A
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
30 July 1945
02 June 1975
ORLECK
886
B
Consolidated Steel, Orange TX
Preserved as memorial; berthed at Orange, Texas
12 May 1945
06 Aug. 1987
OZBOURN
846
B
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
22 Dec. 1945
01 June 1975
PERRY
844
A
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
25 Nov. 1945
01 July 1973
POWER
839
B
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
30 June 1945
01 Oct. 1977
RICHARD B. ANDERSON
786
A
Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle
07 July 1945
30 Jan. 1976
RICHARD E. KRAUS
849
B
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
02 Mar. 1946
01 July 1976
ROBERT H. McCARD
822
B
Consolidated Steel, Orange, TX
09 Nov. 1945
06 Aug. 1987
ROWAN
782
B
Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle
29 Dec. 1944
30 Jan. 1976
RUPERTUS
851
B
Bethlehem Steel, Quincy
21 Sept. 1945
10 July 1973
SAMUEL B. ROBERTS
823
B
Consolidated Steel, Orange, TX
30 Nov. 1945
02 Nov. 1970
SARSFIELD
837
B
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
27 May 1945
01 Oct. 1977
SHELTON
790
A
Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle
08 Mar. 1946
31 Mar. 1973
STRIBLING
867
B
Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island, New York
08 June 1945
01 July 1976
THEODORE E. CHANDLER
717
B
Federal Ship Building & D.D. Co. Newark, NJ 
20 Oct. 1945
01 Apr. 1975
VOGELGESANG
862
B
Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island, New York
15 Jan. 1945
24 Feb. 1982
WARRINGTON
843
B
Bath Iron Works, Bath ME
27 Sept. 1945
01 Oct. 1972
WILLIAM C. LAWE
763
B
Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco
21 May 1945
01 Oct. 1983
WILTSIE
716
B
Federal Ship Building & D.D. Co. Newark, NJ 
31 Aug. 1945
30 Jan. 1976

*NOTES concerning GEARING class destroyers: 

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LANDSDALE (DD- 766): Although laid down by Bethlehem Steel of San Francisco on April 2, 1944 with launching by December 20, 1946, construction was halted with the uncompleted LANDSDALE being stored at Suisun Bay, Ca. The uncompleted LANDSDALE eventually lost a 60-ton portion of its bow to repair the Floyd B. Parks (DD-884) which was damaged on 11 March 1956 when she collided with heavy cruiser, USS Columbus (CA 74). Landsdale was never completed or commissioned and subsequently stricken on 9 June 1956.

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SEYMOUR O. OWENS (DD-767): The uncompleted OWENS lost its 165-ton bow to repair the Ernest G. Small (DDR-838) which was damaged  when that ship struck a mine off Sonjin, Korea on 7 Oct. 1951. Owens was never completed or commissioned and subsequently stricken on 9 June 1956.

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SEAMAN (DD-791): Although laid down by Todd Shipyards of Seattle on July 10, 1945 and launched May 29, 1946, her construction was stopped with her incomplete hulk stored until she was stricken 1 March 1961 and subsequently sold and broken up for scrap.

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TIMMERMAN (EDD-828): Although laid down by Bath Iron works, Bath, ME on October 1, 1945 as a GEARING class destroyer, work on TIMMERMAN (seen right) ceased three months later. She was reclassified as an experimental destroyer (EDD 828) to test new and more efficient steam-propulsion. Designed to occupy the same space in standard GEARING engine spaces, the TIMMERMAN's machinery was designed to generate 100,000 SHP vs. the GEARING's 60,000 SHP. This was done by having on the port side, a General Electric Turbine 2,000 PSI/1,050 degrees F operating steam-propulsion plant and on the starboard side, a Westinghouse turbine 875 PSI/1,050 degrees F steam-propulsion plant. With construction work resuming by May 1946 and commissioning by September 26, 1952, the TIMMERMAN tested and evaluated its' new steam machinery technologies extensively, yet its service life was short. Due to extensive modifications to the ship to accomplish its steam testing, it was deemed not worth receiving FRAM. Reclassified as AG 152 in 1954, she was decommissioned on 27 July 1956 and stricken 4 April 1958 and sold for scrap.

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WITEK (EDD-848): Although laid down by Bath Iron works, Bath, ME on 16 July 1945 as a GEARING class destroyer and launched 2 February 1946 with commissioning 25 April 1946, WITEK served as a Experimental Destroyer for most of her career. WITEK received a "pump jet" type propulsion system reclassifying it as EDD 848 in 1959. While quieter, It never received FRAM due to its' propulsion system and cost to convert to standard machinery. WITEK was stricken 17 September 1968 and sunk as a target on 4 June 1969, off the coast of Virginia. 

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GEARING Class Destroyers not commissioned and SCRAPPED before complete: 

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CASTLE (DD-720) (seen right) laid down on 11 July 1945 by Federal Ship Building & D.D. Co. Kearny, NJ, she was never officially launched, not completed and stricken 2 November 1954 and sold for scrap on 29 August 1955.

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WOODROW R. THOMPSON (DD-721) laid down on 1 August 1945 by Federal Ship Building & D.D. Co. Kearny, NJ, she was launched 16 March 1946 but never commissioned. Stricken 2 November 1954 and sold for scrap on 29 August 1955.

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ABNER READ (DD-769) laid down 21 May 1944 by Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco she was never launched and subsequently stricken/broken up 13 Sept. 1946 in the shipways. 

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HOEL (DD-768) laid down 21 April 1944 by Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco she was never launched and subsequently stricken/broken up 13 Sept. 1946 in the shipways. 

 

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CANCELLATIONS - The following hulls were cancelled before being laid down: DD 809-816, 854-856, and 891-926.

 

GEARING CLASS DESTROYER POST-FRAM SPECIFICATIONS

Displacement:
2,425 tons standard (3,479 tons full load)
Dimensions:
390 1/2 x 40' 10" beam x 18'6" maximum draft 
SONAR:
SQS-23 Sonar System
Air Search Radar:
SPS-29, -37 or -40 
Height Finding Radar
SPS-8 or -30
Surface Search Radar
SPS-10
Guns:
2 qty, TWIN 5 inch/38 caliber MK 12 mod 1 guns installed on MK 38 gun mount
Weapons:
ASROC and 2 qty, DASH Helicopters, 6 homing torpedo tubes (2 MK 32 Triple Torpedo mounts). TWO Mark-10, 7.2" HEDGEHOG Projector ( "ahead-thrown-missiles" launches 24 - 7.2 inch missiles with contact fuses) location dependent on Group model of FRAM I.
Machinery:
2 Westinghouse turbines coupled to 2 DeLaval locked-train double reduction gears. 2 shafts, 350 RPM, SHP: 60,000 = 34.5 knots
Boilers:
FOUR Babcock & Wilcox working pressure 565 PSI at 850 degrees F
Oil Fuel:
4,647 barrels NSFO and 167 barrels of Diesel Oil = 650 tons
Radius:
    At 2,425 tons standard   maximum speed is 34.5 knots with endurance of 6,500 miles at 15 knots
    At 3,479 tons full load    maximum speed is 31.3 knots with endurance of 5,370 miles at 15 knots
Complement:
Allowance: 355 (20 officers, 325 enlisted men)


 

BEFORE and AFTER FRAM

 BEFORE: At left, as seen before her FRAM MK I reconstruction, the USS GURKE (DD-783) showing her distinctive triple, twin barrel 5 inch/38 caliber mounts as well as the 2x 3"/50 cal machine guns, 3x40mm and 10x20 mm anti-aircraft batteries as well as the MK 15 1x5 tube torpedo launcher amidship. Along with its MK6 K-gun depth charge projector as well as two MK9 depth charge racks, this was the post-World War II configuration for the GEARING class destroyer.  AFTER it received its FRAM reconstruction in May 1964, the GURKE lost all of the above, save for two 5 inch/38 caliber mounts.

AFTER: At right, the USS GEORGE K. MAC KENZIE (DD 836) is show after her FRAM MK I reconstruction she received at the New York Naval shipyard in December 1963. Note the MK-112 ASROC launcher between the stacks as well as the DASH Hangar aft of the no. 2 stack. Both MAC KENZIE and GURKE were "Group B" variants of the FRAM MK I program in that they kept their more forward 5 inch mount (mount 51), lost the second mount behind it (Mount 52) and kept their aft 5 inch mount (mount 53). In place of mount 52, a practice 5 inch reloading machine was installed with the MK-32 triple torpedo launchers aft of the loader. Group B ships also received greater ASROC and torpedo storage areas next to the port side of the DASH hangar.


 

The USS MEREDITH (DD-890) in her post FRAM outfit showing the aft Hangar and landing deck for her newly installed DASH system as well as new superstructure. MEREDITH was a "GROUP A" variant of the FRAM MK I reconstruction in that they had the aft Twin 5 inch/38 caliber Gun mount (mount 53) removed. GROUP A ships also received two MK 10/11 Hedgehogs fitted on each side of the bridge at the O-1 level and had their MK-32 triple torpedo launchers aft of the second stack.

   Laid down by Consolidated Steel in Orange Texas on January 27, 1945, launched on June 28, 1945, Commissioning on December 31, 1945, completed FRAM at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in June 1961, she served for 34 years until being stricken on December 7, 1979. She was subsequently sold to Turkey on 20 March 1980 and renamed Savastepe. She was eventually broken up for scrap in March 1995. 

 

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