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A Family Saga: Flush-Deck Destroyers 1917-1955

by John L. Dickey II, edited by David W. McComb

Merriam Press Military History

eBook not available

Paperback - ISBN 978-1490585154 - $52.95

Hardcover not available

In 1916, before the United States joined World War I, Congress authorized 50 destroyers of a new “flush deck” design as part of a program intended to make the United States a major player on the world stage. Deliveries commenced after the United States joined the war in 1917. Although only 41 flush deckers joined the fleet before the Armistice in 1918, construction continued until 273 ships were completed. In 1922, after the Washington Naval Treaties went into effect, the U.S. Navy placed more than half of these new destroyers in reserve.

By the end of the 1930s, 103 of them had been lost or retired; after the outbreak of World War II, 50 more were transferred to the United Kingdom. That left the U.S. Navy with 120 flush deckers, still the majority of its destroyer force.

In World War II, although poorly matched against modern enemy ships and aircraft, they proved invaluable when converted as transports, minecraft, seaplane tenders and escorts. They operated in nearly every campaign and while one in four was lost, one in four was also decorated, making them the most sacrificed and most honored destroyers in the U.S. Navy’s history.

In 2000, the late John L. Dickey II published A Family Saga: Flush-deck Destroyers 1917–1955, which provided previously-unavailable details on these ships.

Now, historian David McComb of the Destroyer History Foundation has integrated Dickey’s own errata and addenda with new tables and twice as many photos to bring destroyer enthusiasts an easy-to-read, definitive reference for the largest group of destroyers ever operated by the United States Navy. This revised edition features a full-color cover and better photo reproduction, with an all-new professional format.

272 8.5x11-inch pages, 78 photos and drawings,
34 tables, index

A Family Saga: Flush-Deck Destroyers 1917-1955

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