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USS Caldwell (DD-69)

Class overview
Name: Caldwell class destroyer
Builders: Mare Island Navy Yard

Norfolk Navy Yard Seattle Dry Dock Company William Cramp & Sons Bath Iron Works

Operators: [2] United States[3] Great Britain
Preceded by: Sampson-class destroyer
Succeeded by: Wickes-class destroyer
Built: 1916–1920
In commission: 1917–1945
Completed: 6
Retired: 6
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,020 tons (standard)

1,125 tons (normal)

Length: 308 ft (94 m) waterline

315 ft 6 in (96.16 m) overall

Beam: 31 ft 3 in (9.53 m)
Draft: 8 ft (2.4 m)

11 ft 6 in (3.51 m) max

  • (DD 69-71) Thornycroft boilers
    Parsons geared turbines
    two shafts (20,000shp)
  • (DD 72-73) White-Forster boilers
    Parsons turbines
    three shafts (18,500hp)
  • (DD 69-71) 35 kn (65 km/h)
  • (DD 72-73) 30 kn (56 km/h)
Complement: 146

The Caldwell Class of destroyers served in the United States Navy near the end of World War I. Two were deleted during the 1930s, but four survived to serve throughout World War II, three of these in service with the Royal Navy under the Lend-Lease Agreement.


[hide] *1 Design and Construction

Design and ConstructionEdit

The six Caldwell Class torpedo-boat destroyers were authorised by Congress under the Act of 3 March 1915, "to have a speed of not less than thirty knots per hour [sic] and to cost, exclusive or armor and armament, not to exceed $925,000.00 each ...Provided, that three of said torpedo-boats herein authorised shall be built on the Pacific Coast."

Built from 1916 to 1918, the six ships of the Caldwell class were the first of 279 ordered (6 of which were cancelled) to a flush-decked design to remove the forecastle break weakness of the preceding Tucker class. The forward sheer of the Caldwell class was improved to keep "A" mount from being constantly washed out. The class had beam torpedo tubes and wing mounts, both flaws in design also found in the numerous Wickes-class and Clemson-class vessels which followed them. There were differences in appearance; Caldwell, Craven and Manley were built with four "stacks" (funnels), while Gwin, Conner and Stockton had only three.

Manley's high-speed destroyer transport (APD) conversion, removing her forward stacks and boilers, gave her the capacity to lift 200 Marines and four 11 m (36 ft) Higgins assault boats. She saw action at Guadalcanal and Kwajalein.

Three entered Royal Navy service in 1940 under the Destroyers for Bases Agreement as part of the Town class. USS Conner (DD-72) serving as HMS Leeds provided cover at Gold Beach on 6 June 1944; her sisters served as convoy escorts. All three survived the war, two being sunk as targets and one scrapped, postwar.

Ships in classEdit

The 6 ships of the Caldwell class were:

Hull no. Ship name Builder Laid down Commissioned Decommissioned Fate Service notes
DD-69 USS Caldwell (DD-69) Mare Island Navy Yard 8 December 1916 1 December 1917 27 March 1936 Scrapped 1936
DD-70 USS Craven (DD-70) Norfolk Navy Yard 20 November 1917 19 October 1918 23 October 1940 Scuttled May 1946 Transferred to Royal Navy as HMS Lewes
DD-71 USS Gwin (DD-71) Seattle Dry Dock Company 21 June 1917 20 March 1920 28 June 1936 Sold March 1939
DD-72 USS Conner (DD-72) William Cramp & Sons 16 October 1916 12 January 1918 23 October 1940 Scrapped March 1947 Transferred to Royal Navy as HMS Leeds
DD-73 USS Stockton (DD-73) William Cramp & Sons 16 October 1916 26 November 1917 23 October 1940 Scrapped July 1945 Transferred to Royal Navy as HMS Ludlow
DD-74 USS Manley (DD-74) Bath Iron Works 22 August 1916 15 October 1917 14 June 1922 Scrapped 1946 Re-designated APD-1 in August 1940

See alsoEdit


  • Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4.
  • Fitzsimons, Bernard, General Editor. The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare, Volume 5, pp. 510–11, "Caldwell", and Volume 16, pp. 1717–18, "Leeds". London: Phoebus, 1978.
  1. ^ Campbell 1985 p.143

External linksEdit

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