Destroyers OnLine
The Sumner Class As Built

The Sumner class destroyer was the next evolutionary step from the Fletcher class and reflected the increasing need for Anti-Aircraft Warfare defense. They shared the same power plants as their predecessor but had twin rudders and were slightly longer and wider in the beam.  They are often referred to as 'short-hulls' as the subsequent Gearing class DD's were essentially the same as the Sumner class except for a 14 foot extension inserted into the middle of the hull.  This was to give the ship a larger fuel capacity and, therefore, increased range.

Of the seventy Sumner's Class DD's built only five were lost to enemy action. The Meredith  struck a mine during the D-Day landing and was lost to a German aircraft attack. The Cooper was sunk by a Japanese destroyer in the Philippines. The Mannert L. Abele was sunk by a hit from an "Oka"-bomb and a Kamikaze plane off Okinawa. The  Drexler and the Hugh W. Hadley were both lost to hits by Kamikazes.  Many others suffered severe damage from large numbers of Kamikaze attacks and various other battle actions but these were repaired and returned to service. Twelve of the seventy DD's were converted for mine-laying duty while under construction.

As the years passed and the need for improved Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilites became evident, the Sumner Class DD's received numerous modifications to the weapons and electronics on board.  Improved surface and air search radars, ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) equipment, fixed and directable hedgehog launchers, new torpedoes and torpedo launching systems, DASH (Drone Anti Submarine Helicopter), fixed and variable depth sonar (VDS) systems were added extending the service life of the ships far beyond the expectations of the people that planned the first one.  A few of these old work-horses are still around even today in the service of foreign navies!

We are looking for information on the any and all Sumner class ships and you may E-mail submissions to Mark Roberts.

USS Allen M. Sumner
3 days before commissioning

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          Displacement:  2,610 tons (3,218 tons Full Load)
          Length:        376 feet 10 inches
          Beam:          40 feet 10 inches
          Draught:       14 feet 2 inches
          Machinery:     Four Babcock & Wilcox boilers
                         two-shaft G.E.C. geared turbines
          Performance:   60,000 shp for 36.5 knots
          Bunkerage:     504 tons
          Range:         3,300 nautical miles at 20 knots
          Guns:          six 5 inch; twelve 40 mm; eleven 20 mm 
          Torpedoes:     ten 21 inch

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