Aylwin-class destroyer

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USS Aylwin (DD-47).jpg
USS Aylwin circa 1916-17
Class overview
Name: Aylwin class
Builders: William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: Cassin class
Succeeded by: O'Brien class
Built: 1912-14
In commission: 1913-22
Completed: 4
Retired: 4
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
  • 1,036 tons (normal)
  • 1,165 (full load)
Length: 305 ft 3 in (93.04 m)
Beam: 30 ft 4 in (9.25 m)
Draft: 9 ft 5 in (2.87 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 × shafts
Speed: 29.6 kn (54.8 km/h; 34.1 mph) (trials)
Capacity: 307 tons oil (fuel)
  • 8 officers
  • 8 Chief Petty Officers
  • 90 enlisted

The Aylwin class was a class of four destroyers in the United States Navy; all served as convoy escorts during World War I. The Aylwins were the second of five "second-generation" 1000-ton four-stack destroyer classes that were front-line ships of the Navy until the 1920s. They were known as "thousand tonners". All were scrapped in 1935 to comply with the London Naval Treaty.[1]

All four ships were built by William Cramp & Sons in Philadelphia.[2]

These ships were built concurrently with the Cassin class and in some references are considered to be in that class. In design and armament they were essentially repeats of the Cassin class.[1]


Unlike the other "thousand tonner" classes, the Aylwins were not a significant improvement on the previous class.[1]


They retained the Cassins' armament of four 4-inch (102 mm)/50 caliber Mark 9 guns and eight 18-inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes in twin broadside mounts. Compared with the previous Paulding class of the "flivver" type, the increased gun armament reflected the increasing size of foreign destroyers they might have to fight. The broadside (two twin mounts each side) torpedo armament reflected the General Board's desire to have some torpedoes remaining after firing a broadside.[3] The class was probably equipped with one or two depth charge racks each for anti-submarine convoy escort missions in World War I.[4] Benham was equipped with four twin 4-inch mounts in 1917, but these were replaced with single mounts before she deployed overseas. By 1929 all except Parker had a 3-inch (76 mm)/23 caliber anti-aircraft gun added.[2]


The ships were equipped with four White-Forster boilers supplying steam to two Cramp direct-drive steam turbines driving two shafts for 16,000 shp (12,000 kW) as designed; all of the class exceeded this on trials.[5] Compound steam engines could be clutched to the shafts for economical medium-speed cruising.[1] Aylwin achieved 29.6 knots (54.8 km/h; 34.1 mph) on trials at 16,286 shp (12,144 kW); this was typical for the others of the class. Normal fuel oil capacity was 307 tons.[5]

Benham in dazzle camouflage during World War I.

Ships in class

The four ships of the Aylwin class were:[2]

Name Hull no. Shipyard Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
Aylwin DD-47 William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia 7 March 1912 23 November 1912 17 January 1914 23 February 1921 Scrapped 1935
Parker DD-48 William Cramp & Sons 11 March 1912 8 February 1913 30 December 1913 6 June 1922 Scrapped 1935
Benham DD-49 William Cramp & Sons 14 March 1912 22 March 1913 20 Jan 1914 7 July 1922 Scrapped 1935
Balch DD-50 William Cramp & Sons 7 May 1912 21 December 1912 26 March 1914 20 June 1922 Scrapped 1935

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Gardiner and Gray, p. 122
  2. ^ a b c Bauer and Roberts, p. 170
  3. ^ Friedman, pp. 28-29
  4. ^ Friedman, p. 68
  5. ^ a b "Ships' Data, U.S. Naval Vessels, 1919". US Navy Department. 1918. pp. 62–67, 98–103. Retrieved 11 April 2016.


External links

  • Tin Can Sailors @ Destroyers.org - Aylwin class destroyer
  • DestroyerHistory.org Aylwin class page
  • DestroyerHistory.org Thousand Tonner page
  • NavSource Destroyer Photo Index Page
  • DiGiulian, Tony Navweaps.com 4"/50 Mks 7, 8, 9, and 10
  • DiGiulian, Tony Navweaps.com Pre-WWII US Torpedoes
  • US Navy Torpedo History, part 2
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