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Aircraft Carriers



current topic Destroyers



Torpedo Boats

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Foreign Warships

Warships Associated With
World War II in the Pacific



Fletcher class

USS Cassin Young
USS Cassin Young, Boston, MA
(Photo by Blaise Davi, 1984)

Name:USS Cassin Young (DD-793)
Location:Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts
Owner:United States Navy
Condition:Good, altered

Displacement:2,325 tons standard / 2,924 tons full load
Length:376 feet
Width:40 feet
Machinery:2-shaft General Electric Turbines, 4-Babcock & Wilcox Boilers
Fuel Oil Capacity:492 tons
Maximum Speed:35 knots
Armament:Five 5-inch/35 caliber guns, 10 Torpedo tubes, depth charges, and various combinations of antiaircraft guns.
Crew:273 wartime

Builder:Bethlehem Steel Corporation, San Pedro, California
Launched:September 12, 1943
Commissioned:December 31, 1943


USS Cassin Young (DD-793) is a World War II Fletcher class destroyer. She was built by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in San Pedro, California. USS Cassin Young was launched on September 12, 1943, and was commissioned on December 31, 1943.

As the United States in World War II built more Fletcher class destroyers than any other, this class is particularly significant and played a major role in our nation's victory at sea. This class was the first to break with design practices that had developed as a result of the London Treaty of 1930. Fletcher class destroyers were flush deckers with two smokestacks and five 5-inch guns. They were larger in size than any previous class of destroyers and when fully loaded carried sufficient fuel, ammunition, and stores needed for extensive sea duty in the Pacific. Their large size enabled them to carry their 5-inch guns in enclosed mounts, 10 torpedo tubes in two quintuple banks, depth charges, and large batteries of antiaircraft guns.

USS Cassin Young was modernized in 1953 to meet the changing conditions of naval warfare. This work included upgrading her antiaircraft guns, removal of one bank of torpedo tubes, and the addition of hedgehog depth bombs for submarine defense. USS Cassin Young is in good condition and retains much of her World War II integrity.

Role of the Destroyer in World War II

The destroyer had its origin in the late-19th century with the development of the first self-propelled torpedo. Navies quickly developed small fast torpedo boats designed to attack and sink larger battleships and cruisers. As a counter against torpedo boats, navies built a slightly larger ship, armed with torpedoes and heavier guns. These 900 ton ships were known as torpedo boat destroyers. World War I showed these ships suited to protecting larger ships against surface, submarine and air attack. Also, they proved more effective offensively than torpedo boats, and assumed the attack role. By the end of World War I, they were simply known as "destroyers." [1]

The destroyer during World War II continued in this role as an all-purpose ship ready to fight off attacks from the air, on the surface, or from below the sea. It could be called upon to give fire support to troops, deliver mail and people to other ships, rescue pilots who had been forced down at sea and to serve as the distant early warning eyes of the fleet in hostile waters. [2] Destroyers did not have the glamour of a battleship or an aircraft carrier but without them the aircraft carrier and battleship would be helpless against enemy submarines. They were all purpose ships whose support of general fleet operations was vital. No aircraft carrier or battleship ever proceeded into enemy waters without an escort of destroyers.

USS Cassin Young represents American destroyers that fought against Japan in World War II for the following reasons.

  1. USS Cassin Young is a World War II Fletcher Class destroyer. She is representative of the many Fletcher class destroyers built by the Boston Navy Yard immediately before and during World War II and is an example of the intense military-industrial effort on the home front that was a major reason for the American victory over Japan in World War II.

  2. USS Cassin Young is named after Captain Cassin Young who was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Captain Young was killed in action in the Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942, while commanding USS San Francisco.

  3. USS Cassin Young served with distinction in the Pacific during the war and earned four battle stars and a Navy Unit Commendation for her World War II service. USS Cassin Young participated extensively in the Okinawa campaign, where she was struck twice by Kamikaze attacks, including the last Kamikaze hit of World War II.

  4. USS Cassin Young is in good condition and retains much of her World War II integrity.


1. No author. USS Kidd (Information Brochure) March 1984.

2. Judd Scott Harmon, The USS Cassin Young (DD-793) (Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1985), p. 8.


Chesnau, Roger. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946. New York: Mayflower Books, 1980.

Harmon, Judd Scott. The USS Cassin Young (DD-793). Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1985.

Preston, Anthony. Destroyers. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1977.

Schofield, William C. Destroyers--60 Years. New York: Randy McNally & Company, 1962.


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