Gridley Class, U.S. Destroyers

Photograph of Gridley-class

U.S. Navy #NH 42150

Schematic diagram of Gridley class destroyer

ONI 222


Tonnage 1590 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 340'10" by 35'10" by 12'9"
103.89m by 10.92m by 3.89m
Maximum speed       38.5 knots
Complement 158
Armament 4 5"/38 dual-purpose guns
4x4 21" torpedo tubes
4 0.50 machine guns
2 depth charge tracks (14 depth charges)
2-shaft Bethlehem geared turbines (50,000 shp)
4 Yarrow boilers
Bunkerage 600 tons fuel oil
Range 6500 nautical miles (12,000km) at 12 knots
QC sonar

Machine guns replaced by 6 20mm Oerlikon AA guns.

1943: Two more 20mm guns added.

The Gridleys were completed in 1937-1938. They were the result of pressure on the designers by strong protagonists of torpedo armament, who wanted even more torpedo banks than on the Mahans. There was not enough deck space for four centerline torpedo banks, even with the gun armament reduced to 4 5" guns, and the ships were equipped with two banks on each side instead. This did not actually halve their broadside, as the torpedo angling capability of the Mark 15 torpedo was robust enough to permit all sixteen torpedoes to be launched at once (Branfill-Cook 2014). The top weight made them the least stable of all U.S. destroyer designs. However, they were the first U.S. destroyers to have fully enclosed forward gun mounts. Their machinery was of the latest type, with steam pressure of 565 psi (3900 kPa) that gave them unprecedented speed.

Considering the poor quality of U.S. torpedoes, the decision to carry so many torpedoes at the expense of a balanced gun armament was most unfortunate. Their lack of stability made them the only class of U.S. destroyers that never shipped quad 40mm Bofors antiaircraft armament. No other class of U.S. destroyers was built in such small numbers, which may have reflected the Navy's disappointment with the design.

Units in the Pacific:

Gridley with Task Force 8 (Enterprise)
with Task Force 8 (Enterprise)
McCall with Task Force 8 (Enterprise)
Maury with Task Force 8 (Enterprise)

Photo Gallery

Profile view of Gridley class destroyer

U.S. Navy

Forward quarter view of Gridley class destroyer

U.S. Navy


Branfill-Cook (2014)


Friedman (1983)

Worth (2001)

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