Monday, September 21, 2015

America's New Deal Navy: Destroyers USS Case and USS Conyngham

Above: The PWA provided funds for the construction of the U.S.S. Case (DD-370), shown here near the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, in February 1942. Case saw action all over the Pacific, including Pearl Harbor, the Aleutian Islands, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and Iwo Jima.  She received seven battle stars. Photograph courtesy of the National Archives and the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Above: The PWA also provided funds for the construction of the U.S.S. Conyngham (DD-371), seen here during a mail transfer in 1941. The Conyngham earned 14 battle stars, engaging the enemy at Pearl Harbor (knocking down several planes that day), Midway, Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Saipan, and other locations. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center and

The Case and Conyngham could travel at about 40 knots, had twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes, five 5-inch guns, and anti-aircraft weapons.  

Sources of information: (1) Federal Works Agency, Millions for Defense, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1940. (2) "Executive Order 6174 on Public Works Administration, June 16, 1933," American Presidency Project, University of California - Santa Barbara. (3) Naval History and Heritage Command ( (4) "Brooklyn Navy Yard History: The New Deal Yard, 1933-1937, Part 2," Columbia University. This article lists all 32 PWA-funded ships, citing: "'Ships Under NIRA,' in Letter, Inspector of Naval Material (H.I. Thompson), to Commandants (of navy yards), (and others), 20 September 1933; RG181; National Archives - New York."

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