Tuesday, September 22, 2015
America's New Deal Navy: Destroyers USS Cassin and USS Shaw
Above: The PWA provided funds for the construction of the U.S.S. Cassin (DD-372), shown here in 1939. Cassin was badly damaged at Pearl Harbor and considered lost. However, after salvage work and two years in a repair yard, she returned to service in February 1944. And despite the late return, she made significant contributions to Pacific theater operations (especially at Iwo Jima) and earned six battle stars. Photo courtesy of the Naval Historical Center and ibiblio.org.
Above: The PWA also provided funds for the construction of the U.S.S. Shaw (DD-373). This photo shows the Shaw at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. That day she was hit with three bombs and heavily damaged. On both sides of the Shaw you can see a floating dry dock - the left hand side almost completely submerged (the two pole-like structures). Amazingly, the Shaw was salvaged, repaired, and went on to earn eleven battle stars at places like Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester (New Guinea), Saipan, Guam, and Luzon (Philippines). Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy, National Archives, and ibiblio.org.
The Cassin and Shaw 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 (http://www.history.navy.mil/). (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."