Thursday, September 17, 2015

America's New Deal Navy: Destroyers USS McDougal and USS Winslow

Above: The PWA-built USS McDougal (DD-358), 1938. McDougal spent most of the war patrolling areas around Central and South America, helping to keep the Panama Canal zone safe, but does not appear to have been involved in any major battles. After the war, she served as a training vessel, preparing a new generation of sailors. Photo courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Above: The PWA-built USS Winslow (DD-359) in San Diego Harbor, ca. 1938. Winslow spent most of the war in the Atlantic, protecting convoys and patrolling for U-boats, and also helped transport President Roosevelt to Newfoundland for the Atlantic Charter Conference in August 1941. Photo courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Above: President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, aboard the battleship HMS Prince of Wales, at the Atlantic Charter Conference, August 1941. Other people in this photograph include Harry Hopkins (far left) and General George C. Marshall (standing in the middle, between Roosevelt and Churchill). Photo courtesy of Wikipedia and the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Like the destroyers Porter and Selfridge (see yesterday's blog post) the McDougal and Winslow could travel at around 35 knots, had crews of about 210 men each, and were armed with eight 5-inch guns, four 1.57-inch anti-aircraft batteries, and eight 21-inch torpedo tubes.

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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