Thursday, September 24, 2015

America's New Deal Navy: Destroyers USS Cushing and USS Perkins

Above: The PWA provided funding for the U.S.S. Cushing (DD-376), seen here at San Diego Harbor, 1938. Cushing participated in the search for Amelia Earhart in 1937, made major contributions to the Guadalcanal campaign, and earned three battle stars. In November 1942 she sank after being hit several times by Japanese warships. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center and

Above: The PWA also provided funds for the U.S.S. Perkins (DD-377), shown here from the stern of another ship, "Steaming through heavy seas" in 1937. Perkins engaged the enemy in several locations in the Pacific and earned four battle stars. Unfortunately, she was accidentally rammed by an Australian vessel in 1943 and sank near Papua New Guinea. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center and

The Cushing and Perkins 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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