"WARNING – WARNING: STRANGE SHIPS ENTERING HARBOR!"
USS Patterson was one of the eight sisterships of the Bagley class. The class was the fifth class of 1,500-ton destroyers to be authorized for the USN during the 1930s. The Bagley class was preceded by the Farragut (DD-348) class of 1931-32, the Mahan (DD-364) class of 1933, the Gridley (DD-380) class of 1934, and the Dunlap (DD-384) class of 1934, which was a modified Mahan. All eight of the class were authorized in 1934 and laid down in 1935. The Gridley designed by Bethlehem Steel and the USN designed Bagley inaugurated the navy’s infatuation with one-stack destroyer designs. One stack resulted in more usable deck space. The two classes also introduced the 16 tube torpedo battery, two four tube mounts on each side. In March 1935 it was believed that using gyros would permit "curved ahead fire", allowing all 16 torpedoes to be fired in one salvo. This along with fears that torpedoes fired from centerline mounts might not clear the sides of the ship, prompted the creation of the 16 tube, Gridley, Bagley & Benham destroyer classes. The Bagley class also had another very noticeable characteristic, it’s massive stack. Not only was the slab sided stack the largest fitted on a WWII US destroyer, the four trunks leading into the stack were of a uniquely angular and massive appearance.
The eight ships in the class made up DesRon 4 and were at Pearl Harbor, when it was attacked. Ships of the class were credited with sinking two midget submarines during the attack. After Pearl Harbor it was quickly realized that all classes of ships would have to have significant upgrades to their AA fits. By November 1942 it was determined that the Bagleys would receive one twin 40mm Bofors on the aft crew shelter and six single 20mm Oerlikons, mounted three around the bridge and three around the stack. With the campaign for the Philippines in 1944, the Navy rethought its AA plans in light of the new Kamikaze threat. Every class of destroyer had an Emergency AA augmentation plan designed for it. The plan for the Bagleys was published June 8, 1945 and involved removal of all torpedo tubes, all single 20mm guns and the aft crew shelter. In return the ships were to receive two quad Bofors, two twin Bofors and two twin Oerlikons. However, the war ended before any of the class was so modified.
STATISTICS OF USS PATTERSON, DD-392, BAGLEY CLASS DESTROYER
LAID DOWN: July 23, 1935 at Puget Sound Navy Yard; LAUNCHED: May 6, 1937; COMMISSIONED: September 22, 1937; DECOMMISSIONED: November 8, 1945;
STRICKEN: February 25, 1947
DIMENSIONS: Length (OA); 341 feet 4 inches; (WL) 334 feet; Beam; 35 ½ feet; Draught; 19 2/3 feet
DISPLACEMENT: 1,407 tons (light ship); 1,624 tons (standard); 2,025 tons (full load)
ARMAMENT: four (4x1) 5 "/38 cal guns; sixteen (4x4) 21" torpedo tubes; AA fit- four .50 cal MG (original), two (2x1) Bofers 40mm and six (6x1) Oerlikon 20mm guns (1943-1945)
PERFORMANCE: four boilers, 46,00 shp (design), 47,191 shp (Bagley on trials); Speed: 37 knots (design), 36.8 knots (Bagley on trials); Range: 6,500 miles at 12 knots; Tactical Diameter: 880 yds
COMPLEMENT: 8 Officers, 150 (Other Rates)
All of the class fought exclusively in the Pacific. Rather surprisingly, considering their involvement in the Guadacanal Campaign with its’ attrition rates, only three of the class were lost during the war. The first loss was Jarvis, which was last seen by US forces clearing the scene of the Battle of Savo Island, in an attempt to reach a safe port for repairs. She wasn’t seen again. After the war it was determined that she was sunk by a Japanese air strike. Blue was torpedoed in the stern by the Japanese destroyer, Kawakaze, August 22, 1942 and scuttled the next day as the Japanese bore down for what became the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Henley was lost to torpedoes on October 3, 1943. By then she was part of MacArthur’s Navy, the 7th Fleet, operating out of Buna. She was on a sub sweep with two other destroyers, Reid & Smith, when she was hit amidships by a submarine’s torpedo fired by Ro 108. Henley went down in 15 minutes but 241 men out of the 258 in the crew were saved. Notice how the crews size which had started at 158, increased dramatically with the war an increase in AA armament.
In early 1942Patterson with the rest of the class participated in carrier raids against Wake, the Gilberts, Marcus and the Marshall Islands. She served in the Guadacanal Campaign until March 1943, when the Squadron was transferred to the 7th Fleet. She operated in the New Georgia and New Guinea area and on August 25, 1943 she sank the submarine, Ro 35. In July 1944 Patterson and her surviving sisters were with the 3rd Fleet for the Marianas Campaign and the Philippine Campaign in October. The class now made up DesRon 6 and fought at Leyte Gulf, Lingayen Gulf and Okinawa. Patterson was scrapped in 1947. (History of the Class is from US Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History by Friedman and Destroyers of World War Two by Whitley.)
JOHNSON’S USS MUGFORD (DD-389), BAGLEY CLASS DESTROYER,
I built the USS Patterson straight from the box with no modifications. Larry Johnson of Nashville, Tennessee took the same Iron Shipwright kit and modified it to portray USS Mugford, sister-ship to Patterson, as the ship appeared when commissioned in 1937. I think everyone can agree that Larry has done a fantastic job in making this conversion. Larry’s conversion of this kit is indicative of the versatility of Iron Shipwright’s kit. Thank you Larry, for letting me use your photos and publish your list of modifications.
List of Modifications
1. Removed main deck spray shields aft of forecastle
Of the small parts one piece immediately becomes the focus of attention, the large slab-sided stack with its’ massive angular trunking. The stack is the focal point of the whole model and it has been executed in excellent fashion by Iron Shipwright. It is cast on a wafer of resin, which must be sanded off from the stack. The two trunks in front of the stack split apart and have a triangular crawl space beneath them. I found the stack with its’ trunking to be an extremely attractive architectural feature. The large trunked funnel gives the ship an almost Japanese appearance. The rest of the smaller parts were almost error free. One AA tub had a small void that I filled with superglue gel, propellers & anchors needed some minor repairs and the aft portion of one bridge level had a slight warp. I found the twin Bofors especially well done.
Assembly is very straightforward. When placing the stack, use white glue as there is a small amount of leeway and it needs to be aligned correctly. White glue will give you more than enough time to make the minor adjustments. The bridge (figure 29C) was not flush with the face of the main superstructure (figure 29B). To get it to be flush you have to remove about one millimeter from the two supports under the aft bridge deck. Most of the parts lock into place with no alignment worries. Another bonus is that there is minimum cleanup on the parts, mostly removal of minimal flash on some of the smaller parts. Placement of the boat davits was easily accomplished by looking at their placement positions in relation to the stack. However, it would have been better if IS had placed locator holes on the deck for the two davits. The only additions to the model were the use of 42 links per inch anchor chain from ModelExpo and the use of stretched sprue for the rigging.
CAMOUFLAGE OF THE BAGLEY CLASS
In 1944 most of the warships of the USN adapted dazzle camouflage schemes of various patterns. These patterns were designed to confuse the observer as to the identity, speed and direction of movement of the ship. The five surviving Bagleys all received dazzle schemes at this time. Patterson was the only one of the class to receive Ms. 32/2c. The other four, Bagley, Mugford, Ralph Talbot & Helm, all received Ms. 31/1d. Floating Dockyard carries camouflage pattern sheets for dazzle schemes. Shown above are port and starboard patterns of Ms. 32/2c. The sheet (CF-107) contains much more than these profiles. Also included are the deck camouflage plan, and the pattern of front and rear faces for turrets and superstructure. At $2 per sheet, these sheets are an excellent value. Floating Dockyard has a wide variety of camouflage sheets available. An outstanding site for the camouflage designs used by the USN in WWII is John Sheridan’s USN Warship Camouflage 1941-1945 (http://www.shipcamouflage.com/warship_camouflage.htm).