Porter class DESTROYER LEADERS
 
USN Destroyer DD-356 "Porter"
Displacement: 2,857 t (2,154 t Std)Machinery: 4 boilers, 2 shafts  SP Guns: 4×2×5 in (127 mm)/38
Max Length: 381 ft 0 in 116.1 mMax Power: 50,000 hp 36 775 kW AA Guns: 2×4×1.1 in (28 mm)
Beam: 36 ft 2 in 11.0 mMax Speed: 37 kts 68.6 km/h AA Guns: 5×1×.79 in (20 mm)
Draght: 13 ft 9 in 4.2 m Range: 6,500 nm 12 000 km Torpedo Battery: 2×4×21 in (533 mm)
Complement: 194 officers and enlisted Bunkerage: 635 t fuel oil Depth Charges: 2 roller racks, 14 charges

  * Armament as during the Battle of Midway (June 1942).

The great number of U.S. destroyers and the total absence of light cruisers to lead them made the development of large destroyers or “destroyer leaders” the major concern of late World War I and postwar designers, but the first class of such ships—larger, than destroyer, and carrying more powerful artillery to break through the enemy screen and allow the following destroyers to do likewise—was designed and funded in 1933 only.

Eight ships of the Porter class were, in effect, enlarged versions of the Farraguts, with a better machinery arrangement and an increased main battery. Heavy armament on an 1,850-ton displacement meant four twin 5 in (127 mm) guns, but no twin turret had been developed that could elevate above 35°. Thus, the new class entered life with a main armament of eight single-purpose guns. Like the Farraguts, the Porters mounted eight 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes in two quadruple centerline mounts. They could also carry eight torpedo reloads in special containers abeam the after stack, although—as opposed to their Japanese opponents—reloading under way was awkward at best.

The anti-aicraft armament was initally consisted of two quadruple 1.1 in (28 mm) autocannons and two .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, but by the beginning of Pacific War it became obvious that it is not enough to protect the ships from modern aircraft. On September 1941 was suggested that the Porters receive three 1.57 in (40 mm) Bofors twin mounts and four single .79 in (20 mm) Oerlikon autocannons in lieu of the old AA armament, but for lack of Boforses the ships retained their 1.1 in (28 mm) autocannons during the first year of the war.

Two Porter class destroyers (DD-360 Phelps and DD-363 Balch) took part in the Battle of Midway as flagships of the Destroyer Squadrons 10 and 6, Task Force 16 Destroyer Screen (Task Group 16.4).

 

Ship Builder Laid Down    Launched    Commisioned    Fate
 DD-356  Porter New York Shipbuilding Corp., NJ 18 Dec 1933   12 Dec 1935   25 Aug 1936   Sunk in action 26 Oct 1942
 DD-357 Selfridge New York Shipbuilding Corp., NJ 18 Dec 1933   18 Apr 1936   25 Nov 1936   Sold for scrap 20 Dec 1946
 DD-358 McDougal  New York Shipbuilding Corp., NJ 18 Dec 1933   17 Jul 1936   23 Dec 1936   Sold for scrap   2 Aug 1949
 DD-359 Winslow New York Shipbuilding Corp., NJ 18 Dec 1933   21 Sep 1936   17 Feb 1937   Sold for scrap 23 Feb 1959
 DD-360 Phelps Bethlehem Steel Corp. Quincy, MA   2 Jan 1934   18 Jul 1935   26 Feb 1936   Sold for scrap 10 Aug 1947
 DD-361 Clark Bethlehem Steel Corp. Quincy, MA   2 Jan 1934   15 Oct 1935   20 May 1936   Sold for scrap 29 Mar 1946
 DD-362 Moffett Bethlehem Steel Corp. Quincy, MA   2 Jan 1934   11 Dec 1935   28 Aug 1936   Sold for scrap 16 May 1947
 DD-363 Balch Bethlehem Steel Corp. Quincy, MA 16 May 1934   24 Mar 1936   20 Oct 1936   Sold for scrap 29 Mar 1946