The Fletcher Class Destroyer named for Admiral Frank F. Fletcher was the largest destroyer class ordered. It was also one of the most successful and popular with their crews. Compared to earlier classes built for the United States Navy, the Fletchers carried a significant increase in lethal firepower, including anti-aircraft (AA) weapons and increased Armor plating; this contributed to greater displacement and overall weight and height increase. Their flush deck construction added structural strength; however, it did make them cramped, as less crew space was available below decks compared with a raised forecastle.
The class was designed in 1939 built during World War II with some went on to serve during the Korean War and into the Vietnam War. 2 Destroyers were transferred to Japan , one of them being the former USS HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS DD 663 which was built by the Boston Navy Yard at Boston, Massachusetts laid down on 4th July, 1943. She was launched 3 months later on 6th October 1943 and commissioned on 26th January 1944. Less than 2 years later she was decommissioned on 1st July 1946.
On 10th March 1959 she was transferred to Japan and renamed JDS ARIAKE DD 183. She was decommissioned in 1974 and broken up 2 years later in 1976.
Watermarked Photos are by the late grandfather of Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Thursday 12th May, 2022.