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To: BwanaNdege
My dad was the XO on the USS Bristol (DD-857) during the Cuban Missle Crisis (out of Newport, RI) and spent a good deal of time on station doing blockade duty down there.

Hers is an interesting story...she was a Sumner class, but had the hull number of a Gearing class, as described below:

Bristol's "800" Designation Number

In the early 1940's, the Navy's Bureau of Ships Department originally drew up the designs and ordered 198 Sumner Class Destroyers to be constructed. The Contracts for the construction of these Destroyers were spread out through many of the country's ship building yards. Sometime in approximately 1943, it was decided to modify the basic Sumner Class Destroyer (short hull) blueprint design and add a fourteen foot midsection (long hull) addition to the basic hull design.

This addition was for additional fuel tank capacity which would give the Destroyer an extended operating range. With this modification a new Class of Destroyer was designated which was the Gearing Class Destroyer. At this point in time, it was decided that only seventy Sumner Class Destroyers would be completed. Sumner Class Destroyers range in designations from 692 to 857, and the USS Bristol DD 857 was the last of the Sumner Class Destroyers to be built. At the time when the decision was made to commence the modified construction of the basic Sumner Class hull to the new Gearing Class hull, the Bristol construction was too far along to incorporate the new Gearing Class modification. Because designation numbers had been previously assigned, the hull number of 857 stuck for the Bristol.

Many of the other Sumner Class hulls that were under construction were not far enough along in construction to preclude the fourteen foot modification be incorporated and, as a result, were now being designated as a Gearing Class Destroyer and whatever designation number had been previously assigned for this hull under construction the designations numbers stuck. The Gearing designator numbers range from 710 to 890.

The combined total number of Sumner and Gearing Class Destroyers actually built were 175 of the original 198 ordered. Twenty-three of these originally ordered Destroyers were canceled before they could be constructed. Thus is explained the often asked question about the USS Bristol DD 857 designation number and why it is so far out of sequence with all of the other Sumner Class Destroyers built.

27 posted on 10/06/2012 3:58:31 PM PDT by rlmorel ("It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong." Voltaire)
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To: rlmorel

Hey RL,

Check out my post #31...another Sumner Class Can...in fact, if memory serves, the Ault was sister ship to the US Sumner.


33 posted on 10/06/2012 4:26:17 PM PDT by Cuttnhorse
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To: rlmorel

That would be USS Sumner


34 posted on 10/06/2012 4:26:53 PM PDT by Cuttnhorse
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