Buckley-class destroyer escort

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USS Buckley (DE-51) underway in the Atlantic Ocean on 10 June 1944 (80-G-236608).jpg
USS Buckley (DE-51)
Class overview
Name: Buckley class
Preceded by: Evarts class
Succeeded by: Cannon class
Planned: 154
Completed: 102
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,740 tons (fully loaded)
Length: 306 ft (93.3 m)
Beam: 36 ft 6 in (11.1 m)
Draft: 11 ft (3.4 m) (fully loaded)
Propulsion: Two Foster-Wheeler Express "D"-type water-tube boilers, two GE steam turbines of 13,500 horsepower (10,100 kW) total, two generators (9,200 kilowatts (12,300 hp) total), 12,000 horsepower (8,900 kW) of electric motors drove the two propeller shafts
Speed: 24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph) (most ships could attain 26/27 knots)
Range: 5,500 nautical miles (10,190 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Capacity: 350 tons oil (fuel)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar: Type SL surface search fixed to mast above yard arm and type SA air search only fitted to certain ships
  • Sonar: Type 128D or Type 144 both in retractable dome.
  • Direction Finding: MF direction finding antenna fitted in front of the bridge and HF/DF Type FH 4 antenna fitted on top of mast

The Buckley-class destroyer escorts were 102 destroyer escorts launched in the United States in 1943–44. They served in World War II as convoy escorts and anti-submarine warfare ships. The lead ship was USS Buckley which was launched on 9 January 1943. The ships had General Electric steam turbo-electric transmission. The ships were prefabricated at various factories in the United States, and the units brought together in the shipyards, where they were welded together on the slipways.

The Buckley class was the second class of destroyer escort, succeeding the Evarts-class destroyer escorts. One of the main design differences was that the hull was significantly lengthened on the Buckley class; this long-hull design proved so successful that it was used for all further destroyer escort classes. The class was also known as the TE type, from Turbo Electric drive. The TE was replaced with a diesel-electric plant to yield the design of the successor Cannon class ("DET").[1][2]

A total of 154 were ordered with 6 being completed as high speed transport ("APD"). A further 37 were later converted after completion while 46 of the Buckleys were delivered to the Royal Navy under the Lend-Lease agreement. They were classed as frigates and named after captains of the Napoleonic Wars, and formed part of the Captain-class frigate along with 32 ships of the Evarts class.

After World War II, most of the surviving units of this class were transferred to Taiwan, South Korea, Chile, Mexico and other countries. The rest were retained by the US Navy's reserve fleet until they were decommissioned.


The Buckley-class' main armament was three 3"/50 caliber guns in Mk 22 dual purpose open mounts. They fired fixed fire shot (anti-aircraft, armor-piercing, or star shell) and had a range of 14,600 yards (13,400 m) at 45 degrees, and an anti-aircraft ceiling of 28,000 feet (8,500 m)

With regard to anti-aircraft weaponry, the Buckley-class carried four 1.1 inch/75 (28mm) gun or two Bofors 40 mm guns fitted in the 'X' position. These were not included in the Captain-Class units. Eight Oerlikon 20 mm cannons were positioned two in front of the bridge behind and above B gun mount, one on each side of the B gun mount in sponsons, and two on each side of the ship in sponsons just abaft the funnel. Some of the ships had an extra one or two Oerlikons fitted on top of the superstructure amidships. The Captain-Class units had additional 20 mm guns fitted in 'X' position, and on the director stand for 'X' position.

For anti-submarine weapons, the Buckley-class carried a Hedgehog—a British designed ahead throwing mortar which fired 24 bombs ahead of the ship, situated on the main deck just aft of A gun mount. The also had up to 200 depth charges. Two sets of double rails were mounted on each side of the ship at the stern, each set held 24 charges; eight (two on Captain-class units) K-gun depth charge throwers each holding 5 charges were on each side of the ship just forward of the stern rails. On Captain-class ships, just forward of these double sets of ready racks were fitted along each side of the ship extending to midships, each set holding 60 depth charges (these ready rails were added after the ships first arrived in the UK).

They also carried three 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes in a triple mount mounted just aft of the stack.

Film appearance[edit]

Most of the film The Enemy Below (1957) was filmed on USS Whitehurst, a Buckley-class DE. The rest of the film is set in the submarine that it is hunting.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Classes of Destroyer Escorts
  2. ^ Rivet, Eric; Stenzel, Michael (22 April 2011). "History of Destroyer Escorts". Destroyer Escort Historical Museum. Retrieved 8 July 2012. The CANNON class was very similar in design to the BUCKLEY class, the primary difference being a diesel-electric power plant instead of the BUCKLEY class's turbo-electric design. The fuel efficient diesel electric plant greatly improved the range of the CANNON class, but at the cost of speed.
  • Franklin, Bruce Hampton (1999). The Buckley-Class Destroyer Escorts. Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1-86176-118-X.
  • Collingwood, Donald (1998). The Captain-Class Frigates in the Second World War. Leo Cooper. ISBN 0-85052-615-9.

External links[edit]

Media related to Buckley class destroyer escorts at Wikimedia Commons