Cassin-class destroyers were the most heavily armed destroyer to date. To stay at sea for the longest time possible, Cassin-class destroyers were equipped with reciprocating engines for cruising and turbines when it was necessary to attain ships maximum speed of 29 kts. The Cassin-class, and those similar to it, represent the culmination of a tremendous effort to make destroyers more seaworthy vessels, capable of extended operations at sea with battle fleets.
Four Cassin (DD-43) class destroyers were laid down in 1912 and commissioned 1913-15. These were the first destroyers built to carry the new 4-inch/50 gun; all previous destroyer classes carried 3-inch guns and/or 6-pdr guns. The torpedo armament was considerably increased with eight tubes and displacement climbed by another thirty-percent over their predecessors.
The Naval Bill, approved March 4, 1911, authorized the construction of eight torpedo-boat destroyers, Nos. 43 to 50, inclusive. The Cassin and Cummings are Nos. 43 and 44, respectively, of this lot. They are twin-screw vessels fitted with a combination of Parsons turbines and reciprocating engine and designed for a speed of 29 knots, at a trial displacement of 1,010 tons, with the main turbines alone developing 16,000 shaft horsepower. They were built under contract by the Bath Iron Works, Limited, of Bath, Me. The contracts were signed September 6, 1911, the price being $761,500.00 for each vessel, and the time of construction twenty-four months.
The contract required the following trials for each vessel :
- A progressive trial over a measured-mile course at Rockland, Me., for standardizing the screws, extending from maximum speed (at least 29 knots) down to a speed of 12 knots.
- A full-speed trial of four hours' duration in the open sea in deep water, at the highest speed attainable, the average for the four hours not to be less than 29 knots. (c) A fuel-oil and water-consumption trial of four hours' duration in the open sea in deep water, at an average uniform speed of 24 knots, as nearly as possible. The trial to be conducted as nearly as possible to service cruising conditions.
- A fuel-oil and water-consumption trial at 15^ knots under conditions similar to the preceding trial, but with cruising engine connected and in use.
- An endurance trial of 24 hours in the open sea at an average uniform speed of 15 knots, as nearly as possible, following as closely as possible trial #3, the cruising engine connected and in use. Fuel oil and water consumption were not to be determined on this trial, the purpose of which was to determine the reliability and endurance of the cruising engine.
- A fuel-oil and water-consumption trial of four hours duration in the open sea, with the cruising engine connected and in use, at an average uniform speed of 12 knots, as nearly as possible.
The Cassin's trials were run June 24 to 28, 1913, inclusive. Excellent weather prevailed for all the trials. The standardization trial was run on the measured-mile course, at Rockland, Me., and all other trials were run in the open sea off the Maine coast. Twenty-six runs were made on the standardization trial, at various speeds, over the measured mile. The contract speed was comfortably exceeded on the full-speed trial
They each saw service during World War One patrolling and on convoy escort duty. All four were withdrawn from service in 1921-22; three were transferred to the Coast Guard in 1924. These returned to the Navy 1931-33 and sold for scrap 1934-35.
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