Length: 381' 0-1/2" overall; 372' 0" design waterline.1

Beam: 36' 6" molded maximum; 36' 6-1/2" outside of plating at design waterline.1

Freeboard: 23' 7-7/8" at bow; 12' 9-3/8" at stern.1

Displacement: 1,850 long tons design; 2,130 long tons to design waterline.1

Draft: 11' 5-1/2" mean; 13' 2-1/4" full load.3

Propulsion: 3 x Babcock & Wilcox boilers; 565 psi, 730° F.; geared turbines; 52,000 shp; 2 shafts.3

Designed Speed: 36.5 knots.2

Fuel bunkerage: 619 tons full load (95%).1

Endurance: 7,020 nm at 12 knots.3

Designed Complement: 13 officers; 193 enlisted.3

The Somers class began life as repeat Porters, filling out the quota of 13 leaders established by the London Naval Treaty of 1930.

At the time of their trials, however, they became best known for their controversial Gibbs & Cox-designed high-temperature air-encased boilers, derived from a design for the modernization of battleship New Mexico (BB 40). Operating at 850° F. and 600 psi, Somers’ pioneering powerplant proved a success. Although it added 65 tons, it permitted trunking all the boiler uptakes in to a single stack which, with the elimination of the tripod mainmast and after gun director, made possible three centerline torpedo mounts, one forward of the stack. Other features repeated the Porter design.


Torpedo battery: 12 x 21" torpedo tubes in two centerline trainable mounts.

Main gun battery: 8 x 5-inch/38 caliber rapid fire guns in four enclosed twin base ring mounts.

Secondary battery: 1938: 8 x 1.1-inch machine guns in two quadruple mounts; 2 x 0.50 caliber machine guns; 1945: 8 x 40mm Bofors in two quad mounts; 6 x 20mm Oerlikon in single mounts.

Two ships were funded in FY 1935; three more in 1936. In World War II, all five served exclusively in the Atlantic or Mediterranean except Sampson, which operated off Iceland in 1941 and then was transferred to the Pacific. Somers and Jouett had some successes in intercepting German blockade-runners; Davis joined them for the D-day landings, and then the two of them supported the landings in the south of France. Warrington served in the Pacific, but foundered in a Caribbean hurricane in 1944.

1 Bureau of Construction and Repair’s General Information book for USS Somers.
2 Bauer and Roberts.
3 Friedman.