Nicholas (DD 449) in the Solomon Islands, 15 August 1943, still with her 1.1-inch quad.
USS O'Bannon (DD 450) USS Chevalier (DD 451) USS Fletcher (DD 445) USS Radford (DD 446)
The first Fletchers completed with a high gun tub aft, sometimes referred to as the “sky top.” Three ships from Bath and many from Federal appear in completion photos with this arrangement, some with a 1.1-inch cannon and others with a 40mm twin Bofors in this position. It was soon superseded by a lowered gun tub.

Above: Nicholas, the first Fletcher, which retained her 1.1-inch gun throughout her first sea tour in the Solomon Islands until she returned to the West Coast in December 1943.

Right first and second: O’Bannon and Chevalier, the second and third Fletchers built at Bath, show the high after gun tubs they shared with Nicholas and as built. These first three Bath Fletchers were the only ones to go to sea with the 1.1-inch anti-aircraft gun mounted in this position. It tended to overheat and was later replaced by a 40mm twin Bofors in O’Bannon.

Third: Fletcher, the first ship of the class completed at Federal, with a high gun tub like Nicholas, O’Bannon and Chevalier but mounting a 40mm twin Bofors from the beginning. Before she deployed to the Pacific, Fletcher was also fitted with a 40mm on the fantail like Strong.

Bottom: Radford, built alongside Fletcher, was modified at Norfolk after running aground in Chesapeake Bay and put to sea again in November 1942 with a general arrangement similar to that of Strong.

Sources: Bath Iron Works Engineering Drawings, Friedman, Reilly, NARA photos.