USS Cassin Young (DD-793): A Fletcher Class Destroyer
Contributor: Andrew Nguyen
Review Date: 18 Jun 2013
During World War II, destroyers were the workhorses of the fleets of the major naval combatants. Although small in size, weapons, and capabilities in comparison to the legendary aircraft carriers and battleships of the war, they served a variety of roles. These mainly included functioning as escorts for convoys as well as the larger warships along with surface and shore bombardment action.
One of the main destroyer classes in the war were the Fletcher class with the first ones coming off in the production lines in 1942. With 175 ships built, the Fletchers served as the main American destroyer of the war.
Amongst the names that graced the Fletcher class destroyers was the Cassin Young. Named for US Captain Cassin Young who distinguished himself at Pearl Harbor before losing his life on the USS San Francisco during the fighting around Guadalcanal, the destroyer finished construction in 1943 in California and entered service in 1944. Cassin Young mainly served as an escort for the carriers of Task Force 58 although from time to time, she would serve in a bombardment role. Her most intense action came with the arrival of the kamikaze, which particularly during the Okinawa campaign targeted destroyers serving in the radar picket screens. After the war, she rested in the reserve fleet before the Korean War facilitated her reactivation. Eventually the navy decommissioned her in 1960. Her final resting place would be at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston when she became a memorial ship in 1974.
The book USS Cassin Young [DD-793]: A Fletcher Class Destroyer is essentially a brief history of the warship. It first starts with discussing the captain her name comes from before diving into the functions of the Fletcher class destroyers including their weapon systems and crew. The remaining sections of the book deal with the combat history of the Cassin Young before her transition to a memorial warship. Throughout the book, there are diagrams and foldouts, which display the design of the Fletcher class destroyer along with a basic destroyer engineering plant that the ships would have. At the end are appendices for the destroyer dealing with her crew and operating history as well as capabilities.
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Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939