USS Whitehurst Logo by Pat Stephens, Webmaster DESA

 Armament of USS Whitehurst DE-634

These pages deals with the Anti Aircraft and surface weapons used by the USS Whitehurst during her 27 year life span.  My thanks to the authors of the USS SlaterDE-766 and USS Francis M. Robinson DE-220 websites where a few of the photos used here were captured.  For a more comprehensive coverage of these weapons I recommend  these excellent websites.
Note: There are 16 photos on this page so the download time via modem may be about 4 minutes.  Reading the text during the download can help.  Thanks max crow, site author

This was a manually operated gun.  The Trainer moved the gun in the horizontal plane while the Pointer controlled the elevation.  Each "matched" pointers on the face of dial which was controlled from the Mk52 Gun Director above the Fire Control shack located on the bridge.  The gun could be fired either locally or from the Fire Control shack.   It was equipped with "iron sights" for use when necessary.

On the left is the Range finder, an optical device capable of determining precise range to targets. It was mounted on the Bridge just forward of the Fire Control shack and removed in the spring of 1952. The photo on the right is the MK52 Director.  This device was manually operated using handle bars similar to the 20mm guns and the MK51 Director.  The operator centers the target in a lighted reticule inside the  Mk15 Lead Computing Sight. The motion in the horizontal plane controls the dial at the Trainer's position on the 3"/50 guns.  A radar signal was transmitted toward the target and the received signal displayed on the MK26 Radar scope in the Fire Control shack just below the director.  This scope had a circle displayed around the periphery.  The target was a blip on the circle.  Top of the circle was 0.  Range was indicated by the number of degrees clockwise between the 0 and the pip (or blip)*.  The MK26 Radar Scope Operator manually cranked a pointer into alignment with the pip.  This operation then caused a shift in the dial at the Pointer's station on the 3"/50 gun. Dials on the Mk15 Sight could be adjusted for correction after observing where the 3" rounds were hitting. *Radar operators called it a pip, although civilians usually call it a blip.

Source of Mk52 & Mk51 Director Material

1.1" Anti-Aircraft Quad Gun

This was Whitehurst's main AA weapon. It was capable of firing 150 rounds per minute per barrel.  The gun could be manually aimed but was normally powered by its Amplidyne drive system and controlled from the Mk51 Gun Director immediately forward of this gun tub. The 1.1" gun could actually point 25 degrees beyond vertical.  By utilizing 8 round, spring loaded clips, the gun could continue its rapid fire as a target passed directly overhead. Whitehurst's
1.1" Gun was replaced in 1945 by the Quad 40mm gun

Quad 40mm Bofors  Machine Canon

In second quarter 1945 during repair of the great wound, the 1.1" AA gun was replaced by 40mm gun.  This gun fired a heavier round and had greater range than the 1.1" gun.  It was also  more reliable.  It too was controlled by the Mk51 Director.

Training and Elevating the Mk51 Gun Director sent signals directly to the Amplidyne Drive system of the  1.1" AA gun as the Director Operator centered the target in a lighted reticule in the MK14 Sight. This sight also had dials for correction to the reticule.  This correction was made based on observation of tracer rounds fired from the AA gun.

The 20mm, Oerlikon

The USS Whitehurst was originally equipped with 8 20mm single barreled machine cannon. (i.e. exploding rounds)  These AA machine guns were capable of firing at a maximum 650 rounds per minute.  The guns were equipped with the Mk14 Lead Computing Gunsight. In early 1945 two more single 20mm guns were added on the fantail forward of the Depth Charge Racks. This was most fortunate because one of these guns downed an attacking Kamikaze during the Battle of Okinawa, 12 April 1945.  In 1952 the Single Barreled guns were replaced by Double Barreled models.  In 1954 all 200mm guns were removed from Whitehurst


Originally equipped with a triple set of torpedo tubes mounted on the 01 level just aft of the stack.  The torpedoes were trainable left or right under manual control of an operator who was seated on the torpedo mount.  Torpedoes were fired by a Black Powder impulse charge which hurled them out of the tubes and over the side with the engines running.  The WWII torpedoes were not guided They were aimed.  These weapons were removed in 1945 during the repair of the Kamikaze damage.

During WWII the Allies were far ahead of the Axis powers in the development of Radar.  Smoke screens were often an effective way to hide from enemy gunfire.  Whitehurst had smoke generators in the After Steering compartment with the nozzles mounted  horizontally on the fantail and pointing aft.  Smoke could also be produced in the fire rooms however this was not the method of choice because it necessitated frequent cleaning of the boiler tubes.

A DE Making Smoke

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