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Rob Anderson
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Progress on The USS Wilkes DD 441

April 20, 2013 · in Ships · · 9 · 1.9K

Continuing on my conversion of the 1/350th Livermore kit into the USS Wilkes as she probably (note I said probably!) looked during Operation Husky the invasion of Sicily. Modifications mostly consist of re working the rear gun tubs to her configuration that had twin 20mm guns, the rest is very similar to the Livermore. Gold Medal PE set is amazing, but man tedious! The big parts are only set in place for the picture. A big thanks to the guys over on Model Benson Gleaves discussion group for all the help!

Reader reactions:
2  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

9 responses

  1. said on May 12, 2013

    Awesome work! My grandfather is a plank owner of the DD 441! He boarded her when they laid her down back in 1939, in Boston, Ma. He stayed aboard her until her decommission in April 1946. She was named "The lucky Ship".

  2. I wonder if maybe he is in the picture I just added? This is one from that inspired me to build the Wilkes. Also being a retired Senior Chief, I was fascinated by the number of Chiefs in the picture, back in the days when Navy Chiefs still wore dungarees, and the only thing really that distinguished them was their Combination Cover.

    • said on May 14, 2013

      Bottom row, second in, (from your left to right). That's My grandfather. There is another pic of him carrying a 5" shell down the hold stairs. I found some info on the Wilkes.

      The Wilkes was done in 1940. She had 5- 5'' guns. just like all the others I think up to DD-444. But they grounded the third gun to make them less top heavy. She was built in Boston. As a round stack, round bridge. in 1942, they ordered repeat ships which were ordered without the 3rd gun. (4 gun config)

      The camouflage measures DD-441 was dressed in was MS1,(in 1941) MS12mod, and ms22(in 1942) She spent the rest of her time in the pacific in MS22.

      • Salty looking sailor there! Yes I will be doing her in MS 22, either towards the end of her Atlantic service or first part of her Pacific. Most likely as I planned above, during operation Husky.

  3. said on May 15, 2013

    I got to look up op. Husky.

    You might have visited already but it's a pretty good site. It has paint chip samples to match colors and stuff.

    It also has a TM on the different measures (1-32).

    Hey, also DD-441 was struck once on the port side by another ship. I guess just aft of the 3rd fire door or something. I think in '42. out in the Atlantic. There may be a photo out there floating around which may show the repair area on the hull. I'm in the process of finding a 1/300 scale Gleaves. I also have a veteran friend, in a nursing home with Alzheimer's, who served on CVE-31, I'm working on building him a 1/300 scale in MS32. He remembers a lot about those days, so it's theraputic in a way. It keeps his mind active.

    • Yep been to great resource. Yes Wilkes seems to have had her share of crunches and near misses, but I guess that "Lucky Ship" thing stuck huh? And thank you so much for visiting an old Vet, it means a lot to this young vet!

  4. said on May 15, 2013

    Thank you for your service. I also served. I was Army for 12 years. 3 years active, 9 years USARNG. I did basic at Ft Sill Ok. 15jul91. AIT at Ft. Bliss, Tx. Permanent party at Ft. Hood, Tx. I was a Chapparral Air Defense missile gunner, then re-classed as Stinger/Avenger missile gunner. Then in the guard I was a Combat Engineer, Re-enlisted as a light wheel vehicle mechanic and generator mechanic. I was attached to the 685th MP battallion, then to the 211th MP batallion. Hows about you?

  5. 26 years in Naval Aviation, retired as an AECS (Aviation Electrician's Mate Senior Chief) E-8 though in the Navy, we use our rates rather than paygrade an E-8 being someone who is not Quite up to snuff. Almost all squadron time, VAW 124, 120, 115 E-2C Hawkeyes, then an instructor tour, then VS 38 and VS 41 S-3b Viking, combat cruise in VS 38 aboard USS Constellation. All those jobs were working on the Flight Deck as a troubleshooter then a Coordinator. After that Detachment Leading Chief Petty Officer for Det 3 in VRC 30 one OIF/OEF deployment there (the picture I am in to the left there) And then finished up as the Quality Assurance Supervisor and Command Senior Chief at HSC 21, an MH-60S squadron.

  6. My father, William E. Gates, was in the Navy from July 12, 1942 until November 12, 1945 and he served on the USS Wilkes while it was in the Pacific as a Torpedoman 3/C. His scrapbook has a picture of the Wilkes' (DD-441) starboard side that was taken in Sicily on July 14, 1943. I also have his scrapbook of the ship, entitled "41-45 In Service."

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