The latest release from Classic Warships Publishing is the Square Bridge Fletcher, Warship Pictorial 45, written by Rick E. Davis. This volume is far, far more
than a pictorial. Indeed a pictorial on the subject would really assist modelers and interest naval historians, given the importance of the class and the excellent
captions that Classic Warship uses to explain each photograph in their publications. However, this volume has significant text in addition to the above mentioned
excellent captions. The volume has 72 pages plus front and back covers. It includes color photographs, variant descriptions and photographs, tables, drawings, and
up-close ship-board photographs. The Square Bridge
Fletcher Class was the most numerous of the class. The first 58 units were enclosed round bridge types but
the final 117 were changed to have an open bridge, following the example of the open bridges of the destroyers of the Royal Navy. The open bridge type started with
USS Brownson DD-518 and ended with USS Rooks DD-802.
You can start with the litany of goodness with the front and back covers. High quality glossy cardstock is used and five color photographs are found on the covers.
This eye candy is just the glittering surface of this volume. After the covers
Rick Davis gives you a development history and three page table of the ships which
formed the square bridge type. Then you get into the real meat of this volume, the variants. There are sections on the: sub-type with two twin 40mm mounts with
one on the fantail; sub-type with three twin 40mm mounts; sub-type with five twin 40mm mounts - first three units; and sub-type with five twin 40mm mounts
standard version. Each section lists the ships that were in the sub-type and is a treasure trove of information for the modeler. The next series of sections in the
volume covers variations based upon construction yard, which covers the variation as well as the ships which received it. Coverage is on Bath Iron Works Units for
you Maine maniacs; you Jersey Boys get Federal Shipbuilding, Kearny, NJ units; Chowderheads get Boston Navy Yard units; the Palmetto Pals get Charleston Navy
Yard units; you Huskies get double-dipped with Puget Sound Navy Yard units and Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding units; Yo! you Big Applers get Bethlehem
Shipbuilding Staten Island units; for those mellow folk in the Golden State you get Bethlehem Shipbuilding - San Francisco units and Bethlehem Shipbuilding - San
Pedro; and lastly the Roll-Tiders get Gulf Shipbuilding - Chickasaw Alabama units. Alabama destroyers? Who knew? Near the end of the volume there is coverage
on significant modifications of the ships such as Radar Countermeasures (RCM) & Tomcats and Anti-Kamikaze modifications. The volume concludes with a
specifications page and bibliography page.
The Square Bridge Fletcher, Warship Pictorial 45 by Rick E. Davis is a must have for modelers of the Fletcher Class destroyers. A huge amount of information, as
well as multitudes of informative photographs enrich this volume from
Classic Warship Publishing.
Steve Backer