Fletcher-class destroyer

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The Fletcher-class was a class of 175 destroyers built by the United States during World War II.


Rank II

Rank III

Vehicles are listed in order of refit year, not build year


Japanese Service

The Ariake-class destroyer is a class of destroyers of the JMSDF. Two ships of the Fletcher class were lent by the United States Navy and were in commission from 1959 until 1974.

Both ships USS Heywood L. Edwards (DD-663) & USS Richard P. Leary (DD-664) were commissioned in early 1944 coming from the Boston Navy Yard and saw active combat during the war. After Japan's unconditional surrender, they were assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet until 10 March 1959, when they were handed over to the Japanese in accordance to the Japan-US Ship Loan Agreement.

JDS Ariake (DD-183) during a ceremony.

They would arrive at the Yokosuka Port on 16 April and on the 20th took part in their flag award ceremony into the JMSDF. Being commissioned as Japanese, Edwards would be renamed as lead-ship Ariake (ありあけ) and Leary renamed to Yūgure (ゆうぐれ) with pennant numbers DD-183 & 184. Directly after their commission, they would undergo reconstruction, removing all torpedo launch tubes, a trainee auditorium with a capacity of 40 people was included, and a part of the fuel tank was converted into a freshwater tank. This would allow the ships to be efficiently tasked as training ships.

Until 2 March 1970 they served their duty under the 2nd Training Corps which would be abolished, splitting the ships up leaving the Ariake to the Practical Experiment Corps where she would take part for hull and equipment experimentation whereas Yūgure would be tasked for mine warfare.

In 1974 both ships were stricken from the naval registry due to aging, and were returned to the US Navy at Yokosuka. They were sold there and dismantled in 1976.

Name Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
Ariake (DD-183) Boston Navy Yard


4 July 1943 6 October 1943 10 March 1959 9 March 1974 Scrapped 1976
Yūgure (DD-184)

Italian Service

In Italian Service, American Fletchers were adopted in the Italian navy as the Fante-class during 1969-70. Italy purchased three Fletcher-class destroyers from the United States to replace the two Artigliere-class ships previously purchased from the United States in 1951 (Ex-Benson class).

The ships that were purchased were:

  • USS Taylor (DD-468) => Lanciere (D 560)
  • USS Walker (DD-517) => Fante (D 561)
  • USS Prichett (DD-561) => Geniere (D 555)

Ragged and outdated, nearing the end of their operational lifetime, they served in the Italian Navy for only just over five years. Lanciere in particular was used as spare parts and cannibalised for the other two destroyers which were later decommissioned in 1975.

Name Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
Fante (D 561) Bath Iron Works 31 August 1942 31 January 1943 2 July 1969 1975 Scrapped
Lanciere (D 560) Bath Iron Works 28 August 1941 7 June 1942 2 July 1969 1970 Cannibalised
Geniere (D 555) Seattle-Tacoma 20 July 1942 31 July 1943 17 January 1970 1975 Scrapped 1977

USA destroyers
Clemson-class  USS Welborn C. Wood · USS Barker · USS Litchfield
Farragut-class  USS Aylwin
Porter-class  USS Porter · USS Phelps · USS Moffett
Somers-class  USS Somers · USS Davis
Fletcher-class  USS Fletcher · USS Bennion · USS Cowell
Allen M. Sumner-class  USS Sumner
Gearing-class  USS Gearing · USS Frank Knox
Mitscher-class  USS Mitscher · USS Wilkinson

Japan destroyers
Momi-class  IJN Momi
Mutsuki-class  IJN Mutsuki · IJN Satsuki
Fubuki-class  IJN Ayanami
Hatsuharu-class  IJN Hatsuharu · IJN Nenohi
Shiratsuyu-class  IJN Yuudachi
Yugumo-class  IJN Yugumo · IJN Hayanami · IJN Kiyoshimo
Shimakaze-class  IJN Shimakaze
Akizuki-class  IJN Akizuki · IJN Hatsuzuki
Ariake-class*  JDS Yūgure (DD-184)
Harukaze-class  JDS Harukaze (DD-101)
  * Modified Fletcher-class destroyers

Italy destroyers
  Regia Marina
Aquila-class  RN Aquila
Leone-class  RN Leone · RN Tigre
Turbine-class  RN Aquilone · RN Turbine
Navigatori-class  RN Da Verazzano
Dardo-class  RN Dardo
Soldati-class  RN Aviere · RN Corazziere · RN Geniere
Comandanti Medaglie d'Oro-class  RN Comandante Margottini
  Marina Militare
Fante-class*  Geniere
Indomito-class  Impetuoso
  * Modified Fletcher-class destroyers