USS Frank Knox

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Rank VI USSR | Premium | Golden Eagles
Su-25K Pack
USS Frank Knox
GarageImage USS Frank Knox.jpg
USS Frank Knox
4.7 4.7 4.7
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The Gearing-class, Frank Knox (DD-742), 1944 was laid down in May of 1944, and commissioned in December 1944. She would see limited service in WW2, acting as a radar picket destroyer in the Battle for Okinawa. She would also be present for the Surrender in Tokyo Bay in 1945. She would be reclassified as a radar picket destroyer (DDR-742) in March of 1946, and would go on to serve in the Korean war in this role, notably taking part in the Inchon invasion. She would also see action in Vietnam providing gunfire support. She would be transferred to the Greek navy in 1971, and would see service until the early 1990s before being sunk as a torpedo target by the Greek submarine Nireus on the 12th of September 2001.

USS Frank Knox was introduced in Update "Fire and Ice", and compared to the other US Bluewater rank III premium USS Moffett, has both benefits and downsides. It does have a weaker main battery, with only 6 5-inch guns in the main battery. In exchange, it has a larger crew count and better anti-fragmentation armour, a much better anti-aircraft suite and 2 extra torpedoes as well (10 instead of 8). It can easily deal with most destroyers of the rank with its rapid fire guns, and is also excellent for anti-air duties, even having radar for engaging air targets. Additionally, Frank Knox has an exceptionally high Silver Lion multiplier of 5.85, giving a multiplier of 1755% with premium time.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Main fire tower3 / 3 / 3 mm
Hull16 mm (steel)
Superstructure4 mm (steel)
Number of section7
Displacement3 460 t
Crew336 people

USS Frank Knox has the same armour layout as the USS Gearing, the lead ship of the Gearing class. This means she has a main belt of 0.75 inches, which is surprisingly well armoured for a destroyer of this rank. This is more than the 0.5 inches of the Porter class and the same as the earlier Fletcher class. This belt cannot stop more than 20 mm autocannons, but it significantly lessens spall damage from HE shells from other destroyers and light cruisers. The dual turret mounts have 0.125 inches of armour on the front, sides, rear, and top, and there is a 0.5-inch deck armour plate covering the machinery spaces.

The magazine is placed under the aft turret, and is protected by fuel tanks on both sides of the hull. These fuel tanks will protect the magazine from high explosive shells, but any SAP or AP will slice straight through and ammorack the ship. Captains of USS Frank Knox should avoid taking hits to the stern of the ship whenever possible, and evasive action is recommended as any direct hit under the aft turret will most likely result in total loss of the ship.

As for crew count, USS Frank Knox is quite well off. With a crew count of 336, Frank Knox is able to lose more crew members and keep fighting in comparison to her older Porter-class and Fletcher-class predecessors, allowing her to stay in the fight for longer. This can allow captains of USS Frank Knox to serve as a flotilla leader and absorb shots in some situations, although as stated before it is not recommended to do so while the stern is within the line of fire.

The primary battery has enough armour to stop some spall damage from misses with high explosive shells, but any direct hit from any destroyer calibre gun or higher will inevitably knock the mount out of action. The secondary battery has no armour whatsoever, and splash from hits or near misses will commonly damage or destroy the battery. It is recommended to avoid repairing these whenever possible, as they will inevitably be destroyed again and drain more crew from the ship.


Speedforward / back
AB78 / 31 km/h
RB64 / 25 km/h

USS Frank Knox, as a member of the Gearing-class, has very similar performance to USS Gearing and the USS Sumner her class was derived from. This gives her quick acceleration, only taking approximately 25 seconds to reach her flank speed of 34 kn from a standstill. The rudder responds within 1 second, and speed will fall to 24.0 kn in a sustained turn, so captains of USS Frank Knox are advised to avoid long sweeping turns as much as possible, as these slow the ship massively and can make it a much easier target. The Frank Knox takes approximately 35 seconds to come to a halt after the order has been given, and overall the ship performs well and is responsive, particularly at lower speeds.

Mobility Characteristics
Game Mode Upgrade Status Maximum Speed (km/h) Turn Time (s) Turn Radius (m)
Forward Reverse
AB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 78 31
RB/SB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 64 25

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB4 166 Sl icon.png
RB2 883 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts180 000 Sl icon.png
Aces590 Ge icon.png
Research Aces710 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 300 / 580 / 50 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 148 / 148 / 148 % Rp icon.png
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
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Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
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Propeller Replacement
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Engine Maintenance
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Damage Control Division
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Fire Division
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Mods ship anti fragmentation protection.png
Shrapnel Protection
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Mods new ship pumps.png
New Pumps
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Ammo Wetting
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Mods ammo.png
40 mm HE clips
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Anti-Air Armament Targeting
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40 mm AP clips
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Auxiliary Armament Targeting
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Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
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Primary Armament Targeting
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Bomb mortar
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Torpedo Mode


Primary armament

3 х Turret2 x 5 inch/38 Mk.12 cannon, mount Mk.38
Ammunition720 rounds
Vertical guidance-15° / 85°

The primary armament of the USS Frank Knox is 6 x 5-inch/38 Mk.12 in three twin mounts, two superfiring forward and one aft, directly above the magazine. The 5-inch/38 has a very high rate of fire, with 22 rounds/min (2.8-second reload) with a maxed reload and a still respectable 15 round/min (4-second reload) once the ready rack is depleted. This gives the USS Frank Knox excellent volume of fire compared to other nation's contemporary destroyers, while still having shells with good damage and penetration.

The USS Frank Knox gets access to four shell types - AAC Mk.34, Common Mk.32, SP Common Mk.46, and AAVT Mk.31. As the Frank Knox is a premium, captains will have all four shell types unlocked immediately. Therefore it is recommend to run two shell types, about 1/3 ammo load AAVT Mk.31 and 2/3 Common Mk.32. The AAVT shell has the same quantity of explosive filler as the AAC shell, and performs identically against surface targets whilst having a proximity fuse for use against air targets. The Common shell is recommended over the SP Common shell due to the greater quantity of filler in the shells compared to the SP Common shells, and the lower penetration isn't a concern against the destroyers of the rank. If captains find themselves fighting cruisers, the SP Common shell with its higher penetration is recommended.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
1,000 m 2,500 m 5,000 m 7,500 m 10,000 m 15,000 m
AAC Mk.34 HE 36 36 36 36 36 36
Common Mk.32 Common 124 103 77 58 46 37
SP Common Mk.46 SP Common 150 125 93 71 56 45
AAVT Mk.31 HE-VT 36 36 36 36 36 36
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
AAC Mk.34 HE 792 25 0 0.1 3,220 79° 80° 81°
Common Mk.32 Common 792 24.49 0.01 6 1,150 47° 60° 65°
SP Common Mk.46 SP Common 792 25 0.01 6 906.5 48° 63° 71°
Proximity-fused shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
distance (m)
radius (m)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
AAVT Mk.31 HE-VT 792 25 0 0.1 457 23 3,220 79° 80° 81°

Secondary armament

2 х Turret2 x 40 mm Bofors L/60 Mark 1 gun
Ammunition4000 rounds
Belt capacity4 rounds
Fire rate156 shots/min
2 х Turret4 x 40 mm Bofors L/60 Mark 2 gun
Ammunition8000 rounds
Belt capacity4 rounds
Fire rate156 shots/min

USS Frank Knox has a strong secondary battery for a destroyer, consisting of 12 x 40 mm Bofors cannons, split into 2 x quad mounts and 2 x dual mounts. The quad mounts are positioned aft of the second funnel, with one positioned facing starboard closer to the funnel and the other positioned to port further aft. The dual mounts are positioned aft of the bride before the first funnel, and are positioned symmetrically port and starboard. This secondary battery is the second strongest of the American destroyers, only surpassed by USS Gearing of the same class.

USS Frank Knox has three belts:

  • Universal: AP-T · HEFI-T
  • 40 mm HE clips: HEFI-T · HEFI-T · HEFI-T · AP-T
  • 40 mm AP clips: AP-T · AP-T · AP-T · HEFI-T

Of these, Universal serves as the default belt. With half HE and half AP, this belt serves as a good dual purpose belt, and will shred any aircraft or lightly armoured destroyer, or smaller vessel. This belt will serve well in most situations and should be run if the captain wishes for a balanced close range defense.

40 mm HE clips works well for captains more concerned with air attack, as the higher density of HE shells in the belt will destroy enemy aircraft slightly more quickly than the Universal belt will. It still has one AP shell every four rounds so it is still capable of destroying surface targets, but if they are the largest concern the 40 mm AP belt will be the best option.

The 40 mm AP belt is optimized for surface engagements, with 3 AP shells in every 4 in the clip. As before, there is some HE but the belt is heavily optimized for surface engagements. This allows the Frank Knox to use its 12 x 40 mm cannons to damage destroyers and destroy coastal vessels with ease.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
HEFI-T 3 3 3 3 3 3
AP-T 81 78 68 58 49 41
Shell details
Ammunition Velocity
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
HEFI-T 874 0.9 0 0.1 67.13 79° 80° 81°
AP-T 874 0.89 - - - 47° 60° 65°

Anti-aircraft armament

11 х Turret20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mk.II autocannon
Ammunition1800 rounds
Belt capacity60 rounds
Fire rate450 shots/min

USS Frank Knox has 11 x single mount 20 mm Oerlikon Mk.II cannons for its anti-aircraft battery. 4 are positioned near the bridge, 2 port and 2 starboard. Two more are positioned on the port side of the second funnel, with another pair positioned forward of the aft torpedo launcher, on the starboard side. The final three are positioned aft of the rear turret, in a triangle. The Oerlikon was one of the standard mid-to-late war anti-aircraft guns, and has good fire rate, traverse and reload speed, one of the best small anti-aircraft guns of the war. Captains can expect these to shred any plane within about 1.5 km, and they will serve to deter or destroy any aircraft which has made it past the medium anti-aircraft battery, though they should not be expected to be capable of destroying targets before weapons release.

Additional armament

Setup 110 x 533 mm steam turbined Mk.15 torpedo
Setup 224 x Mk.6 mortar depth charge
Setup 310 x 533 mm steam turbined Mk.15 torpedo
6 x Mk.6 mortar depth charge

USS Frank Knox, as a destroyer, carries torpedoes for use against heavier vessels. These come in two quintuple launchers, one in between the two funnels, and one aft, forward of the rear turret. These carry the American Mk.15 torpedo, with 5.5 km of range stock, and a speed of 45 kn. Once the "Torpedo mode" modification is selected, the range increases to 9.15 km, but the speed drops sharply to 33 kn. With the limited range of US torpedoes, in most cases it is recommended not to run the extra range, as the extra speed and a close launch are a more reliable way to guarantee hits.

Additionally, USS Frank Knox carries 24 x Mk.6 depth charges. These were intended for use against submarines, captains should expect very limited use against surface vessels. These can sometimes be used against PT boats which have gotten too close, or landing some on the deck of enemy ships in very close encounters, but overall they will play very little role in most engagements.

Usage in battles

USS Frank Knox plays similarly to other American destroyers of this rank: fast, hard hitting and aggressive. Unlike destroyers of other nations, American destroyers are armed with the 5-inch/38 dual-purpose cannon, with a very fast fire rate and good damage. Frank Knox has 6 of these cannons, and this allows her to rapidly dish out punishment against any lightly armoured vessel in the vicinity. Captains are advised to drop a spread of torpedoes in the path of heavier vessels, and then proceed to close the range with enemy destroyers. The 0.75-inch armour belt of anti-fragmentation armour will help lessen damage from HE shells, and the ship has a high crew count for a destroyer as well. This means the Frank Knox works well brawling, especially against destroyers with no SAP shells for their primary weapon. USS Frank Knox does exceptionally well at quickly dispatching enemy destroyers, as the main battery's high fire rate allows for high amounts of damage in a short period of time, and the Bofors secondary battery is quite the hefty backup. In mixed battles, the USS Moffett will be the most common vessel seen; it is recommended to shoot under the aft two turrets: the magazine is located here and this will ammorack the enemy destroyer in a single hit if detonated. This weakspot also works against most other American destroyers, including USS Frank Knox. Captains of USS Frank Knox are advised to hide the rear magazine whenever possible, using terrain if able.

Pros and cons


  • Very fast fire rate and effective damage
  • Strong armour for a destroyer
  • Potent medium and light AA battery
  • Radar allows for accurate fire from main battery against air targets


  • Vulnerable rear magazine
  • Torpedoes have a limited range
  • 2/3s of main battery is grouped up front; quickly disabled


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the ship in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the ship and adding a block "/History" (example: and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the ship's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).



See also

Related development

External links

Bath Iron Works
Patrol Torpedo Boat (PT) 
89’ Experimental PT  PT-810
Destroyer Escorts (DE) 
Dealey-class  USS Dealey
Gun Destroyers (DD) 
Wickes-class  HMS Montgomery*
Somers-class  USS Davis
Gearing-class  USS Frank Knox
Destroyer Leaders (DL) 
Mitscher-class  USS Mitscher
  *USS Wickes in UK service

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

USA premium ships
Motor torpedo boats  PT-3 · PT-109 · PT-174 · Thunderbolt (PT-556) · PT-658 · PT-811
Motor gun boats  LCM(6) Zippo · USS Douglas
Sub-chasers  Carmi (PC-466)
Destroyers  USS Welborn C. Wood · USS Wilkinson · USS Bennion · USS Cowell · USS Davis · USS Moffett · USS Phelps · USS Frank Knox
Light cruisers  USS Detroit · USS Helena
Heavy cruisers  USS Des Moines
Battleships  USS Arkansas