USS Wilkinson

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Rank VI USA | Premium | Golden Eagles
A-10A Thunderbolt (Early)
USS Wilkinson
USS Wilkinson
4.3 4.3 4.3
Purchase:1 150 Specs-Card-Eagle.png
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The Mitscher-class, USS Wilkinson (DL-5), 1958 is a premium rank II American destroyer with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Winged Lions".

A sister ship of USS Mitscher, USS Wilkinson has more modern 76 mm guns with double the rate of fire, no 20 mm cannons, and a larger crew. It is otherwise identical to its sister. As a destroyer leader, it is a massive ship, rivalling some cruisers, but not having anywhere near the firepower, with only 2 fast-firing 127 mm guns and 2 automatic dual 76 mm cannons. The large size makes it harder to hide behind small islands, and is easier for enemy ships to hit. The firepower may seem underwhelming, having a total of only 2 main guns, but their high rate of fire allows for continuous fire, allowing an accurate player to disable enemy ships before they can reload.

The Wilkinson also benefits from Cold War-era electronics in the form of an anti-aircraft radar and very fast fire control adjustment. The radar allows the Wilkinson to maximise the AA power of the dual-purpose automatic 127 mm cannons, which can compensate for the otherwise very low number of anti-aircraft mounts on the vessel. The fire control assists fighting surface combatants, with a low computation time of 8 seconds and 4 seconds to update. This will allow the Wilkinson to better aim at longer distances, and provides a valuable tool for newer players.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Main fire tower3 / 3 / 3 mm
Hull16 mm (steel)
Superstructure4 mm (steel)
Number of section7
Displacement4 855 t
Crew403 people

As a Cold War "Destroyer Leader", the Wilkinson is significantly larger than other destroyers, and additionally has a very high crew count, even higher than the tech tree equivalent of the USS Mitscher; it's more fair to compare the Wilkinson with early light cruisers than it is to compare with conventional destroyers in terms of pure size and crew count.

However, the Wilkinson lacks any hull armour and has unprotected internal components, making the Wilkinson have less survivability than a light cruiser. Particularly in a gun duel, the Wilkinson can be sunk as quickly as any other destroyer if the internals and weapons are targeted by the opponent. On top of that, the two main turrets are easily destroyed by HE fire due to the very low amount of armour protecting the mounts, making the Wilkinson both easily disabled and easily destroyed.

However, the large crew and spacious design of the Wilkinson uniquely affects interaction with torpedoes; typically a single torpedo will not instantly destroy the Wilkinson, and may not necessarily cause complete incapacitation either. When facing a torpedo salvo, if it is impossible to completely dodge the torpedoes, it is recommended to only let the torpedoes hit the very front or very end of the ship to minimise internal damage. This will only result in flooding, a much smaller issue than instant destruction or complete incapacitation.


Speedforward / back
AB83 / 35 km/h
RB68 / 29 km/h

The mobility of the Wilkinson is sufficient, with a respectable top speed, but has somewhat limited maneuverability compared to other destroyers due to the Wilkinson's large size. Dodging incoming fire and torpedoes will be difficult for the Wilkinson, but this is somewhat offset by the high crew count of the ship.

Mobility Characteristics
Game Mode Upgrade Status Maximum Speed (km/h) Turn Time (s) Turn Radius (m)
Forward Reverse
AB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 83 35
RB/SB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 68 29

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB1 500 Sl icon.png
RB1 500 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts80 000 Sl icon.png
Aces320 Ge icon.png
Research Aces500 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 120 / 210 / 50 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 130 / 130 / 130 % Rp icon.png
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
Mods new ship hull.png
Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
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Propeller Replacement
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Engine Maintenance
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Tool Set
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Fire Protection System
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
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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5-inch Common SP Mk.42
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5-inch HC-VT Mk.41
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76 mm HE-VT
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Auxiliary Armament Targeting
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods rocket launcher.png
Rocket Launcher
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Improved Rangefinder
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Primary Armament Targeting


Primary armament

2 х Turret127 mm/54 Mark 18 cannon
Ammunition350 rounds
Vertical guidance-15° / 85°

The Wilkinson is armed with two single-mount 127 mm/54 Mark 18 cannons, positioned with one turret at the front of the ship, and one at the back of the ship. While the number of guns on the Wilkinson is significantly limited, the performance and damage output of these cannons compensates for the low number of guns; these cannons have a number of advantages over other destroyer-calibre guns. These guns have an exceedingly high fire rate, at 40 shells per minute. This is nearly twice as much as an American 5"/38 gun, for comparison.

The turrets are fully traversable over 360 degrees and have a high maximum elevation of 85 degrees, allowing for efficient targeting of surface vessels as well as good tracking of air targets as well. However, the 127 mm/54 cannons do not have particularly good ballistics nor accuracy, so precise aiming and long range sniping is somewhat difficult despite the excellent traverse and fire rate of the guns.

These cannons have a shell choice of HE, SP Common, and HE-VT shells. Individually, these munitions are heavier than other 127mm guns and pack a bigger punch. The SP Common is the most notable shell type available, possessing both an adequate explosive filler of 970 grams and a stellar penetration of 206 mm at 1000 m. Also worth mentioning is the HE-VT shell, which has very good explosive filler and works very nicely with the rest of the Wilkinson's kit, including the high fire rate of the guns, the superb targeting angles of the turrets, and the anti-air radar.

Secondary armament

2 х Turret2 x 3-inch/70 Mk.37 cannon
Ammunition2000 rounds

The secondary armament of the Wilkinson consists of two twin-mounted 3"/70 Mark 37 cannons. These guns are fully automatic and do not overheat nor require a burst reload; they will fire at an astounding 100 shells per minute until the ready-rack of 144 shells is depleted. Additionally, the dispersion and accuracy of these cannons is quite good when player-controlled. Performance against air targets and costal vessels is sublime, with the 3"/70 guns excelling at destroying light and fast targets. The secondary armament can also be used quite well to disable external components of destroyers, although these cannons lack armour penetrating ammunition and therefore cannot damage destroyer internals.

The shell choice on the 3"/70 guns is straightforward, with a potential choice between HE and HE-VT shells. Both shells have the same explosive filler of 480 g of TNT, so these isn't any disadvantage for only choosing HE-VT over HE. Compared to similar post-WW2 76 mm cannons, these shells have relatively poor filler, with stiff competition with the 668 g of the OTO-Melara and 739 g of the AK-726, but are still more than sufficient at their role.

Additional armament

Setup 14 x 533 mm Mark 35 torpedo
Setup 222 x 320 mm Mark 108 Weapon alfa antisubmarine rocket launcher
Setup 322 x 320 mm Mark 108 Weapon alfa antisubmarine rocket launcher
2 x 533 mm Mark 35 torpedo

The Wilkinson can be equipped with four 533 mm Mark 35 torpedoes in fixed mounts. These torpedoes are not powerful compared to contemporary torpedoes, nor are they particularly fast, but still retain sufficient explosive power at the Wilkinson's battle rating. The primary limiting factor for these torpedoes are the fixed firing mounts, which means these torpedoes cannot be used with the same level of utility as on other destroyers.

In addition, the Wilkinson has access to two 320 mm Alfa antisubmarine rocket launchers. These rockets are very powerful, with an explosive mass of 113kg of TNT, but are heavily limited by a range of 600 meters. These mounts have very exposed ammunition storages which deal a significant amount of damage to the Mitscher when detonated. However, the relatively high crew count and large size of the Wilksinson means that the damage inflicted by a detonation of these rockets will not critically damage or wholely incapacitate the ship. Overall, the Alfa antisubmarine rockets are not recommended in general, but can be taken in some close-range maps.

Usage in battles

The Wilkinson can be a very capable vessel, if its strengths are capitalised on. The high crew count and rapid-firing main armament lends itself to a close-ranged brawler playstyle. At close distance, the poor accuracy of the main guns is negated and the high fire rate can be used to efficiently disable or destroy enemy vessels. A prime strategy is to target the ammunition storages of destroyers and cruisers at mid- to close-range, which can be easily detonated thanks to the substantial penetration and explosive filler of the 5" main guns.

Another role that the Wilkinson excels at is anti-aircraft. Although the secondary armament may be limited, and the tertiary armament non-existent, the few guns on the Wilkinson are very powerful against air targets, especially against bombers or strike aircraft. HE-VT rounds in conjunction with an anti-aircraft radar ensures that the Wilkinson is capable of detecting, engaging, and eliminating aerial threats if the need arises. The only issue with this playstyle is that there are no low-calibre anti-aircraft weapons on the Wilkinson, so passive destruction of faster aircraft is less of a possibility than on other ships.

Pros and cons


  • Rapid-firing 127 mm autocannons capable of delivering continuous damage
  • Main turrets have good coverage and are fully traversable
  • 76 mm autocannons are very effective at destroying boats or aircraft
  • Rockets can be devastating at close range
  • Has access to AA radar and very fast fire control system


  • Massive size, is easily targeted
  • Virtually no armour, HE shells can penetrate the hull
  • Only two main guns, its effectiveness is significantly decreased when one is disabled
  • Very poor burst damage
  • Rocket ammo racks can be easily detonated
  • Fixed torpedoes require ship to be almost perpendicular to its target to launch


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).


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the ship;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Gun Destroyers (DD) 
Porter-class  USS Phelps · USS Moffett
Fletcher-class  USS Cowell
Destroyer Leaders (DL) 
Mitscher-class  USS Wilkinson
Cruiser, Light (CL) 
Omaha-class  USS Raleigh · USS Detroit
Heavy Cruisers (CA) 
Northampton-class  USS Northampton
Portland-class  USS Portland
Baltimore-class  USS Baltimore · USS Pittsburgh

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
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  USS Douglas
Sub-chasers  Carmi (PC-466)
Destroyers  USS Welborn C. Wood · USS Wilkinson · USS Bennion · USS Cowell · USS Davis · USS Moffett · USS Phelps
Light cruisers  USS Detroit · USS Helena