The Seaweed

USS Champlin DD-601  

Winter 2000

(Editors note: The 21" quintuple torpedo tubes were removed and replaced by an additional two 40mm twin anti-aircraft mounts prior to leaving Pearl Harbor in 1945)

In addition to the USS Champlin DD-601, the Benson Class included: Benson DD-421, Mayo DD-422, Madison DD-425, Lansdale DD-426, Hilary P. Jones DD-427, Charles F. Hughes DD-428, Laffey DD-459, Woodworth DD-460, Farenholt DD-491, Bailey, DD-492, Bancroft DD-598, Barton DD-599, Boyle DD-600, Meade DD-602, Murphy DD-603, Parker DD-604, Caldwell DD-605, Coghlan DD-606, Frazier DD-607, Gansvoort DD-609, Gillespie DD-609, Hobby DD-610, Kalk DD-611, Kendrick DD-612, Laub DD-613, Mackenzie DD-614, McLanahan DD-615, Nields DD-616 and Ordronaux DD-617

The information above was obtained from the Tin Can Sailors' web site,

U-130 and U-856 STATS

Both U-130 and U-856 were type IX submarines; of which 143 were launched, the former a type IXC and the latter a type IXC/40.The booklet "U-Boats in Action" a squadron/signal publications -Warships- No. 1, by Robert C. Stern, donated to the Champlin reference library by Joe W. Black, describes this class as follows:

"The type IXA was an enlarged type I which could trace its antecedents back to the U-81 design of World War 1. At just over 1,000 tons, it was the German equivalent of the US Fleet-type or Royal Navy "T" class submarines which were to be the main wartime designs of those navies. With greater displacement and length, the IXs carried bigger machinery and greater stowage than the type VIIs, making them faster and giving them almost double the range. Their greater size, however, made them wetter, less maneuverable and slower diving, earning them the nickname "Seekuh" (Sea Cow). They had a large flat deck casing which completely hid the saddle tanks, distinguishing them from type VIIs.

The type IXBs, which as a sub-type sank more tonnage per boat than any other, were visually indistinguishable from the IXA, differing only with increased bunkerage giving greater range.

The type IXC had greatly increased external stowage giving half again the radius of action. German records class some of these boats as type IXC/40 but disagree as to what made them differ from the earlier Cs. They were visually identical to the Cs, or for that matter, the Bs. Some late C/40s had the deck casing cut away forward in an attempt to reduce the diving time of these big boats...."



From the "Encyclopedia of Amazing but True Facts" by Doug Storer, via a letter from Edward C. Iberger to Dear Abby:

"It all began in 1862, during the Civil War, when a Union Army captain, Robert Ellicombe, was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of this narrow strip of land.

During the night, Capt. Ellicombe heard the moan of a soldier, who lay mortally wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the captain decided to risk his life and bring back the stricken man for medical attention.

Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the captain reached the soldier and began pulling him back toward his encampment. When the captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.

The captain lit a lantern, suddenly caught his breath, and went numb with shock. In the dim light of the lantern he saw the face of the soldier. . . it was his own son! The young man had been studying music in the South when the war broke out, and without telling his father, he had enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, the heartbroken father asked permission of his supervisors to give his son a full military burial, despite the young man's enemy status. The captain's request was partially granted.

He asked if he could have a group of army band members play a dirge for his son at the funeral. His request was refused since the soldier was a Confederate. Out of respect for the captain, they said they could loan him one musician. He chose the bugler. The captain asked him to play a series of musical notes found in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform. This wish was granted. That music was the haunting bugle melody we now know as "Taps"."


A big thanks to Hugh Baker, Robert Maitre and David Owen for their contributions to this issue. I would like to receive more of your personal recollections of life on the USS Champlin to be included in future issues. The Seaweed is your newsletter - a place to record your memories.

Coming up in the next issue will be an essay from Jack Brawdy, a personal recollection of the rescue of Air Force Lt. Cole written by George Styles, portions of Richard Berman's diary covering the Wake Island bombardment, and the official summary of the U-856 action contributed by Norman Glass. Keep the stories coming. And, remember:

Freedom isn't free. We did our part to help pay for it. We were Destroyermen.

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