Friday, May 25, 2012

USS Norfolk Builder's Model

By popular demand, we present a picture of the builder's model of the large destroyer-type USS Norfolk (DL-1).  This particular model is made out of wood, and like many builder's models, is extremely simplistic in design.  Only the ship's hull, major weapons, and superstructure are present, and more detailed pieces of equipment, such as sonar, radar, radio masts, and smaller weapons are left off.  The purpose of any builder's model is to serve as a starting point for debate and discussion among stakeholders with the Department of the Navy.  Thus, it is pointless for the model-maker to place certain pieces on the ship when designers had not decided amongst themselves if the ship was going to have 3-inch/70, 3-inch/50, or 5-inch/38 guns as her main battery. 

For many years, this model was located at the quarterdeck for several different local commands, including Commander, Navy Region, Mid-Atlantic.  At the moment, it is in the museum's artifact storage facility.    

This particular model served as an example of a future U.S. Navy warship but also as an example of the future of U.S. Naval surface forces in the post-World War II environment.  Having been tested by opposing air and submarine technologies during the war, U.S. Naval surface forces needed a completely new type of platform to meet future threats.  Norfolk was the Navy's first attempt to make such a platform. 

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