In light of all the discussions lately about the best destroyer, I thought I would submit some photos of my latest model. I built the USS Van Valkenburg out of the Iron Shipwrights 1:192 scale Fletcher kit, which was a great kit with some nice photo-etch. My reason for building her was I wanted to build a dirty, heavily weathered model for once. I found out the Van Valkenburg saw continuous service off of Iwo Jima and Okinawa from February 19, 1945 until June 24, 1945. Over five months of major operations! I attempted to show her with the heavy weathering that would have resulted from the lack of adequate harbor facilities along with a dead tired crew and a compassionate commanding officer. Approximately half of the sixty-three days she spent off of Okinawa were on radar picket duty. During those weeks no one really rested. Few, if any of the crew even bothered to undress, but tried to sleep fully clothed waiting for General Quarters to sound. She fought off at least two alarms a night, sometimes as many as four or five. During the days she faced the Kamikazes. The USS Van Valkenburg received a Navy Unit Commendation after the war,.

VValkAM01.JPG (59144 bytes) VValkAM06.JPG (79381 bytes) VValkAM02.JPG (68806 bytes)
VValkAM11.JPG (73580 bytes) VValkAM08.JPG (86389 bytes) VValkAM12.JPG (57983 bytes)

Alan McGivern