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DD-450 O'Bannon is one of the most decorated ship in US Navy with Presidential Unit Citation and 17 Battle Stars from WWII and one of the first Fletcher class destroyers to enter combat. Starting her career at August 1942 she was almost immediately sent to Guadalcanal, where marines had landed only month before and were trying to wrest island from Japanese. The waters around island were (according to Admiral Nimitz) "Under no-ones control". O'Bannon participated this crucial part of the war first by escorting troops, supplies and aircraft to the island which forced her into her first battles defending against Japanese air attacks just 2 weeks after arriving. Month later she was already part of Admiral Callaghan's task force and took part in First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, which was described by one of the participants as "Bar brawl with all the lights shot out". When US forces managed to push Japanese off the Guadalcanal and advance along Solomon island chain towards island of Bougainville, O'Bannon followed. During this time she escorted convoys, hunted subs and patrolled against Japanese island hopping small convoys mainly in shallow water night actions. She supported landings in Munda, Kolombangara, Vella Lavella and numerous other minor islands in the chain. In Battle of Vella Lavella she was part of closest destroyer group to Japanese TF which managed to sink DD Yugumo with gun fire and torpedoes. Unfortunately Japanese counter torpedo launch hit DD-357 Selfridge and DD-451 Chevalier and O'Bannon collided with Chevalier which came to sudden stop when hit. It took 4 months to repair and refit O'Bannon. In early 1944 O'Bannon was back in action and sailed to Solomons and then to New Guinea, operating in Hollandia area. During Philippines invasion and Battle of Leyte Gulf she was patrolling in approaches to Leyte and defended transports against air attacks and participated in convoy escort duties. After that she supported numerous landings in Philippines area (Mindanao, Cebu, Bataan, Palawan etc.) as well as operating as ASW destroyer and as radar picket, which was especially dangerous duty during Kamikaze attacks. April 1945 she headed to Borneo to support landings there and then to Okinawa to act as escort for escort carriers before joining Halsey's fleet carriers as they headed for Japan. It was here, on coast of Honshu (largest of Japanese islands) O'Bannon was patrolling at when war ended in August 1945. During that time she had spend almost 2 years in forward area (ie. area where you are supposed to keep combat readiness in "half-n-half" stations), traveled over 4 times the circumference of Earth, battled against pretty much everything Imperial Japanese Navy had, from Daihatsu barges to Kongo-class battleships, defended against air attacks and kamikazes, sunk subs (1 sunk, one partial with others), gave support in uncountable number of landings from small island actions in Solomon to invasion of Borneo, escorted carriers and preformed rescue missions. And last mission of WWII started in August 27th when she was ordered by Admiral Halsey to escort BB-63 Missouri into Tokyo Bay for signing of Japanese Surrender. Afterwards Halsey also ordered O'Bannon to make high speed dash across Pacific to San Francisco, where she arrived at September 1945 as first combat ship returning from Japanese waters after the war. Records credit her with sinking or participating of sinking of 1 Battleship, 3 Cruisers, 6 Destroyers and 2 Submarines as well as uncounted number of patrol- torpedo- and gunboats as well as barges and landing crafts. 13 aircraft are also credited to be shot down by O'Bannon. Her crew had earned almost every medal from Navy Cross down, except one; Purple Heart. No crew member was killed in action, no crew member was wounded. "Lucky-O" brought them all home. So... when are we getting Fletcher class?
Greeting comrads, I would like to suggest an additional variant of the Ta 152, namely the Ta 152 B-5/R11. The RLM (Reichsluftfahrtministerium) requested a replacement for the outdated Me 410 heavy fighters in 1944. The purpose was to lower the cost and effort for maintenance of the various aircrafts at the Luftwaffe. By introducing multi-role aircrafts, standardisation of the majority of parts could be achieved, saving a lot of resources and time. In this instance, Focke-Wulf constructed the Ta 152 B-series. Three planes were actually build/converted in the Focke-Wulf and Erla factories in Sorau/Adelheide as samples: in 30.03.1945 as V19 (factory numbers: 110019) and V20 (110020), in 10.04.1945 as V21 (110021). The production was originally planned to start in May 1945. However due to the final stages of the war, the production delayed as the german industry already collapsed. The Ta 152 B-5/R11 was designed as a 'Zerstörer'/destroyer. It used the same fuselage as the Ta 152 C-3, which we already have in game. The major differences between these two variants were: usage of the Jumo 213 E engine, instead of the DB 603 LA - which led to a modified engine cover: the air intake was moved to the right side, alike the Ta 152 H-1, the bulge on the left side of the engine was removed, which was necessary for hosting the bigger DB 603 LA. Removal of the two MG 151/20s in the engine coiling. Replacement of the two MG 151/20s in the wing roots with two MK 103s - the wing roots were slightly re-modeled to fit in the bigger cannon. (Ta 152 V20 sample) Sources Focke-Wulf factory sketches from deutscheluftwaffe.de Ta 152 construction specifications from deutscheluftwaffe.de "Focke-Wulf. Fw190/Ta152 Jäger. Jagdbomber. Panzerjäger." Manfred Griehl/Joachim Dressel ISBN 3-613-01681-8 "Focke-Wulf Ta 152. The Story of the Luftwaffe`s Late-War, High-Altitude Fighter" Dietmar Harmann ISBN 0-7643-0860-2 Personal toughts Germany clearly lacks some competitive high-tier prop planes in the heavy fighter compartment. That's why I think the Ta 152 B-5 would be a great addition to the heavy fighter line underneath the Do 335 A-0 or the Do 335 A-1. Whilst the Me 410 B6/R3 and the Do 335s have better ammuntion loads, they are often enough a sitting duck, when enemy planes are engaging you. The ordnance of the Ta 152 B-5 would make it's low ammo count up, making it a competent alternative in Ground Forces. I know this plane has been suggested before, together with the Ta 152 C-3 by @Nudelblitz, which made it into the game (cudos to you nudelblitz). It just seems, the plane didn't get the attention it deserves. So, tell me what you think. Cheers.