- As commissioned in 1929
- Anti-aircraft modifications
- I voted no to the first question
The Mendoza were the first class of Argentine destroyers built after the first world war for Argentina consisting of three ships and would be the latest until a the Buenos Aires Class built a decade later. They resembled the Admiralty Leader Class of 1918.
In 1926 Argentina had begun a rearmament program that would start with the construction of three modern destroyers, like the majority of the Argentine navy these were to be constructed overseas by a naval power. The Naval power in question chosen to construct the Mendoza class was the United Kingdom under John Samuel White & Co and Cowes. These ships took the names of a previous class meant to be built for Argentina by France but had been appropriated due to World War I. The ships were called Mendoza, La Rioja and Tucuman with the pennant numbers E-3, E-4 and E-5 respectively.
Like many of the South American destroyers ordered during the interwar period they were based of existing designs already in use in this case being modified versions of the Admiralty Type Leader Class also known as Scott Class but were slightly larger and heavier at 335 foot long or 102m long and 1595 ton standard displacement and 2154 tons fully loaded. The engines where slightly more powerful than that of the ships they’re based from being 42000 hp allowing for a top speed of 36 knots whilst the armaments were almost identical with the exception of the addition of 2x1 2pdr Pom Poms.
The ships were commissioned in 1929 and would begin 6 hour trials in which the ships outperformed their projected 36 knots max speed reaching 38 knots on the Mendoza and Tucuman whilst the La Rioja reached 39.4 knots. Although Argentina had received modern destroyers as Argentina was neutral for almost the entirety of the war and did not perform any military actions during the war so the ships careers are mostly uneventful.
The ships would have a small refit later in their career during the late 1940’s to early 1950’s with the removal of one 4.7in gun and the Pom Pom’s and the 76mm in favour of 3x2 40mm Bofors although Navy Encyclopedia states that the 76mm and the pom poms were exchanged for 10 Bofors instead in 1958. although all sources do agree the ships were all decommissioned in 1962 and replaced by Fletcher Class Destroyers. In 1952 the ships were re-designated Destroyer Escorts and given the letter T as before their pennant number, this is where the sources differ with Navypedia and Wikipedia state that La Rioja and Tucuman where laid up and disarmed in 1952 confirmed in the La Rioja naval record, whilst Navy Encyclopedia states that Mendoza had been converted into anti-aircraft escort in 1958 which isn’t mentioned on the other sources. The La Rioja and Tucuman had been converted into ASW Frigates in 1958 which the La Rioja source states the ship did get converted for ASW.
Max Speed, Knots, KN: 36 (maximum of 39.4 knots on trials)
Displacement Standard, T: 1520-1595
Displacement Full, T: 2120-2154
Power, HP: 42000
Length, M: 102.11
Breadth, M: 9.68
Draught, M: 3.81
fuel, T: Oil 540
Electronic Equipment: None
5x1 - 120/45 Vickers Armstrong E
1x1 76/45 Vickers Mk SS
2x2 40/39 2pdr QF Mk II Pom Pom
2x3 533 TT
Later Anti Aircraft modification:
4x1 - 120/45 Vickers Armstrong E
3x2 40/60 Bofor Mk I or 10 Bofors according to Navy Encyclopedia
2x3 533 TT
Navy Encyclopedia Mendoza Class
Mendoza on speed trials 1929
La Rioja some time between 1929-1931
Mendoza Class Destroyer model from the J. Samuel White Company, In the Greenwich museum Achieves: