|USS Walker (DD-163)|
|Seen||Into the Storm|
Iron Gray Sea
|People||Matthew Reddy, captain|
USS Walker, a Great War-era Wickes class destroyer, is the main ship used by Captain Matthew Reddy throughout the series. She was severely damaged in battle against the Japanese battle cruiser Amagi in the Battle of Baalkpan Bay. Since what seemed to be her final sortie, she has been salvaged and rebuilt, and proceeded across the Pacific to the Empire of New Britain Isles.
Her current, considerably powerful armament consists of three 4"/50-caliber naval guns and one 4.7"/45-cal dual-purpose gun recovered from Amagi. Her secondary battery consists of four M2 Browning .50 caliber machine guns, two M1919 Browning .30-caliber machine guns, and four Type 96 25mm twin-mount anti-aircraft guns taken from Amagi. Other weapons include two depth charge racks with six depth charges each and two Y-Guns for use as a deterrent against mountain fish. Her previous original armament was 4 4"/50-caliber guns, 1 3"/23-caliber dual-purpose gun, two M2 Browning .50 cal. machine guns, two M1919 Browning .30-cal. machine guns, 2 depth charge racks with 6 depth charges each, and 12 Mark 15 torpedoes in 4 3-tube mounts. After the Battle of Baalkpan, the aft deckhouse was destroyed, along with the Number 4 4"/50-caliber and the 3"/23-caliber. The torpedo tubes had been used for the refining of oil. All of her torpedoes have been expended.
Walker also possessed an unknown amount of personal weapons when she arrived in the alternate earth; accounted for are sixty M1903 Springfield rifles, six M1928 Thompson submachine guns, four Browning Automatic Rifles, and it, at least, had a dozen Pattern-1917 Navy Cutlasses. Several 1898 Krag-Jorgenson rifles and an unknown amount of hand grenades were also stored in her armory. Since her rebuild, the armory now houses Alliance muskets for her Marine complement and an unknown number of modern weapons. The destroyer's top speed is 30 knots, limited by her new displacement and decreased number of boilers. Originally powered by four boilers, the Number 1 boiler was damaged beyond their ability to repair following her destruction and ultimately removed to create an extra fuel bunker.
Real world Counterpart
USS Walker was based off of the Wickes Class destroyer with the same name. The author of the Destroyermen series, Taylor Anderson, opted to use USS Walker because of her limited wartime service record. Commissioned on January 31, 1919, DD-163 got underway to escort the USS George Washington, a transport returning from Europe with President Woodrow Wilson onboard. Eventually based out of Newport, Rhode Island, she served as one of the picket ships during the NC flying boat's transit of the Atlantic Ocean. Ultimately decmomissioned on June 7, 1922, she was used as a damage control hulk by the United States Navy before being sunk by surface gunfire from the USS Neches on December 28, 1941.
Author Taylor Anderson gives his reason for made up ships thus on his Discussion Blog http://www.taylorandersonauthor.com/blog/discussions/ On January 06, 2015 he wrote :
"... I would personally prefer to “add” a destroyer to the list of those involved for the same reason that I have always used ships with no wartime record: Any ship actually there would have had an actual CREW of real people, and I would–personally–feel uncomfortable with shanghaiing their lives, so to speak. I’ve come close a time or two, in a manner of speaking, with Santa Catalina (Blackhawk) and Amerika, both of which DID have “post divergence” records, but the way I used them, they are NOT the same ship. I may even IMPLY that some . . . mysterious ship could be a well-known one, leaving it to the imagination of the reader to decide, but that’s as far as I’ll go. Even Surcouf is an analog. They CALL it Surcouf, because that’s what she looked like, but . . . wherever she came from, either that was not her name, or she was one of the other planned vessels of the same design. This is a rule I’ve always tried to keep, and I mean to continue doing so in this series. Maybe it’s because I grew up with so many veterans of WW2 and the inter-war years. I have known too many of them to change their service records.
In The Books
USS Walker, DD-163, was described in the books as being in the Asiatic fleet. After war was declared, USS Walker was on the run, trying to escape the same fate as many of her sisters. She ultimately ends up in Surabaya waiting for Exeter to arrive so Walker could, with USS Pope, USS Mahan, and HMS Encounter to escort HMS Exeter to Ceylon and to safety. Walker, with Mahan, are the only survivors of this convoy after several Japanese ships started to pursue the group. They eventually ran into HIMS Amagi and another, unnamed, destroyer. Both destroyers charges Amagi head on, and enters a squall which takes them to a world with a very different evolutionary path.