Want a dewatted Bofors? Just $25K

Found this on one of the gun classifieds sites this week:

40mm downes
A twin 40mm Bofors mount from the ex-USS Downes, DD-375. In case you don’t remember Downes, a Mahan-class tin can commissioned in 1937, she was present at Pearl Harbor on a day that will live in infamy. And she got quite a licking.

 Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941, USS Downes (DD-375), at left, and USS Cassin (DD-372), capsized at right, burned out and sunk in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard drydock on 7 December 1941, after the Japanese attack. The relatively undamaged USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) is in the background. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941, USS Downes (DD-375), at left, and USS Cassin (DD-372), capsized at right, burned out and sunk in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard drydock on 7 December 1941, after the Japanese attack. The relatively undamaged USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) is in the background. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Well she was salvaged in the most real way possible. Her equipment that could be saved was removed and installed in a new hull (with the same hull number!). She was recommissioned in late 1943 and finished the war, being broken up in 1947 for scrap.

The only thing is, Downes didnt carry Bofors at Pearl as far as I know. The gun had only just been approved for IOC a few months before. Most of the AAA guns in action on Dec. 7th were water-cooled Browning M2 .50 cals and the downright horrible 1.1-inch quad. However after her rebirth, she did in fact carry a pair of twin 40mm guns aft (in place of one of her 5-inch guns) for her return payback cruise to Japanese-held waters in 1944-45.

The bad thing is the guy wants $25K for them…and they are dewatted. Still, kinda cool piece of history, and it doesn’t show up in the lost cannon wall of shame.

One comment

  • Bunker Boat Betsy Ross

    Dear Christopher, I would like to email you directly about this post, but I don’t see an email, hence this comment. I am trying to reverse engineer the sale of that 2014 October Bofors listing off Gunbroker (item #434013014). There is a remaining US Army FS ship, FS 313, here in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Vanuatu was the New Hebrides until 1980. It served as a forward operating base during the Pacific theater before the major island hopping onslaught. The ship is being turned back to it’s war time outfit, as it is now in possession of a group of guys who have founded a museum/foundation to save the ship. The ship is operable and still can navigate and the intention is to keep those aspects and be ready for public display this June. Sadly the armaments are missing. One in particular is for the rear deck, a Bofors. We found a twin in Europe in a scrap yard but the guy was way off the charts so despite USML rules and regulations we are now having to take our want list to the US of A. I think you might be able to help as you seem like a guy who we possibly can turn to with your eye and fingers in a few arenas concerning US military Naval history. Feel free to contact us via our FB page. Dude,help please! Regards Mike. https://www.facebook.com/MVBETSYROSS

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