Reconpresse USA

J. L'Angelle, Editor

Search: why is a destroyer called a tin can



The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky)-- Sept 03,1942


tin can 

noun phrase   

  1. A depth charge (WWII Navy)  
  2. A naval warship, esp a destroyer (1937+ Navy)  
  3. A car, esp a Model T Ford (1923+)

Have a Camel

Tincan – Also seen as "Tin Can," a common nickname for a destroyer. The nickname arose because in World Wars One and Two, the hull plating of this ship type was so thin the sailors claimed they were made from tin cans. In fact, a .45 pistol bullet would penetrate it. Modern destroyers have much thicker hull plating, but the nickname persists. This nickname is sometimes abbreviated as "Can", although to a radioman a ‘can’ is a set of headphones.

Arleigh-Burke Class Hull

The massive but speedy $1 billion USS Cole, powered by four jet engines similar to those used in airliners, is one of the Navy’s most advanced warships, built around the high-tech Aegis combat system, which employs the latest anti-aircraft and anti-submarine technology.

It carries batteries of anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, a cannon that can launch five-inch shells more than 10 miles and two Gatling guns that each can fire 50 bullets a second. 

Adm. Vernon Clark, chief of naval operations, said the ship’s hull varies in thickness but is covered with half-inch steel at the waterline that is capable of withstanding 51,000 pounds per square inch where the powerful explosion ripped it open.


The USS Cole bombing was a terrorist attack against the United States Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole on 12 October 2000, while it was being refueled in Yemen's Aden harbor.