USS Truxtun (DD-14)

Last updated
USSTruxtunDD14.jpg
USS Truxtun (DD-14)
History
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
Name:Truxtun
Namesake: Commodore Thomas Truxtun awarded Congressional Gold Medal
Builder: Maryland Steel Company Sparrows Point, Maryland
Laid down: 13 November 1899
Launched: 15 August 1901
Sponsored by: Miss Isabelle Truxtun, grand daughter of Commodore Tuxtun [1]
Commissioned: 11 September 1902
Decommissioned: 18 July 1919
Stricken: 15 September 1919
Identification: Hull symbol: DD-14
Fate: Sold for merchant service, 3 January 1920, scrapped 1956
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: Truxtun-class destroyer
Displacement: 433 long tons (440 t) normal, 605 long tons (615 t) full load
Length: 259 ft 6 in (79.10 m)
Beam: 23 ft 3 in (7.09 m)
Draft: 9 ft 10 in (3.00 m)
Propulsion:
  • 4 × boilers, 2 × Vertical expansion engines, 8,300 ihp (6,200 kW)
  • 2 × screws
Speed: 29.6 kn (34.1 mph; 54.8 km/h)
Complement:
  • 3 Officers
  • 75 Enlisted
Armament:

The second USS Truxtun (DD-14) was the lead ship of Truxtun-class destroyers in the United States Navy. She was named for Commodore Thomas Truxtun.

Contents

Truxtun was laid down on 13 November 1899 at Sparrows Point, Maryland, by the Maryland Steel Company; launched on 15 August 1901; sponsored by Miss Isabelle Truxtun; and commissioned on 11 September 1902.

Pre-World War I

Upon commissioning, Truxtun was assigned to the 2nd Torpedo Flotilla, and her commanding officer was appointed commander of the flotilla. She conducted trials out of Norfolk until 14 January 1903 and received her final acceptance on 24 April. In August, she participated in maneuvers off Frenchman Bay, Maine, in the Presidential review by Theodore Roosevelt at Oyster Bay, and in a joint Army-Navy exercise off Portland, Maine.

On 26 September, the 2nd Torpedo Flotilla became a unit of the Coast Squadron, North Atlantic Fleet. Truxtun joined that squadron in target practice off the Massachusetts coast before returning to Norfolk later that fall for repairs.

For the next four years, Truxtun operated along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean. On 31 October 1905 she ran into a barge in a very minor collision at Norfolk, Virginia. [3] In December 1907, she and five other destroyers assembled in Hampton Roads with the battleships of the Atlantic Fleet. President Roosevelt reviewed the fleet once more and then, this "Great White Fleet" passed between Capes Charles and Henry to embark upon its famous round-the-world voyage. Truxtun escorted the fleet on the first leg of its voyage, going as far as the west coast. Along the way, she visited ports in Brazil, Chile, Peru, Panama, and Mexico. The fleet reached San Francisco in May 1908, and the destroyers were detached and reassigned to the Pacific Torpedo Fleet, an organization not administratively assigned to the Pacific Fleet. After repairs at Mare Island Navy Yard that summer, Truxtun joined her sister destroyers in a training voyage to Hawaii and Samoa. She returned to the west coast at San Diego, her new base of operations, early in December. She began her duty along the Pacific coast of North America with a voyage to Alaskan waters, visiting Seattle, Sitka, Seward, Skagway, and Juneau.

Truxtun remained in the Pacific until the summer of 1917. During the intervening period, she continued to be active with the Pacific Torpedo Fleet making cruises out of San Diego. On 25 March 1912, the Pacific Reserve Fleet was established under the command of Rear Admiral Alfred Reynolds. This organization was established in response to severe manpower shortages and was not similar in any respect to the contemporary reserve or "mothball" fleet. By 1 June, Truxtun joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet; however, she remained somewhat active, periodically putting to sea to check her machinery and to maintain herself "...in constant readiness for sea."

Her reserve status was short-lived. She was placed back in full commission on 12 October and resumed normal activity along the coast. On two occasions, in the summer of 1914 and again in the summer of 1916, the torpedo boat destroyer steamed to Mexican waters to protect American interests during the series of political convulsions that plagued that nation during the second decade of the twentieth century. By July 1916, she had returned to semi-inactivity as a unit of the reserve division of the Coast Torpedo Force — later re-designated Division 2 (Reserve), Coast Torpedo Force. As before, however, she conducted sporadic cruises along the California coast to maintain herself in a state of readiness.

World War I

On 18 February 1917, Truxtun was returned to full commission for the third and final time, Lieutenant James G. Ware in command. Initially, she was assigned to patrol duty in the area of the Panama Canal. On 6 April, the day the United States entered World War I, she departed Colon harbor and headed south to Puerto Colombia, Colombia, where she watched the German ship SS Prinz August Wilhelm which was anchored in the harbor. She was relieved by Stewart on 14 April and returned to Colon the following day. For almost three months, she patrolled the Pacific coastal waters of Panama and Colombia, periodically doubling as a submarine tender. On Independence Day 1917, she transited the Panama Canal and, the following day, departed Balboa, Panama, in company with Stewart, Preble, and Whipple. The four destroyers reached Hampton Roads on 13 July. Through the end of August, Truxtun patrolled Chesapeake Bay and conducted maneuvers off the coast. She made port calls at New York and Philadelphia, on one occasion acting in the escort for Texas.

On 31 August, Truxtun departed Philadelphia for duty in the Azores. After a short stop-over in Bermuda, she arrived at Ponta Delgada on 16 September. The destroyer operated from Ponta Delgada until early December. She and Whipple met SS Caproni on 30 September and escorted her into Ponta Delgada on 3 October. In mid-October, she made a short voyage to Funchal, Madeira, and back. Later that month, she participated in a search for the survivors of a torpedoed ship. Truxtun cleared Ponta Delgada on 6 December and headed — via Gibraltar — for France. She reached Brest on 15 December. Operating from that port, the destroyer convoyed merchant ships and conducted patrols against German U-boats for the remainder of World War I.

During the ensuing year, she experienced two adventures. The first came on the night of 17 April 1918 when the explosives-laden steamship SS Florence H. exploded into flame in Quiberon Bay. For steering his destroyer into the flaming seas surrounding the stricken munitions carrier and helping to rescue many of her crewmen, Truxtun's commanding officer, Lieutenant Ware, was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. Her second scrape involved the enemy. At about 0900 on 18 May, while escorting a convoy, she sighted an underwater disturbance and immediately charged to the attack. The warship dropped several patterns of depth charges and fired several rounds from her guns. However, many of the depth charges failed to function properly. The U-boat, believed to have been UC-56, made good her escape; and Truxtun returned to the convoy at about 0930.

Just over a month after the armistice ended World War I, Truxtun bade farewell to Europe. Departing Brest on 18 December in company with Flusser, Stewart, Whipple, and Worden, she steamed, via Ponta Delgada and Bermuda, back to the United States. She entered the Delaware River on 3 January 1919 and was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 18 July. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 September. She was sold to Joseph G. Hitner of Philadelphia on 3 January 1920 for conversion to mercantile service as a motor fruit carrier. She was scrapped in 1956.

Noteworthy commanding officer

Related Research Articles

USS <i>Whipple</i> (DD-217)

USS Whipple, a Clemson-class destroyer was the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of Captain Abraham Whipple (1733–1819), who served in the Continental Navy.

USS <i>Whipple</i> (DD-15)

The first USS Whipple (DD-15) was a Truxtun-class destroyer in the United States Navy, named for Abraham Whipple.

USS <i>Roper</i> (DD-147)

USS Roper (DD-147) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy, later converted to a high-speed transport and redesignated APD-20.

USS <i>Woolsey</i> (DD-77) Navy destroyer ship

The first USS Woolsey (DD-77) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I. She was named for Melancthon Taylor Woolsey.

USS <i>Tarbell</i>

USS Tarbell (DD–142) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I. She was the first ship named for Captain Joseph Tarbell.

USS <i>Upshur</i> (DD-144)

USS Upshur (DD–144) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy before and during World War II. She was the first ship named for Rear Admiral John Henry Upshur.

USS <i>Worden</i> (DD-16)

The first USS Worden (DD-16) was a Truxtun-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was named for Admiral John Lorimer Worden.

USS <i>Lawrence</i> (DD-8)

The third USS Lawrence (DD-8) was a Lawrence-class destroyer, which was a sub-class of Bainbridge-class destroyer, in the United States Navy. She was named for Captain James Lawrence.

USS <i>Paul Jones</i> (DD-10)

The second USS Paul Jones (DD-10) was a Bainbridge-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was named for John Paul Jones.

USS <i>Wilkes</i> (DD-67)

USS Wilkes (DD-67) was a Sampson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I. She was the second Navy ship named for Commodore Charles Wilkes (1798–1877). She served with the United States Coast Guard as (CG-25).

USS Dallas (DD-199) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the second ship named for Captain Alexander J. Dallas, and was later renamed Alexander Dallas.

USS <i>Truxtun</i> (DD-229)

USS Truxtun (DD-229) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the third ship named for Thomas Truxtun.

USS <i>Goff</i> (DD-247)

USS Goff (DD-247) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was named for Secretary of the Navy Nathan Goff, Jr.

USS <i>Wilkes</i> (DD-441) WWII US destroyer

USS Wilkes (DD-441) was a Gleaves-class destroyer commissioned in the United States Navy from 1941 to 1946. After spending several decades in the reserve fleet, the destroyer was scrapped in 1972.

USS Weeden (DE-797) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort in the United States Navy. She was named for Ensign Carl A. Weeden (1916–1941), who was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

USS <i>Wheeling</i> (PG-14)

USS Wheeling (PG-14) was a Wheeling-class gunboat acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1897. She served as a gunboat during the Spanish–American War as well as a convoy escort during World War I. As IX-28 she also served as a schoolship for the training of Naval Reservists, and, at the end of World War II, just before being struck from the Navy records, she was temporarily assigned as a barracks ship for torpedo boat crews.

USS <i>Joyce</i> (DE-317)

USS Joyce (DE-317) was a US Coast Guard - manned Edsall-class destroyer escort built for the U.S. Navy during World War II. She served in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and provided destroyer escort protection against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys.

USS <i>Swenning</i> (DE-394)

USS Swenning (DE-394) was an Edsall-class destroyer escort in service with the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946. She was sold for scrapping in 1974.

USS <i>Maurice J. Manuel</i>

USS Maurice J. Manuel (DE-351) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II. The primary purpose of the destroyer escort was to escort and protect ships in convoy, in addition to other tasks as assigned, such as patrol or radar picket.

USS <i>Kenneth M. Willett</i> John C. Butler-class destroyer escort

USS Kenneth M. Willett (DE-354) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II. The primary purpose of the destroyer escort was to escort and protect ships in convoy, in addition to other tasks as assigned, such as patrol or radar picket.

References

  1. "Collier's, Volume 27". Number 22. 31 August 1901. p. 9. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  2. "USS Truxtun (DD-14)". Navsource.org. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  3. "Annual report of the Supervising Inspector-general Steamboat-inspection Service, Year ending June 30, 1906". Harvard University. Retrieved 18 August 2019.

Bibliography