USS Biddle (DD-151/ AG-114)

USS Biddle (DD-151/ AG-114) was a Wickes class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War on convoy duty in the Caribbean.

The Biddle was named after Nicholas Biddle, a captain in the Continental Navy who was killed during a battle with HMS Yarmouth on 7 March 1778.

USS Biddle (DD-151), Charleston Navy Yard, 22 October 1942
USS Biddle (DD-151),
Charleston Navy Yard,
22 October 1942

The Biddle was launched at Cramps on 3 October 1918 and commissioned on 22 April 1919. Her first duty was a cruise to the Mediterranean. She reached Constantinople in August 1919, and remained in the Mediterranean until 1 July 1920. She then joined Division 48 of the Atlantic Fleet and operated along the east coast until she was decommissioned on 20 June 1922.

The Biddle wasn't recommissioned until 16 October 1939, when the Navy began to expand in response to the outbreak of the Second World War. She joined Destroyer Division 66 of the Atlantic squadron, and performed a mix of patrol duties and training exercises with the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps.

USS Biddle (DD-151) at New York, early 1920s
USS Biddle (DD-151) at New York, early 1920s

Between November 1940 and May 1941 the Biddle operated in the Caribbean under the command of the Commandant of the 15th Naval District. She then joined Destroyer Division 66, part of Destroyer Squadron 31, by now based at Key West, Florida. On 22 February 1942 she helped rescue the survivors from the tanker SS Republic, torpedoed by U-504.

Between March 1942 and February 1945 the Biddle spent almost all of her time on convoy escort duties in the Caribbean, with two exceptions.

The first exception came between 18 January-27 February 1944 when she formed part of the anti-submarine hunter-killer group TG 21.13.

The second came between 24 March and 11 May 1944 when she escorted Convoy UGS-37 to North Africa. On 11-12 April the convoy was attacked by the Luftwaffe, and seven men were wounded on the Biddle.

Between March and July 1945 the Biddle was used to support training exercises for motor torpedo boats. On 30 June she was reclassified as a miscellaneous auxiliary. Work began at the Boston Navy Yard on 15 July, but just as it was completed the war came to an end. The Biddle remained at Boston until she was decommissioned on 5 October 1945. She was sold on 3 December 1946.

The Biddle earned one battle star during the Second World War, for the defence of Convoy UGS-37 on 11-12 April 1944.

Displacement (standard)

1,160t (design)

Displacement (loaded)

 

Top Speed

35kts (design)
35.34kts at 24,610shp at 1,149t on trial (Wickes)

Engine

2 shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers
24,200shp (design)

Range

3,800nm at 15kts on trial (Wickes)
2,850nm at 20kts on trial (Wickes)

Armour - belt

 

 - deck

 

Length

314ft 4in

Width

30ft 11in

Armaments (as built)

Four 4in/50 guns
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple tubes
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement

114

Launched

3 October 1918

Commissioned

22 April 1919

Decommissioned

5 October 1945

Sold

3 December 1946

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 December 2017), USS Biddle (DD-151/ AG-114) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Biddle_DD151.html

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