USS Cummings (DD-44)

USS Cummings (DD-44) was a Cassin class destroyer that took part in the US intervention in Mexico in 1914, operated from Queenstown in 1917-1918 and with the Coast Guard in the 1920s.

The Cummings was named after Andrew Boyd Cummings, a US naval officer during the Civil War who served with the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron and died of wounds he suffered at Fort Hudson, on 14-15 March 1863.

USS Cummings (DD-44) before First World War
USS Cummings (DD-44)
before First World War

The Cummings was launched at Bath, Maine, on 6 August 1913 and commissioned on 19 September 1913.

The Cummings operated off the US East Coast and the Caribbean in 1913-14. The Cummings took part in the US intervention in Mexico in 1914 and anyone who served on her between 29 April and 18 May or 9-12 June 1914 qualified for the Mexican Service Medal.

After the outbreak of the First World War the Cummings served with the neutrality patrol, operating off the US East Coast. After the US entry into the war she was prepared for distant service, and reached her new base at Queenstown, Ireland, on 26 May 1917. She carried out anti-submarine patrols and took part in the cross-channel escort service. During her time in the war zone she had 14 probable encounters with U-boats.

On 27 December 1917 the American 'Q' ship Santee was hit by a torpedo. The ship followed the normal plan for 'Q' ships, which was to send a 'panic party' of crewmen over the side in lifeboats in an attempt to lure the attacking submarine to the surface. On this occasion the trick failed, and the Santee herself needed towing back to base. The Sterret (DD-27) and Cummings (DD-44) had to rescue part of the 'panic party'.

In April-June 1918 the Cummings carried out depth charge attacks on nine possible U-boats, the most conducted by any US destroyer in the European theatre.

In June-July she was one of seven destroyers escorting a convoy of eight transport ships west across the Atlantic after carrying US troops to France (Little DD-79, Conner DD-72, Cummings DD-44, Porter DD-59, Jarvis DD-38, Smith DD-17 and Reid DD-21). On 1 July 1918 U-86 sank the transport ship Covington (ID # 1409), previously the SS Cincinnati of the Hamburg-American Line. According to the Dictionary of American Fighting Ships six crewmen were killed and 770 rescued.

USS Cummings (DD-44), 1919
USS Cummings (DD-44), 1919

USS Cummings (DD-44) making smoke, 1916
USS Cummings (DD-44) making smoke, 1916

Anyone who served on the Cummings between 24 May 1917 and 11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

After the end of the war the Cummings escorted President Woodrow Wilson into Brest, and soon afterwards departed for the United States. In the first half of 1919 she took part in exercises, and in May 1919 she was part of Destroyer Squadron 14 (USS Cummings (DD-44); USS Wainwright (DD-62); USS Parker (DD-48); USS Balch (DD-50); USS McDougal (DD-54); USS Ericsson (DD-56); and USS Dixie (AD-1)).

She was placed into the reserve between August 1919 and March 1912, then activated to search off the East Coast between March 1921 and 23 June 1922. On 6 June 1924 she was transferred to the Coast Guard, where she served as USCGC Cummings (CG-3). She was used on the Prohibition-Era 'Rum Patrol' between then and 23 May 1932 when she was returned to the Navy. She was sold for scrapping on 22 August 1934 to satisfy the terms of the London Naval Treaty of 1930.

Displacement (standard)

1,010t nominal

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

29kts at 16,000shp (design)
29.14kts at 14,253shp at 1,057 tons on trial (Duncan)


2-shaft Parson turbines plus reciprocating cruising engines
4 boilers for 16,000shp


305ft 5in


30ft 2in


Four 3in.50 guns (DD-43 & DD-44)
Four 4in/50 guns (DD-45 to DD-50)
Eight 1in torpedo tubes in four twin mountings

Crew complement



6 August 1913


19 September 1913


Sold for scrap 1934

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann . The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
cover cover cover

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 June 2016), USS Cummings (DD-44) ,

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us - Privacy