USS George E Badger (DD-196/ APD-33)

USS George E. Badger (DD-196/ AVP-16/ AVD-3/ APD-33) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the US Coast Guard, as a seaplane tender in 1940-42, on convoy escort duties and finally as a fast transport in the Pacific theatre.

The George E Badger was named after George Edmund Badger, the Secretary of the Navy from 1841.

The George E Badger was laid down at Newport News on 24 September 1918, launched on 6 March 1920 and commissioned on 28 July 1920. She took part in the normal mix of winters in the Caribbean and summers off the US East Coast, before she was decommissioned on 11 August 1922. Amongst her crew during the 1920-22 commission was James Henry Doyle, who retired as a Vice Admiral after serving extensively in the Pacific Theatre of the Second World War and during the Korean War.  

USS George E Badger (DD-196), c.1920
USS George E Badger
(DD-196), c.1920

The George E Badger was transferred to the Treasury Department on 1 October 1930 and used by the Coast Guard to take part in the prohibition era ‘Rum patrol’. This lasted until 21 May 1934 when she was returned to the US Navy and decommissioned once again.

In 1939 the decision was made to turn the George E Badger into a seaplane tender. She was redesignated as AVP-16 (aircraft tender, small) on 1 October 1939 and recommissioned on 8 January 1940, with Lt. Commander Frank Akers in command (after he helped with her conversion into a seaplane tender). She spent 1940 carrying out training operations in the Caribbean, and on 2 August 1940 she was redesignated as AVD-3 (aircraft tender, destroyer). She returned to Norfolk on 12 January 1941 and spent the next year supporting aircraft from bases at Argentia (Newfoundland) and Reykjavik.

Anyone who served on her between 24 June-24 July 1941 or 5 August-7 December 1941 qualified for the American Defence Medal.

On 18 February 1942 she helped rescue some of the crew from the USS Pollux (AKS-2), one of three US warships that ran aground at the same time while heading from Boston to Maine. The Pollux and the Truxtun (DD-229) were both lost, along with 205 men. 

In the spring of 1942 she was one of four tenders serving with Patrol Wing Seven of the  United States Atlantic Fleet.

In May 1942 the George E Badger began a period of convoy escort duties, covering the US east coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the routes to Recife and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. She returned to Norfolk on 15 January 1943 where she was prepared for service on the Atlantic convoys. She spent the spring of 1943 operating from Argentia, protecting convoys at the western end of their voyage. This ended in June when she returned to Norfolk for another refit.

Over the next year the George E Badger carried out a mix of escort duties and offensive anti-submarine patrols with hunter-killer groups. Her first anti-submarine mission began on 13 July 1943 when she set sail as part of the hunter killer group based around the escort carrier USS Bogue (CVE-9). This was a successful patrol. On 23 July aircraft from the Bogue sank U-521. Later on the same day the George E Badger, along with aircraft from the Bogue and the destroyer USS Clemson (DD-186) sank U-613 to the south-west of San Miguel in the Azores. U-613 was a mine laying submarine and had been heading towards Jacksonville, Florida, to mine US coastal waters.

Between August and October 1943 the George E Badger escorted a convoy from New York to Casablanca and back. She then began another patrol with the Bogue, this time supported by the destroyers Dupont, Osmond Ingram and Clemson. Once again the group met with success, sinking U-172 on 12 December 1943 after a twenty-four hour long battle.

The George E Badger escorted another convoy from Norfolk to North Africa and back, and then went into the Charleston Navy Yard to be converted into a high speed transport. She was redesignated as APD-33 on 19 May 1944, and soon afterwards departed for the Pacific, reaching Guadalacanal on 12 August 1944.

In September 1944 the George E Badger took part in the invasion of the Palau Islands. She arrived at Angaur on 12 September, and was used to screen the heavier warships bombarding the island. From 14-16 September her underwater demolition team helped clear the approaches.

USS George E Badger (APD-33), Leyte Gulf, 18 November 1944 USS George E Badger (APD-33), Leyte Gulf, 18 November 1944

On 12 October the George E Badger moved to Leyte to support the bombardment of the east coast of the island. She left Leyte on 21 October, but returned to the Philippines to support the landings at Lingayen (5-11 January 1945). She was used for fire support, and on 5 January, the day of the invasion, shot down an attacking Japanese torpedo bomber. On 7 January her demolition team was landed. The George E Badger then spent the rest her time at Lingayen screening the landing ships. 

After an overhaul at UIithi the George E Badger was used to patrol off the coast of Iwo Jima during the battle. She then escorted ships moving from Guam back to Guadalcanal, Noumea and Manus.

On 2 April 1945 she left Ulithi to protect the carriers heading to Okinawa with replacement aircraft. She was then used to escort convoys heading from Saipan to Okinawa.

On 1 May 1945 she was one of eight APDs in Transport Division 101 of the Pacific Fleet.

Her active career ended on 24 June when she began a voyage back to San Francisco. Work began on turning her back into a destroyer, but the work was incomplete when the war ended. She was decommissioned on 3 October 1945 and scrapped on 3 June 1946.

The George E. Badger received eight battle stars during the Second World War, for serving with the Bogue (20 April-20 June 1943, 12 July-23 August 1942 and 11 November-29 December 1943, U-613, U-172, the southern Palaus, Leyte, Lingayen Gulf, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35.51kts at 24,890shp at 1,107t on trial (Preble)


2-shaft Westinghouse geared tubines
4 boilers
27,000shp (design)


2,500nm at 20kts (design)

Armour - belt


 - deck



314ft 4in


30ft 10.5in


Four 4in/ 50 guns
One 3in/23 AA gun
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple mountings
Two depth charge tracks
One Y-Gun depth charge projector

Crew complement



6 March 1920


28 July 1920


3 October 1945


3 June 1946

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

WWII Home Page | WWII Subject Index | WWII Books | WWII Links | Day by Day

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 August 2018), USS George E Badger (DD-196/ APD-33) ,

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