USS Melvin (DD-335)

USS Melvin (DD-335) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Pacific Fleet during the 1290s before being scrapped because of her badly worn boilers.

The Melvin was named under Lt. John T. Melvin, who was killed when the patrol boat USS Alcedo was sunk by a U-boat on 5 November 1917.  

USS Melvin (DD-335) underway USS Melvin (DD-335) underway

The Melvin was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corps at San Francisco on 15 September 1920, launched on 11 April 1921when she was sponsored by Miss Laura L. McKinistry and commissioned on 31 May 1921. She joined the Pacific Fleet, where she spent the rest of her career.

In 1923 the Melvin passed through the Panama Canal to take part in Fleet Problem I, a ‘carrier’ attack on the Panama Canal.

In 1924 she passed through the Panama Canal once again to take part in Fleet Problems II, III and IV, a series of exercises based on possible problems in the Caribbean. 

In 1925 she visited Hawaii, taking part in joint Army-Navy exercises. She then took part in a large goodwill tour of the south Pacific, visiting Samoa, Australia and New Zealand.

In 1927 she passed through the Panama Canal to take part in Fleet Problem VII, another mock attack on the Panama Canal. She was then sent to Nicaragua, to help implement an American brokered deal. She reached the Bluefields area (in the south-east of the country) on 25 June and was there until 6 July, supporting a force of US marines who were helping to establish the Nicaraguan Guardia Nacional. Anyone who served on her between 25 June and 18 July qualified for the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal.

Destroyer Division 36,San Diego, 18 February 1928 Destroyer Division 36,San Diego, 18 February 1928

By now it was clear that the Melvin’s Yarrow boilers were badly worn. The US Navy decided to swap thirty four of the badly worn destroyers for almost fresh sister-ships that had been in the reserves for most of the 1920s. The Melvin was decommissioned at San Diego on 8 May 1930 and her materials were sold for scrap over the next two years, helping to fulfil the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

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



11 April 1921


31 May 1921

Struck off

3 November 1930

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.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 April 2021), USS Melvin (DD-335) ,

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