USS Reid (DD-292)

USS Reid (DD-292) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Atlantic and Scouting Fleets during the 1920s, as well as spending a year in Europe waters, before being decommissioned in 1930.

DD-292 was laid down on 9 September 1919. She was assigned the name USS Stewart on 7 October 1919, but two days later was renamed as the Reid.

USS Reid (DD-292) at Bordeaux, 1925
USS Reid (DD-292)
at Bordeaux, 1925

The Reid was named after Samuel Chester Reid, who commanded a privateer during the War of 1812. DD-292 was one of a series of ships that were going to be named USS Stewart. On 23 September 1919 the name was given to DD-216, but on 7 October she was renamed as the John D. Edwards. DD-292 was the next to be the Stewart, but that only lasted for two days, before she became the Reid. DD-291 was the next to get the name, but she only held it from 9-27 October, when DD-224 became the Stewart, and DD-291 became the Converse.

The Reid was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp at Squantum, Mass, on 9 September 1919. She was launched on 15 October 1919 when she was sponsored by Mrs Joseph W. Powell, and commissioned on 3 December 1919. At the time it was reported that she had been built in forty-five and a half days, a shipbuilding speed record. The gap between her being laid down and launched is ten days short of that figure, and includes some fitting out time. She was handed over to the Government trials board on 31 October, giving us the 45.5 days figure. She was then handed over to the Navy on 7 November, some sixty days after being laid down, presumably after a couple of weeks of trials. On her trials she was reported as reaching 43 mph, or 37 knots, just above her target speed.

The Reid was assigned to Squadron 3 of the Atlantic Fleet. Her shakedown cruiser took place off Cuba in February 1920. She then joined the fleet for battle practice in March, before reaching New York on 26 April. Reid was then sent to Mexico to monitor the dangerous situation there, staying off Vera Cruz with the Case (DD-285) and Flusser (DD-289).

She spent most of the next three years operating along the US east coast, from Charleston, Newport and Yorktown.

In December 1922 she suffered accidental damage when the oil tank feeding a blow torch exploded, seriously wounding machinist Malcolm Brown and blowing the ship’s ensign clean off. The tank itself was blown into the air and landed amidships, but without doing any more damage.

USS Reid (DD-292) at Boston, 1919 USS Reid (DD-292) at Boston, 1919

In January 1923 she visited Guantanamo Bay to take part in the normal fleet manoeuvres and in February she moved to the Canal Zone to take part in Fleet Problem I.  In June 1923 she provided some of her crew to take part in a naval display in Washington, using them to drag field guns as part of a display of the Navy’s ability to sent troops ashore. She spent the summer of 1923 in US waters, and then returned to the Caribbean early in 1924.

Early in 1924 she departed US waters heading for Europe. She was photographed at Bordeaux on 20 May 1925. She then moved north to Cherbourg, arriving on 28 June. On 1 July she joined the Light Cruiser Squadron, and accompanied that squadron on a tour of the Baltic and North Sea. During this period she was photographed passing under the famous Levensau Bridge on the Kiel Canal, the site of many pictures of ships of the Imperial German Navy.  In mid-August she reached Iceland, where she helped support aircraft patrols.

She also helped support the round the world flight carried out by two Douglas World Cruisers of the USAAS. Her first role was to patrol the area between Scotland and Iceland. She was moored in the Firth of Forth on 28 July. At the start of August she was posted between Iceland and Scotland for the first attempt, which saw one aircraft reach Iceland but the other two turn back to Scotland. A second attempt was made on 4 August, which saw one of the remaining aircraft reach Iceland but the other forced down into the sea. The Reid was stationed miles off Reykjavik during the Iceland stage of the flight (providing weather reports that caused a delay in the flight).

USS Reid (DD-292) in the Kiel Canal
USS Reid (DD-292)
in the Kiel Canal

The aircraft were then delayed at Reykjavik, first by bad weather, then by damage caused by an unsuccessful attempt to take off on 18 August.

The Reid was then posted to the west of Iceland to support the next leg of the flight, from Iceland to Greenland. She took up her new post on 21 August. The aircraft took off later in the day, and were spotting flying over the Reid during the successful flight.

She then returned south, entering the Mediterranean in September. From then until November she operated in the western Mediterranean, then visited Crete, Greece and Turkey. She spent two months in the eastern Mediterranean, visiting ports around the eastern coasts and in Egypt. In February 1925 she moved west and operated off France and Tunisia. In early May she left the Mediterranean and after visits to French and British ports returned home, arriving at New York on 16 July.

The Reid was then assigned to the Scouting Fleet and spent the next four years taking part in the normal pattern of life in the fleet, with summers spent operating along the US East Coast and winters in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Between 24 April and 12 June 1927 she took part in the Second Nicaraguan Campaign, during an attempt to arrange a peace deal between the Conservative and Liberal factions. One of her roles was to collect arms from the Liberal troops after the peace deal was approved. The peace deal was followed by fresh elections which were won by the Liberal candidate. By October 1927 she was back at Washington to take part in the Navy Day celebrations.

By 1929 it was clear that her Yarrow boilers were badly worn. The US Navy decided to replace most of its Yarrow powered Clemson class ships with their almost unused sister ships from the reserves. The Reid was decommissioned on 1 May 1930. She was then struck off the Navy list on 22 October 1930 and sold for scrap on 17 January 1931, helping to satisfy the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

Lt Commander F. P. Traynor: August 1923- (from the Wyoming)
Commander C. R. Clarke: - October 1927-

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)


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



9 September 1919


15 October 1919

Sold for scrap

17 January 1931

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
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 July 2020), USS Reid (DD-292) ,

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