USS Abel P Upshur (DD-193)/ HMS Clare)

USS Abel P Upshur (DD-193) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the US Coast Guard and the Neutrality Patrol before being transferred to the Royal Navy, where she served as HMS Clare.

USS Abel P Upshur (DD-193), Norfolk Navy Yard, 26 January 1921
USS Abel P Upshur
Norfolk Navy Yard,
26 January 1921

The Abel P Upshur was named after Abel Parker Upshur, the Secretary of the Navy from 1841-43. He was killed on 28 February 1844 when an experimental large iron gun that was being test fired exploded, killing Upshur and five other men.

The Abel P. Upshur (DD-193) was laid down at Newport News on 20 August 1918, launched on 14 February 1920 and commissioned on 23 November 1920. She joined Destroyer Division 37, Squadron 3, Atlantic Fleet, and spent most of her first commission serving along the US East Coast. She was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 7 August 1922.

The Abel P. Upshur was commissioned for the second time in March 1928 and was used to train Naval Reserve personnel from the District of Columbia until November 1930. She was then transferred to the Treasury and served with the Coast Guard, taking part in the prohibition era anti-smuggling patrol. While with the Coast Guard she served as USCGC Abel P. Upshur (CG-15). This role lasted for four years, before she was returned to the Navy on 21 May 1934 and decommissioned for a second time.

The Abel P. Upshur was recommissioned on 4 December 1939, as part of the general build-up of the US Navy after the outbreak of war in Europe. She joined the Atlantic Squadron and joined the Neutrality Patrol operating along the East Coast. In the spring of 1940 she was part of Destroyer Division 67 (DesDiv 67), along with USS Welles (DD-257), USS Welborn C. Wood (DD-195) and USS Herndon (DD-198).

On 9 September 1940 the Abel P. Upshur was decommissioned from the US Navy at Halifax, and transfered to the Royal Navy under the terms of the ‘Destroyers for Bases’ deal. She joined the Royal Navy as HMS Clare.

HMS Clare

HMS Clare joined the 1st ‘Town Class’ Destroyer Flotilla for the Atlantic crossing. She reached Belfast on 26 September 1940, and was allocated to Escort Group 7, helping to escort transatlantic convoys.   

From 29 October to 2 November 1940 she was part of the escort of Convoy OG-45, (UK to Gibraltar).

On 20 February 1941 she rescued the crew from the SS Rigmor, which was sinking. Early on 21 February she collided with SS Petertoum, and suffered damage that required repairs that lasted from March to October. After the repairs were over, she joined Escort Group 41 of Western Approaches Command.

In the autumn of 1942 the Clare joined the fleet that supported Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. She formed part of the Eastern Naval Task Force, which had the job of covering the landing near Algiers. On 12 November 1942 she attacked a U-boat north of Oran, and claimed to have sunk it. However the only submarine lost in the Mediterranean on that date was U-660, scuttled after a clash with HMS Lotus and HMS Starwort. The Clare departed from Gibraltar on 17 November 1942 and returned to her normal escort duties.

In April 1943 she was part of the escort for Convoy KMS-12G (a slow convoy from Britain to the Mediterranean), then briefly part of the escort for Convoy MKS-11, returning from the Mediterranean to the UK.

In late June-early July she was part of the escort for Convoy KMS-19G

In July 1943 she was part of the secort for Convoy KMS-19Y and Convoy MKS-18. Between these two convoy duties she took part in the invasion of Sicily, which began on 9 July.

In September 1943 the Clare entered the dry dock at Cardiff. She returned to active service in May 1944, as a target ship for aircraft that were training in Western Approaches Command.

In August 1945 the Clare was placed in the reserve at Greenock.

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



14 February 1920


23 November 1920

To the reserve

August 1945

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

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 August 2018), USS Abel P Upshur (DD-193)/ HMS Clare) ,

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