USS Bagley/ USS Doran (DD-185)/ HMS St. Marys

USS Bagley (DD-185)/ USS Doran/ HMS St. Marys was a Wickes class destroyer that had a brief US career before being transferred to the Royal Navy, where she supported minelaying operations and carried out escort duties.

The Bagley was named after Ensign Worth Bagley, a US naval officer who was the only US naval officer to be killed by enemy action during the Spanish-American War.

USS Bagley (DD-185), Guantanamo Bay, 1920
USS Bagley (DD-185),
Guantanamo Bay, 1920

The Bagley was laid down at Newport News on 11 May 1918, launched on 19 October 1919 and commissioned on 27 August 1919. Her first voyage took her to the Gulf Coast, but in November she suffered damage in a collision with USS Thomas (DD-182) while visiting New Orleans. She had to return to Norfolk for repairs, which lasted into 1920. She was repaired in time to leave for the winter manoeuvres in the West Indies on 10 January 1920, and reached Guantanamo Bay on 19 January at the start of fourteen weeks of exercises. This lasted until April, when the fleet returned to the US east coast. The Bagley spent the summer taking part in exercises from her base at Newport. At the start of September she left for Charleston, South Carolina, making her first visit to her official home port.

The Bagley was based at Charleston until May 1921, operating in local waters. On 10 May 1921 she departed for Norfolk and the normal summer exercises. However the summer of 1921 saw the famous bombardment tests carried out using former German warships. The Bagley was used to carry VIPs to observe the tests. During the five weeks she was involved in this duty she carried Admiral Robert E. Coontz, Chief of Naval Operations, to watch the tests against the torpedo boat G-102 on 13 July, and the future Italian leader General Pietro Badoglio to watch the sinking of the battleship Ostfriesland on 20 July. After this break from the normal routine she returned to Newport and the normal round of exercises.

In 1922 the Bagley was one of 157 destroyers that were chosen for decommissioning. She moved to Philadelphia, where she was decommissioned on 12 July 1922. The Bagley wasn’t chosen for any further duties during the inter-war years, and in 1935 even lost her name to the new destroyer USS Bagley (DD-386), becoming DD-185.

In 1939, after the outbreak of the Second World War, DD-185 was chosen to be recommissioned. She was renamed USS Doran (DD-185) on 20 November 1939, and recommissioned on 17 June 1940. She joined the US Atlantic Squadron, but after a brief period of service was chosen as one of the fifty destroyers that went to Britain under the terms of the ‘Destroyers for Bases’ deal. She reached Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 23 September 1940, where she was handed over to the Royal Navy.

As HMS St. Marys

In British service she was renamed as HMS St. Marys (pennant number I.12). She reached Belfast on 8 October. On 31 October the St. Marys was assigned to the 17th Destroyer Division (with HMS Charlestown (Abbot  DD-184), HMS Bath (Hopewell, DD-181) and St. Albans (Thomas, DD-182)) and used to support the 1st Minelaying Squadron. She was used on minelaying operations along the west coast of Scotland and also in the Denmark Strait, between Iceland and Greenland. During the first half of 1941 she took part in most of the squadron’s mine laying operations, as well as carrying out convoy escort duties. This ended after she collided with the transport Royal Ulsterman on 29 August 1941, suffering enough damage to kept her out of action until 1942.

The St. Marys continued to perform a mix of convoy escort and minelaying operations throughout 1942 and 1943. By the start of 1944 she was getting increasingly elderly, and in February 1944 she was paid off in the Tyne, where she remained for the rest of the war. She was placed into the reserve on 6 September 1945, and sold for scrap on 20 March 1945. She reached Rosyth in December 1945 where she was scrapped.

Displacement (standard)

1,160t (design)

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35kts (design)
35.34kts at 24,610shp at 1,149t on trial (Wickes)


2 shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers
24,200shp (design)


3,800nm at 15kts on trial (Wickes)
2,850nm at 20kts on trial (Wickes)

Armour - belt


 - deck



314ft 4in


30ft 11in

Armaments (as built)

Four 4in/50 guns
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple tubes
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement



19 October 1918


27 August 1919

To Royal Navy

23 September 1940

Sold for breaking up

20 March 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

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 June 2018), USS Bagley/ USS Doran (DD-185)/ HMS St. Marys ,

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