USS Burns (DD-171/ DM-11)

USS Burns (DD-171/ DM-11) was a Wickes class destroyer that was converted into a light minelayer and was based at Pearl Harbor during her ten year long service career.

The Burns was named after Otway Burns, a US privateer during the War of 1812 who carried out three privateering cruises during the war.

Detail from Battle of Scheveningen by Willem van de Velde the Elder
USS Burns (DM-11)
with mines on deck,

The Burns was laid down at the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, on 15 April 1918, launched on 4 July 1918, and commissioned at Mare Island on 7 August 1919. She joined the Destroyer Force, Pacific, but by October 1919 had been  placed into reduced commission at San Diego. By March 1920 she had returned to full commission and was serving as a tender for the Navy Curtiss NC Seaplane Squadron.

On 15 March 1921 she was reclassified as a light minelayer and redesignated as DM-11. The conversion work was carried out at Mare Island. On 5 May she joined the Mine Force, Pacific, and on 11 Juy her home base was changed to Pearl Harbor. She moved to Hawaii with the work on her incomplete, and the conversion was completed at Pearl Harbor.

The Burns spent most of the next decade operating around the Hawaiin Islands, carrying out mine warfare training and gunnery exercises and also acting as a target for submarines. She also took part in the annual fleet exercises. In 1925 she took part in a Fleet visit to Australia and New Zealand. In 1926, 1927 and 1928 she took part in summer cruisers for naval reservist.

USS Burns (DD-171) on sea trials, Santa Barbara channel, 25 July 1919 USS Burns (DD-171) on sea trials, Santa Barbara channel, 25 July 1919

In November 1929 she left for San Diego ready to be decommissioned under the terms of the London Naval Treaty. She was decommissioned on 2 June 1930 and briefly served as a barracks ship at Mare Island before being struck off on 18 November 1930. She was then scrapped and the materials sold on 22 April 1932.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35kts design
34.81kts at 27,350shp at 1,236t on trial (Kimberly)


2 shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers
27,000shp design


2,500nm at 20kts (design)

Armour - belt


 - deck



314ft 4.5in


30ft 11.5in


Four 4in/ 50 guns
Twelve 21in torpedo tubes in four triple mountings
Two 1-pounder AA guns
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement


Laid down

15 April 1918


4 July 1918


7 August 1919


2 June 1930

Struck off

18 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.
cover cover cover
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 April 2018), USS Burns (DD-171/ DM-11) ,

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