USS Case (DD-285)

USS Case (DD-285) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Atlantic Fleet for most of the 1920s, as well as spending a year in European waters, before being decommissioned in 1930.

USS Case (DD-285) underway
USS Case (DD-285)

The Case was named after Augustus Ludlow Case, who served in the US Navy during the Mexican War and the Civil War. After the war he commanded the Bureau of Ordnance, the European Squadron, and finally the combined European, North and South Atlantic Fleets in 1874.

The Case was launched on 21 September 1919 at the Squantum plant of the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, and was sponsored by Miss A. R. Case. She was commissioned on 8 December 1919 and joined Destroyer Division 43 of the Atlantic Fleet.

The Case spent the first six months of her career taking part in the normal winter manoeuvres in the Caribbean, then the summer activities along the US East Coast. Some of her work was used to provide tactical data for a Naval War College Study.

From July 1920 to December 1921 she operated with a fifty percent complement before she returned to full commission in December 1921 and joined Destroyer Division 25. Over the next few years she took part in the normal pattern of life in the Atlantic Fleet, with winters spend in the Caribbean and summers operating along the US East Coast. In 1924-25 she served as flagship of her division.

In April 1926 the Case and her division departed to European waters, where they spent the next year carrying out a series of good will visits to British and Mediterranean Ports. On 7 May 1927 the crews of the Isherwood and Case held a Grand Naval Ball at the Alhambra, Bordeaux.

Christmas Menu for USS Case (DD-285), 1926 Christmas Menu for USS Case (DD-285), 1926

The menu for her 1926 and 1927 Christmas meals are still in the US Navy archives. Christmas 1926 was spent at Villefranche, France, and she was at the Norfolk Navy Yard on 25 December 1927. In both cases a traditional Turkey meal was served, although in 1926 the starters did include olives.

The Case returned to the normal pattern of life in the Atlantic Fleet after her return to the US. However by the late 1920s it was clear that her Yarrow boilers were badly worn, and she and most of her Yarrow powered ships were chosen to be decommissioned and replaced with some of their almost unused sister ships. The Case was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 22 October 1930. She and most of her Yarrow powered sisters were then chosen to be scrapped under the terms of the London Naval Treaty, and she was sold as a stripped hulk on 17 January 1931.

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



21 September 1919


8 December 1919

Sold as hulk

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.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 May 2020), USS Case (DD-285) ,

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