USS Chandler (DD-206/ DMS-9)

USS Chandler (DD-206/ DMS-9) was a Clemson class destroyer that served as a fast mine sweeper during the American invasions of the later stages of the Pacific War.

The Chandler was named after William Eaton Chandler, Secretary of the Navy from 1882 to 1886.

After being commissioned, the Chandler joined Destroyer Squadron 3 of the Atlantic Fleet. On 19 December 1919 she left Newport to join the US Naval Forces, Turkey. In that role she took part in a diplomatic mission to the Crimea and helped the American Red Cross assist Russian refugees.

USS Chandler (DD-206), c.1919-20
USS Chandler

The Chandler then joined the US Naval Detachment, Adriatic, where she served as the station ship at Venice, and on relief duty for other ships in the Adriatic. This lasted until January 1921, when she headed east to take up a new role with the Asiatic Fleet.

The Chandler reached her new base at Cavite on the Philippines until 15 February 1921. She remained with the Asiatic Fleet until 25 August 1922, when she left Chinese waters heading for San Francisco. She reached San Francisco on 30 September 1922 and was decommissioned on 20 October 1922.

The Chandler was recommissioned on 31 March 1930. She was based on the US West Coast, but also visited Hawaii, the Canal Zone and the Caribbean. She also visited the East Coast to take part in the Presidential Fleet Review of May 1934 at New York.

In 1935 she was part of Destroyer Division 18, along with the Southard (DD-207), Long (DD-209) and Hovey (DD-208).

In 1936 the Chandler was used in radio sound tests.

In 1940 she was used as a plane guard when the Secretary of the Navy flew to Hawaii, at the time a long range flight for a high ranking official.

In October 1940 the Chandler moved to the Mare Island Navy Yard, where she was converted into a high speed minesweeper. On 19 November she was reclassified as DMS-9. The work was completed by February 1941, and on 12 February she reached her new base at Pearl Harbor.

USS Chandler (DD-206) at sea at time of Pearl Harbor USS Chandler (DD-206) at sea at time of Pearl Harbor

The Chandler was at sea when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. She returned to harbour on 9 December. In the first half of 1942 she was used to escort convoys moving between San Francisco, Palmyra, Christmas and Midway Islands, as well as carrying out minesweeping operations around Hawaii.

In July the Chandler joined the forces operating in the Aleutians. She took part in an abortive attempt to bombard Kiska late in the month, and was damaged in a collision with the Lamberton (DMS-2) on 27 July 1942. This caused damage that required repairs that lasted from 11 August to 27 September, before she returned to Alaska in October 1942. She was still in the area in May 1943 when the Americans reoccupied Attu. She covered the landings, sweeping the approaches to Massacre Bay on 12 May, then in August supported the landings at Kiska. She finally left the Aleutians in October 1943.

The Chandler returned to Pearl Harbor on 1 January 1944, and joined the Pacific Fleet during the island hoping campaign. She took part in the landings at Majuro (31 January 1944), Eniwetok (17 February-6 March 1944), Saipan (13 June-20 July 1944) and Tinian (21-24 July 1944), where she performed a mix of mine sweeping and screening duties. She also helped USS Newcomb (DD-586) sink the Japanese submarine I-185 on 22 June 1944 in the waters to the north-east of Saipan.

On 17 October 1944 the Chandler entered Leyte Gulf to sweep a clear path for the invasion forces. She supported the early part of the landings, and was trapped in the area during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She was finally able to depart for Manus on 25 October.

The Chandler took part in the invasion of Lingayen. She came under heavy air attack on the night of 6-7 January 1945, where along with the Hovey (DMS-11) she shot down one Japanese aircraft, although not before it successfully torpedoed the Hovey. The Chandler rescued 229 officers and men from the sunken destroyer.

The Chandler left Lingayen Gulf on 10 January, and spent the next month of convoy escort duties. She then took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima, remaining there from 16-28 February, once again carrying out a mix mof mine sweeping, patrol and screening duties.

In April 1945 the Chandler returned to the US West Coast for an overhaul, although on 1 May 1945 she was part of Mine Division Five. She was reclassified as AG-108 on 5 June 1945 and was used as a target tug, supporting newer warships engaged in their shakedown cruises, operating from San Diego and Pearl Harbor.

After the end of the war the Chandler returned to Norfolk, where she was decommissioned on 21 November 1945. She was sold for scrap on 18 November 1946.

The Chandler received eight battle starts during the Second World War, for the occupation of Attu, Kwajalein, Majuro and Eniwetok in the Marshalls, Saipan, the sinking of I-185 on 22 June 1944, Tinian, Leyte, the battle of Surigao Strait and Iwo Jima.

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







21 November 1945


18 November 1946

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 (18 September 2018), USS Chandler (DD-206/ DMS-9) ,

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