USS Corry (DD-334)

USS Corry (DD-334) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Pacific Fleet during the 1920s before being scrapped because of her badly worn boilers.

The Corry was named after William Merrill Corry, an early naval aviator who commanded the US air station at Le Croisic during the First World War, and who died of injuries sustained after he returned into a burning aircraft to rescue the pilot.

USS Corry (DD-334) being launched, 1921 USS Corry (DD-334) being launched, 1921

The Corry was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corps at San Francisco and launched on 28 March 1921 when she was sponsored by Mrs. S. W. Corry and commissioned on 25 May 1921.

In October 1921 Commander Percy W. Foote was appointed as commander of both the Corry and Destroyer Division 36 of the Pacific Fleet.

In November 1922 it was announced that the Corry and the Hull (DD-330) were to use experimental sonic depth finders to survey the ocean floor off the west coast, carrying out around 7,000 miles of soundings between San Francisco and Point Descanso, Mexico. The work was to be supported by the Carnegie Institute to investigate the causes of earthquakes. By late December they had charted 12,000 square miles of ocean floor, and discovered a previously unknown underwater mountain off San Diego.

In July 1923 the Corry and the Hull were chosen to escort President W. G. Harding as he cruised in Canadian and Alaskan waters on the transport USS Henderson (AP-1), using their sonic depth finders to make sure the route was safe. In October 1923 she and her division represented the US Navy at the American Legion convention at San Francisco.

In January 1924 the Corry was one of six destroyers that accompanied the cruiser Omaha (CL-4) to Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was then at the heart of a revolt by former President de la Huerta against one of his fomer allies. The US sided with President Obregon and de la Huerta fled into exile in Los Angeles.

Destroyer Division 36,San Diego, 18 February 1928 Destroyer Division 36,San Diego, 18 February 1928

In March 1924 the Corry and the Hull used their sonic depth finders to chart the route of the submarine cable linking Alaska to the rest of the United States, prior to repairs beginning on the elderly cable system.

In April 1924 the Corry and the Hull took part in the search for Major Frederick L. Martin, the commander of the squadron of four Douglas World Cruisers that were attempting to make the first flight around the world. Although the overall flight was a success, Martin’s aircraft was forced down in Alaska early in the flight and he had to be rescued by the two destroyers.  

Berthing Space on USS Corry (DD-334) Berthing Space on USS Corry (DD-334)

On 8-9 September 1924, she carried Secretary of the Navy C. D. Wilbur on a visit to the Mare Island Navy Yard.

In August 1925 she supported the first attempt to fly non-stop from the US west coast to Hawaii. The flight was attempted by two Naval Aircraft Factory PN-9 flying boats. Ten destroyers were posted along the route to give radio bearings, and to make smoke by day and light their searchlights at night to illuminate the route. The Corry was third in the line of destroyers, and thus missed most of the action. The first boat was forced to ditch before reaching her position, and the second made it to within 300 miles of Hawaii before being forced down by a lack of fuel.

In August 1927 she was one of a number of destroyers who supported the Dole Air Race from California to Hawaii. This was a disaster in which two aircraft were lost with their crews during the race and a third during the search for the missing aircraft. None of the missing aircraft were found at the time.

By now it was clear that the Corry’s Yarrow boilers were badly worn. The US Navy decided to swap thirty four of the badly worn destroyers for almost fresh sister-ships that had been in the reserves for most of the 1920s. The Corry was decommissioned at Mare Island on 24 April 1930 and sold for scrap on 18 October 1930, helping to fulfil the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

CO's Stateroom and Pantry, USS Corry (DD-334) CO's Stateroom and Pantry, USS Corry (DD-334)

Commander Percy W. Foote: October 1921-

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



28 March 1921


25 May 1921

Sold for scrap

18 October 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 (21 April 2021), USS Corry (DD-334) ,

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