USS Crosby (DD-164/ APD-17)

USS Crosby (DD-164/ APD-17) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the Neutrality Patrol on the US west coast before becoming a fast transport and serving in the Pacific from 1943 until the summer of 1945.

The Crosby was named after Pierce Crosby, a US naval officer during the Mexican War and the American Civil War, who played a key part in the capture of New Orleans.

The Crosby was launched at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp of Quincy Mass on 28 September 1919 and commissioned on 24 January 1919. She joined the Atlantic Fleet, and was then used to support the first transatlantic flight, carried out by the Navy Curtiss Flying Boat NC-4 in May 1919. The Crosby was one of a line of destroyers posted along the route as navigation aides and to support any aircraft that had to come down into the ocean. She was posted about half way across the stage from Newfoundland to the Azores, next to the Thatcher (DD-162).

On 1 July 1919 the Crosby joined the Pacific Fleet, and she reached her new base at San Diego on 7 August. After visits to Portland and Seattle she was placed into the reserve with a reduced complement on 30 January 1920. She remained in the reserve until she was decommissioned on 7 June 1922.

USS Crosby (DD-164), Boston Navy Yard, 25 January 1919
USS Crosby (DD-164),
Boston Navy Yard,
25 January 1919

The Crosby was recommissioned on 18 December 1939. She joined the Neutrality Patrol, based at San Pedro, on 1 April 1940, then on 1 July joined the 11th Naval District Defense Forces (covering southern California). She took part in a reserve training cruise, and then rejoined the neutrality patrol. She was also used to help train destroyer crews. After the US entry into the war she also began to escort coastal convoys.

On 1 February 1943 she entered the Mare Island Navy Yard where she was converted into a fast transport, with the new designation APD-17 (from 22 February 1943).

The Crosby reached the Pacific theatre in March 1943. Her operational career began with three voyages to Guadalcanal screening transport ships between 29 April and 6 June. She then carried out a mix of patrol and escort duties and landing duties, landing troops on New Georgia (30 June-5 July 1943). She came under heavy fire while landing troops on the Treasury Islands on 27 October. Finally she landed troops on Bougainville on 6 and 17 November, before heading to Brisbane for an overhaul.

After her return she landed troops at Cape Gloucester on New Britain (24-29 December 1943) and on Dekays Bay, New Guinea (2 January 1944). In January 1944 she escorted convoys from Espiritu Santo to the Solomon Islands. She then carried out a  mix of anti-submarine, screening and landing duties, taking part in the invasions of Green Island (15-20 February 1944) and Emirau (20 March 1944). She then returned to New Guinea and took part in the landings at Aitape (22 and 26 April 1944), escorted convoys to Hollandia and took part in the invasion of Biak Island (27 May 1944). Between 31 May and 6 July she was the flagship for the landing craft at Humbolt Bay. She landed troops at Cape Sansapor (30 July 1944) and then went to Syndey for repairs and replenishment. After her return she landed troops at Morotai (15 September 1944).

The Crosby then took part in the invasion of the Philippines,. On 17 October 1944 she landed men from the 6th Rangers on Suluan Island, Leyte. On 19-20 October she landed troops on Dinagat Island, at the opening of Leyte Gulf, to prepare for the main invasion. She landed troops at Ormoc Bay on 7 December. She was also used to rescue the survivors from USS Ward (DD-139), which was badly damaged by Japanese coastal guns and sunk by US gunfire.

The Crosby landed troops on Mindoro on 15 December 1944, and at Lingayen Gulf on Luzon on 11 January 1945. During the Luzon campaign she also landed troops at Nasugbu (31 January 1945), Mariveles (15 February 1945) and Corregidor (17 February 1945).

USS Walker (DD-163), USS Crosby (DD-164), USS Thatcher (DD-162), Cuyama, USS Gamble (DD-123) USS Walker (DD-163), USS Crosby (DD-164), USS Thatcher (DD-162), Cuyama, USS Gamble (DD-123)

The Crosby performed anti-submarine and radar picket duties during the invasion of Okinawa, serving there from 18 April to 18 May when she left for San Francisco. She was attacked by a kamikaze on 13 May, but avoided being hit.

After her return to the US it was decided not to repair her, as plenty of newer ships were now available. She was decommissioned on 28 September 1945 and sold on 23 May 1946.

The Crosby earned ten battle stars during the Second World War, for New Georgia, Treasury-Bougainville, the Bismarch Archipelago, Eastern New Guinea, Hollandia, Western New Guinea, Leyte, Luzon, Okinawa and Manila Bay-Bicol

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



28 September 1919


24 January 1919


28 September 19456

Sold for scrap

23 May 1946

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 February 2018), USS Crosby (DD-164/ APD-17) ,

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