USS Farenholt (DD-332)

USS Farenholt (DD-332) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Pacific Fleet during the 1920s, before being scrapped because of her badly worn boilers.

The Farenholt was named after Oscar Walter Farenholt, who served in the US Navy during the US Civil War and the Spanish-American War, retiring with the rank of Rear Admiral.

USS Farenholt (DD-332) being launched USS Farenholt (DD-332) being launched

The Farenholt was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corps at San Francisco and launched on 9 March 1921 when she was sponsored by Mrs. Richard H. Fairweather and commissioned on 10 May 1921. She joined the Pacific Fleet, where she spent the rest of her time in service.

At the start of 1924 the Farenholt passed through the Panama Canal to take part in Fleet Problems II, III and IV, which simulated various possible scenarios that might have taken place in the Pacific, including an advance toward Japan.

On 11 August 1924 the Farenholt and Litchfield collided during night manoeuvres being carried out without lights, but neither ship was badly damaged.

In May 1925 the Farenholt departed for Hawaii to take part in joint Army-Navy exercises. She then took part in a large scale goodwill visit to Samoa, Australia and New Zealand, before returning to San Diego via Hawaii.

Again in 1928 she sailed to Pearl Harbor for large scale exercises in Hawaiian waters.

Crew of USS Farenholt (DD-332) Crew of USS Farenholt (DD-332)

In March 1927 the Farenholt took part in Fleet Problem VII, a simulated attack on the Panama Canal. She then paid a visit to Norfolk, New York and Newport before returning to San Diego.

In August 1927 the Farenholt took part in the attempt to find three aircraft lost during the Dole Air Race, a disastrous attempt to carry out a race between the US West Coast and Hawaii. None of the aircraft were found.

In 1928 she once again visited Hawaii, possibly as part of Fleet Problem VIII, which was carried out on the way from California to Hawaii.

In 1929 she was used to take Naval Reservists on training cruises along the US west coast and up to Victoria, B.C.

During the summer of 1929, in her last year of service, Farenholt cruised the west coast with Naval Reserve members embarked for training, visiting Victoria, British Columbia, as well as United States ports.

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

By now it was clear that the Farenholt’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 Farenholt was decommissioned at San Diego on 20 February 1930 and sold for scrap on 10 June 1931, helping to fulfil the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35.51kts at 24,890shp at 1,107t on trial (Preble)


2-shaft Westinghouse geared turbines
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



9 March 1921


10 May 1921

Sold for scrap

10 June 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 (7 April 2021), USS Farenholt (DD-332) ,

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