USS Gridley (DD-92)

USS Gridley (DD-92) was a Wickes class destroyer that had a brief career after the First World War, most notably supporting the first successful transatlantic flight during 1919.

The Gridley was named after Charles Vernon Gridley, a US naval officer during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War.

The Gridley was built by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco. She was launched on 4 July 1918, when she was sponsored by Gridley's daughter Mrs Francis P. Thomas. She was commissioned on 8 March 1919 with Commander Frank. J. Fletcher in command. Fletcher rose to flag rank, and became know as 'Black Jack' Fletcher. He played a major role in the early naval battles in the Pacific, but gained a reputation for being too cautious, and he was sidelined after the battle of the East Solomon Islands (23-25 August 1942).

USS Gridley (DD-92) in Dry Dock, 1919
USS Gridley (DD-92)
in Dry Dock, 1919

The Gridley's first duty was to support the three Navy Curtiss flying boats as they attempted to fly across the Atlantic. On 17 May NC-1 and NC-3 had to put down short of the Azores, and the Gridley helped rescue the crew of the NC-1, which then sank while the Gridley was attempting to tow her to land. NC-3 was able to taxi to land. The Gridley landed the crew of NC-1 at Horta on 18 May. The Gridley them helped the final aircraft, NC-4, in the final, successful, stage of the flight.

After completing her duties the Gridley visited Brest, and then spent June-July on a tour of Mediterranean ports. She returned to New York on 31 July 1919. In September 1920 she carried Major General John A. Lejeune and Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler of the US Marine Corps on a tour of US bases in the Caribbean. In 1921 she was used to train members of the Naval Reserve Force from Charleston, Newport Rhode Island, New York and Philadelphia.

She was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 22 June 1922, and remained out of commission until she was struck off on 25 January 1937. She was sold for scrap on 19 April 1939.

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



4 July 1918


8 March 1919

Sold for scrap

19 April 1939

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 (31 March 2017), USS Gridley (DD-92) ,

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