USS Hull (DD-330)

USS Hull (DD-330) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Pacific Fleet in the 1920s before being scrapped because of her badly worn boilers.

The Hull was named after Isaac Hull, who served in the US Navy during the Quasi-War with France, the war with Tripoli and most famously the War of 1812.

The Hull was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corps at San Francisco and launched on 18 February 1921when she was sponsored by Miss Elizabeth Hull and commissioned on 26 April 1921. She was then based at San Diego.

Launch of USS Hull (DD-330) Launch of USS Hull (DD-330)

During 1922 she took part in charting and sounding operations along the coast of southern California, using newly developed depth finding sonar equipment. Together with the Corry (DD-334) she charted an area of 34,000 square miles in 38 miles, reaching out from the California coast to the 2,000 fathom mark. In the spring of 1923 the same destroyers used their equipment to chart the route of the cable system linking Alaska to Seattle, before sections of the cable were replaced, and to disprove the existence of a dangerous shoal that was believed to be lurking close to mouth of the Panama Canal.

On 28 June 1923 the Hull left San Diego to form part of the escort for President Warren G. Harding during a cruise around Alaska that was meant to be an early stage in a much longer trip. The President was travelling on the Henderson (AP-1), and was escorted by the Hull and the Corry (DD-334), chosen because they were still carrying the depth finding sonar, to avoid any chance of running aground! However during the cruiser the President was taken ill, and died at San Francisco on 2 August 1923.

In January 1924 the Hull departed from San Diego to take part in Fleet Problems II, III and IV, which took place concurrently in the Caribbean. However she was part of a flotilla that was detached from the fleet to visit Vera Cruz, Mexico, to protect US interests during part of a long series of Mexican revolutions. The Hull was part of a fleet made up of the cruiser Omaha, supply ship Prometheus and six destroyers that left Colon, in the Canal Zone, in mid January, heading for Veracruz.

In April 1924 the ship steamed to Seattle and operated between that city and Seward, Alaska, taking soundings for the new Alaskan cable. In April she also supported the first stages of the first aerial circumnavigation of the world, carried out by a flight of Douglas World Cruisers. Unfortunately her main role was to rescue Major Martin, the commander of the flight, after his aircraft had to put down on 15 April after suffering a crack in a crank shaft, which resulted in a fuel leak. Martine recovered from this first mishap, but his aircraft was written off after a second incident later in the month, and he was eliminated from the expedition.

On 7 July 1924 the Chase and the Hull greeted the first major British naval squadron to visit a US port for forty years, when a fleet of seven warships led by the battlecruiser HMS Hood visited San Francisco at the start of a three day visit.

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

USS Hull (DD-330) Underway USS Hull (DD-330) Underway

In August 1927 she took part in the unsuccessful attempts to find the aircraft that went missing during the Dole Air Race, a disastrous attempt at a race between the US West Coast and Hawaii. Two aircraft were lost during the race itself, and a third after attempting to search for the first two. By the time the Hull was reported as being involved in the search, all three were missing, and none were found.

In November 1927 the Hull departed from San Diego to take part in Battle Fleet manoeuvres in the Caribbean. She then visited New York on a rare trip to the East Coast. She returned to San Diego on 26 June 1928.

By now it was clear that the Hull’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 Hull was decommissioned at San Diego on 31 March 1930and sold for scrap on 10 June 1931, helping to fulfil the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

Lt Commander Hilliard: -April 1924-

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)


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



18 February 1921


26 April 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 (24 March 2021), USS Hull (DD-330) ,

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