USS Israel (DD-98/ DM-3)

USS Israel (DD-98) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service late in the First World War, then served as a minelayer in the immediate post-war period.

The Israel was named after Joseph Israel, a US Navy officer who served in the quasi-war against France and who was killed in 1804 during an attack on Tripoli during the war with the Barbary pirates.

Depth charges and stern gun, USS Israel (DD-98)
Depth charges and stern
gun, USS Israel (DD-98)

The Israel was launched on 22 June 1918 at Quincy, Mass, and commissioned on 13 September 1918 with Lt. Commander George N. Barker in command. She entered service at Newport on 24 September 1918, where she operated with the USS South Carolina. She was used for escort duties on the East Coast as part of the Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. At the start of October she formed part of the escort of Troop Convoy Group 70 (from New York), sailing from Philadelphia to join the convoy at sea.

On 13 October she left New York and crossed the Atlantic as part of the escort of a convoy, arriving at Gibraltar on 6 November. She was then used to escort the Brazilian Naval Detachment to Gibraltar, arriving on 8 November, after the Brazilians spent a period trapped in port at Dakar by an outbreak of Spanish Flu.

Torpedo on USS Israel (DD-98)
Torpedo on USS Israel (DD-98)

After the end of the war the Israel was sent to Venice, where she arrived on 18 November, and joined the Eastern Mediterranean Force. She was based at Venice and Spalato, and served as a station ship, moving supplies and personnel between various US positions. This continued until the summer of 1919, and on 12 July 1919 she left Villefrance, France, to return to the United States.

Anyone who served on her between 21 September and 11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

AA gun and No.1 Gun, USS Israel (DD-98)
AA gun and No.1 Gun, USS Israel (DD-98)
Searchlight and signal equipment, USS Israel (DD-98)
Searchlight and signal equipment, USS Israel (DD-98)

After her return to the United States the Israel underwent an overhaul at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was turned into a light minelayer, and reclassified as DM-3 on 17 July 1920. She operated off the US East Coast from 4 March to 5 July 1921. She then joined Mine Squadron 1, Atlantic Fleet, at Gloucester, Mass, and spent the rest of 1921 taking part in mine laying practice off the East Coast. Her final active duty was to take part in a fleet exercise based at Guantanamo Bay and Culebra on Puerto Rico, between January and April 1922.

On 15 May 1922 the Israel reached Philadelphia, and on 7 July 1922 she was decommissioned. She was reduced to a hulk in 1936 to satisfy the terms of the London Naval Treaty, was struck off on 25 January 1937 and sold for scrap on 18 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


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

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 April 2017), USS Israel (DD-98/ DM-3) ,

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