USS Lamson (DD-18)

USS Lamson (DD-18) was a Smith class destroyer that took part in the US occupation of Veracruz in 1916, served at the Azores in 1917 and from Brest from October 1917 until the end of the First World War.

The Lamson was named after Roswell Hawkes Lamson, a US Navy commander during the American Civil War. She was laid down by William Cramp at Philadelphia on 18 March 1908, launched on 16 June 1909 and commissioned on 10 February 1910.

Panoramic View of USS Lamson (DD-18)
Panoramic View of
USS Lamson (DD-18)

Between 1910 and 1916 the Lamson served with the Atlantic Squadron, operating along the US east coast and into the Caribbean. On 1 January 1914 she was part of the First Division, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Torpedo Flotilla. One of her commanders during this period was William Halsey, later one of the most important US Admirals of the Second World War.

She began to see more active service during 1916. In May 1916 she was sent to the Dominican Republic to protect American interests during a revolt that saw Secretary of War Desiderio Arias overthrow President Juan Isidro Jimenes Pereyra. This soon turned into a full scale American occupation that lasted until 1924.

In late June the Lamson was sent to Veracruz, where she supported the occupation of the city for two weeks, before returning to the US on 11 July. She then returned to operations off the US East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. Anyone who served on her between 2-9 July 1916 qualified for the Mexican Service Medal.

USS Lamson (DD-18) at Sea, 1912
USS Lamson (DD-18)
at Sea, 1912

After the American entry into the First World War in April 1917 the Lamson patrolled the US east coast for several months. On 26 July she began three months of escort and antisubmarine patrols from the Azores, before on 6 October she left the Azores and shifted her base to Brest.

During her time at Brest she performed escort missions and anti-submarine patrols. On 28 October she rescued the survivors of the Finland after she was sunk by a U-boat.

On 11 December 1918 the Lamson was part of a flotilla that departed from Brest heading for the United States. She reached Charleston on 31 December 1918, and like all other coal powered destroyers was decommissioned in the following year (15 July 1919). She was sold for scrap on 21 November 1919.

Displacement (standard)

600t design

Displacement (normal load)

900t as built

Top Speed

28kts design
28.36kts at 9,946shp at 716t on trial (Smith)


3-shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers


2,800nm at 10kts design
2,000nm at 18kts on trial


293ft 10in


26ft 0in


Five 3in guns
Two 0.30in guns
Three 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement



16 June 1909


10 February 1910


Sold 1919

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 (15 January 2016), USS Lamson (DD-18) ,

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us - Privacy