USS Lawrence (DD-8)

USS Lawrence (DD-8) was the name ship of the Lawrence class of destroyers. Before the First World War she served with both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, while during the war she guarded the Panama Canal and then operated in the Florida Keys.

USS Lawrence (DD-8) at Sea
USS Lawrence (DD-8) at Sea

The Lawrence was laid down on 10 April 1899, launched on 7 November 1900 and commissioned on 7 April 1903. She joined the 2nd Torpedo Flotilla and operated on the US East Coast and in the Caribbean from then until 14 November 1906, when she was decommissioned (possibly for repairs).

The Lawrence was recommissioned on 23 July 1907 and rejoined the 2nd Torpedo Flotilla. In December 1907 she joined the 'Great White Fleet' on the first of its circumnavigation of the globe, a trip around South America. The Lawrence reached San Diego on 28 April, and escorted the battleships of the fleet into San Francisco on 6 May 1908.

Conning Tower of USS Lawrence (DD-8)
Conning Tower of USS Lawrence (DD-8)

USS Hull, Lawrence, Hopkins, Whipple & Truxtun, 1907
USS Hull, Lawrence, Hopkins, Whipple & Truxtun, 1907

Forward Superstructure of USS Lawrence (DD-8)
Forward Superstructure of
USS Lawrence (DD-8)

After escorting the fleet the Lawrence joined the Pacific Fleet, operating along the entire stretch of coast from Canada to Panama. In 1914 she operated off the coast of Mexico, protecting foreign nationals during that year's Mexican revolution.

After the US entry into the First World War in April 1917 the Lawrence moved south to protect the western entrance to the Panama Canal. During this period she was based at Balboa, now part of Panama City.

In May 1918 the Lawrence moved to Key West, where she operating in and around the Florida Keys.

After the end of the war the US Navy decided to scrap its coal powered destroyers. The Lawrence was decommissioned on 20 June 1919 and sold for scrap on 3 January 1920.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

30kts (designed), 29kts (trial)


4 Four River Boilers
2 Vertical Triple Expansion engines
2 shafts


246ft 3in


22ft 3in


Two 3in/50 guns
Five 6 pounder guns
Two 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement



7 November 1900


14 April 1903


Sold 1920

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 (13 November 2015), USS Lawrence (DD-8) ,

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