USS Livermore (DD-429)

USS Livermore (DD-429) was a Gleaves class destroyer that served on escort duty in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and took part in Operation Torch, the fighting at Anzio and the invasion of the South of France.

During the Second World War she was the name ship of the Livermore class, which were ordered with more powerful engines than the Gleaves class. However the two original Gleaves class ships were actually built with the same engines, and the two classes were later merged into the Gleaves class.

The Livermore was named after Samuel Livermore, a naval chaplain who served in the US Navy during the War of 1812 and was captured during the battle between the Chesapeake and USS Shannon.

USS Livermore (DD-429) in the Mid Atlantic, 1944 USS Livermore (DD-429) in the Mid Atlantic, 1944

The Livermore was originally to have been named the Grayson, while the Grayson (DD-435) was originally the Livermore. However on 23 December 1938, before either ship had been laid down, the names were swapped.

The Livermore was laid down by the Bath Iron Works of Bath Maine on 6 March 1939, launched on 3 August 1940 when she was sponsored by Mrs Everard M Upjohn, a descendant of Samuel Livermore, and commissioned on 7 October 1940.

On 8 April the Livermore, Ranger (CV-4), Wichita (CA-45) and Kearny (DD-432) arrived at the new US naval base at Bermuda, which had officially opened on the previous day.

The Livermore was officially assigned to the Neutrality Patrol on 29 April 1941.

From 20 May to 3 June the Wasp, Quincy (CA-39), Livermore and Kearny took part exercises at sea, starting and ending at Bermuda.

From 28 August to 9 September the Livermore took part in the first patrol to include an escort carrier. This force, TG 2.7, consisted of the carrier Long Island (AVG-1), carrying squadron VGS-1, the cruiser Nashville and the destroyers Livermore and Kearny (DD-432). The patrol began and ended at Bermuda.

As the US involvement in the battle of the Atlantic increased, the Livermore began to escort convoys heading to England via Iceland. The US ships would escort the convoys to the mid-Atlantic, where a British escort would take over.

The Livermore was part of the same convoy as the Kearny (DD-432) when that destroyer was torpedoed by a U-boat.

On 24 November the Livermore briefly ran aground.

On 16 December the Livermore, Arkansas, Nashville, Eberle (DD-430) and Hamilton (DMS-18) left US waters to join the escort of Canadian Troop Convoy TC 16, heading for the UK. The US forces escorted the convoy to Iceland, where a British escort took over.


On 29 January 1942 the Alexander Hamilton was hit by a torpedo fired by U-132 only a few miles from her destination of Reykjavik. The Livermore was sent out to join the salvage party but the Alexander Hamilton capsized on the evening on 30 January. She remained afloat, and attempts to sink her with gunfire failed. However by the following morning she had sunk.

From 26 April-2 May 1942 the Livermore and Kearny escorted the Vulcan (AR-5)and Tarazed (AF-13) from Iceland to Boston.

Guns and bridge of USS Livermore (DD-429), 1955 Guns and bridge of USS Livermore (DD-429), 1955

On 7 April 1942 the Livermore left New York at the start of her first full trans-atlantic escort mission.

On 2 June the Benson, Livermore (DD-429), Mayo (DD-422), Gleaves (DD-423), Niblack (DD-424) and Kearny () departed from Halifax as part of the escort for Convoy AT 16, heading across the Atlantic.

On 16 June the New York (BB-34), Livermore, Kearny, Gleaves, Niblack, Benson and Mayo departed from Greenock as part of the escort for convoy CT 1, arriving at Boston on 26 June. 

The Livermore then shifted to coastal patrols along the US East Coast and convoy escort missions that took her into the Caribbean.

In mid-July the Livermore was part of the escort of Convoy AS-4, heading from the US to Recife, the first stage of a longer voyage around the Cape of Good Hope to Suez.

On 12 August the Livermore, Kearny (DD-432) and Rowan (DD-405) left Narragansett Bay to escort the seaplane tender Albermarle to Norfolk, Virginia.

On 15 August the Livermore, Kearny and Rowan left Philadelphia to escort the South Dakota (BB-57) on the first stages of her voyage to the Pacific. They reached the entrance to the Panama Canal on 20 August, and on 21 August the destroyers were released. They then left to escort a convoy.

The Livermore was allocated to the forces that took part in Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. She took part in the landings at Mehdia in French Morocco on 9 November, when Livermore, Eberle and Parker (DD-604) formed the screen for the transport area and also carried out anti-surface, anti-submarine and anti-air patrols. She remained off North Africa for five days, before departing for Norfolk, arriving on 26 November.


At the start of 1943 she joined the US naval forces operating from Recife, Brazil, and working in the South Atlantic.

On 21 February-4 March the Livermore took part in a patrol with TG 23.1 (Santee, Savannah, Eberle and Livermore), starting from Recife and looking for German blockade runners, although without success.

In March the Livermore was part of Task Group 23.1, built around the escort carrier Santee ACV-29), with the Livermore, Savannah (CL-42) and Eberle (DD-43). On 10 March an aircraft from the Santee spotted a lone ship, which turned out to be the German blockade runner Karin. The German crew set off scuttling charges and then abandoned ship. A boarding party from the Eberle was sent to try and save her, but more charges went off while they were onboard, killing all but two of the twelve men in the party.

Between 14 April 1943 and 17 January 1944 the Livermore carried out five escort missions between New York and Casablanca in French Morocco.


On 24 January 1944 she left Hampton Roads heading for the Mediterranean, where she would remain well into 1945.

The Livermore and the Madison arrived off Anzio on 5 March. The Livermore was used for anti-aircraft protection and shore bombardment duties.

After a spell supporting the fighting at Anzio, the Livermore was allocated to the escort forces protecting convoys moving between Oran and Naples.

USS Livermore (DD-429) from the stern, 1955 USS Livermore (DD-429) from the stern, 1955

The Livermore and Madison left Naples on 3 April to return to Anzio, arriving that evening. That evening they investigated a radar contact off the Tiber River. On 4 April they patrolled off Anzio, before returning to Naples for the night.

On 6 April they left Naples to escort the storeship Polaris (AF-11) to Palermo. The three ships spent a day at Palermo, then on 8 April departed for Bizerte, Tunisia, arriving on 9 April. They left Bizerte on 10 April and reached Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria, on 12 April.

From 22-26 April the Livermore, Madison, HMS Usk and Polish destroyer Garland escorted the sixteen ships in Convoy UGS-38 from Oran to Naples.

On 19 June Livermore and Madison left Mers-el-Kebir to join TF 65, which was escorting Convoy UGS-44. They remained with the convoy until 21 June when they left to head to Oran.

On 28 June Livermore and Madison left Mers-el-Kebir to join TF 66, escorting Convoy UGS-45.

On 6-8 August the Livermore and Eberle escorted the Quincy as she took part in Operation Preface, a large training exercise carried out off Camerota near Salerno.

The Livermore left the Grand Harbour at Malta on 13 August as part of Task Force 84, to take part in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the South of France. She supported the intial landings on 15 August. She was hit by shore fire while supporting minesweepers off Cavallaire Bay but was returned fire and silenced the German guns.

On 26 October she left Oran to return to New York for an overhaul at the Navy Yard.

From 18 December 1944 to early January 1945 the Livermore formed part of the escort for the US to Mediterranean convoy UGS-64, along with the Edgar G. Chase, Balch (DD-363), Eberle (DD-430), Gulfport (PF-20) O’Toole, Andres (DE-45), John J Powers, John M Bellingham and Mason


The convoy passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on 4 January 1945 and split into three sections. The Livermore and Edgar G. Chase escorted their section to Oran, Algeria.

From 12 January-1 February the Livermore, Edgar G. Chase, Andres, Eberle and John M. Bermingham escorted the west-bound convoy GUS-65, which reached the US without incident.

From mid-February to early March the Livermore was part of the escort of east-bound Convoy UGS-75.  The convoy passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on 4 March.

The Livermore was escorting a third convoy to Oran when the war in Europe ended. She reached the US at the end of her last trip across the Atlantic on 29 May and prepared for the move to the Pacific.

She left New York on 22 June, but was no further than Pearl Harbor when the war ended. She continued on to Japan, escorting transports carrying soldiers from the 98th Division, part of the occupation force. She arrived in Japan on 27 September. She made several voyages between Saipan, the Philippines and Wakayama, Japan, before departing for the Aleutians on 3 November.

On her arrival in the Aleutians she picked up discharged servicemen and carried them to Seattle and San Francisco, arriving there on 22 December. She then moved to the East Coast, reaching Charleston on 18 January 1946.

She was allocated to the Naval Reserve Training Program, and was placed into the reserve but in commission on 1 May 1946. On 24 January 1947 she was decommissioned but placed ‘in service’ with the 6th Naval District. She moved to the 1st Naval District on 15 March 1949. During this period she was used on a seires of training cruisers. This ended after she ran aground off southern Cape Cod on 30 July 1949. She was refloated and moved to Boston, where she was placed out of service and inactivated on 15 May 1950.

She was struck off on 18 July 1956. From 1956-58 she was used as a source of spare parts, and for experiments off Indianhead, Maryland.

On 3 March 1961 she was sold to be scrapped.

Livermore received three battle stars, for the landings in Morocco, Anzio and the Invasion of the South of France. Anyone who served on her between 13 September-21 October 1941 or 3 November-7 December 1941 qualified for the American Defense Service Medal. Anyone who served on her between 14 September-1 October or 22 October-3 November 1945 qualified for the Navy Occupation Service Medal (Asia).

Displacement (standard)

1,630t design
1,838t as built

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35kts design
36.5kt at 50,200shp at 2,220t on trial (Niblack)


2-shaft Westinghouse turbines
4 boilers
50,000hp design


6500nm at 12kt design

Armour - belt


 - deck



348ft 3in


36ft 1in


Five 5in/38 guns
Ten 21in torpedo tubes
Six 0.5in AA guns
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement


Laid down

6 March 1939


3 August 1940


7 October 1940


15 May 1950

Struck off

19 July 1956

Sold to be scrapped

3 March 1961

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

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 September 2023), USS Livermore (DD-429),

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