USS Maddox (DD-168)/ HMS Georgetown

USS Maddox (DD-168) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the Royal Navy as HMS Georgetown and then in the Soviet Navy.

The Maddox was named after William A.T. Maddox, a US marine who fought in the Mexican War.

The Maddox was laid down at the Fore River Shipbuilding Co, Quincy, Mass, on 20 July 1918, launched on 27 October 1918 and commissioned on 10 March 1919.

USS Maddox (DD-168), c.1920
USS Maddox (DD-168), c.1920

The Maddox joined Division 21 of the Atlantic Fleet. In May 1919 she was one of the line of destroyers that marked out the route taken by the first transatlantic flight, carried out by the Navy Curtiss flying boat NC-4.

In August 1919 the Maddox departed for Europe. In September she escorted the George Washington as she carried the King and Queen of Belgium to the United States. The Maddox left on 25 September, and began a month escorting ships and carrying passengers between Dover, Harwich, Boulogne and the Hook of Holland. On 25 October she moved east to carry out a tour of the Baltics, before returning to the United States in February 1920.

The Maddox spent the next two years operating along the US east coast, before she was decommissioned on 14 June 1922.

The Maddox wasn't recommissioned until 17 June 1940, when she joined the mid-Atlantic neutrality patrol.

The Maddox was soon chosen as one of the fifty destroyers to go to Britain under the terms of the 'destroyers for bases' deal. She was decommissioned from the US Navy on 23 September and recommissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Georgetown.

As HMS Georgetown

The Georgetown was given a British style open bridge on top of her original US bridge. She was also give HF/DF equipment and the Hedgehog anti-submarine weapon.

The Georgetown took part in Operation Bowery of May 1942, the second time the US carrier USS Wasp carried Spitfires to within flying range of Malta.

In September 1942 the Georgetown transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy, which was taking over more responsibility in the North Atlantic. She was used on convoy escort duties in the western Atlantic for the next year, before returning to the United Kingdom in December 1943 to go into the Reserve Fleet.

In August 1944 the Georgetown was transferred to the Soviet Union, where she was renamed either Doblestny ('Glorious' or 'Valient') or Zhyosky ('Rigid'). The same two names are also associated with USS Foote (DD-169), which became HMS Roxborough in British service, so there is clearly some confusion between the two destroyers.

The Ward was returned to Britain in September 1952 and sold for scrap later in the same month. She was broken up at Ward, Inverkeithing.

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


Laid down

20 July 1918


27 October 1918


10 March 1919

Sold for scrap

September 1952

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 (pending), Title,

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