USS Mahan (DD-102/ DM-7)

USS Mahan (DD-102/ DM-7) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service just before the end of the First World War, and served as a fast minelayer during the 1920s.

The Mahan was named after Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, the famous naval theorist.

The Mahan was laid down on 4 May 1918 at Quincy, Mass, launched on 4 August 1918 and commissioned on 24 October 1918, with Lt,. Commander F.P. Conger in command.

Anyone who served on her between 2-11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal, presumably for taking part in her shakedown cruise, which would have taken her into the Atlantic war zone.

USS Mahan (DD-102) and USS Shawmut (CM-4) serving as seaplane tenders
USS Mahan (DD-102) and
USS Shawmut (CM-4)
serving as seaplane tenders

In the immediate post-war period the Mahan operated off Cuba. In May 1919 she moved to the Azores to act as one of the guide ships for the first transatlantic flight. This involved a flight of Curtiss flying boats, of which NC-4 successfully completed the flight. After the flight the Mahan visited Brest, before returning to Boston on 21 June 1919.

After her return to Boston the Mahan was converted into a light minelayer, and on 17 July 1920 she was redesignated as DM-7. She spent most of the 1920s taking part in the usual round of US naval life, operating off the US East Coast in the summer and in the Caribbean and the Panama Canal Zone in the winter. She was also used as an experimental ship, testing out new equipment.

In 1922 she helped patrol the course of the Six Meter Sailing Race.

Early in 1925 the Mahan took part in manoeuvres in Pearl Harbor, during her only visit to the Pacific. One of her tasks in this period was to act as a seaplane tender.

USS Mahan (DD-102) as fast minelayer, c.1920-22
USS Mahan (DD-102) as fast minelayer, c.1920-22

In September 1925 she helped in salvage operations for the submarine USS S-51, which had been sunk in a collision with the merchant ship City of Rome on the night of 25 September 1925 off Block Island. The submarine wasn’t successfully salvaged until July 1926. 

In 1927 she once again helped patrol the course of the Six Meter Sailing Race.

On 17 December 1927 the submarine USS S-4 was sunk in a collision with the coast guard destroyer USS Paulding (DD-22/ CG-17). The Mahan took part in the original rescue attempts, and then in salvage operations, which finally succeeded on 17 March 1928.

In 1928-1929 she carried out reserve training cruises in the Caribbean.

On 20 September 1929 the Mahan entered Philadelphia Navy Yard, and she was decommissioned on 1 May 1930. She was very quickly disposed off, being struck off the Navy Register on 22 October and sold for scrap on 17 January 1931.

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 (15 May 2017), USS Mahan (DD-102/ DM-7) ,

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