USS Mason (DD-191)/ HMS Broadwater

USS Mason (DD-191) was a Clemson class destroyer that had a limited US career, and then served in the North Atlantic with the Royal Navy as HMS Broadwater, before being sunk by U-101.

USS Mason (DD-191) at Norfolk Navy Yard, 23 May 1921
USS Mason (DD-191)
at Norfolk Navy Yard,
23 May 1921

The Mason was named after John Young Mason, the Secretary of the Navy in 1844-45 and 1846-49. In 1854, while serving as Minister to France, he was one of the co-authors of the Ostend Manifesto, in which the United States attempted to justify its claim to Cuba.

The Mason was laid down at Newport News on 10 July 1918, launched on 8 March 1919 and commissioned on 29 February 1920. She spent the next two years operating along the US East Coast. In 1942 she was one of the large number of destroyers that were decommissioned, partly to satisfy the Washington Naval Treaty and partly for financial reasons. She was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 3 July 1922.

The Mason was recommissioned on 4 December 1939 as the US Navy expanded after the outbreak of war in Europe. In September 1940 she was chosen as one of fifty destroyers that went to Britain under the ‘Destroyers for Bases’ deal. She reached Halifax, Nova Scotia on 2 October, was decommissioned fron the US Navy on 8 October and commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Broadwater (H-81) on 9 October.

HMS Broadwater (H-81)

The Broadwater left Halifax on 15 October and reached the Clyde on 25 October. She joined the 11th Escort Group of Western Approaches Command. At the start of 1941 she was used to escort troop convoys around the Cape of Good Hope and on their way to the crucial battlefields of North Africa. After this she spent May-June 1941 at Southampton.

In July 1941 the Broadwater was allocated to the Newfoundland Escort Force. She was used on patrols and as a convoy escort.

At the end of September 1941 she escorted Convoy SC-45.  In October she was part of the escort of Convoy SC-48. On 17 October she carried out an attack on an U-boat 400 miles to the south of Iceland. On 18 October 1941 she was torpedoed by U-101, and sank at 13.40.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35.51kts at 24,890shp at 1,107t on trial (Preble)


2-shaft Westinghouse geared tubines
4 boilers
27,000shp (design)


2,500nm at 20kts (design)

Armour - belt


 - deck



314ft 4in


30ft 10.5in


Four 4in/ 50 guns
One 3in/23 AA gun
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple mountings
Two depth charge tracks
One Y-Gun depth charge projector

Crew complement



8 March 1919


28 February 1920

Sunk by U-101

18 October 1941

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 August 2018), USS Mason (DD-191)/ HMS Broadwater ,

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