USS McCawley (DD-276)

USS McCawley (DD-276) was a Clemson class destroyer that served two periods in commission with the Pacific Fleet during the 1920s, before being struck off in 1930.

USS McCawley (DD-276), Boston, 1919
USS McCawley (DD-276),
Boston, 1919

The McCawley was named after Colonel Charles G. McCawley of the USMC, who fought in the Mexican War and the US Civil War, taking part in the capture of Port Royal in November 1861 and the occupation of the Norfolk Navy Yard in May 1862, as well as a series of operations along the Confederate Coast. He ended his career as colonel commandant of the Marine Corps.

The McCawley was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corps at Quincy, Mass, on 5 November 1918, She was launched on 14 June 1919 and sponsored by McCawley’s granddaughter Miss Eleanor Laurie McCawley. She was commissioned on 22 September 1919.

The McCawley was allocated to Destroyer Squadron 2 of the Pacific Fleet, which then became DesRon 4. However this was a short lived role, as she was decommissioned at San Diego on 7 June 1922.

The McCawley was recommissioned on 27 September 1923 and rejoined the Pacific Fleet. For the next six years she took part in most of the regular Fleet Problems which took her to Hawaii, and into the Caribbean in 1924 and 1927. On 29 June 1925 Santa Barbara was hit  by a major earthquake that destroyed the centre of the city. On the following day the McCawley, Arkansas (BB-33) and Eagle Sit (PE-34) arrived to help with the relief effort.

Recruiting Poster based on USS McCawley (DD-276) Recruiting Poster based on USS McCawley (DD-276)

The McCawley was chosen as one of the destroyers to be deactivated under the terms of the London Naval Treaty. She was selected because she was one of a series of destroyers with Yarrow boilers, which turned out to have decayed unexpectedly badly in service. She was decommissioned at San Diego on 1 April 1930, struck off on 13 August 1930 and sold for scrap on 2 September 1931.

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)


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



14 June 1919


22 September 1919

Sold for Scrap

2 September 1931

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (pending), Title,

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