USS McDermut (DD-262)

USS McDermut (DD-262) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Pacific Fleet for most of the 1920s, before being scrapped in 1932 under the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

The McDermut was named after David A. McDermut, a US naval officer who was killed at Sabine Pass during the American Civil War.

The McDermut was laid down by Bethlehem at Quincy, Mass, on 20 April 1918 and launched on 6 August 1918.

The first McDermut (DD‑262) was laid down 20 April 1918 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Squantum, Mass.; launched 6 August 1918;

USS McDermut (DD-262) underway, c.1919-22
USS McDermut (DD-262)
underway, c.1919-22

At the time the war was expected to last into 1919, and so in September 1918 Commander A. Buchanan, commander of the destroyer USS Downes was ordered to return to the US from Ireland to assist with her fitting out. In October he was replaced by H W Underwood, commander of USS Walke. Both men had experience of anti-submarine warfare, serving with the powerful US destroyer flotilla based at Queenstown, in the south of Ireland.

The McDermut was commissioned on 27 March 1919 and joined the Atlantic Fleet. On 28 May 1919 she left Boston to carry out a brief visit to Brest, France. She was back on the east coast by 24 July 1919.

The autumn of 1919 the McDermut departed for the Pacific, arriving on 24 December 1919. She spent the next eight and a half years operating with the Pacific Fleet, spending most of her time either on the west coast or at Hawaii.

In 1924 the McDermut passed through the Panama Canal for a brief period of service in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

In 1925 she travelled the furthest away from home, paying a goodwill visit to Samoa, Australia and new Zealand.

Early in 1927 the McDermut passed through the Panama Canal for the second time, once again for a short period of service in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

On 27 March 1927 the McDermut returned to San Diego from Panama, and on 22 May 1919 she was decommissioned.

USS McDermut (DD-262) underway, 1924 USS McDermut (DD-262) underway, 1924

In 1930 the United States signed the London Naval Treaty, which limited them to 150,000 tons of destroyers. As a result a number of older boats were scrapped, amongst them the McDermut. She was struck off on 11 November 1931 and sold for scrap on 25 February 1932. Although this seems like a very short career, many of her sister ships saw even less use, with a large number decommissioned in the early 1920s and never recommissioned.

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



6 Augustu 1918


27 March 1919

Sold for scrap

25 February 1932

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
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (19 February 2020), USS McDermut (DD-262) ,

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