USS McKee (DD-87)

USS McKee (DD-87) was a Wickes class destroyer that carried out one mission to the Azores during the First World War, and had a limited post-war career before being decommissioned in 1922.

The McKee was named after Hugh W. McKee, a US naval officer who was fatally wounded during the first US intervention in Korea in 1871.

USS McKee (DD-87), summer or autumn 1918
USS McKee (DD-87),
summer or autumn 1918

The McKee was built by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco. She was launched on 23 March 1918 and commissioned on 7 September 1918, with Lt Commander W.H. Lee in command. Her entry into the First World War was then delayed by the need to move from the Pacific to the Atlantic - she left Mare Island, California on 13 September 1918, passed through the Panama Canal on 27 September and reached Destroyer Flotilla 5 at New York on 2 October.

For most of October the McKee was used to escort coastal convoys, but on 28 October she left Hampton Roads as part of the escort for a convoy heading for Europe. She reached the Azores on 5 November, and instead of continuing on to Europe was allocated to a convoy returning to New York. During the return voyage she visited Agar's Island, Bermuda, where the US Navy had a temporary supply station. On 26 November, in poor weather, she twice rammed the fuel barge Fuel-Oil Barge No.36 (previous the Curacao), causing damage below the waterline to one of her oil tanks. The McKee was undamaged, and reached New York on 2 December 1918.

Anyone who served on her between 26 September and 11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

The McKee took part in the fleet exercises of January-April 1919, based at Guantanamo Bay. She then operated between Key West and Halifax, Nova Scotia, before on 13 December 1919 she went into reduced commission at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

In July 1921 she moved to Newport, Rhode Island, and then later in the year to Charleston. In April 1922 she moved to Philadelphia, and on 16 June 1922 she was decommissioned under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. She was struck off on 7 January 1936 and sold for scrap to the Boston Iron & Metal Co of Baltimore.

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)


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



23 March 1918


7 September 1918

Struck off

7 January 1936

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 (15 March 2017), USS McKee (DD-87) ,

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