USS McLanahan (DD-264 )/ HMS Bradford

USS McLanahan (DD-264)/ HMS Bradford was a Clemson class destroyer that went to Britain as part of the destroyers for bases deal. In British service she was used on convoy escort duties in 1941-43, and took part in Operation Torch. She was then judged to be beyond economical repair, and was used as an accommodation ship for the combined operations base HMS Foliot from June 1943 to August 1945.

The McLanahan was named after Tenant McLanahan, a US sailor who was killed in a clash with Mexican forces in Baja California on 11 February 1848.

The McLanahan was laid down by Bethlehem at Quincy on 20 April 1918, launched on 22 September 1918 and commissioned on 5 April 1919.

She had a short career in US service. She joined the Pacific Fleet, but was placed into the reserve at San Diego in October 1919 and decommissioned in June 1922.

The Mclanahan was recommissioned on 18 December 1939 as part of the expansion of the US Navy after the outbreak of war in Europe. She moved to the east coast, where the main neutrality patrols were needed, but later in 1940 was selected as one of the fifty older destroyers to go to Britain under the terms of the Destroyers for Bases deal. She moved to Halifax, where she was decommissioned from the US Navy on 8 October 1940.

As HMS Bradford

USS McLanahan (DD-264), New York, 1939-40 USS McLanahan (DD-264), New York, 1939-40

The Bradford was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 8 October. She arrived on the Clyde on 26 October 1940 along with the Broadwater, Burnham and Burwell. In November she began a refit at Plymouth to prepare her for use as a convoy escort. In December she moved to Scapa Flow to work up with the Home Fleet, but she had to be withdrawn because too many defects were discovered. She was then chosen for conversion into a long range escort. She was converted for the new role at Sheerness from January-August 1941. This involved removing one boiler and replacing it with more fuel storage.

In October 1941 she joined the 43rd Escort Group at Londonderry, which also contained the Town class destroyer HMS Newport and four sloops. From November 1941 to April 1942 she carried out convoy escort duties in the Atlantic, before on 18 April 1942 she was damaged in a collision with the sloop HMS Scarborough while on service in the Atlantic.

From May to July 1942 she underwent repairs on the Humber. She may have been given Type 271 Radar during this period, and had a Hedgehog anti-submarine weapon by October.

In October 1942 she was part of the escort for military convoy KMS2, which was heading to the Mediterranean as part of Operation Torch. In November she was used on convoy defence duties in the Torch area. In December 1942 she returned to the UK as part of the escort of a convoy.

From January-February 1943 she resumed her convoy escort duties in the north-west approaches. In March she moved to the Channel to escort coastal convoys but in April she had to return to Liverpool for repairs, and in May it was decided that she was beyond economic repair.

On 14 May 1943 she was paid off. She was then selected for use as an Accommodation Ship, and on 2 June she was recommissioned as a tender to the shore establishment HMS Foliot. This was a holding base for Combined Operations personnel, and the Bradford was used as accommodation for new recruits to combined ops. She performed this role from June 1943 until August 1945.

After the war she was placed into the reserve fleet at Plymouth, then sold for scrap on 19 June 1946.

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



22 September 1918


5 April 1919

Sold for scrap

19 June 1946

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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