USS Mervine (DD-322)

USS Mervine (DD-322) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Pacific Fleet in the 1920s before being scrapped because of her badly worn boilers.

The Mervine was named after Rear Admiral William Mervine, who served in the War of 1812, the Mexican War and at the start of the Civil War.

The Mervine was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corps at San Francisco on 28 April 1919, launched on 11 August 1919 when she was sponsored by Miss Eileen D. McCarth and commissioned on 28 February 1921.

USS Mervine (DD-322) at rest USS Mervine (DD-322) at rest

In October 1920 the Marcus, Mervine, Chase, Robert Smith and Mullany were allocated to Destroyer Division 45, part of Destroyer Squadron 13 of Flotilla No.2. However in the following year this was renumbered as Destroyer Division 35. She spent most of her nine years of service operating off the US west coast as part of the Pacific Fleet.

The Mervine spent most of July and August 1922 operationg with the Battle Fleet in the waters around Puget Sound, before returning to San Diego late in August.

The Mervine took part in Fleet Problem I of February-March 1923, which was held in the Panama Canal Zone and was used to test the defences of the canal. At the start of September 1923 Destroyer Division 35 (Marcus, Mervine, Selfridge, Mullany and Chase) visited Humboldt Bay in Northern California, to take part in the convention of the American Legion, which was taking part in Eureka, the largest community on the bay. 

In January-February 1924 the Mervine took part in Fleet Problems II, III and IV, which took place in the Caribbean.

Fitting out Clemson Class Destroyers, Bethlehem, San Francisco Fitting out Clemson Class Destroyers, Bethlehem, San Francisco

In the summer of 1925 she took part in a massive US Naval good will tour of the South Pacific, visiting Samoa and Australia between 1 July and 26 September.

Early in 1926 the Mervine took part in Fleet Problem VI, which was held off the coast of Central America.

In April 1928 she took part in Fleet Problem VIII, which was held in the waters between California and Hawaii, and saw her make one of only two trops across the Pacific. In the summer of 1928 she was part of Destroyer Division 35 (Marcus, Mervine, Mullany, Selfridge, Chase and Robert Smith). This division was used to take naval reservists from southern California on a training cruise to Honolulu and back, then in late July departed from Puget Sound to join the battle fleet which was carrying out maneuvers in northern waters.

In January 1929 she took part in Fleet Problem IX, which tested out the defences of the Panama Canal, and saw a tiny carrier fast task force based around the Saratoga successfully attack the canal. 

By now it was clear that the Mervine’s Yarrow boilers were badly worn. The US Navy decided to swap thirty four of the badly worn destroyers for almost fresh sister-ships that had been in the reserves for most of the 1920s. The Mervine was decommissioned at San Diego on 4 June 1930 and scrapped at Mare Island, helping to fulfil the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

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



11 August 1919


28 February 1921


4 June 1930

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.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 January 2021), USS Mervine (DD-322) ,

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