USS Moffett (DD-362)

USS Moffett (DD-362) was a Porter Class destroyer that served in the Atlantic throughout the Second World War, taking part in the sinkings of U-128 and U-604.

The Moffett was named after William Adger Moffett, who served in the Spanish-American War, commanded the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes during the First World War, and served as Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics from 1921 until his death in the crash of the Akron in April 1933.

USS Moffett (DD-362) from above, 1945 USS Moffett (DD-362) from above, 1945

The Moffett was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp of Quincy Mass on 2 January 1934, launched on 11 December 1935 when she was sponsored by Admiral Moffett’s daughter Beverly and commissioned on 28 August 1936.

From 1936 until 1941 the Moffett served with the Atlantic Fleet, from her base at Newport.

After the fall of France she moved to Puerto Rico to watch the Vichy warships based at Martinique and Guadeloupe. That included the auxiliary cruisers Barfleur and Quercy and the carrier Berne, all at Martinique.

On 24 April 1941 she departed to join the South Atlantic Neutrality Patrol off Brazil.

In August 1941 she moved north to help escort President Roosevelt on the Augusta to Argentia, Newfoundland, where he met with Churchill and agreed the Atlantic Charter. This was an extraordinary meeting in which Roosevelt treated the Axis powers as enemies, despite the US technically still being neutral.

For the two years after the attack on Pearl Harbor the Moffett operated on patrol and convoy escort duties in the South Atlantic and Caribbean, making occasional visits to American ports.

On 19 May 1942 she rescued sixteen survivors from the Brazilian merchantman SS Commandante Lyra, which had been torpedoed by a U-boat on the previous day. A number of other US ships were also on the scene, and the ship was saved and towed to Fortaleza, Brazil.

From 12 January-14 February 1943 she took part in a long parol with TU 23.1.6, built around the carrier Santee and cruiser Savannah, which left Recife, Brazil, in an attempt to find German blockade runners.

In 1943 she also visited West Africa on several occasions.

USS Moffett (DD-362) off South America USS Moffett (DD-362) off South America

On 17 May 1943 the Moffett and Jouett were on escort duty in the Caribbean when patrol aircraft attacked a U-boat. The two destroyers rushed to the scene and found U-128 on the surface. They opened fire with their 5in guns and forced the crew to abandon ship, scuttling the damaged submarine. The destroyers then rescued 47 of her crew, including her commanding officer.

In August 1943 the Moffett was escorting the Memphis and a merchant ship to Ascension Island when the Moffett detected U-604. The destroyer and naval aircraft attacked the submarine overnight. On the following morning the submarine surfaced 95 miles to the north of Trinidad but was once again forced down by the Moffett. Three days later aircraft helped direct the Moffett back to the submarine and another night battle followed. The submarine managed to escape from the Moffett, but by now was so badly damaged that on the morning of 11 August her crew and useful supplies were transferred to U-185. U-604 was then scuttled. The Moffett was credited with her destruction. U-185 was then sunk by aircraft from USS Core on 24 August. By this point 23 of the survivors of U-604 had been transferred to another submarine and nine were rescued by USS Barker.

On 26 March 1944 the Moffett sailed as the escort commander of Convoy YN-78, a group of tugs, barges and patrol craft that was sailing to Britain ready to take part in Operation Overlord. The Moffett visited Wales and Northern Ireland, before returning to New York on 11 May.

In July-August 1944 the Moffett escorted Convoy UGS-48 on its way to Bizerte. On 1 August the convoy was attacked by enemy torpedo planes, but the Moffett was able to avoid a number of attacks, and helped drive off the attacks. The convoy was safely escorted to Bizerte, and the Moffett returned to New York on 27 August.

In April 1945 the Moffett escorted her last convoy, to Oran. She then moved to Boston for repairs. These must have been fairly serious, for on 28 May she was towed to Charleston for more work. She was still there when the war ended. Work on her was stopped, and she was decommissioned on 2 November 1945. Despite not having been fully repaired she was placed into the Reserve Fleet, but was struck off on 28 January 1947 and sold for scrap on 16 May 1947.

Moffett received 2 battle stars for World War II service, for sinking U-128 and U-604.

Displacement (standard)

1,850t (design)

Displacement (loaded)

2,131t (design)

Top Speed

37kts design
38.19kts at 51,127shp at 2,123t on trial (Porter)
38.17kts at 47,271shp at 2,190t on trial (Porter)


2-shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers
50,000shp design


7,800nm at 12kts design
8,710nm at 15kts at 2,157t on trial (Porter)
6,380nm at 12kts at 2,700t wartime
4,080nm at 15kts at 2,700t wartime


381ft 0.5in


36ft 10in


Eight 5in/38 SP in four twin mounts
Eight 21in torpedoes in two quad mounts
Eight 1.1in AA guns in four twin mounts
Two 0.50in AA guns
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement


Laid down

2 January 1934


11 December 1935


28 August 1936

Sold for scrap

16 May 1947

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 (10 November 2021), USS Moffett (DD-362) ,

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