USS Moody (DD-277)

USS Moody (DD-277) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Pacific Fleet for most of the 1920s, before being struck off in 1930 because of her worn Yarrow boilers.

The Moody was named after William Henry moody, Theodore Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Navy from 1902-1904.

The Moody was laid down at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Squantum, Mass on 9 December 1918 and launched on 28 June 1919, when she was sponsored by Moody’s sister Miss Mary E. Moody. She was commissioned at Boston on 10 December 1919, and allocated to the Pacific Fleet. She left Boston on 9 February 1920, collected her torpedoes and ammo at Newport, and then sailed west, reaching San Diego on 31 February 1920.

USS Moody (DD-277) underway
USS Moody (DD-277)

On 10 July the Moody arrived at Washington State, to join a flotilla that was carrying Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, Interior Secretary John B. Payne, and Adm. Hugh Rodman, Commander of the Pacific Fleet, to Alaska. During the next month the Moody visited nine Alaskan ports, including Sitka, Duncan Day and Juneau. She returned to San Diego on 31 August, and spent the next two months operating off the Californian coast, taking part in a mix of training and battle exercises. She was decommissioned at San Diego on 15 June 1922.

The Moody was recommissioned on 27 September 1923 and assigned to Destroyer Squadrons, Battle Fleet, still in the Pacific. She operated along the West Coast for nineteen months, before departing for Hawaii on 27 May 1925 for fleet exercises (not the annual Fleet Problems, which had happened earlier in the year). After a month at Hawaii she left for the South Pacific on 1 July, visiting Pago Pago, Samoa, Melbourne, Australia and Dunedin and Wellington in New Zealand. She returned to San Diego on 26 September 1925.

The Moody spent most of the next few years operating along the West Coast, with a few trips further afield. From February-April 1926 she was based around Panama, where Fleet Problem VI was being conducted.

On 17 February 1927 she departed from San Diego to move to the Caribbean for Fleet Problem VII. She passed through the Panama Canal on 4 March and reached Guantanamo Bay on Cuba on 18 March. After the exercise was over she visited New York for repairs, departing on 16 May and reaching San Diego on 25 June.

From April-June 1928 the Moody was part of a fleet that visited Hawaii for Fleet Problem VIII.

USS Moody (DD-277) laying smoke screen
USS Moody (DD-277) laying smoke screen

Early in 1929 the Moody visited Mexico and Panama, probably as part of Fleet Problem IX. In July 1929 she visited the Pacific North-west, reaching Ketchikan.

In 1929 the Navy decided to scrap most of the Clemson class destroyers powered by Yarrow boilers, which were degrading much faster than expected. This also allowed the Navy to satisfy the terms of the London Naval Treaty of 1930. The Moody was one of the destroyers chosen to be scrapped. She was decommissioned at San Diego on 2 June 1930 and struck off on 3 November 1930. Her superstructure was sold for scrap on 10 June 1931, but her hulk was sunk off the California coast in February 1933.

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



28 June 1919


10 December 1919

Sold for scrap

10 June 1931

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 (13 April 2020), USS Moody (DD-277) ,

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