USS Morris (DD-271)

USS Morris (DD-271) was a Clemson class destroyer that had a very brief career in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, but was decommissioned in 1922 and sold for scrap in 1936.

Destroyer Division 31 in 1921
Destroyer Division 31
in 1921

The Morris was named after Robert Morris, a British-born merchant who moved to the Colonies, served in the Continental Congress and was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. 

The Morris was laid down at the Fore River Plant, Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Squantum, Mass on 20 July 1918. She was launched on 12 April 1919 and sponsored by Mrs George E. Roosevelt, a great-granddaughter of Morris. She was commissioned on 21 July 1919.

On 26 August 1919 the Morris departed for Europe, passing through the Strait of Gibralter in late September. She moved on to Split, Yugoslavia, to join the Adriatic Detachment of the US fleet in European waters. This detachment was attempting to uphold US interests in the areas of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Morris remained in the area until the late spring of 1920, and returned to New York on 21 May 1920.

After a brief spell on the east coast, the Morris moved to San Diego, arriving on 7 September 1920. She spent the next nine months operating off the coast of California as well as making short visits to Mexico and Nicaragua.

During 1922 she was part of Destroyer Division Thirty-One, made up of Bailey (DD-269), Thornton(DD-270), Morris (DD-271), Tingey (DD-272), Swasey (DD-273) and Meade (DD-274).

The Morris was decommissioned on 15 June 1922 and placed into the reserve. She was struck off on 19 May 1936 and sold for scrap on 29 September 1936.

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



12 April 1919


21 July 1919


15 June 1922

Struck off

19 May 1936

Sold for Scrap

29 September 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.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 March 2020), USS Morris (DD-271) ,

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