USS Parker (DD-48)

USS Parker (DD-48) was a Cassin class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18 and from Plymouth from July-November 1918, winning praise for her role in rescuing survivors from the hospital ship Glenart Castle in February 1918.

The Parker was named after Foxhall Alexander Parker, a US naval officer during the American Civil War who later served as Chief of Staff of the North Atlantic Fleet and wrote a number of books on modern naval warfare. She was laid down by Cramp at Philadelphia on 11 March 1912, launched on 8 February 1913 and commissioned on 30 December 1913. She only made 25.955 knots on trial, somewhat down on her designed speed.

USS Parker (DD-48), Hampton Roads, 1914
USS Parker (DD-48),
Hampton Roads, 1914

After entering service the Parker joined the Torpedo Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet. During 1914 she was part of Destroyer Division 7. She was based on the US East Coast during the early years of the First World War, taking part in the neutrality patrol as well as winter training in Cuban waters. In March 1917, as the US prepared to enter the war, she moved to Yorktown. In June she formed part of the escort for Group 4 of the first US troop convoy to cross the Atlantic to France, leaving on 17 June 1917. After escorting the convoy to St. Nazaire, the Parker moved to her new base at Queenstown, from where she operated until July 1918.  From Queenstown the Parker carried out a mix of escort duties and rescue missions.

On 3 August she carried out an attack on a U-boat and was credited with probably seriously damaging her target.

On 26 February 1918 she rescued survivors from the British Hospital Ship Glenart Castle, after she was sunk by UC-56 despite being brightly lit up as a hospital ship. She was commended by Parliament, the Admiralty and the US Naval Authorities for her efforts, but only a few of the Glenart Castle's crew survived. Thankfully she was on her way from Britain to France at the time, so wasn't full of patients.

In July 1918 the Parker was sent to Plymouth to operate with US submarine chasers. On 1 November 1918 she departed for Gibraltar, the third main US naval base in Europe (along with Queenstown and Brest), but the war ended before she arrived. She returned to Plymouth, and spent some time operating a mail and passenger service between Plymouth and Brest.

Anyone who served on her between 17 June 1917 and 11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

Early in 1919 she visited German ports to implement some of the terms of the armistice, and then went into the Baltic to help the Food Administration.  In May 1919 she was part of Destroyer Squadron 14 (USS Cummings (DD-44); USS Wainwright (DD-62); USS Parker (DD-48); USS Balch (DD-50); USS McDougal (DD-54); USS Ericsson (DD-56); and USS Dixie (AD-1)).

The Parker departed for New York on 20 July 1919 and joined Destroyer Squadron 1, Atlantic Fleet. She remained operational into the middle of 1921, when she was part of Destroyer Squadron 14, and was then decommissioned on 6 June 1922. She was struck off on 8 March 1935 and sold for scrap on 23 April 1935.

Displacement (standard)

1,010t nominal

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

29kts at 16,000shp (design)
29.14kts at 14,253shp at 1,057 tons on trial (Duncan)


2-shaft Parson turbines plus reciprocating cruising engines
4 boilers for 16,000shp


305ft 5in


30ft 2in


Four 3in.50 guns (DD-43 & DD-44)
Four 4in/50 guns (DD-45 to DD-50)
Eight 1in torpedo tubes in four twin mountings

Crew complement



8 February 1913


30 December 1913


Sold for scrap 1935

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

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 July 2016), USS Parker (DD-48) ,

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