USS Paul Jones (DD-10)

USS Paul Jones (DD-10) was the name ship of the Paul Jones class of destroyers. Before the outbreak of the First World War she served with the Pacific Fleet, before after US entry into the war she moved to the Atlantic coast.

The Paul Jones was laid down on 20 April 1899, launched on 14 June 1902 and commissioned on 19 July 1903. She was named after John Paul Jones, the most famous American naval hero of the War of Independence.

USS Paul Jones (DD-10), Guaymas Mexico, 1915
USS Paul Jones (DD-10),
Guaymas Mexico, 1915

Between 1903 and the US entry into the First World War the Paul Jones served with the Pacific Fleet, and was based at San Francisco. Anyone serving on her between 25-28 April 1914 or 18 July-22 August 1916 and 1 December 1916 to 29 January 1917 qualified for the Mexican Service Medal.

After the American entry into the First World War she sailed for Norfolk Virginia, arriving on 3 August. From 4-13 August she patrolled off the York River.

In mid-August 1917 she was one of eight destroyers that escorted the Battleship Force Atlantic as it moved between Bermuda and New York.

Between 24 August and 24 September she carried out a series of convoy escort patrols off the east coast. She spent most of October-December training around Norfolk and Chesapeake Bay.

On 15 January 1918, along with USS Stewart (DD-13), USS Hopkins (DD-6) and USS Worden (DD-16), she set off from Philadelphia at the start of a journey to the Azores. Soon after leaving Bermuda she developed a serious leak in her port aft coal bunker. Her aft fire rooms were flooded, and all of her fresh water was contaminated. She was only just able to make progress on the power from the remaining two boilers, and it took from 23-26 January for her to reach safety back at Bermuda. After temporary repairs she left Bermuda on 22 February and sailed to Philadelphia, where she underwent permanent repairs between 25 February and mid April.

USS Paul Jones (DD-10) in Dazzle Camouflage, 1918
USS Paul Jones (DD-10)
in Dazzle Camouflage,

On 18 April 1918 the Paul Jones began a period of operations in the Chesapeake Bay area, operating from Fortress Monroe, Virginia. This lasted until 6 August. On 2 July, while operating from Fortress Monroe, she rescued 1,250 Marines and officers from the burning transport ship USS Henderson (AP-1), and moved them to the Von Steuben (Id.3017), a former German auxiliary cruiser that had been interned while the United States was neutral and seized after the American entry into the war. The destroyer USS Mayrant (DD-31) also took part in the rescue. The Henderson was saved and later transported 10,000 US veterans back home from Europe.

USS Hopkins (DD-6) and USS Paul Jones (DD-10), 1918
USS Hopkins (DD-6) and USS Paul Jones (DD-10), 1918

On 7 August the Paul Jones was involved in a friendly fire incident while escorting a convoy. The USS Submarine 0-6 (SS-67) was mistake for a U-boat and came under fire from the Paul Jones and several other escorts. The submarine's conning tower was hit seven times before she was correctly identified. The Paul Jones had the task of escorting the damaged submarine back to Delaware Bay.

On 9 August she moved to her new base at Hampton Roads. She continued to operate around Chesapeake Bay, performing a mix of duties including anti-mine patrols and convoy escort duties. This lasted until the start of 1919, when like all other coal powered destroyers she was selected to be scrapped.

She was decommissioned on 29 July 1919, struck off the Naval Vessel Register on 15 September and sold for scrap on 3 January 1920.

Displacement (standard)


Top Speed



4 Thornycroft boilers
2 Vertical Triple Expansion engines
2 shafts


250ft 7in


23ft 6in


Two 3in/25 guns
Five 6pdr guns
Two 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement



14 June 1902


14 December 1903


Sold 1920

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 (24 November 2015), USS Paul Jones (DD-10) ,

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