USS Paulding (DD-22)

USS Paulding (DD-22) was the name ship of the Paulding class of destroyers. She took part in the US intervention in Mexico, served from Queenstown after American entered the First World War then served with the Coast Guard 'Rum Patrol'.

USS Paulding (DD-22) at Queenstown, 1918
USS Paulding (DD-22)
at Queenstown, 1918

The Paulding was named after Hiram Paulding, who served in the US Navy during the War of 1812, and took part in the build up of the Union fleet during the American Civil War. She was laid down by the Bath Iron Works on 24 July 1909, launched on 12 April 1910 and commissioned on 29 September 1910.

The Paulding joined the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet, and spent most of the period before the First World War operating along the US East Coast. The Paulding took part in the US intervention in Mexico in 1914 and anyone who served on her between 22 April and 27 May 1914 qualified for the Mexican Service Medal.

In April 1917, after the US entry into the First World War, the Paulding operated off the coast of New England. In May she prepared for distance service, and on 21 May she darted to Queenstown.

The Paulding served with the US forces based at Queenstown, Ireland, from the summer of 1917 until the end of the war. In June 1917 she was part of the second division of US Destroyers at Queenstown, alongside the Wilkes, Ammen and Perkins. Their duties included anti-submarine patrols, escorting individual ships, and as the war went on an increasing amount of convoy escort duties.

Torpedo Tubes on USS Paulding (DD-22)
Torpedo Tubes on
USS Paulding (DD-22)

On 20 October 1918 the Paulding collided with the Balch while carrying out convoy escort duties. The Paulding needed repairs to her bow, which were carried out in the dry dock at Queenstown. The incident could have been worse, as one of Balch's depth charges was knocked overboard but didn't explode.

Anyone who served on her between 1 June 1917 and 11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

In August 1919, after her return to the United States, the Paulding was placed into the reserve. On 28 April 1925 the Paulding was transferred to the Coast Guard to take part in the Prohibition Era 'Rum Patrol'. She served in the Coast Guard as CG-17. The most notable incident during her time with the Coast Guard came on 17 December 1927 when she collided with the submarine USS S-4 (SS-109) as she was surfacing after a submerged run off the coast of New England. The Paulding suffered damage to her bow, but the S-4 was sunk and efforts to save trapped members of her crew failed. The Coast Guard was cleared of any blame for the accident in a later enquiry. The Paulding remained with the Coast Guard until 18 October 1930, when she was returned to the Navy and placed back into the Reserve. She was struck off on 28 June 1934 and sold for scrap.

Electrician's Mate Truman C. Emery
Electrician's Mate Truman C. Emery

The Paulding kept her name after the USS James K. Paulding (DD-238) was launched in 1920, as the later ship was named after Secretary of the Navy James Kirke Paulding.

Displacement (design)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

29.5kts design
32kts at 17,393shp at 887 tons on trial


3-shaft Parson turbines
4 Normand boilers
12,000shp normal
17,393shp trial


3,000nm at 16kts design
3,343nm at 15kts on trial
2,642nm at 20kts on trial




26ft 3in


Five 3in/50 guns
Six 18in torpedo tubes in three twin mounts

Crew complement



12 April 1910


29 September 1910


Sold 1934

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 (16 February 2016), USS Paulding (DD-22) ,

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