USS Porter (DD-59)

USS Porter (DD-59) was a Tucker class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18, damaging U-108 in April 1918, and then from Brest later 1918.

The Porter was named after David Porter and his son David Dixon Porter. David Porter served in the US Navy during the Quasi-War with France, the campaign against the Barbary pirates and the War of 1812, where he commanded the frigate Essex, defeating HMS Aler, before being forced to surrender by HMS Cherub and HMS Phoebe. Porter was parole and given command the new frigate Columbia, but she was destroyed by the British while still under construction. Later in his career he commanded the Mexican Navy and served as US Charge d'Affaires in the Ottoman Empire. His son David Dixon Porter served in the US Navy during the Mexican War and the American Civil War, serving on the Mississippi and commanded the attacks on Fort Fisher.

USS Warrington (DD-30), USS Walke (34), USS Porter (DD-59), Queenstown, 1918
USS Warrington (DD-30),
USS Walke (34),
USS Porter (DD-59),
Queenstown, 1918

USS Porter (DD-59) at Queenstown, 4 May 1917
USS Porter (DD-59)
at Queenstown, 4 May 1917

The Porter was laid down by Cramps of Philadelphia on 24 February 1914, launched on 26 August 1915 and commissioned on 17 April 1916. She was part of the first group of US destroyer to be sent to European waters after the US entry into the First World War, leaving the US on 24 April 1917 as part of the screen for the first US troop convoy. She was based at Queenstown from 4 May 1917 until 14 June 1918, and carried out a mix of anti-submarine patrols, rescue missions and escort duties.

On 28 April 1918 she attacked and damaged a submarine that was attempting to attack a convoy. This was probably U-108, which survived the war and was given to the French.

In June-July she was one of seven destroyers escorting a convoy of eight transport ships west across the Atlantic after carrying US troops to France (Little DD-79, Conner DD-72, Cummings DD-44, Porter DD-59, Jarvis DD-38, Smith DD-17 and Reid DD-21). On 1 July 1918 U-86 sank the transport ship Covington (ID # 1409), previously the SS Cincinnati of the Hamburg-American Line. According to the Dictionary of American Fighting Ships six crewmen were killed and 770 rescued.

USS Porter (DD-59), Queenstown, 1918
USS Porter (DD-59), Queenstown, 1918

From 14 June until the end of the war the Porter served from Brest, escorting convoys on the last stage of the trip from the United States.

Anyone who served on her between 4 May 1917 and 11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

The Porter returned to the US early in 1919 and operated along the East Coast until she was decommissioned on 23 June 1922.

She was reactivated and given to the Coast Guard on 7 June 1924 to take part in the 'Rum Patrol'. She served with the Coast Guard as USCGC Porter (CG-7). Photographic evidence suggests that she was given a radio direction finder during this period.

She was returned to the Navy and the reserve on 30 June 1933, scrapped in 1934 and her materials sold on 22 August 1934.

Displacement (design standard)

1,090t (DD-57 to DD-59)
1,060t (DD-60)
1,150t (DD-61 to DD-62)

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

29.5kts at 17,000-18,000shp
29.56kt at 16,399shp at 1,103tons on trial (Tucker)


2-shaft Curtis turbines
4 boilers
17,000shp apart from
18,000shp (DD-58, DD-59)
17,500shp (DD-60)


2,500nm at 20kts (design)


315ft 3in


30ft 6in (DD-58, DD-59, DD-51)
29ft 9in (DD-57, DD-60, DD-62)


Four 4in/50 guns
Eight 21in torpedo tubes in twin mountings
Depth charges

Crew complement



26 August 1915


17 April 1916


Scrapped 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 (28 September 2016), USS Porter (DD-59) ,

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