USS Preble (DD-12)

USS Preble (DD-12) was a Paul Jones class destroyer that served with the Pacific Fleet before the First World War and then escorted convoys off the US East Coast.

USS Preble (DD-12) off Guaymas, Mexico, 26 December 1915
USS Preble (DD-12)
off Guaymas, Mexico,
26 December 1915

The Preble was laid down on 21 April 1899, launched on 2 March 1901 and commissioned on 14 December 1903. The Preble was named after Edward Preble, an American naval officer during the War of Independence and the later clashes with Tripoli.

The Preble joined the Pacific Fleet, and served with the 4th and 2nd Torpedo Flotillas between 1903 and February 1909. She operated between Washington State and the Panama Canal Zone during this period, with one cruise to Hawaii and Samoa in 24 August-November 1908.

The Preble was placed in the reserve at Mare Island from 23 February-17 September 1909. She was then recommissioned and joined the Pacific Torpedo Flotilla, where she served from then until 19 June 1913, when she began another period in the reserve.

She rejoined the Torpedo Flotilla on 23 April 1914, in time to take part in the American intervention in Mexico. Anyone serving on her between 25 April and 16 August 1914 qualified for the Mexican Service Medal. She then took part in a series of training exercises as well as a summer cruise to Alaska in 1915. She was placed in the reserve once again between 25 April 1916 and 3 April 1917, but was recommissioned because of the American entry into the First World War.

After being recommissioned the Preble was sent to Norfolk, Virginia. She arrived on 13 July and between then and the end of the First World War helped escort coastal convoys.

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

After the end of the war the US Navy decided to scrap its coal powered destroyers. The Preble was decommissioned on 11 July 1919 and she was sold for scrap on 3 January 1920.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


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



2 March 1901


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 (2 December 2015), USS Preble (DD-12) ,

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us - Privacy