USS Reno (DD-303)

USS Reno (DD-303) was a Clemson class destroyer that spent most of the 1920s serving along the US West Coast, before being scrapped in 1931.

The Reno was named after Walter E. Reno, the commander of USS Chauncey (DD-3) when she sank after colliding with the British merchant ship Rose off Gibraltar on 19 November 1917. Reno went down with his ship.

USS Reno (DD-303) from above USS Reno (DD-303) from above

The Reno was lad down on 4 July 1918 at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp’s San Francisco plant. She was launched on 22 January 1919 and sponsored by Miss Kathryn Baldwin Anderson. She was commissioned on 23 July 1920.

The Reno was allocated to the Pacific Fleet, and was photographed at her new base at San Diego before the end of 1920.

In January 1921 she joined the combined Atlantic and Pacific Fleets in Panama Bay and then took part in a combined fleet cruise to Valparaiso, Chile. After returning from Chile she spent most of the rest of her career operating along the West Coast between Washington and California. She also paid the odd visit to Hawaii and the Panama Canal Zone.

In April 1921 she was photographed as part of Destroyer Division 33, moored at San Diego.

In December 1921 the 32nd Destroyer Division (Stoddert (DD-302), Reno, Farquhar, Thompson (DD-305), Kennedy and Paul Hamilton) moved from San Diego to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, where they stayed until February 1922.

USS Reno (DD-303) making smoke USS Reno (DD-303) making smoke

On 11 January 1922 she was photographed in the Puget Sound Navy Yard.

USS Reno (DD-303) in Puget Sound, 1927 USS Reno (DD-303) in Puget Sound, 1927

From March 1922 to August 1923 she was commanded by David Worth Bagley, captain of the Tennessee (BB-43) during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was also commander of Destroyer Division 32.

The Reno and her division represented the US Navy at the Monteray Industrial Fair of 1-4 September 1922.

In April 1925 the Reno supported the planned flight from the US West Coast to Hawaii by two Navy PN-9 flying boats. However this operation didn’t go to plan. PN-9 No.3 had to abandon the flight after only five hours. The second aircraft, PN-9 No.1, commanded by John Rodgers, ran out of fuel after flying for 25 hours. The Reno took part in a massive naval operation to try and find the missing aircraft, but Rodgers had rigged a sail on his boat and managed to reach to within ten miles of Kaui where his crew was rescued by the submarine R-4 (SS-81).

In April 1927 the Reno moved east, visiting Guantanamo, Cuba, probably in the aftermath of that year’s Fleet Problem which had involved the Panama Canal.

In July 1927 she moved north, visiting the Puget Sound Navy Yard and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, where she took part in the celebrations of the Canadian Diamond Jubilee.

At the end of September 1928 she provided part of a naval escort for the British Foreign Secretary Sir Austen Chamberlain as he passed through San Diego on a long cruise

USS Reno (DD-303) preparing to be scrapped, 1931 USS Reno (DD-303) preparing to be scrapped, 1931

The Reno was selected to be scrapped because her Yarrow boilers were wearing out unexpectedly quickly. Late in 1929 her crew helped to overhaul the Badger (DD-126) which was to replace her. On 18 January 1930 the Reno was decommissioned and her crew moved onto the Badger, which was them recommissioned after several years in the reserve. The Reno was was scrapped in 1931.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35.51kts at 24,890shp at 1,107t on trial (Preble)


2-shaft Westinghouse geared tubines
4 boilers
27,000shp (design)


2,500nm at 20kts (design)


314ft 4in


30ft 10.5in


Four 4in/ 50 guns
One 3in/23 AA gun
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple mountings
Two depth charge tracks
One Y-Gun depth charge projector

Crew complement


Displacement (standard)



22 January 1919


23 July 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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (16 September 2020), USS Reno (DD-303) ,

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