USS Ringgold (DD-89)/ HMS Newark

USS Ringgold (DD-89) was a Wickes class destroyer that was commissioned too late to see service in the First World War, but that served with the Royal Navy in the Second World War as HMS Newark.

The Ringgold was named after Rear Admiral Cadwallader Ringgold, a US Naval officer who fought against pirates in the West Indies, took part in the Wilkes Expedition (1838-42) and served during the Civil War.

The Ringgold was built by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco. She was launched on 14 April 1918 and commissioned on 14 November 1918, three days after the Armistice. Four days later she left Mare Island at the start of a voyage to the East Coast to join the Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. She reached Hampton Roads on 5 December 1918, and over the next four years operated along the US East Coast. For most of this time she was based at Newport, Rhode Island.

On 5 April 1922 she entered Philadelphia Navy Yard, and on 17 June 1922 she was decommissioned and placed into the reserve.

As HMS Newark

In 1940 the Ringgold was chosen as one of the fifty destroyers that were transferred to Britain under the Destroyers for Bases deal. She was recommissioned on 23 August 1940 and given an overhaul before moving to Halifax. On 26 November 1940 she was officially handed over to a Canadian care and maintenance party, and on 5 December 1940 she was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Newark, with Lt Commander R.H.W. Atkins in command.

USS Ringgold (DD-89), 27 December 1918
USS Ringgold (DD-89),
27 December 1918

Her transfer to Britain didn't go smoothly. On 9 December 1940 she collided with HMS Newmarket (USS Robinson DD-88), and suffered damage that needed repairs in Canada. She left Halifax on 4 February 1941, but developed engine trouble in a gale and had to be towed back to Halifax. After a second set of repairs she left Halifax again on 26 February and finally reached Belfast on 5 March.

The Newark joined the 17th Destroyer Division. She was used to escort the 1st Minelaying Division in the Irish Sea and on the ferry route to Iceland. On the night of 4-5 May 1941 she was damaged during a bombing raid on Belfast, and required repairs that kept her out of action until August. On 25 August 1941, while operating with the minelayer HMS Southern Prince, she was hit by a torpedo that struck her forward. She was able to return to Belfast, and underwent more repairs.

The Newark returned to service in May 1942 and rejoined the 17th Destroyer Division. This time her return to service was more fortunate, and on 31 May 1942 she probably damaged a U-boat while operating south of Iceland.

On 20 August 1942 a PBY Catalina from Patrol Squadron VP-73 attacked U-464, a Type XIV Milch Cow (supply submarine) and caused damage that prevented her from submerging. Kapitänleutnant Harms and 51 crewmen were rescued by an Icelandic trawler, and then picked up by the destroyers HMS Newark and HMS Castleton (both former US destroyers).

In 1944 the Newark joined the Rosyth Escort Force, and carried out antisubmarine duties in the North Sea and to the north of the British Isles. In January 1945 she became an aircraft target ship.

The Newark was sold for scrap on 18 February 1947 and was broken up by Maclellan at Borrowstounness (also known as Bo'ness), on the Firth of Forth east of Edinburgh.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35kts design
34.81kts at 27,350shp at 1,236t on trial (Kimberly)


2 shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers
27,000shp design


2,500nm at 20kts (design)

Armour - belt


 - deck



314ft 4.5in


30ft 11.5in


Four 4in/ 50 guns
Twelve 21in torpedo tubes in four triple mountings
Two 1-pounder AA guns
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement



14 April 1918


14 November 1918

To Royal Navy

26 November 1940

Sold for scrap

18 February 1947

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

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 March 2017), USS Ringgold (DD-89)/ HMS Newark ,

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