USS Roe (DD-24)

USS Roe (DD-24) was a Paulding class destroyer that operated off the US East Coast during 1917 and from Brest during 1918, then served with the Coast Guard during the 1920s.

USS Roe (DD-24) before launch, 24 July 1909
USS Roe (DD-24)
before launch,
24 July 1909

The Roe was named after Francis Asbury Roe, a US Navy officer who served before, during and after the American Civil War and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. The Roe was laid down at Newport News on 18 January 1909, launched on 24 July 1909 and commissioned on 17 September 1910.

The Roe began her service life with a period of exercises in the Norfolk area. On 14 November 1910 she was the plane guard when Eugene B. Fly became the first man to fly an aircraft off a warship, launching his Curtiss pusher off a platform on USS Birmingham (Scout Cruiser No.2). Fly landed on shore and was later picked up by a small boat and transferred to the Roe for the return trip to Norfolk.

She spent the winter of 1910-11 operating from Key West and then returned to the mid-Atlantic and New England area, where she remained until January 1913. During this period she took part in gunnery exercise with the battleship USS Mississippi (BB-23) in March 1912. In January-April 1913 she took part in manoeuvres in the Caribbean, then returned to New England, before on 3 November she entered the reserve.

USS Roe (DD-24) being launched, 24 July 1909
USS Roe (DD-24) being launched, 24 July 1909

Between then and March 1917 she alternated between spells in the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla and active service with the Atlantic Fleet. These active spells included a period operating off the mid-Atlantic coast in the later summer and autumn of 1914 and winter manoeuvres in the Caribbean in February-April 1915

In March 1917 the Roe was recommissioned, and in April, with the US entry to the First World War increasingly likely, she joined Squadron 2, Division 5, Patrol Force. Her first task was to support the Treasury and Labor Deparments at Wimington, where a number of German merchant ships were moored. On 6 April the Roe sent a boarding party onto the Hohenfelde.

USS Roe (DD-24) laying smoke
USS Roe (DD-24)
laying smoke

In mid-April the Roe moved to Newport, where she was based for the next six months. During this period she carried out a mix of escort missions and antisubmarine patrols.

On 14 June 1917 she was part of the escort for the first US troop convoy using American ships, the transports Tenadores, Saratoga and Havana, operating alongside the USS Seattle, USS DeKalb, USS Terry and USS Wilkes.

On 9 November the Roe left for France and her new base at Brest. She performed a similar mix of escort and antisubmarine missions from Brest, before departing for the United States on 5 November 1918, six days before the Armistice.

In June 1918 she searched for survivors from the transport USS President Lincoln, sunk by U-90 on 31 May 1918, arriving after the 689 survivors had been picked up by the destroyers Warrington and Smith.

In October 1918 she helped escort Troop Convoy 70 on the last stage of its voyage across the Atlantic. This convoy was noteworthy for suffering a high number of fatalities early in the great Influence Epidemic

Despite this early departure, anyone who served on her between 30 September 1917 and 11 November 1918 was eligible for the First World War Victory Medal (presumably nobody actually transferred to her between 5 November and 11 November, while she was at sea crossing the Atlantic).

The Roe was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 1 December 1919. On 17 July 1920 she lost her name and became just DD-24. In 1924 she was reactivated and transferred to the Treasury Department to take part in the Prohibition Era 'Rum Patrol'. She served with the Coast Guard as CG-18 until 18 October 1930, when she was returned to the Navy. She was decommissioned once again, and sold for scrap on 2 May 1934.

The Roe was the first assignment of Robert P. Briscoe, who later rose to the rank of Admiral and served in a variety of roles throughout the Second World War.

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



24 July 1909


17 September 1910


Sold for scrap 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 (25 February 2016), USS Roe (DD-24) ,

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