USS Sloat (DD-316)

USS Sloat (DD-316) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Pacific Fleet during the 1920s, and was used as a target ship in the early 1930s, before being sunk in 1935.

The Sloat was named after John Drake Sloat, who served in the US Navy from 1800, taking part in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, and helped create the Mare Island Navy Yard before retiring as a rear admiral. 

The Sloat was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corps at San Francisco on 18 January 1919, launched on 14 May 1919 and sponsored Mrs Edwin A. Sherman. She was commissioned on 30 December 1920.

USS Sloat (DD-316) against Mountains USS Sloat (DD-316) against Mountains

The Sloat spent most of 1921 in the reserve at San Diego, before taking part in gunnery exercises in the winter.

One of her engineering officers from 11 October 1921 to 8 June 1923 was the future Admiral William M. Callaghan.

In April-May 1922 the Sloat took part in torpedo trials. From 27 June to 19 September she operated with the fleet in the Puget Sound area.

On 6 February 1923 the Sloat left San Diego to take part in Fleet Problem I, which was carried out in the waters off Panama. She returned to San Diego on 11 April, but was then out of action for most of the rest of 1923 and 1924 undergoing repairs at Mare Island. She finally returned to San Diego on 22 December 1924.

On 3 April 1925 the Sloat sailed from San Diego to take part in exercises off Hawaii, possibly the end of Fleet Problem V followed by a joint Army- Navy exercise. She then took part in a massive goodwill cruise to the South-west Pacific, visiting Melbourne, Australia, Lyttleton and Wellington in New Zealand and American Samoa. She finally returned to San Diego on 19 September.

On 1 February 1926 the Sloat left San Diego to take part in Fleet Problem VI, which took place off the coast of Panama. She was there from 15 February to 8 March, then moved to Mare Island for an overhaul that lasted from 22 March to 4 May. During the summer she carried out reserve training cruisers, which were followed by another spell at Mare Island, from 30 December 1926 to 3 February 1927.

USS Sloat (DD-316) at Sea USS Sloat (DD-316) at Sea

On 17 February 1927 the Sloat departed from San Diego to take part in Fleet problem VII, which was held in the Caribbean in March and simulated an attack on the Panama Canal. After further exercises in April she took part in a fleet visit to New York, joint Army and navy exercises in Narragansett Bay and a Presidential Review on 29 May.

On her way home she was diverted to Nicaragua to protect US interests during a period of unrest. She replaced the Mervine (DD-322) and was present off the coast from 25 June-6 July and 22 July-8 August 1927, before finally returning to San Diego on 23 August.

1928 started with another overhaul at Mare Island, lasting from 19 February to 31 March 1928. She then departed from San Diego on 9 April 1928 heading for Pearl Harbor. During the voyage she took part in Fleet Problem VIII, an opposed advance to Hawaii. She was back at San Diego on 23 June, then moved north to Puget Sound for exercises in northern waters in July-August.

The Sloat took part in Fleet Problem IX from 27 January-6 February 1929, an attack on the Panama Canal Zone. This was followed by an overhaul at Mare Island from 3 March-13 April. She took part in training at San Diego during the summer, and visited San Francisco in mid August.

Her commanding officer from June 1929 until June 1930 was Morton L. Deyo, who had a varied career that included command of the Fire Support Group during the D-Day landings and the gunfire and covering force during the invasion of Okinawa.

By now it was clear that the Sloat’s Yarrow boilers were badly worn. The US Navy decided to swap thirty four of the badly worn destroyers for almost fresh sister-ships that had been in the reserves for most of the 1920s. The Sloat was decommissioned at San Diego on 2 June 1930 and sunk at sea as a target on 26 June 1935. After she was decommissioned her crew moved to the Upshur (DD-144), which was then recommissioned. 

She was probably used as a target ship for bomber training soon after being decommissioned, as the Aroostook (Id.No.1256) is recorded to have acted as a tender for training aircraft using her as a bombing target at some point between 13 June-3 December 1930.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

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


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


2,500nm at 20kts (design)

Armour - belt


 - deck



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



14 May 1919


30 December 1920

Sunk as target ship

26 June 1935

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 December 2020), USS Sloat (DD-316) ,

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