USS Stansbury (DD-180/ DMS-8)

USS Stansbury (DD-180/ DMS-8) was a Wickes class destroyer that performed convoy escort duties in the Atlantic and took part in Operation Torch and the invasion of the Marshalls and Marianas. 

The Stansbury was named after John Stansbury, a US naval officer who was killed during the battle of Lake Champlain (11 September 1814) during the War of 1812.

The Stansbury was laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp at San Francisco on 9 December 1918, launched on 16 May 1919 and commissioned on 8 January 1920. She joined the Pacific Fleet, and took part in the normal peacetime operations of the fleet before being decommissioned at San Diego on 27 May 1922.

USS Kennison (DD-138) and USS Stansbury (DD-180)
USS Kennison (DD-138)
and USS Stansbury (DD-180)

The Stansbury was recommissioned on 29 August 1940 as part of the buildup of the US Navy after the outbreak of the Second World War. She was converted into a high speed minesweeper at Mare Island and Norfolk, Virginia, where she was redesignated DMS-8 on 19 November 1940.

The Stansbury served with the Atlantic Fleet between October 1940 and December 1943. For most of the first year she was used on minesweeping exercises and took part in maneuvers in the Caribbean.

Stansbury was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet from October 1940 to December 1943. She spent her first year in the Atlantic in minesweeping exercises, conducting maneuvers in the Caribbean Sea, and, following American entry into World War II in December 1941, in coastwise escort duties.

In late December 1941 she provided part of the screen for the new aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) during her shakedown cruise. In January 1942 the Stansbury was part of Mine Division Nineteen, Mine Squadron Seven. She spent most of the year after the US entry into the war on escort duties along the East Coast.

USS Stansbury (DD-180) in port, 1921 USS Stansbury (DD-180) in port, 1921

On 30 June 1942 she was escorting the City of Birmingham when she was torpedoed by U-202 (in US waters after landing a team of German agents on Long Island on 12 June). The Stansbury carried out a depth charge attack on the U-boat and then rescued 107 merchant seamen, 261 passengers and 5 armed guards, landing them at Bermuda on 1 July 1942. 

Late in 1942 the Stansbury joined Task Force 34, the fleet allocated to Operation Torch. She formed part of Mine Squadron 7 in the Centre Attack Group. She arrived off Fedala, near Casablanca, on 7 November, and began to sweep the approaches. She then joined the screen for the transport ships. On 15 November the cargo ship Electra (AK-21) was torpedoed, but remained afloat. The Stansbury towed her from 1350 until 1640, when her tow line broke for the second time. She was then replaced by USS Cherokee (AT-66). The Electra was beached safely at Casablanca on the morning of 16 November.

The Stansbury returned to the United States at the end of December 1942 and reverted to her escort duties, reaching as far east as Iceland.

Towards the end of 1943 she was transferred to the Pacific Fleet. She left San Diego on 13 January 1944 with Task Force 53 to take part in the invasion of the Marshall Islands. She formed part of the anti-submarine screen during the approach to the islands and the invasion, and remained in the Marshalls from 1-7 February. She then spent four months escorting various convoys around the South Pacific, as well as escorting the Admiralty Islands assault force in April.

On 10 June 1944 the Stansbury left Eniwetol to join Admiral Mitscher's Fast Carrier Task Force, TF 58, off Saipan. She helped sweep the western shores of Saipan then joined an advanced bombardment group from TF 53. She was then used as part of the anti-submarine screen until the invasion of 14 June. She then moved to bombard Guam, then joined the shore bombardment forces supporting the fighting on Saipan and Tinian until 26 June. She spent a month back at Eniwetok, then supported the invasion of Guam from 21 July, forming part of the anti-submarine screen.

The Stansbury returned to Eniwetok on 28 July 1944, ending her active combat career. By August she was back at San Francisco, where she began a six month long overhaul to prepare her for use as a training ship with the San Diego Shakedown Group. She joined this group in mid January 1945, and she spent the rest of the war acting with the Fleet Operation Training Command, Pacific Fleet. On 5 June 1945 she was reclassified as AG-107. She moved east after the end of the war, and was decommissioned at Norfolk on 11 December 1945. She was sold for scrap on 26 October 1946.

The Stansbury earned three battle stars during the Second World War, for Operation Torch, Western New Guinea and the Marianas Islands.

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



16 May 1919


8 January 1920


11 December 1945

Sold for scrap

26 October 1946

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (18 June 2018), USS Stansbury (DD-180/ DMS-8) ,

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