USS Stevens (DD-86)

USS Stevens (DD-86) was a Wickes class destroyer that served from Queenstown during the First World War, and supported the first successful transatlantic flight in 1919.

The Stevens was named after Thomas Holdup, a US naval officer during the War of 1812 who served on the Great Lakes and served in the post-war navy, dying in post at the Washington Navy Yard in 1841.

USS Stevens (DD-86) in dazzle camouflage
USS Stevens (DD-86)
in dazzle camouflage

The Stevens was built by the Fore River Shipbuilding Corp of Quincy, Massachusetts. She was laid down on 20 September 1917 and launched on 13 January 1918, when she was sponsored by Miss Marie Christie Stevens. She was commissioned on 24 May 1918 at Boston, with Commander Rufus F. Zogbaum, Jr, in command.

The Stevens left New York on 15 June as part of the escort for a convoy heading for Brest. She reached France on 27 June and on the following day left for her new base at Queenstown, Ireland. She reached Queenstown on 6 July, where she formed part of the United States Naval Forces, Europe. She was mainly used to protect convoys moving between Queenstown and Liverpool.

Between 14-16 October 1918 the Stevens formed part of the escort for Battleship Division Six, when it put to sea from Berehaven to protect a US troop convoy against a possible threat of German raiders (the escort consisted of the destroyers Conyngham (DD-58), Terry (DD-25), Stevens (DD-86), Downes (DD-45), Sampson (DD-63), Allen (DD-66), and Beale (DD-40)).

USS Stevens (DD-86) from above, 1919
USS Stevens (DD-86) from above, 1919

Anyone who served on her between 3 June and 11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

On 16 December 1918 she departed for the United States, and she reached Boston on 3 January 1919. She joined Destroyer Division 7, Squadron 3, Atlantic Fleet. Early in 1919 she visited Key West and New York, before she joined the force that supported the successful transatlantic flight made by the Curtiss sea plane NC-4. Two other aircraft had to put down, and the Stevens took part in the hunt for NC-3.

After this the Stevens moved between Boston, Newport, Philadelphia, New England and Charleston, before she was decommissioned at Philadelphia on 19 June 1922. On 7 January 1936 she was struck off, and on 8 September 1936 she was sold to the Boston Iron and Metal Co of Baltimore to be scrapped, to satisfy the destroyer limits introduced in the Second London Naval Treaty.

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



13 January 1918


24 May 1918

Sold for scrap

8 September 1936

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 (7 March 2017), USS Stevens (DD-86),

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