USS Stribling (DD-96/ DM-1)

USS Stribling (DD-96) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw limited service late in the First World War, was based in the Adriatic in 1919, and briefly served as a minelayer after her return to the United States.

The Stribling was named after Cornelius Kinchiloe Stribling, a US naval officer during the War of 1812, the war against the Barbary Pirates, the Mexican War and the American Civil War.

The Stribling was laid down at Quincy, Mass, on 14 December 1917, launched on 29 May 1918 and commissioned at Boston on 16 August 1918 with Lt. Commander Thomas E. Van Metre in command.

USS Stribling (DD-96) under construction, 1918
USS Stribling (DD-96)
under construction, 1918

She was very quickly pushed into service, without the usual shakedown cruise. This immediately caused problems. She left New York on 31 August as part of the eastern escort of a trans-Atlantic convoy, but then suffered from machinery problems that forced her to turn back on 1 September. She wasn't ready to return to duty until 18 September, when she left port as part of the escort of a convoy heading for Gibraltar . After a pause to refuel at Ponta Delgada in the Azores she reached Gibraltar in early October. On 10 October she left as part of the escort of a convoy heading to Marseilles, and she spent the rest of the war escorting convoys heading between the two ports.

USS Murray (DD-97) and USS Stribling (DD-96), fitting out 1918
USS Murray (DD-97) and USS Stribling (DD-96), fitting out 1918

Anyone who served on her between 25 August and 11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

Early in 1919 the Stribling moved to the Adriatic, to monitor post-armistice conditions in Italy, and the implementation of the armistice terms on the Dalmatian coast. She took over on the Venice station on 8 January 1919, replacing USS Gregory (DD-82). During her time in the Adriatic Commander Wilbur R. Van Auken was in command. She remained in the Adriatic well into the spring of 1919, before returning to the United States in July 1919.

USS Stribling (DD-96) at Venice, 1919
USS Stribling (DD-96) at Venice, 1919

On her return to the US the Stribling underwent an overhaul and repairs at Portsmouth Navy Yard, but was then placed into reduced commission at Philadelphia. There she became one of a number of destroyers to be turned into minelayers, and on 17 July 1920 she was redesignated as DM-1.

Her career as a minelayer was fairly short. She left Philadelphia in September 1921 and moved to the West Coast, before heading to Hawaii. She took part in a series of manoeuvres around the Hawaiian Islands, before being decommissioned for the final time on 26 June 1922. She spent the next 14 years out of commission, before she was struck off the Navy list on 1 December 1936. She was then towed to San Pedro, California, where she was used as a target and sunk.

Displacement (standard)

1,191t (normal)

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



29 May 1918


16 August 1918

Sunk as a target


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 (18 April 2017), USS Stribling (DD-96/ DM-1) ,

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