USS Terry (DD-25)

USS Terry (DD-25) was a Paulding class destroyer that took part in the US intervention in Mexico in 1914, the invention in Santo Domingo in 1916, served from Queenstown during 1918 and was used by the Coast Guard during the 1920s.

The Terry was named after Edward Terry, a US Naval officer during the American Civil War who took part in the campaign on the Mississippi and the blockade of the Confederacy. The Terry was laid down on 8 February 1909 at Newport News, launched on 21 August 1909 and commissioned on 18 October 1910.

The Terry joined the Atlantic Fleet Torpedo Flotilla for operations in Cuban waters in the winter of 1910-11. Between then and November 1913 she spent her winters in the Caribbean and her summers off New England. In November 1913 she began an overhaul at Charleston. She was officially placed into the reserve while she was undergoing her overhaul, but she remained in limited commission during this period.

USS Terry (DD-25) with crew lined up
USS Terry (DD-25)
with crew lined up

In March 1914 the Terry was part of the Second Divsiion, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Torpedo Flotilla, which then included Terry (DD-25), Sterett (DD-27), Monaghan (DD-32) and Walke (DD-34).

The Terry took part in the US intervention in Mexico in 1914 and anyone who served on her between 28 and 30 April 1914 qualified for the Mexican Service Medal.

In February 1915 she took part in the winter manoeuvres around Cuba, and in the summer she moved back to New England for more exercises.

In February 1916 she was part of a destroyer division made up of ships with a reduced complement. At the end of January she moved to Key West, with part of the Atlantic Fleet, as tensions rose in Santo Domingo. In May she departed for Santo Domingo as part of the US intervention in that country, contributing 18 men to the force that landed at Monte Cristi. On 10 June she hit a reef in the inner harbour at Puerto Plata and was badly damaged, settling so far that most of the main deck was underwater. On 13 June her crew, helped by a wrecking company, began to salvage her. She was afloat by 26 June and by 7 July had undergone temporary repairs that allowed her to reach Charleston Navy Yard. 

Anyone who served on her between 15 May and 8 July 1916 (presumably reflecting the day she left Dominican waters after her temporary repairs were completed) was awarded the Dominican Campaign Medal.

USS Terry (DD-25), 1918
USS Terry (DD-25), 1918

When the United States entered the First World War in April 1917 the Terry was still undergoing repairs. Once these were complete she was allocated to the patrol forces operating on the US East Coast, and to the western escort forces that took ships across the Western Atlantic.

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 Roe and USS Wilkes.

In January 1918 the Terry moved east to join the US forces at Queenstown, Ireland, where she was used as a convoy escort vessel. She didn’t sight any U-boats during her wartime service, although one of her convoys was attacked, losing one ship. On 19 March 1918 she helped treaty casualties from USS Manley (DD-74), injured in an accidental depth charge explosion.

Anyone who served on her between 19 January and 11 November 1918 was entitled to the First World War Victory Medal.

The Terry returned to the United States in December 1918. She remained in limited commission for most of 1919, but was then decommissioned on 13 November 1919. She was reactivated in 1924, and served with the US Coast Guard's 'Rum Patrol' from 7 June 1924 until 18 October 1930. After her return to the Navy she was decommissioned once again, and she was sold in 1934.

Amongst her commanders was Ernest J. King, later famous as the Chief of Naval Operations during 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



21 August 1909


18 October 1910


Sold 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 Terry (DD-25) ,

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