Clemson Class Destroyers

The Clemson Class Destroyers were the second class of standardized flushdecker deck destroyers produced for the US Navy during the First World War, but none of them were completed in time to see service. Instead they formed the backbone of the inter-war destroyer force, were used for a large number of specialised modifications, and performed valuable service during the Second World War.

USS Clemson (APD-31), Charleston, 1944
USS Clemson (APD-31),
Charleston, 1944

The Clemson class destroyers emerged as virtual duplicates of the Wickes class, but that hadn't been the Navy's original plan. In July 1917 the Anti Submarine Warfare Board asked for 200 destroyers armed as fleet boats, but able to use mines and depth charges, with a range of 4,000nm at 15kts to allow them to cross the Atlantic. The new ships had to be reliable, seaworthy and suitable for mass production. The extra range and equipment would be paid for with a reduction in speed from the 35kts of the Wickes class down to 28kts or even 26kts.

Three different designs for these anti-submarine warfare ships were considered. The Navy's own internal team produced one design, as did two private shipyards. Bath suggested a 750-tonner, but this was rejected because it had two boilers in a single boiler room with one condenser, making the engine too vulnerable to damage. Newport News suggested using the structure of the Wickes class fleet destroyer but with half the engine power. Speed would drop to 29kts, but this would free up space for extra fuel and allow the installaion of a 5in gun to counter the 5.9in gun then being installed on German cruiser submarines.

Experimental Paint on USS Graham (DD-192)
Experimental Paint on USS Graham (DD-192)

The Navy design was also for a ship with two boilers, although in separate rooms, powering a 13,500shp turbine. Removing two boilers would allow displacement to come down to 970t and length to be cut by 30ft. The BuOrd suggested an armament of six 4in guns, with twin 4in mounts fore and aft and single guns on the waist guns. This would give a broadside of six guns and fore or aft fire from two guns and was preferred to a three 5in gun broadside. The twin 4in mount was almost twice as heavy as the single 4in mount, but lighter than a single 5in mount and would have imposed less deck strain.

Over time the Navy produced twelve numbered designs for the new ships. In August 1917 the two technical bureaus settled on Scheme 6, a full Wickes hull with half power, and ordered Newport News to built DD-181 to DD-185 to this plan. A few days later, on 9 August, Newport News was order to build five more Wickes class ships instead of waiting for the new plans.

The idea of a 'austere' anti-submarine destroyer was destroyed by two blows. First was a report from Admiral Sims, US Commander in European Waters. He had been asked for a list of acceptable simplifications, but instead he responded with a list of extra features. The second came from the shipyards, which pointed out that any significant design changes would slow down production (as none of the Clemson class ships arrived before the Armstice this might have been overplayed.

Destroyer Evolution 1920-1944
Destroyer Evolution

In response the Navy's Preliminary Design team came up with Scheme 12. This was a Wickes class destroyer but strengthened to take a 5in gun if required. In order to solve a problem with poor range in the Wickes class, extra fuel would be stored on either side of the boilers. A larger rudder was installed in an attempt to reducing the ship's turning circle. Range was to be 4,900nm at 15kts and speed 34.5kts. Scheme 12 was approved by the Secretary of the Navy on 12 Septmber 1917, and it became the basis of the Clemson class.

The vast majority of Clemson class ships were armed with four single 4in guns. Only DD-231 to DD-235 were modified to take 5in guns, while USS Hovey (DD-208) and USS Long (DD-209) carried eight 4in guns in four twin mounts. They were designed to carry two 1-pounder automatic AA guns, one between the bridge and forward 4in gun and one on the aft deckhouse, behind the short mainmast. A shortage of guns meant that many got two 3in/ 23 guns instead. 

The Wickes class destroyers had been ordered in four batches. The fourth batch was ordered in response to a request from the Board on the Submarine Menace for 200 austere destroyers. It was decided to order 50 of these as Wickes class ships and the remaining 150 as the next type. This became the first order for the new Clemson class. It was followed by an order for twelve further ships (DD-337 to DD-347) in 1918. At the same time the Navy was given permission to order DD-348 to DD-359, but these ships were eventually built in the 1930s as the Farragut Class and half of the Porter Class ships.

Wartime experience demonstrated that extra anti-submarine weapons were needed. Late in 1918 the Navy agreed to the instalation of two Y-guns and two single depth charge projectors on destroyers under construction. A debate followed about where to put them with C&R wanting them on top of the aft deckhouse replacing a searchlight, with others objecting that this would reduce their surface warfare capabilities. The First World War ended before this argument became significant.

USS Branch (DD-197) under way, c.1920
USS Branch (DD-197) under way, c.1920

A total of 162 Clemson class destroyers were ordered. DD-200 to DD-205 were cancelled on 3 February 1919, so 156 were completed. When combined with the 111 Wickes class destroyers that gave the US Navy an impressive 267 destroyers. These ships went on to dominate the inter-war US destroyer force, and new ships weren't laid down until the Farrugut class in the 1930s. Although the Clemson class destroyers didn't play any part in the First World War, they did go on to perform valuable work in the Second World War, with both the US Navy and the Royal Navy.

Bethlehem produced the largest number of Clemson class ships. They built a dedicated Naval Destroyer Plan at Squantum that constructed 36, their San Francisco plant built 40 and their Quincy plant built 9, for a total of 85 ships. Next was Cramp, with 25, then New York Shipbuilding with 20 and Newport News with 14. The final batch of twelve was built by Mare Island Navy Yard (six), the Norfolk Navy Yard (three) and Bath (three). The last three (DD-339 to DD-341) were built at Mare Island and weren't completed until 1922.


Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.

Newport News built fourteen Clemson class ships (DD-186 to DD-199) from an original order for twenty. DD-200 to DD 205 were the only members of the Wickes or Clemson classes to be cancelled.

W. Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia

Cramp built 25 Clemson class destroyers (DD-206 to DD-230). Added to their 21 Wicks class ships this gave them a total of 36 in the wartime destroyer programme.

New York Shipbuilding Corps

The New York Shipbuilding Corps built twenty Clemson class destroyers (DD-231 to DD-250).

Bethlehem, Quincy

Bethlehem built nine Clemson class ships at their Fore River, Quincy, Mass. Plant (DD-251 to DD-256 and DD-258 to DD-260), and 26 of the earlier Wickes class for a total of 35 wartime destroyers.

Bethlehem, Squantum

Bethlehem built a new Naval Destroyer Plant at Squantum, Mass, a few miles to the north of their Fore River, Quincy plant, with ten slips. Thirty-six Clemson class ships were built at Squantum (DD-257 and DD-261 to DD-295), although some sources allocate some of these ships to the Quincy plant.

The Squantum Plant was responsible for the quickest completion of a flushdecker - USS Reid (DD-292) only took 45.5 working days from being laid down to being commissioned.

Bethlehem, San Francisco

Bethlehem's San Francisco yard built a batch of 40 Clemson class destroyers (DD-296 to DD-335), as well as 26 of the earlier Wickes class for a total of 66 ships in the wartime programme.

Mare Island

The Mare Island Navy Yard built six from the final batch of twelve (DD-336 to DD-341).

Norfolk Navy Yard

The Norfolk Navy Yard built three from the final batch of twelve (DD-342 to DD-344)


Bath built three from the final batch of twelve (DD-345 to DD-347)



In 1921 three flushdeckers were lost - two in collision and one by grounding. Two of these were Wickes class ships, but the third was USS Graham (DD-192)

In May 1922 the Navy planned to have 152 flushdeckers in active service, but this figure was never reached.

USS Fuller (DD-297) and USS Woodbury (DD-309) at Honda Point
USS Fuller (DD-297)
and USS Woodbury (DD-309)
at Honda Point

On 8 September 1923 the ships of DesRon 11 ran aground off Honda, California. Eight were written off after this disaster - USS Delphy (DD-261), USS Chauncey (DD-296), USS Fuller (DD-297), USS Woodbury (DD-309), USS S. P. Lee (DD-310), USS Nicholas (DD-311) and USS Young (DD-312). Unsurprisingly this is still the single largest loss of destroyers in a single incidence in peacetime.

By February 1926 161 flushdeckers were out of service - 85 at Philadelphia and 76 at San Diego. It would take six weeks to get the first Philadeplhia boat ready for service and 85 days to get ten ready. At this point there were 102 flushdeckers in service. The battlefleet had 72 in four destroyer squadrons (each with three six-boat division), and four minelayers were serving in two mine squadrons.

In 1929 it was decided to decommission sixty boats with Yarrow boilers, as they had decayed in service. The biggest group of these were the Clemson class ships DD-275 to DD-336. Some of these were sold, and USS Putnam (DD-287) survived until 1955 as a banana boat, making her the last flushdecker destroyer to be in active use. In the first five months of 1930 the equivalent of three full destroyer squadrons swapped their old Yarrow boats for boats taken out of the reserve.

In 1930 six of the Clemson class ships (DD-189, DD-193 to DD-196 and DD-198) replaced six 'flivvers' with the Coast Guard as CG-15 to CG-20. After their time with the coast guard ended they returned to the Navy.

In 1930-31 USS Preston (DD-327) and USS Bruce (DD-329) were used for hull strength experiments at Norfolk Navy Yard.

USS Stoddert (DD-302) and USS Dent (DD-116), c.1931 USS Stoddert (DD-302) and USS Dent (DD-116), c.1931

USS Sinclair and USS Stoddert (with Yarrow boilers) were chosen for conversion into radio-controlled targets, to work alongside the Wickes class ship Hazelwood. This plan suffered from a series of cancellations, but in the end a five-ship Mobile Target Division was formed, mainly using Wickes class ships and the battleship Utah

In 1935-37 thirty five destroyers were scrapped under the provisions of the London Naval Treaty of 1930. Most of these were from the 1,000 tonner classes, but it did include the Yarrow boiler powered target ships from the Clemson class.

On 25 July 1936 the Smith Thompson (DD-212) was rammed by Whipple (DD-217) and was so badly damaged that she had to be scuttled.

By the end of 1936 a total of 169 flushdeck destroyers were left - 4 Caldwell class and the rest from the Wickes and Clemson classes.

Fifty flushdeck destroyers went to the Royal Navy under the Destroyer for Bases deal of September 1940. The fifty were made up of three Caldwell class ships, twenty-seven Wickes class ships and twenty Clemson class ships.

USS Satterlee (DD-190) - HMS Belmont
USS Mason (DD-191) - HMS Broadwater
USS Abel. P. Upshur (DD-193) - HMS Clare
USS Hunt (DD-194) - HMS Broadway
USS Welborn C. Wood (DD-195) - HMS Chesterfield
USS Branch (DD-197) - HMS Beverley
USS Herndon (DD-198) - HMS Churchill
USS McCook (DD-252) - HMCS St. Croix
USS McCalla (DD-253) - HMS Stanley
USS Rodgers (DD-254) - HMS Sherwood
USS Bancraft (DD-256) - HMCS St. Francis
USS Welles (DD-257) - HMS Cameron
USS Aulick (DD-258) - HMS Burnham
USS Laub (DD-263) - HMS Burwell
USS McLanahan (DD-264) - HMS Bradford
USS Edwards (DD-265) - HMS Buxton
USS Shubrick (DD-268) - HMS Ripley
USS Bailey (DD-269) - HMS Reading
USS Swasey (DD-273) - HMS Rockingham
USS Meade (DD-274) - HMS Ramsey

Major Conversions

DM - Mine Layers

A number of flushdeckers were converted into mine layers. The first batch of fourteen were all Wickes class ships (DM-1 to DM-14). Six of these were scrapped in 1930 and replaced with another four Wickes class ships. In 1936-37 another eight were scrapped, and four new conversions were authorised. This time Clemson class ships were used (DM-19 to DM-22). They kept their 4in single purpose guns when first converted, although in 1944 the 'ultimate approved' battery for the mine layers became two or three 3in/50 dual purpose guns (surface and anti-aircraft) and twin power operated Bofors guns.

DM-19 - USS Tracy (DD-214)
DM-20 - USS Preble (DD-345)
DM-21 - USS Sicard (DD-346)
DM-22 - USS Pruitt (DD-347)

DMS - Fast Minesweepers

In the May 1940 programm four Wickes class destroyers from DesDiv 52 were converted into fast minesweepers as DMS-1 to DMS-4 and four other Wickes class ships were recommissioned as DMS-5 to DMS-8. The conversion involved removing all torpedos and adding a fasle squared off stern that carried the mine sweeping davits.

In 1941 ten more destroyers were converted, as DMS-9 to DMS-18. This time nine were Clemson class ships and only DM-18 came from the Wickes class.

USS Chandler (DD-206) at sea at time of Pearl Harbor
USS Chandler (DD-206) at sea at time of Pearl Harbor

DMS-9: USS Chandler (DD-206)
DMS-10: USS Southard (DD-207)
DMS-11: USS Hovey (DD-208)
DMS-12: USS Long (DD-209)
DMS-13: USS Hopkins (DD-249)
DMS-14: USS Zane (DD-337)
DMS-15: USS Wasmuth (DD-338)
DMS-16: USS Trever (DD-339)
DMS-17: USS Perry (DD-340)

At first these ships kept their 4in guns, but in 1942 they were scheduled to get 3in/ 50 dual purpose guns as they were expected to face air attack. By 1944 this was reduced to two or three 3in/ 50 dual purpose guns and twin power operated Bofors guns.

APD - Fast Transports

In 1938-39 the Caldwell class destroyer USS Manley (DD-74) was converted into the first fast transport, capable of carrying 120 marines and their landing boats. She was then given a more complete conversion that involved the removal of the forward boilers and their funnels, all the torpedo tubes and one of the waist guns (with the other moved to the centre line). In this format the Manley could carry a Marine rifle company and four 36ft assault boats, as well as a 75mm pack howitzer. The Manley was judged to be a success, and in May 1940 another five destroyers, this time from the Wickes class, were converted as APD-2 to APD-6.

Another twenty six fast transports were produced after the American entry into the war, with fifteen of them based on Clemson class ships.

The APDs went through several changes of armament. In 1942 the standard gun battery was three 4in guns, to be used as fire support during landings. In 1943 these were replaced with three 3in dual purpose guns, to improve anti-aircraft firepower. In 1944 the assigned battery became three 3in/50 guns, two single Bofors guns, five Oerlikon guns, four depth charge projectors and a signle depth charge track.

The APD proved to be very valuable in the Pacific. They carried troops too many of the island battles of the war, and also often served in more conventional destroyer roles, screening heavier units or conducting shore bombardments.

Wartime Conversions
October 1942: APD-7 to APD-12 (three Wickes, three Clemson)
December 1942: APD-13 (one Clemson)
January 1943: APD-14 to APD-18 (four Wickes, one Clemson)
July 1943: APD-19 (one Wickes)
August 1943: APD-21, APD-23, APD-24 (one Wickes, two Clemson)
October 1943: APD-20 (one Clemson)
December 1943: APD-22 (one Wickes)
January 1944: APD-29 (one Clemson)
May 1944: APD-25 (one Wickes)
March-June 1944: APD-31 to APD-36 (six Clemson class AVDs)

By the spring of 1944 the first conversions based on destroyer escorts were almost ready, making their appearance in June. As a result plans to convert AVD-1, AVD-7, DD-210, DD-244, DD-246 and DD-341 into APDs were cancelled in May (before new numbers had been allocated), as were plans to convert DD-221, DD-237 and DD-342 into APD-26 to APD-28. A number of flushdeck APDs even began to be converted back into destroyers, including the original Manley.

Clemson Class Conversions
APD-10 - USS Barry (DD-248)
APD-11 - USS Gilmer (DD-233)
APD-12 - USS Humphreys (DD-236)
APD-13 - USS Sands (DD-243)
APD-18 - USS Kane (DD-235)
APD-23 - USS Overton (DD-239)
APD-24 - USS Noa (DD-343)
APD-26 - USS McFarland (DD-237) -cancelled
APD-27 - USS Sampson (DD-221) - cancelled
APD-28 - USS Hulbert (DD-342) - cancelled
APD-29 - USS Barry (DD248)
APD-31 - USS Clemson (DD-186/ AVD-4)
APD-32 - USS Goldsborough (DD-188/ AVD-5)
APD-33 - USS George E. Badger (DD-196/ AVD-3)
APD-34 - USS Belknap (DD-251/ AVD-8)
APD-35 - USS Ingram (DD-255/ AVD-9)
APD-36 - USS McFardland (DD-237/ AVD-14)

AVD - Light Seaplane Tenders

In 1938 the Clemson class destroyers Childs (DD-241) and Williamson (DD-244) were converted into small seaplane tenders (originally as AVP-14 and AVP-15, then from 1940 as AVD-1 and AVD-2 - seaplane tender, destroyer). Two boilers were removed and replaced with storage for 30,000 gallons of avgas. The torpedo tubes, waist guns and 3in AA guns were removed and the bridge superstructure was extended to provide living and office space. A crane was added and aircraft servicing boats were added. They were designed to support twelve patrol bombers, working alongside the purpose-built Barnegat class small seaplane tenders.

In May 1940 another seven were ordered by the CNO, to be taking from the stock of 35 remaining decommissioned flushdeckers. This was followed by another five taken from active destroyers, bringing the total to 14, all using Clemson class ships.

In 1942 it was decided to replace their 4in guns with a pair of 3in/50 dual purpose guns, which would improve their anti-aircraft firepower.

By 1943 there were enough Barnegat class ships to make the less efficient AVDs superfluous. Late in 1943 nine of them were returned to destroyer status (although they retained their 3in guns and didn't have the boilers replaced).

In March-June 1944 six from this batch were turned into fast transports as APD-31 to APD-36. During 1945 two of these ships were re-classified as destroyers once again. Only four of the fourteen were still AVDs when they were decommissioned.


USS Childs (DD-241)

Decommissioned as AVD


USS Williamson (DD-244)

AVD-2 (Escort Type) 1943
Destroyer 1943


USS George E Badger (DD-196)

APD-33 1944
Destroyer 1944


USS Clemson (DD-186)

Destroyer 1943
APD-31 1944
Destroyer 1945


USS Goldsborough (DD-188)

Destroyer 1943
APD-32 1944
Destroyer 1945


USS Hulbert (DD-342)

Destroyer 1943


USS William B Preston (DD-344)

Decommissioned as AVD


USS Belknap (DD-251)

Destroyer 1943
APD-34 1944


USS Osmond Ingram (DD-255)

Destroyer 1943
APD-35 1944


USS Ballard (DD-267)

Decommissioned as AVD


USS Thornton (DD-270)

Abandoned after collision 1945


USS Gillis (DD-260)

Decommissioned as AVD


USS Greene (DD-266)

Destroyer 1943
APD-36 1944


USS McFarland (DD-237)

Destroyer 1943


Minor Conversions


During 1937 USS Dahlgren (DD-187) was used to test two Steamotive ultra-high-pressure boilers which replaced their normal aft boilers. The two rear uptakes were trunked together to give her three funnels. She also got new geared turbines. All torpedo tubes were removed during tests of the new boilers. She was later used for stablization tank tests, with half of her torpedoes restored.

Seemes (DD-189) became a sonar test ship (AG-24) after completing her Coast Guard service.


USS Noa (DD-343) was given a seaplane in place of her aft torpedo tubes. This was later followed by six Fletcher class destroyers, which were given catapults.

Destroyer Modifications

The standard destroyers also underwent a number of modifications.

On 6 December 1940 a large refit of surviving old destroyers was ordered, as current production would soon provide enough new destroyers for fleet work. Torpedo tubes Nos.3 and 4 and all 4in guns were removed, and were replaced by six 3in/50 dual purpose guns. A Y-gun depth charge projector with ten charges was to replace the 3in/23 AA gun. The stern depth charge tracks were to be expanded to carry 24 300lb charges. Two extra 0.5in AA machine gunes were to be added.

At this point only the destroyers serving with the Asiatic Fleet were still serving in the first line, with the other surviving flush deck destroyers in second line roles. The Asiatic Fleet ships weren't available for modification, and so work began with the Atlantic Fleet - DesRon 30 and DesRon 31 were done by February 1941, and were followed by nine ships from DesDiv 53 and DesDiv 82. The outbreak of the Second World War meant that plans to upgrade the Decatur, DesDiv 55 and DesRon 54 were cancelled. Twenty seven flushdeckers from the Wickes and Clemson classes were thus converted (118, 126, 128, 130, 142, 144, 145, 147, 152, 155, 157-60, 199, 210 220, 223, 229, 239, 240, 245, 246 and 341).

By the autumn of 1941 seventy one flushers were in service as destroyers and 48 in other roles. Of these 13 were serving as the destroyer arm of the Asiatic Fleet and 58 as second line ships, most suited to escort duties. The 27 converted ships fell into this group. Most of the unmodified ships were serving with naval districts - four with DesDiv 70 in the 11th district, four with DesDiv 83 in the 12th district, three with DesDiv 80 in the 14th district and nine with DesRon 33 in the 15th district. Dahlgren and Litchfield were working with Submarines, Pacific, escorting submarines past the defences of Pearl Harbor.

On 15 November 1941 CinCLant suggested replacing No.1 boiler with fuel. This would extend the range of Wickes class ships by 1,100nm and the Clemson class ships, which already carried some fuel alongside the boilers, by 650nm. The General Board approved the plan, but with No.4 Boiler to go. The flushdeckers would lose 5kts of speed, but as they were expected to serve as escort ships range was seen as more important.

The plan was approved by the Secretary of the Navy on 3 December 1941. DesRons 27, 30 and 31 from the Atlantic Fleet were done first, followed by the Pacific Fleet and then DM and MS conversions. By February 1942 only DesRon 29 in the Asiatic Fleet wasn't included in the programme. By June 1942 the Pacific Fleet wanted the surviving Asiatic Fleet destroyers to be upgraded, but the process took five weeks and the time wasn't then available. Wickes class ships got the highest priority, as their range had always been a problem. In July 1942 CinCLant suggested postponing any Clemson class refits. Work was later resumed, and by the time the programme was cancelled in November 1943 only DD-210, DD-221, DD-246, DD-248 and DD-341 hadn't been upgraded. The change was effective, taking the range of a Clemson class ship up to 4,400-4,600nm from 3,900-4,100nm at cruising speeds. Wickes class ships saw a bigger improvement, up from 3,200-3,500nm to 4,300-4,500nm.

In 1942 the CNO suggested installing the Hedgehog forwarding throwing depth charge projector on the flushdeck destroyers. This was a Royal Navy weapon designed to solve a problem with sonar - submarines couldn't be detected at very short ranges, and could turn away before they could be attacked. The Hedgehog was designed to hit them before they could escape. In May 1943 the VCNO ordered the Hedgehog to be installed on ten flushdeckers with the Atlantic Fleet (DD-109, 118, 128, 142, 144, 145, 152, 220, 223 and 341) and Rathburne DD-113 and Dahlgren DD-187, then serving with the Sound Schools. In September 1944 the Dupont (DD-152) became an auxiliary, leaving nine active Hedgehog armed flushdeckers.

The Clemson class destroyers performed a wide range of roles during the Second World War. Many of the modified transports and mine sweepers were heavily involved in the Pacific War, taking part in many of the amphibious invasions of the war. Elsewhere the destroyer types were used as convoy escorts and in the anti-submarine role, just as the Wickes class had been during the First World War.

Phased Out

As more modern ships appeared in large quantities the old flushdeckers began to be moved to second line duties and reclassified as auxiliaries (AG).

September 1944 - AG 80 to 83
October 1944 - AG 84 to 85
December 1944 - AG 86
January 1945 - AG 87
March 1945 - AG 91 and 95
May 19445 - AG 96 to 97
June 1945 - AG 99-102, 106-120
DMS-2 and DMS-3 fast mine sweepers become AG-19 and 21

USS Osborne (DD-295), USS Gwin (DD-71) and USS DuPont (DD-152), Charleston, SC, 1920 USS Osborne (DD-295), USS Gwin (DD-71) and USS DuPont (DD-152), Charleston, SC, 1920

These auxiliaries found a number of uses. AG 80-85, 104, 105 and 108-110 were used as target ships for air attack training. AG 86 and AG 87 became submarine training torpedo targets for the Atlantic fleet. AG-98 and AG-99 became plane guards and escorts for carriers that were working up. AG-100, AG-101 and AG-106 were used for training submarines. AG-91 went to the Mine Warfare Test Station. AG-102 went to the Underwater Sound Laboratory, New London. Finally AG-110 was used for experimental mine-sweeping off California

In April 1945 DesLant asked to limit repairs to the 1,200ton destroyers to hull integrity and items needed to maintain 25knots only, as they were to be scrapped after the end of the anti-submarine campaign. Admiral King approved as long as the best twelve were kept for refresher and shakedown training, and AG 96, 97, 103 and 112-120 were selected.

 By July 1945 the flushdecker APDs were either being used as rear area escorts, with the DD designation restored, or scrapped. By VJ-Day only four flush deckers had remained in use as destroyers for their entire careers, and they were operating alongside a few re-classified APDs.

All surviving US Navy flushdeckers were sold for scrap by 1947

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

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


2-shaft Westinghouse geared tubines
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



Fate/ Rolls

USS Clemson (DD-186)

AVP-17/ AVD-4/ DD-186/ APD-31/ DD-186

USS Dahlgren (DD-187)

Struck off 1946

USS Goldsborough (DD-188)

AVP-18/ AVD-5/ DD-188/ APD-32/ DD-186

USS Semmes (DD-189)

CG/ AG-24 (1935)/ struck off 1946

USS Satterlee (DD-190)

HMS Belmont

USS Mason (DD-191)

HMS Broadwater

USS Graham (DD-192)

Lost in collision 16 December 1921

USS Abel P. Upshur (DD-193)

CG/ HMS Clare

USS Hunt (DD-194)

HMS Broadway

USS Welborn C. Wood (DD-195)

CG/ HMS Chesterfield

USS George E. Badger (DD-196)

CG/ AVP-16/ AVD-3/ DD-196/ APD-33/ DD-196

USS Branch (DD-197)

HMS Beverly

USS Herndon (DD-198)

CG/ HMS Churchill

USS Dallas (DD-199)

Struck off 1945

USS Chandler (DD-206)


USS Southard (DD-207)


USS Hovey (DD-208)


USS Long (DD-209)


USS Broome (DD-210)

Struck off 1946

USS Alden (DD-211)

Sold 1945

USS Smith Thompson (DD-212)

Collision 14 April 1936 struck off and scuttled

USS Barker (DD-213)

Sold 1945

USS Tracy (DD-214)


USS Borie (DD-215)

Lost, 2 November 1943

USS John D. Edwards (DD-216)

Struck off 1945

USS Whipple (DD-217)

Sturck off 1945

USS Parrott (DD-218)

Damaged in collision 2 May 1944

USS Edsall (DD-219)

Lost, 1 March 1942

USS MacLeish (DD-220)

Struck off 1946

USS Simpson (DD-221)

Struck off 1946

USS Bulmer (DD-222)

Sold 1947

USS McCormick (DD-223)

Struck off 1945

USS Stewart (DD-224)

Scuttled 1942, raised by Japanese

USS Pope (DD-225)

Lost, 1 March 1942

USS Peary (DD-226)

Lost, 19 February 1942

USS Pillsbury (DD-227)

Lost, 1 March 1942

USS John D. Ford (DD-228)

Struck off 1945

USS Truxtun (DD-229)

Grounded 18 February 1942

USS Paul Jones (DD-230)

Struck off 1945

USS Hatfield (DD-231)

Struck off 1947

USS Brooks (DD-232)

Damaged by Kamikaze, 6 January 1945

USS Gilmer (DD-233)


USS Fox (DD-234)

Struck off 1945

USS Kane (DD-235)


USS Humphreys (DD-236)

APD-12/ DD-236

USS McFarland (DD-237)

AVD-14/ DD-237

USS James K. Paulding (DD-238)

Struck off 1937

USS Overton (DD-239)


USS Sturtevant (DD-240)

Lost 26 April 1942

USS Childs (DD-241)

AVP-14/ AVD-1

USS King (DD-242)

Struck off 1945

USS Sands (DD-243)


USS Williamson (DD-244)

AVP-15/ AVD-2/ DD-244

USS Reuben James (DD-245)

AVP-19 (cancelled)/ lost 31 October 1941

USS Bainbridge (DD-246)

Struck off 1945

USS Goff (DD-247)

Struck off 1945

USS Barry (DD-248)

APD-10. lost 21 June 1945

USS Hopkins (DD-249)


USS Lawrence (DD-250)

Struck off 1945

USS Belknap (DD-251)


USS McCook (DD-252)

HMCS St. Croix

USS McCalla (DD-253)

HMS Stanley

USS Rodgers (DD-254)

HMS Sherwood

USS Osmond Ingram (DD-255)

AVD-9/ DD-255/ APD-35

USS Bancroft (DD-256)

HMCS St. Francis

USS Welles (DD-257)

HMS Cameron

USS Aulick (DD-258)

HMS Burnham

USS Turner (DD-259)

Struck off 1936, training ship 1943-46

USS Gillis (DD-260)


USS Delphy (DD-261)

Grounded 8 September 1923

USS McDermut (DD-262)

Struck off 1931

USS Laub (DD-263)

HMS Burwell

USS McLanahan (DD-264)

HMS Bradford

USS Edwards (DD-265)

HMS Buxton

USS Greene (DD-266)

AVD-13/ DD-266/ APD-36

USS Ballard (DD-267)


USS Shubrick (DD-268)

HMS Ripley

USS Bailey (DD-269)

HMS Reading

USS Thornton (DD-270)


USS Morris (DD-271)

Struck off 1936

USS Tingey (DD-272)

Struck off 1936

USS Swasey (DD-273)

HMS Rockingham

USS Meade (DD-274)

HMS Ramsey

USS Sinclair (DD-275)

Target ship 1930, struck off 1935

USS McCawley (DD-276)

Struck off 1930

USS Moody (DD-277)

Struck off 1930

USS Henshaw (DD-278)

Struck off 1930

USS Meyer (DD-279)

Struck off 1930

USS Doyen (DD-280)

Struck off 1930

USS Sharkey (DD-281)

Struck off 1930

USS Toucey (DD-282)

Struck off 1930

USS Breck (DD-283)

Struck off 1930

USS Isherwood (DD-284)

Struck off 1930

USS Case (DD-285)

Struck off 1930

USS Lardner (DD-286)

Struck off 1930, survived to 1942 as banana boat

USS Putnam (DD-287)

Struck off 1930, survived to 1955 as banana boat

USS Worden (DD-288)

Struck off 1930

USS Flusser (DD-289)

Struck off 1930

USS Dale (DD-290)

Struck off 1930

USS Converse (DD-291)

Struck off 1930

USS Reid (DD-292)

Struck off 1930

USS Billingsley (DD-293)

Struck off 1930

USS Charles Ausburn (DD-294)

Struck off 1930

USS Osborne (DD-295)

Struck off 1930

USS Chauncey (DD-296)

Grounded 8 September 1923

USS Fuller (DD-297)

Grounded 8 September 1923

USS Percival (DD-298)

Struck off 1930

USS John Francis Burnes (DD-299)

Struck off 1930

USS Farragut (DD-300)

Struck off 1930

USS Somers (DD-301)

Struck off 1930

USS Stoddert (DD-302)

Target ship 1930, DD-302 1932, struck off 1935

USS Reno (DD-303)

Struck off 1930

USS Farquhar (DD-304)

Struck off 1930

USS Thompson (DD-305)

Struck off 1930

USS Kennedy (DD-306)

Struck off 1930

USS Paul Hamilton (DD-307)

Struck off 1930

USS William Jones (DD-308)

Struck off 1930

USS Woodbury (DD-309)

Grounded 8 September 1923

USS S. P. Lee (DD-310)

Grounded 8 September 1923

USS Nicholas (DD-311)

Grounded 8 September 1923

USS Young (DD-312)

Grounded 8 September 1923

USS Zeilin (DD-313)

Struck off 1930

USS Yarborough (DD-314)

Struck off 1930

USS La Vallette (DD-315)

Struck off 1930

USS Sloat (DD-316)

Struck off 1935

USS Wood (DD-317)

Struck off 1930

USS Shirk (DD-318)

Struck off 1930

USS Kidder (DD-319)

Struck off 1930

USS Selfridge (DD-320)

Struck off 1930

USS Marcus (DD-321)

Struck off 1935

USS Mervine (DD-322)

Struck off 1930

USS Chase (DD-323)

Struck off 1930

USS Robert Smith (DD-324)

Struck off 1930

USS Mullany (DD-325)

Struck off 1930

USS Coghlan (DD-326)

Struck off 1930

USS Preston (DD-327)

Struck off 1931

USS Lamson (DD-328)

Struck off 1930

USS Bruce (DD-329)

Struck off 1930

USS Hull (DD-330)

Struck off 1930

USS Macdonough (DD-331)

Struck off 1930

USS Farenholt (DD-332)

Struck off 1930

USS Sumner (DD-333)

Struck off 1930

USS Corry (DD-334)

Struck off 1930

USS Melvin (DD-335)

Struck off 1930

USS Litchfield (DD-336)

Struck off 1945

USS Zane (DD-337)


USS Wasmuth (DD-338)


USS Trever (DD-339)


USS Perry (DD-340)


USS Decatur (DD-341)

Struck off 1945

USS Hulbert (DD-342)

AVP-10/ AVD-5/ DD-342

USS Noa (DD-343)

APD-24, lost 12 September 1944

USS William B. Preston (DD-344)

AVP-20/ AVD-7

USS Preble (DD-345)

DM-20, struck off 1946

USS Sicard (DD-346)

DM-21, struck off 1945

USS Pruitt (DD-347)

DM-22, struck off 1945

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 (4 July 2018), Clemson Class Destroyers ,

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