Hopkins Class Destroyers

The Hopkins class of destroyers were a sub-group within the larger Bainbridge class, and had a different forward layout and main guns to the standard Bainbridge class ships.

USS Hopkins (DD-6), c.1904
USS Hopkins (DD-6),

In 1898 Congress authorised the construction of sixteen torpedo boat destroyers. Thirteen of them were grouped into the Bainbridge class, which was divided into several sub-classes.

The basic Bainbridge class ships had a raised forecastle deck and four funnels in two groups. They carried one 3in gun on top of the bridge and one on a raised platform behind the rear funnel. One torpedo tube was carried between the groups of funnels and the other at the rear of the ship.

USS Hull (DD-7), c.1906-7
USS Hull (DD-7), c.1906-7

The Hopkins class ships were built by Harlan and Hollingsworth. Instead of the raised forecastle deck they had a turtle deck forward. The top of the bow was thus lower than on the Bainbridge class ships, and was connected to the bridge structure by a rounded fairing. This design wasn't as successful as the raised forecastle design.

The two Hopkins class ships originally carried similar armament as the basic Bainbridge design, although they were armed with 3in/50 guns instead of the shorter 3in/25 guns used on the other ships. During their service careers they were given two twin 18in torpedo tubes, for a total of four tubes each.

The Hopkins class ships spent the period before the First World War operating in US home waters. Both took part in the first stage of the voyage of the 'Great White Fleet', the circumnavigation of the globe by the American battle fleet. After the US entry into the First World War they were used to protect the Panama Canal Zone, then moved to the east coast to operate against German U-boats. After the end of the war the US Navy scrapped all of its coal fired destroyers.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)



248ft 8in

Top Speed



4 Thornycroft boilers
2 Vertical Triple Expansion engines
Twin shaft




248ft 8in


24ft 6in


Two 3in/50 guns
Five 6 pounder guns
Two 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement


Ships in Class

USS Hopkins (DD-6)
USS Hull (DD-7)

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 October 2015), Hopkins Class Destroyers , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hopkins_class_destroyers.html

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