USS Schenck (DD-159) moored

USS Schenck (DD-159) moored

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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.

USS Schenck DD-159 (1919-1946)

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USS Schenck (DD-159) moored - History

Atlantic Ocean – March 1, 1945

On March 29, 1945, the body of Richard Parr Harper, 19, (United States Navy) was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean eight miles north of Race Point Lighthouse located in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He had been aboard a navy airplane that was lost at sea on March 1, 1945. No further details of the accident are known.

Harper was born in Lincoln Park, Michigan. His body was brought to the Quonset Point Naval Air Station in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, before being sent to Detroit for burial.

Source: North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records #45-27

U.S. Navy Grumman Avenger
National Archives Photo

The United States destroyer U.S.S. Schenck (DD-159) was launched in 1919, and served various duties during its career including service in World War II. In September of 1944 she was re-designated AG-82, and served the remainder of the war as a surface vessel that provided target practice for student pilots.

On the night of March 1, 1954, the Schenck was ten miles off Provincetown, (The tip of Cape Cod), Massachusetts, serving in her role as a target vessel, when a navy TBM-3D, (Bu. No. 22955), crashed into her superstructure and plunged into the ocean taking both crewmen to the bottom with her.

Those aboard the Avenger included the pilot, Ensign Chapman W. Lucas, and ADM 3/c Richard P. Harper.

A crewman aboard the Schenck was also killed in this incident, but he was not identified in the newspaper articles.

Lewiston Evening Journal, (ME.) “Navy Plane Collides With Surface Craft Two Fliers Missing And Seaman Dead”, March 2, 1945

Norwalk Hour,(CT.) 𔄚 navy Filers Lost In target Practice”, March 2, 1945

USS Schenck (DD-159) moored - History

James Schenck rose to the rank of admiral in the United States Navy, and actively participated in the Mexican-American War and in the Civil War. A United States Navy destroyer, the USS Schenck [DD-159] was named after him, and was active in the United States Navy from 1918 until 1946, but especially during the Second World War.

James Schenck was born in Findlay, Ohio on June 11, 1807. He was the older brother of Robert C. Schenck, who was a United States Congressman for about 20 years, and served in the Union Army during the Civil War, rising to the rank of major general. James Schenck was the son of William Cortenius Schenck [1773-1821] and Elizabeth Rogers [1776-1853]. The father, William Schenck, descended from a prominent Dutch family, and was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The mother, Elizabeth Rogers, was born on Long Island, New York.

In 1822, Schenck was able to be sponsored for enrollment into the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. After he enrolled in the military academy, he realized that the army environment did not suit his taste, and after some time resigned from the academy. Several years later, in March 1825, he was able to receive an appointment as a midshipman in the United States Navy. After many years of training and service, in 1846, Schenck rose to the rank of lieutenant, and participated in the Mexican-American War. He served on the USS Congress, and participated in the bombardment and capture of Guaymas and Mazatlan in Mexico.

In 1855, Schenck was promoted to Commander, and following that he served for some time in Hong Kong, China. In 1862, after the start of the Civil War, he was given the command of the frigate, the USS St. Lawrence, and served for some time on the West Gulf blockading squadron. In 1864, Schenck was promoted to the rank of Commodore, and was given the command of the USS Powhatan. Under his command the USS Powhatan took a prominent part in the two attacks on Fort Fisher, North Carolina. In the attacks on Fort Fisher, Schenck was also in command of the Third Division of the North Atlantic Squadron. In 1865, Schenck was ordered to command the Naval Station at Mound City, Illinois. Schenck was retired in 1869, because he had reached the age of 62, the mandatory age for retirement. He was placed on the retired list and in 1870, Schenck was promoted to the rank of rear admiral on the retired list, 45 years following his entry into the United States Navy.

In 1918, a brand new destroyer was named the USS Schenck, in honor of the service of Admiral James Schenck to the United States Navy. Initially, the USS Schenck was largely used for patrol and training operations. During the 1930’s, the USS Schenck was extensively used in the Pacific Ocean, because of the tensions occasioned by the Japanese military action in Manchuria and in the Shanghai, China area. With the start of World War II, the USS Schenck was moved to the Atlantic Ocean operations, and began convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic. She was engaged in a number of skirmishes with submarines during the next seven years of the war, participated in the sinking of submarines, and was able to survive the war reasonably intact. By the end of the War, in 1945, the USS Schenck had become one of the old ladies, and she was retired in 1946, after 28 years of very active service, often under dangerous conditions.

Rear Admiral James Schenck passed away at Dayton, Ohio on December 21, 1882. He had been a navy man nearly his entire life.

USS Schenck (DD-159)

USS Schenck - Wickes-class destroyer. Article "USS Schenck (DD-159)" in English Wikipedia has 49.3 points for quality (as of March 1, 2021). The article contains, among others metrics, 28 references and 9 sections.

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Captain Carl Osburn

Carl Townsend Osburn (May 5, 1884 – December 28, 1966) was a United States Navy officer and sports shooter from Jacksontown, Ohio. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1906, Osburn went on to reach the rank of commander. He competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics, 1920 Summer Olympics, and 1924 Summer Olympics, winning a total of eleven Olympic medals: five gold medals (including two individual gold medals), four silver medals, and two bronze medals. He is the most successful shooter at the Olympic Games when individual and team medals are both taken into the account. His tally of eleven medals made him the all-time leading male medal winner for the United States at the Olympic Games. In 1972, Mark Spitz tied this record after having won four medals in 1968 and seven in 1972. Michael Phelps has since broken this record.

Osburn was admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy as a midshipman on August 1, 1903, graduating in 1906, earlier than scheduled, to address a shortage of naval officers. He was assigned for his sea service as a midshipman on board USS Rhode Island (BB-17) from October 12, 1906 to June 1908. He was then assigned to USS Castine, a gunboat serving as a submarine tender, from October 4, 1908 to May 1909, seeing service along the Atlantic coast.

During operations off Cuba in 1908, he earned the right to wear the Cuban Pacification Medal. Osburn was commissioned an ensign on February 12, 1909. Additionally, in 1909. Continuing his sea duty, Osburn was assigned on October 2, 1909, to USS Mississippi (BB-23), seeing service off the coast of New England until January 1910.

Promoted to lieutenant (j. g.) on February 12, 1912, Osburn was detailed in April from Mississippi to participate from June to July in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, where he competed in rifle marksmanship.

Osburn then embarked on another tour of duty at sea, this time in USS Des Moines (C-15), a cruiser, beginning on September 12, 1912, and lasting until June 1913. From September 22, 1913, until April 1915, Osburn saw shore duty at the U.S. Naval Academy, and then on May 13, 1915, returned to sea duty on board the presidential yacht USS Mayflower (PY-1), being promoted to lieutenant on July 29, 1915. He received promotion to the permanent rank of lieutenant commander on July 1, 1919. Osburn took command of USS Schenck (DD-159), a recently commissioned vessel of wartime construction, and conducted patrols in the Caribbean until September 1921, when he was assigned to USS Relief (AH-1).

On December 18, 1922, Osburn was assigned as the naval inspector of ordnance at the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company in Rochester, New York, remaining there until March 1925. On April 14, 1925, Osburn took command of the newly re-commissioned USS Dallas (DD-199), which lasted until June 1927.

Returning to shore duty on January 20, 1932, with the Bureau of Navigation, Osburn received his promotion to captain on October 1, 1933. He then returned to sea on July 27, 1934, in command of USS Henderson (AP-1), a billet which he held until June 1936. On June 30, 1936, Osburn returned to shore duty with the 12th Naval District in San Francisco.

In 1937 he was made the Director, Naval Reserves, for the 12th Naval District.

Osburn retired with the rank of captain in 1939 but was recalled to active duty in 1941 to serve as the war plans officer of the 12th Naval District, San Francisco until 1945. He then settled with his wife, Mary, in the Napa Valley, at St. Helena, California, where he died on December 28, 1966.

Osburn’s collection of medals, trophies and memorabilia were donated to the Naval Historical Foundation in 1967 by his widow, Mary Osburn. These artifacts are now in the custody of the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Curatorial Management Branch.

Osburn was inducted into the USA Shooting Hall of Fame in 1994, where he is listed as being one of the country's nine greatest marksmen.

USS Card (CVE-11), Aircraft Carrier

USS Card (AVG-11/ACV-11/CVE-11/CVHE-11/CVU-11/T-CVU-11/T-AKV-40) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier. Her hull was laid down on 27 October 1941 as a C-3 cargo ship (type C3-S-A1) but she was acquired from the Maritime Commission while under construction and was converted into an escort carrier.

She was launched as hull 178 on 27 February 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding, Tacoma, Washington, sponsored by Mrs. J. Perry. Acquired by the Navy on 1 May 1942, she was designated AVG 11 (Aircraft Escort Vessel #11). Reclassified ACV-11 (Auxiliary Aircraft Carrier) on 20 August 1942 she was commissioned 8 November 1942 with Captain J. B. Sykes in command.

Departing San Diego 18 January 1943, the Card arrived at Hampton Roads 1 February for training in Chesapeake Bay. She ferried aircraft and troops for the North African invasion from New York to Casablanca (14 May–1 June), returning to Norfolk 5 July. She was reclassified CVE-11 on 15 July 1943. Card steamed from Norfolk as flagship of TG 21.14, one of the hunter-killer groups formed for offensive operations against German submarines. Her first cruise from 27 July to 10 September 1943 was very successful. Her planes sank U-117 on 7 August in 39°32′N 38°21′W. U-664 on 9 August in 40°12′N 37°29′W. U-525 on 11 August in 41°29′N 38°55′W. and U-847 on 27 August in 28°19′N 37°58′W.

Her second cruise from 25 September to 9 November provided even more lucrative hunting. Planes from th eCard spotted a nest of four submarines refueling 4 October and sank two of them, the U-460 in 43°13′N 28°58′W., and U-422 in 43°18′N 28°58′W. Nine days later in 48°56′N 29°41′W., the U-402 fell victim to her aircraft. Her aircraft added another submarine to their score on 31 October when they sank the U-584, in 49°14′N 31°55′W. The fifth and final kill of the cruise was made on 1 November by one of Card's escorts. After a violent, close-range surface action, Borie rammed and sank the U-405 in 50°12′N 30°48′W. Too badly damaged to be saved, the Borie had to be sunk by one of the other escorts. For her outstanding antisubmarine activities from 27 July to 25 October, Card and her task group were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

Card began her third hunter-killer cruise 24 November heading for the North Atlantic. Late on 23 December the group ran into a wolf pack Borkum Card had 12 contacts in 5 hours. Schenck sank U-645 in 45°20′N 21°40′W., but one of the other escorts, Leary, was sunk by the combined efforts of three submarines in 45°00′N 22°00′W. Card dodged submarines all night with only Decatur as screen, while Schenck rescued survivors from Leary. The task group returned to Norfolk 2 January 1944.

From 18 March to 17 May Card operated on transport duty between Norfolk and Casablanca, then underwent overhaul until 4 June when she steamed for Quonset Point to hold pilot qualification exercises. She returned to Norfolk 21 June to serve as the nucleus of TG 22.10. The hunter-killer unit departed Norfolk 25 June and on 5 July two of her escorts, Thomas and Baker, sank U-233 in 42°16′N 59°49′W. Thirty survivors, including the mortally wounded commanding officer of the submarine, were taken on board Card and put ashore at Boston the next day.

Her next antisubmarine cruise was in the Caribbean and uneventful (10 July–23 August). She sortied 18 September as flagship of TG 22.2 for patrol off the Azores, during which she cooperated with British Escort Group 9 to attack a submarine on 12 October. After another patrol with TG 22.2 (1 December 1944 - 22 January 1945), Card entered Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for overhaul until 7 February, then transported Army aircraft and Army and Navy personnel to Liverpool, returning to Norfolk 12 March. From 21 March to 24 May, Card was based on Quonset Point, conducting carrier pilot qualifications. She ferried men and aircraft to Guantanamo Bay (21 June-24 June), then transited the Panama Canal to transport materiel to Pearl Harbor and Guam, returning to San Diego 14 August 1945. Assigned to "Magic Carpet" duty, she made two voyages to Pearl Harbor and one to the western Pacific from 21 August to 16 December 1945, returning servicemen to the west coast. Card departed Alameda 7 January 1946 for the east coast where she was placed out of commission in reserve at Norfolk 13 May 1946.

She was reclassified as a helicopter escort carrier CVHE-11, 12 June 1955 a utility carrier CVU-11, 1 July 1958 and an aviation transport AKV-40, 7 May 1959.

In addition to her Presidential Unit Citation, Card received three battle stars for service in World War II.

For more details on sinking of the USNS Card, see Attack on the USNS Card.

The ship was reactivated on 16 May 1958 as USNS Card and operated with a civilian crew under Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) control as an aircraft transport. On December 15, 1961, the Card left Quonset Point, Rhode Island, with a cargo of H-21 Shawnee helicopters and U.S. soldiers from Fort Devens, Massachusetts, bound for Vietnam. At Subic Bay in the Philippines, the cargo and troops were transferred to the USS Princeton, which arrived and unloaded off the coast of Da Nang on January 25, 1962.[1]

On 2 May 1964, while moored dockside in Saigon, a North Vietnamese frogman, Lam Son Nao, planted an explosive charge that blew a hole in the hull, killing five crewmen. Card settled in 20 feet (6.1 m) of water. She was patched and pumped out, and raised on 19 May, and towed to Subic Bay, and then Yokosuka for repairs. Card returned to service on 11 December.

During the latter part of 1967 & early part of 1968 the Card brought US military helicopters to the Republic of South Vietnam. These helicopters were assembled on board the ship by members of the 388th Transportation Company, 765th Transportation Battalion, and then flown to the US Army airfield at Vung Tau. From there the helicopters were assigned to aviation units.

Eventually placed out of service on 10 March 1970, Card was stricken for disposal on 15 September and sold for scrap in 1971.


Assigned to Division 12, Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, Ramsay completed shakedown off Cuba in March, participated in fleet maneuvers in early April, and then sailed for New York. She got underway in May for the Azores to act as a guide and weather observer for the NC transatlantic flights. Steaming between the Azores and Portugal from 16 May to 25 May, she returned to the United States 6 June. For the next month she conducted tactical exercises along the East Coast and, on 6 July, put into Norfolk to prepare for transfer to the Pacific.

Ramsay arrived at San Diego 7 August and, after overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, commenced 2 years of operations with Destroyer Force, Pacific. On 17 July 1920 she was designated DD-124. In the spring of 1922, she prepared for inactivation and, on 30 June 1922, she was decommissioned and berthed at San Diego as a unit of the Reserve Fleet. Recommissioned 8 years later, 2 June 1930, she was reclassified as a light minelayer, redesignated DM-16 on 13 June, and homeported at Pearl Harbor. Converted at the Navy Yard there, she operated with Minecraft, Battle Force, primarily in the Hawaiian area until 1937 when she returned to San Diego for her second inactivation and was decommissioned 14 December 1937. Recommissioned 25 September 1939, she joined MinDiv 5, Minecraft, Battle Force, and for the next year conducted patrols engaged in gunnery drills and landing exercises, and trained naval reservists along the Pacific coast.

World War II

On 10 December 1940, Ramsay returned to Pearl Harbor and, throughout the next year, operated with Mine Divisions 5 and 2. Moored at Pearl Harbor on the morning of 7 December 1941, she fired her guns in combat for the first time at carrier-based planes delivering Japan's declaration of war on the United States.

Underway from the harbor before 0900, for offshore patrol, Ramsay made sound contact with a submarine at 1120. She released 10 depth charges, and then watched an oil slick spread over the attack area. She had damaged, and possibly had sunk one of the midget submarines used by the Japanese in the attack. Eight days later, while escorting a merchant ship off Kauai, she made her second contact. During two runs over the enemy, she dropped her depth charges and again was rewarded by the appearance of an oil slick on the surface indicating damage to her quarry.

Into February 1942, Ramsay continued patrol escort services in the Hawaiian area. On the 22nd, she got underway with TF 19 for Samoa. Arriving Pago Pago 4 March, she planted defensive minefields off Tutuila and Apia, then shifted to Suva for mining activities among the Fiji Islands. On 3 May she steamed out of Suva for the New Hebrides and by 11 June had completed, with Montgomery, the Efate defensive minefields. The next day, she cleared Vila harbor, and returned to Pearl Harbor on 3 July.

For the next 2 months, she again performed escort and patrol assignments in the Hawaiian Islands. Then, on 14 September, she sailed for the Aleutians. Still with Montgomery, she arrived at Adak 22 September and 3 days later resumed mineplanting activities. In November she returned to California underwent overhaul at Hunters Point and on 13 January 1943 arrived back in the Aleutians for 9 months of escort and patrol duty from Unalaska in the east to Attu in the west.

On 17 September, Ramsay sailed south. Steaming via Pearl Harbor, she put into San Francisco 4 October for another overhaul. Out of the shipyard by 20 December, she sailed west on the 24th. She joined ServRon 6 at Pearl Harbor on 2 January 1944, and on the 21st headed for the Gilberts. After a brief stop at Tarawa, she rendezvoused with TG 50.15 on the 30th and screened Pensacola during the bombardment of Wotje that afternoon. The next day, she guarded Chester during shelling, and, on 2 February, she arrived at Majuro, where she conducted antisubmarine patrols until 14 March. An escort run to the Gilberts followed, and on the 19th she got underway to return to Pearl Harbor. Arriving on the 27th, she was assigned convoy escort duty. Between then and mid-September, she shepherded ships to Majuro, San Francisco and Eniwetok. In October, she served with the Submarine Training Force and, in November, returned to the Marshalls for escort and training duty off Majuro.

With the new year, 1945, Ramsay headed east and during February again worked with the Submarine Training Force. At the end of the month, she sailed for San Pedro, where, after overhaul, she was designated a miscellaneous auxiliary and was reclassified AG-98, effective 5 June. On the 15th, she once more got underway for Pearl Harbor, and for the next 3 months, she served as plane guard for carriers training in Hawaiian waters. On 24 September, she arrived back at San Pedro to await her third, and final, inactivation. She was decommissioned 19 October 1945, struck from the Navy list 13 November 1945 and sold for scrapping 21 November 1946.

Duncan was born on December 7, 1911 in Nicholasville, Kentucky. [1] At the age of nine his mother became a full professor at the University of Kentucky, and the family moved to Lexington, where he attended University High School, Kavanaugh Preparatory School, and the University of Kentucky before entering the United States Naval Academy. [1] Graduating in 1933, he was commissioned an Ensign and was assigned to the USS Salt Lake City (CA-25), where he remained for five years. [1] Transferring to the Atlantic in 1938, he served aboard the USS Schenck (DD-159), and in June 1940 was assigned to the staff of Commander Destroyers, Atlantic Fleet, at the time of that command's creation. [1] During his tenure he met Sheila Taylor of Halifax, Nova Scotia, whom he married in the summer of 1941 in Bermuda. [1]

In 1942 he was the first executive officer of the destroyer USS Hutchins (DD-476), which proceeded from the Atlantic to the Pacific, taking part in combat in the Aleutians and the South Pacific. [1] He was given command of the USS Wilson (DD-408), seeing combat in the South and Central Pacific areas. [1] During this time he was awarded two Navy Commendation medals with Combat "V." [1] Towards the end of the war he was assigned as Director of Naval Officer Procurement, Bureau of Naval Personnel, a position he held from 1944 to 1946. [1]

Following World War II, he served in various capacities such as Executive Assistant to the Chief of Naval Personnel 1953 to 1955, a battleship executive officer, commanding an amphibious ship and a destroyer division, and as operations officer of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. He also served on the Holloway Board whose mission was to "study the form, system, and method of education of Naval officers." The outcome of the board was the establishment of modern Naval ROTC and direct commissions for college graduates from Officer Candidate School. [1]

Duncan was promoted to flag rank in the summer of 1958, and concurrently assigned Commander, Amphibious Group One from 1958 to 1959, followed by Commander, Amphibious Training Command, Pacific Fleet from 1959 to 1961. He took command of U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay in January 1961, During his tenure he served as president of a Philippine charity and vice president of the Philippines Tubercular Association. [1]

After a stint as Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel for Plans and Programs from 1962 to 1964, he turned to command, as Commander, Atlantic Fleet Cruiser-Destroyer Force from 1964 to 1965, then commanded the United States Second Fleet and NATO's Striking Fleet Atlantic and the Atlantic Fleet Amphibious Force. During this time he was promoted to vice admiral. [1] He was awarded the Legion of Merit for "exceptionally meritorious service" while Commander Amphibious Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, from June 1965 to May 1967. [2]

Duncan became Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower and Naval Reserve) and the Chief of Naval Personnel, serving in that capacity from April 1968 to August 1970, before becoming the seventh NATO Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic on September 30, 1970, and concurrently Commander in Chief Atlantic (the United States Unified Command) and the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. As Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic, he conducted the largest NATO naval exercises held until that time. He received the Order of Orange-Nassau from the Netherlands, and the Grand Cross of the Order of Aviz from Portugal. He retired from the U.S. Navy on November 1, 1972 as a full admiral. [1]

After retiring, he lived near Leesburg, Virginia until January 1977, continuing to serve as a member of the Secretary of the Navy's Advisory Board on Education and Training, and as a member of the Board of Advisors to the President, U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He eventually moved to Coronado, California. [1]

He became a member of the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Museum of Art in 1981, and in 1984, he was elected as a member of France's Académie de Marine and also was named a Kentucky colonel. [1] He died of cancer on June 27, 1994, at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. [3]


Samuel Chew was born circa 1750 in Virginia. A resident of Connecticut, was appointed by the Marine Committee on 17 June 1777 to command the Continental Navy brigantine USS Resistance with which he had much success against British commerce. The brigantine, carrying ten quarter-pounders, fell in with a British Letter-of-Marque (20 guns) on 4 March 1778. In the hand-to-hand struggle which ensued, Captain Chew was killed but his ship managed to break off the battle with its superior opponent and return safely to Boston.

Chew was one of 111 Wickes-class destroyers built by the United States Navy between 1917 and 1919. She, along with seven of her sisters, were constructed at Union Iron Works shipyards in San Francisco, California using specifications and detail designs drawn up by Bethlehem Steel. [1] [2]

She had a standard displacement of 1,060 tonnes (1,043 long tons 1,168 short tons) an overall length of 314 feet 5 inches (95.8 m), a beam of 31 feet 9 inches (9.7 m) and a draught of 8 feet 6 inches (2.6 m). On trials, Harding reached a speed of 35 knots (65 km/h 40 mph). She was armed with four 4"/50 caliber guns and twelve 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes. She had a regular crew complement of 113 officers and enlisted men. [3] She was driven by two Curtis steam turbines powered by four Yarrow boilers. [1]

Specifics on Chew ' s performance are not known, but she was one of the group of Wickes-class destroyers designed by Bethlehem Steel, built from a different design than the 'Liberty type' destroyers constructed from detail designs drawn up by Bath Iron Works, which used Parsons or Westinghouse turbines. The non-'Liberty' type destroyers deteriorated badly in service, and in 1929 all 60 of this group were retired by the Navy. Actual performance of these ships was far below intended specifications especially in fuel economy, with most only able to make 2,300 nautical miles (4,300 km 2,600 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h 17 mph) instead of the design standard of 3,100 nautical miles (5,700 km 3,600 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h 23 mph). [1] [4] The class also suffered problems with turning and weight. [5]

Chew was the first and only ship commissioned in the U.S. Navy named for Samuel Chew, who had been a Continental Navy officer killed in the Revolutionary War. [3]

Chew was launched on 26 May 1918 out of San Francisco, sponsored by F. X. Gygax. She was commissioned on 12 December 1918 under the command of Commander J. H. Klein Jr. [3]

She sailed for the East Coast of the United States on 21 December 1918, and arrived in port at Newport, Rhode Island on 10 January 1919. After brief repairs at port in New York City, New York and refresher training at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, she cleared New York on 28 April and embarked as an escort during the first transatlantic seaplane flight, made by Curtiss NC-4 aircraft. Following this duty, she visited to the Azores, Gibraltar, Malta, and Constantinople before returning to New York on 5 June. After repairs, she steamed for San Diego, California, leaving New York on 17 September and arriving in San Diego on 12 October. Beginning on 19 November 1919, she was placed in reduced commission, operating only infrequently with Naval reservists of Reserve Division 10 until she was placed out of commission on 1 June 1922. [3]

At a part of the mobilization effort preceding the U.S. entry into World War II, Chew was recommissioned on 14 October 1940, assigned to Defense Force, 14th Naval District. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on 17 December 1940 which she made her home port. She spent the next year conducting patrols and had training duty from Pearl Harbor. [3] [6] She was assigned to Destroyer Division 80, with sister ships Allen, Ward, and Schley. [7]

On the morning of 7 December 1941, Chew was moored in Berth X-5, alongside Allen and the decommissioned Baltimore, which was being used for storage. [7] At the outbreak of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan that morning, Chew brought one of her 3"/23 caliber guns online and began firing at 08:03, under the command of her executive officer. At 08:11, two of her .50 caliber machine guns were also brought online and began firing. The 3-inch (76 mm) gun scored one Japanese aircraft shot down and two damaged, and the machine guns observed no hits. Chew maintained continuous fire from these weapons until 09:34, when the last of the Japanese aircraft departed. She then got underway and began patrolling for Japanese submarine activity, just southwest of the port entrance buoy. She pinged eight possible contacts and dropped 28 depth charges, which her commander, H. R. Hummer, Jr., reported two Japanese submarines destroyed. [8] Subsequent evidence does not suggest Chew struck any Japanese submarines. [3] In the chaos of the attack, a number of Chew crew members also disembarked and came aboard nearby battleship Pennsylvania, which was in drydock, to assist in manning guns, forming ammunition trains, and fighting fires. [9] Aboard Pennsylvania, two Chew crewman were killed in defending the ship, Seaman Second Class Matthew J. Agola and Fireman Third Class Clarence A. Wise. [10]

From 1941 through the end of World War II, Chew operated out of Pearl Harbor on patrol. She took on periodic escort duties among the Hawaiian Islands and on training duty for submarines. She made occasional trips to San Francisco and Seattle escorting convoys and screening for other Navy ships, inter-island escort, and submarine training duty. Following the end of the war, she departed Pearl Harbor on 21 August 1945 and arrived at Philadelphia 13 September. She was decommissioned there on 10 October 1945, and sold for scrap on 4 October 1946. Chew received one battle star for World War II service. [3]


Charles Boarman was born in Bryantown, Maryland, on December 24, 1795. He was the son of Mary (née Edelen c. 1754 – April 23, 1836) and Charles Boarman Sr. (1751 – 1819), a professor at Georgetown College. [2] [3] The Boarmans were among the oldest families in colonial Maryland. Its patriarch, Major William Boarman (1630–1709), was an officer and administrator under Lord Baltimore, first arriving in the colony in 1645, and became a major landholder in present-day Charles County. [4] Many of Charles Boarman's relatives were in the clergy including his uncle Rev. Sylvester Boarman and distant cousins Rev. Father Edelen and Rev. Cornelius Thomas, the latter a rector of St. Anne's Church in Baltimore. Boarman's aunt Sallie Edelen was a Sister in the Poor Clares in France before having to flee the country during the Reign of Terror four of his cousins were among the first women to enter Baltimore's Carmelite Convent. [2]

Boarman's father was also, at one time, studying to enter the priesthood. He was educated at the Jesuit College of Liege, Belgium, and was a scholastic of the Society at the time of the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773. As a result, he was released from his vows and returned to Maryland where he met and married his future wife. [2] The Boarman family lived on a farm in Charles County while Charles Boarman Sr. resided at Georgetown University. In 1799, he moved the family to Georgetown, where they lived in a brick house on the university grounds. After Boarman Sr. died, the house was occupied by Mrs. Susan Decatur, widow of Captain Stephen Decatur, until her death in 1860. The property was later sold and the house was torn down the site is now included in the university's baseball field. [2]

The younger Charles Boarman was educated at Georgetown from 1803 to 1808. In 1811, Boarman's father wrote to Robert Brent, the mayor of Washington, D.C. and U.S. Army paymaster, asking for a letter of recommendation for his son in regards to a midshipmans commission in the United States Navy. [5] In August of that year, on behalf of Boarman's father, Brent wrote to then United States Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton endorsing the commission. [5] In addition to the father's letter was a personal application from a 16-year-old "Charley" Boarman himself. [5]

Navy Career
Midshipman – 1811
1813USS Erie
1814USS Jefferson
1814–17USS Erie
Lieutenant – 1817
1817USS Peacock
1817Washington Navy Yard
1823USS John Adams
1824USS Decoy
1827–28USS Weasel
1828USS Java
1829USS Delaware
Executive Officer – 1830
1830USS Hudson
1830USS Vandalia
1830USS Hudson
1836USS Grampus
Commander – 1837
1837–1840USS Fairfield
Captain – 1844
1844–1850USS Brandywine
1852–1855Brooklyn Navy Yard
1855–61Reserve list
1861–65Special duties
1863–65United States Naval Board
Commodore – 1867
Rear Admiral – 1876

Hamilton approved Boarman's application a day after receiving the letter. [5] He attended instruction in the Washington Navy Yard and was under the tuition of Chaplain Andrew Hunter, a military chaplain in the Continental Army and mathematics professor in Princeton University, while in Washington. Boarman was assigned to the sloop USS Erie in Baltimore upon the completion of his training in September 1813. He later served aboard the brig USS Jefferson seeing action on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. [2] [3] [6] [7] [8] [9] He was one of several Georgetown alumni, including Thomas Blackstone, William Ford, Thomas Robinson, John Rogers, and Clement Sewall to participate in the war. [10]

Service in the Mediterranean, West Indies, and Brazil squadrons Edit

Boarman returned to Erie at the end of the war as part of the Mediterranean Squadron and won promotion to lieutenant on March 5, 1817. After a brief time sailing with the West India Squadron on the sloop USS Peacock he was stationed at the Washington Navy Yard. [7] [9] On March 21, 1820, Boarman was married to Mary Ann "Nancy" Abell, daughter of John Abell and Sarah Forrest, wealthy Virginian landowners, in Jefferson County. [2] He soon went to sea again seeing service on USS John Adams (1823) and USS Decoy (1824) [8] as part of the U.S. Navy's anti-piracy operations in the West Indies. On July 24, 1824, Boarman temporarily took command of the schooner USS Weazel from Commodore David Porter during which time he was on convoy duty and patrolled for pirates. That summer, Boarman captured a pirate ship off the coast of Crab Island but its crew managed to escape to shore. In September, he escorted three American merchant ships from Havana, Cuba, to Campeachy, and then carried $65,000 from Tampico which was to be shipped to New York. In July 1825, Boarman was one of several officers of the West Indies Squadron which testified at the naval court of inquiry and court martial of Commodore Porter. [11]

Boarman received his first command, USS Weazel (1827), and then transferred to the frigates USS Java (1828) and USS Delaware (1829), both flagships of the Mediterranean Squadron. In 1830, he was made executive officer of the Brazil Squadron's flagship USS Hudson. In September, he took temporary command of USS Vandalia while Captain John Gallagher left to testify in the court martial of fellow Captain Beekman V. Hoffman of USS Boston. [7] [12] He went back to Hudson after Gallagher's return and remained on board until 1836 when he was reassigned to the West India Squadron and given command of the schooner USS Grampus. On February 9, 1837, he was made a full commander, and in 1840 captained the sloop USS Fairfield. [9] It was during this period that Solomon H. Sanborn, master-at-arms of Fairfield from 1837 to 1839, accused the ship's officers, including Boarman, of complicity in illegal coltings and floggings with cat o' nine tails by not reporting them in the ship's logbook. He also alleged that Boarman used the discipline tribunal to keep a member of the crew, seaman John Smith, on board past the term of his enlistment with a court martial trial. In 1840, Sanborn published a 40-page pamphlet in New York describing his experiences, however, no charges were ever brought against any officers of Fairfield. [13]

Four years later, on March 29, 1844, Boarman won his captain's commission and assumed command of the Brazil Squadron's flagship USS Brandywine. Boarman held this command throughout the Mexican–American War [9] and, between 1847 and 1850, embarked on a three-year voyage. [6] [7] [8]

Commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Edit

After leaving the Brazil Squadron, Boarman succeeded Captain William D. Salter as commander of the Brooklyn Navy Yard [8] and remained in charge of the facility from October 14, 1852 to October 1, 1855. [6] [9] [14] In the four-year period he and his family were stationed in Brooklyn one of his daughters, Mary Jane Boarman, began a relationship with William Henry Broome, longtime deputy collector of the New York Custom House the two may have been introduced through Broome's brother John L. Broome who was serving as a marine lieutenant at the navy yard. They were married in a modest ceremony at the Commandant's House, officiated by Archbishop John Hughes, on October 18, 1853 the family regularly attended Sunday Mass at St. James' Cathedral, in all kinds of weather, where Boarman was a pew holder. [2] Boarman later bought the house and lot that Mary Ann lived at in Brooklyn and, after her husband's death in 1876, left the property to her in his will. [15]

During his tenure at the navy yard Boarman supervised the fitting out of the Japan expedition under Commodore Matthew C. Perry. [7] In May 1855, responding to reports by the Pierce Administration of a possible filibustering expedition being headed by Henry L. Kinney, Boarman used the naval forces under his command to form a blockade around Kinney's ship moored at an East River wharf effectively blocking Kinney and associate Joseph W. Fabens from leaving New York Harbor the two were subsequently arrested. [16] Four months after this incident, on September 18, 1855, Boarman was placed on the reserve list, less than a month before turning over command of the yard to Captain Abraham Bigelow, holding the rank of captain. [2]

Later career Edit

Boarman was recalled to duty upon the start of the American Civil War. Although he was born a southerner, and a longtime resident of Martinsburg, Virginia, he remained with the Union and supported the secession of West Virginia from Virginia proper. Two of his sons-in-law, Robert P. Bryarly and Jeremiah Harris, the latter a member of the famed Ashby's Cavalry, both served in the Confederate Army. [9] In a letter to one of his sons, written at the start of the war, Boarman "declared his steadfast allegiance to the flag of his country, which he had sworn to defend". Technically a slave owner through marriage to his wife, Boarman immediately freed his slaves and "faced bravely the financial hardship that followed this act". Boarman was detained on special duty throughout the war, [9] his "rare executive capacities peculiarly fitting him for such service", and in 1863 was appointed to the U.S. Naval Board in Washington, DC. On March 12, 1867, he was promoted to the rank of commodore. [6] Boarman retired at the rank of rear admiral nine years later. [2] [3] [8] [9]

Boarman eventually returned to Martinsburg where he and his wife spent their final years. Charles and Mary Ann Boarman had originally lived in Maryland before moving to Martinsburg to raise their family they had 13 children together, however, only 10 survived to adulthood. In March 1870, the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Mary Ann Boarman died on September 26, 1875. Mary Ann, who converted to Catholicism to marry her husband, was an active member of the local diocese, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, and spent much of her time involved in charities to help the sick and the poor while Charles Boarman was away at sea. [2] Her loss was mourned by the townspeople with one writing: "In her death we lose one of our most charitable citizens she will be missed by very many of the poor of Martinsburg she was always seeking the sick and administering to their wants. She was truly an angel of mercy and charity and a strict and consistent member of the church". [7] Boarman was also involved in church activities and, when their children were younger, wrote to a local convent asking the Mother Superior for Nuns to teach the Catholic children of Martinsburg. [15]

Boarman died in Martinsburg on September 13, 1879. Boarman was survived by ten children, four sons and six daughters, [2] including frontier physician Dr. Charles Boarman (1828–1880), who was among the first pioneers to settle in present-day Amador County, California. [8] Two of his daughters also married into prominent families Susan Martha Boarman married Virginia landowner Jeremiah Harris and Mary Jane Boarman became the wife of William Henry Broome, deputy collector of the New York Custom House. [7] [17] His grandson Dr. Charles Boarman Harris (1857–1942), a well known pioneer physician in northwestern Minnesota and the Dakota Territory, helped establish the oldest settlement in the state North Dakota. [18] Andrew "Andy" F. Boarman (1910–1999), a popular banjo and bluegrass musician, was the great-grandson of Charles Boarman. [19]

At the time of his death Boarman had been the longest serving officer in the U.S. Navy Register, with over 68 years of service, and the U.S. Naval Department issued a special general order to recognize his passing. [2] [3]

The Boarman family home, commonly known as the Boarman House, is an historical landmark in the state of West Virginia. [20] It is one of the oldest brick buildings in downtown Martinsburg and part of the city's walking tour of Civil War landmarks. [21] Originally built by Philip Nadenbousch, it was purchased by Lieutenant Charles Boarman in 1832 and remained in the Boarman family for over a century before being sold to the King's Daughters Circle in December 1943, and then to the Sisters of the Holy Ghost in 1953 the building was used for apartments and various offices, including an employment office for returning World War II servicemen, during this time. It was purchased in 1980 by West Virginia nonprofit corporation Associates for Community Development and, after extensive restorations, housed the Boarman Arts Center and the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1987 to 2001 [22] the building featured Boarman's navigator's log and two portraits, one when he bought the house as a young lieutenant and the other as an older officer. [23] In October 2005, the house was sold to a Leesburg, Virginia couple, Chester and Jeanne Martin, who planned to turn it into the city's first bed and breakfast. [24]

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