|NavSource Main Page||FAQ||Contact us||Search NavSource|
NavSource Naval History
Photographic History of the United States Navy
|Click On Image
For Full Size Image
By And/Or Copyright
|71k||Thomas Truxtun was born on 17 February 1755 near Hempstead, Long Island, New York. When his father died in 1765, young Truxtun came under the guardianship of John Troup of Jamaica, Long Island. Two years later, at the age of 12, he embarked upon a seafaring career, sailing with Captains Joseph Holmes and James Chambers in the London trade. At 16, he was pressed into service in the Royal Navy on board HMS Prudent. Truxtun's British commanding officer observed the lad's natural abilities and offered him aid in securing a midshipman's warrant. However, Truxtum declined, obtained his release through the good offices of influential friends, and returned to mercantile service. By the age of 20, he had risen to command of Andrew Caldwell in which he brought large quantities of gunpowder into Philadelphia in 1775. Later that year, his ship was seized by HMS Argo off St. Kitts in the West Indies, an act that caused some natural resentment in the young sea captain.|
By the time Truxtun made his way back to Philadelphia, the colonies had reached the point of open rupture with the mother country. He signed on as a lieutenant in Congress, the first privateer to be fitted out for service against Great Britain. During the remainder of 1776, Truxtun participated in the capture of several prizes off the coast of Cuba. In 1777, he fitted out Continental Navy sloop Independence and sailed her to the Azores where he took three prizes. Upon his return, Truxtun fitted out Mars and made a highly successful cruise in the English Channel. Successively, he commanded Independence once more and then, in turn, Commerce and St. James.
In addition to privateering, Truxtun's ships also carried cargoes of military stores to the colonies. On one voyage in St. James, he landed a valuable cargo of gunpowder and military stores at Philadelphia. At a dinner to celebrate the feat, George Washington declared that Truxton's services had been worth those of a regiment. On another occasion, St. James, still under his command, carried Thomas Barclay, the American consul, to France.
Following the Revolution, Truxtun resumed his career in mercantile service and commanded Canton, the first Philadelphia ship to enter the China trade. When the United States Navy was organized, he was selected as one of its first six captains on 4 June 1798. He was assigned command of one of the new frigates then under construction. His ship, Constellation, was completed late in June; and he put to sea immediately to prosecute the undeclared naval war with revolutionary France.
The frigate, accompanied by a squadron of smaller ships, operated in the West Indies between St. Christopher and Puerto Rico. On 9 February 1799, Truxtun scored the first of his two most famous victories. After an hour's fight, Constellation battered Insurgente into submission, killing 29 and wounding 44 of the French frigate's crew. Truxtun brought Insurgente into St. Christopher where she was refitted and commissioned in the United States Navy.
Almost a year later, on 1 February 1800, he sighted the 50-gun French frigate La Vengeance, chased her all day, and finally overhauled her that evening. For the next five hours, Truxtun used superior American gunnery and the prevailing heavy seas to his advantage and, by 0100, completely overcame La Vengeance's initial broadside superiority. During the action, the French warship had struck her colors several times, but darkness had prevented Truxtun from seeing the signal. Accordingly, the engagement continued until every gun on board the Frenchman went silent. The French frigate then sheered off to flee, and Constellation's battle-damaged rigging made it impossible for the American frigate to pursue her escaping victim. After refitting Constellation at Jamaica, Truxtun returned with her to Norfolk late in March.
After commanding frigate President in the West Indies from mid-1800 to May 1801, Truxtun was appointed to command the squadron then fitting out for the Tripolitan expedition. Through a misunderstanding engendered by his request to have a captain appointed to command his flagship Chesapeake, Truxtun's unintended resignation from the Navy was accepted in Washington.
Commodore Truxtun retired first to Perth Amboy, N.J., and thence to Philadelphia, where he was active in local politics for the rest of his life. In 1809, he led the agitation in Philadelphia against the Embargo. The following year, he was unsuccessful in his bid for a seat in Congress under the Federalist banner. From 1816 to 1819, Truxtun served as the sheriff of Philadelphia. Commodore Truxtun died at Philadelphia on 5 May 1822 and was interred there at Christ Church.
|29k||Undated, location unknown.||USN|
|58k||Undated, location unknown.||Paul Rebold|
|27k||Undated, location unknown. Photo from Jane's Fighting Ships 1914.||Robert Hurst|
|239k||Undated, the "gunners gang" aboard USS Truxtun (Destroyer # 14) with a Whitehead Mark 1 torpedo in foreground. Image scanned from Building The Mosquito Fleet: The U.S. Navy's First Torpedo Boats, by Richard V. Simpson.||Robert Hurst|
|121k||Undated, USS Truxtun (Destroyer # 14), location unknown. Photo from U.S. Navy Records. Image scanned from Building The Mosquito Fleet: The U.S. Navy's First Torpedo Boats, by Richard V. Simpson.||Robert Hurst|
|128k||Newspaper clipping from the St. Louis Republic dated July 14 1901 from the ship's christening.||Mike Mohl|
|281k||USS Truxtun (Destroyer No. 14) was the lead ship of her class of destroyers in the United States Navy. She was named for Commodore Thomas Truxtun. Truxtun was laid down on 13 November 1899 at Sparrows Point, Maryland, by the Maryland Steel Company and launched on 15 August 1901. She was sponsored by Miss Isabelle Truxtun, Truxtun’s granddaughter, of Norfolk, Virginia. The twin ships Whipple (sponsored by Miss Elsie Pope of St. Paul) and USS Worden (sponsored by Miss Emilie Worden) were launched the same day. Photo by the Baltimore Sun Magazine.||Bill Gonyo|
|26k||Truxtun, July 1 1902. Note the caption misspells her name as "Truxton."||USN|
|179k||1906 postcard of the Truxtun.||Arnold A. Putnam|
|102k||Destroyers at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, Autumn 1907. These ships are (from left to right): USS Hull (Destroyer # 7); USS Lawrence (Destroyer # 8); USS Hopkins (Destroyer # 6); USS Whipple (Destroyer # 15) and USS Truxtun (Destroyer # 14). Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.||Fred Weiss|
|102k||Photo #: 19-N-60-10-17, destroyers at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, Autumn 1907. The destroyers in the foreground basin (from left to right): USS Hull (Destroyer # 7); USS Lawrence (Destroyer # 8); USS Hopkins (Destroyer # 6); USS Whipple (Destroyer # 15) and USS Truxtun (Destroyer # 14). USS Stewart (Destroyer # 13) is at the end of the dock, at right, and USS Talbot (Torpedo Boat # 15) is hauled out on the marine railway at left. On the opposite side of the river are several torpedo boats of the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla and their barracks ship, the old cruiser Atlanta. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.||Tony Cowart|
|98k||Photo #: NH 93693, Pacific Fleet Destroyers moored together at San Diego, California, circa 1909-1911. Photographed by the Arcade View Company, San Diego. These ships are (from left to right): USS Paul Jones or Perry (Destroyer # 10 or 11); USS Preble (Destroyer # 12); USS Hopkins (Destroyer # 6); USS Truxtun (Destroyer # 14); USS Stewart (Destroyer # 13); USS Lawrence (Destroyer # 8); USS Hull (Destroyer # 7); and USS Whipple (Destroyer # 15). The numeral "2", painted on some of these destroyers, indicates they are members of the Second Torpedo Division. Courtesy of Jack Howland, 1982. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.||Tony Cowart|
|823k||Truxtun (Destroyer No. 14) underway off Port Angeles, Washington, circa 1910s. Real photo postcard by Wheeler.||David Rasmusson|
Three images of the USS Paul Jones (Destroyer No. 10), USS Preble (Destroyer No. 12), USS Whipple (Destroyer No. 15), USS Truxtun (Destroyer No. 14) and USS Stewart (Destoryer No. 13) in dry dock #2 at Mare Island, December 26, 1912. The submarine F-1 (Submarine No. 20) can be seen to the left of the dry dock.
|54k||Photo #: NH 92186, U.S. Pacific Fleet destroyers at Mazatlan, Mexico, 26 April 1914, keeping watch on the Mexican gunboat Morales (the two-funneled ship in the right center distance). The two destroyers nearest to the camera are (in no particular order): USS Truxtun (Destroyer No. 14) and USS Whipple (Destroyer No. 15). Collection of Thomas P. Naughton, 1973. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.||Tony Cowart|
|113k||USS Truxtun (Destroyer No. 14), Anchored in a West Coast harbor, circa 1915-1916. Collection of Thomas P. Naughton, 1973. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Photo #: NH 92184.||Robert Hurst|
|81k||Photo #: NH 43036, Philadelphia Navy Yard, destroyers awaiting decommissioning in the Navy Yard's Reserve Basin, during the Spring of 1919. Photographed by La Tour. Ships present are (from left to right): USS Isabel; four unidentified "750-ton" type destroyers; USS Preble (Destroyer No. 12); USS Decatur (Destroyer No. 5); USS Paul Jones (Destroyer No. 10); USS Stewart (Destroyer No. 13); USS Bainbridge (Destroyer No. 1); USS Hopkins (Destroyer No. 6); USS Hull (Destroyer No. 7); USS Barry (Destroyer No. 2); USS Worden (Destroyer No. 16); USS Truxtun (Destroyer No. 14); USS Whipple (Destroyer No. 15); USS Perry (Destroyer No. 11); USS Lawrence (Destroyer No. 8); and USS Dale (Destroyer No. 4). U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.||Tony Cowart|
|113k||Photo #: NH 52105, Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania destroyers awaiting decommissioning, in the Yard's Reserve Basin, 04 March 1919. Ships present include (from left to right): USS Lawrence (Destroyer No. 8); USS Perry (Destroyer No. 11); USS Whipple (Destroyer No. 15); USS Truxtun (Destroyer No. 14); and USS Worden (Destroyer No. 16). Note Lawrence's after torpedo tube (with torpedo visible) and pattern camouflage; 48-star flags, radio masts and signal flags on several of these destroyers; and small craft moored to the ships' sterns. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.||Tony Cowart|
|175k||MS Truxtun moored at Baltimore after she was converted to a banana carrier. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum.||Darryl Baker|
LT Archibald Hilliard Davis Sep 11 1902 - Jul 18 1903 LT Henry Kennedy Benham Jul 18 1903 - Apr 16 1904 LT Walter Selwyn Crosley Apr 16 1904 - Mar 30 1905 LCDR Clark Daniel Stearns Mar 30 1905 - Jul 7 1906 ENS John Vincent Babcock Jul 7 1906 - Jul 4 1907 LT Louis Clark Richardson Jul4 1907 - Nov 18 1907 LT Charles Sylvanus Kerrick Nov 18 1907 - Mar 1 1909 ENS Randolph Perry Scudder Mar 1 1909 - Jan 27 1912 ENS Sydney Moses Kraus Jan 27 1912 - Jun 8 1912 LT Charles Adams Blakely Jun 8 1912 - Jul 20 1912 LT John Enoch Pond Jul 20 1912 - Oct 5 1912 LTJG Thomas Alexander Symington Oct 5 1912 - Aug 16 1913 LT Eugene Edward Wilson Aug 16 1913 - Sep 30 1913 LT Robert Frank Gross Sep 30 1913 - Dec 27 1913 LT Edwin Guthrie Dec 27 1913 -Sep 18 1914 LTJG Robert Grimes Coman Sep 18 1914 - May 6 1915 Gillette May 6 1915 - Sep 5 1915 LT Daniel Judson Callaghan Sep 5 1915 - Nov 11 1916 LT James Grady Ware Nov 11 1916 - 1917 LTJG Harvey Shadle Haislip 1917 - Mar 20 1917 LT James Grady Ware Mar 20 1917 - Apr 30 1919 LT James Dawson Brown Apr 30 1919 - Jul 18 1919
|Back To The Main Photo Index||To The Destroyer Photo Index Page|
This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright|