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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Displacement 1,154 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 2 x 1pdr AA (1 x 3"/23AA In Some Ships), 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 24,200 SHP; Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 103.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bath Iron Works, Bath Me. on November 1 1917.
Launched September 17 1918 and commissioned September 30 1918.
Fate On February 26 1921, while on patrol off the western approaches to the Canal Zone
Woolsey was cut in half and sunk in collision with the merchant vessel SS Steel
Inventor off Balboa Canal Zone.

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Woolsey 80kMelancthon Taylor Woolsey was born near Plattsburg, New York, in 1782. He joined the Navy as a Midshipman in April 1800, during the Quasi-War with France, making a cruise in the frigate Adams during that year and the next. In 1805 he participated in operations late in the war with Tripoli, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1807. After developing a signal code for the Navy, in 1808 Lt. Woolsey was assigned to supervise the building of the brig Oneida for service on Lake Ontario, and commanded her from the time of commissioning in 1810 through the first year of the War of 1812. Promoted to Master Commandant in 1813, Woolsey continued his important work on Lake Ontario, taking part in several actions ashore and afloat. When the conflict ended early in 1815, he remained on the lake station for nearly another decade, with the rank of Captain from 1816 onward. Captain Woolsey was at sea as Commanding Officer of the frigate Constellation during 1824-1827, and was Commandant of the Pensacola Navy Yard, Florida from late 1827 into 1831. With the courtesy title of Commodore, he commanded the Brazilian Station in 1832-1834. His final active service was supervising survey work on the Chesapeake Bay in 1836-1837. His health was by then failing, and Commodore Woolsey died at Utica, New York, on 18 May 1838.Bill Gonyo
Woolsey 37kUndated, location unknown.Douglas Chartier
Woolsey 75kLaunching at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, September 17 1918. Courtesy of Ted Stone, 1985. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Robert Hurst
Woolsey 66kUSS Woolsey (Destroyer # 77) probably at Brest, France, circa December 1918. Note her weathered pattern camouflage. Collection of Robert S. Waters. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Woolsey 99kPhoto #: NH 42078, USS Woolsey (Destroyer # 77) escorting President Woodrow Wilson across the Atlantic to Brest, France, 13 December 1918. Photographed by Zimmer. Note Woolsey's "Dazzle" camouflage, and battleships steaming in the distance. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Woolsey 40kWoolsey being buzzed by an Army Air Corps biplane, off Panama circa 1919.Dave Wright
Woolsey 83kPhoto #: NH 100642, USS Woolsey (Destroyer # 77) dressed with flags in 1919. The five-masted schooner in the middle distance indicates that the location may be Hampton Roads, Virginia, where Woolsey arrived 8 July 1919 after escorting President Woodrow Wilson across the Atlantic from Brest, France. Courtesy of Jack Howland, 1986. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Woolsey 115kPhoto #: NH 73608, USS Woolsey (Destroyer # 77) participates in laying a smoke screen, during Pacific Fleet battle practice in Hawaiian waters, circa mid-1919. Photographed by Tai Sing Loo, Honolulu. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1971. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Woolsey 60kPhoto #: NH 77174, USS Woolsey (Destroyer # 77) at anchor, circa 1919-1920. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1973. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Woolsey 93kUSS Woolsey (Destroyer # 77), at left, and USS George Washington (ID # 3018) dressed with flags at Brest France, 29 June 1919. President Woodrow Wilson is on board the George Washington, preparing to return to the United States. Courtesy of Jack Howland, 1982. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Woolsey 108kPhoto #: NH 57140, USS Tarbell (Destroyer # 142), at left, steaming through the Gaillard Cut, during the Pacific Fleet's passage through the Panama Canal, 24 July 1919. USS Woolsey (Destroyer # 77) is immediately ahead of Tarbell. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Woolsey 24kCirca 1920, location unknown.Marc Piché
Woolsey 108k"Old Hen and Chickens" USS Kanawha (AO-1) with thirteen destroyers alongside, off San Diego, California, during the early 1920s. Photographed by Bunnell, 414 E Street, San Diego. Ships present are (from left to right): USS Meade (DD-274); USS Evans (DD-78); USS Kennedy (DD-306); USS Aaron Ward (DD-132); USS Woolsey (DD-77); USS Wickes (DD-75); USS Buchanan (DD-131); USS Kanawha; USS Farquhar (DD-304); USS Paul Hamilton (DD-307); USS Thompson (DD-305); USS Reno (DD-303); USS Stoddert (DD-302) and USS Philip (DD-76) Collection of Chief Quartermaster John Harold, USN. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Woolsey 80kPhoto #: NH 70998, USS Woolsey (DD-77) at sea, circa October 1920 - February 1921, after her Number four 4"/50 gun had been moved from the fantail to atop the after deckhouse. The "X" on the photo indicates where Woolsey was rammed by SS Steel Inventor on 26 February 1921. She was cut in two and sunk in this accident. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Woolsey 80kUSS Woolsey (DD-77) sinking after colliding with S.S. Steel Inventor on 26 February 1921. Photographed by D. Blumenthal. The original image was printed on post card ("AZO") stock (Photo No NH 103140).Robert Hurst

View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

LCDR Frederick Vallette McNair Jr.    Sep 30 1918 - Nov 4 1920
LCDR Henry Chalfant Gearing Jr.    Nov 4 1920 - Feb 26 1921

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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