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USS WILLIAMS (DD-108)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NENT

CLASS - WICKES (LITTLE)
Built to a different set of plans (Bethlehem) than the Wickes (Bath) the Little versions were
considered less successful than the Bath designed ships, with few remaining in service past 1936.
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 Union Iron Works, San Francisco on March 25 1918.
Launched July 4 1918 and commissioned March 1 1919.
Decommissioned at San Diego June 7 1922 and berthed there until her
recommissioning on November 6 1939.
Decommissioned for the last time and transferred to Britain
(Canada) September 24 1940. Renamed HMCS St. Clair (I65). She became
involved in the chase of the Bismark and shot down a German long range
bomber that had arrived shortly after Bismark had been sunk.
Stricken January 8 1941.
Fate Broken up for scrap in 1946.

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- John Poster Williams was born on 12 October 1743 at Boston, Mass. and was appointed a captain in the Navy of Massachusetts and received command of the brig Hazard late in 1777. In the following year, he took her to sea in a fruitless search for British West Indiamen; but he and his ship eventually achieved success in 1779. While cruising in the West Indies, Hazard fell in with the privateer brigantine Active on 16 March. At the end of a "smart action" of 35-minutes' duration, "yard arm to yard arm," Active struck her colors and became Hazard's prize, after having suffered 13 killed and 20 wounded out of her 95-man crew. Hazard sent the captured brigantine back to Massachusetts under a prize crew and subsequently returned home in April, after taking several other prizes. In May, Hazard returned to sea, this time in company with the brig Tyrannicide. At 0830 on 15 June, the two ships fell in with two British ships and—after a short, sharp engagement—forced both enemy vessels to strike their colors. Later that summer, Hazard—like the rest of the Massachusetts Navy—took part in the ill-fated Penobscot expedition, an operation which eventually cost the state's navy all of its commissioned vessels. Williams received command of the new 26-gun frigate Protector in the spring of 1780 and took her to sea in June. In accordance with instructions from the Board of War, the new warship cruised in the vicinity of the Newfoundland Banks, on the lookout for British merchantmen. Her vigilance was rewarded early in June. At 0700 on 9 June 1780, Protector spotted a strange ship bearing down on her, flying British colors. At 1100, the Continental frigate, also flying English colors, hailed the stranger and found her to be the 32-gun letter-of-marque Admiral Duff, bound for London from St. Kitts. When the enemy's identity had been ascertained, Protector hauled down British colors and ran up the Continental flag—opening fire almost simultaneously. The action ensued for the next hour and one-half, until Admiral Duff caught fire and exploded, leaving 55 survivors for Protector to rescue soon thereafter. With the coming of peace, Williams returned to his native Boston and died there on 24 June 1814. George Washington Williams—born in Yorkville, S.C., on 30 July 1869—graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1890. He served the required two years of sea duty in Pensacola, before he was commissioned an ensign on 1 July 1892. Williams served in a succession of sea and shore billets through the turn of the century: the former in Essex, Columbia, Yankee, Buffalo, Panther, Richmond, and Monongahela ; the latter at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I. In addition, he served on the staff of the Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, in 1899 and commanded the torpedo boat Bainbridge in 1903 before commanding the 1st Torpedo Boat Flotilla. Reporting to Wisconsin (Battleship No. 9) on 5 April 1905, Williams subsequently joined the protected cruiser Chicago for a tour of duty which included participating in relief efforts at San Francisco, Calif., in the wake of the destructive earthquake and fire which destroyed much of that city. In the years immediately preceding World War I, Williams served as ordnance officer in Montana (Armored Cruiser No. 13); commander of the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet; Inspector of Ordnance in Charge at the Naval Torpedo Station; commanding officer of the cruiser Cleveland and later of battleship Oregon, before he assumed command of Pueblo (Armored Cruiser No. 7) on 29 April 1917. Williams—by that time a captain—was awarded the Navy Cross for "distinguished service in the line of his profession" while commanding Pueblo during World War I, as the armored cruiser engaged in the "important, exacting, and hazardous duty of transporting and escorting troops and supplies to European ports through waters infested with enemy submarines and mines." Detached from Pueblo on 6 September 1918, Williams participated in fitting out the new dreadnaught Idaho (Battleship No. 42) and later served ashore in the Office of Naval Intelligence. He took the Naval War College course in 1919 and 1920 before commanding the new dreadnaught New Mexico (BB-40) from 31 May 1921 to 18 May 1922. After detachment from New_ Mexico, Williams became the senior member of the Pacific Coast section of the Board of Inspection and Survey. Reaching flag rank on 29 September 1922, Williams served as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, and later as the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, when the former command was reorganized. Detached from this duty in the spring of 1923, Williams subsequently served at Charleston, S.C., as the commandant of the 6th Naval District before breaking his two-star flag in Concord (CL-10) on 15 September 1924 as Commander, Destroyer Squadrons, Scouting Fleet. Rear Admiral Williams died on 18 July 1925 at the Naval Hospital, Charleston, S.C.Robert M. Cieri
Williams 95kUndated, at Mare Island (l-r) USS Rizal (DD-174), USS Crane (DD-109), USS Claxton (DD-140), unknown and USS Williams (DD-108).Tommy Trampp
Williams 104kDestroyers at Mare Island Navy Yard, 1919. These ships are from left to right: USS Tarbell (DD-142); USS Thatcher (DD-162); USS Rizal (DD-174); USS Hart (DD-110); USS Hogan (DD-178); USS Gamble (DD-123); USS Ramsay (DD-124) and USS Williams (DD-108). Donation of Rear Admiral Ammen Farenholt, USN (Medical Corps). Photo No NH 42538.Robert Hurst
Williams 106kDestroyers at the Mare Island Navy Yard, 1919. These ships are (from left to right): USS Tarbell (DD-142); USS Thatcher (DD-162); USS Rizal (DD-174); USS Hart (DD-110); USS Hogan (DD-178); USS Gamble (DD-123); USS Ramsay (DD-124) and USS Williams (DD-108). Donation of Rear Admiral Ammon Fahrenholt, USN (Medical Corps). U.S. Navy Historical Centre photo # NH 42537.Robert Hurst
Williams 108kUSS WilliamsDD-108 At Ponta Del Gada, Azores 13 June 1919. 80G1024891Daniel Dunham
Williams 70kCirca 1919-1922 in San Diego Harbor.Charles Ferguson Krimm
Williams 125kIn harbor, circa the early 1920s. Her after 4"/50 gun has been remounted atop an enlarged after deckhouse. Photo from collection of Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker/Robert Hurst
On Canadian Service
One of the six initial Canadian ships, HMCS St Clair commissioned at Halifax on 24 September 1940 and served as a local escort. She steamed to Britain as part of the escort for convoy HX91 and arrived on the Clyde on 11 December; unusually her refit started there and the ship did not transfer to Devonport until 12 January, completing on 17 May 1941. After working up, HMCS St Clair escorted the first stage of convoy WS7 and then joined the 4th Escort Group for western Approaches work. During the hunt for the battleship Bismarck she was diverted to search duties and was with the destroyer HMS Mashona when the latter was sunk on 27 May by air attack, rescuing survivors with the destroyer HMS Tartar. Returning to Canada with convoy OB328 in May 1941, HMCS St Clair arrived at St.Johns, NF, on 7 June and, shortly afterwards collided with the station tanker Clam moored in the harbour, necessitating repair at Halifax and St.Johns from 23 June to 10 November 1941. She then started escort work with WLEF, rescuing survivors from Nyholt on 27 January 1942. HMCS St Clair remained a Halifax based escort, albeit with increasing defect time, until January 1944 when, replaced by modern ships, she became depot ship at Halifax for submarines based there for A/S training. In August 1944 she paid off from that duty and became a static hulk for the Damage Control School, being finally declared redundant and sold for scrap on 5 March 1946. (Foreign service history thanks to Robert Hurst)
Edwards 19kUndated, location unknown. Courtesy of http://www.readyayeready.com.Robert Hurst
Williams 49kHMCS St Clair (ex-USS Williams, DD-108) in early Canadian service circa October/November 1940 (Admiralty Official).Robert Hurst

USS WILLIAMS DD-108 History
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

CDR Matthias Evans Manly    Mar 1 1919 - ?
LCDR Louis N. Miller    Nov 6 1939 - ?

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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