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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NAXJ

Built to Bath plans, built by Newport News, these Wickes versions were
slightly heavier but had a good cruising radius.
Displacement 1,213 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 2 x 3"/23AA, 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 24,900 SHP; Direct Drive Turbines with Geared Cruising Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 101.
Operational and Building Data
Built by Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA (YN 219)
Laid down 02 October 1917
Launched 23 March 1918
Commissioned 26 July 1918
Decommissioned at San Diego 06 June 1922
Recommissioned 20 August 1931
Reclassified Light Minelayer DM-17 05 January 1931
Recommissioned 20 August 1931
Decommissioned at San Diego 07 December 1937
Recommissioned 25 September 1939
Irreparably damaged by a mine in Ngulu Lagoon, Caroline Islands, 17 October 1944
Decommissioned at Mare Island 23 April 1945
Stricken 28 April 1945
Fate Sold 11 March 1946 and hulk was broken up for scrap.

Four men died in service aboard and remain on duty

unknown officer, Ngulu Lagoon, Caroline Islands, 17 October 1944
F1c Alvie Eugene Capps (859 45 11) V-6, USNR, Ngulu Lagoon, Caroline Islands, 17 October 1944
CMM(AA) James Dee Chism, Jr. (287 28 83) USN, Ngulu Lagoon, Caroline Islands, 17 October 1944
MM2c Albert Kabala (202 56 60) USN, Ngulu Lagoon, Caroline Islands, 17 October 1944

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Size Image Description Contributed
Montgomery 90kJohn B. Montgomery was born in New Jersey in 1794. He was appointed a Midshipman on 4 June 1812. He first served in the flagship Niagara in the victory of Lake Erie, September 1814. He was commissioned Lieutenant on 1 April 1818 and Commander on 9 December 1839. He commanded Naval Rendezvous, Boston in 1840. He was the commanding officer of the sloop-of-war Portsmouth of the Pacific Squadron (1845-48). He was promoted to Captain in 1853 and became Commander Pacific Squadron (1860-61). He was promoted to Commodore on 16 July 1862 and served as Commandant Boston Navy Yard (1862-63) and Commandant Navy Yard Washington (1864-65). He rose to the flag rank of Rear Admiral on 25 July 1866 and was Commandant Naval Station Sackett's Harbor, N.Y. (1867-69). Admiral Montgomery died on 25 March 1873 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. At the time of his death he was on the Retired List. Photo of John B. Montgomery (DD-121) - Commandant Boston Navy Yard, June 3, 1862-Dec. 15, 1863 (Boston National Historical Park Collection, NPS Cat. No. BOSTS-7245)Robert M. Cieri/Stephen P. Carlson, Boston NHP, Charlestown Navy Yard
USS Montgomery (DD-121)
Montgomery 57kUSS Radford (Destroyer No. 120) and USS Montgomery (Destroyer No. 121) at Norfolk Navy Yard, circa 1918.Randle M. Biddle
Montgomery 42kUSS Radford (Destroyer No. 120) and USS Montgomery (Destroyer No. 121) at Norfolk Navy Yard, circa 1918.Randle M. Biddle
167kUSS Montgomery (Destroyer No. 121) alongside an unknown ship, date and location unknown. The caption on the back of the original photo reads "4 pipe destroyers refueling alongside USS Cuyama at Queenstown, Ireland 1917," which is inaccurate at least as to date.Dave Wright
Montgomery 278kLocation unknown, circa 1918-1919.Lou Keller
Montgomery 48kLocation unknown, circa 1918-1919.Paul Rebold
Montgomery 553kUSS Montgomery (Destroyer No. 121) underway, 26 February 1919.
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 45722
Robert Hurst
Montgomery 201kUSS Radford (DD-120), USS Montgomery (DD-121) and several other destroyers transit the Panama Canal, circa August 1919. Note these are not submarines as the caption implies!Frank Hoak III, Captain US Navy retired
401kAbove photo converted to a color postcard.Frank Hoak III, Captain US Navy retired
Montgomery 38kClipping from 17 August 1919 showing USS Radford (DD-120), USS Montgomery (DD-121) and other unidentified destroyers in the Panama Canal. This photo appears to be the source of the above two photos.Mike Mohl
Montgomery 170kAt San Diego, circa 1920. Note the wind deflector on her bridge. From the John Dickey collection.Ed Zajkowski
Montgomery 264kUndated photo of three Curtis F8C-4 flying over the USS Montgomery (DD-121) at an unknown location. US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No.2011.003.209.003.Mike Green
Montgomery 230kPost World War I San Diego image including the USS Walker (DD-163), USS Lea (DD-118), USS Gamble (DD-123), USS Montgomery (DD-121), USS Roper (DD-147), USS Ramsay (DD-124), USS Tarbell (DD-142), USS Thatcher (DD-162), USS Evans (DD-78), USS Crosby (DD-164), USS Jacob Jones (DD-130), USS Hazelwood (DD-107), USS Gillis (DD-260), USS McLanahan (DD-264), USS Howard (DD-179), USS Schley (DD-103), USS Dorsey (DD-117), USS Tattnall (DD-125), USS Wickes (DD-75), USS Laub (DD-263), USS Zane (DD-337), USS Perry (DD-340) and USS Alden (DD-211).Mike Mohl
Montgomery 660kUSS Radford (DD-120), USS Sproston (DD-173), USS Breese (DD-122), USS Badger (DD-126) and USS Montgomery (DD-121) moored at San Diego, circa 1920.
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 50241
Daniel Dunham
Red Lead Row 195kRed Lead Row, San Diego Destroyer Base, California. Photographed at the end of 1922, with at least 65 destroyers tied up there. Ships present are identified as: (left to right, in the right diagonal row): Stansbury (DD-180); MacKenzie (DD-175); Renshaw (DD-176); Howard (DD-179); Gillis (DD-260); Tingey (DD-272); McLanahan (DD-264); Swasey (DD-273); Morris (DD-271); Bailey (DD-269); Tattnall (DD-125); Breese (DD-122); Radford (DD-120); Aaron Ward (DD-132) -- probably; Ramsey (DD-124); Montgomery (DD-121); and Lea (DD-118). (left to right, in the middle diagonal row): Wickes (DD-75); Thornton (DD-270); Meade (DD-274); Crane (DD-109); Evans (DD-78); McCawley (DD-276); Doyen (DD-280); Elliot (DD-146); Henshaw (DD-278); Moody (DD-277); Meyer (DD-279); Sinclair (DD-275); Turner (DD-259); Philip (DD-76); Hamilton (DD-141); Boggs (DD-136); Claxton (DD-140); Ward (DD-139); Hazelwood (DD-107) or Kilty (DD-137); Kennison (DD-138); Jacob Jones (DD-130); Aulick (DD-258); Babbitt (DD-128); Twiggs (DD-127); and Badger (DD-126). (left to right, in the left diagonal row): Shubrick (DD-268); Edwards (DD-265); Palmer (DD-161); Welles (DD-257); Mugford (DD-105); Upshur (DD-144); Greer (DD-145); Wasmuth (DD-338); Hogan (DD-178); O'Bannon (DD-177); and -- possibly -- Decatur (DD-341). (Nested alongside wharf in left center, left to right): Prairie (AD-5); Buffalo (AD-8); Trever (DD-339); and Perry (DD-340). Minesweepers just astern of this group are Partridge (AM-16) and Brant (AM-24). Nearest ship in the group of destroyers at far left is Dent (DD-116). The others with her are unidentified. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. : NH 42539 Robert Hurst
USS Montgomery (DM-17)
Montgomery 151kSeen here in prewar colors at Pearl Harbor, circa 1940, with her sisters USS Breese (DM-18), USS Gamble (DM-15) and USS Ramsay (DM-16) as part of Mine Division Two.-
Montgomery 184kThe USS Montgomery (DM-17) and USS Gamble (DM-15) along with many others out of commission at San Diego, 04 April 1939. Note they still wear their destroyer hull numbers, though carry the Mine Force insignia.Jonathan Eno
Montgomery 54kPhoto from Our Navy magazine, June 1943.Chet Morris

USS MONTGOMERY DD-121 / DM-17 History
View This Vessels DANFS History entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
Montgomery (DD-121)
01LCDR William Reynolds Purnell (USNA 1908)26 July 1918 - 04 January 1919
02LCDR John Calvin Jennings (USNA 1908)04 January 1919 - 20 January 1920
03LT Thomas Lamison Sprague (USNA 1918)20 January 1920 - 10 November 1920
04LT Stuart Shirley Reynolds USN10 November 1920 - 28 December 1921
05CDR William Alexander Glassford, Jr. (USNA 1906)28 December 1921 - 13 March 1922
06LT Stuart Shirley Reynolds USN13 March 1922 - 06 June 1922
 Decommissioned06 June 1922 - 20 August 1931
Montgomery (DM-17)
07CDR Lee Payne Johnson (USNA 1909)20 August 1931 - 21 March 1932
08LCDR Lloyd Erwin Clifford (USNA 1917)21 March 1932 - 28 November 1933
09LCDR Omar Brown Earle USN28 November 1933 - 15 May 1935
10LCDR William Edward Miller (USNA 1920)15 May 1935 - 20 July 1936
11LCDR Robert Raymond Ferguson (USNA 1918)10 July 1936 - 07 July 1937
 Decommissioned07 July 1937 - 25 September 1939
12LCDR Donald Fitzroy McLean (USNA 1924)25 September 1939 - 02 April 1941
13LCDR Richard Allen Guthrie (USNA 1925)02 April 1941 - 10 April 1942
14LCDR John Andrews, Jr. (USNA 1929)10 April 1942 - 01 April 1943
15LCDR Dwight Lyman Moody (USNA 1935)01 April 1943 - 01 November 1943
16LCDR Edward Herman Inman, Jr. D-V(G) USNR01 November 1943 - 23 May 1944
17LCDR Dan Thomas Drain (D) USNR23 May 1944 - 23 April 1945

Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
NavSource Minesweeper Pages, USS Montgomery (DM-17)
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 17 May 2021