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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NEPV

Built to Bath plans by New York Shipbuilding, these Wickes versions were
slightly heavier but had a much poorer cruising radius.
Displacement 1,211 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 New York Shipbuilding, Camden, NJ (YN 212)
Laid down 23 January 1918
Launched 28 September 1918
Commissioned 28 July 1919
Decommissioned at San Diego 24 June 1922
Recommissioned 20 February 1930
Decommissioned 06 April 1937
Recommissioned 30 September 1939
Decommissioned and transferred to Great Britain 23 October 1940, renamed HMS Leamington (G 19)
Stricken from US Naval Register 08 January 1941
Transferred to Soviet Union 16 July 1944, renamed Жгучий [Zhguchiy ("Fiery")].

Fate: Ship was returned to Great Britain 15 November 1950, then sold to BISCo, Rosyth, Scotland 26 July 1951, and used in the film Gift Horse as HMS Ballantrae (GH-19). The last 'Town' Class DD steaming. Arrived at Newport for breaking up by J. Cashmere & Sons. Ltd., 03 December 1951.

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Levi Twiggs was born in Richmond County, Georgia, 21 May 1793, the sixth son of Major General John Twiggs. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on 10 November 1813. During the War of 1812, he saw action on board President and was captured when that frigate was taken, after a gallant defense, by a squadron of four British warships. After being imprisoned on Bermuda, he was freed when word of the Treaty of Ghent reached that island. Over two decades later, he took part in the Indian Wars in Florida and Georgia during 1836-1837. When the war with Mexico opened, Major Twiggs requested an active part in the fighting and was attached to the Marine Battalion which left New York in June 1847. He was felled by enemy fire as he led a storming party in the assault on Chapultepec before Mexico City on 13 September 1847. During the battle at Chapultepec, 90 percent of the Marine officers and noncommissioned officers who fought were killed. In honor of these officers and NCOs, Marine Corps tradition maintains that all officers and noncommissioned officers shall be entitled to wear a red stripe on the trousers of the Dress Blue Uniform. Commonly referred to as the blood stripe, it serves as a reminder to all Marines of the blood that was shed in the capture of Chapultepec.
[1] Digital ID: cph 3g06207, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. [2] Painting of Major Levi Twiggs, source unknown.
[1] Robert M. Cieri / Dave Wright

[2] Dave Wright
USS Twiggs (DD-127)
Twiggs 70kUndated, drydock location unknown.Randle Biddle
Twiggs 216kUndated, location unknown.Darryl Baker
Twiggs 159kUndated, location unknown. From the John Dickey collection.Ed Zajkowski
Twiggs 148kUndated, location unknown. From a family scrapbook.Donna Heuer
Twiggs 221Undated, location unknown. From a family scrapbook. Left to right; USS Badger (DD-126), USS Jacob Jones (DD-130), USS Twiggs (DD-127), USS Babbitt (DD-128), USS DeLong (DD-129) and USS Tattnall (DD-125).Donna Heuer
Twiggs 126kUndated, location unknown. From a family scrapbook.Donna Heuer
Twiggs 150kUndated, location unknown. From a family scrapbook.Donna Heuer
Twiggs 103kUndated, location unknown. From a family scrapbook.Donna Heuer
Twiggs 56kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Twiggs 58kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Twiggs 88kThe launching, Miss Lillie S. Getchell, granddaughter of Levi Twiggs and sponsor, USS Twiggs, 28 May 1918. New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum.Bill Gonyo
Twiggs 102kUSS Birmingham (CL-2) leading destroyers out of a West Coast harbor (probably San Diego), circa 1919-1922. The ships directly behind her are USS Twiggs (DD-127) and USS Chauncey (DD-296).
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 69510, courtesy of ESKC Joseph L. Aguillard, USNR, 1979.
Fred Weiss
174kUSS Twiggs (Destroyer No. 127) mooring at San Diego, 1920s.Dave Wright
Twiggs 153kDestroyers laid up at San Diego, California. Some of the eighty reserve destroyers in San Diego harbor, part of some 260 destroyers laid up there and at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photograph dated 29 December 1926. Identifiable ships present include (from left to right): USS Kennison (DD-138); USS Jacob Jones (DD-130); USS Aulick (DD-258); USS Babbitt (DD-128); USS Twiggs (DD-127); and USS Badger (DD-126).
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 69122, courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, San Francisco, California, 1969.
Fred Weiss
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.
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 42539
Robert Hurst
Twiggs 178kAt anchor, circa the 1930s.Darryl Baker/Robert Hurst
Twiggs 89kUSS Twiggs (DD-127), USS Philip (DD-76), USS Evans (DD-78) and USS Yarnall (DD-143) nested together while awaiting transfer to the Royal Navy. Photo from the Conrad Waters Collection as seen in "Conway's The War at Sea in Photographs: 1939-1945" by Stuart Robertson & Stephen Dent, circa 1940.Robert Hurst
Twiggs 450kNewspaper clipping of Twiggs being readied for transfer to the Royal Navy, September 1940.Anonymous donor in memory of Twiggs and her crew
Twiggs 379kPostal cover for Twiggs (DD-127), postmarked 05 April 1937. The original was purchased on E-Bay and given to the late Joseph Krotki, who was a survivor of the sinking of the second USS Twiggs (DD-591).Anonymous donor in memory of
Joseph Krotki, USS Twiggs (DD-591)
On British Service
HMS Leamington (ex-USS Twiggs, DD-127) transferred at Halifax on 23 October 1940, Leamington refitted at Devonport from 15 November 1940 to 29 11 1940, briefly escorted convoy SL56 and then worked up at Scapa Flow from 15 December 1940 to 5 January 1941 prior to joining 2nd escort Group for North Atlantic work. Leamington's extensive convoy escort duty was interrupted when she collided with, and sank the Norwegian tramp steamer Thyra (at 52 25N 19 22W, 4 dead, 20 surv.) on 27 May 1941 requiring repair at Liverpool to mid-July 1941. She rejoined her Group and was heavily involved in the fighting around convoy SC42, during which she shared in the sinking of U207 on 11 September 1941 with the destroyer HMS Veteran. In February 1942 Leamington commenced escorting troop convoys of the AT, TA and WS series in the UK approaches; whilst so covering WS17 she scored her second success by sinking U587 on 27 March 1942. Leamington continued with her special escort task until June 1942 when she formed part of the UK to Iceland escort for convoy PQ17, followed by covering a minelaying sortie by 1st Minelaying Squadron. She then went to long refit at Hartlepool from July to November 1942 followed by transfer to Halifax to serve with the RCN in the Western Local Escort Force, arriving at Halifax January 1943. Leamington suffered two collisions while operating from Halifax, with the auxiliary minesweeper USS Albatross(i) (AM-71) which put her under repair from 15 April to 3 June 1943 and a less serious brush with SS Mortimer, the repair for which did not commence until late June 1943 at Norfolk, VA, continuing to October 1943. Like a number of her sisters in the WLEF, Leamington returned to Britain in December 1943, and laid up in reserve in February 1944. Refitted and transferred to Russia as Zhguchi on 16 July 1944, she served with the Northern Fleet, and did not return to Rosyth until 15 November 1950. Laid up and transferred to BISCo for scrapping in July 1951, she was then hired as a 'film extra', finally arriving at Newport, Mon, on 3 December to be broken up by J Cashmore & Sons Ltd. (History thanks to Robert Hurst.)
Twiggs 60kThe 'Town' class destroyer HMS Leamington, showing seaman clearing snow from her decks while at St. John's, Newfoundland, date unknown (Admiralty Official).Robert Hurst
Twiggs 82kAs the HMS Leamington while the ship was taking delivery of mail. The men on the Bow are using a grappling hook to lift the mail delivered from a cruiser circa 1941. Phil's dad was a member of the British crew.Phil Marley
Twiggs 123kIce-covered HMCS Leamington (G 19) moored at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 22 January 1943. Source: Library and Archives Canada, Photo No. MIKAN no. 3566566.Mike Green
Twiggs 69kThe 'Town' class destroyer HMS Leamington seen here in temporary guise, superficially altered so as to vaguely resemble HMS Campbeltown as a 'prop' for the film The Gift Horse entering Portsmouth Harbour as the last 'Town' under her own steam.Robert Hurst
Twiggs 120kHMS Leamington in 1952, the picture was taken during the filming of the British war film The Gift Horse staring the late Trevor Howard. It shows the old destroyer leaving Plymouth sometime in late 1952. She is showing on her port side the fictional pennant number GH19 that she wore as the fictional destroyer of that film, namely H.M.S Ballantrea.Phil Marley
Twiggs 98kShip's badge.Tommy Trampp

USS TWIGGS DD-127 History
View This Vessels DANFS History entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
In USN service
01CDR Isaac Cureton Johnson (USNA 1904)28 July 1919 - 28 August 1920
02LCDR Elmer DeLoss Langworthy (USNA 1910)28 August 1920 - 04 June 1921
03LCDR Thomas John Doyle, Jr. (USNA 1914)04 June 1921 - 15 August 1921
04LCDR Robert Grimes Coman (USNA 1909)15 August 1921 - 10 May 1922
05CDR Nathan Woodworth Post (USNA 1904)10 May 1922 - 24 June 1922
 Decommissioned24 June 1922 - 20 February 1930
06LCDR Thomas Starr King II (USNA 1911)20 February 1930 - 18 March 1931
07LCDR Stanley Cook Norton (USNA 1918)18 March 1931 - 01 June 1932
08LCDR Laurence Wild (USNA 1913)01 June 1932 - 25 April 1935
09LCDR Francis Wyse Benson (USNA 1917)25 April 1935 - 27 November 1936
10LCDR Donald Wood Loomis (USNA 1918)27 November 1936 - 06 April 1937
 Decommissioned06 April 1937 - 30 September 1939
11CDR Lyman Knute Swenson (USNA 1916)30 September 1939 - 23 October 1940
In Royal Navy Service 1940 - 1944
12CDR William Eric Banks DSC, RN23 October 1940 - February 1941
13LCDR Harold Godfrey Bowerman RNFebruary 1941 - 14 April 1942
14LCDR Brian Mortimer Duncan I'Anson RN14 April 1942 - 31 August 1942
15LCDR Chistopher Godfrey de Lisle Bush RN31 August 1942 - June 1944
Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves (USN/USCG) (RN)

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
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 10 June 2022