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USS BABBITT (DD-128 / AG-102)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NEPX

Built to Bath plans, built by New York SB., 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, 26,000 SHP; Parsons Design Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 101.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by New York Shipbuilding on February 19 1918.
Launched September 30 1918 and commissioned October 24 1919.
Decommissioned June 15 1922.
Recommissioned April 4 1930.
Reclassified AG-102 June 10 1945.
Decommissioned January 25 1946.
Stricken February 25 1946.
Fate Sold June 5 1946 and broken up for scrap.

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-Fitz Henry Babbitt was born on 10 October 1790, probably in Brookfield, Massachusetts and was appointed a midshipman in the Navy on 2 April 1804. He accepted his warrant on 28 May 1804 and entered into service on board the 32-gun frigate, Essex, that same day. He served in Essex and in the bomb ketch Spitfire in the Mediterranean Sea between 1804 and 1806. Returning home to the United States in Spitfire in August 1806, Midshipman Babbitt took up duty in the frigate Chesapeake in 1807 and had charge of her quarterdeck guns on the occasion of the outrage that HMS Leopard committed against the American flag on 22 June 1807. He was appointed an acting lieutenant and ordered to the brig Argus on 1 February 1810. The aspiring officer cruised the waters along the east coast of the United States in Argus until late in October, at which time he was furloughed. Babbitt received his lieutenant's commission on 4 March 1811, with seniority to date from 5 June 1810. On 19 February 1812, he received orders to Nautilus and served in her until 17 July 1812 when a British squadron--built around the 64-gun ship-of-the-line HMS Africa and the frigates HMS Shannon and HMS Aeolus--captured Nautilus off the northern New Jersey coast. Lt. Babbitt spent several weeks as a prisoner of war in Halifax, Nova Scotia, before being exchanged. Following his return in the fall of 1812, he was assigned to the frigate Adams on 30 November 1812 and helped in the futile effort to get that ship ready for sea after her modification into a sloop of war. Though the work was completed by the end of 1812, the British had Adams blockaded in Chesapeake Bay by then, and she remained so until early in 1814. Babbitt’s assignment to Adams, however, lasted only until the spring of 1813. On 6 April 1813, he received orders to the frigate United States; but those orders were apparently changed later in the month, and he went to Sackett’s Harbor along with the officers and men of the blockaded Adams. In September 1813, Lt. Babbitt again received orders to United States to serve as that ship’s first lieutenant. United States, however, languished at New London--along with her recent prize, Macedonian, by then also in American service, and the sloop of war Hornet--under a blockade imposed by a powerful British squadron. In the spring of 1814, the frigate’s commanding officer, Captain Stephen Decatur, Jr., received a posting to command the 44-gun frigate President, and took the crew of United States with him to man his new command. Thus, Lt. Babbitt came to be President’s first lieutenant. Once again, Babbitt found himself assigned to a warship unable to get to sea because of a strong blockade. The frigate remained hemmed in at New York for the rest of 1814. Not until January 1815 did conditions ripen for President to attempt her escape to sea. Though the peace treaty had been signed in Ghent, Belgium, in December 1814, word had not reached the Americas, and hostilities continued in the western hemisphere for some weeks. Thus, when President made her move for the open sea, British warships stood ready to engage her. In her breakout attempt on 14 January 1815, President ran afoul of another squadron of British ships comprising HMS Endymion, HMS Majestic, HMS Pomone, and HMS Tenedos. During the ensuing fight, President managed to inflict sufficient damage on HMS Endymion to force her out of the struggle, but the unequal contest exacted a greater toll from the American ship. Unable to outrun her other adversaries because of hull damage sustained during a grounding soon after sailing, President finally succumbed to the combined attention of the three remaining British ships after a six-hour exchange in which she lost 24 of her crewmen and three of her lieutenants. Lt. Babbitt was among the latter.Robert M. Cieri
Babbitt 34kUndated, location unknown.Fred Weiss
Babbitt 94kUndated postcard, location unknown.Frieda Marie Davison
Babbitt 254kUndated postcard, location unknown.Tommy Trampp
Babbitt 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
Babbitt 104Undated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Babbitt 98kWickes-class destroyers fitting out at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard, Camden, New Jersey, May 1919. These ships are (from left to right): Dickerson (Destroyer # 157, builder's hull # 216); Leary (Destroyer # 158, builder's hull # 217); Schenck (Destroyer # 159, builder's hull # 218); Herbert (Destroyer # 160, builder's hull # 219); Brooks (Destroyer # 232, builder's hull # 221); Hatfield (Destroyer # 231, builder's hull # 220); Babbitt (Destroyer # 128, builder's hull # 213) and DeLong (Destroyer # 129, builder's hull # 214). Note triple torpedo tubes on the wharf in the center foreground, and destroyer smokestacks in the lower left. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Photo # NH 42530.Joe Radigan/Robert Hurst
Babbitt 134kDestroyers fitting out at New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard, Camden, New Jersey,on 8 April 1919. They are (from left to right): Leary (Destroyer # 158; Builder's # 217); Babbitt (Destroyer # 128; Builder's # 213); Dickerson (Destroyer # 157; Builder's # 216); and Jacob Jones (Destroyer # 130; Builder's # 215). Builder's hull numbers are painted in small numerals on the ships' bows. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Photo #: NH 43195.Robert Hurst
Babbitt 99kAugust 1919, Rockland, Maine.Joe Radigan
191kBabbitt transiting the Panama Canal with Kilty (DD-137), circa 1920.Dave Wright
Babbitt 122kUSS Babbitt (Destroyer # 128), At anchor in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in January 1920. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Photo #: NH 56678.Robert Hurst
Babbitt 115kAmerican Legion Celebration, Astoria, Oregon, with the Navy ships - USAT South Bend (ID-4019 Smoking), USS Birmingham (CL-2), USS Fuller (DD-297), USS John Francis Burns (DD-299), USS Babbitt (DD-128), USS Somers (DD-301) and USS Percival (DD-298), July 30 1920. The photo is signed - Jarrs, Astoria.Tommy Trampp
Babbitt 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). Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, San Francisco, California, 1969. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.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. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. : NH 42539 Robert Hurst
Babbitt 20kMarch 4 1933, Panama Canal, Passing Gaillard Cut. -
Babbitt 236kThe source of the 'bang'! Members of the first “big' plebe class are inspecting the forward gun on the USS Babbit (DD-128) on September 20, 1935. The Babbit was moored at the U.S. Naval Academy before the beginning of regular classes. Source: Library of Congress, Photo No. LC-H2-B-8516.Mike Green
Babbitt 175kFour images of the Babbitt in and around the Panama Canal during 1937. Photos from the collection of Ed's dad who served aboard the Babbitt.Edward M. Compton
Babbitt 126kAs above.Edward M. Compton
Babbitt 163kAs above.Edward M. Compton
Babbitt 175kAs above.Edward M. Compton
Babbitt 88kIn New York Harbor circa 1938.John W. Holmes

USS BABBITT DD-128 / AG-102 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 William Edgar Eberle    Oct 24 1919 - Aug 15 1920

LCDR Edward Hollis Connor    Aug 15 1920 - May 21 1921

LT John Livingstone McCrea    May 21 1921 - Jun 15 1922 (Later VADM)

(Decommissioned June 15 1922 - April 4 1930)

LCDR Ernest William Broadbent    Apr 4 1930 - May 12 1931

LCDR Kenneth Reuben Ransom Wallace    May 12 1931 - Jun 11 1932

LT Edward Hamilton Doolin Sr.    Jun 11 1932 - May 31 1933

LCDR Carl Kenneth Fink    May 31 1933 - Jun 1 1936

LT Raymond Dorsey Edwards    Jun 1 1936 - Jun 7 1937 (XOIC)  

LT Emmanuel Thomas Goyette   Jun 7 1937 - Jul 12 1937 (XOIC)

LCDR Harold Rivington Parker    Jul 12 1937 - Feb 16 1939

LCDR George Lawrence Purmont    Feb 16 1939 - Nov 5 1941 

LCDR Valery Havard Jr.   Nov 5 1941 - Sep 11 1942 

LCDR Samuel Frank Quarles    Sep 11 1942 - Dec 21 1943 

LCDR William John Caspari    Dec 21 1943 - May 14 1945

LT Samuel Knight Hight    May 14 1945 - Oct 13 1945

LCDR Frank George Morris Jr.    Oct 13 1945 - Jan 25 1946

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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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 31 December 2021