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USS BUCHANAN (DD-131)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NEQS

CLASS - WICKES As Built.
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; Parsons Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 103.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bath Iron Works, Bath Me. on June 29 1918.
Launched January 2 1919 and commissioned January 20 1919.
Decommissioned June 7 1922.
Recommissioned April 10 1930, Decommissioned April 9 1937.
Recommissioned September 30 1939 and assigned to Neutrality Patrol.
Decommissioned September 9 1940 and transferred to,
Britain September 9 1940, Renamed HMS Campbeltown (I42).
Stricken January 8 1941.
Fate Destroyed in raid on St. Nazaire France March 28 1942.

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Buchanan 74kCaptain Franklin Buchanan, 1800-1874, American naval officer, b. Baltimore. Appointed a midshipman in 1815, Buchanan rose to be a commander in 1841. He was chief adviser to Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft in planning the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and was its first superintendent (1845–47). In Sept., 1861, he took the rank of captain in the Confederate navy, commanding the Virginia (formerly the Merrimack) against the Union blockading squadron in Hampton Roads (Mar. 8, 1863). Wounded in that engagement, he took no part in the battle of the Monitor and Merrimack the next day. Promoted to ranking officer in the Confederate navy, he was forced to surrender to David G. Farragut in the battle of Mobile Bay (Aug. 5, 1864). Photo #: NH 61920-A. Photograph by Matthew Brady circa 1855-1861, mounted on a carte de visite. Some sources state that this view was taken in May 1861, immediately after his resignation from the U.S. Navy. Collection of Captain Alfred L. Clifton, USN(MC), 1939. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Bill Gonyo
Buchanan 162kUndated, location unknown. USS Buchanan (DD 131) with three other unidentified destroyers. Photo from the collection of Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Buchanan 217kUSS Buchanan (DD-131) and USS Elliot (DD-146) at the port of Oakland in 1918. Photo from the collection of Walter E. Wold.Jeannine Disney
Buchanan 78kPhoto #: NH 102767, USS Buchanan (DD-131) laying a smokescreen during exercises, circa 1919-1922. Donation of H.E. ("Ed") Coffer. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Buchanan 54kAt Boston, Massachusetts, 24 January 1919. Panoramic photograph by J. Crosby, Naval Photographer, # 11 Portland Street, Boston. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Buchanan 104kUSS Buchanan (Destroyer # 131) Underway on 26 February 1919. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Buchanan 103kDuring the Pacific Fleet's passage through the Upper Chambers, Gatun Locks, Panama Canal, 24 July 1919. Those present are: USS Wickes (Destroyer # 75) and USS Yarnall (Destroyer # 143), both at left; USS Philip (Destroyer # 76), USS Buchanan (Destroyer # 131) and USS Elliot (Destroyer # 146), left to right in the center group; USS Boggs (Destroyer # 136), USS Dent (Destroyer # 116) and USS Waters (Destroyer # 115), left to right in the right center group. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Buchanan 152kDestroyers in the Middle Chambers, Gatun Lock during the Pacific Fleet's passage through the Panama Canal, 24 July 1919. Those in the front centre are (left to right): USS Waters (Destroyer # 115); USS Dent (Destroyer # 116) and USS Boggs (Destroyer # 136). USS Yarnall (Destroyer # 143) is by herself just aft of that group. Partially visible at right are (left to right): USS Elliot (Destroyer # 146); USS Buchanan (Destroyer # 131) and USS Philip (Destroyer # 76). two of the three ships just astern of that group are: USS Tarbell (Destroyer # 142), right, and USS Wickes (Destroyer # 75, left. Photographed by the Panama Canal Company (their photo # 80-C-5). U.S. Naval Historical Centre photo # NH 42536.Robert Hurst
Buchanan 108kThirteenth Destroyer Division Officers & Crews on board their ships in San Diego Harbor, California, 6 December 1919. Signalmen are sending semaphore messages from atop the ships' bridges. Panoramic photograph by O.A. Tunnell, Masonic Temple Building, San Diego. Ships present are (from left to right): Upshur (Destroyer # 144), Greer (Destroyer # 145), Elliot (Destroyer # 146), Aaron Ward (Destroyer # 132), Buchanan (Destroyer # 131) and Philip (Destroyer # 76). Donation of Captain W.D. Puleston, USN (Retired), 1965. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Buchanan 107kUSS Buchanan (DD-131) In port, probably at San Diego, California, circa the early 1920s,. Note that the after 4"/50 gun is still mounted on her fantail. Also note the pattern of the numeral "3" painted on her bow. Courtesy of ESKC Joseph L. Aguillard, USNR, 1969. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Buchanan 107kUSS Aaron Ward (DD-132) Photographed during the early 1920s, probably off the U.S. West Coast. USS Buchanan (DD-131) is at left. Courtesy of ESKC Joseph L. Aguillard, USNR, 1969. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Buchanan 64kEarly 1920's, location unknown.Marc Piché
Buchanan 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
Buchanan 301kBalboa Harbor, Panama Canal Zone. Aerial photograph taken 23 April 1934, with U.S. Fleet cruisers and destroyers moored together. Ships present include (left to right in lower left): USS Elliot (DD-146); USS Roper (DD-147); USS Hale (DD-133); USS Dorsey (DD-117); USS Lea (DD-118); USS Rathburne (DD-113); USS Talbot (DD-114); USS Waters (DD-115); USS Dent (DD-116); USS Aaron Ward (DD-132); USS Buchanan (DD-131); USS Crowninshield (DD-134); USS Preble (DD-345); and USS William B. Preston (DD-344). (left to right in center): USS Yarnall (DD-143); USS Sands (DD-243); USS Lawrence (DD-250); (unidentified destroyer); USS Detroit (CL-8), Flagship, Destroyers Battle Force; USS Fox (DD-234); USS Greer (DD-145); USS Barney (DD-149); USS Tarbell (DD-142); and USS Chicago (CA-29), Flagship, Cruisers Scouting Force. (left to right across the top): USS Southard (DD-207); USS Chandler (DD-206); USS Farenholt (DD-332); USS Perry (DD-340); USS Wasmuth (DD-338); USS Trever (DD-339); USS Melville (AD-2); USS Truxtun (DD-229); USS McCormick (DD-223); USS MacLeish (DD-220); USS Simpson (DD-221); USS Hovey (DD-208); USS Long (DD-209); USS Litchfield (DD-336); USS Tracy (DD-214); USS Dahlgren (DD-187); USS Medusa (AR-1); USS Raleigh (CL-7), Flagship, Destroyers Scouting Force; USS Pruitt (DD-347); and USS J. Fred Talbott (DD-156); USS Dallas (DD-199); (four unidentified destroyers); and USS Indianapolis (CA-35), Flagship, Cruisers Scouting Force. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.Fabio Peña
Buchanan 108kUSS Buchanan (DD-131) At Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, 18 May 1936. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.Fred Weiss
Buchanan 253kUSS Buchanan (DD-131) with USS Arron Ward (DD-132) at a San Francisco pier circa 1939.Darryl Baker
Buchanan 133kAs above.Darryl Baker
Buchanan 48kMare Island, October 27 1939, Navy Day, ships are left to right by row: 1st row USS Humphreys (DD 236) and USS King (DD 242); 2nd row USS Buchanan (DD 131), USS Aaron Ward (DD 132) also the USS Lawrence (DD 250) and USS Sands (DD 243) are inboard and are hidden from view.Darryl Baker
Buchanan 120kUSS Buchanan (DD-131) underway sometime in late 1930s, location unknown.Robert Hurst
On British Service
HMS Campbeltown (ex-USS Buchanan, DD-131), commissioned at Halifax, NS, as one of the first transfers, Campbeltown arrived at Devonport on 29. September 1940 and refitted there to 1 November 1940; a collision with Risoy the following day while on trials put her into dockyard hands at Liverpool until 24 November 1940. The ship then joined 17th Flotilla, Western Approached Command, but yet another collision this time with Comus on 3 December 1940 involved her in further repairs until 28 March 1941. During this period, she appears to have had a Polish contingent on board, whether for training or with intent to man the ship is not clear. On completion of repairs, Campbeltown became Dutch manned. Between April and late September 1941 Campbletown served with 7th Escort Group apart from one repair period from 9 June to 3 July 1941. At one stage, the Dutch Government wished to rename the ship Middelburg, but the request was refused. In late September 1941 Campbeltown reverted to British manning, and after working up with her new crew, joined 27th Escort Group for the West African convoy route. Defects and subsequent repairs kept her in dockyard hands at Devonport from late January 1942, and durng this period she was selected as an expendable vessel for use in a raid on the French coast. During her final Devonport refit she lost her third and fourth funnels. The two remaining were altered in diameter and given raked tops, and a 12pdr HA was mounted on the forecastle. Forward in the ship twenty-four depth charges were sealed into the hull to provide the demolition charge, and all other armament, stores etc were removed to lighten the ship. Light armour protection was fitted on the bridge and upper deck for the crew and embarked Commandos, and a number of hand worked 20mm AA provided to give covering fire. In this guise, accompanied by a number of motor launches and MTBs and provided with night challenges and replies courtesy of Bletchley Park and Ultra decrypts, Campbeltown approached St Nazaire during the night of 28/29 March 1942, and succeeded in lodging herself in the caisson of the lock. The time fuzes of the charge did not operate as planned and, in the aftermath of the raid, the ship was photographed from varying angles and visited by a large number of German personnel. These did not remain long, nor do they seem to have made a proper inspection below decks for, at 1135 local time, Campbeltown exploded. The result was inevitable, with the lock empty and half tide outside, the caisson was damaged and forced open. It and the wreck of the Campbeltown were swept into the lock by a tidal wave, and very substantial casualties inflicted on the personnel around.
Buchanan 40kUndated, as the HMS Campbeltown.Joe Radigan
Buchanan 210kUndated, oil on canvas painting of the destroyer HMS Campbeltown heading for the lock gates at St. Nazaire, 27 March 1942, by Norman Wilkinson, National Maritime Museum, London, (BHC1597). Scanned from "Ship: A History in Art and Photography" Edited by Andrew Lam.Robert Hurst
Buchanan 86kUndated, Dutch sailor on board HMNS Campbeltown (I.42) prepares 20 mm anti-aircraft ammunition. He is placing loose rounds into a belt clip. Photo taken by Lt H. W Tomlin, Royal Navy official photographer. Photo # A 5219 from the collections of the Imperial War Museum.Robert Hurst
Buchanan 53kUndated, Dutch sailor on board HMNS Campbeltown (I.42) applies a protective coating of grease to the breech of a gun. Photo taken by Lt H. W Tomlin, Royal Navy official photographer. Photo # A 5221 from the collections of the Imperial War Museum.Robert Hurst
Buchanan 78kView of British sailors learning about their new ships, a part of Lend-lease in September 1940. In the background are the USS Buchnanan (DD-131) and the USS Crowninshield (DD-134).Tom Kerman
Buchanan 78kView of British sailors learning about their new ships, a part of Lend-lease in September 1940. In the background are the USS Buchnanan (DD-131), USS Crowninshield (DD-134) and USS Abel P. Upshur (DD-193).Tommy Trampp
Buchanan 114kThe 'Town' class destroyer HMS Campbeltown (ex-USS Buchanan, DD-131) lying alongside the destroyer HMS Broke at a unidentified Western Approaches base. The interest in this photo is in the evidence of the ship being manned by the Royal Netherlands Navy. It also illustrates the features that the Censor wanted deleted; the skyline and equipment details on the left, the masthead "fits" and the pennant numbers on Campbeltown's stern (Admiralty official).Robert Hurst
Buchanan 86kHMS Castleton (ex-USS Aaron Ward, DD-132) and HMS Campbeltown (ex-USS Buchanan, DD-131) alongside in Devonport Dockyard after arriving from the USA in September 1940. Bob Hibbert
Buchanan 96kHMS Campbeltown (ex-USS Buchanan, DD-131) under refit prior to the St Nazaire raid. The bridge has been stripped, armoured, and has some of the splinter matting in place. The forward 4in/50 has been replaced with a 12pdr/12 cwt QF gun.Robert Hurst
Buchanan 77kHMS Campbeltown with an oddly cut down fourth funnel, this was taken while operating with the 7th Escort Group under Dutch colors sometime between March and late September 1941, location unknown.Robert Hurst
Buchanan 99kHMS Campbeltown showing the aft 20mm Oerlikon bandstands during the pre-raid refit in March 1942. The bulkheads behind which the commandos were to lie have been fitted.Robert Hurst
Buchanan 16kHMS Campbeltown, disguised as a German destroyer for the famous raid on St. Nazaire, France, in 1942. Campbeltown was built as USS Buchanan (DD 131), one of hundreds of "four piper" or "flush deck" destroyers constructed during the WWI era. Buchanan was one of 50 such ships transferred to the UK under the "Destroyers for Bases" deal, becoming HMS Campbeltown on 9 September 1940. She served the Royal Navy as an escort until early 1942, when she was assigned a role in the St. Nazaire raid.Joe Radigan
Buchanan 88kHMS Campbeltown as seen from alongside the Normandie Dock shortly before she exploded. On the left is one of the two tankers present in the dry dock. When the destroyer exploded, both tankers were swept against the dock walls by the inrush of water and sank.Bob Hibbert
Buchanan 31kHMS Campbeltown grounded on dry dock sill moments before detonating.Joe Radigan
Buchanan 139kAerial photo taken some months after Operation 'Chariot'. The Normandie Dock has been sealed and work is in progress restoring the facility In the middle of the pic, the stern half of the Campbeltown sits on the bottom, the forward section having been blown to pieces. Robert Hurst
Buchanan 8kAs above.Joe Radigan
Buchanan 76kThe wrecked Campbeltown (her foreends towards the camera) inside the lock. Note the Normandie's docking blocks, the ruined caisson at the right rear of the lock and the sand wall sealing all.Robert Hurst
Buchanan 203kReproduction of a painting by the artist David Rowlands of the Destroyer HMS Campbeltown with her prow deeply embedded in the caisson of the Normandie Dock, and the Commando demolition parties using assault ladders to disembark before destroying the dock's pumpimg and winching equipment. Photo and text from "Commandos: Churchill's 'Hand of Steel" by Simon Dunstan.Robert Hurst
Buchanan 150kJuly 1 2011, Lt. Commander Jez Millard (RN), left, and Petty Officer Jay Early (RN) during the return of the bell from HMS Campbeltown to the citizens of Campbelltown, PA. Photo courtesy of Chris Knight, The Patriot-News. Full online story by Barbara Miller can be found on http://www.pennlive.comRobert Hurst
Buchanan 173kAs above.Robert Hurst

USS BUCHANAN DD-131 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

LT Howard Hartwell James Benson    Jan 20 1919 - Feb 1920 (Later COMO)
CDR Robert Hewetson Skelton    Sep 12 1930 - ?
LT Richard Waller Bates    Jun 17 1932 - May 1933 (Later RADM)
LCDR Dallas Daisy DuPre    May 1933 - Feb 2 1934
LCDR Theodore Edson Chandler    Feb 2 1934 - Aug 1935 (Later RADM)
LT Louis Gerard McGlone    Aug 1935 - Mar 1936
LCDR William Bartlett Fletcher Jr.    Mar 1936 - Jun 1936 (Later RADM)
LT Jeane R. Clark    ? 1939 - ?

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

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