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USS ROPER (DD-147 / APD-20)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NERX

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 Cramp, Philadelphia on March 19 1918.
Launched August 17 1918 and commissioned February 15 1919.
Decommissioned at San Diego in October 1922.
Recommissioned on March 18 1930.
Reclassified High Speed Transport APD-20 October 20 1943.
Roper was hit by a Kamikaze and returned to Mare Island for repairs
she was berthed there when the war ended.
Decommissioned September 15 1945.
Stricken October 11 1945.
Fate Sold March 31 1946 to Lerner Co., Oakland, CA and broken up for scrap.

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Size Image Description Contributed
Roper 49kJesse M. Roper, born on 29 October 1851 at Glasgow, Mo., was appointed midshipman in June 1868 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1872. Commissioned lieutenant commander in 1899, he assumed command of Petrel shortly thereafter. On 31 March 1901, while Petrel was moored at Cavite, Phillipine Islands [sic; Philippine Islands], fire broke out in the sail room, adjacent to the magazines. Lieutenant Commander Roper went down into the burning area twice. Overcome by smoke on his last descent - to rescue a trapped seaman - Lieutenant Commander Roper suffocated before help could reach him.David Wright
Roper 89kUndated color image showing original configuration of the Wickes class 4 stack destroyers. -
Roper 73kUndated, location unknown.Robert M. Cieri
Roper 143kUndated, location unknown. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Roper 97kUndated, location unknown. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Roper 95kUndated, location unknown.Paul Rebold
Roper 110kUndated wartime picture of USS Roper (DD-147) underway on convoy escort duty, location unknown, from "Anti-Submarine Warfare: An Illustrated History" by David Owen.Robert Hurst
Roper 62kUndated, on the Hudson River near West Point.Lawrence E. Gobrecht
Roper 139kUndated, at San Diego. From the John Dickey collection.Ed Zajkowski
Roper 78kUndated postcard.Tommy Trampp
Roper 70kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Roper 169kUndated overhead bow view of USS Roper (DD-147) underway. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 108363.Mike Green
Roper 175kUndated overhead stern view of USS Roper (DD-147) underway. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 108364.Mike Green
Roper 120kUSS Blakeley (DD-150) fitting out at the Cramp Shipyard, Philadelphia, on 1 October 1918. Other destroyers present are: USS Barney (DD 149), USS Roper (DD-147), and USS Breckinridge (DD-148). Note boilers on the dock, awaiting installation in the new ships. Source: United States National Archives, Photo No. 19-N-15765 Mike Green
Roper 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
Roper 103k Destroyers moored together at San Diego, California, circa the early 1920s. These ships are (from left to right): USS Dent (DD-116); USS Rathburne (DD-113); USS Talbot (DD-114); and USS Roper (DD-147). Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN (Retired), 1983. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Photo #: NH 101204.Pobert Hurst
Roper 77kUSS Roper (DD-147), USS Elliot (DD-146), and a sister flush decker are alongside a pier on the San Francisco waterfront shortly after being rebuilt at the Mare Island Navy Yard in 1930 (Author's Collection). Photo from Warship Boneyards, by Kit and Carolyn Bonner.Robert Hurst
Roper 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
Roper 30kCirca 1937.Joe Radigan
Roper 79kNew York City September 1937.Marc Piché
Roper 30kUSS Roper (DD-147)underway in Hampton Roads, on convoy escort duty, circa 1942. Note camouflage. Source: United States National Archives, Photo No. 80-G-K-467.Joe Radigan/Mike Green
Roper 159kEscorting a convoy, out of Hampton Roads, Virginia in 1942. Ships of the convoy are visible on the horizon. Roper is wearing Measure 12 (Modified) camouflage.Robert Hurst
Roper 179kUSS Roper (DD-147) on convoy escort duty out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, in March 1942. Ship is in Measure 12 camouflage scheme. Source: United States National Archives, Photo No. 80-G-K-471.Mike Green
Roper 244kA painting in oil of the destroyer USS Roper (DD-147) engaging the German Type VII submarine U-85, during the night of 13/14 April 1942, near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Artist unknown. Image from the 1967/68 Edition of Jane's Fighting Ships.Robert Hurst
Roper 155kNavy Headquarters, New York City, July 7 1942, LCDR Hamilton Wilcox Howe is presented the Navy Cross by Vice Admiral Adolphus Andrews, commander of the eastern sea frontier, at Navy Headquarters in New York City for a feat of heroism not revealed by the Navy. (International News Photos) Cape Hatteras - LCDR Howe was the commanding officer of the USS Roper (DD-147/APD-20). On the night of 13-14 April 1942 the Roper detected the German submarine U-85 running on the surface with her radar. The roper closed to just 700 yards from the submarine, evaded a torpedo fired from one of the stern tubes. When ranged closed to 300 yards, the Roper opened fire with naval artillery and machine gun fire, scoring hits that forced U-85 to dive. The water was shallow about 100 feet deep. The U-85 had nowhere to go, and the Roper moved in for the kill. The destroyer dropped a pattern of eleven depth charges that destroyed the enemy submarine. There were no survivors. The U-85 was the first German U-Boat sunk off the east coast of the United States.Bill Gonyo
Roper 76kJanuary 5, 1943 photo shows the Roper as originally built, retaining all four stacks.-

USS ROPER DD-147 / APD-20 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 Abram Claude    Feb 15 1919 - Sep 10 1919

LCDR John Franklin McClain    Sep 10 1919 - Sep 24 1920

LCDR Matthias Evans Manly    Sep 24 1920 - Dec 14 1922

(Decommissioned Dec 14 1922 - Mar 18 1930)

LCDR John Warburton Gates    Mar 18 1930 - Aug 14 1931

CDR Jay Knight Esler    Aug 14 1931 - Jun 1 1933 

LCDR Andrew DeGraff Mayer    Jun 1 1933 - Jun 1 1934

LCDR Homer William Graf    Jun 1 1934 - Jul 15 1935

LCDR Jack Harlan Duncan    Jul 15 1935 - May 20 1937 (Later RADM)

LCDR Julian Bennett Noble    May 20 1937 - Apr 22 1938

LCDR Hugh William Hadley    Apr 22 1938 - Apr 22 1939

LCDR Harry Ensor Hubbard    Apr 22 1939 - Jun 21 1940

LCDR Henry Edward Richter    Jun 21 1940 - Oct 10 1941

LCDR Hamilton Wilcox Howe    Oct 10 1941 - Jun 22 1942 (Later RADM)

LCDR John Blair Gragg    Jun 22 1942 - Sep 30 1943

LCDR Winfield Fox DeLong    Sep 30 1943 - Jan 5 1944

LCDR Ulysses B. Carter    Jan 5 1944 - Jul 11 1945

LT Alfred Grainger Steer Jr.    Jul 11 1945 - Sep 15 1945

Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Contact Name: Curt Clark, Secretary Four Stack APD Veterans
Address: 3384 Grim Ave., San Diego, CA 92104
Phone: 619-282-0971

Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
NavSource page for the USS Roper APD-20
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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