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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, 24,900 SHP; Direct Drive Turbines with Geared Cruising Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 101.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by New York Shipbuilding on March 6 1918.
Launched December 18 1918 and commissioned December 5 1919.
Decommissioned June 29 1922. Recommissioned May 1 1930.
Fate Leary was torpedoed and sunk by U-275 North of the Azores December 24 1943.
97 of her crew were lost and remain on duty.

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- Clarence Frederick Leary was born in Fowey, Cornwall, England on 11 January 1894. He came to the United States with his family as a boy. After the United States entered World War I, Leary, a merchant marine officer, was commissioned lieutenant in the Naval Reserve on 12 June 1918. Appointed executive officer of USS Charlton Hall (ID-1359), Leary died of burns and smoke inhalation when he entered the ship’s burning hold on 20 July, in an attempt to save both ship and crew. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his self-sacrificing valor.Robert M. Cieri
Leary 60kUndated, pre war image.-
Leary 60kUndated, location unknown. In memory of Dawn's grandfather, S1c John L. Rosman, who was lost in the torpedo attack by the U-275.Dawn Koosmann
Leary 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
Leary 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
Leary 250kUSS Idaho (BB-42) fitting out at New York Ship Building Corporation on 23 June 1919 as is shown here, the Idaho was the first battleship not to befitted with hull mounted secondary guns. The ports were plated over before she was commissioned; the ports remained as the hull design was identical to her sisters, New Mexico (BB-40) and Mississippi (BB-41). She is equipped with a small bridge which is topped with a "tent" where a main battery range finder will be mounted. The destroyer across the ways looks to have the number 20 painted on her bow. She is still under construction, and probably hasn't reached the stage where they paint an identification number on the hull. I would guess that the destroyer is either Leary (DD-158) or one of her sisters.National Archives photo # 19-N-11413, courtesy of David Buell. Photo i.d. & partial text i.d. courtesy of Aryeh Weterhorn.
131kUSS Leary (DD-158) and Dickerson (DD-157) anchored together in Penobscot Bay, Maine, for the Castine Pageant, 05 August 1920.Dave Wright
Leary 131kUSS Leary (DD-158) anchored in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1921. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Photo #: NH 51279.Robert Hurst
Leary 169kUSS Leary (DD-158) in San Diego Harbor, California, during the early 1930s. Original negative given by Mr. Franklin Moran in 1967. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 64534.Mike Green
Leary 135kNorfolk Navy Yard circa 1931, the USS Leary (DD-158), USS Blakely (DD-150) and USS Biddle (DD-151).Tommy Trampp/Pierre Alleyn
Leary 153kUSS Dobbin (AD-3), Alongside the dock at Smith's Cove, Seattle, Washington, in company with several destroyers, 4 July 1933. Destroyers in the foreground are, from left to right: USS Schenck (DD-159); USS Dickerson (DD-157); and USS Herbert (DD-160). USS Leary (DD-158) is alongside Dobbin, just astern of the foreground group. USS Tarbell (DD-142) is in the background, partially visible at right. Donation of Franklin Moran, 1967. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Photo #: NH 65013.Robert Hurst
Leary 162kPhoto #: NH 51280 "First Test of Radar on Board Ship." U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's 200 megacycle radar equipment on USS Leary (DD-158) in April 1937. The radar antenna was mounted on the barrel of one of the ship's 4"/50 guns (visible at right), allowing it to be trained in azimuth and elevation. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.Bill Gonyo
Leary 57kMay or early June 1939 at Annapolis.Gary Neidhardt
Leary 179kUSS Shubrick (DD-268) and USS Leary (DD-158) moored at New York Navy Yard, 03 September 1940, awaiting possible transfer to the Royal Navy. Acme press photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Leary 123kCirca 1942.Tony Cowart
Leary 123kSeen here in 1943 in her final appearance. She was sunk by a German submarine on December 24 1943. -
Leary 112kA sketch of the Leary by crewmember Gordon Faulkner who was lost in the torpedo attack. It was done about December 1943 and is from the collection of his sister Nancy Ponn.Dawn Koosmann

USS LEARY DD-158 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 Frank Charles Martin    Dec 5 1919 - Jan 18 1921

LCDR Henry Thomas Settle    Jan 18 1921 - Jul 28 1921

LT Joseph McEvers Bayard Smith    Jul 28 1921 - Jun 29 1922

(Decommissioned June 29 1922 - May 1 1930)

LCDR John Marie Creighton    May 1 1930 - Jan 10 1932 

LCDR Douglas Ancrum Spencer    Jan 10 1932 - Jul 20 1932?

LCDR Warner Philip Portz    Jul 20 1932 - Jan 2 1935

LCDR Vaughan Bailey    Jan 2 1935 - Jul 27 1936

LCDR Gerald Desmond Linke    Jul 27 1936 - Jan 21 1937

LCDR Robert Bowman Matthews    Jan 21 1937 - Apr 17 1938                                

LCDR Ethelbert Watts    Apr 17 1938 - Jan 8 1941

LT William Lockhart Harmon    Jan 8 1941 - Mar 1941 

LCDR Clifford Ashton Fines    Mar 1941 - Dec 15 1941 (Later RADM)

LCDR John Conner Atkeson    Dec 15 1941 - Aug 11 1942 (Later RADM)

CDR James Elsworth Kyes    Aug 11 1942 - Dec 24 1943

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: John Morrison
Address: 1313 Macbeth St., McLean Va.,22102
Phone: (703) 356-6173
E-mail: None

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
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