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USS BRANCH (DD-197)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NEML

CLASS - CLEMSON As Built.
Basic repeat Wickes Class, with 35% more fuel capacity to improve endurance problems,
designed radius was 4900 nautical miles at 15 Knots.
Displacement 1,215 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 1 x 3"/23AA, 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 26,500 SHP; Westinghouse Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 114
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding on October 25 1918.
Launched April 19 1919 and commissioned July 26 1920.
Decommissioned August 11 1922, Recommissioned December 4 1939.
Decommissioned October 8 1940.
To Britain October 9 1940, renamed HMS Beverly (H64).
Stricken January 8 1941.
Damaged in a collision with a freighter.
Fate Beverly was torpedoed and sunk by U-188 on April 11 1943.

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Branch 66kJohn Branch was born in Halifax, N.C., on 4 November 1782 and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1801. and, after studying law, entered politics in 1811. Although he then studied law, he never pursued that profession but entered politics instead. In 1811, the voters of Halifax County elected him to the North Carolina Senate where he won respect for integrity and ability. But for the period from 1817 to 1820 when he was the governor of North Carolina, Branch served in the state senate until sent to Washington in 1824 as a United States senator. In 1829, President Andrew Jackson selected Branch to be his Secretary of the Navy. Although, on 8 December 1829, Jackson had characterized the Navy as "the best standing security of this country against foreign aggression" with a claim to "the especial attention of the government," the service did not benefit much during Branch's service as secretary--mostly as a result of the brevity of his tenure (just over two years). Nevertheless, Branch addressed a number of important issues--notably a complete overhaul for Navy regulations, the need for a naval academy, the call for an increase in officers' pay, the potential advantages to naval administration offered by the proposed bureau system, and the necessity of constructing steam-powered warships. Ironically, while Branch carried out the duties of his cabinet post with "integrity and zeal" he lost that position because of social--not political--forces. The furor within Jackson's cabinet concerning the wife of Secretary of War John Eaton caused the entire cabinet to resign. Succeeded by Levi Woodbury as Secretary of the Navy on 12 May 1831, Branch returned to his home at Enfield, N.C., and to the life of a gentleman planter. However, before the year ended, Branch returned to politics as a member of the United States House of Representatives, and the following year found him back in the state senate. In 1843, he was appointed governor of the Florida Territory, having moved there after acquiring substantial property in the territory in 1835. During his term as governor, Florida became a state. Returning to North Carolina in 1851 after the death of his first wife, Branch lived in retirement at Enfield until his death on 4 January 1863. Photo #: NH 54717-KN. John Branch, Secretary of the Navy, 9 March 1829 - 12 May 1831 portrait by U.D. Tenney, 1901, after Anna C. Peale, 1818. Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Bill Gonyo
Branch 53kUndated, location unknown.-
Branch 107kUndated, location unknown.-
Branch 190kUSS Branch (DD-197), Underway, circa 1920. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Photo #: NH 56561. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker/Robert Hurst
On British Service
HMS Beverley (ex-USS Branch, DD-197) transferred at Halifax, NS on 8 October 1940 and arrived at Devonport for refit on 25 October 1940. Completing trials 19 November 1940, she carried out local escort work until allocated to 6th Escort Group of Western Approaches command, with which she escorted convoys outward from UK north of ireland, to return with inward bound ships. During this period engine defects necessitated a major refit on the Tyne from March 1941 to 31 May 1941. Briefly joining Iceland Command on completion of refit, she then transferred to the UK/Gibraltar route escorting 9th ML Flotilla to Gibraltar and returning with an HG convoy prior to a further six weeks in dockyard hands, this time in Belfast, NI, during August and September 1941, during which Type 286 radar was fitted. After working up post refit, she rejoined 6th EG and operated in the North Atlantic escorting trade convoys and five major troop convoys before transferring to B1 Group early in 1942. While serving with B1, she formed part of the escort for two Russian convoys, PQ14 and QP11, the latter with several brushes with German surface forces in very poor weather. Following these two convoys, she went to the repairers at Belfast and from mid-May to August 1942 her equipment was upgraded by the addition of Type 271 radar mounted on a new bridge, Hedgehog, centerline torpedo tubes plus the supply of the one ton Mk.X depth charges for them. On completion of this refit, she transferred to B4 EG. With B4, she formed a part of the initial escort for troop convoy WS22, returning from that as part of the escort for the battleship HMS Ramillies: thereafter she was engaged exclusively in the North Atlantic. During this period, while escorting convoy SC118 she was in a minor collision with Adamas fortunately escaping major damage. She was one of the escorts for convoy HX229 in March 1943. On 9 April 1943 while apart of the escort for convoy ON176 she collided with the Cairnvalona, the damage including the loss of her ASDIC capability. She was therefore, unaware of the presence of U188 and was torpedoed and sunk with the loss of all but four of the ship's company of 152 on 11 April 1943. (Foreign service history thanks to Robert Hurst)
Branch 153kAs HMS Beverly, undated, location unknown.Pavel Khozhainov
Branch 72kAs HMS Beverly, undated, location unknown.Robert Hurst
Branch 92kAs HMS Beverly, undated, location unknown.Robert Hurst
Branch 114kAs HMS Beverly, undated, location unknown.Pavel Khozhainov
Branch 81kAs the HMS Beverley picking up survivors of the Type IXC40 U-Boat U187, which she and HMS Vimy had just depth-charged and sunk 966 Km (600 m) south-east of Cape Farewell, on February 4 1943.Robert Hurst

USS BRANCH DD-197 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 F. H. Roberts    Jul 26 1920 - ?

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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