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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NENJ

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; Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 114
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding on November 25 1918.
Launched May 31 1919 and commissioned September 14 1920.
Decommissioned June 6 1922.
Loaned to the Coast Guard as CG-17 September 13 1930 and returned May 28 1934.
Recommissioned December 4 1939.
Decommissioned September 9 1940.
To Great Britain September 9 1940, renamed HMS Churchill (I45)
Stricken January 8 1941.
To Soviet Union in July 16 1944, renamed Деятельный [Deyatel'niy] (Russian for "Active").
Fate Sunk January 16, 1945 in Barents Sea, off Ostrov Bolshoy Olenyi, probably by accidental depth charge explosion. 117 crew lost, only 7 survivors.
[Modern German sources show U-956, frequently cited as her attacker, made no claims on 16 January]

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Herndon 63kWilliam Lewis Herndon, one of the Navy's outstanding explorers and seamen, was born 15 October 1813 in Fredericksburg, Va. Appointed Midshipman 1 November 1828, he cruised in Pacific, South American, Mediterranean, and Gulf waters from then until 1842. From 1842 to 1846 Herndon served in the Depot of Charts and Instruments (to become the U.S. Naval Observatory) with his cousin and brother-in-law, Matthew Fontaine Maury, preparing oceanographic charts and performing other scientific work invaluable to the safe and accurate navigation of the seas. During the Mexican War, Herndon commanded brig Iris with distinction. In 1851 Herndon headed an expedition exploring the Valley of the Amazon, a vast area as uncharted as the wildest part of central Africa. Departing Lima, Peru, 21 May 1851, Herndon and his small party of six men pressed into the wild and treacherously beautiful jungles. After a remarkable journey of 4,366 dangerous miles, which took him through wilderness from sea level to heights of 16,199 feet, Herndon reached the city of Para 11 April 1852. On 26 January 1853 Herndon submitted an encyclopedic and profusely illustrated 414-page report to Secretary of the Navy, John P. Kennedy. After 2 years of active service in Potomac and San Jaointo, Herndon, now a commander, was given leave in 1855 to command the Pacific Mail steamer George Law, renamed Central America, 20 June 1857, on the New York to Aspinwall run. Making his way up the coast from Aspinwall with $2,000,000 in gold and 474 passengers, as well as 101 crew members, Herndon encountered a heavy gale off Cape Hatteras 7 September 1857. The gale steadily increased in savagery until the 12th, and Central America was shipping water through several leaks. As the ship pitched and rolled through the pounding seas, water in her hold put out her boiler fires. Commander Herndon reluctantly admitted that, despite the valiant efforts of crew and passengers alike, his ship was doomed and summoned aid by firing the ship's minute guns. At 2 p.m., West Indian brig Marine arrived to aid the stricken steamer. Disregarding his own life, Commander Herndon supervised the loading of women and children into lifeboats and watched them pull to safety in Marine. Herndon's bravery and his concern for his passengers and crew helped save 152 of the 575 people on board. Commander Herndon was last seen in full uniform, standing by the wheelhouse with his hand on the rail, as the ship gave a lurch and went down. A monument at Annapolis commemorates this intrepid explorer and gallant seaman.Bill Gonyo
Herndon 50kUSS Herndon (DD-198) entering an unidentified port, 1921. Lynn King
Herndon 79kUSS Herndon (DD-198), Underway during the early 1920s. Note the short range battle practice target hung between her middle smokestacks. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1973. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Photo #: NH 78127.Mike Green/Robert Hurst
Herndon 63kNational Ensign belonging to the destroyer USS Herndon (DD-198) from the Herndon Depot Museum, 29 May 2010. Photo courtesy Jon Katz.Robert Hurst
On Coast Guard Service
Herndon 153kArriving at Charlestown Navy Yard on 28 January 1932 prior to her entering the dry-dock. Leslie Jones collection, Boston Public Library.Rick E. Davis
Herndon 149kUSCG CG-17 Herndon in dry-dock at Charlestown Navy Yard after the 15 January 1932 collision with collier SS LEMUEL BURROWS in thick fog off Montauk Point, L.I. Leslie Jones collection, Boston Public Library.Rick E. Davis/Ed Zajkowski
On British Service
HMS Churchill (ex-USS Herndon, DD-198) commissioned at Halifax on 9 September 1940. Churchill was delayed at Halifax repairing collision damage with HMS Chesterfield, she arrived at Devonport on 17 November 1940 having searched for survivors of the armed merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay while on passage. She completed refit in time to provide part of the initial escort for troop convoy WS5B in mid-January 1941. Initially based in Liverpool with 3rd escort Group, she transferred to Iceland and finally Newfoundland with 18th Escort Group, trans-Atlantic convoy being the duty of all three assignments. A long repair commenced in September 1941 at Liverpool and completing at Dundee in January 1942 preceded transfer to B5 Group. This Group was one of a number of British ships assigned to duty with the USN in the West Indies to assist when the USN was unable to cope with the large scale of UBoat attacks in the area, and Churchill so served until taken hand for refit at Charleston, SC in late September 1942. On completion of her US refit, Churchill passed to Canadian control joining C4 Group and again operating in the North Atlantic except for two fast convoys to and from Algiers. As with the majority of the class, age and defects caused retirement to reserve and Churchill duly paid off on Tyneside in February 1944. Brought back for transfer to Russia, Churchill was refitted and then renamed Deyatel'niy on 30 May 1944. In company with other ships also loaned, she steamed to Kola and the Northern Fleet during the passage of convoy JW59. Employed as an escort in the far North, distinction was achieved as the last war loss of the class, Deyatel'niy being torpedoed and sunk by U956 on 16 January 1945 while escorting a White Sea convoy; the only one of the transferred destroyers to be lost. (Foreign service history thanks to Robert Hurst.)
Herndon 62kAs the HMS Churchill, while with the British B5 Escort Group operating under USN Control in the Caribbean.Andrew Cousens
Herndon 62kAs the HMS Churchill, while with the British B5 Escort Group operating under USN Control in the Caribbean. Photo # FL 25452 from the collections of the Imperial War Museum.Andrew Cousens/Robert Hurst
Herndon 79kAs the HMS ChurchillRobert Hurst
Herndon 80kAs the HMS ChurchillRobert Hurst
Herndon   Herndon
Herndon   Herndon   Herndon   Herndon
Charleston, SC, December 1 1942
Mike Mohl
Herndon 114kPainting by unknown artist in the early 1950's of the HMS Churchill.Andrew Cousens
On Soviet Union Service
Herndon 23kUSS Herndon (DD 198), ex-HMS Churchill, seen here as the USSR Deyatel'niy. Joe Radigan
Herndon 51kFive of the seven survivors of Deyatel'niy's sinking. Seated: Motorist M.A. Koshelev, Boatswain Tormorzoy. Standing: Signalman Koryabin, Machinist Shestopalov, Navigator Ageyev. Not pictured: Machinst Lebedev, Senior Lieutenant O.M. Machinsky (executive officer). Dave Wright

USS HERNDON DD-198 History
View This Vessels DANFS History entry on the Naval & History Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

LT William Callender Irvine Stiles    Sep 14 1920 - Sep 18 1920 

LCDR Leo Hewlett Thebaud    Sep 18 1920 - Jul 1 1921 (Later VADM)

CDR Leslie Barratt Anderson    Jul 1 1921 - Jun 6 1922

Under Coast Guard command Jun 6 1922 - Dec 4 1939

LCDR Merlin O'Neill (USCG)    Jun 6 1932 - 1933 (Later VADM)

LCDR Earl Griffith Rose (USCG)    1933 - May 28 1934 (Later RADM)

Under US Navy Command - Dec 4 1939 - Sep 9 1940

LT John Alden Webster    Dec 4 1939 - Sep 9 1940

Under Royal Navy command Sep 9 1940 - Jul 16 1944

CDR G R Cousins DSC (act)    Sep 9 1940 - Mar 3 1942

CDR P J Fitzgerald (ret)    Mar 3 1942 - Jun 1943

LT A C D Leach    Jun 1943 - ???

TEMPY LT J H Millar RNVR   ??? - Jul 16 1944

Under Soviet Navy command Jul 16 1944 - January 16 1945

Kapitan-Leytenant Konstantin Afanasievich Kravchenko

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 11 July 2017