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USS RODGERS (DD-254)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NWT

CLASS - CLEMSON As Built.
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 Bethlehem Steel, Quincy on September 25 1918.
Launched April 26 1919 and commissioned July 22 1919.
Decommissioned July 20 1922, Recommissioned December 18 1939.
Decommissioned October 23 1940.
To Britain October 23 1940, renamed HMS Sherwood (I80).
Stricken January 8 1941.
Fate Sunk as target in 1945.

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Rodgers 60kJohn Rodgers, the first born of Commodore John Rodgers and Minerva (Denison) Rodgers, was reared in his father’s hometown of Havre de Grace, Maryland in August of 1812 while the senior Rodgers commanded the frigate President scouring the Atlantic for British prizes. His incredible naval career ended 70 years later following 54 years of naval service. Rodgers was appointed midshipman in 1828 and was assigned to the frigate Constellation on duty with the Mediterranean Squadron. After a year studying mathematics and natural philosophy at the University of Virginia, and a short tour with the Coast Survey, Rodgers was assigned to the brigantine Dolphin with the Brazil Squadron. During the Seminole War between 1839 and 1842, Rodgers was intensely active, commanding the schooner Wave and the brig Jefferson. He was next assigned to duties as First Lieutenant of the 10-gun brig Boxer, Lieutenant Oscar Bullus commanding, sailing primarily to the West Indies and Florida Coast. Following duty in the city of Pittsburg constructing the steam-frigate Allegheny, Rodgers was ordered to the frigate United States and the sloop-of-war Marion off the African coast and subsequently the Mediterranean. Three years with the Coast Survey were followed by command of the screw-steamer John Hancock and second-in-command of the North Pacific Ocean and China Seas Surveying Expedition led by Cadwalader Ringgold. Rodgers relieved Ringgold of command of the Expedition in 1854 shifting his command to the sloop-of-war Vincennes. On assignment in Washington, Rodgers met and married Ann Elizabeth Hodge in 1857. Their first son, William Ledyard Rodgers, “Little Willie” to the family, later a Vice Admiral, was born while Rodgers commanded the side-wheel gunboat Water Witch with the Home Squadron. Following the outbreak of Civil War, Rodgers was ordered to supervise the creation of a river gunboat squadron with which to control the Mississippi River, an assignment that he accomplished with remarkable success although the laurels would be garnered by his successor Andrew Foote. He took part in DuPont’s victorious attack on Port Royal, and commanded the converted merchant steamer Flag on the South Atlantic Blockade before being assigned command of the armored gunboat Galena on the James River where he led a successful attack on Drewry’s Bluff in support of General McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign. Rodgers returned to the blockade as commander of the monitor Weehawken in which he engaged and captured the Confederate ironclad Atlanta, for which he was promoted to Commodore. For much of the remainder of the war Rodgers commanded the new monitor Dictator whose mechanical problems kept him out of mainstream action. The war ending, Rodgers was assigned command of a Special Service Squadron, the fast side-wheeler Vanderbilt as flagship, with which he sailed to San Francisco to serve as a reserve force for protection of the West Coast. In 1869, while commanding the Boston Navy Yard, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and ordered to command the Asiatic Station, the screw-frigate Colorado as flagship. In 1871 he successfully attacked Korean forts in retaliation for unprovoked attacks on his forces while attempting to negotiate a treaty to protect shipwrecked mariners. Returning to Washington as President of the Examining and Retirement Board he soon recrossed the country with his family to assume command of the Mare Island Navy Yard in July 1873. He finished his career as Superintendent of the Naval Observatory in Washington. Rodgers died in that office in May 1882, the senior Rear Admiral on active duty. Digital ID: cwpb 05923, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.Bill Gonyo
Rodgers 146kUndated, location unknown. NARA photo courtesy of Chris Wright, NARA_CP_DD-254_19-N-3383.Ed Zajkowski
Rodgers 151kUnderway in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in January 1920. NARA photo courtesy of Chris Wright, NARA_CP_DD-254_19-N-2863.Ed Zajkowski/Paul Rebold/Robert Hurst
On British Service
Commissioned at Halifax on 23 October 1940, HMS Sherwood sailed for Britain on 1 November being delayed both by a search for survivors from the armed merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay and having to return with defects to St Johns, NF, where she arrived on 7 November. Sailing again on 12 November, she arrived at Portsmouth to refit on 26 November, one of the few ships not to be taken in hand at Devonport. Damaged in an air raid by a near miss on 11 March 1941, she transferred to Devonport to complete, this being done by 8 April, and then joined 12th Escort Group based at Iceland. From that base, HMS Sherwood escorted Atlantic convoys in their mid passage, took part in the the search for the battleship Bismarck, and, with HMCS St Clair, supported HMS Tartar after the sinking of HMS Mashona at the end of that search. Allocated to NEF in July 1941, HMS Sherwood instead had a refit on the Clyde for two months, joining 2nd Escort Group at Londonderry on completion. After escorting two convoys, HMS Sherwood transferred to 22nd Escort Group in November 1941 until sustaining weather damage on 27 January 1942. Repaired after a brief period, HMS Sherwood escorted the fleet carrier HMS Formidable and then the fleet carrier HMS Illustrious during sea trials in February and March 1942, after which she needed further work including retubing her boilers, work which lasted at Liverpool until 25 August 1942. Completing repair and the subsequent work up, HMS Sherwood was temporarily employed as an Air Target Ship in the Cromarty area until mid-October 1942, when she went to St Johns, NF, to join MOEF. In March 1943 she became part of C2 Group, and made a return passage from the UK to North Africa, on completion of which she laid up at Londonderry, defective. After being surveyed in April 1943, it was decided that HMS Sherwood was beyond economic repair, and she was transferred to Chatham and stripped of usable parts for her sisters. On 28 September 1943, in tow of the tug Sea Giant, she left Chatham and joined convoy FN1640 in tow for the Humber. On 30 September she was formally removed from the effective list, being beached on 3 October 1943 in position 58.37.07N 00.05.05W in the Humber Approaches and used as a target for rocket equipped RAF Beaufighters. The wreck was, eventually, dispersed under the RN wreck dispersal programme post-war. (Foreign service history thanks to Robert Hurst)
Rodgers 66kHMS Sherwood (ex-USS Rodgers, DD-254) taken fairly late in the war with the usual Stage 2 alterations. Sherwood seems to have a problem as she is stopped (or almost so) rolling in a moderate sea and with the 'Not under control' signal flying (Admiralty Official).Robert Hurst

USS RODGERS DD-254 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

LCDR A. M. Steekel    Jul 22 1919 - ?

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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