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USS WELLES (DD-257)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NAJZ

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 November 13 1918.
Launched May 8 1919 and commissioned September 2 1919.
Decommissioned June 15 1922, Recommissioned November 6 1939.
Decommissioned September 9 1940.
To Britain September 9 1940, renamed HMS Cameron (I05).
Stricken January 8 1941.
Fate Capsized in Dry Dock #8 in Portsmouth Harbor December 5 1940 after an air raid, salvaged February 23 1941 and
used as a hulk for DC tests by UK & US. Paif off October 5 1943 and scrapped in Falmouth.

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Welles 55kGideon Welles was appointed chief of the Navy's Bureau of Provisions and Clothing in 1846. During his three years in that office, he acquired valuable administrative experience and made enduring friendships. After an unsuccessful bid in 1850 for a Senate seat, Welles devoted his energies and considerable talents as a journalist to the fight against slavery. He broke with the Democratic party over this burning issue and helped organize the Republican party in Connecticut. In 1856, Welles was defeated in a bid for the governorship; but he became a Republican national committeeman that year. Staunchly supporting President Abraham Lincoln's policies, Welles became Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy on 7 March 1861. At the onset of the Civil War in the spring of 1861, the Union Navy was in poor shape, with its ships scattered on various stations throughout the world. Some of its officers, feeling strong ties to their states, resigned their commissions. Welles, however, soon turned the situation around. A man of unusual energy, he rapidly doubled the size of the Navy and took an active part in the direction of the naval war against the South. Early in the conflict, he established a blockade of the Confederate coast with the limited number of ships available, and he constantly strengthened it until the South was almost completely sealed off from the rest of the world. Welles early recognized the need for ironclad warships and vigorously pushed their development, improvement, and construction. His ideas influenced the designs of ordnance, machinery, and armor. He urged improvement in navy yardsóboth existing and planned. He not only contributed to governmental policies but administered them as well. Shrewd, methodical, and knowledgeable, the Union's remarkable Secretary of the Navy remained poised and calm throughout the tempestuous times engendered by the Civil War. Following Lincoln's death by assassination in April 1865, Welles remained in the cabinet as Secretary of the Navy under Andrew Johnson. After the new President ran into difficulties, Welles loyally and enthusiastically supported him throughout the impeachment proceedings. At the end of Johnson's administration, Welles returned to private life; and, although he never again occupied public office, he remained politically active and wrote prolifically until his death on 11 February 1878. C. A. Dana, in Recollections of the Civil War, wrote of Welles that he was "a very wise, strong man ... he understood his duty and did it efficiently, continually, and unvaryingly." Digital ID: cwpb 04842, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.Bill Gonyo
Welles 73kFore River Shipbuilding at Quincy, MA June 7 1919. The Welles is the furthest to the right, the others from the left are the USS Osmond Ingram (DD-255), USS Bancroft (DD-256), USS Aulick (DD-258) and USS Rodgers (DD-254). Naval Historical Center photo NH43026.Daniel Dunham
Welles 75kCirca 1919. Naval Historical Center photo NH82141.Daniel Dunham
Welles 63kUSS Welles (DD-257) at Boston, Massachusetts, 2 September 1919. panoramic photograph, taken by J Crosby, "Naval Photographer", 11 Portland Street, Boston. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Crosby Collection (Photo No NH 105327).Robert Hurst
Welles 81kCirca early 1920's. Naval Historical Center photo NH69498.Daniel Dunham
Welles 131kEarly 1920's USS Swasey (DD-273), USS Welles (DD-257) and USS Jacob Jones (DD-130) in the Panama Canal.Robert M. Cieri/Robert Hurst
Red Lead Row 195kRed Lead Row, San Diego Destroyer Base, California. Photographed at the end of 1922, with at least 65 destroyers tied up there. Ships present are identified as: (left to right, in the right diagonal row): Stansbury (DD-180); MacKenzie (DD-175); Renshaw (DD-176); Howard (DD-179); Gillis (DD-260); Tingey (DD-272); McLanahan (DD-264); Swasey (DD-273); Morris (DD-271); Bailey (DD-269); Tattnall (DD-125); Breese (DD-122); Radford (DD-120); Aaron Ward (DD-132) -- probably; Ramsey (DD-124); Montgomery (DD-121); and Lea (DD-118). (left to right, in the middle diagonal row): Wickes (DD-75); Thornton (DD-270); Meade (DD-274); Crane (DD-109); Evans (DD-78); McCawley (DD-276); Doyen (DD-280); Elliot (DD-146); Henshaw (DD-278); Moody (DD-277); Meyer (DD-279); Sinclair (DD-275); Turner (DD-259); Philip (DD-76); Hamilton (DD-141); Boggs (DD-136); Claxton (DD-140); Ward (DD-139); Hazelwood (DD-107) or Kilty (DD-137); Kennison (DD-138); Jacob Jones (DD-130); Aulick (DD-258); Babbitt (DD-128); Twiggs (DD-127); and Badger (DD-126). (left to right, in the left diagonal row): Shubrick (DD-268); Edwards (DD-265); Palmer (DD-161); Welles (DD-257); Mugford (DD-105); Upshur (DD-144); Greer (DD-145); Wasmuth (DD-338); Hogan (DD-178); O'Bannon (DD-177); and -- possibly -- Decatur (DD-341). (Nested alongside wharf in left center, left to right): Prairie (AD-5); Buffalo (AD-8); Trever (DD-339); and Perry (DD-340). Minesweepers just astern of this group are Partridge (AM-16) and Brant (AM-24). Nearest ship in the group of destroyers at far left is Dent (DD-116). The others with her are unidentified. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. : NH 42539 Robert Hurst
On British Service
HMS Cameron (ex-USS Welles, DD-257), commissioned at Halifax, NS, on 9 September 1940 as one of the first transfers, Cameron did not arrive at Belfast on passage from Canada until 7 November 1940. Quite what delayed her passage is not known, probably defects arising from her transfer. Unlike the majority of her sisters, Cameron was sent for refit to Portsmouth, work commencing there on 20 November 1940. On 5 December 1940, during an air raid, she was hit, set on fire and blown off the blocks in No.8 dock. The dock partially flooded as a result of the fire fighting and the ship was not salved until 23 February 1941. Reckoned by the USN to be the worst damaged but surviving destroyer available, she was extensively surveyed to ascertain how the hull and machinery reacted to major explosion. Later still she was used for further shock trials and also for damage control investigation and instruction. In some records she is shown as having a reduced boiler capacity; it may possibly have been hoped to rebuild her as a Long-Range Escort, but quite certainly this was never put in hand. Discarded, she was listed for disposal on 5 October 1943, but was not removed from Portsmouth until November 1944 when the tug Owl towed her to Falmouth, arriving on 26 November 1944. She was handed over to T W Ward Ltd for scrapping on 1 January 1944. (Foreign service history thanks to Robert Hurst.)
Welles 103kThe "Town" class destroyer HMS Cameron (ex-USS Welles, DD-257) after being blown off the blocks during an air raid whilst in dock at Portsmouth and burnt out on 5 December 1940.Robert Hurst

USS WELLES DD-257 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 George N. Reeves Jr.    Sep 2 1919 - ?
LCDR Clifton Garvin Grimes    Nov 6 1939 - ?

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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