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Unidentified Destroyers

The pictures displayed below are of what appear to be destroyer types but are currently unidentified. If you can identify any of the vessels with the Ship's Name, the date the photo was taken and/or the location please contact us. Once identified, the photo(s) will remain on this page for about one month and the appropriate ship's page will be updated upon identification.
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Since this page was created, of the 86 unknown images received, 27 have been identified thanks to:
Rick E. Davis (12 ID's)
Dave Schroeder & John Chiquoine (9 ID's)
Ed Zajkowski (3 ID's)
Fabio Peña (2 ID's)
Chris Vallery (2 ID's)
John W. Klar (2 ID's)
Bob Wiemer
Douglas Brown
Les Adams
Rich Angelini
Tom Bateman
Tom Kerman
Chris Hoehn
Michael Lester
Wayne VanDerVoort
Esther Lefeld
David Lacroix
Richard Jensen
Don Kehn Jr.
Erling Baldorf RDN Ret.

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Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Refer to # 2
71kUnknown US destroyer off a rocky shore and wintry sea, at Hvalfjordur, Iceland, in early 1942. Photo and text taken from United States Destroyer Operations in World War II, by Theodore Roscoe. (Posted May 14 2008)

Possible leads from John Chiquoine: Any destroyer reader following the disposition of forces at this time already knows which are possible. We recall seeing this in the Archives; most likely in a 1941-42 80G Iceland series shot by a shutterbug on 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 436. This same series may have had the great KEARNY views. We never eliminated these to see on which he was riding.
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 3
65kUnknown US destroyer acting as part of the escort for convoy SC-48. This pic was taken only ten hours after the Kearny's torpedoing from an aircraft flying blood plasma for the ship's wounded. Photo and text taken from United States Destroyer Operations in World War II, by Theodore Roscoe. (Posted May 14 2008)
Possible leads from John Chiquoine: This one is overloaded with presumptions: presuming the given ID details are correct the Hague Convoy site lists the other two possibles in such a view as DD429 and DD431. An inspection of Logs or reports may give position refs ten hours after DD432's hit. For a convoy list, see Arnold Hague convoy database - SC convoys and Link to SC48.
Possible identification by Rick E. Davis: The dating and identity of this photo is a mystery in that convoy SC-48 was escorted for part of their voyage by three USN GLEAVES class destroyers; USS KEARNY (DD-432), USS LIVERMORE (DD-429), and USS PLUNKETT (DD-431) and a couple of Flush-Deckers for a two day period, 16-17 October 1941. USS KEARNY was torpedoed at 0100 on 17 October 1941 and the remaining USN destroyers returned to Iceland with her at dawn. So, the date and time of this photo being 10 hours AFTER USS KEARNY was torpedoed is in question based on their departure time. Another important factor is that the GLEAVES class destroyer seen in this photo can't be any of the three involved with convoy SC-48 based on the configuration of five 5-in guns and five torpedo tubes. The only three GLEAVES class destroyers with five 5-in guns after the summer of 1941 King Board modifications were USS GLEAVES (DD-423), USS NIBLACK (DD-424), and USS PLUNKETT (DD-431). In early September 1941 PLUNKETT had the 53 mount removed due to stability issues and never had it returned. That means that only GLEAVES or NIBLACK could be the destroyer in this photo. From Arnold Hague's Convoy Database, the convoys escorted by these two destroyers in 1941 were: USS GLEAVES; ON.18 --- 24 September to 2 October 1941 HX.154 --- 12-19 October 1941 ON.30 --- 2-9 November 1941 ON.49 --- 27 December 1941 to 5 January 1942 USS NIBLACK; ON.20 --- 30 September to 9 October 1941 HX.156 --- 24 October to 1 November 1941 HX.163 --- 5-15 December 1941 ON.34 --- 12-21 November 1941 ON.47 --- 22-23 December 1941 A possible identity for this destroyer could be that this is a photo of convoy HX-156 when USS REUBEN JAMES (DD-245) was sunk. Convoy HX-156 was escorted 24 October to 1 November 1941 by five USN destroyers; the Flush-deckers USS REUBEN JAMES and USS TARBELL (DD-142), the BENSON class USS BENSON (DD-421) and USS HILARY P. JONES (DD-427) and the GLEAVES class USS NIBLACK (DD-424). NIBLACK was noted as being the only destroyer in this convoy equipped with radar and the photo isn't very good in Roscoe's book, but there could be a radar installed. (Posted February 8 2013)
Possible identification by Rick E. Davis and John Chiquoine: Another possibility to answer the true nature of this photo is that on 17 October 1941 there was another convoy, HX.154, passing in the same area also going east having departed from Halifax on 10 October and arriving on 23 October at Liverpool. Whoever took the aerial photo may have mistook the faster convoy HX.158 for the eastbound SC-48 of slower merchant ships that departed from Halifax on 5 October and arrived at Liverpool on 22 October. The USN escorts that stayed with convoy HX.154 all the way were; the GLEAVES class destroyer USS GLEAVES (DD-423), and the BENSON class destroyers USS MADISON (DD-425), USS LANSDALE (DD-426) and USS CHARLES F. HUGHES (DD-428). All of these units had the five 5-in gun mount configuration, the noticeable difference between the BENSON and GLEAVES class units are the stacks and in this low res image, it can't be determined with certainty if the destroyer in the photo is a GLEAVES class or BENSON class unit. If it is a GLEAVES class unit as I suspect, then the mystery destroyer is USS GLEAVES, but it could be one of the BENSON class units. Again, a copy of the original photo at higher res and with a solid date and who took the photo may be able to narrow down the identity of the destroyer. (Posted February 16 2013)
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 5
172kUnknown destroyers with back caption "destroyers in Shanghai." (Posted May 14 2008)
Helpful hint by Don Kehn, Jr.: Re the Destroyer Mystery photo #5 of two four pipers moored together...I have no idea which ships these are, but that is most definitely not Shanghai. More likely Tsingtao or Chefoo. My guess is the latter.(Posted Dec 26 2012)
Paul Rebold
Refer to # 6
91kUnknown US destroyer astern of the coastal passenger steamer, S.S. Rose Standish, circa 1914. The location is probably in the New England area, as Rose Standish was owned by the Nanstasket Beach Steamboat Company, of Boston, Massachusetts. This photo is one of a series from the collection of a USS Walke (DD-34) crewmember, a three-stack destroyer which was a member of the Second Division, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Torpedo Flotilla. Courtesy of Jim Kazalis, 1981 (U.S. Naval Historical Centre Photo # NH 99861). (Posted May 14 2008)Robert Hurst
Refer to # 10
64kUnknown US destroyer underway as clouds of smoke pour out from the burning transport USS Wakefield (AP-21). Photo from United States Destroyer Operations of World War II, by Theodore Roscoe. (Posted May 19 2008)
Identified by Rich Angelini: This photo shows a "unknown" destroyer operating with the burning troopship USS Wakefield. This ship is in fact the USS MAYO DD422 which was the first ship in the convoy to reach the burning WAKEFIELD in Sept 1942. MAYO's crew boarded and helped fight the fires aboard WAKEFIELD as well as taking on some 247 plus survivors. More information can be found on my (and the Mayo Associations official) website for the MAYO at and this exact photo at My grandfather, Orlando Angelini, was a Chief Machinist Mate on Mayo 422 from commissioning to decom and these photos came directly from his private collection and from the War published: WAR CRUISE- USS MAYO DD422. (Posted January 26 2009)
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 11
59kTwo unknown US destroyers part of an Allied convoy escort group forming up for the trip in the swirling morning mists typical of the bone-chilling wintry weather in Northern zones. Photo from United States Destroyer Operations of World War II, by Theodore Roscoe. (Posted May 19 2008)Robert Hurst
Refer to # 12
118kWorkmen repairing and cleaning up an unknown flush decker at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for transfer to Great Britain under the 1940s "destroyers for bases" deal. Anchor chains litter the foredeck of the destroyer, and a sailor works on the forward 4"/50 deck gun (Treasure Island Museum-SFCB). Photo from Warship Boneyards, by Kit and Carolyn Bonner. (Posted May 19 2008)Robert Hurst

Refer to # 13

A message from "Dick" Winchell: "There has been a story here along the Hudson River that an old hulk of a vessel near Poughkeepsie is a submarine. I served on submarines (Diesel Boats) for four years so I decided to investigate. I got pictures of the old hulk and started comparing them to what I could find and stumbled onto NavSource and happened to open the info on destroyers which happens to begin with torpedo boats. As I was doing so the comparison of what I had I realized was not a submarine, that as close as I could come to what I was looking for was a torpedo boat. The very best comparison turned out to be the USS Shurbrick TB #31. That vessel was scrapped here in Newburgh NY in about 1920. What is left of the hulk is about ten feet of the bow and there is what appears to be a hatch opening with combing at what now is left of the vessel. Whatever it is it is not a submarine. So my question is: If I sent you some pictures do you think it could help me truly identify what this hulk is / was? I would appreciate any hints, clues or whatever as to where I can look for more info." To see more views of the hulk go to You may also contact Dick directly at (Posted July 10 2008)Richard Winchell





Refer to # 14




A post card of the USS Potomac (AT-5O), probably taken at Norfolk Navy Yard about April 1912. There are three destroyers in the background that are unidentified. The first image is the post card, the second is a blowup of the destroyer to the left, the third is the destroyer in the center and the fourth is the destroyer to the right. The last image is a blowup of the island in the background to possibly help identify the location for sure. (Posted July12 2008)

Possible leads from Rick E. Davis: Given that the pre-WWI destroyers COMPLETED before 1912 were a relatively small group of ships, by going through Silverstone's US Warships in WWI and a 1914 Jane's Fighting Ships (and Navsource of course ;-) ) ... I THINK I can narrow this down some. I was struck by the funnel spacing and the short forecastle with no turtleback (meaning they were not from the Bainbridge groups). Also, the first funnel was fairly close to the bridge, unlike Paulding class destroyers.
Destroyer # 1 (second photo down) ... four even spaced funnels, first one close to the bridge and a flat forecastle ... USS Preston (DD-19) is the most likely candidate. Preston was built by New York Sbdg.
Destroyer # 2 (third photo down) ... two pairs of funnels, first funnel close to the bridge and a flat forecastle ... either the USS Flusser (DD-20) or USS Reid DD-21). These two sisters are Bath Iron Works built ships in the same class (Smith) with Preston and the both had this funnel spacing and funnel height AFTER they were raised. I can't tell which one of these two this one could be ... my guess would be Flusser from the few photos I have looked at. DANFS is not of much help in figuring out where or with which sisters either operated with.
Destroyer # 3 (fourth photo down) ... pair of funnels in the middle and the first and fourth funnel separated from the middle pair with the first funnel close to the bridge and a flat forecastle ... either the USS Smith (DD-17) or USS Lamson (DD-18). These two sisters were built by Cramp. I can not identify them any closer than that.
The Smith class were authorized in 1906-07, all five were launched in 1909 and commissioned in 1909-10. They were the last coal-fired destroyers in the USN. They all being of the same class and all coal-fired makes sense that they would operate together. It may be possible that the other two of the class are out of view in this photo?
Bruce D. Liddell
Refer to # 15
325kThis photograph is from the collection of a crewmember of the USS Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) and was taken during a Med Cruise sometime during the period late 1956 to late 1958. We are trying to determine if this is an incident that occurred aboard the Sumner or another ship in the Squadron and the What/How/Why of the incident itself. (Posted July 26 2008)
Helpful hint by Rick E. Davis: This photo likely shows the results of a Hang-fire in Mount 53 of a SUMNER or GEARING class destroyer. I have come across several cases of Hang-Fire incidents aboard USN destroyers involving the 5-in/38-cal guns. I found this recent photo of a hang-fire incident onboard USS HOLLISTER (DD-788) during April 1949, taken on 14 April 1949 at NARA. This isn't the same ship involved in the Mystery Destroyer image, but when I saw the effects of the explosion, they were strikingly similar. My guess is that this incident occurred onboard one of the sisters in SUMNER's DesRon 16 or even DesDiv 161 during one of the Med cruises they took in either 1956 or 1958. USS ALLEN M. SUMNER (DD-692) reunion website ... ... has an excellent set of Deck Log Entries (but not every day) for their ship, indicating that they were in the Med during August-November 1956 and February-June 1958 (with a Northern Europe tour in 1957). The 1958 Deck Log indicated that DesDiv 161 included SUMNER (DD-692), MOALE (DD-693), INGRAHAM (DD-694), and D. H. FOX (DD-779). In 1956 only the first three of these are listed in DesDiv 161. DANFS entries for none of these mention hang-fire incidents, but then again these were not often mentioned for some reason. I don't know which units were in the DesDiv 162 or for that matter which other SUMNER-GEARING class destroyers may have been assigned with SUMNER during the same cruises to the Med in 1956 and 1958 or if even the hang-fire happened while they were in the Med. There is not enough information to glean from this photo to determine configuration differences between individual ships to identify which ship it is. (Posted Dec 26 2012)
Jon Roeck
Refer to # 16
77kPhoto by David's mother, Esther (Black) Buell, taken in San Diego Bay in October 1945. (Posted August 4 2008)
Indentified by Dave Schroeder and John Chiquoine as one of three DD's: Using DANFS and internet sources for a date and location elimination, there is a period from October 8th to the 25th, 1945 during which three new Gearings were present at San Diego. This suggests this snapshot could be Henderson (DD785), Norris (DD859), and Harwood (DD861). (Posted November 24 2010)
Unidentified by Rick E. Davis: The identification of the three GEARINGS as the ones listed can't be correct. The three GEARINGS shown are all DDR conversions and these three ships were not converted to DDR 's. Back when this photo was first posted, I had tried to track the movement of the DDR's from the conversion yards (mostly on the East Coast) to the Western Pacific and I couldn't find where three were at San Diego in October 1945. I suspect, that either the date of the photo maybe wrong or that the DANFS records are not a complete (not uncommon) record of movements. At any rate, given the tripod mast with the DDR radar suite installed, there is no way that these three ships are HENDERSON, NORRIS, and HARWOOD. (Posted November 26 2010)
Unidentified by John Chiquoine: With no DDR's at San Diego in October 1945, it is suggested that the photo clues for #16 be re-submitted. It would be better to think about November 1945.(Posted November 27 2010)
David Buell
Refer to # 17
222kInternational News Photo, dated 7 August 1941 receipt by the San Francisco Examiner Reference Library. Photo caption reads: "A Destroyer of the U.S. Naval Force that participated in the U.S. Occupation of Greenland is shown making her way up Tunugdliarfik Fjord through floating ice cakes, headed for the site of a U.S. base 20 miles further on. The photo was made on July 6.". (Posted August 10 2008)
Identified August 12 2008 by Bob Crawford as the Reuben James, "Refering to photo #17, is the only photo I’ve ever seen of "4 piper" with the diagonal line through the mid-ship gun platform which would make #17 USS Rueben James (DD-245)."
Additional response from John W. Klar on August 14 2008 - "In reference to unidentified DD #17, that picture may, or may not, be USS REUBEN JAMES, DD-245, since another Flush Deck DD, USS McCORMICK, DD-223, and probably others, had the same camouflage scheme, MS 2, in 1941. See NAVSOURCE page DD-223 for a picture of the McCORMICK."
Another response from Fabio Peña on August 15 2008 - "Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel who served on the vessels in the Greenland force were authorized to wear a bronze 'A' upon their American Defense Service Medal ribbon, to indicate that they operated "in actual or potential belligerent contact with the Axis forces in the Atlantic Ocean." Eligibility period started on 22 June 1941. Four destroyers of DesRon 31 were awarded the 'A' for operations between 22 June and 13 July. I think the DD in Mystery Photo #17 must be one of them: Simpson (DD 221), McCormick (DD 223), Sturtevant (DD 240) or Reuben James (DD 245)."
David Buell
Refer to # 19
278kWhat "4 Piper" is at the next pier to the USS Idaho? Photo caption reads; "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. (Posted August 25 2008)
Possible leads from Rick E. Davis: I'm not sure which destroyer this is, two actually since the stern of another one can be seen, but I think I can narrow it down. New York Ship Building built some 30 Flush Deckers: DD125-130, 157-160, and 231-250. In looking at the launch and commission dates dates for these ships, the most likely candidates for this 19 June 1919 photo are:
DD-157 Dickerson L. 12 Mar 1919
DD-158 Leary L. 18 Dec 1918
DD-159 Schenck L. 23 Apr 1919
DD-160 Herbert L. 8 May 1919
DD-231 Hatfield L. 17 Mar 1919
DD-232 Brooks L. 24 Apr 1919
DD-233 Gilmer L. 24 May 1919
Higher hull numbers were not launched until after the 19 June 1919 date and DD125-130 were close to being commissioned. Given the general state of the fitting out, Dickerson and Hatfield would seem the most likely candidates. But, I don't know how fast NYSB fitted out these ships or to what state they were launched in to know for sure.
More possible leads from Rick E. Davis: "I checked out the photos on Navsource for these ships. The following photo ... ... is captioned as ... "New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, NJ. Closest ship is USS Dickerson (DD 157). Next is USS Leary (DD 158), USS Schenck (DD 159), USS Herbert (DD 160), USS Brooks (DD 232), and USS Hatfield (DD 231). The last ship is USS DeLong (DD 129)." The caption on the image says that this photo was taken on 5 June 1919, only 14 days before unidentified photo # 19. Since all but one of the ships on my list below are shown in this view and in most cases are more advanced in fitting out, they are eliminated as candidates. This leaves Gilmer (DD-233) launched on 24 May 1919 and adds Fox (DD-234) launched on 12 June 1919 (I missed Fox before as a candidate). I suspect that since there are two destroyers seen in this view in an early state of fitting out (compared to the destroyers seen in the above image), that Gilmer and Fox are the two destroyers seen here."
More possible leads from John W. Klar: "In regard to unidentified DD picture #19, the date, 23 June 1919, is in error since USS IDAHO, BB-42, was commissioned on March 24, 1919 so would not have been at NYSB in Camden, NJ in June 1919. The same picture appears at Maritime Quest on the Internet, and is dated "late 1918 or early 1919" with early 1919 the most likely date. There were seven NYSB DD's that were launched between August 24, 1918 and December 18, 1918 and were commissioned between May 29, 1919 and December 5, 1919 as follows: DD-125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130 and 158, so probably one of those in the picture."
More possible leads from Rick E. Davis: "This is getting interesting. I went and looked up the builders hull numbers for these thirty NYSB-built destroyers ... # 210-239 ... hoping to match one to the number on the hull of the mystery destroyer (can be seen in the much larger photo over on the Idaho page in the Battleship section, just below the deck edge at the bow). The number looks like a "2" followed by either "0" or "8". The NYSB hull number match up to the USN hull number in numerical order. If they dropped the first digit as unnecessary, NYSB # 220 matches up to Hatfield (DD-239) which was launched on 17 March 1919. I'm not sure this is the destroyer, but given the commission date for Idaho as 24 March 1919 ... this may work??"
David Buell/Mike Mohl
Refer to # 20
41kAn unidentified 'Cassin Class' destroyer underway, date and location unknown. (Posted September 29 2008)Robert Hurst
Refer to # 23
38kUnidentified destroyer passing the burning carrier USS Intrepid (CV-11) from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War II" by Theodore Roscoe. (Posted November 20 2008)
Posssible indentification by Frank Dengler: I was told by a McDERMUT (DD 677) crew member (I'd have to research my files to identify specifically who) that the destroyer in your "unidentified #23" photo (at is McDERMUT. I looked at configuration details of the ship in the photo, e.g. non-contiguous bulwark between superstructure supporting Mount 44 gun tub for and Mounts 22 and 24, life raft stowage, lack of vertical stiffener plates on the exterior of Mount 41 & Mount 42 tubs, Measure 21 camouflage, etc. and they are consistent (along with those of other "flat plate bridge" DD-445 Class destroyers) with configuration details in DD-677 photos. On 25 Nov 44 INTREPID was hit by 2 kamikazes near the Philippines. Per McDERMUT's history, the destroyer screened convoys to Leyte in Nov 44. It appears unlikely that the ships were together at this time. On 18 Mar 45 a kamikaze exploded 50 ft from INTREPID's forward boat crane starting a fire on the hanger deck while the ship was operating off Kyushu, Japan. Per McDERMUT's history, MCDERMUT joined the fast carriers again, 3 Apr 45, so it's unlikely that the ships were together in mid-Mar 45. However, on 6 Apr 45, a kamikaze hit INTREPID's flight deck causing a fire while the ship was operating off Okinawa. Per McDERMUT's history, she was in the screen of TG 58.4 as it struck the Ryukyus and Kyushu. Per INTREPID was in TG 58.4. The photo shows a fire on INTREPID's flight deck aft of aircraft recovered from a strike parked forward. Although this doesn't prove conclusively that DD-677 is the ship in the photo; it does provide circumstantial evidence. (Posted October 29 2012)
A little more info on this mystery destroyer by Rick E. Davis: The subject photo is 80-G-328439 residing at NARA, College Park, MD. I pulled this image and associated images from a sequence taken from USS ALASKA (CB-1) of the kamikaze hit and fire onboard USS INTREPID (CV-11) on 16 April 1945 not 6 April. I narrowed down the likely candidate destroyers to four Federal-bult units of DesRon 54; USS McDERMUT (DD-677), USS McGOWAN (DD-678), USS McNAIR (DD-679), and USS MELVIN (DD-680) that were part of the escort destroyers for TG 58.4 which included INTREPID. Unfortunately, these four FLETCHERS are near identical sisters and I can't determine which unit is in the photo at this time. McDERMUT is a candidate, but so are her three sisters. (Posted May 30 2013)
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 25
41kUnidentified destroyer off Hollandia from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War II" by Theodore Roscoe. (Posted November 24 2008).Robert Hurst
Refer to # 28

Refer to # 29

Image 28 is either the USS Gatling (DD-671) or USS Irwin (DD-794) alongside the cruiser USS Birmingham (CL-62). Image 29 is again either USS Gatling or USS Irwin off the bow or stern of the USS Princeton (CVL-23). This picture was taken from USS Cassin Young (DD- 793) which was picking up survivors from Princeton, some of whom can be seen in the foreground. Photos from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War II" by Theodore Roscoe. (Posted November 28 2008)
Identified by J. Smith Frames 28-29 are pictures of Irwin DD 794. Both were taken on 10/24/44. My father was aboard Irwin at the time. I have seen other photos taken at the same time which show hull numbers.(Posted December 7 2016)
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 30
64kUnidentified US destroyer as seen from HMS Vanoc, while on convoy duty in the Atlantic, November 1941. Photo taken from "The Battle of The Atlantic" by Andrew Williams. (Posted December 10 2008)
Identified by Rick E. Davis: This unidentified destroyer can be narrowed down to being a unit of DesRon 7, the only BENSON-GLEAVES by November 1941 still retaining five 5-in gun mounts. Of the nine destroyers in this mixed BENSON-GLEAVES Squadron, PLUNKETT had lost her 53 mount in September 1941 so the remaining DesRon 7 units with five 5-in mounts are: DD421-428; BENSON, MAYO, GLEAVES, NIBLACK, MADISON, LANSDALE, HILARY P. JONES, and CHARLES F. HUGHES. I searched HMS VANOC and Convoy ONS 34 and found that for this date it couldn't have been convoy ONS 34 but must have been Convoy ON 34. Convoy ON 34 had RN escorts until relieved by USN escorts on 12 November 1941 (... - noon position that day: 55 20N 25 48W ). This likely dates this photo being taken on 12 November 1941. The USN escorts that took over escort duties were BENSON (DD-421), NIBLACK (DD424), HILARY P. JONES (DD-427), EDISON (DD439), and TARBELL (DD-142). Therefore, the unidentified destroyer would need to be either BENSON, NIBLACK or H. P. JONES. I can not tell for sure from this scan if the unidentified destroyer is a BENSON class (BENSON and H. P. JONES) or GLEAVES class (NIBLACK). The available photos I have for 1941 shows both BENSON and H. P. JONES being painted in a graded camo scheme (MS 2 or 12) as in this photo. I don't have any similar images of NIBLACK. From the shape of the stacks/caps and height of the searchlight platform in this photo, my guess is that the ship is a BENSON class unit ... aka BENSON or HILARY P. JONES. (Posted November 26 2010)
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 32
81kUnidentified US destroyer giving fire support to the Allied landings in Sicily, while a bombed landing craft burns in the distance. Photo from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War II" by Theodore Roscoe. (Posted December 15 2008)
Helpful notes by Rick E. Davis: This photo comes from Roscoe's "USN Destroyer Operations in WWII" book, seen on the photo page, facing page 327. The caption under the photo reads; US Destroyers support Allied Landings in Sicily, while a bombed landing craft burns in the distance. Another photo paired with this one says; USS BUCK (DesRon 13 Flag) at Licata, before she was torpedoed and sunk by enemy subs while patrolling off Salerno. I suspect that the Mystery Destroyer photo was also taken from USS BUCK, given the terrain and smoke in the background look similar. This would narrow the possibilities down to the landings off Licata, Sicily. The destroyer in the photo is an early GLEAVES class destroyer with ten torpedo tubes with no 20-mm gun on an elevated platform before the bridge. During the Invasion of Sicily Operation, the only early GLEAVES class destroyers in this configuration present were those assigned to DesRon 13, which happened to be the destroyers assigned to provide fire support off Licata, Italy. The destroyers in DesRon 13 were assigned to different fire support segments of the landing beach, but which one seen in this photo is unknown. The early GLEAVES class destroyers in this configuration assigned to DesRon 13 were: DesDiv 25; WOOLSEY (DD-437), LUDLOW (DD-438), EDISON (DD-439) DesDiv 26; WILKES (DD-441), NICHOLSON (DD-442), SWANSON (DD-443) The other destroyers assigned to DesRon 13 were two SIMS class units, USS ROE (DD-418) and USS BUCK (DD-420), and the repeat GLEAVES class destroyer USS BRISTOL (DD-453) which had a platform before the bridge and only five torpedo tubes, meaning none can be this destroyer. Further, USS SWANSON was involved in a collision with USS ROE the night before the landing and had to retire before the landings started, so the other five early GLEAVES class sisters are the only likely candidates for this destroyer. WOOLSEY (DD-437), LUDLOW (DD-438), EDISON (DD-439), WILKES (DD-441), and NICHOLSON (DD-442) all were in the same configuration at this time; 4-5-in, 2x2-40mm, 4x1-20mm, and ten torpedo tubes, with the searchlight on the aft deckhouse. Telling them apart in this photo is not possible without having a copy of the original photo to examine to see if the hull number is visible and/or other details. So which one of these five is this destroyer remains unknown.(Posted February 6 2013)
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 33
197kI hope someone can help us with this picture. I know it involves DD-715, Philadelphia Navy Yard and the FRAM conversion. I think the baton gets passed to each DD as it completes FRAM at Philly. I can read the bottom tag with a glass and it says Wm Wood. I assume the commander is the CO of DD-715. (Posted January 22 2009)
The Torch is identified by Ed Zajkowski
, see the newspaper clipping which describes what the Torch was all about. (Posted February 7 2009)
Ed Zajkowski
Refer to # 34
219kWe need your help with this one, probably a DD after coversion to APD. (Posted January 23 2009)
Probable identity from Bob Wiemer: I believe that the APD in the destroyer mystery picture #34 is the USS Manley APD-1. According to John D. Alden's book: Flush Decks and Four Pipes, the first 6 Flush Deckers built had "cutaway" or rounded sterns. USS Manley DD-74 was one of the 6 and the only one converted to a APD. The APD in mystery picture #34 appears to have a "cutaway" stern. (Posted January 24 2009)
Ed Zajkowski
Refer to # 35
102kWe need your help with this one. (Posted January 23 2009)
Identified by Rick E. Davis: I believe this destroyer is the BENSON class destroyer LAUB (DD-613) and this photo was taken on 18 August 1943 at New York Navy Yard. This is based on a series of images I scanned at NARA, but which didn't include this photo. First off, this photo is representative of one of the standard views that the New York Navy Yard took post yard periods to document changes to configuration on ships they worked on. The background buildings seem to verify the location as New York Navy Yard. The bridge details match the Bethlehem-San Pedro built BENSONS (DD612-615) and narrowed the likely candidates to this group. The equipment, particularly the IFF antennas, on the foremast was in-line with mid-1943 BENSONS. In looking at images I have for these four destroyers I found a likely candidate. In 18 August 1943 photos of LAUB, I scanned (two), there is a Square-bridge GLEAVES tied up next to her (one of these photos is posted on Navsource ... ...) as in the unidentified photo and in one of the photos I scanned the background is the same as the mystery image. There are 3 September 1943 photos of GLENNON (DD-620) taken at New York Navy Yard after having the ASW Mousetrap system installed on her forecastle. So I believe she is the most likely candidate for the destroyer tied up next to LAUB a couple of weeks earlier. But, it is possible that another Square-Bridge GLEAVES unit was in the yard for a short period as well. An unique feature of LAUB not in common with her three sisters and most other similar BENSONS, was her 20-mm gun shields. LAUB had her shields cut at the unique angles as seen in this photo for the Mk 14 gun-sights. (Posted December 4 2010)
Ed Zajkowski
Refer to # 36
183kHere is a DD photos I have had no luck in identifying it appears to be Paulding Class. The envelope containing this negative is marked as being Paulding or Trippe. (Posted January 24 2009)
(Identified September 18 2015)
by John Klar: Mystery Destroyer #36: Unidentified destroyer #36 is TRIPPE, DD-33. The same view was in The Baltimore Sun newspaper published on Sept. 12, 1915 and identified in the caption as TRIPP (sic). The newspaper clipping was posted on the DD-33 page at NAVSOURCE by Mike Mohl. A port view of TRIPPE from an unknown newspaper published on Sept. 5, 1915 also was posted on the DD-33 page by Mike Mohl. (Posted September 18 2015)
Darryl Baker
Refer to # 38a

Refer to # 38b

Refer to # 38c


38a - NH 45793. Circa 1903-1904, USS DALE DD-4 or USS DECATUR DD-5 leading torpedo boats in maneuvers. The 3 torpedo boats in left center are of the BLAKELY class (TB 27-35).

38b - NH 45794. As above, but, add--the 2 boats at right are of the BAGLEY class (TB 24-26).

38c - NH 90204. DD-4 or DD-5 from the Phillip Wilson collection, ship's crew poses on the forward gun platform in the Philippines circa 1912.
(Posted January 25 2009)
Ed Zajkowski
Refer to # 39
133kUS destroyer screening landing craft moving in for the attack on the fog obscured coastline of Kiska Island. Photo from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War II" by Theodore Roscoe. (Posted January 31 2009)
Helpful notes by Rick E. Davis: The destroyer shown is a BENSON class destroyer from the repeat BENSON group (units built starting with DD-459 and after) based on the elevated platform forward of the bridge. If the photo is correct in being taken during the invasion of Kiska Island in August 1943, the only repeat-BENSON's assigned to that mission were: BANCROFT (DD-598), CALDWELL (DD-605), and COGHLAN (DD-606). I believe that I can rule out CALDWELL because her aft stack was modified in July 1943 to an unique configuration (wider on the bottom 1/3 of the stack) limited to only a few BENSONs. Which one the subject destroyer is of the other two I don't know.(Posted December 7 2010)
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 40
87kI believe the 2nd ship is the USS Morrison (DD-560). She had lost her mast when coming along side Princeton October 24 1944. Is she in tow from Fletcher Class "Can"?? (Posted February 7 2009)
A note from Fabio Peña; "In support of Ed's belief, note that the mastless DD is camouflaged in Design 13D, which matches that of USS Morrison at the time." (Posted February 14 2009)
(Identified June 6 2011) by Esther Lefeld: Mystery Destroyer #40: The unidentified destroyer is the USS Irwin (DD-794). They were taking the USS Morrison back to land after the USS Princeton sinking. Look at the markings on the side of the ship. My dad was on the Irwin that day. (Posted June 6 2011)
Ed Zajkowski
Refer to # 41
149kPhoto entitled "On the bow of a destroyer, circa 1918" by Robert Neeser, NHC photo NH 2608. (Posted February 13 2009)Ed Zajkowski
Refer to # 42
110kUnknown Charles F. Adams class DDG in Pearl Harbor on Sunday, May 21, 1967. Since this vessel has a single Tartar mount I must assume it is in the DDG 15-24 hull number range. I think it might be the Goldsborough. (Posted February 16 2009)
A note from Larry; "Lee Noland deduces that this Charles F. Adams class DDG is actually the Cochrane, based on information obtained on the sites of all the Pearl-based Charles F. Adams class DDGs. He says Cochrane was the only one to go through a major overhaul in 1967. (Posted February 23 2009)
Another piece of the puzzle from John Freeman; Here is an excerpt from the ships history: "Her second deployment completed, COCHRANE began her first regular overhaul since commissioning. This extensive overhaul at the shipyard in Pearl Harbor lasted until August 1967. The biggest external change to COCHRANE during the overhaul was the upgrade of the AN/SPS-39’s semi-cylindrical radar antenna on the after funnel, with a flat black planar array antenna." (Posted February 25 2009)
I think we can put this one in the identified column, any dissenters?
Larry Backus
Refer to # 43
769kIs this Philadelphia Navy Yard after WWI ? (Posted February 28 2009)
Received notes from Rick E. Davis and Ed Zajkowski verifying that this is indeed Philadelphia Navy Yard. Ed has the same photo with the date on the reverse reading 15 June 1922. (Posted February 28 2009)
Further identified by BR SCPO Erling Baldorf, RDN (Ret.) as Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 69052, dated 18 October 1923. (Posted 05 August 2018)
Darryl Baker
Refer to # 44
112kDD-3?? in dry dock getting hull plating replaced in dry dock. Does not appear to be a Mare Island dock. (Posted February 28 2009)Darryl Baker
Refer to # 47
81kUndated, unknown image of a possible Wickes Class four piper. (Posted November 2 2009)
Possible solution from Douglas Brown: 1) It's not a Wickes class, as Wickes-class 4-pipers don't have the additional superstructure/overhang at the 01 level between the pilothouse and the midship accommodation that the ship in question has. Clemson-class 4-pipers do. 2) The numbers are visible on the bow, though unclear. Looks like 343. That would be the USS Noa, which is a Clemson Class.(Posted November 3 2009)
Ric Hedman
?   ?   ?   ?
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Undated, unknown images on back of an Italian postcard, possibly the USS Dent (DD-116). (Posted June 2 2010)
Refer to #48
Jim Geldert
Refer to # 49
101kUnknown Mahan Class Destroyer seen from the deck of the USS Lexington in 1937. (Posted November 23 2010)Bill Gonyo
Refer to # 50
130kUnidentified Fletcher-class destroyer. In the foreground can be seen LCS(L)(3)-15 and LCS(L)-14, as they move into the Okinawa beach area, 1 April 1945. Photo National Archives. From "The World Encyclopedia of Destroyers and Frigates" by Bernard Ireland. (Posted February 5 2011)
Helpful notes by Rick E. Davis: Not a solid ID, but some information to narrow the possibilities down. This photo is particularly difficult to identify or to even narrow down. From what I found in references, some 65-70 FLETCHERS took part in the Battle for Okinawa in April 1945. Something like 23-27 FLETCHERS directly provided fire-support or screened heavier units to the invasion on 1 April in TF 54 if the date given with this photo is accurate. However, based on this particular ship's configuration, I have narrowed down the possibilities to a manageable number. First off the ship has the revised open-bridge used on 117 FLETCHERS and has yet to have the ECM mainmast added. Also, she is painted in Ms 22 which started to replace the dazzle schemes on some units starting in late October 1944, but many FLETCHERS at Okinawa still worn the dazzle camo. The "style" of configuration for the waist twin 40-mm bulwarks and the way the bulwark for the amidships main deck 20-mm guns is "blended" into the twin 40-mm deckhouse, is limited to only a few FLETCHERS, most were built by Bethlehem S.B. Corp. - Staten Island, NY ... DD520-522, 657-658, 685-687, and 796-798. Also, some of the units ... DD581, 584-586, and 662-664 ... built by the Boston Navy Yard and some units ... DD587-591, 649, and 665 ... built by Charleston Navy Yard ... had a similar "style" as well, anyone of these could be represented by this ship given the low-res nature of the photo. In looking at the list of 27 FLETCHERS that Morrison lists in Appendix 1 in "Victory in the Pacific" vol., there are eleven from this group listed ... DD520-522, 584, 586, 590-591, 662-664, and 685. From this group, DD662-664 had a modification done to the 20-mm bulwark to accommodate a life raft that is not seen in this photo and can be deleted. From photos at Okinawa, HALLIGAN (DD-584) and NEWCOMB (DD-586) were clearly painted in Ms 21 and can be deleted from the list. This leaves six units ... ISHERWOOD (DD-520), KIMBERLY (DD-521), LUCE (DD-522), PAUL HAMILTON (DD-590), TWIGGS (DD-591), and PICKING (DD-685). When I look at the unidentified FLETCHER, the hull numbers all look to be "full" numbers like "3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 0", which would seem to rule out KIMBERLY and TWIGGS. What is really hard is determining what the camo is for any of these six destroyers is that this was a period of transition. Photos of ISHERWOOD at Okinawa shows her wearing a dazzle scheme. KIMBERLY and LUCE were painted in dazzle during most of 1944, I don't know about during Okinawa operations. TWIGGS was still in dazzle camo in February 1945 and PAUL HAMILTON on 11 March 1945. PICKING was painted in dazzle during 1944. It doesn't appear that any of these units had a stateside yard period in late 1944 or early 1945. An interesting clue is that the Ms 22 paint looks to be fresh in this unidentified FLETCHER. In looking through DANFS and online sources of similar information, I found PICKING's War Diaries entries on her Reunion Website, that said she had an availability at San Pedro Bay 20 February - 20 March 1945 including drydocking to replace props and to repaint her bottom. There was time for her to be repainted to Ms 22, so she would seem to be the leading candidate. What is interesting is that PICKING was the Squadron Flagship for DesRon 49, which included ISHERWOOD, KIMBERLY, and LUCE as well. We know that ISHERWOOD wasn't repainted prior to the invasion of Okinawa, but were any of the other candidate FLETCHERS repainted to Ms 22 or were there other FLETCHERS tasked to TF 54 on 1 April to provide fire support that isn't listed by Morrison? (Posted February 22 2011)
Helpful notes by Rick E. Davis: While looking for another photo, I was looking through an old "Special Presentation" issue of Sea Classics dated Fall 1979, I found this same photo on page 51. The caption for the photo says the destroyer is USS RICHARD P. LEARY (DD-664). Even though the image in the magazine is large, the resolution is even worse and the hull number can't be read. LEARY was in DesRon 56 assigned to Unit Five of TF 54 for the Okinawa invasion and she is within the group of FLETCHERS with this bulwark configuration. I don't have any late-war photos of LEARY other than a March 1944 photo of her in dazzle camo, but I do have a late-war photo of her Boston Navy Yard built and DesDiv sister HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS (DD-663) taken in "1945", and she was painted in Ms 22. DANFS doesn't provide much help as to what LEARY's movements were prior to the invasion or when she may have had a chance to repaint to Ms 22. (Posted March 14 2011)
Helpful notes by Rick E. Davis: Some additional notes about this photo. I contacted the retired Photo Curator at NHHC, Chuck Haberlein, about this photo and he said it is in the NHHC collection but without an identification of the destroyer. On one of his visits at NHHC, he looked at the color print they have and said that the hull number could not be made out. But he was able to provide that the image is numbered ... 80-GK-3837 dated as 1 April 1945 and is part of a series of color photos (slides) taken from USS WEST VIRGINIA (BB-48). I was at NARA recently and looked at this slide and others in the series, the hull number could not be read from the slide either. I checked the WEST VIRGINIA War Diaries for 1 April 1945 and there was no listing of which destroyers were nearby on the day. It would seem that the eleven units I listed earlier being at Okinawa that day, minus those eliminated because of photos taken showing them in camo schemes other than Ms 22 on that date, making seven ... DD-520, 521, 522, 662, 663, 664, and 685 ... as still possibilities. Checking the War Diaries/Logs for ALL seven destroyers may provide clues about which one(s) were assigned as an escort to WEST VIRGINIA. (Posted April 16 2011)
Identified by Rick E. Davis: After getting a good scan of the subject image from a slide and then reviewing the configurations of the potential candidate FLETCHERS based against this much more detailed image, I was able to narrow the candidates down to three FLETCHERS, all built at Boston Navy Yard; USS BENNION (DD-662), USS HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS (DD-663), and RICHARD P. LEARY (DD-664). The key details were the midships twin 40-mm bulwark configuration, life raft locations, and existence of a badge on the first stack. But even with a good high res scan of the slide the hull numbers couldn't be read with certainty. I checked deck logs and there wasn't enough specific location information to narrow down which unit was near to WEST VIRGINIA for this photo. Finally, I made a special request with NARA, College Park, MD, asking them if they would please examine the original color transparence (researchers are not allowed to access or scan the originals) for the hull number. They agreed and even showed me the blown-up image and it was clear that the first digit was "6" and the last digit was "4" and that the middle digit was either "5" or "6". Since DD-654 BEARSS wasn't a potential configuration candidate, that left DD-664 RICHARD P. LEARY, just as Sea Classics had stated back in 1968. Case closed. . (Posted May 30 2013)
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 51
167kWhat appears to be a Livermore-class destroyer helping to fight fires aboard a torpedoed tanker, either off the eastern seaboard of United States of America, or in the Caribbean. Photo U.S. Navy. From "The World Encyclopedia of Destroyers and Frigates" by Bernard Ireland. (Posted February 5 2011)
Helpful notes by Rick E. Davis:I can narrow down the destroyer in Mystery Photo #51 to two ships ... DD-638 HERNDON and DD-639 SHUBRICK. Both of these two Repeat-GLEAVES class units were built by Norfolk Navy Yard and commissioned 20 December 1942 and 7 February 1943 respectively. Both of these destroyers were equipped with the Mk 49 director for the twin 40-mm mounts, among very few BENSON-GLEAVES so equipped (less than ten) and most of the others equipped with the Mk 49 director were Square-bridge units. The general layout of these two destroyers matches the one in the photo as well. Without a date on when the photo was taken, there isn't anyway to identify which of these two is in the Mystery Photo. HERNDON was was completed with a SC air search radar atop the foremast, but by October 1943 after her return from the MED, she had it replaced with a DAR HF/DF antenna and had Mousetrap added on her forecastle. HERNDON had the DAR replaced by a SC-2 radar and the Mk 49 directors replaced by the Mk 51 directors by April 1945. SHUBRICK also was completed with the SC air search radar, but no photos show her with the DAR HF/DF installed on the foremast. SHUBRICK had her Mk 49 directors replaced by Mk 51 directors by January 1944 after her bomb damage repair sustained off Italy on 4 August 1943. A look through DANFS for both ships do not mention coming to the aid of a burning tanker. However, SHUBRICK's website does mention that they rescued 12 bodies from a tanker-freighter ship collision on 1 June 1943 in Chesapeake Bay before both ships went to the MED to support the invasions of Sicily and Italy. My guess and only a guess, is that this photo was taken in Spring-Summer of 1943 when these two were both still working-up prior to active deployment and during that period they would have been painted in Ms 22 camo as is the Mystery destroyer. Another item of note, is that in March 1943 both destroyers still had the portside boat, but later as seen in this Mystery photo, the portside boat was removed. (Posted February 10 2011)
Identification by Rick E. Davis:The destroyer in this photo is USS SHUBRICK (DD-639) on 1 June 1943. From the War Diaries for HERNDON (DD-638) and SHUBRICK I found that on the morning of 1 June 1943 SHUBRICK, HERNDON and NELSON (DD-623) were assigned to gunnery practice in Chesapeake Bay when SHUBRICK was dispatched at 0900 to investigate a burning tanker, SS MONTANA. From " The official chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II, By Robert Cressman", I found additional information about how the tanker caught fire. Earlier that morning the US Freighter SS JOHN MORGAN and the US Tanker SS MONTANA, collided in the Norfolk Swept Channel. JOHN MORGAN exploded and sank immediately, but started fires on MONTANA. At 0920 SHUBRICK sent a Salvage Party to the tanker. At 0930 SHUBRICK started discharging water on the burning tanker along with YP-261. at 0955 USCG SPEEDWELL arrived at the scene. At 1000 SHUBRICK recalled her Salvage Party after they discovered the presence ammunition aboard the burning tanker. Shortly afterwards HERNDON and NELSON arrived at the scene. At 1013 the Salvage Party returned to SHUBRICK. All destroyers circled the burning tanker because of the danger and looked for survivors. At 1115 ComDesRon 17 ordered HERNDON and SHUBRICK to depart the scene, but SHUBRICK's crew discovered a body at 1117 and stayed in the area to pick-up additional bodies with the aid of "lighter-than-aircraft". In total SHUBRICK and the USCG SPEEDWELL picked up and/or transferred to SHUBRICK, twelve bodies which were taken to the Norfolk Naval Operating Base and delivered to the Naval Hospital there at 1710. So this photo was taken between 0930 and about 1015 on 1 June 1943, the other small craft in the photo likely is YP 261 and the "light-than-aircraft" likely took the photo. (Posted July 11 2011)
Robert Hurst

Refer to # 52

Photos by Harry B. Kidd, PH2, USS Independence 1969-70, taken from Indy in 1970. It's readily evident that this is a FRAM I, fitted with SPS-40 radar and attached to DesRon 4. (Posted April 18 2011)
(Identified April 22 2011) by Michael Lester: Picture # 52 is of the USS Vogelgesang DD-862 - A. Check the UNIQUE openings (cut-outs) on the support between the 01 level and the main deck. Circle,oblong,circle,space,oblong,circle. Check the 26th picture labeled "off Da Nang Viet Nam"on your Vogelgesang page. B. Ribbons on port bridge wing are the same. C. Ship was in the Med. April 1970 thru November 1970. D. Ship was in Desron 4.
(Unidentified June 18 2012) by Ron Kellar: This ship was identified as the USS Vogelgesang DD-862 but I do not believe it is that ship. Unless from the time the ship went through FRAM in 1962, the tore down the old Signal Shack and rebuilt a much larger one and replaced the gun directory on the Signal Bridge this is not the Vogelgesang. Also, the placement of the Signal lights are different from the photo I am looking at of the FRAM Vogelgesang. I served aboard the Vogelgesang in 1959 through 1961 as a Signalman just prior to her going into FRAM.
(More comments June 22 2012) by Rick E. Davis: Observations: I'm not as versed on the configuration differences of the FRAM GEARINGS, but I made some observations in looking at this mystery destroyer. I found a listing of the destroyers supposedly in DesRon 4 around the time period of this photo and they were: DD-710 GEARING, DD-711 EUGENE A. GREENE (ex-DDR), DD-822 ROBERT H. McCARD, DD-862 VOGELGESANG, DD-864 HAROLD J. ELLISON, DD-880 DYESS (ex-DDR), DD-881 BORDELON (ex-DDR) and DD-862 FURSE (ex-DDR). Of these eight destroyers, only VOGELGESANG had the hole pattern seen in the photo below the former twin 40-mm platform. I don't know if that means this photo can only be of VOGELGESANG or that the listing for DesRon 4 I found isn't the right one for when this photo was taken. There could be other GEARING FRAMs with this same hole pattern, one less than the units with this pattern of six holes, I simply don't know. Going through all the photos of the FRAM I GEARINGS looking for the hole patterns in this area is not an easy task and wouldn't help if several turned up with this five hole pattern. Does anyone have an accurate listing of the destroyers in DesRon 4 at the time this photo was reported to have been taken? I don't have accurate records for DesRon assignments in the 1970s.
Harry B. Kidd
Refer to # 53
329kUSS Intrepid (CV-11)transfers fuel to a Fletcher-class destroyer during underway replenishment in 1943. This image is part of a photograph album detailing the wartime service of the carrier Intrepid (CV-11) in the Pacific during World War II. Photo courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum. (Posted May 7 2011)
(Identified May 24 2011) by Rick E. Davis: Mystery Destroyer # 53 has some unique and rare configuration items that help to narrow down the identity of this destroyer. This original bridge FLETCHER has three structural unique items; The braces for the waist 40-mm directors with four holes, the lack of a bulwark on the outside of the waist twin 40-mm mounts (only railing is used), and the use of circular "tubs" for the waist Mk 51 directors. The brace and lack of a bulwark on the outside of the waist 40-mm mounts were features of the last four FLETCHERS built by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, TX; SPROSTON (DD-577), WICKES (DD-578), WILLIAM D. PORTER (DD-579), and YOUNG (DD-580). SPROSTON and YOUNG were completed with Mk 49 directors installed for the waist 40-mm mounts. WICKES was completed with Mk 51 directors installed on the platform without either a circular "tub" or a solid bulwark around them, just railings around the outer edge likely covered with canvas. The only one of these four or any other FLETCHER to use a circular bulwark and railings around the out edge of the platform as seen in this photo was WILLIAM D. PORTER (DD-579). According to DANFS, WILLIAM D. PORTER operated with USS INTREPID (CV-11) during October and early November 1943 in battle practice in the Atlantic. This would likely mean that this photo was taken in October 1943. (Posted May 24 2011)
Bill Gonyo
Refer to # 54
158kA rescued aviator is transferred by high line from a destroyer to the carrier Enterprise (CV 6) in 1944. Item part of a scrapbook assembled by CDR William H. Balden, USNR, documenting his World War II service. (Posted May 9 2011)
(Identified June 2 2011) by Rick E. Davis: Mystery Destroyer #54: If the carrier that took this photo is ENTERPRISE and the man being transferred is a pilot, then this destroyer likely is MOALE (DD-693). According to records on a ship camouflage in WWII and photos of SUMNER class destroyers about eleven to twelve destroyers of this class were painted in the camo scheme seen on this destroyer ... Ms 32 Design 9D. In cross checking records for ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and the candidate destroyers that sailed with ENTERPRISE in 1944 I found that DesRon 60 sailed with ENTERPRISE in TG 38.4 from early November to 18 November 1944. The units of DesRon 60 that were reported to be part of the TG 38.4 were SUMNER, MOALE, COOPER, INGRAHAM, BARTON, WALKE, LAFFEY, and O'BRIEN, all on their first combat operation in the Pacific. Of these units, only MOALE and O'BRIEN (DD-725) were painted in Ms 32 Design 9D. In DesRon 60 Action Report for this period (on the SUMNER website), the only destroyers from the DesRon tasked to pick-up flight crews were LAFFEY on 11 November, MOALE on 12 November, BARTON on 12 November, and COOPER on 12 November. The only one of these four SUMNER class destroyers in Ms 32 Design 9D is MOALE. Also, in looking at photos of MOALE and O'BRIEN, MOALE has the ladder shown going up the side in the bridge in this location and O'BRIEN's ladder is much further forward. I should note that in the camouflage database, ALLEN M. SUMNER is also listed as being painted in Ms 32 Design 9D, however photos of SUMNER at MINY after her kamikaze damage clearly shows she was still painted in Ms 31 design 16D that she had in April 1944. (Posted June 2 2011)
Bill Gonyo
Refer to # 55
158kI am looking for assistance in identifying the enclosed DD. The location is Bar Harbor, Maine, and I believe the date is between 7/16 and 8/ 11/1903. I am thinking that it is one of five DD's making up Division 1, which would include Bainbridge, Barry, Chauncey, Dale, and Decatur. Division 1 did visit Bar Harbor during those dates. The question is which of the five is this ship. (Posted June 13 2011)Jonathan Eno
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Undated photos of a destroyer docking at Dutch Harbor, Alaska. US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 2005.024.005.047. (Posted May 23 2012) Refer to #56
Identification by Ed Zajkowski, David Lacroix & Bob Crawford: These are photos of the USS Casco (AVP-12) entering the dry dock at Navy Yard Puget Sound, for repair of battle damage, 27 September 1942. Puget Sound Navy Yard photo # PW4-641, now in the collections of the US National Archives, Seattle Branch. (Posted May 24 2012)
Mike Green
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Undated and unidentified destroyer images from the Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library. (Posted August 26 2012) Refer to #57
Identification by Rick E. Davis: Mystery Photo # 57a is USCG CG-17 HERNDON (USN DD-198). The photo shows 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. (Posted August 29 2012)
Helpful note from Chris Hoehn: Twin torpedo tubes and a 3" gun on the stern of the ship without an intervening deck house makes this (57b) a Paulding Class DD. The photo is pre 1917 as the gun has not been replaced by depth charge racks and a Y-gun which were added for service in England. The precise ship I do not know.(Posted August 30 2012)
Helpful hint by Rick E. Davis: I looked through more of the Leslie Jones photos in some other categories, when I tried "Torpedo" I found another photo taken of the same destroyer at the same event, see 57c. There was no identification of the ship on either the caption or on the destroyer. But the caption for the second photo did say the year was 1916 and that it was "Charlestown Navy Yard demonstration - Flag Day". Searches in the Leslie Jones collection at the Boston Public Library with this caption didn't turn up any addition photos. Flag Day didn't start officially until 1922. But, I tried some online searches for events at Charlestown Navy Yard during 1916 and found an article at Boston Globe Archives about a "Navy Day" event there on 13 May 1916. The first "Navy Day" arranged by the Massachusetts Auxiliary of the Naval Relief Society. I spent the $5.30 to download the article and found that two destroyers were mentioned as giving demonstrations that day. A relatively new destroyer, USS O'BRIEN (DD-51) was scheduled to be giving "torpedo firing" demos off pier 3. O'BRIEN was the lead to the newest class of destroyers in 1916 and this destroyer isn't from that class. However, another destroyer is mentioned as providing an "exhibition" of "man overboard", USS HENLEY (DD-39) a repeat PAULDING class destroyer. This destroyer would be from the right class as the one seen in the photo. But because some 40 USN ships participated in the celebration, and likely including several destroyers of the PAULDING Class, being certain that this is HENLEY isn't solid. The article was providing a roster of scheduled events for that day and changes could have occurred as to which ships provided the demos. At least the date of these two photos is pretty certain to be 13 May 1916. Deck Log searches for HENLEY and maybe other PAULDING class destroyers for that date likely would provide the definitive answer.(Posted September 1 2012)
Helpful hint by Dave Baker: Marvelous photos of the torpedo and the torpedo tube with its not very sophisticated sight system. In the upper photo, there is a civilian in a cloth cap leaning against the open hatch to port of the torpedo tube set (he's gone in the second photo), and I wonder if that might give further evidence that this was HENLEY if one makes the conjecture that the civilian might have been a news reporter. But why does it appear that the ship is performing some sort of evolution with the torpedo, if it was O'BRIEN that was to be the firing ship? In the bottom photo, it looks like a crowd of people on a motor yacht or ferry observing the evolution with interest, and the wooden bollards to starboard of the destroyer indicate that she is alongside a pier. So, if she's not O'BRIEN, and she seems to be showing how to load torpedo tubes, perhaps this is a third, unidentified ship (and perhaps I shouldn't have spent all this time staring at the photos). The torpedo itself appears to be Whitehead Mk 1 or Mk 2 of the longer, 197-in. version; these had a diameter of 17.7 inches (as did all USN "18-in.) torpedoes and would have been made by the E.W. Bliss Co. All three of the Whitehead design 17.7 inch torpedoes entered service in 1892-93 and were withdrawn from service in 1922. There were shorter 140-in. long versions of the Mk 1 and 2 for use by "short tube" steam torpedo boat classes, and the Mk 3 was only procured in the 140-in. variant.(Posted September 6 2012)
Ed Zajkowski
4a14203v   4a14204v   4a14205v   4a14206v   4a1427v
I found the attached photos in the Library of Congress. I can’t find any name information, as the title is only listed as ‘Destroyer’. Below is the information that I have gleaned off of the photo information. The photo date is based on similarity of numbers in Detroit Catalogue J (1901). The ship that seems to match the closest is the USS Intrepid (experimental steam torpedo ram), but the bow configuration doesn’t closely match the NAVSOURCE bow on photo. There are four other photos of which appears to be the same vessel, due to the consecutive Detroit Publishing photo numbers. One is of the stern of the vessel and the other three are taken below deck. I’ve looked at these photos for a long time and have researched them, but I’ve found nothing definite.
4a14203v.jpg: Unidentified destroyer or torpedo boat destroyer moored at unknown location. Photographed between 1892 and 1901. (020348 Destroyer) Library of Congress, LC-D4-20348.
4a14204v.jpg: Main deck looking toward the stern of unidentified destroyer or torpedo boat destroyer moored at unknown location. Photographed between 1892 and 1901. (020349 Destroyer) Library of Congress, LC-D4-20349.
4a14205v.jpg: Between deck photo of unidentified destroyer or torpedo boat destroyer moored at unknown location. Photographed between 1892 and 1901. (020350 Destroyer between decks) Library of Congress, LC-D4-20350.
4a14206v.jpg: Torpedo tube photo of unidentified destroyer or torpedo boat destroyer moored at unknown location. Photographed between 1892 and 1901. (020351 Destroyer, torpedo tube) Library of Congress, LC-D4-20351.
4a1427v.jpg: Torpedo tube photo of unidentified destroyer or torpedo boat destroyer moored at unknown location. Photographed between 1892 and 1901. (020352 Destroyer, torpedo tube) Library of Congress, LC-D4-20352.
(Posted October 17 2012) Refer to #58
Identification by Chris Wright: Mystery Photos for # 58 show John Ericsson's experimental torpedo boat, the Destroyer. A new page has been added to display this ship. (Posted October 20 2012).
Mike Green
Refer to # 59
82kUnidentified US destroyer approaches a downed Douglas SBD Dauntless to take aboard its pilot and gunner. The aircraft was one of nine SBDs launched from the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) that had attacked Makin Island, on 1 February 1942. U.S. Navy photo. (Posted December 4 2012)
Helpful hint by Rick E. Davis:An observation about this photo. The destroyers assigned to escort USS YORKTOWN (CV-5) as part of TF 17 during the Makin Island raid were four SIMS class destroyers; USS SIMS (DD-409), USS HUGHES (DD-410), USS RUSSELL (DD-414), and USS WALKE (DD-416). The destroyer in this photo isn't of a SIMS class destroyer. Could this photo actually from TF 8.5 centered around USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) during the raid on Marshall Islands? The destroyers escorting ENTERPRISE on that mission were the BAGLEY class units USS BLUE (DD-387) and USS RALPH TALBOT (DD-390), and the GRIDLEY class unit USS McCALL (DD-400). This photo would fit the configuration for one of these three destroyers. (Posted December 6 2012)
Identified by Rick E Davis and Richard Jensen. While going through a box in 80-G collection at the National Archives in this last March, I unexpectedly came across this same photo numbered 80-G-12919. I scanned the better quality photo than the one posted which provided a lot more info. The info on the mounting card caption didn't match the one originally provided for this unidentified destroyer and completely changed the options. The photo was taken from USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and was dated on the card as 17 March 1942. With a better image of the destroyer, the hull number could be made out as starting with "3", "9", and an unclear third digit, Richard Jensen narrowed down that destroyer was a BENHAM Class unit. We knew that only two BENHAM class units fit these conditions in the Pacific in early 1942, USS BENHAM (DD-398) and USS ELLET (DD-398). The configuration of this unit didn't match BENHAM, but did ELLET. The problem was that according to available records, ELLET didn't operate with ENTERPRISE on 17 March 1942. So this month while at NARA, I looked in ELLET's War Diary which was rare in starting on 8 December 1941. ELLET did do plane guard duty for ENTERPRISE on 9 December and was with ENTERPRISE as part of TF 8 from 22 to about 26 February 1942. But, there was no mention of recovering of the crew of a crashed plane. More importantly, the War Diary mentioned that ELLET was at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard from 27 February to 12 March 1942 and had SC search radar and some 20-mm guns installed. The view of ELLET in this photo has SC radar and it appears that there is a 20-mm gun before the bridge. So the photo dated after 12 March 1942 and the early raids, which ELLET didn't take part in, and before the center red circle was painted out on aircraft. On 26 March, ELLET was assigned to DesRon 6 as part of TF 16, which of course included USS ENTERPRISE about to be part of the Doolittle Raid. On 16 April ELLET was the plane guard for ENTERPRISE, but no mention of any plane crashes. However, on the return from the Raid, on 20 April ELLET was once again plane guard for ENTERPRISE and during air operations, an SBD crashed and ELLET stopped to pick-up the crew, Ensign Comer and back seater Browning. So the destroyer in this photo is USS ELLET (DD-398) and the most likely date is 20 April 1942. (Posted May 13 2015)
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 60
160kUnidentified torpedo boat destroyers, circa around 1905, tied up at the Bangor, Maine waterfront on the Penobscot River.Courtesy of Mr. Bill Cook, Curator of Collections, Bangor Public Library, Bangor, Maine. (Posted March 9 2013)Jonathan Eno

Refer to # 61

Unidentified torpedo boat destroyers at Brooklyn Navy Yard. (Posted May 30 2013)Tommy Trampp
Refer to # 62
229kUnidentified Allen M. Sumner class destroyer rescues sailors standing on a section of an aircraft elevator blown off the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) after the ship was hit by a kamikaze off Kyushu, Japan, 14 May 1945. The image is part of an album of photographs collected by Captain Carlos W. Wieber during his command of the aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9) during 1944-1945. U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1983.046.010.150. (Posted October 15 2014)
Possible leads from Chris Vallery: The destroyers assigned to the task group containing the Enterprise on that date were: DesDiv. 123 (less HAYNESWORTH); DesDiv. 124 (less HANK); DesDiv. 95 (less ABBOT & HALE); DesDiv. 96 (less KIDD) and DesDiv. 103, and DesDiv 104 (less HUNT). Only DesDiv 123 and 124 were Sumner Class DD’s. The rest were all Fletchers. This rules out all but DesDiv 123 and 124 as the destroyer in the picture as twin 5” mounts, not singles. DesDiv 123 contained DD-696 English; DD-697 Charles S Sperry; DD-698 Ault and DD-699 Waldron. DesDiv 124 contained DD-701 John W Weeks; DD-703 Wallace L Lind and DD-704 Borie. A close examination of the picture shows the blurry hull number. On the port side, the first number appears to be a 6 and is definitely not a 7, so that would rule out all the DesDiv 124 ships. Looking at the histories of the remaining 4 ships, they were all in action around the time of the Enterprise hit and their paint jobs were all similar at that point of time, so that doesn’t provide any eliminations unfortunately. Further examination of the picture though shows the ship has a damaged bow, like she had a very low speed collision or she bumped something. With this in mind, it’s probably that this is the Charles S Sperry, I base this on the fact that 3 days earlier Sperry was fighting fires alongside the Bunker Hill and as shown in this picture, could have easily bumped her bow against the carrier: In fact, in that picture, it not only looks like she is partially perpendicular to the Bunker Hill, but that her bow is actually touching the carrier. It wouldn’t take much at that point to bang up the bow of a tin can. There is also a vertical, lighter patch of paint in this picture: as well as the layout of the mast to help. Ault and English seems to have another item on their masts. So, I have reasonable to believe this is Charles S Sperry (DD-697). (Posted October 17 2014)
Identified by Rick E Davis and John Chiquoine. I came across this same photo in 80-G Collection, 80-G-324122, at the National Archives by PURE accident on my last trip there in late October. I decided to scan the image and attempt to identify it. I scanned the full image and then did an even higher res crop scan of just the destroyer. See attached. Although not a firm ID can be made from looking at the hull number, I thought it looked like DD-699 Waldron to me ... with the first digit being a "6" and the second digit a "9" with the third looking much like the second digit. Unsure, I then looked at images of the possible candidates that I have scanned in the past. Sorry, but I had to rule out USS Charles S. Sperry on the grounds that the third digit of the hull number didn't look like a "7" and because Sperry had a RCM main mast aft that should have been partially visible in this view and a YG antenna on the foremast. USS English (DD-696) and USS Ault (DD-698) were also possible candidates.. I contacted John Chiquoine for his opinion. He came up with the solution in remembering that the USS Enterprise (CV-6) website has copies of the ship's Action Reports, including for 14 May 1945 ... ... the relevant passage is on 14 May 1945 from 0656 - "Zeke carrying a bomb hit ship just abaft number one elevator. See Part Five for damage, and Part VIII for casualties. Eight men were blown overboard, all of whom were picked up by WALDRON". So the mystery destroyer in this photo is indeed USS WALDRON (DD-699). (Posted November 23 2014)
Robert Hurst
Refer to # 63
267kUnidentified torpedo boats in San Pedro circa 1916 (Posted September 7 2015)Ron Reeves

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