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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Luce (DM 4)

Call sign:
George - Sail - Watch - Fox

Call sign (1921):
Nan - Easy - George - Dog


Wickes Class Destroyer/Stribling Class Light Minelayer:

  • Originally planned as Schley
  • Named changed to Luce 4 December 1917
    Ships Data, U.S. Naval Vessels, 1921 shows name changed 24 September 1917
  • Laid down 9 February 1918 by the Fore River Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, Massachusetts
  • Launched 29 June 1918
  • Commissioned USS Luce, Destroyer No. 99, 11 September 1918 at the Boston Navy Yard
  • Reclassified as a Light Minelayer, DM-4, 18 July 1920
  • Decommissioned 30 June 1922 at Philadelphia, PA and laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia
  • Recommissioned 19 March 1930
  • Decommissioned 31 January 1931 at Boston, Massachusetts
  • Struck from the Navy Register 7 January 1936
  • Sold 29 September 1936 to Schievone-Bonomo Corp. of New York, NY
  • Scrapped 13 November 1936.


  • Displacement 1,191 t.
    1921 - 1198 t.
  • Length 314' 4½"
  • Beam 30' 11¼"
  • Draft 9' 2"
  • Speed 34 kts.
    1921 - 34.81 kts.
  • Complement 103
    1921 - 122
  • Armament: Four 4"/50 mounts, two 1-pounders, one depth charge projector and two depth charge tracks
    1921 - Two 1-pounders replaced by one 3"/23 mount
  • Propulsion: Four White-Foster boilers, two 12,100shp Parsons turbines, two shafts
    1921 - Four Yarrow boilers and two 27,340shp Curtis geared turbines, two shafts.

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Luce 101k

    Stephen Bleecker Luce was born on 25 March 1827 in Albany, New York. He entered the Navy in October 1841 as a Midshipman and, during the next seven years, served in the frigate Congress and ships of the line North Carolina and Columbus. Following graduation as a member of the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 1847 and promotion to Passed Midshipman in 1848, he served at the Academy until mid-1849. Luce spent the first half of the 1850s serving in the sloop-of-war Vandalia in the Pacific, on astronomical duty in Washington, D.C., and as an officer of the steamer Vixen. Attaining the rank of Lieutenant in 1855, he was employed on coast survey work and served in the sloop-of-war Jamestown during the rest of the decade.

    Lieutenant Luce began another Naval Academy tour in May 1860. A year later, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, he returned to sea as an officer of the steam frigate Wabash. He was back at the Naval Academy in 1862-1863, receiving promotion to Lieutenant Commander during this time. From mid-1863 to the end of the Civil War two years later, he commanded several warships, including the sailing corvette Macedonian, steam sloop Canandaigua, monitor Nantucket and "double-ender" gunboats Sonoma and Pontiac. Lieutenant Commander (Commander after mid-1866) Luce was the Naval Academy's Commandant of Midshipmen from October 1865 to June 1868. He then returned to sea as commanding officer of the gunboat Mohongo, in the Pacific, and steam sloop Juniata in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Promoted to Captain in December 1872, Luce served at the Boston Navy Yard until the autumn of 1875, then commanded the steam sloop Hartford until August 1877. His later career was heavily involved with educational affairs, initially as Inspector of Training Ships, then in command of the training ship Minnesota and the Training Squadron. He strongly advocated higher education for the Navy's officers and, as a Commodore and Rear Admiral, was the first President of the newly-established Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island during 1884-1886. He also commanded the North Atlantic Squadron in 1884 and in 1886-1889. Though retired in March 1889, Rear Admiral Luce remained active in Naval affairs as President of the U.S. Naval Institute until 1898 and, during the first decade of the 1900s, as President of the Naval Academy's Board of Visitors and on special duty at the War College. Stephen B. Luce died at Newport, R.I., on 28 July 1917

    Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 4 March 2022
    Luce 141k c. 1921
    Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA
    The ship still wears her former destroyer bow number, but has had her torpedo tubes removed and replaced with mine tracks running along each side to the stern from just aft of Number Four Smoke Stack
    Photographed by H. J. Darley, 46 Water Street, Charlestown, Massachusetts
    U.S. Navy photo NH 103189 from the collections of the Naval Historical Center
    Barb Rebold
    Luce 90k 15 April 1930
    Philadelphia Navy Yard

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Ralph Chandler Parker, USN - USNA Class of 1907
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) and the Legion of Merit (1945) - Retired as Captain
    11 September 1918 - 1919
    02LT Jay Louis Kerley, USN4 June 1919
    03CDR Robert Carlisle Giffen, USN - USNA Class of 1907
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) and two Navy Distinguished Service Medals (1942/1944) - Retired as Vice Admiral
    04LCDR Aubrey Wray "Jake" Fitch, USN - USNA Class of 1906
    Awarded two Navy Distinguished Service Medals (1942/1944) and the Legion of Merit (1945) - Retired as Admiral
    August 1920 - 1921
    05LCDR Lee Payne Johnson, USN - USNA Class of 1909
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) and two Legion of Merits (1943/1944) - Retired as Commodore
    June 1930 - 1931
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, Bill Gonyo and Joe Radigan

    View the Luce (DM-4)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    Additional Resources and Websites of Interest
    NavSource Destroyer Pages, USS Luce (DD-99)

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    This page was created by Gary P. Priolo & maintained by Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory) & Michael Mohl
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