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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Tolman (MMD-28)

Call sign:
November - Juliet - Mike - Oscar

Allen M. Sumner Class Destroyer/Robert H. Smith Light Minelayer:

  • Laid down 10 April 1944 as DD-740 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
  • Reclassified as a Light Minelayer, DM-28, 19 July 1944
  • Launched 13 August 1944
  • Delivered and commissioned USS Tolman (DM-28), 27 October 1944
  • Decommissioned 29 January 1947 at San Diego, CA and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet
    Naval Vessel Register of 1 January 1949 lists plan for decommissioning and placing in reserve as December 1946
  • Reclassified as a Fast Minelayer, MMD-28 in January 1969
  • Struck from the Navy Register 1 December 1970
  • After being struck from the Navy List, Tolman was used as a target ship up and down the California coast for many years
  • Most of Tolman's target days were spent at the United States/Canada joint torpedo range Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, Canada
  • Since Tolman was decommissioned in 1947, and not used again, by the 1980s, Tolman was a treasure trove of wartime parts. At that time, the caretakers of the destroyer Kidd (DD 661) removed several
    tons of hard to find parts, to help restore Kidd to her wartime appearance. After 25 years of being used for target practice and spare parts, Tolman was sunk as a target on 25 January 1997.


  • Displacement 2,380 t.(lt), 3370 t.(fl)
  • Length 376' 6"
  • Beam 40' 10"
  • Draft 18' 10"
  • Speed 34 kts.
  • Complement 363
  • Armament: Three twin 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts, six twin 40mm gun mounts, eleven 20mm guns, two .50 cal. machine guns, two depth charge tracks and four depth charge projectors
  • Propulsion: Four Babcock and Wilcox boilers, two 30,000shp General Electric geared turbines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Tolman 48k

    Charles E."Spike" Tolman—born on 25 June 1903 in Concord, Mass.—entered the United States Naval Academy in the summer of 1921 and graduated on 4 June 1925. After serving in battleship Utah (BB-31), he was transferred to Warden (DD-288) in 1926. Tolman then completed training courses at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I., and at the Submarine Base, New London, Conn. He served in submarines O-4 in 1928 and S-22 from 1929 to 1932 when he returned to the Naval Academy for two years. Tolman served in submarine S-46 in 1934 and commanded S-30 from April 1935 to May 1937. He was attached to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations for 17 months before assuming command of Spearfish (SS-190) on 7 October 1939. In January 1941, Tolman joined the staff of Commander, Submarines, Atlantic Fleet.

    Comdr. Tolman became the commanding officer of De Haven (DD-469) upon her commissioning on 21 September 1942. The destroyer steamed to the South Pacific in November 1942 and supported operations in the Solomons. On the afternoon of 1 February 1943, while escorting landing craft, De Haven was attacked by six Japanese dive bombers. Fighting off the attackers, the destroyer splashed three enemy planes before a bomb struck her navigating bridge, stopped her, and killed Comdr. Tolman. Two more hits and a near miss doomed De Haven, which sank within two minutes. Comdr. Tolman was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his valiant leadership.

    Bill Gonyo
    USS Tolman (DM 28)
    Tolman 95k
    Tolman 68k 27 October 1944
    Portsmouth, NH
    Tolman 121k In Boston harbor on 13 November 1944 wearing camouflage 32/16D
    National Archives photo 80-G-382829
    Ships of the U.S. Navy in WWII “Dazzle” Camouflage
    Tolman 107k Original photo: 13 November 1944
    Off Boston, MA
    National Archives photo, Bureau of Ships Collection
    Replacement photo: In Boston harbor on 13 November 1944 wearing camouflage 32/16D
    National Archives photo 80-G-382843
    Original photo: Joe Radigan
    Replacement photo: Ships of the U.S. Navy in WWII “Dazzle” Camouflage
    Tolman 122k In Boston harbor on 13 November 1944 wearing camouflage 32/16D
    National Archives photo 80-G-382844
    Ships of the U.S. Navy in WWII “Dazzle” Camouflage
    Tolman (MMD 28)
    Tolman 106k c. 1985
    Somewhere in California
    Ed Zajkowski
    Tolman 94k c. 1994
    Mare Island Naval Shipyard
    Alongside Southerland (DD 743) prior to being used as a target ship
    Photo from "Warship Boneyards" by Kit and Carolyn Bonner
    Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Clifford Arthur Johnson, USN - USNA Class of 193227 October 1944 - 18 July 1946
    02LCDR Charles Albert Smylie, IV, USN - USNA Class of 194218 July 1946 - 1 January 1947
    03LT Roy Casper Shriber, USN1 January 1947 - 29 January 1947
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    View the Tolman (DM-28)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    Additional Resources and Websites of Interest
    NavSource Destroyer Pages, USS Tolman (DD-740)
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Light Minelayer (DM) Photo Index Back to the Fast Minelayer (MMD) Photo Index

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