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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Displacement 700 Tons, Dimensions, 293' 10" (oa) x 26' 5" x 10' 7" (Max)
Armament 5 x 3"/50, 3 x 18" tt..
Machinery, 10,000 SHP; Direct Drive Turbines, 3 screws
Speed, 28 Knots, Crew 89.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Cramp, Philadelphia. on March 18 1908.
Launched April 20 1909 and commissioned November 26 1909.
Decommissioned at Philadelphia September 2 1919.
Stricken September 15 1919 and reclassified as target June 20 1920
Fate Sold December 20 1921 to Joseph G. Hitner, Philadelphia and broken up for scrap.

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Smith 77kJoseph B. Smith, born in Belfast, Maine, in 1826, was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1841. After graduating with the Class of 1847, he served at the Washington Navy Yard, in USS Mississippi and with the U.S. Coast Survey. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1855, and soon afterwards was assigned to the steam frigate Merrimack, his station until 1857. Smith next had ordnance duty at the Washington Navy Yard, D.C. Lieutenant Smith joined USS Congress in about 1859. As her Executive Officer, he was in charge of the ship during the Commanding Officer's absence when she was attacked and destroyed by CSS Virginia on 8 March 1862. Joseph B. Smith was killed in action during this battle. Photo #: NH 44970. Lieutenant Joseph B. Smith, USN, photographed by Black, 173 Washington St., Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1861. Lieutenant Smith was killed in action while serving as acting commander of USS Congress during her 8 March 1862 battle with CSS Virginia. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Bill Gonyo
Smith 44kUSS Smith (DD-17) photographed on 21 September 1909, shortly before she was delivered to the Navy.Robert Hurst
Smith 31kstarboard side line drawing by A.D. Baker III of USS Smith (Destroyer # 17) as she appeared in 1910. Image scanned from U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.Robert Hurst
Smith 431kUSS Smith (Destroyer # 17) At anchor, 1910. Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 43763, enhanced by George Lane. The last class of coal fired ships, Funnel arrangement differs between ships depending on who built them.Original: Fred Weiss
Replacement: George Lane
Smith 152kUSS Smith underway sometime between 1910 to 1915. Image taken by the Bain News Service. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress. The photographer may be in error in identifying this ship as the Smith, note the funnel arrangement. It may be the USS Lamson (DD-18) or the USS Flusser (DD-20). If you know for sure please let us know.Bill Gonyo/Jonathan Eno
Smith 103kUSS Smith (Destroyer # 17) Securing from action stations, just prior to entering New York Harbor in late March 1917. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C. Collection of Captain R.T. Merrill. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. The 1st class of destroyers designed to protect the battle line from enemy torpedo boats, the design emphasized guns over torpedoes and seakeeping and endurance over speed. Image from U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.Fred Weiss/Robert Hurst
Smith 103kUSS Smith (Destroyer # 17) Tied up at the Battery, New York City, "to hurry the recruiting", circa February-March 1917. Photographed by Kadel & Herbert, New York. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Smith 198kNewspaper clipping from the Mexico Missouri Message dated May 10 1917.Mike Mohl
Smith 867kSailors man Smith's forward gun, circa 1917.George Lane
Smith 656kSmith's forward torpedo tubes deployed for action, circa 1917.George Lane
Smith 95kSinking of USS President Lincoln, 31 May 1918 Survivors on board USS Warrington (Destroyer # 30), at left, and USS USS Smith (Destroyer # 17), at right, after they were rescued, about 1 June 1918. The donor, a member of Warrington's crew at the time, comments: "We had to transfer some men to the Smith as we had too many men to feed." Courtesy of Gustavus C. Robbins, 1973. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss

USS SMITH DD-17 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 David French Boyd Jr.    Nov 26 1909 - Jul 10 1910

CDR George Calvin Day    Jul 10 1910 - Jun 21 1911 (Later RADM)

LT Edward Constant Southword Parker    Jun 21 1911 - Mar 10 1913

LTJG Williams Carter Wickham    Mar 10 1913 - Oct 7 1915

LT Charles Frank Russell    Oct 7 1915 - Dec 14 1916

LT Robert Taylor Merrill    Dec 14 1916 - Dec 9 1918

LCDR James Carroll Byrnes Jr.    Dec 9 1918 - May 10 1918 

LCDR Webb Trammell    May 10 1919 - Jul 17 1919

LT Lawrence Wainwright    Jul 17 1919 - Sep 2 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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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 03 September 2017