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Photographic History of the United States Navy


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Built to a different set of plans (Bethlehem) than the Wickes (Bath) the Little versions were
considered less successful than the Bath designed ships, with few remaining in service past 1936.
Displacement 1,154 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 2 x 1pdr AA (1 x 3"/23AA In Some Ships), 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 24,200 SHP; Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 103.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Fore River, Quincy on June 8 1918.
Launched August 31 1918 and commissioned January 14 1919.
Decommissioned June 7 1922, Recommissioned December 18 1939.
Decommissioned September 24 1940.
To Britain September 24 1940, renamed HMCS Niagara (I57).
Stricken January 8 1941.
Fate Broken up for scrap in 1946.

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Size Image Description Contributed
Thatcher 76kHenry K. Thatcher, born in Thomaston, Maine, on 26 May 1806, was appointed a midshipman on 4 March 1823. He was promoted to lieutenant on 28 February 1833; commander on 14 September 1855; captain in 1861; commodore on 3 July 1862; and to rear admiral on 25 July 1866. Thatcher cruised on the Pacific, Mediterranean, African, and Pacific Stations and held important positions at various shore installations from 1823 to 1862. In 1862 and 1863, he commanded Constellation in the Mediterranean. In 1864 and 1865, he commanded Colorado and a division of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron in the attacks on Fort Fisher in December 1864 and January 1865. After the fall of Fort Fisher, he was appointed to command the West Gulf Squadron and immediately began active operations in cooperation with the Army against Mobile, which surrendered on 12 April 1865. On 10 May 1865, the Confederate Naval Forces in the waters of Alabama surrendered to Admiral Thatcher. Sabine Pass and Galveston capitulated in May and June. Admiral Thatcher was relieved of the command of the West Gulf Squadron and ordered north in early 1866. His last duty was that of port admiral, Portsmouth, N.H., from 1869 to 1870. He was placed on the retired list on 26 May 1868 and died at Boston on 5 April 1880.
Rear Admiral Henry Knox Thatcher, USN portrait engraved by J.A.J. Wilcox, Boston, published during the later 19th Century. The print features a facsimile of Thatcher's signature. Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 43977.
Tony Cowart
Thatcher 189kUndated, location unknown. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Thatcher 230kPost World War I San Diego image including the USS Walker (DD-163), USS Lea (DD-118), USS Gamble (DD-123), USS Montgomery (DD-121), USS Roper (DD-147), USS Ramsay (DD-124), USS Tarbell (DD-142), USS Thatcher (DD-162), USS Evans (DD-78), USS Crosby (DD-164), USS Jacob Jones (DD-130), USS Hazelwood (DD-107), USS Gillis (DD-260), USS McLanahan (DD-264), USS Howard (DD-179), USS Schley (DD-103), USS Dorsey (DD-117), USS Tattnall (DD-125), USS Wickes (DD-75), USS Laub (DD-263), USS Zane (DD-337), USS Perry (DD-340) and USS Alden (DD-211).Mike Mohl
Thatcher 116kUSS Thatcher (DD-162) Leading other destroyers into a harbor, circa 1919-1921. The next ship astern is USS Crosby (DD-164). Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 41952.Fred Weiss
Thatcher 104kDestroyers at Mare Island Navy Yard, 1919. These ships are from left to right: USS Tarbell (DD-142); USS Thatcher (DD-162); USS Rizal (DD-174); USS Hart (DD-110); USS Hogan (DD-178); USS Gamble (DD-123); USS Ramsay (DD-124) and USS Williams (DD-108).
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 42538, donation of Rear Admiral Ammen Farenholt, USN (Medical Corps).
Robert Hurst
Thatcher 106kDestroyers at the Mare Island Navy Yard, 1919. These ships are (from left to right): USS Tarbell (DD-142); USS Thatcher (DD-162); USS Rizal (DD-174); USS Hart (DD-110); USS Hogan (DD-178); USS Gamble (DD-123); USS Ramsay (DD-124) and USS Williams (DD-108). Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 42537, donation of Rear Admiral Ammon Fahrenholt, USN (Medical Corps)..Robert Hurst
Thatcher 54kPostcard of the Thatcher in San Juan Harbor, probably circa 1920's, from the Charles Munson Collection.Edward Lee Richmond, USS Pittsburgh (CA-4)
Thatcher 61kThatcher (DD-162) at the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, 14 January 1919. Panoramic photograph by J. Crosby, Naval Photographer, # 11 Portland Street, Boston. Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 99264Tony Cowart
Thatcher 291kDestroyers Thatcher (Destroyer No. 162), Palmer (Destroyer No. 161), and Ramsay (Destroyer No. 124) moored at Balboa, Panama, 25 July 1919.Dave Wright
Thatcher 152kThatcher underway, circa 1919-1921. Naval History & Heritage COmmand photo NH 41953.Tony Cowart
Thatcher 78kUSS Cuyama (Oiler No. 3) at Acapulco, Mexico, circa 1919 with several destroyers alongside, from left to center: USS Walker (Destroyer # 163); USS Crosby (Destroyer # 164); and USS Thatcher (Destroyer # 162). USS Gamble (Destroyer # 123) is moored along Cuyama's port side. Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 85033, courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1976.Tony Cowart
On Canadian Service
The Royal Canadian Navy commissioned HMCS Niagara at Halifax on 26 September 1940 and after some initial escort work locally from the port, she was sent to Devonport for refit, arriving 30 November. The work, trials, and defects plus a Tobermory work up occupied her until April 1941, then joining 4th escort Group based at Greenock, sailing with her first convoy (OB306) on 5 April 1941. On formation of the Newfoundland Escort Force HMCS Niagara returned to Canadian waters and operated from St. John's, NF. On 28 August 1941 she was involved with the capture of U570, which had surrendered to a RAF Hudson the previous day. A two-month refit at Halifax from 15 September preceded her return to North Atlantic escort duties; but the ship received weather damage on 12 January 1942 whiule escort Triton (also weather damaged) and in consequence she had to repair on the Clyde from 14 January 1942 to 10 February 1942, prior to returning to Halifax to join WLEF. Here she was involved in two rescues; survivors from the wrecked American Independence Hall on 9 March off Sable Island, and recovering two boats from Rio Blanco in April 1942.As in so many Towns, boiler defects intervened and kept the ship in Halifax during May and July 1942, after which she resumed WLEF duties. In May 1943 she became part of W2, but increasing defects restricted her activities more and more as time passed. Finally in January 1944, the RCN decided to limit her services to that of torpedo training ship based at Halifax, and she saw out the rest of her service there, being listed for disposal on 15 September 1945, placed on the sale list 27 May 1946 and finally broken up at the end of 1947
Thatcher 95kUndated, HMCS Niagara (I 57) in the wardroom, officers enjoy a quiet spell while awaiting orders to put to sea. Photo taken by Lt. H.W. Tomlin, Royal Navy official photographer. Image from the Collections of the Imperial War Museums. Photo # A 3292.Robert Hurst
Thatcher 102kUndated, HMCS Niagara, down on the mess deck members of the "Red" watch play cards. Photo taken by Lt. H.W. Tomlin, Royal Navy official photographer. Image from the Collections of the Imperial War Museums. Photo # A3296.Robert Hurst
Thatcher 62kUndated, HMCS Niagara, up on the signal deck, Signalmen receive a signal instructing the Commanding Officer to take his ship to sea. Photo taken by Lt. H.W. Tomlin, Royal Navy official photographer. Image from the Collections of the Imperial War Museums. Photo # A3301.Robert Hurst
Thatcher 65kUndated, HMCS Niagara, the First Lieutenant, a veteran of the last war makes the rounds of the ship. Photo taken by Lt. H.W. Tomlin, Royal Navy official photographer. Image from the Collections of the Imperial War Museums. Photo # A3306.Robert Hurst
Thatcher 75kUndated, HMCS Niagara (I.57) attached to mooring buoy, location unknown. Photo taken by Lt H. W. Tomlin, Royal Navy official photographer. Photo # A. 3290 from the collections of the Imperial War Museum.Robert Hurst
Thatcher 108kUndated photo of the HMCS Niagara (I 57) attached to mooring buoy at an unknown location. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection by Tomlin, H.W. (Lt), Photo No. IWM (A 3288).Mike Green
Thatcher 95kWhen at sea the Captain can only leave the bridge for brief snatches of sleep. Here is the Commanding Officer of HMCS Niagara (I 57) having a well earned nap, but fully clothed ready for instant summons from the bridge. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection by Tomlin H.W. (Lt), Photo No. IWM(A 3287).Mike Green
Thatcher 89kHMCS Niagara in the standard 'Town' class camouflage scheme applied during her devonport refit in December 1940. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection, Photo No. IWM (A 3289).Robert Hurst/Mike Green
Thatcher 71kHMCS Niagara after further refit. Probably photographed in southern waters away from operations, certainly prior to January 1943.Robert Hurst
Thatcher 69kHMCS Niagara underway circa 1941. Astern of her is the Type VIIc U-boat U 570 that had not yet officially surrendered to the RN because the seas were to rough to launch boats. She finally surrendered to Lieutenant H B Campbell of the trawler HMS Kingston Agate. She was subsequently commissioned into the RN as HMS/m Graph.Robert Hurst

View This Vessels DANFS History entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

LCDR Henry Mylin Kieffer    Jan 14 1919 - Jan 25 1919

LCDR Francis Warren Rockwell    Jan 25 1919 - Feb 5 1919 (Later VADM)

CDR Lawrence Penfield Treadwell    Feb 5 1919 - Mar 10 1920  

LT William Earl Miller    Mar 10 1920 - Feb 15 1921

LTJG Gordon Macalister Jackson    Feb 15 1921 - Jan 9 1922 

ENS Nathan Green, Jr.    Jan 9 1922 - Feb 18 1922

LTJG Norman Elwood Millar    Feb 18 1922 - Jun 7 1922

(Decommissioned June 7 1922 - December 18 1939)

LCDR Henry Edward Richter    Dec 18 1939 - Sep 24 1940

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 27 October 2018br>