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Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NIFN

Built to Bath plans, built by Newport News, these Wickes versions were
slightly heavier but had a good cruising radius.
Displacement 1,213 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 2 x 3"/23AA, 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 24,900 SHP; Direct Drive Turbines with Geared Cruising Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 101.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding on March 23 1918.
Launched July 4 1918 and commissioned April 25 1919.
Decommissioned June 30 1922, Recommissioned June 17 1940.
Decommissioned September 23 1940.
To Great Britain September 23 1940, renamed HMS St. Albans (I15).
Stricken January 8 1941.
To Soviet Union July 16 1944, renamed Dostoiny (Rus. "Worthy").
Fate Returned to Great Britain February 28 1949 and broken up.

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Thomas 79kClarence Crase Thomas was born on 26 December 1886 in Grass Valley, Calif. and was appointed midshipman on 7 July 1904 and graduated from the United States Naval Academy on 5 June 1908. After service in armored cruiser Maryland and gunboat Yorktown, he was commissioned ensign on 29 June 1910. In the next few years, Thomas served in Denver, Cleveland, and West Virginia. Appointed lieutenant (jg.) on 26 June 1913, he was detached from West Virginia in the summer of 1914 to attend a post-graduate course in steam engineering at the Naval Academy. He attended Columbia University in late 1915 and, on 24 June 1916, reported on board Florida as her electrical officer. Thomas was commissioned lieutenant on 8 January 1917 and, about a fortnight after the United States entered World War I, was placed in charge of the naval armed guard on the merchant steamship SS Vacuum in April. On the 28th, when a lookout reported sighting a German submarine, some 120 miles west of the Hebrides Islands, Lt. Thomas went to the ship's after gun. A few moments later, a torpedo from U-21 struck Vacuum, and exploded, throwing Thomas and the gun's crew into the water. The ship sank within two minutes. Picked up by a boat, Thomas soon died of cold and exposure. He was the first United States naval officer to lose his life in the war with Germany and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross "for distinguished service in the line of his profession as commander of the armed guard crew of the . . . Vacuum." Photo Courtesy of the United States Naval Academy.Bill Gonyo/Robert M. Cieri
Thomas 44kUndated, location unknown.-
Thomas 130kUndated, at Bar Harbor, Maine. From the collection of Acadia National Park.Jonathan Eno
Thomas 55kNH 78134: USS Thomas (Destroyer # 182/DD-182). Underway, circa 1920-1922. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1973. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.-
Thomas 88kCirca 1920-1922, location unknown.Marc Piché/Robert Hurst
On British Service
Commissioned at Halifax on 23 September 1940, HMS St Albans refitted at Devonport from 11 October to 1 November and then joined the 1st Minelaying Squadron at the Kyle of Lochalsh base. From here she escorted minelaying sorties, and the initial days of convoys WS4B and WS5A, prior to refitting at Chatham from 11 February to 22 April 1941. On 14 April she was transferred to the Royal Norwegian Navy for manning. Collision with (and the sinking of) the minesweeping trawler HMS Alberic on 3 May during her work up, delayed the ship's return to duty until 4 June when she joined the 7th Escort Group based at Liverpool. On 18 June she picked survivors from Empire Dew, and while with convoy SC18 took part alongwith HMS Wanderer and the corvette HMS Hydrangea in the sinking of U401 south-west of Ireland on 3 August. Damaged while with convoy ON22 on 7 October, she was partly repaired in Iceland, and then in London for a further six weeks completing in mid-December 1941. Returning to her old Group, HMS St Albans was fitted with Type 271 radar in Liverpool in March 1942, then followed this with a return convoy passage to Iceland and convoy PQ15 to Russia. During this passage, she encountered the Polish submarine Jastrzab well off station and, in company with the minesweeper HMS Seagull, attacked and sank it. HMS St Albans returned to Britain with convoy QP12 and then went to Falmouth for refit from 5 July. During this refit, HMS St Albans reverted to British manning, completed refit on 29 October and worked up at Tobermory to 8 November. Her first convoy was ON144 from which she returned with defects, arriving at Devonport on 16 November and repairing there, and at Portmouth, until the end of the year. HMS St Albans then did temporary duty with Rosyth Command as a Target Ship and rectified defects at Devonport before sailing with convoy ON177 to join WLEF at Halifax, where she served until December 1943. Returning to Britain to go into reserve with the other WLEF Towns, HMS St Albans was transferred to Russia on 16 July 1944 as Dostoinyi following a refit at Palmers from 2 June to 22 June 1944. She served with the Northern Fleet based on Kola, and returned to Britain being handed over at Rosyth on 28 February 1949. Passed to BISCo on 5 April, she was towed away to Charlestown on 18 May to be broken up by Metal Industries Ltd. (Foreign service history thanks to Robert Hurst)
Thomas 73kUndated, HMS St Albans (I 15) tied to mooring buoy, location unknown. Photo taken by unknown Royal Navy official photographer. Photo # FL 8535 from the collections of the Imperial War Museum.Robert Hurst
Thomas 69kPort quarter view of the HMNS St Albans (I 15) on April 5, 1942 at Liverpool. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection, Photo No. © IWM (A 8238).Mike Green
Thomas 57kPort bow view of the HMNS St Albans (I 15) on April 5, 1942 at Liverpool. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection, Photo No. © IWM (A 8237).Mike Green
Thomas 50kPort bow view of the HMNS St Albans (I 15) on April 5, 1942 at Liverpool. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection, Photo No. © IWM (A 8236).Mike Green
Thomas 43kPort side view of the HMNS St Albans (I 15) on April 5, 1942 at Liverpool. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection, Photo No. © IWM (A 8234).Mike Green
Thomas 78kHMS St Albans (ex-USS Thomas, DD-182) in May 1942. She has Type 271 as well as Type 291 radar, but retains the beam 4" guns. No torpedo tubes seem to be fitted, while the US-pattern 3"/23 gun mounted between 'A' gun and the bridge has been retained (Admiralty Official).Robert Hurst
Thomas 58kHMS St Albans, still flying the Norwegian Ensign, but with a new bridge, beam 4" gun replaced by 20mm Oerlikon, two new centreline 20mm Oerlikons mountings abaft fourth funnel and searchlight replaced by a final pair of 20mm Oerlikons. She now mounts triple torpedo tubes in the after position. The mast raking forward at the stern belongs to a lighter lying alongside (Admiralty Official).Robert Hurst
Thomas 60kThe Norwegian-manned 'Town' class -Group 4 destroyer HMS St. Albans (ex-USS Thomas) underway sometime in 1943, location unknown. RN Official photo.Robert Hurst
On Soviet Service
Depending on the source her name is spelled Dostoini or Dostoiny or Dostoinyi.

USS THOMAS DD-182 History
View this vessel's DANFS History entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

LCDR Harry Adrian McClure    Apr 25 1919 - Dec 10 1919 (Later COMO)

CDR Arthur Hopkins Rice Jr.    Dec 10 1919 - Jan 10 1921

LT William Isidore Lehrfeld    Jan 10 1921 - Jun 30 1922

(Decommissioned June 30 1922 - June 17 1940)

LT Jack Hayden Lewis    Jun 17 1940 - Sep 23 1940

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
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 09 February 2018