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USS SEMMES (DD-189 / AG-24)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NAFZ

Basic repeat Wickes Class, with 35% more fuel capacity to improve endurance problems,
designed radius was 4900 nautical miles at 15 Knots.
Displacement 1,215 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 1 x 3"/23AA, 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 26,500 SHP; Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 114
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding on July 10 1918.
Launched December 21 1918 and commissioned February 21 1920.
Decommissioned July 17 1922.
Loaned to the Coast Guard as CG-20 April 25 1932 and returned April 20 1934.
Recommissioned April 20 1934.
Reclassified Auxiliary AG-24 July 1 1935. Semmes then became a test bed for
sonar equipment and testing of anti submarine warfare tactics into 1940.
Semmes appears in the 1943 movie Crash Dive with Dana Andrews and Tyrone Power.
Decommissioned at Philadelphia on June 2 1946.
Stricken July 3 1946.
Fate Sold November 25 1946 to Northern Metals, Philadelphia and broken up for scrap.

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Size Image Description Contributed
Semmes 46kRaphael Semmes, born on 27 September 1809 in Charles County, Md., was appointed midshipman in the United States Navy on 1 April 1826. After initial duty in Lexington in the Mediterranean Squadron, he attended the Naval School at Norfolk, Va.; then served on the Mediterranean, West Indian, South American, and Florida stations; conducted a hydrographic survey of Narragansett Bay; and served in various capacities at the Washington Navy Yard. During the Mexican War, he served as commanding officer of Somers until that ship's loss; then became flag lieutenant under Commodore Conner. He participated in the siege of Vera Cruz and the expedition against Tuxpan and accompanied General Scott's army to Mexico City. Promoted to Commander on 14 September 1855, he was subsequently appointed Light House Inspector of the 8th Light House District and served on the Light House Board until 1861. With the secession of Alabama, his adopted home state, Semmes resigned his commission in the United States Navy on 15 February 1861. He subsequently served in the Confederate States Navy and, after commanding the raiders Sumter and Alabama, was appointed Rear Admiral and given the command of the James River Squadron, which he destroyed during the evacuation of Richmond. After the war, he taught at the Louisiana State Seminary; edited the Memphis Daily Bulletin; and practiced law in Mobile..Bill Gonyo
Semmes 45kUndated, location unknown.Paul Rebold
Semmes 114kUSS Semmes (Destroyer # 189) at anchor, probably in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1919-1920. Collection of Gustave Maurer. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Photo #: NH 2214.Robert Hurst/Paul Rebold
Semmes 55kNewspaper clipping from the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger date October 14 1920.Mike Mohl
Semmes 191kChristmas dinner menu, at Norfolk December 25 1920.Alan Butler
Semmes 243kIn Drydock circa 1920's.Alan Butler
As CG-20
Semmes 52kOn Coast Guard service during the Prohibition Era, from the Official Coast Guard Website.Mike Green
As AG-24
Semmes 113kBased on the East Coast from 1935 until her retirement after WW2, the Semmes was a sonar test ship during the late 30's and added escorting, training and anti-submarine patrols to her mission after the start of WW2, based out of Key West. She is shown here on April 12, 1945, off the Charleston Navy Yard, in her final configuration. Except for the single aft 3"/50 gun, she has had most of her original armament removed. In common with her anti-submarine role, she carries a Hedgehog forward, four depth charge throwers and her stern depth charge racks at the stern. She only carries a surface search radar, the new SU model.-
Semmes 77kUnderway at low speed off New York City, 29 April 1939.Paul Rebold/Robert Hurst
Semmes 56kCharleston Navy Yard, April 12 1945.Robert Hall

USS SEMMES DD-189 / AG-24 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

CDR Homer Hine Norton    Feb 21 1920 - Jul 27 1921
LCDR Romuald Peter Paul Moclewski    Jul 27 1921 - Jul 17 1922
(Decommissioned July 17 1922 - May 14 1934)
LTJG Martin Joseph Drury    May 14 1934 - May 29 1936 
LT David Winchester Hardin    May 29 1936 - May 28 1938 
LCDR Richard Gunter McCool    May 28 1938 - May 15 1939
LCDR David Ryerson Hull    May 15 1939 - Dec 10 1940
LT Christian Levin Engleman    Dec 12 1940 - Jan 13 1941
LCDR William Lee Pryor Jr.    Jan 13 1941 - Dec 11 1942
CDR William Izard Bull    Dec 11 1942 - Dec 31 1943
CDR Robert Lee Wilson    Dec 31 1943 - Aug 4 1944
LCDR Frank Lewis Fullaway    Aug 4 1944 - Aug 23 1945
LT John Henry Geyer    Aug 23 1945 - Jun 2 1946

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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