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USS WHIPPLE (DD-217 / AG-117)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NUNL

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
Built by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, PA (YN 483)
Laid down 12 June 1919
Launched 06 November 1919
Commissioned 23 April 23 1920
Reclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary AG-117 30 June 1945
Decommissioned 09 November 1945
Stricken from Naval Register 05 December 1945
Fate Sold and broken up for scrap, 1946

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Size Image Description Contributed
Whipple 35kAbraham Whipple, 1733-1819, American Revolutionary naval officer, b. Providence, R.I. In 1759-60, as captain of the privateer Game Cock in the French and Indian Wars, he captured numerous prizes. Whipple commanded the party of Rhode Islanders that captured and burned the British revenue cutter Gaspee in Narragansett Bay in 1772, one of the most provocative instances of resistance to the British in the pre-Revolutionary period. At the beginning of the American Revolution he was made commodore of Rhode Island's small fleet and then became fourth-ranking captain in the Continental navy. With the Columbus in 1776 he fought the first sea fight of the war. In 1778, Whipple, commanding the Providence, evaded the British blockade of Narragansett Bay and carried important government dispatches to France. His most daring exploit occurred in 1779 when, as commander of several vessels, he encountered the large, well-protected British Jamaica fleet. Whipple, concealing the guns of his flagship, the Providence, hoisted the British flag and fell in with the fleet for several days. Each night he cut out one of the merchant ships, manned it from his own crew, and sent it to an American port. Eight of the 11 captured ships reached port, making this one of the richest hauls of the war. In 1780 he was charged with the naval defense of Charleston, S.C.; the city fell and Whipple was captured and held prisoner for the rest of the war.Bill Gonyo
USS Whipple (DD-217)
Whipple 40kUndated, location unknown.Paul Rebold
Whipple 66kUndated, location unknown. Digital ID: ggbain 36377, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.Bill Gonyo
Whipple 174kUndated, location unknown. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Whipple 76kUndated, Starboard side view of the USS Whipple (DD-217) at Sydney, NSW, Australia. Except for the Measure 21 camouflage scheme, the ship has no major wartime modifications. Source: Australian War Memorial, Photo No. 302772.Mike Green
Whipple 105kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Whipple 113kUndated, USS Whipple (DD-217) and USS Borie (DD-215) in drydock in Olongapo, Philippines.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Whipple 117kThe launching November 6 1919. From the book The Ships of the United States Navy and their Sponsors 1913-1923.-
Whipple 119kNest of destroyers moored off Dolmabahçe Palace upriver from Istanbul circa 1919.Cüneyt Demir
Whipple   Whipple
Circa 1920, in drydock in Constantinople (Istanbul). Second photo is the CO and XO. From the collection of CDR Richard F. Bernard.
Kristina Magill
Whipple 110kUSS Whipple (DD-217) passing under the Levensau Bridge, while transiting the Kiel Canal, Germany in 1927. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Photo #: NH 67475.Robert Hurst
Whipple 74kPhoto #: 80-G-1025121, USS Black Hawk (AD-9) at Manila, Philippine Islands, 15 November 1935, with four destroyers and USS Heron (AM-10) nested alongside. The four destroyers are (from left to right): USS Whipple (DD-217); USS John D. Edwards (DD-216); USS Smith Thompson (DD-212); and USS Barker (DD-213). All ships are "full dressed" with flags in honor of the inauguration of Philippine President Manuel Quezon. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.Tony Cowart
Whipple 80kWhile on exercises in Subic Bay during the spring of 1936, Whipple (DD-217) and Smith Thompson (DD-212) collided on 14 April. The latter suffered such serious damage in the mishap that she had to be scrapped. As a consequence, Whipple, whose own bow had been bent around until it faced sternward, received Smith-Thompson's undamaged bow and soon reentered active service.Donald Nicholson
Smith Thompson   Smith Thompson   Smith Thompson
USS Smith-Thompson (DD-212)

Whipple   Whipple
USS Whipple (DD-217)

Views of the aftermath of the collision, April 14 1936.
Don Kehn, Jr.
Whipple 145kNational Archives photo 19-N-16498. USS Whipple (DD 217) with USS Smith Thompson (DD 212) along side at Subic Bay in April 1936.Darryl Baker
Whipple 125kNational Archives photo 80-G-1024964. The bow of the USS Whipple (DD 217) bow at Subic Bay in April 1936.Darryl Baker
Whipple 87kNational Archives photo 80-G-451214. Bow on view of USS Whipple (DD 217) at Subic Bay in April 1936.Darryl Baker
Whipple 146kUSS Whipple (DD 217) and USS Smith Thompson (DD-212) at Subic Bay in April 1936. From the collection of LCDR Rayborn M. Hall USN who served aboard the USS Bulmer (DD-222) during this incident.Nancy Hall Anderson
Whipple 146kAs aboveNancy Hall Anderson
Whipple 241kAs aboveNancy Hall Anderson
Whipple 202kAs aboveNancy Hall Anderson
Smith Thompson & Whipple   Smith Thompson & Whipple   Smith Thompson & Whipple   Smith Thompson & Whipple
More scenes of the aftermath of the collision
Navy Memorial via Richard Lillie & Don Kehn, Jr.
Whipple 108kSurvivors of USS Langley (AV-3) pictured on board the destroyer USS Whipple (DD-217). On 22 February 1942, USS Langley (AV-3), a seaplane tender that before her conversion had been the Navy's first aircraft carrier, departed Fremantle, Australia,with 32 Army Air Corps P-40 fighters aboard. Her mission was to deliver them to Tjilatjap, Java. Early in the morning of February 27th, Langley rendezvoused with her escorts, the destroyers Whipple (DD-217) and Edsall (DD-219). At 1140 nine Japanese twin-engine bombers appeared overhead, and commenced bombing runs against the ship. The unlucky tender took five bomb hits, which set aircraft on her deck afire and damaged her steering. Eventually she went dead in the water, her engines flooded. CDR Robert P. McConnell, Langley's skipper, issued the order to abandon ship at 1332, and once all survivors had departed the ship, the escorting destroyers tried to send her to the bottom with gunfire and torpedoes. The oiler Pecos(AO-6) attempted to take aboard Langley survivors from the destroyers Whipple and Edsall on the afternoon of February 27th and the morning of Feb. 28th at Christmas Island but a raid by Japanese bombers interrupted the effort. The three ships then steamed out of range of enemy air bases, and completed the transfer of survivors on March 1st. However, at noon on that day planes from the Japanese carriers Soryu, Hiryu, and Akagi made a series of raids against the ship, eventually sending her to the bottom. Whipple rescued 232 survivors. Photo courtesy ofthe National Naval Aviation Museum.Bill Gonyo
Whipple 301kFour views of the Whipple at Mare Island on August 9 1942. From the John Dickey collection.Ed Zajkowski
Whipple 300kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Whipple 297kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Whipple 129kUSS Whipple (DD-217) and USS Alden (DD-211) at Mare Island on August 9 1942. From the John Dickey collection.Ed Zajkowski
Whipple 112kUSS Whipple (DD 217) off Mare Island on August 10 1942. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Whipple 131kUSS Whipple (DD 217) off Mare Island on September 22 1942. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Whipple 48kCaptain's Inspection, about July 29 1943, in port at Casablanca, Morocco. Personnel identifiable are: CO, LCDR Vincent J. MEOLA and directly behind him is Chief Boatswain's Mate SNIDER and Yeoman WESTFALL.Harvey WESTFALL, LCDR, USN, (Retired)
Whipple 85kJanuary 15, 1944 photo getting ready to refuel from escort carrier.Bill Gonyo
Whipple 134kUndated, War time image. (Same time frame as above)-
Whipple 52kAs the AG-117, location unknown.Paul Rebold
Whipple 97kNine U.S destroyers in one of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard's drydocks. Five of the destroyers being scrapped are old flush deckers including the USS Whipple (DD-217) and the USS Stringham (DD-83). The other four are Porter-class destroyer leaders built in the 1930s. The photograph was taken on 14 March 1946 (Author's Collection). Photo from Warship Boneyards, by Kit and Carolyn Bonner.Robert Hurst

USS WHIPPLE DD-217 / AG-117 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
01LT Richard Feild Bernard (USNA 1907)23 April 1920 - 17 October 1922
02CDR Frank Jack Fletcher (USNA 1906)17 October 1922 - 10 August 1923
03LCDR Guy Carlton Barnes (USNA 1908)10 August 1923 - 18 April 1924
04LCDR James Madison Doyle (USNA 1909)18 April 1924 - 24 April 1925
05LCDR Earl Winfield Spencer, Jr. (USNA 1910)24 April 1925 - 18 May 1926
06LCDR Miles Permenter Refo, Jr. (USNA 1910)18 May 1926 - 16 May 1927
07CDR Francis Alfred Leopold Vossler (USNA 1907)16 May 1927 - 25 June 1928
08LCDR Emory Percival Eldredge (USNA 1912)25 June 1928 - 09 April 1930
09LCDR George Cascaden Kriner (USNA 1915)09 April 1930 - 23 August 1931
10LCDR John Hayes Jenkins (USNA 1917)23 August 1931 - 10 March 1934
11LCDR John Bacon McDonald, Jr. (USNA 1919)10 March 1934 - 12 May 1936
12LCDR Thomas Greenhow Williams Settle (USNA 1919)12 May 1936 - 10 March 1937
13LCDR Willis Williamson Pace (USNA 1919)10 March 1937 - 15 January 1939
14LCDR Rupert Meyrick Zimmerli (USNA 1921-A)15 January 1939 - 21 March 1939
15CDR John Ernest Reinberg, Jr. (USNA 1916)21 March 1939 - 11 June 1939
16LCDR James Powell Clay (USNA 1922)11 June 1939 - 05 October 1939
17LCDR Rupert Meyrick Zimmerli (USNA 1921-A)05 October 1939 - 25 January 1940
18LCDR Charles Stillman Weeks (USNA 1925)25 January 1940 - 15 March 1941
19LCDR Eugene Simon Karpe (USNA 1926)15 March 1941 - 29 June 1942
20LCDR Vincent James Meola (USNA 1931)29 June 1942 - 05 September 1943
21LCDR Sanford Elza Woodard (USNA 1937)05 September 1943 - 30 October 1944
22LT Richard Norman Reeves (D) USNR30 October 1944 - 03 September 1945
23LT Joseph William Leimert (D) USNR03 September 1945 - 09 November 1945

Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Jim Willson
Address: 709 N. Indigo Terrace, Jacksonville, FL 32259
Phone: 904-287-3963

Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
USS Whipple website
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 13 September 2020