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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NIGP

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 Bethlehem Shipbuilding, Squantum Ma. on August 27 1918.
Launched May 7 1919 and commissioned August 8 1919.
Decommissioned June 10 1922, Recommissioned December 18 1939.
Decommissioned November 26 1940.
To Britain November 26 1940, renamed HMS Rockingham (G58).
Stricken January 8 1941.
Fate Struck mine September 27 1944 30 miles southeast of Aberdeen and sank while under tow.

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-Charles Swasey, born in Massachusetts, was appointed midshipman on 28 September 1854 and commissioned lieutenant on 31 August 1861. Lieutenant Swasey served aboard Varuna in the engagement with the steamer Governor Moore below New Orleans on 24 April 1862 and as executive officer of Sciota on the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Lieutenant Swasey was wounded during an engagement with Confederate forces near Donaldsville, La., on 4 October 1862 and died the same day.Robert M. Cieri
Swasey 131kUndated, USS Swasey (DD-273), USS Welles (DD-257) and USS Jacob Jones (DD-130) in the Panama Canal.Robert M. Cieri
Swasey 129kUndated port bow view of the USS Swasey (DD-273) moored at Vancouver BC. Source: City of Vancouver Archives, Photo No. AM1506-S3-2-: CVA 447-2735, by Walter E. Frost.Mike Green
Swasey 157kVictory Destroyer Plant, Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Squantum, Massachusetts, interior of the wet slips, photographed between 24 May and 21 July 1919 by Monks & Johnson, Boston, Mass. Ships whose bows are visible at right are (from front to rear): Meade (Destroyer # 274), Swasey (Destroyer # 273), Morris (Destroyer # 271), and Tingey (Destroyer # 272). Note ship components awaiting installation, and the security sign on the pole at right. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Photo #: NH 43161.Robert Hurst
Swasey 47kPhoto #: NH 100413, destroyers moored off San Diego, California, circa 1920-1922. Among the ships in this "nest" are USS MacKenzie (DD-175), USS O'Bannon (DD-177) and USS Swasey (DD-273). Courtesy of Jack Howland, 1985. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Tony Cowart
Swasey 65kUSS Swasey (Destroyer # 273, later DD-273) at anchor in port, circa 1919-1922. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Photo #: NH 92271.Robert Hurst
Swasey 135kPhoto #: NH 69516: Destroyer Division THIRTY-ONE moored together off San Diego, California, circa 1922. Photographed by the Pier Studio, San Diego. These ships are (from left to right): USS Bailey (DD-269); USS Thornton (DD-270); USS Tingey (DD-272); USS Morris (DD-271); USS Swasey (DD-273) and USS Meade (DD-274). Courtesy of ESKC Joseph L. Aguillard, USNR, 1969. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.-
Red Lead Row 195kRed Lead Row, San Diego Destroyer Base, California. Photographed at the end of 1922, with at least 65 destroyers tied up there. Ships present are identified as: (left to right, in the right diagonal row): Stansbury (DD-180); MacKenzie (DD-175); Renshaw (DD-176); Howard (DD-179); Gillis (DD-260); Tingey (DD-272); McLanahan (DD-264); Swasey (DD-273); Morris (DD-271); Bailey (DD-269); Tattnall (DD-125); Breese (DD-122); Radford (DD-120); Aaron Ward (DD-132) -- probably; Ramsey (DD-124); Montgomery (DD-121); and Lea (DD-118). (left to right, in the middle diagonal row): Wickes (DD-75); Thornton (DD-270); Meade (DD-274); Crane (DD-109); Evans (DD-78); McCawley (DD-276); Doyen (DD-280); Elliot (DD-146); Henshaw (DD-278); Moody (DD-277); Meyer (DD-279); Sinclair (DD-275); Turner (DD-259); Philip (DD-76); Hamilton (DD-141); Boggs (DD-136); Claxton (DD-140); Ward (DD-139); Hazelwood (DD-107) or Kilty (DD-137); Kennison (DD-138); Jacob Jones (DD-130); Aulick (DD-258); Babbitt (DD-128); Twiggs (DD-127); and Badger (DD-126). (left to right, in the left diagonal row): Shubrick (DD-268); Edwards (DD-265); Palmer (DD-161); Welles (DD-257); Mugford (DD-105); Upshur (DD-144); Greer (DD-145); Wasmuth (DD-338); Hogan (DD-178); O'Bannon (DD-177); and -- possibly -- Decatur (DD-341). (Nested alongside wharf in left center, left to right): Prairie (AD-5); Buffalo (AD-8); Trever (DD-339); and Perry (DD-340). Minesweepers just astern of this group are Partridge (AM-16) and Brant (AM-24). Nearest ship in the group of destroyers at far left is Dent (DD-116). The others with her are unidentified. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. : NH 42539 Robert Hurst
On British Service
HMS Rockingham arrived at Devonport to refit on 22 December 1940, completing on 22 February 1941 to join 8th Escort Group. Local work in Western Approaches continued until 14 May 1941, when increasing defects required a refit at Southampton during which Stage 2 alterations were carried out, completing on 21 August. Returning to 8th EG, HMS Rockingham escorted convoy OG74 outward on 13 September and continued with normal convoy work until December 1941. On Christmas Eve she sailed with convoy CT8 from UK to Canada, returning with another troop convoy, NA1. Further special escort duty followed, convoy CT10 to Canada, the escort of the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ausonia to Bermuda from Halifax and return in February 1942, and back to the UK with convoy NA4. HMS Rockingham completed this spell off special duty by covering part of the first leg of convoy WS17 at the end of March 1942, then reverted to normal trade convoys until going to London for refit on 23 June 1942. Completing refit and work up in mid-November 1942, HMS Rockingham commenced escort work by bringing home convoy MKF1 from the North African invasion, then resumed trade convoy protection until August 1943 when she refitted at Belfast until mid-December 1943 as an Air Target Ship. HMS Rockingham worked up at Tobermory until 11 January 1944 and was then allocated to Rosyth Command to serve the Eastern Scotland air stations. On 27 September 1944 while returning to Aberdeen, poor navigation brought her into the defensive minefields off the east coast, and after striking a mine she was abandoned and sank with the loss of one life. Please find attached a pic of HMS Rockingham (ex-USS Swasey, DD-273) in 1944 when serving as an Air Target Ship. The vertical lines on the hull are aiming points for the trainee pilots. From the cluster of ratings before the bridge, the Hedgehog has been removed, otherwise she does not seem greatly altered from her escort days when seen from this angle (Admiralty Official). (Foreign service history thanks to Robert Hurst.)
Swasey 66kUndated, location unknown. HMS Rockingham (G.58) underway. Photo # FL 12226 from the collections of the Imperial War Museum.Robert Hurst
Swasey 72kHMS Rockingham (ex-USS Swasey DD-273) underway circa 1942 was probably taken at Liverpool immediately following her London refit. Source: Imperial War Museum Admiralty Official Collection, Photo No. IWM (A 12498).Robert Hurst/Mike Green

USS SWASEY DD-273 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 Forde Anderson Todd    Aug 8 1919 - Aug 12 1920 (Later RADM)
CDR James David Willson    Aug 12 1920 - Jul 28 1921
LT Leon Buford Scott    Jul 28 1921 - Jun 10 1922
(Decommissioned June 10 1922 - December 18 1939)
LCDR Bruce Draper Kelley    Dec 18 1939 - Nov 26 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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