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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NIFJ

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 Steel, San Francisco on July 4 1918.
Launched December 5 1918 and commissioned March 31 1920.
Decommissioned April 6 1930.
Stricken November 18 1930.
Fate Sold March 19 1931 and broken up for scrap.

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Percival 28kJohn Percival known to some as "Mad Jack" or "Roaring Jack" (3 April 1779, - 7 September 1862) was an officer in the United States Navy during the Quasi-War with France, the War of 1812, the campaign against West Indies pirates, and the Mexican-American War. Born in West Barnstable, Massachusetts, Percival left home at thirteen to work as a cabin boy on a Boston coaster. He later served in the U.S. Navy in the Quasi-War as a master’s mate and midshipman, and then entered the merchant service. He was impressed by the Royal Navy and sent to HMS Victory under Lord Jervis. When placed on a Spanish prize, Percival led an uprising and escaped to the American merchant ship Washington. In 1809, he returned to the U.S. Navy as a sailing master and was assigned to the Syren, part of the New York flotilla under Captain Jacob Lewis. He commanded Gunboat No. 6 and borrowed the fishing smack "Yankee" on the Fourth of July in 1812, using it to capture HMS Eagle, tender of 74-gun HMS Poictiers. Percival joined Peacock, on 9 March 1814, and made three cruises capturing nineteen merchantmen and two warships, HMS Epervier and Nautilus. For his gallantry in the capture of HMS Epervier, he was promoted to Lieutenant and awarded a special sword by Congress. In 1826, he sailed the USS Dolphin into the far reaches of the uncharted Pacific to track down the mutineers of the whaleship Globe. He returned by way of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), the first American naval visit to that location. Promoted to captain in 1841, he first saved and restored the USS Constitution and then sailed the fabled warship around the world in 1844-46, Old Ironsides' only circumnavigation. Percival's legendary reputation is enhanced by the fact that his first naval ship - the Victory - and his last naval ship - the Constitution - remain national shrines in Britain and the U.S., respectively. Herman Melville and James Michener based characters in their novels on this colorful skipper, and Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about him. He was known by the nickname of Mad Jack (attributable to his intense command style); the folk band Schooner Fare wrote and performs "The Ballad of Mad Jack", which relates incidents from his life. He nurtured in a fatherly manner a generation of midshipmen who rose to prominence in the U.S. Navy of the American Civil War era. He died with the rank of Captain 7 September 1862 in Dorchester, Massachusetts and is buried near his birthplace in West Barnstable.Bill Gonyo
Percival 80kUndated, location unknown.Jerry Crow
Percival 231kSeptember 30 1919 at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., San Francisco. From the John Dickey collection.Ed Zajkowski
Percival 40kUSS Percival (DD-298) steaming at high speed while laying a smokescreen, during exercises in about 1920-1921. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1967. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Percival 115kAmerican Legion Celebration, Astoria, Oregon, with the Navy ships - USAT South Bend (ID-4019 Smoking), USS Birmingham (CL-2), USS Fuller (DD-297), USS John Francis Burnes (DD-299), USS Babbitt (DD-128), USS Somers (DD-301) and USS Percival (DD-298), July 30 1920. The photo is signed - Jarrs, Astoria.Tommy Trampp
Percival 97kUSS Percival (DD-298), USS Somers (DD-301) and USS John Francis Burnes (DD-299) circa early 1920's possibly in Bremerton, WA. From the collection of Aijiro Tashiro.Stephen Tashiro
Percival 122kBound for Australia, 1925.Ted Kierscey
Percival 84kUSS Percival (DD-298) anchored off Melbourne, Australia, circa April-September 1925. USS Decatur (DD-341) is anchored in the background. Source: State Library Victoria, Photo No. H91.325/423Allen Greene / Mike Green
Percival 71kPhoto #: NH 42899: USS Percival (DD-298) underway in harbor, during the middle or later 1920s. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fabio Peña
Percival 60kUSS Percival (DD-298) underway at sea during the middle or later 1920s. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Percival 135kDestroyers moored together at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, circa 1925 The ships present include (from right to left): USS Somers (DD-301); USS Farragut (DD-300); USS John Francis Burnes (DD-299); USS Percival (DD-298); and USS Stoddert (DD-302). The outboard destroyer (furthest to the left) can not be identified. Photograph from the Albert Chamberlain photo album, donated by Colonel Carl Mahakian, USMCR, 1975. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Percival 130kThere is a custom to paint on the rocks in Ketchikan, Alaska the name, dates and Captain of ships that docked there. The picture shows the close up of the painting that crewmembers of the U.S.S. Percival did on July 3, 1928 along with Captain Gatch's name.Daniel DeMack
Percival 59kFrom the collection of CDR August Billig, USS Decatur (DD-341), USS Somers (DD-301), USS John Francis Burnes (DD-299), USS Farragut (DD-300), USS Percival (DD-298), USS Wiliam Jones (DD-308) and USS Zeilin (DD-313) circa the early 1930's.Bruce Billig

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

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Raymond Ames Spruance    Mar 1 1920 - May 2 1922 (Later ADM)

LCDR Calvin Hayes Cobb    May 2 1922 - Apr 1925 (Later VADM)

CDR Leo Francis Welch    Jun 23 1925 - May 27 1927

LCDR Thomas Leigh Gatch    May 27 1927 - Apr 6 1930 (Later VADM)

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 30 January 2018