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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NWV

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 Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco, CA (YN 222)
Laid down 04 July 1918
Launched 28 December 1918
Commissioned 23 June 1920
Decommissioned 10 April 1930
Stricken 18 November 1930
Fate Broken up for scrap at Mare Island in 1931.

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Somers 110kRichard Somers was born at Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey, on 15 September 1778. Appointed midshipman on 25 April 1797, he served in the West Indies during the Quasi War with France in frigate United States, commanded by Captain John Barry. Promoted to lieutenant on 21 May 1799, Somers was detached from United States on 13 June 1801 and ordered to Boston on 30 July 1801. He served in the latter frigate in the Mediterranean. After Boston returned to Washington, Somers was furloughed on 11 November 1802 to await orders. On 05 May 1803, Somers was ordered to Baltimore to man, fit out, and command Nautilus, and when that schooner was ready for sea, to sail her to the Mediterranean. Nautilus got underway on 30 June, reached Gibraltar on 27 July, and sailed four days later to Spain. He then returned to Gibraltar to meet Commodore Edward Preble, in Constitution, who was bringing a new squadron for action against the Barbary pirates. Nautilus sailed with Preble on 06 October to Tangier, where the display of American naval strength induced the Europeans of Morocco to renew the treaty of 1786. Thereafter, Tripoli became the focus of Preble's attention. Somers' service as commanding officer of Nautilus during operations against Tripoli won him promotion to master commandant on 18 May 1804. In the summer, he commanded a division of gunboats during five attacks on Tripoli. On 04 September 1804, Somers assumed command of bomb ketch Intrepid which had been fitted out as a "floating volcano" to be sailed into Tripoli harbor and blown up in the midst of the corsair fleet close under the walls of the city. That night, she got underway into the harbor, but she exploded prematurely, killing Somers and his entire crew of volunteers. Somers is buried in Tripoli, alongside the bodies of other sailors recovered from the explosion. DD-301 was the fourth of six US Navy vessels named in his honor.Bill Gonyo
USS Somers (DD-301)
185kUSS Somers (Destroyer No. 301) underway with another unidentified destroyer on the West Coast, soon after commissioning (note her unshaded bow number).Dave Wright
Somers 185kUSS Somers (Destroyer No. 301) making smoke with an unidentified destroyer aft, circa 1920.
Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
Darryl Baker
Somers 115kAssorted vessels at the American Legion Celebration in Astoria, Oregon, 30 July 1920. The vessels are left to right: USAT South Bend (making smoke), 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). The photo is signed - Jarrs, Astoria.Tommy Trampp
Somers 139kUSS Somers (DD-301) moored at Vancouver, British Columbia, probably while carrying staff of President Warren G. Harding during the president's Alaskan trip in July 1923.
City of Vancouver Archives, Photo No. AM1506-S3-1-: CVA 447-2875, by Walter E. Frost
Mike Green
Somers 73kMoored in full dress at Vancouver, 26 July 1923.Ron Reeves
Somers 97kUSS Percival (DD-298), USS Somers (DD-301) and USS John Francis Burnes (DD-299) moored at at unknown location (possibly Bremerton, WA) circa early 1920's. From the collection of Aijiro Tashiro.Stephen Tashiro
Somers 308kUSS Somers (DD-301) underway in an unidentified harbor, circa 1923-1930.
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 42193
Fabio Peņa
Somers 96kUSS Somers (DD-301) underway at very low speed, location unknown, circa 1923-1930.
naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 98020
Fabio Peņa
Somers 55kDestroyers at anchor in Culebra Bay, Puerto Rico, during the 1920s. Identifiable ships present include: USS Somers (DD-301), at right; USS Reno (DD-303), at left; USS Henshaw (DD-278), left center; USS Flusser (DD-289), beyond Henshaw; USS Sinclair (DD-275), center.
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 98019, collection of Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, USN
Fred Weiss
Somers 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.
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 82564, photograph from the Albert Chamberlain photo album, donated by Colonel Carl Mahakian, USMCR, 1975.
Fred Weiss
Somers 526kUSS Somers (DD-301) escorting USS Langley (CV-1) off San Diego, CA, 1928.
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 81279, collection of Lieutenant Gustave J. Freret, USN (Retired), 1972.
Joe Radigan
Somers 59kUSS 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) nested together, circa the early 1930's.From the collection of CDR August Billig.Bruce Billig
Somers 83kUnderway, location unknown, circa 1930s.David Buell

USS SOMERS DD-301 History
View This Vessels DANFS History entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Henry Chalfant Gearing Jr.    Jun 23 1920 - Oct 10 1921

LTJG Jens Nelson    Oct 10 1921 - Oct 21 1921

CDR William Peace Gaddis    Oct 21 1921 - Dec 4 1923

LCDR Ernest Ludolph Gunther    Dec 4 1923 - Jun 27 1927 (Later RADM)

LCDR Samuel Gunnel Moore    Jun 27 1927 - Oct 6 1927

LT Theodore Thomas Patterson    Oct 6 1927 - Jun 1 1928

LCDR David Hunt Stuart    Jun 1 1928 - Jun 7 1929

CDR Frank Thompson Leighton    Jun 7 1929 - Apr 10 1930 (Later RADM)

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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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 14 February 2021