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NavSource Naval History
Photographic History of the United States Navy
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Reuben Chase was born at Nantucket, Massachusetts, 23 June 1754, the son of Stephen and Dinah Chase. He is first mentioned in the pages of history at the age of 22 as an able seaman in the Alfred of Providence, Rhode Island, in 1776. In July 1777 he shipped with John Paul Jones in the U.S. warship Ranger and made a cruise to Europe in that ship, and his conduct in the engagement between Ranger and the British sloop-of-war Drake, in which the latter ship was captured and taken as a prize to Brest in France, received favorable mention from his commander.
Chase returned to the United States in Ranger in 1778, and in the spring of 1779 shipped in the French warship Alliance, which carried Lafayette back to France. Upon his arrival at L'Orient, where John Paul Jones was fitting out the war ship Bonhomme Richard, he was taken by Jones from the Alliance and appointed a midshipman on board the Richard. Contrary to some sources mentioning him as aboard during the fateful engagement with Serapis, Midshipman Chase was ordered by Jones to command the Irish brigantine Mayflower, which had been taken as a prize 20 August 1779, and take her to L'Orient. In December 1779, the crew of the Bonhomme Richard, which had been sunk in action with HMS Serapis 23 September 1779, were transferred to the Alliance and in her he made a cruise, returning to L'Orient in February 1780. Here he was appointed to second lieutenant in the French privateer La Bonne Adventure, which carried twenty guns, and in her he made a cruise lasting from March 1780 to September 1781, one of the most successful privateering enterprises ever recorded.
On his return to the United States Chase was enrolled at Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the new 74-gun frigate America. This ship was subsequently presented by the United States to the King of France in September 1782, and her crew, including Lieutenant Chase, were honorably discharged, ending his naval career.
He then entered the merchant service and commanded several packet ships plying between New York and European ports. In 1787 he was master of the Governor Clinton and made what was then a remarkable run, from New York to Dover Castle in nineteen days, and upon this voyage he had with him as a passenger his former commander, John Paul Jones. In 1788 he entered the whaling service as captain of the ship Union of Nantucket, and continued in this service for ten or twelve years, commanding various whalers. Leaving the sea, he, with several other Nantucketers formed a company there, owning various ships and carrying on a large business until his death at age 69, which occurred in Nantucket on 15 February 1824. Reuben Chase was noted as a large man, standing 6-foot 4-inches, and is said to be the inspiration for the character of Long Tom Chase in James Fenimore Cooper's 1824 novel "The Pilot."
Reuben Chase's gravestone in Old North Cemetery, Nantucket, Massachusetts. His epitaph reads: "He was an honest man, a revolutionary officer and pensioner." Photo by user biomedbob via findagrave.com
|USS Chase (DD-323)
|133k||U.S. Navy destroyers fitting out, At the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Union Plant, Potrero Works, San Francisco, California, on 1 April 1920. Ships present are (from left to right): Kidder (Destroyer # 319); Selfridge (Destroyer # 320); Chase (Destroyer # 323); Mervine (Destroyer # 322); Marcus (Destroyer # 321); LaVallette (Destroyer # 315); and Yarborough (Destroyer # 314). Photograph from the Collections of the U.S. National Archives. Photo #: 19-LC-38-L-3.||Robert Hurst|
|160k||Underway at sea during the 1920s, location unknown. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.||Darryl Baker/Robert Hurst|
Crewman photo collection of practicing making smoke and manuvering - circa 1920's
|109k||USS Mullany (DD-325), USS Robert Smith (DD-324), USS Chase (DD-323) and USS Mervine (DD-322) in Melbourne circa 1924.||Marc Piché|
|95k||USS Mullany (DD-325), USS Robert Smith (DD-324) and USS Chase (DD-323) in Melbourne circa 1925.||Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.|
|82k||The tender USS Melville (AD-2) with Destroyer Division 35 alongside and all are flying full colours during Navy Day in San Diego, California, 28 October 1927. From left to right are the USS MacDonough (DD-331), USS Mervine (DD-322), USS Marcus (DD-321), USS Mullany (DD-325), USS Chase (DD-323), USS Robert Smith (DD-324) and USS Selfridge (DD-320). Photo from Warship Boneyards, by Kit and Carolyn Bonner.||Robert Hurst|
|201k||Coloured postcard of five Clemson class destroyer alongside their tender about 1930 . The vessels are as follows: USS Chase (DD-323), USS Mullany (DD-235), USS Selfridge (DD-320), USS Mervine (DD-322) and USS Marcus (DD-321) alongside their unidentified tender.||Robert Hurst|
|113k||The hulk of Chase (DD-323) being dismantled at an unknown location, circa 1931-32. Note her propellers and shafts have already been removed, and the debris on the beach.||Dave Wright|
|01||LCDR Charlton Eugene Battle, Jr. (USNA 1910)||10 March 1921 - 05 August 1921|
|02||LCDR Herbert Aloysius Jones (USNA 1907)||05 August 1921 - 31 December 1923|
|03||LCDR Alan Gustavus Olson (USNA 1908)||31 December 1923 - 14 June 1926|
|04||CDR James Alexander Logan (USNA 1910)||14 June 1926 - 10 April 1929|
|05||LT Clarence Vaille Lee (USNA 1920)||10 April 1929 - 10 September 1929 (XOIC)|
|06||LCDR Thomas Earle Van Metre (USNA 1909)||10 September 1929 - 15 May 1930|
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
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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|