Tuesday, September 15, 2009
USS Tucker (DD-57)
Figure 1: USS Tucker (DD-57) making 30.03 knots on trials, 19 March 1916. Note the ice accumulated amidships. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 2: USS Tucker (DD-57) underway while running trials, circa 19 March 1916. Note the ice accumulated amidships. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 3: USS Tucker (DD-57) in a color-tinted photograph printed on a postal card, showing the destroyer underway in 1916 or 1917. Photographed by O.W. Waterman, and published by the Detroit Publishing Company in 1917-1918. Note the World War I "Authorized by Censor" inscription printed at the top. The original postal card was postmarked at Lynn, Massachusetts, on 12 June 1918. Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN (Retired), 1983. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 4: USS Tucker (DD-57) circa 1919, location unknown. Courtesy Robert Hurst. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 5: USCGC Tucker (CG-23) in Coast Guard service during the Prohibition Era. US Coast Guard Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 6: Coast Guard cutters Tucker (left) and Cassin (right) at the Philadelphia Navy Yard during the Prohibition Era. US Coast Guard Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 7: USCGC Tucker (CG-23) in Coast Guard service during the Prohibition Era. US Coast Guard Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Named after an American naval hero during the Revolutionary War, Samuel Tucker, USS Tucker was a 1,090-ton destroyer built by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company at Quincy, Massachusetts, and was commissioned on 11 April 1916. The ship was approximately 310 feet long and 29 feet wide, had a top speed of 29.5 knots, and had a crew of 89 officers and men. Tucker was armed with four 4-inch guns and four 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Tucker patrolled America’s East Coast and the Caribbean for a year before being sent to Great Britain in May 1917, a month after the United States entered World War I. Tucker eventually was based at Queenstown, Ireland, where she was used as a convoy escort and was assigned to various anti-submarine patrol duties as well. While working out of Queenstown, Tucker rescued a total of 86 survivors from two merchant ships that were torpedoed by German U-boats. In June 1918, Tucker was moved to Brest, France, where she continued her convoy escort duties. While based at Brest, Tucker rescued a number of survivors from a French cruiser that was sunk by a German submarine. In August 1918, Tucker also launched a depth-charge attack against a German U-boat and the British Admiralty declared that the American destroyer had “possibly sunk” the German warship, although attempts to verify the “kill” proved inconclusive.
In December 1918, Tucker returned to the United States and spent most of the next year steaming along the coast of New England. She was placed in reserve at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in October 1919 and officially was decommissioned 16 May 1921. But Tucker received a new lease on life when she was transferred to the US Coast Guard on 25 March 1926. The United States was in the middle of the famous (some would say infamous) “Prohibition Era” and the Coast Guard desperately needed ocean-going vessels to intercept illegal “rum runners” that were operating off America’s vast coastline. As a result of this urgent need for ships, the US Navy loaned the Coast Guard 20 old destroyers that were either in reserve or out of commission. Re-designated USCGC Tucker (CG-23), the ship joined what was known as the “rum patrol” and chased numerous ships and motorboats that attempted to smuggle liquor into the United States. It was tedious but sometimes dangerous duty (since most of the rum runners were armed), but Tucker remained on station off America’s East Coast for several years.
While assigned to the US Coast Guard, Tucker also took part in rescue operations off the coast of New Jersey when the airship Akron crashed on 4 April 1933. The crash claimed the lives of 73 men, but Tucker did assist another ship in rescuing three individuals. After the rescue operation was completed, Tucker brought the survivors to the New York Navy Yard.
Once Congress repealed Prohibition, Tucker was returned to the Navy on 30 June 1933. Her name was cancelled on 1 November 1933 so that it could be used for a new destroyer that was about to be built. After that, she was simply known as DD-57 and was used as a training ship based at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The ship was stricken from the Navy list on 24 October 1936 and was sold for scrapping on 10 December of that same year.
Posted by Remo at 8:25 AM