U.S.S. Worden (1902)

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U.S.S. Worden (1902)
Hull Number: DD-16
Builder: Maryland Steel Company[1]
Laid down: 13 Nov, 1899[2]
Launched: 15 Aug, 1902[3]
Commissioned: 31 Dec, 1902[4]
Decommissioned: 13 Jul, 1919[5]
Stricken: 15 Sep, 1919[6]
U.S.S. Worden was one of three destroyers of the Truxtun class.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Worden, the last of the original sixteen 1898 destroyers (in sequence, though not completion), was laid down on 13 November 1899 at Sparrows Point, Md., by the Maryland Steel Company. She was launched on 15 August 1901, sponsored by Mrs. Daniel F. Worden, the daughter-in-law of the ship's namesake, Rear Admiral John L. Worden.


Worden was commissioned on 31 December 1902, with Lieutenant Benjamin B. McCormick in command.

Worden passed her final acceptance trial on 18 July, 1903 and began duty with the Second Torpedo Flotilla, based at Norfolk, Virginia. For more than four years, she remained a unit of the Second Torpedo Flotilla and conducted operations along the eastern seaboard from Maine southwards.

On 18 November 1907, the warship was placed in reserve at the Norfolk Navy Yard. As a unit of the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla, she was berthed first at Norfolk and, later, at Charleston, S.C. Save for a six-month interlude from May to November of 1909 when she was returned to full commission, Lieutenant Commander Frederic N. Freeman in command, Worden remained inactive until 1912. Then, though still in reserve, she was loaned to the Pennsylvania Naval Militia for training purposes and was stationed at Philadelphia until returned to Charleston and the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla the following year.

During 1914, Worden became a tender to the Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force and continued to operate in support of submarines until March 1917 when she was sent to New York on special duty in connection with a recruiting campaign necessitated by the probability that the United States would enter World War I. In June, she was reassigned back to her own type command as a unit of Division B, Destroyer Force; however, she continued her recruiting duty at New York through the end of the year.

On 16 January, 1918, Worden got underway for Europe in company with the Hopkins and Macdonough, Paul Jones, and Stewart. She steamed with them, via Bermuda, to Ponta Delgada in the Azores, where she arrived on 29 January. There, Worden and Stewart parted company with the other three warships and put to sea again on 4 February to continue on to the French coast. They reached Brest on the 9th and soon thereafter began escorting coastal convoys and hunting for enemy U-boats. During the remaining nine months of World War I, Worden maintained a grueling schedule escorting convoys between ports on the French coast.

On 18 December 1918, about five weeks after the 11 November armistice, she stood out of Brest in company with Flusser, Stewart, and Whipple to return home. Following refueling and provisioning stops in the Azores and at Bermuda, she and her traveling companions arrived at Philadelphia on 3 January 1919. She remained in commission for a little over six months. In any event, Worden was placed out of commission there on 13 July 1919, and her name was stricken from the Naval Register on 15 September 1919.

On the first anniversary of her return home, 3 January, 1920, Worden was sold to Joseph G. Hitner, representative of the Philadelphia shipbreaking firm of Henry A. Hitner's Sons, for conversion to a motor fruit carrier for the West Indies fruit trade.[7]

Mercantile Service

Worden retained her former name while in mercantile service. On 1 May, 1942, she was steaming off the Florida coast when the nearby British freighter La Paz, en route from Liverpool, England, and Hampton Roads to Valparaiso, Chile, was torpedoed by the German submarine U-109 (Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Bleichrodt). Worden stood by the damaged vessel and towed her toward Jacksonville. Although Bleichrodt claimed both ships as sunk—Worden with a torpedo meant for La Paz—both ships survived: La Paz was salvaged and resumed service, while the Worden continuing in that trade into the post-war period, finally being broken up in 1956.[8]


See Also


  1. Friedman. U.S. Destroyers. p. 428.
  2. Friedman. U.S. Destroyers. p. 428.
  3. Friedman. U.S. Destroyers. p. 428.
  4. Friedman. U.S. Destroyers. p. 428.
  5. Friedman. U.S. Destroyers. p. 428.
  6. Friedman. U.S. Destroyers. p. 428.
  7. Layton, H. G. (June 1922). "Scrapping the Warships of the U.S. Navy." Popular Mechanics Magazine 37 (6): p. 841.
  8. Silverstone. The New Navy. p. 43.
  9. Register of Officers, 1905. p. 30.
  10. Register of Officers, 1906. p. 30.
  11. Register of Officers, 1907. p. 28.
  12. Register of Officers, 1917. p. 54.
  13. Register of Officers, 1919. pp. 52-53.


  • Chesneau, Robert; Kolesnik, Eugene (editors) (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Friedman, Norman (1985). U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. (on Amazon.com).
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (2006). The U.S. Navy Warship Series: The New Navy 1883-1922. New York: Routledge.

Truxtun Class Destroyer
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