Joseph Cabell Breckinridge was born in Fort Monroe, Va., 6 March 1872 and graduated from the Academy in 1895. He served in the battleship Texas, where on several occasions, he displayed remarkable coolness and ability in times of peril. While serving in Cushing, Ensign Breckinridge was washed overboard and drowned in Cuban waters 11 February 1898.
(DD 148: dp. 1154; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'; s. 35.2 k.; cpl. 111; a. 4 4", 2 3", 12 21" TT.; cl. Wickes)
Breckinridge (DD 148) was launched 17 August 1918 by William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; sponsored by Miss Genevieve Dudley Breckinridge, a niece of Ensign Breckinridge; and commissioned 27 February 1919, Commander A. L. Bristol in command.
Breckinridge joined the Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, operating in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She was employed along the east coast principally in the development and tests of sonar devices until placed out of commission in reserve at Philadelphia 30 June 1922. Recommissioned in May 1930, Breckinridge served with the Scouting Force, U. S. Fleet, along the east coast until late in 1932. She sailed for the Pacific where she served with the Scouting Force from Alaska to Pearl Harbor. In May 1936 she was assigned to Training Squadron 10 and operated along the east coast and in Cuban waters until September 1936 when she was placed out of commission in reserve. After three years out of commission at Philadelphia, she was recommissioned in September 1939 and served with Division 66, Atlantic Squadron, on the Neutrality Patrol. In December 1940 she was assigned to the Inshore Patrol Station, C.Z. Subsequent to May 1941 Breckinridge was based at Key West, Fla., patrolling and conducting underwater experiments and scheduled exercises.
Breckinridge operated under Commander, Caribbean Sea Frontier, on patrol and escort duties until December 1943 when she was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. She joined TG 21.13, a hunter-killer group, 14 January 1944 for mid-Atlantic antisubmarine sweeps. Returning to Norfolk 27 February after an uneventful operation, TG 21.13 was dissolved and Breckinridge proceeded to Boston for overhaul. On 22 March 1944 she returned to Norfolk and reported to TF 65 to escort a convoy across the Atlantic. Departing 24 March 1944, the convoy reached the Mediterranean with no interference. However, on 11-12 April numerous German planes attacked the convoy inflicting damage to Holder (DE 401).
Breckinridge returned to Boston 11 May 1944. On 27 May she reported for duty to Commander, Caribbean Sea Frontier, and operated in the vicinity of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, until 7 February 1945 when she returned to duty with the Atlantic Fleet. After undergoing overhaul at Boston Navy Yard between 10 February and 31 March she commenced operations at New London, Conn., as flagship of Destroyer Division 54.
On 30 June 1945 Breckinridge was reclassified a miscellaneous auxiliary AG 112. After a short conversion period at the New York Navy Yard Annex, Bayoone, N.J., she sailed for the pacific, reaching San Diego 21 August. On 24 August she reported to Commander, Carrier Division 12, for duty as plane guard and escort vessel. Breckinridge operated in that capacity until decommissioned 30 November 1945. She was sold 31 October 1946.
Breckinridge received one battle star for her World War II service.
12 December 2005