Lewis Ashfield Kimberly was born 22 April 1838, in Troy, N.J., and was appointed a Midshipman 8 December 1946. From 1847 to 1860 he was in the African, Pacific, and East-India Squadrons. During the Civil War he served on Potomac in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, and took part in the Mississippi River operations at Port Hudson, Grand Gulf, and Vicksburg. He was Executive Officer of Hartford, in the Battle of Mobile Bay, and was warmly commended for gallant and efficient service.
During the period 1866 to 1889 he cruised in European, Atlantic, Pacific, and East Indian waters. He commanded Canonicus, Monongahela, and Omaha, before assuming the Presidency of the Naval Examining Board in 1885 with the rank of Commodore. On 11 April 1887, he took command of the Asiatic Station, and 2 months later was promoted to Rear Admiral. While Commander in Chief of the Pacific station, he was unable to save his flagship Trenton for a violent typhoon which struck Samoa 15 to 17 March 1889. Guiding his men with the inspiring words, "If we go down, let us do so with our flag flying," Kimberly skillfully beached his flagship, losing only one man in the raging storm that wrecked Trenton. Following his return to the United States in January 1890, Rear Admiral Kimberly was appointed President, Board of Inspection and Survey; and he held that post until retirement in April 1892. Rear Admiral Kimberly died in West Newton, Mass., 28 January 1902.
(DD-80: dp. 1,060; l. 315'5" ; b. 31' 8"; dr. 8'6" ; s. 35 k.; cpl. 100; a. 4 4", 2 1-pdrs., 12 21" tt,; cl. Wickes)
The first Kimberly (DD-80) was launched 14 December 1917, by Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Miss Elsie S. Kimberly, daughter of Rear Admiral Kimberly; and commissioned 26 April 1918, Comdr. A. W. Johnson in command.
After shakedown Kimberly cleared Boston 19 May 1918, escorting a convoy to the United Kingdom. After her arrival in June, the destroyer spent the remainder of the war protecting ships bound for the battle zones in Europe from the British Isles. She departed Queenstown, Ireland, 26 December; and, after arrival Boston 8 January 1919, Kimberly engaged in training operations along the coast. In May the destroyer served as a lifeguard ship in New England waters during the world's first transatlantic flight—that of the Navy's NC-4 hydroplane commanded by Lt. Comdr. Albert C. Read.
Kimberly completed maneuvers out of Newport, and entered Boston Navy Yard for extensive repairs. She joined the Destroyer Force at Newport 18 April 1921, and throughout the summer operated with submarines. Information gained through these early experiments was of great value in refining the techniques of undersea warfare. Kimberly spent the winter at Charleston, S.C., before arriving Philadelphia 29 March 1922, where she decommissioned 30 June. Her hull was sold to Boston Iron & Metal Co., Baltimore, Md., for scrapping.