Roswell Hawkes Lamson was born in Iowa, and appointed to the Naval Academy 20 September 1858. After graduating in 1862, he saw action in the Civil War. Lamson commanded Mount Vernon in joint Army-Navy operations on the Wansemont River, and he played an important role in the capture of batteries at Hills Point. While in command of Gettysburg, he was in the forefront of the attack on Fort Fisher, and he gallantly piloted the powder boat Louisiana in under the fort. He resigned from the Navy in 1866. In 1895 Lamson was appointed lieutenant and placed on the retired list. Lieutenant Lamson died in Portland, Oreg., 14 August 1903.
(DD-18; dp. 700; l. 293'10"; b. 26'; dr. 8'; s. 28.6 k.; cpl. 107; a. 4 3", 3 18" tt.; cl. Smith)
The first Lamson (DD-18) was laid down 18 March 1908 by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, Pa.; launched 16 June 1909; sponsored by Mrs. Henry S. Gore; and commissioned 10 February 1910, Lt. Comdr. J. M. Ludy in command.
Assigned to the Atlantic Squadron, Lamson operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean from 1910 until 1916 participating in torpedo exercises, fleet maneuvers, and coastal patrol. Departing Key West 7 May 1916, the destroyer arrived Dominican Republic 2 days later to support the U.S. Marines sent by President Wilson to protect American interests during the Dominican revolt.
She returned to Key West in mid-June before sailing on the 28th for Vera Cruz. She joined other American ships in Mexican waters, as the Mexican political situation was still in turmoil. Following her return to Key West 11 July, Lamson operated along the east coast and in the Gulf of Mexico until the United States entered World War I.
During the early months of the war she patrolled the coastline before preparing for oversea service. Arriving Ponta Delgada, Azores, 26 July 1917, the destroyer performed escort and patrol duty for the next 3 months. Lamson departed the Azores 6 October for escort operations out of Brest, France. She assisted survivors of Finland on 28 October after the merchant ship had been torpedoed by a German submarine.
The destroyer continued escort and patrol operations for the rest of the war, and aided in the victory of Allied forces by neutralizing the German U-boat threat to convoys. After the Armistice Lamson departed Brest 11 December 1918 and arrived Charleston, S.C., 31 December. She decommissioned 15 July 1919 and was sold 21 November 1919.