Henry Laub, born in York, Pa., was appointed midshipman 1 October 1809 under Commodore O. H. Perry. Wounded in the early part of the Battle of Lake Erie, 10 September 1813, he was carried below but struck by a round shot that crashed through the cockpit, killing him instantly. Congress expressed deep regret at his loss, commended his gallantry, and ordered that a sword be presented to his nearest male relative.
(DD-263: dp. 1,190; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'3"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 120; a. 4 4", 2 3", 4 21" tt.; cl. Clemson)
The first Laub (DD-263) was laid down by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Squantum, Mass., 20 April 1918; launched 28 August 1918; sponsored by Miss Marjorie Mohan, a collateral descendent of Henry Laub; and commissioned 17 March 1919, Comdr. W. F. Amsden in command.
Assigned to the Atlantic destroyer force out of Newport, R.I., Laub was dispatched 2 to 17 May 1919 to take up position off Newfoundland as plane guard, and navigational aid during the NC-4 transatlantic flight. The destroyer continued exercises off the east coast until 30 June when she sailed for European service. Arriving Brest 17 July, Laub operated with the fleet off western Europe until she sailed late in August for duty in the eastern Mediterranean. Upon arrival at Constantinople 2 September, Laub operated with the Food Commission, bringing relief to war-stricken Europe. She sailed for America on the 17th, arriving New York 4 October. Her stay on the east coast was a brief one as she sailed 2 weeks later to join the Pacific Fleet, arriving San Diego 27 November.
From December 1919 until she decommissioned 15 June 1922, Laub performed torpedo experiments and reserve training cruises along the Pacific coast.
Laub recommissioned 18 December 1939, Comdr. B. W. Chippendale in command. After shakedown out of San Diego, the destroyer arrived Guantanamo 7 April 1940 to join the Caribbean neutrality patrol. Following 2 months’ duty out of Guantanamo, she sailed to Galveston for patrol operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Following 4 months of operations in the gulf and along the Atlantic coast, Laub arrived Halifax, Nova Scotia, 5 September. She decommissioned there 8 October and was transferred to Great Britain the following day as part of the destroyer-bases agreement. During World War II she served in the Royal Navy protecting Allied shipping in the North Atlantic under the name Burwell.