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Samuel W. Preston, born in Canada, 6 April 1840, was appointed Midshipman from the state of Illinois 4 October 1858. Graduating first in his class, 9 May 1861, he was appointed Acting Master, 4 October 1861 and Lieutenant 1 August 1862. From 1861 to 1863 he served on various vessels attached to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Captured by Confederate forces during an attack on Fort Sumter 8 September 1863, he was taken to Libby Prison and exchanged in the fall of 1864. Ordered to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron as Flag-Lieutenant to Rear Admiral D. D. Porter, he participated in the attacks on Fort Fisher 24–25 December 1864 and 13 January 1865. He was killed while leading his men against the fort on the latter date.




(DD–19: dp. 902 (f.); l. 293’10”; b. 26’11”; dr. 10’11”; s. 29 k.; cpl. 88; a. 5 3”, 3 18” tt.; cl. Preston)


The third Preston (Destroyer No. 19) was laid down 28 April 1908 by the New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J.; launched 14 July 1909; sponsored by Miss Katherine Magoun; and commissioned 21 December 1909, Lt. Comdr. G. C. Day in command.


Preston, attached to Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, conducted peacetime patrols and participated in various individual, squadron, and fleet exercises until assigned to neutrality duties prior to the entry of the United States into World War I. At New York, 6 April 1917, she sailed within the week for Boston, where she continued patrol duties until 12 May. Then reassigned to Destroyer Force, Atlantic, she performed coastal escort and patrol duties for two months. In July she sailed east and between 1 August and 5 October she patrolled and performed escort work, off the strategically located Azores. Next ordered to Brest, she conducted similar missions along the French coast until the Armistice. On 11 December 1918 she sailed for the United States, arriving at Charleston, 4 January 1919. Later shifted to Philadelphia, she decommissioned 17 July and her name was struck from the Navy List 15 September. On 21 November the coal burning “Flivver” was sold to the T. A. Scott Co. of New London, Conn.