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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–327: dp. 1,308 (f.); l. 314’5”; b. 31’8”; dr. 9’10”; s. 35 k.; cpl. 122; a. 4 4”, 1 3”, 12 21” tt.; cl. Clemson)


The fourth Preston (DD–327) was laid down 19 July 1919 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., San Francisco, Calif.; launched 7 August 1920; sponsored by Mrs. Josephus Daniels, wife of the Secretary of the Navy; and commissioned 13 April 1921, Comdr. G. T. Swasey in command.


Following shakedown, the flush decked destroyer remained on the west coast on temporary duty. Until December, 1921, she conducted exercises out of San Diego, then got underway for assignment with the Atlantic Fleet Destroyer Force. With that force for most of her naval career, she operated along the east coast, regularly sailing south for winter exercises in the Caribbean. In June 1925 she interrupted that schedule for a tour with US Naval Forces in European Waters. On that tour she cruised from the waters off Scandinavia to the Mediterranean. In July 1926, she returned to New York and resumed her former schedule of east coast and Caribbean employment.


Preston decommissioned at Philadelphia 1 May 1930 and was assigned to the Norfolk Navy Yard for strength tests. Her name was struck from the Navy List 6 November 1931 and on 23 August 1932 her hulk was sold for scrap.