Daniel Todd Patterson was born on Long Island, New York, 6 March 1786. As acting midshipman, he joined sloop of war Delaware, 11 June 1799, to cruise against French privateers and warships in the West Indies. On close of the Quasi-War with France, he resumed nautical studies, then had blockade duty off Tripoli in famed Constellation and Philadelphia. He fell prisoner upon capture of Philadelphia 13 October 1803 and remained a captive of the Barbary pirates until American victory over Tripoli in 1805. Upon returning home, he spent much of his following years on station at New Orleans where he took command after the outbreak of the War of 1812. On 16 September 1814, Patterson raided the base of the pirate Jean Laffite at Barataria Bay, La., capturing six schooners and other small craft. In that same month he refused Andrew Jackson’s request to send his few naval units to Mobile Bay where Patterson knew they would be bottled up by a superior British fleet. Foreseeing British designs against New Orleans almost two months before their attack, Patterson, not Jackson, was the first to prepare to defend the city. The victory resulted as much from his foresight and preparations as from Jackson’s able fighting. His little fleet delayed the enemy until reinforcements arrived, then gave artillery support in defense of the entrenchments from which Jackson was never driven. Patterson, highly commended by Jackson, received a note of thanks from Congress, and was promoted to Captain 28 February 1815. Patterson remained on the southern stations until 1824 when he became fleet captain and commander of flagship Constitution in Commodore John Rodger’s Mediterranean Squadron. Returning home in 1828, he was appointed one of the three Navy commissioners. He commanded the Mediterranean Squadron, 1832–1836. He took command of the Washington Navy Yard in 1836, an office he held until his death at Wilmington, N.J., 25 August 1839.
(DD–36: dp. 787; l. 203’11”; b. 27’; dr. 8’4”; s. 29 k.; cpl. 89; a. 5 3”, 6 18” tt.; cl. Roe)
The first Patterson (DD–36) was laid down 29 March 1910 by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pa.; launched 29 April 1911; sponsored by Miss Georgeanne Pollock Patterson; and commissioned 11 October 1911, Lt. Comdr. John M. Luby in command.
Patterson departed Philadelphia 23 October 1911, calling at Newport, R.I., and New York, before arriving at Boston 2 November 1911, her homeport for operations off the New England Coast, the Virginia Capes, and south to Charleston, S.C., Pensacola, Fla., and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She arrived off Vera Cruz from Pensacola 20 May 1914 and headed home four days later.
As America entered World War I, Patterson patrolled along the New England Coast in the approaches to Newport and Boston to safeguard inbound trans-Atlantic convoys. One patrol mission took her as far north as St. Johns, Newfoundland.
The first United States help to our hard-pressed allies was the assignment of U.S. destroyers to the British Fleet to hell) combat enemy submarines that threatened to cut the sea lifelines to the British Isles. Patterson was the flagship of the second division of destroyers to cross the Atlantic on this mission. But the destroyers could not make it across the North Atlantic without refueling. Newly commissioned fleet oiler Maumee, whose executive officer and chief engineer was Lt. Chester W. Nimitz, stationed herself in mid-Atlantic, between Boston and Queenstown, Ireland.
Patterson led Division 5 out of Boston Harbor 21 May 1917 and made rendezvous with Maumee the morning of 28 May. She was the first destroyer to maneuver alongside Maumee to receive fuel oil enabling her to complete the Atlantic crossing. The division arrived Queenstown, Ireland, 1 June 1917. There Patterson and her sister destroyers received British signal books and depth charges.
Patterson began patrol and escort in the approaches to Queenstown 5 June 1917. On 12 June she dropped depth charges to help drive away a German U-boat attacking SS Indian. A collision with His Majesty’s tug Dreadful at the entrance to Berehaven Harbor, Ireland, the night of 1 January 1918, damaged Patterson’s bow but she resumed regular escort and patrol 5 February. Two days later she rescued 12 survivors of steamship Mexico City, torpedoed by a German submarine. Patterson, patrolling in the Irish Sea 17 May, dropped depth charges that drove away German U–101. She continued patrol out of Queenstown until 4 June 1918, then departed for the United States.
On 16 June 1918, one day out of Bermuda, she rescued survivors of the Norwegian bark Kringsjaa, sunk by German U–151. She landed the survivors at the Cape May Naval Station and continued on to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, arriving 18 June for overhaul. She departed Norfolk 17 August for Tompkinsville, N.Y. There she joined the escort of battleship Pennsylvania bound for Norfolk. On 22 August she got underway from that base as flagship of the “Patterson Group”, a special hunting squadron that included 11 submarine chasers.
The Patterson Group hunted U-boats north from the Virginia Capes to New York. When cargoman Felix Taussig mistook submarine chaser SC–188 for an enemy submarine and opened fire 27 August 1918, Patterson helped rescue the survivors and carried seven of the injured into New York Harbor for transfer to U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort. She dropped depth charges to drive away a German U-boat 3 September 1918, continuing hunter-killer patrols along the eastern seaboard until the special hunting group disbanded 23 November 1918.
Patterson entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard 1 January 1919, remaining there until she was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard 28 April 1924 to patrol the eastern seaboard, as far south as ports of Florida, during the prohibition era. Returned to the Navy 18 October 1930, she remained inactive until her name was cancelled 1 July 1933 to permit its assignment to a newly authorized destroyer. Her hulk was sold for scrapping 2 May 1934 in accordance with the London Treaty limiting naval armament. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register 28 June 1934.