John G. Sproston was born in Maryland and appointed to the Naval Academy in 1846. He served on the Pacific Station during the war with Mexico. During the Civil War, he served as commanding officer of Powhatan and as executive officer of Senneca. On 1 November 1861, during the battle for Port Royal, S.C., Sproston personally fired many of the 11-inch guns on board Senneca as the crew was new and untrained. Lt. Sproston was killed on 8 June 1862 while on a boat expedition to destroy a Confederate privateer in the St. John's River, Fla.
(DD-173: dp. 1,191; l. 310'; b. 30'11"; dr. 9'2"; s. 33+ k.; cpl. 122; a. 4 4", 2 3", 12 21" tt.; cl. Wickes)
The first Sprcston (DD-173) was laid down on 20 April 1918 by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Calif.; launched on 10 August 1918; sponsored by Mrs. George J. Dennis; and commissioned on 12 July 1919.
Sproston sailed to Hawaii and was assigned to the Pacific Fleet in the fall of 1919. On 17 July 1920, the ship was reclassified from a destroyer to a Light Minelayer (DM-13) and continued operating at Pearl Harbor until 1922. On 15 August 1922, Sproston was decommissioned there and attached to the reserve fleet. She was struck from the Navy list on 1 December 1936 and sunk as a target.