Thomas 0. Selfridge was born on 24 April 1804 and was appointed midshipman on 1 January 1818. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1827, he served in the East India, Mediterranean, and Pacific squadrons. He took command of sloop, Dale, in May 1847 and participated in the capture of Mazatlan and Guaymas. Badly wounded in the latter engagement, he was invalided home in June 1848. He was subsequently assigned to the Boston Navy Yard, where he remained until 1861. He commanded Mississippi, flagship of the Gulf Squadron, on blockade duty off Mobile and off the passes of the Mississippi. His old wound forced him to relinquish his command in February 1862, and he served ashore until retiring in 1866. Rear Admiral Selfridge died in Waverly, Mass., on 15 October 1902.
Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., son of the above, was born in Charlestown, Mass., on 6 February 1836 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1854. At the beginning of the Civil War, he helped with efforts to destroy the untenable Norfolk Navy Yard; and he then escaped from that burning and beleaguered base in Cumberland, helping to save the sloop of war for the Union Navy. He participated in the capture of the Hatteras forts and was on board Cumberland on 8 March 1862 when she was sunk by Confederate ironclad, Virginia. He then briefly commanded Monitor, after Lt. Worden was wounded; and commanded Alligator, an experimental submarine, in testing operations based at the Washington Navy Yard.
In August, he joined the Mississippi Squadron, and subsequently commanded Cairo and Conestoga when those ships were sunk in action. Late in the war, he returned to the Atlantic where he commanded Huron in the attacks on Fort Fisher; and he participated in the ensuing bombardment of Fort Anderson and the capture of Wilmington. His postwar service included command of Nipsic, Enterprise, and Omaha-the last two on the Asiatic Station—and duty as Commander in Chief of the European Squadron from 1895 to 1898. He retired on 6 February 1898 and died on 4 February 1924.
DD-320 was named for the elder Rear Admiral Selfridge, while DD-357 was named for both officers.
(DD-320: dp. 1,215; l. 314'4½ "; b. 30'11½ "; dr. 9'4"; s. 32.6 k.; cpl. 122; a. 4 4", 1 3", 12 21" tt.; cl. Clemson)
The first Selfridge (DD-320) was laid down on 28 April 1919 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., San Francisco, Calif.; launched on 25 July 1919; sponsored by Mrs. Catherine Kellond, granddaughter of Rear Admiral Selfridge; and commissioned on 17 February 1921, Comdr. A. S. Farquhar in command.
Selfridge arrived at her home port, San Diego, on 16 March 1921 and remained there until June 1922, when she proceeded to the Puget Sound area for exercises with the fleet. She returned to San Diego on 12 September for further training. On 6 February 1923, she sailed with the Battle Fleet for the Canal Zone and conducted exercises there from 26 February to 31 March before returning to San Diego on 11 April. She then underwent overhaul at the Mare Island Navy Yard from 30 May to 16 July and rejoined the fleet for summer exercises off Washington. On 10 September, she returned to San Pedro, having rescued en route survivors of SS Cuba which had been wrecked on San Miguel Island on 8 September.
On 2 January 1924, Selfridge departed San Diego with the Battle Fleet and participated in exercises in the Caribbean with the United States Fleet from 17 January to 6 April. Returning to San Diego on 22 April, she departed on 25 June for exercises off Puget Sound. She was overhauled at Mare Island between 5 August and 1 October and returned to San Diego on 2 October.
Selfridge departed San Diego on 1 April 1925 with the fleet and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 27 April for exercises. Departing on 25 June, she underwent overhaul at Bremerton from 9 August to 3 October and returned to San Diego on 6 October.
On 1 February 1926, Selfridge sailed from San Diego with the Battle Fleet and participated in exercises off Panama before returning to San Diego on 1 April. She arrived in the Puget Sound area on 10 July 1926 and, after receiving repairs at Mare Island from 9 August to 22 September, returned to San Diego on 24 September. In February 1927, she again sailed for the Canal Zone with the fleet and, after transiting the canal on 4 March, conducted exercises in the Caribbean until 22 April. With the fleet, she then visited New York and participated in a joint Army-Navy exercise in Narragansett Bay before arriving at Hampton Roads on 29 May for a Presidential Review. She was then assigned duty with the Special Service Squadron protecting lives and property of United States and other foreign citizens in Nicaragua and helping to pacify that country. She also carried out two patrols off that country, from 18 June to 2 July and 16 to 26 July. She then proceeded to Mare Island, underwent overhaul there, and returned to San Diego on 30 September.
Selfridge departed San Diego on 9 April 1928 and, after conducting Fleet Problem VIII with the fleet en route, arrived at Pearl Harbor on 28 April. She returned to San Diego on 23 June and, after a two-week training cruise to Honolulu, underwent overhaul at Mare Island from 26 July to 19 September. She resumed exercises at San Diego and, between 27 January and 11 March 1929, participated in the fleet concentration off Panama. She returned to San Diego on 22 March 1929 and was decommissioned there on 8 February 1930. Selfridge was struck from the Navy list on 3 November 1930, scrapped at the Mare Island Navy Yard, and her hulk was sold on 2 September 1931 to Marine Salvage Co., Oakland, Calif.