John Young—born circa 1740—began his seafaring career at an early age in the colonial merchant marine and, at the start of the American Revolution, was commissioned 23d on the list of captains in the Continental Navy. On 20 September 1776, the Continental Congress directed Young to take the sloop-of-war Independence to Martinique to protect American mercantile shipping in the West Indies. Collaterally, Independence was to raid British shipping whenever the opportunity arose.
On 5 July 1777, Young was ordered to Nantes, France, and subsequently arrived at Lorient with two prizes. On 17 February 1778, while in French waters, he sailed through the French Fleet, saluting that nation's government with a 13-gun salute. In return he received a nine-gun salute, one of the earliest salutes rendered by the French government to the fledgling American government. At the time, John Paul Jones was on board Independence.
Young returned to America in the spring of 1778 and successively commanded two Pennsylvania privateers, Buckskin and Impertinent, before he was given command of the sloop-of-war Saratoga—then fitting out at Philadelphia, Pa.—in May 1780. Young took her to sea on 13 August 1780 and, in the course of the ship's first cruise, captured one prize before she returned to port for repairs and alterations.
Subsequent cruises were more successful, as Young commanded Saratoga on three more sweeps at sea in which he took a total of eight more prizes. Young proved himself a daring and resourceful commander. On one occasion, he took Saratoga between two British ships and captured both. Largely as a result of his dedication and emphasis on training, Saratoga compiled a distinguished, but altogether brief, record before her untimely—and still unexplained—loss.
Saratoga set sail from Cap Francais, in what is now the Dominican Republic, on 15 March 1781. After taking a prize three days later, the sloop-of-war became separated from her later that day when a strong gale swept through the area, the high winds nearly swamping the prize commanded by Midshipman Penfield. After the storm passed by, Saratoga was nowhere to be seen, having vanished without a trace.
Lucien Young—born in Lexington, Ky., on 31 March 1852—was appointed a midshipman on 21 June 1869 and served in the practice ships Dale, Savannah, and Constellation before graduating from the Naval Academy on 31 May 1873. Ordered to Alaska on 23 July 1873, Young, as a passed midshipman, was commended for extraordinary heroism when he saved the life of a seaman who had been knocked overboard.
Young was detached from Alaska at Lisbon, Portugal, and soon joined Hartford. Commissioned ensign on 16 July 1874, he joined Powhatan—on the North Atlantic Station—on 10 December of the following year. Subsequently ordered to Huron, he served in that ship until her tragic grounding off Nag's Head, N.C., on 24 November 1877. The ship, en route to Cuban waters for survey duty, foundered shortly after 0100 on the 24th. Ensign Young and an enlisted man—Seaman Antonio Williams—struggled ashore through the tumbling surf and gained the beach. Not receiving much assistance from an apparently apathetic group of bystanders, Young sent a horseman off at a gallop for a life-saving depot seven miles away while he, himself, although bruised and barefoot, walked four miles to yet another station, and, apparently finding it unmanned, broke in and got out mortar lines and powder for a Lyle gun. The sheriff of the locality then took Williams and Young to a point abreast the wreck. By the time they arrived, however, the 34 survivors had already reached shore. For his indefatigable efforts, Young received a commendation from the Secretary of the Navy; was awarded a gold medal by act of Congress from the Life-Saving service of the United States; was made an honorary member of the Kentucky legislature; and received advancement to the rate of master.
Ordered to Portsmouth on 17 March 1878, he arrived in Le Havre, France, in time to take charge of a detail of men to serve at the Universal Exposition in Paris, France. Following that duty, he served in Portsmouth with the Training Squadron until he was detached from that ship on 5 April 1880.
Young's next tour of duty was ashore in the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting; and, while there, he served for a time as naval aide to the Secretary of the Navy. Master Young then served successive tours of sea duty in the monitor Monta.uk and the training ship Minnesota. Next came service as executive officer of Onward and, finally, a tour holding the same office in Shenandoah. While in the latter, Young took part in the landings in Panama to protect American interests in the spring of 1885.
A series of assignments ashore followed: Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I.; at the Naval War College at Newport; at the Bureau of Navigation, and at the office of Naval War Records—the activity then compiling the monumental documentary collection, the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies. Young next returned to sea, serving successive tours in Detroit, Boston, Yorktown, and Alert.
Given command of Hist, Lt. Young placed that ship in commission and, during the Spanish-American War, took part in two engagements off Manzanillo, Cuba, and in the cutting of the cable between Cape Cruz and Manzanillo from late June 1898 to mid-August. Relieved of command of Hist in February 1899, Young received promotion to lieutenant commander on 3 March and became Captain of the Port of Havana on 22 August of the same year. In the spring of 1900, he became Commandant, Naval Station, Havana.
Following his duty in Cuba, Young became lighthouse inspector in the 9th Naval District and served in that capacity into 1904. In March 1904, he was given command of Bennington (Gunboat No. 4) and was in command of that ship at the time of her boiler explosion in the summer of the following year. At San Diego on 21 July 1905, Bennington was preparing to get underway for sea; Commander Young and the ship's surgeon, F. E. Peck, were returning to the ship in a boat and were not far from the anchorage when the explosion occurred at 1030. Young hurried back to the ship, took command, ordered her watertight compartments closed and her magazines flooded, and then secured the services of an Army tug nearby.
Young later was assigned to duty at the Mare Island Navy Yard and ultimately became Captain of the Yard there before becoming Commandant of the Naval Station, Pensacola, and of the 8th Naval District. His area of command was later extended to include the 7th Naval District.
Rear Admiral Young died at New York, N.Y., on 2 October 1912.
The first Young (DD-312) commemorated Capt. John Young, the Revolutionary War captain; the second ship of the name, Young (DD-580), honored Rear Admiral Lucien Young.
(DD-B80: dp. 2,050; l. 376'; b. 39'8"; dr. 17'9"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 273; a. 5 5", 10 40mm., 7 20mm., 10 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Fletcher)
The second Young (DD-580) was laid down on 7 May 1942 at Orange, Tex., by the Consolidated Steel Corp.; launched on 15 October 1942; sponsored by Mrs. J, M. Schelling; and commissioned on 31 July 1943, Lt. Comdr. George B. Madden in command.
Following shakedown in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, Young briefly operated out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During that assignment, she formed part of the escort for Iowa (BB-61) when that battleship carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt across the Atlantic on the first leg of his journey to the Teheran Conference of November 1943. In the midst of that voyage, the destroyer received orders instructing her to head for the Pacific theater. She transited the Panama Canal on 24 November and reported for duty with the Pacific Fleet. She arrived in Pearl Harbor early in December and received orders assigning her to the 9th Fleet in the northern Pacific. Young remained at Pearl Harbor for several weeks and then headed for the Aleutian Islands where she arrived in mid-January 1944.
Her arrival in Alaskan waters, however, came some three months after the Aleutians campaign ended. Her duties for the next eight months, therefore, consisted of escort and patrol missions spiced with an occasional bombardment of Japanese installations in the Kuril Islands. She was an element of Rear Admiral Wilder D. Baker's striking force on 2 February 1944 when that unit conducted the first bombardment of Japanese home territory in the Kurils. She twice returned to those islands in June, shelling Matsuwa on the 13th and Paramushiro on the 26th. Otherwise, her only enemy during the first eight months of 1944 proved to be the foul Aleutians weather.
During September, she returned to the United States for an overhaul. Upon completing repairs, the destroyer departed San Francisco Bay on 6 October, bound for the western Pacific. Reporting in at Manus in the Admiralty Islands late in the month, she received orders to join the escort of a supply convoy bound for the newly invaded Philippines. She reached Leyte on 18 November in the midst of an enemy air attack on the invasion fleet. She and her colleagues in the convoy screen combined to splash three of the attacking aircraft.
On 19 December, Young departed Leyte with 10 other destroyers in the screen of the first Mindoro resupply echelon. The unit came under enemy air attack early in the morning of the 21st but encountered no concerted air opposition until near dusk. At about 1718, a raid of five kamikazes broke through the combat air patrol, and three of the suicide planes succeeded in their missions, hitting LST-460, LST-479, and Liberty ship SS Juan de Fuca. Both LST's had to be abandoned, but SS Juan de Fuca carried on and reached Mindoro safely with the convoy on the 22d. During the return voyage, enemy planes returned to harass the convoy but failed to inflict damage. During the approach to and the retirement from Mindoro, Young claimed a total of five unassisted splashes and two assists.
Young's first amphibious assault came during the invasion of Luzon in January 1945. During the main landing on the 9th, she served as a unit of the screen for the landing craft of Attack Group "Baker" and covered part of the landings at Lingayen itself. The assault went off practically unopposed, an example of the new Japanese tactic of fighting an amphibious force inland with conventional infantry tactics rather than trying to smash it at the beach. Since the American troops encountered no real resistance until they had advanced inland well beyond the range of destroyer guns, Young and her colleagues had little to do at Lingayen.
That pattern repeated itself at Zambales later in the month when Young, in reconnoitering the landing area, encountered a small boat embarking a Filippino guerrilla lieutenant who informed the destroyer that the area had already been secured by his forces. The Zambales landing went off without a shot being fired.
During operations around Subic and Manila Bays, the warship joined Nicholas (DD-449) in destroying two Japanese 17-foot suicide boats sent in from Corregidor to break up the Mariveles occupation force on 14 February. Two days later, she participated in the reduction and capture of the source of those boats— Corregidor. She bombarded the "Rock" before the assault and then helped silence enemy batteries on Caballo Island when they opened up on the landing craft. Later that morning, she threaded her way through mine-infested waters to provide gunfire support for the troops taking the island fortress.
During the following weeks, the destroyer conducted patrols out of Subic Bay. In April, she supported the Army's landing on Mindanao, but that operation, thanks to strong Moro guerrilla activity, proved to be another walkover. She continued her patrol operations in the Philippines until the end of the third week in May at which time she received orders to return to the United States for repairs. Steaming via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor, she arrived in San Francisco Bay on 12 June and began a 47-day overhaul at the Mare Island Navy Yard.
Late in July, she completed her post-overhaul trials and, early in August, headed back toward Pearl Harbor. However, by the time of her arrival, hostilities had already ceased. Instead of continuing west, she began operations in the Hawaii area as escort and plane guard for Saratoga (CV-3). On 25 September, she departed Hawaii in company with various units of the 3d Fleet en route to the east coast for the 1945 Navy Day celebration. On 27 October, she arrived in New York where President Harry Truman reviewed the assembled ships.
Young remained in New York until 1 November when she got underway for Charleston, S.C., where she was placed in reserve on 31 January 1946. Finally decommissioned sometime in January 1947, the destroyer remained in reserve until 1 May 1968 at which time her name was struck from the Navy list. On 6 March 1970, she was sunk as a target off the midatlantic coast.
Young (DD-580) earned five battle stars during World War II