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Farquhar I (Destroyer No. 304)


Norman von Heldreich Farquhar, born 11 April 1840 in Pottsville, Pa., graduated from the Naval Academy in 1859. Serving on the African Station at the opening of the Civil War, he sailed a prize slaver home to the United States, and served actively during the war, at the close of which he was executive officer of Santiago de Cuba. His active career included many commands, one of which was Trenton in the Pacific. Farquhar was commended for his fine handling of his ship during the disastrous hurricane at Apia, Samoa, in 1889 in which she and a number of other American and foreign naval vessels were lost. He later commanded the navy yards at League Island and Norfolk, and climaxed his distinguished service as Commander of the North Atlantic Station. Rear Admiral Farquhar retired 11 April 1902, and died at Jamestown, R.I., 3 July 1907.

(DD-304: displacement 1,190; length 314'5"; beam 31'8'; draft 9'4'"; speed 35 knots; complement 95; armament 4 4-inch,  1 3-inch, 12 21-inch torpedo tubes; class Clemson)

The unnamed Destroyer No. 304 was laid down on 13 August 1918 at San Francisco, Calif., by Union Iron Works; named Farquhar (Destroyer No. 304) on 20 December 1918 in General Order No. 442; launched on 18 January 1919; sponsored by Mrs. James [Laura] Reed, wife of Cmdr. James Reed, Construction Corps; and commissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., on 5 August 1920, Lt. Cmdr. Robert A. Hall in command.

From her home port, San Diego, where she first arrived 26 August 1920, Farquhar operated with the Pacific Fleet in training, maneuvers, and war problems along the west coast from the coast of Washington State to the Canal Zone. In August 1921, she rescued 42 passengers of SS San Jose, stranded off the coast of Mexico. In 1924 and 1927, she joined in fleet concentrations in the Caribbean, and during the second cruise, sailed north to visit New York, Newport, and Norfolk, before returning to San Diego.

Farquhar sailed to Hawaii on maneuvers in April 1925, and joined a large force for a cruise to Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand, returning to the west coast in September. April through June 1928 again found her in the Hawaiian Islands for exercises of the complete Battle Fleet. She carried reservists for training in July 1929, and the next month began inactivation at San Diego. Farquhar was decommissioned 20 February 1930, and after temporary service as a barracks ship for submariners, was scrapped in accordance with the London Treaty limiting naval armaments. The scrapped materials were sold 23 April 1932.

Published: Wed Feb 24 08:11:21 EST 2016