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Hull I (DD-7)

(DD-7: dp. 408 n.; l. 248'8" ; b. 24'6" ; dr. 6'; s. 29 k.; cpl. 73; a. 2 3", 5 6-pdr., 2 18" tt.; cl. BainKridge)

Isaac Hull was born in Derby, Conn., 9 March 1773 and was appointed Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy 9 March 1798. During the Quasi-War with France he served as Executive Officer of frigate Constitution under Silas Talbot, and distinguished himself by leading a successful expedition to capture the fort at Porto Plata, Santo Domingo. The intrepid Hull spiked the fort's guns, cut out a prize, and escaped from the harbor with it. In the war with Tripoli 1802-05 he added to his reputation while in command of brig Argus. In the War of 1812 Hull was given command of Constitution. In July 1812, while off the coast of New Jersey, he encountered a squadron of four British frigates and one ship of the line under Admiral Blake. As the wind was light or non-existent, Hull alternately towed Constitution with boats and hauled her ahead on her anchor. After three days of this skillful and strenuous work, she escaped. Later, on August 19th, Hull engaged HMS Guerriere in one of the classic battles of naval history, compelling the British ship to strike her colors and earning for his vessel the name "Old Ironsides". Promoted to Commodore, Hull commanded the Boston and Washington Navy Yards, the Pacific Squadron, and finally the Mediterranean Squadron in his later career. Commodore Hull died 13 February 1843 at Philadelphia.

The first Hull (DD-7) was launched by Harlan & Hollingsworth of Wilmington, Del., 21 June 1902; sponsored by Miss Mabel Hull, a descendant of Commodore Hull; and commissioned 20 May 1903, Lt. S. S. Robinson in command.

During her first 2 years of service, Hull engaged in patrol and training maneuvers off Newport and in Chesapeake Bay. After a cruise to the Caribbean January-April 1905 she returned to League Island, Pa., where she decommissioned 30 September 1905.

Hull recommissioned 14 November 1906 at Philadelphia, and took part in winter exercises with fleet units in Cuban waters. After operations off Newport the ship returned to Norfolk in October 1907 to prepare for the voyage of the Great White Fleet. Hull sailed as an escort vessel 2 December and after stopping at many South American and Central American ports on the voyage around South America with the great battleships, arrived San Diego 28 April 1907. Hull was detached on the west coast, and the Great White Fleet continued on its cruise, showing the flag around the world. The destroyer remained in the vicinity of San Francisco until departing 24 August 1908 for a cruise to the South Pacific. She took part in various exercises in Hawaiian and Samoan waters before returning to San Diego in November.

Hull spent the years before World War I on patrol and training exercises off the California coast. She decommissioned 30 October 1912 and joined the Reserve Torpedo Division at Mare Island, with which she made occasional training cruises to California ports. When America entered the war in April 1917 Hull was being refitted at Mare Island. She sailed with other destroyers for the Canal Zone 25 April 1917 and for the next 3 months was engaged in defensive patrol off the western approaches to that vital waterway. She sailed to Norfolk 26 July for escort and patrol duty along the East Coast. In the months that followed Hull escorted ships to Bermuda and engaged in training maneuvers with other ships of the fleet as well. In June 1918 she broke up an attack by German submarine U-151 on a merchant ship, and often rescued sailors from sinking ships. She continued this vital ocean patrol duty until the end of the war.

Hull arrived Philadelphia 29 January 1919, and decommissioned 7 July 1919. She was sold 5 January 1921 to Joseph G. Hitner of Philadelphia.

Published: Mon Jul 20 14:03:29 EDT 2015