Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Lea (DD-118) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Lea (DD-118) 

USS Lea was laid down on 18 September 1918 at Philadelphia, Pa., by William Cramp & Sons; launched on 29 April 1918; sponsored by Mrs. Harry E. Collins; and commissioned on 2 October 1918, Lt. Cmdr. David W. Bagley in command.

After service in the Atlantic with Destroyer Squadron 19 during 1919, USS Lea transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1920. On 17 July 1920, she was redesignated as DD-118. USS Lea (DD-118) served primarily along the west coast during the years between the wars. She was out of commission at San Diego 22 June 1922 to 1 May 1930, and 7 April 1937 to 30 September 1939.

For the first two and a half years of U.S. participation in the war, USS Lea (DD-118) had convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic, the Caribbean, and along the eastern seaboard, hazarded by peak U-boat activity and dangerous weather conditions. On 31 December 1943, USS Lea (DD-118) was five days out of New York on convoy escort duty when she was rammed by the U.S. freighter Elihu Yale. Towed to Bermuda and later Boston, she completed repairs on 28 June 1944, and began sailing from Newport as target ship for torpedo planes and escorting carriers during flight training. Between January 1945 and June, USS Lea (DD-118) had similar duty off Florida. Arriving at Philadelphia on 14 June, she decommissioned there on 20 July 1945; was struck from the Navy Register 13 August 1945; and sold for scrapping to Boston Metals Salvage Co., Baltimore, on 30 November 1945.

For a complete history of USS Lea (DD-118) please see its DANFS page.