William Anthony, born on 27 October 1853 in Albany, N. Y.-, enlisted in the Army on 1 February 1875 and served two five-year enlistments before joining the Marine Corps at Brooklyn, N.Y., on 18 July 1885. He served ashore (at the New York Navy Yard) and afloat (in the armored cruiser Brooklyn) before reporting for duty on 12 May 1897 in the Marine guard of the battleship Maine.
An explosion rocked Maine as she lay at anchor in Havana Harbor on the night of 15 February 1898. As she began to settle, Private Anthony, who was on watch at the time, hastened immediately forward toward the captain's cabin to inform him of the event. In the darkness, the Marine bumped into Captain Charles D. Sigsbee as the latter groped his way toward the outer hatch of the super-structure. Anthony apologized and made his report "that the ship has blown up and is sinking." The two men then proceeded together toward the quarterdeck.
"The special feature in this case of service performed by Private Anthony," Sigsbee later recounted in a letter to John D. Long, the Secretary of the Navy, "is that, on an occasion when a man's instinct would lead him to safety outside the ship, he started into the superstructure and toward the cabin, irrespective of the danger. Maine's, former captain then recommended that the Marine be promoted to sergeant, which was accomplished on 14 April 1898.
Anthony had meanwhile joined the Marine guard of the cruiser Detroit on 5 March 1898 and served in that ship until transferred to duty at the Marine Barracks, New York Navy Yard, on 10 September of that year. Upon expiration of his enlistment, Anthony was honorably discharged at New York on 26 June 1899 with the rank of sergeant major.
Anthony died in New York City on 24 November 1899 and was buried at Greenwood Cemetery five days later.
Anthony (Destroyer No. 266), a Cfewson-class destroyer, was laid down on 3 June 1918 at Squantum, Mass., by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., but was renamed Greene (q.v.) on 1 August 1918, three months prior to her launching.
The first Anthony was laid down as the unnamed Destroyer No. 172 on 18 April 1918 at San Francisco, Calif., by the Union Iron Works; named Anthony in General Order No. 408 of 1 August 1918; launched on 10 August 1918; sponsored by Miss Grace Heathcote, the daughter of Mr. Bruce Heathcote, manager of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, San Francisco, Calif.; and commissioned at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., on 19 June 1919, Comdr. David Alexander Scott in command.
After fitting out, Anthony cruised down the coast of southern California to visit Santa Barbara, where she "dressed ship" in honor of Independence Day, 4 July 1919. Then dropping further down the coast to San Diego, on the 8th, the new destroyer exercised off that port before returning to San Francisco Bay on 19 July. Following a brief trip to Bremerton, Wash., and back from 25 to 31 July, she returned to San Diego, via Monterey, Calif., on the evening of 4 August. She then cruised off Colnett Bay and, while steaming back to San Diego on the night of 5 August, sighted Squadron 4 of the Pacific Fleet at anchor off South Coronado Island, before she put into San Diego harbor early on the 6th.
The next day, Anthony participated in a naval review in honor of the recent establishment of the United States Pacific Fleet, the first of four similar reviews held that summer by the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels. Following these activities, Anthony carried passengers to San Pedro where she secured alongside Breese (Destroyer No. 122) upon arrival.
Upon refueling alongside Kanahwa (Oiler No. 1) on 11 August, Anthony subsequently sailed for waters off Redondo Beach, Calif., and there joined Texas (Battleship No. 35), Nebraska (Battleship No. 14), Seattle (Armored Cruiser No. 11), Prairie (Destroyer Tender No. 5), and sister ships Tarbell (Destroyer No. 142), and Sproston (Destroyer No. 173) on the afternoon of the 13th. Three days later, Anthony shifted to the Municipal Pier, Santa Monica, and then moved up the coast to Santa Barbara on the 19th. She refueled at Los Angeles and then carried passengers to Santa Barbara before getting underway for Santa Cruz, Calif., to search for a missing seaplane.
She located the object of her search the next afternoon, 29 August, and anchored off Redwood Canyon, Calif., at 1518. Soon after her arrival, she furnished supplies for the plane's crew, items ranging from a monkey wrench and a can opener to blankets and cots as well as coffee and canned goods of various kinds. Anthony then cleared the waters off Redwood Canyon at 1710 for Santa Cruz, arriving a little less than five hours later.
The destroyer delivered aviation stores to SC-278 and the Army tug El Aguador in San Francisco Bay on 30 August and rejoined the Fleet on the afternoon of the 31st, coming to anchor in Bolinas Bay. Steaming in column with the Fleet on 1 September, she fired a 17-gun salute to Secretary of the Navy Daniels, who was embarked in the historic pre-dreadnaught Oregon (Battleship No. 3), a ship especially recommissioned to participate in the fleet reviews that summer.
Having taken a draft of men from the flagship, Birmingham (Cruiser No. 2), the previous day, Anthony steamed out of San Francisco Bay on 8 September; headed for the waters of the Pacific northwest; and reached Port Angeles, Wash., on the morning of the llth. However, she got underway within two hours of her arrival to shift to Victoria, British Columbia. That night, she headed for Port Blakely, Wash., in company with Arkansas (Battleship No. 33), the latter having the Secretary of the Navy embarked.
The battleship and her consort anchored off Port Blakely the following morning. At 1004, Secretary Daniels disembarked from Arkansas, receiving a 19-gun salute upon departure, and came on board Anthony at 1008. Then, with the Secretary of the Navy's flag at the main, the destroyer got underway for Bremerton, Wash., and, after a passage of less than an hour, disembarked her distinguished passenger at the Puget Sound Navy Yard at 1058. After fueling, the ship reembarked Secretary Daniels at 1615 and transported him to Seattle, Wash., where the Secretary left the ship at 1720.
The following day, Anthony passed in review before President Woodrow Wilson, who took in the impressive sight from the decks of Oregon on the afternoon of 13 September. The destroyer later participated in Secretary Daniels' final review of the Fleet, also taken from Oregon, on the 15th, at Tacoma, Wash. Anthony then proceeded south and visited Tacoma, Port Washington, and Bremerton, before reaching San Francisco Bay late on the afternoon of the 25th.
Arriving at San Diego on the 27th and mooring alongside Buchanan (Destroyer No. 132), Anthony lay idle for much of the next two months, getting underway only thrice for exercises with the other destroyers of Division 11 on 20 and 27 October and 17 November, before she was placed in reserve at Santa Fe Wharf, San Diego, on the afternoon of 23 November 1919.
For almost another year and a half, Anthony languished among her many sisters in the reserve destroyer squadrons, as austerity in the postwar period dictated cutbacks in operating funds for men and ships. Only an occasional steaming trial or shift of berth broke up the monotonous routine of port life "in reserve, in commission." However, there were changes in the wind.
On 18 March 1920, Anthony and five of her sister ships were tentatively designated as "light minelayers" and slated to be kept in commission among the 144 ships of the "flush-decker" type the Navy Department hoped to operate. Additional ships of the class were earmarked for conversion to minecraft as well, with the commissioning of the entire group only awaiting the trained men to man them.
Anthony thus continued her prosaic life at San Diego into the summer of 1920. One minor misfortune occurred during a shifting of berth, when she grounded on a shoal on 15 July 1920. Towed free by Thrush (Minesweeper No. 18), Anthony got underway on 17 July for the Mare Island Navy Yard and repairs, with a future fleet admiral-then a destroyer division commander-embarked as a passenger, Comdr. William F. Halsey, Jr.
That same day, 17 July 1920, saw the institution of the Navy's system of alphanumeric hull designations. Since plans had been made for Anthony to serve as a light minelayer, the ship received the alphanumeric designation DM-12. Nevertheless, she would continue her operations with the destroyer force "until further orders" were issued "directing . . . [her] assignment to the mine force."
Returning from Mare Island to Santa Fe Wharf on 27 July, Anthony resumed her inactivity that continued through the end of 1920. However, in February, March, and April, 1921, the tempo of operations picked up as Anthony operated frequently with her sister ship Ingraham. (DM-9), mostly in the waters off South Coronado Island. On 29 March 1921, she received orders to aid a blimb at La Jolla, Calif. Casting off from Santa Fe Wharf at 1023, Anthony shaped course to locate the blimp and sighted her quarry at 1315, flying inshore. The ship stood by to render assistance but soon received the report that her help was not needed. She thus left the area and proceeded to anchorage off Coronado Island.
On 3 June 1921, Anthony and Ingraham were finally detached from the Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet, and assigned to the Mine Force. Yet Anthony remained somewhat idle in port through much of the spring. On 22 April, she interrupted her "in port" time with rehearsals for short range battle practice (SRBP) with Thatcher (DD-162). On 5 May, she got underway for Mare Island to prepare for a voyage to Hawaii.
Anthony remained at Mare Island until the end of the first week in June. On the afternoon of the 7th, she embarked upon the voyage to Hawaii in tow of Penguin (AM-33) and Eider (AM-17) and accompanied by Ingraham also towed by a pair of minesweepers, Oriole (AM-7) and Pigeon (AM-47). Six days out, the light minelayers cast off the towHnes and completed the passage under their own power. The six minecraft reached Oahu on the 18th.
Conversion, undertaken at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, involved the removal of all torpedo tube mounts to make room for mine tracks, extending forward from the fantail almost half the length of the ship. These ships, designed to carry between 64 and 80 mines, were envisioned as being able to lay offensive minefields. The need for fast ships with this capability had been demonstrated during "the war to end all wars."
For the next year, Anthony operated out of Pearl Harbor in her new role, drilling and training in the areas of mining (day and night) and gunnery while frequenting the waters off Lahaina, Maui, and Oahu. During this time, on 1 February 1922, Anthony struck a reef at Lahaina while searching for a mine she had lost during an exercise the month before. The mishap badly bent and gnarled both screws. After repairs at Pearl Harbor, the ship resumed her regimen of battle mining practices and gunnery drills and continued them into the summer.
Unfortunately for the ship, her time on the active list was running short. A dispatch of 28 April 1922 directed that Anthony be decommissioned by 30 June of that year. In accordance with those orders, the ship was prepared for inactivation, "with a view to recommissioning at some future date," and decommissioned on 30 June 1922 at the Naval Station, Pearl Harbor.
However, the recommissioning never materialized. Anthony remained out of commission at Pearl Harbor for the next 14 years. Struck from the Navy list on 1 December 1936, she was reduced to a hulk by Christmas of that year. Towed to the west coast by Brazos (AO-16), the former Anthony reached San Pedro, Calif., on 4 April 1937. Sonoma (AT-12) took over there and brought the ship to San Diego the following day. Ultimately, ex-Anthony met her end in U.S. Fleet gunnery exercises, sunk by shellfire from Portland (CA-33) on 22 July 1937 off the coast of Southern California.
Robert J. Cressman
25 August 1983