Born in Winona, Miss., 24 April 1887, William Devotie Billingsley graduated from the Academy in 1909. One of the first Naval Aviators, Ensign Billingsley was killed in an airplane crash near Annapolis, Md., 20 June 1913.
Billingsley (DD-293) was launched 10 December 1919 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Squantum, Mass.; sponsored by Miss Irene Billingsley, sister of Ensign Billingsley; and commissioned 1 March 1920, Commander H. D. Cooke in command.
Billingsley joined Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, in operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean until the summer of 1920 when she made Naval Reserve training cruises. In reserve until June 1922 she then joined Division 26, Squadron 9, Destoryer Force, at Philadelphia. She cruised along the Atlantic coast until June 1924 when Division 26 joined U. S. Naval Forces, Euorpe. Billingsley cruised in European and Mediterranean waters for the next year and assisted refugees in the Near East. In the spring of 1925 she acted as plane guard for the North Atlantic rosssing of the Army "Around-the-World Flight." Later in the year she returned home and resumed her routine activities along the east coast until the summer of 1929 when she again made Naval Reserve cruises. Billingsley reported to Philadelphia Navy Yard in September 1929; was decommissioned 1 May 1930; and sold 17 January 1931.
6 February 2006