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Colhoun I (Destroyer No. 85)

(DD-85: dp. 1,060; l. 315'5"; b. 31'9"; dr. 9'2"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 100; a. 4 4", 12 21" tt.; cl. Wickes)

Born 6 May 1821 at Chambersburg, Pa., Edmund Ross Colhoun was appointed a midshipman 1 April 1839. He served during the Mexican War with Commodores Conner and Perry at Alvarado and Tabasco. During the Civil War he served on both the North and South Atlantic Blockading Squadrons, had command of the monitor Weehawken, and was commended for his participation in the bombardment and capture of Fort Fisher, N.C., from December 1864 to January 1865. He commanded the South Pacific Station (1874-5), Mare Island Navy Yard (1877-81), and retired from the Navy 5 May 1883. Rear Admiral Colhoun died 17 February 1897.


The first Colhoun (Destroyer No. 85) was launched 21 February 1918 by Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Miss A. Colhoun; commissioned 13 June1918, Commander B. B. Wygant in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.

From 30 June to 14 September 1918 Colhoun served as convoy escort between New York and European ports. On 10 November 1918 she reported to New London to conduct experiments with sound equipment then under development. On 1 January 1919 she rushed to assist the transport Northern Pacific which was stranded at Fire Island, carrying 194 of her returning troops to Hoboken, N.J.

After operations in the Caribbean and off the east coast, Colhoun was placed in reduced commission at Philadelphia Navy Yard 1 December 1919. Following overhaul at Norfolk Navy Yard and a reserve period at Charleston, S.C., she returned to Philadelphia, where she was decommissioned 28 June 1922.

Towed to Norfolk Navy Yard (5 June 1940) Colhoun underwent conversion to a high-speed transport and was recommissioned as APD-2 on 11 December 1940. She operated between Norfolk and the Caribbean on training exercises until sailing for Noumea, New Caledonia, where she arrived 21 July 1942.

She carried units of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion in the initial assault landings on Guadalcanal on 7 August and continued to serve as both transport and antisubmarine vessel in support of the invasion.

At 1400 on 30 August 1942, while Colhoun was on patrol off Guadalcanal, she was struck in a Japanese air raid. The first hits wrecked the ship's boats and the after davits and started a diesel fire from the boat wreckage. In a second attack, a succession of hits on the starboard side brought down the foremast, blew two 20mm. guns and one 4" gun off the ship, and damaged the engineering spaces. Two more direct hits killed all the men in the after deck house. Tank lighters from Guadalcanal rescued the crew, and Calhoun sank in 09-24' S., 160-01' E. Fifty-one men were killed and 18 wounded in this action.

Colhoun received one battle star for her participation in World War II.

Published: Tue Feb 23 14:20:34 EST 2016