Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Boats-Ships--Destroyer
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Fuller I (Destroyer No. 297)

(DD-297: dp. 1,190; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'4"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 95; a. 4 4", 12 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Clemson)

Edward Canfield Fuller, born 4 September 1893 in Hamilton, Va., was a member of the Naval Academy class of 1916, and was commissioned in the Marine Corps upon graduation. Captain Fuller was killed in action in the Battle of Belleau Wood in France 12 June 1918, while fearlessly exposing himself in an artillery barrage in order to get his men into a safer position. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by the Army for his selfless sacrifice for his men. DD-297 was named in his honor.

His father, Ben Hebard Fuller, born 27 February 1870 in Big Rapids, Mich., was a member of the Naval Academy class of 1889. After the 2 years of service as a naval cadet then required before commissioning, he entered the Marine Corps 1 July 1891. During the Spanish-American War, he commanded the Marine Detachment in Columbia, and after the war served with distinction in the Philippines, and during the Boxer Rebellion in China. In high commands in the Caribbean campaigns of the period 1918 to 1925 he further distinguished himself, and from 9 July 1930 until his retirement 1 March 1934, he was Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps. Major General Fuller died in Washington, D.C., 8 June 1937. AP-14 was named in his honor.


The first Fuller (Destroyer No. 297) was launched 5 December 1918 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., San Francisco, Calif.; sponsored by Miss Gladys Sullivan; and commissioned 28 February 1920, Lieutenant Commander R. E. Rogers in command.

After a brief cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, Fuller arrived at her home port, San Diego, 28 April 1920, and at once took up the schedule of training which took the Pacific destroyers along the west coast from California to Oregon. In February and March 1923, she joined in Battle Fleet maneuvers in the Panama Canal Zone, and returned to experimental torpedo firing and antiaircraft firing practice off San Diego. In July 1923, with her division, she sailed north for maneuvers and repairs at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. While making their homeward-bound passage from San Francisco to San Diego on the night of 8 September, the division went on the rocks at Point Honda when position calculations erred in the foggy darkness. Fuller, last in the column, was abandoned, all of her crew reaching safety, and later broke in two and sank. She was decommissioned 26 October 1923.

Published: Wed Feb 24 08:27:59 EST 2016