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Hunt I (Destroyer No. 194)

(DD-194: dp. 1,215; l. 314'5" ; b. 31'9" ; dr. 9'4" ; s. 35 k.; cpl. 101; a. 4 4", 1 3", 12 21" tt.; cl. Clemson)

William Henry Hunt, born in Charleston, S.C., 12 June 1823, was Secretary of the Navy under President Garfield. After studying law at Yale, he finished his professional training in his brothers' office in New Orleans, where he was admitted to the bar in 1844. Hunt opposed secession and favored the Union cause. He was nevertheless drafted into the Confederate Army and commissioned Lieutenant Colonel. However, he managed to avoid involvement in military operations until Admiral Farragut captured New Orleans.

In March 1876, Hunt was appointed Attorney-General of Louisiana, and in July of that year he was the Republican candidate for this office. Both parties claimed victory in the election, but Hunt lost the position when President Hayes recognized the Democratic government of the State. As compensation, the President appointed him Associate Judge of the United States Court of Claims, 15 May 1878. He served in this capacity until he became President Garfield's Secretary of the Navy.

Secretary Hunt rendered invaluable service by reporting that the Navy, grossly neglected after the Civil War, was no longer able to protect Americans abroad. He appointed the first Naval Advisory Board which undertook the work of rebuilding the Navy, emasculated by public apathy and lock of funds. After Vice President Arthur succeeded Garfield in the presidency, he retired Hunt from the cabinet by appointing him Minister to Russia 7 April 1882. He died February 1884, while representing the United States at Saint Petersburg.

The first Hunt (Destroyer No. 194) was launched by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., 14 February 1920; sponsored by Miss Virginia Livingston Hunt; and commissioned 30 September 1920, Lt. Roswell H. Blair in command.

After shakedown, Hunt participated in training and readiness exercises with the Atlantic Fleet and conducted torpedo trials on the range out of Newport, R.I. She shifted her base of operations to Charleston, S.C., 3 December 1920. Sailing from Charleston Harbor 29 May 1922, she entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard 6 June and decommissioned there 11 August 1922. From 13 September 1930 to 28 May 1934 the U.S. Coast Guard had custody of the ship.

Hunt recommissioned at Philadelphia and cleared that port 26 January 1940 for neutrality patrol in the Caribbean Sea. She departed Panama Canal 3 April to escort submarine Searaven to Cape Canaveral and then engaged in gunnery practice in Cuban waters en route to Norfolk arriving 17 April 1940. The next few months were devoted to maneuvers in Chesapeake Bay and training cruises down the eastern seaboard.

Hunt was 1 of the 50 "overage fourstacker destroyers" exchanged with the British for American bases in British West Indies. She got underway from Newport 3 October 1940, and reached Halifax, Nova Scotia 5 October. The following day she embarked 100 English officers and bluejackets for instructions in ship handling. On 8 October she decommissioned from the U.S. Navy and commissioned in the British Navy as HMS Broadway.

Broadway arrived at Belfast 24 October 1940, where she joined the llth Escort Group, Western Approaches Command, with whom she engaged in escorting numerous convoys. On 9 May, with the help of destroyer Bulldog and corvette Aubrietia, she captured German submarine U-110 between Iceland and Greenland. On the previous night, the U-boat had crept in to attack Broadway's convoy but was prevented from surfacing by the strong destroyer escort. She continued to shadow the Allied ships until early in the afternoon watch when she launched three torpedoes from periscope depth. Broadway and her fellow escorts promptly counterattacked and forced her to surface where she surrendered. Unfortunately the prize sank while in tow to port but only after her captors had recovered documents of great value and importance. This victory was especially sweet since U-110 was commanded by Korvetten-Kapitan Lemp who had made the first kill of the war by sinking liner Athenia 3 September 1939, the day England declared war. Lemp was lost with 14 members of his crew, but a war correspondent, 4 officers and 28 men were rescued.

During 1942 and 1943 Broadway continued to escort Atlantic convoys. On 12 May 1943 she joined frigate Lagan and aircraft from escort carrier Biter in destroying another German submarine, U-89, which was sunk northeast of the Azores.

After refitting at Belfast in September 1943, Broadway became a target ship for aircraft and served as such at Rosyth in Scotland until the war ended in Europe. In May 1945 she left Rosyth for Northern Norway with one of the occupation forces. At Narvik, Norway, she took charge of a convoy of German submarines which was sailing for Trondheim. In the reduction of the British Navy after the war, Hunt was scrapped.

Published: Wed Feb 24 19:24:44 EST 2016