Skip to main content
Related Content
  • Boats-Ships--Destroyer
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

John Francis Burnes (Destroyer No. 299)

(DD-299: dp. 1,100; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'3"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 95; a. 4 4", 1 3", 12 21" tt.; cl. Clemson)

John Francis Burnes, born 1883 in Binghamton, N.Y., joined the U.S. Marine Corps 1904. Shortly before the war, he was appointed machine gunner, and commissioned June 1917. He was sent to France, where his gallant service in battle won him the Distinguished Service Cross. "In the attack on the Bois de Belleau 12 June 1918 he was badly wounded but completed disposition of his platoon under violent fire. The injuries which he sustained in the performance of this self-sacrificing duty later caused his death."

John Francis Burnes (Destroyer No. 299), formerly Swasey, was laid down 4 July 1918 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., San Francisco, Calif.; launched 10 November 1918; sponsored by Mrs. Julius Kahn; and commissioned 1 May 1920, Comdr. Frank N. Eklund in command.

Following shakedown and training exercises during the summer of 1920, John Francis Burnes engaged in fleet maneuvers during October. These exercises were designed to maintain the superior navy demanded by America's position as a world power. For the next 2 years she continued tactical exercises along the California coast, operating out of San Diego, her home port. She sailed 6 February 1923 for exercises off Mexico and the Canal Zone.

Following her return in April, John Francis Burnes operated out of California for 2 years with the exception of fleet maneuvers in the Caribbean in early 1924. One year later she participated in joint Army-Navy maneuvers out of San Francisco before joining fleet operations in Hawaii 27 April 1925. The destroyer then cruised with a large force in the Pacific, visiting Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand before returning to San Diego in September.

For the next 3 years she engaged in training operations and fleet maneuvers along the West Coast, developing the techniques of modern naval warfare which the Navy used so effectively in World War II. During the summers of 1928 and 1929, John Francis Burnes again helped to shape the Navy's future as she engaged in reserve training cruises to develop skilled reserves against the unknown day of need ahead. John Francis Burnes arrived San Diego 28 August 1929 and remained there until she decommissioned 25 February 1930. She was sold as scrap metal 10 June 1931 in accordance with the London Treaty for the limitation of naval armaments.

Published: Tue Feb 23 12:43:38 EST 2016