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Lamberton (Destroyer No. 119)

(DD-119; dp. 1,090; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 8'8"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 113; a. 4 4", 2 3", 1 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Rathburne)

Benjamin P. Lamberton, born 25 February 1844 in Pennsylvania, was appointed Midshipman 21 September 1861. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1865 and was attached to the steam sloop Susquehanna ofthe Brazil Squadron. Following 30 years of service in various ships and shore operations, Lamberton was promoted to captain 17 May 1898. He served as chief of staff on board Admiral Dewey's flagship Olympia in the Battle of Manila Bay.

An incident during the heat of the battle demonstrated the ardor of Olympia's crew. On learning of Dewey's decision to give the crew a break for breakfast, a gun captain commented to Captain Lamberton, "For God's sake, Captain, don't let us stop now. To hell with breakfast!"

Lamberton was promoted to rear admiral 11 September 1903 and died in Washington, D.C., 9 June 1912.

Lamberton (Destroyer No. 119) was laid down 1 October 1917 by Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Va.; launched 30 March 1918; sponsored by Miss Isabell Stedman Lamberton, Admiral Lamberton's granddaughter; and commissioned 22 August 1918, Lt. Comdr. Frank L. Slingluff in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean, Lamberton joined the Atlantic Fleet for maneuvers off the Azores in the spring of 1919. Reassigned to the newly formed Pacific Fleet, the destroyer departed Hampton Roads 19 July and arrived San Diego 7 August.

Based at San Diego, Lamberton operated along the west coast from August 1919 until June 1922. She participated in training maneuvers and performed experiments to develop superior naval tactics. The destroyer decommissioned at San Diego 30 June 1922.

Lamberton recommissioned 15 November 1930, Lt. Comdr. S. N. Moore in command. Operating along the west coast, she performed training exercises for nearly 2 years. She was reclassified AG-21 on 16 April 1932 and converted to a target-towing ship. From 1933 until 1940 she operated out of San Diego towing targets for surface ships, submarines, and aircraft, a role which paid dividends during World War II. She also engaged in experimental minesweeping exercises off the west coast and was reclassified DMS-2 on 19 November 1940.

After arriving Pearl Harbor 11 September 1941 Lamberton resumed target towing and ASW screening operations in the Hawaiian Islands. On 7 December 1941, she was escorting Minneapolis to Oahu when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor. Following the attack, she returned to port to sweep the harbor. For the next 7 months she remained on offshore patrol in the Hawaiian Islands.

Departing Pearl Harbor 11 July 1942 Lamberton steamed north. arriving Kodiak, Alaska, 7 days later. The high-speed minesweeper performed patrol and escort duty in the frigid North Pacific during the Aleutian campaign. In mid-May 1943 she escorted the task group which brought reinforcements for the second landing at Massacre Bay, Attu. Lamberton continued patrol operations until late June when she sailed for Kuluk Bay.

The high-speed minesweeper then steamed to San Diego, arriving there 23 July. For the rest of the war she performed target-towing operations off the west coast and out of Pearl Harbor.

Lamberton was reclassified AG-21 on 5 June 1945, and, following the Japanese surrender, she operated out of San Diego as an auxiliary.

She decommissioned at Bremerton, Wash., 13 December 1946 and was sold 9 May 1947 to National Metal & Steel Co., Terminal Island for scrapping.

Lamberton received one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Wed Feb 24 23:32:33 EST 2016