(DD-286: displacement 1,190 tons; length 314'5"; beam 31'8"; draft 9'3"; speed 35 knots; complement 120; armament 4 4-inch guns, 2 3-inch guns, 4 21-inch torpedo tubes; class Clemson)
James L. Lardner was born at Philadelphia, Pa., 20 November 1802. He was appointed Midshipman 10 May 1820. Lardner served in the Pacific squadron from 1821 to 1824 and joined the Mediterranean squadron in 1825 after escorting General Lafayette in Brandywine back to France. He cruised in various squadrons and held important positions on shore until 1860. In September 1861 during the, Civil War, Lardner, in command of frigate Susquehanna, tooka pertinent part in the Battle of Port Royal and the capture of Forts Walker and Beauregard. He was commended for gallantry in action by Rear Admiral DuPont; his name was sent to Congress for a vote of thanks by President Lincoln. In May 1862, be assumed command of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron and was promoted to commodore 16 July 1862. From May 1863 to October 1864, Lardner commanded the West India Squadron. After his retirement 20 November 1864, he was appointed rear admiral 25 July 1866. He served on special duty with various boards until 1869, when he was appointed Governor of the Naval Asylum, Philadelphia. He held this post until 1871. Rear Admiral Lardner died 12 April 1881 in Philadelphia, Pa.
The first Lardner (Destroyer No. 286) was launched by the the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Squanrum, Mass., 29 September 1919; sponsored by Miss Margaret Large, granddaughter of Rear Admiral Lardner; and commissioned 10 December 1919, Lt. Comdr. Max B. DeMott in command.
Assigned to Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, Lardner departed Newport, R.I., for Cuba where she participated in tactical exercises, battle practice, and fleet maneuvers. She returned to Boston 15 May 1920 and operated with destroyer squadrons patrolling off the Florida coast. On 28 August she joined the reserve fleet at Charleston, S.C., to train Naval Reservists until departing for Jacksonville, Fla., in April 1921.
Lardner operated along the Atlantic coast through 1921 and 1922. In January 1923, she departed Boston and joined the Scouting Fleet off Cuba and in February joined the Pacific Fleet off Panama. Lardner departed for the United States arriving Norfolk 24 April 1923 for refit, then rejoined the Scouting Fleet off the New England coast until the winter when she sailed for the Caribbean, returning to the United States in the spring of 1924. She patrolled along the Atlantic coast until September 1925, then departed New York for Guantanamo and Haiti returning to Charleston, S.C., 28 April 1926.
Lardner joined Destroyer Division 27 on 17 June 1926, visiting several ports in northern Europe, September found Lardner off Gibraltar and in the Mediterranean, visiting various ports. Lardner departed for the United States towing Scorpion, arriving at Philadelphia 12 July 1927. Between August 1927 and September 1929, Lardner continued operations along the Atlantic coast with annual winter cruises to the Caribbean, often training Naval Reservists.
Lardner decommissioned at Philadelphia 1 May 1930, in accordance with the London Naval Treaty, and was struck from the Navy Register 22 October 1930. She was sold for scrapping to the Boston Iron & Metal Co., Baltimore, Md., 17 January 1931.
20 July 2005