Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Tags
Related Content
Topic
  • nhhc-topics:destroyer
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
  • nhhc-wars-conflicts:world-war-ii
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials

Livermore I (DD-429)

1940–1956

Samuel Livermore was born in Concord, N.H., on 26 August 1786, the son of Edward St. Loe Livermore and Mehitable (Harris) Livermore. Samuel’s mother, Methtiable, died in 1793 at the age of 28, leaving behind five children; Samuel was only seven years old at the time of her death. His father, Edward, practiced law in Concord and upon reaching adulthood, Samuel followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued the law, attending Harvard College, Mass. He graduated from Harvard in 1804, and shortly thereafter passed the Massachusetts bar, whereupon, he began to practice law in Boston. It was in that place in 1811 that he published A Treatise on the Law Relative to Principles, Agents, Factors, Auctioneers, and Brokers, which, according to Charles Warren’s 1911 A History of the American Bar, was a first of its kind in American legal writing.

On 18 June 1812, the U.S. Congress declared war on Great Britain, beginning a conflict that would be known as the War of 1812 (1812–1815). A year into the war, on 21 May 1813, Livermore joined the U.S. naval service having been appointed the acting chaplain on board the frigate Chesapeake by the authority of Capt. James Lawrence, the frigate’s commanding officer. Livermore and Lawrence were friends and as was sometimes the custom during that time a commanding officer possessed the authority to appoint one of their friends to such a position with little inconvenience.

By the time Livermore began his service on board Chesapeake the Royal Navy’s presence along the U.S. coast had increased to 129 warships. Despite the British numerical superiority, U.S. naval vessels triumphed in a number of one-on-one duels, such as Constitution and HMS Guerriere (19 August 1812), Wasp and HMS Frolic (18 October 1812), United States and HMS Macedonian (25 October 1812), Constitution and HMS Java (29 December 1812). Thus, despite the British blockade and the general belief in the Royal Navy’s invincibility, confidence in their ability to tame the unruly Yankees started to wane.

It was in such an environment that on 1 June 1813, despite the inexperience of the crew, Chesapeake departed Boston Harbor. She was quickly thereafter engaged by the veteran British frigate HMS Shannon, Capt. Philip Bowes Vere Broke, commanding, who, despite running low on supplies had remained in the area in anticipation of Chesapeake’s move. Numerous conflicting accounts of the action between Chesapeake and HMS Shannon exist as do the details of Livermore’s deeds that day, for which reason, only the most basic universally agreed-upon observations will be recorded here.

The action began with the two frigates exchanging devastating broadsides, which caused significant casualties on both sides. During the barrage, Capt. Lawrence was mortally wounded and as he was being taken below he was said to have uttered “Don’t give up the ship!” The shattering cannonade that paralyzed Chesapeake and deprived her of her captain, however, was swiftly followed by the British boarding her, the party led personally by Capt. Broke himself.

From the quarterdeck, Broke and his party met little resistance as most of the American sailors on that part of the ship had already been cut down during the bombardment. It was then that Chaplain Livermore advanced on Broke and his men, first firing his pistol and then engaging them with his sword. In the melee, Broke slashed Livermore in the arm; an injury which nearly cost Livermore his limb. Broke, too, suffered severe injuries in the fighting, but nonetheless survived. The British carried the day, securing a sensational victory. The entire action was estimated to have lasted only 15 minutes, but resulted in some 252 men being killed or wounded.

Following his capture, Chaplain Livermore was treated for his wounds by the British and, along with the other prisoners, was taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia. After just a few days in captivity, on 4 June 1813, Livermore was returned to the U.S., by the cartel ship (a vessel used for humanitarian purposes to transport prisoners between belligerents) Fredrick Augustus. Livermore continued his service with the Navy following his return although the details of the remainder of his career are conflicting at best.

On 12 August 1813, Livermore was appointed to be a purser (the officer responsible for a ships’ financial accounts and supplies) by Secretary of the Navy William Jones. He was initially assigned to be a purser in the brig Rattlesnake from 5 to 16 August; thereafter he reported to Capt. John Rodgers on board the frigate President, which got underway from Newport R.I., on 27 September and set course for the West Indies. She returned from her cruise in February 1814 and arrived at New York on the 19th. A subsequent British blockade kept President at anchor at New York for nearly a year.

Livermore was re-assigned in May 1814, and was ordered to report for duty with Commodore Isaac Chauncey at Sacketts Harbor, N.Y. En route to that location, however, he asked to be temporarily assigned as the prize money agent for the officers and crew of President, most of whom had been transferred to Guerriere during the British blockade and were awaiting the award of a certain sum of money for several small vessels they had captured during the West Indies cruise. As of 10 May, Livermore was officially given the requested duty and served as the purser for Guerriere at Philadelphia, Pa. After securing the prize money for the crew, Livermore continued on to his original assignment and reported for duty at Sacketts Harbor with Como. Chauncey on 8 July. Hostilities ended on 18 February 1815 with the signing of the Treat of Ghent, and at about that time it is believed that Livermore moved to Baltimore, Md.

On 7 April 1815, Livermore was ordered to join Como. Stephen Decatur’s squadron, which was formed to fight Algerian pirates in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the Second Barbary War. He reported to his new post in April, as purser on board the brig Spark, commanded by Lt. Thomas Gamble. The ship departed New York on 20 May and reached Gibraltar on 15 June. During the campaign in the Mediterranean, Spark participated in numerous actions against the pirates including the capture of the Algerian flagship Mashuda near Cape de Gatt on 19 June. However, after a few short months of fighting, and the general cessation of hostilities that followed, Spark got underway from the area on 6 October, and arrived back at Newport, on 15 November.

Based on the available documentation it appears that Livermore concluded his service with the Navy sometime on or prior to 29 October 1816. Subsequently, while living in Baltimore, he assisted Alexander C. Hanson in publishing the Federal Republican. A few years later at some point in the year 1822 he moved to New Orleans, La., where he went on to practice law as an advocate and gained significant prominence in the legal field. He is credited with writing numerous legal treatises, which included the well-known Dissertations on the Questions Which Arise from the Contrariety of the Positive Laws of Different States and Nations, published in New Orleans in 1828, a work considered to be one of the first of its kind in analyzing conflict laws.

In his will, Livermore bequeathed his entire library on foreign law-estimated to be approximately three hundred volumes-to Harvard. Although generally remembered for his place in U.S. naval history, Livermore’s legacy in U.S. law proved by no means insignificant, as his work is still cited in the twenty-first century-most recently in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Domino’s Pizza Inc. vs. McDonald’s, 546 U.S. 470 (2006), which cited his 1818 piece, A Treatise on the Law of Principal and Agent.

In July 1833, Livermore set out on a journey to visit some of his relatives in New England. On the 11th of that month, however, while traveling through Florence, Ala., Livermore died of unknown, albeit presumably natural, causes. At the time of his death, he was 47 years old, had never been married and had no known children.

(DD-429: displacement 1,630; length 348'3"; beam 36'1"; draft 11'10"; speed 33 knots; complement 208; armament 5 5-inch, 4 .50 caliber machine guns, 10 21-inch torpedo tubes, 2 depth charge tracks; class Gleaves)

Livermore (DD-429) -- the first U.S. Navy ship to be named for a chaplain --was laid down on 6 March 1939 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 3 August 1940 and sponsored by Mrs. Everard M. Upjohn, Samuel Livermore’s second great grandniece.


Livermore (DD-429) -- the first U.S. Navy ship to be named for a chaplain --was laid down on 6 March 1939 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 3 August 1940 and sponsored by Mrs. Everard M. Upjohn, Samuel Livermore’s second great grandniece.
Caption: Livermore (DD-429) -- the first U.S. Navy ship to be named for a chaplain --was laid down on 6 March 1939 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 3 August 1940 and sponsored by Mrs. Everard M. Upjohn, Samuel Livermore’s second great grandniece.


Livermore’s launching ceremony on 3 August 1940 at Bath, Maine. Photograph is of Livermore’s sponsor Mrs. Everard M. Upjohn and family. Mrs. Upjohn was Samuel Livermore’s second great grandniece. (Naval History and Heritage Command Archive, Decommissioned Ship Histories, Prior to 2001, Box 480, U.S.S. Livermore (DD-429) Christening)
Caption: Livermore’s launching ceremony on 3 August 1940 at Bath, Maine. Photograph is of Livermore’s sponsor Mrs. Everard M. Upjohn and family. Mrs. Upjohn was Samuel Livermore’s second great grandniece. (Naval History and Heritage Command Archive, Decommissioned Ship Histories, Prior to 2001, Box 480, U.S.S. Livermore (DD-429) Christening)


Livermore in No. 5 Navy Gray, off the mouth of the Kennebec River, 20 September 1940. Note the 36-inch searchlight platform aft, two levels above the two 5-inch/38 open mounts on the after deckhouse, neither gun having been fitted with ballistics protection. She also carries boat handling equipment at Mt. 53 and the second torpedo mount carries a conical blast-protection shield. Her Mk. 37 director has not yet been fitted. Also note crow’s nest on the foremast (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-29999, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Livermore in No. 5 Navy Gray, off the mouth of the Kennebec River, 20 September 1940. Note the 36-inch searchlight platform aft, two levels above the two 5-inch/38 open mounts on the after deckhouse, neither gun having been fitted with ballistics protection. She also carries boat handling equipment at Mt. 53 and the second torpedo mount carries a conical blast-protection shield. Her Mk. 37 director has not yet been fitted. Also note crow’s nest on the foremast (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-29999, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Commissioned on 7 October 1940, Lt. Cmdr. Vernon Huber in command, Livermore fitted out at the Boston Navy Yard and operated locally, after which time she sailed on 7 November for Newport, R.I. On 13 November she departed Newport and shaped a course for Yorktown where she arrived on the 14th. From Yorktown the newly minted destroyer made her way to Norfolk, Va., where she arrived on the 15th.

After a brief stay in the Tidewater region, Livermore weighed anchor on 19 November 1940 and set course for Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to conduct her shakedown. During her time in that area she engaged in training activities including shore bombardment exercises, anti-aircraft firing, surface firing, and at sea refueling. Upon the completion of that period of training on 5 December, she departed the Guantánamo area, and set a course for the Boston Navy Yard, where she then underwent a refit and post shakedown availability.

Livermore remained at Boston for the remainder of the month. On 18 January 1941, she sailed for Provincetown, Mass., where she arrived the following day and then afterwards made her way to the Washington Navy Yard. On 28 January she got underway for Norfolk where she arrived on the 29th, and then remained at port there well into the next month. She got underway from Norfolk on 19 February, and arrived at the Charleston Navy Yard, S.C., on the 21st. After remaining Charleston for nearly a week the destroyer went on a brief excursion from Norfolk to Jacksonville, Fla., on 28 February, and remained there for several days before returning to Charleston on 2 March. She remained there for a significant portion of the month and then on 20 March steamed to Norfolk where she lingered late into April.

After steaming from Norfolk to Newport on 17 April 1941, then returning to Norfolk on the 19th, Livermore and her sistership Kearny (DD-432) were assigned to the neutrality patrol, when they stood out of Hampton Roads on 26 April in Task Group (TG) 2, formed around the aircraft carrier Wasp (CV-7) and the heavy cruiser Quincy (CA-39). TG 2 steamed 5,292 miles before arriving at Bermuda on 12 May. Livermore then participated in a second such patrol (with the same ships) when she sailed in TG 2 (Rear Adm. Robert C. Giffen, commanding) to carry out a 4,170-mile voyage that culminated at Bermuda on 3 June.

Subsequently, Livermore returned to Norfolk, then steamed to Newport on 13 June 1941, and then to Boston two days later for upkeep. Pushing on to Newport on 9 July, thence back to Norfolk (17 July), she operated locally on exercises from 24 July. She then returned to Bermuda.

With TG 2.7, Livermore sailed from Bermuda on 28 August 1941 along with the light cruiser Nashville (CL-43) and Kearny, as escorts for the aircraft escort vessel Long Island (AVG-1), the prototype for what would come to be called “escort carriers.” The group concluded their patrol, at Bermuda, on 9 September.

Underway from Bermuda on 11 September 1941, Livermore reached Argentia, Newfoundland, on 13 September. Soon thereafter, she steamed from Argentia to Hvalfjörður, Iceland, on 23 September 1941, then shepherded convoy ON 24.

Subsequently, on 15 October 1941, the German submarine U-553 began the onslaught against convoy SC 48 when she torpedoed and sank the British motor ship Silvercedar and Norwegian freighter Ila, before the Canadian destroyer HMCS Columbia [ex-U.S. destroyer Haraden (DD-183)] drove off the U-boat. U-432, U-502, U-558 and U-568, however, followed by U-73, U-77, U-101 and U-751, converged on the convoy, and one of them, U-568, torpedoed and sank the British steamer Empire Heron before the British corvette HMS Gladiolus drove her off. As a consequence, TU 4.1.4 (Capt. Hewlett Thebaud), comprising four U.S. destroyers, including Livermore, received orders to proceed to SC 48's aid as the west-bound convoy it had been escorting, ON 24, was dispersed.

Battle to protect convoy SC 48 continued on 16 October 1941, as U-502 and U-568 reestablished contact before retiring upon the arrival of TU 4.1.4. Livermore swept ahead of the convoy and depth-charged U-553 (Korvettenkapitän Karl Thurmann in command) while destroyer Kearny (DD-432), sweeping astern, dropped charges to discourage tracking submarines. Later, U-502 and U-568, augmented by U-432, U-553, and U-558 renew attack upon SC 48. The U-boats unleashed a determined assault on SC 48 during the night of 16–17 October.

SC 48 proved to be the first U.S. Navy-escorted convoy to engage German submarines in battle, but despite the presence of the three modern U.S. destroyers, including Livermore, and two flush-deckers--Decatur (DD-341) and HMCS Columbia and four Canadian corvettes, the enemy torpedoed six ships and an escort vessel in a total elapsed time of four hours and forty-seven minutes. U-432 sank the Greek steamer Evros, the Panamanian steamer Bold Venture, and Norwegian motor tanker Barfonn; U-558 sank the British tanker W.C. Teagle and Norwegian steamship Rym. U-553 sank the Norwegian steamer Erviken, and conducted an unsuccessful approach on Plunkett (DD-431).

Kearny was torpedoed by U-568 (Kapitänleutnant Joachim Preuss) southwest of Iceland; 11 of Kearny’s crew were killed, 22 injured. Soon thereafter, U-101 torpedoed and sank the British destroyer HMS Broadwater [ex-U.S. destroyer Mason (DD-191); lost on board the British flush-decker are two survivors from Ervinger and nine from W.C. Teagle. Escorted by Greer (DD-145), the damaged Kearny proceeded to Hvalfjörður where she would undergo repairs alongside repair ship Vulcan (AR-5) and eventually return to the United States.

Iceland-based PBYs (VP-73) arrived to provide air coverage for SC 48, one of which dropped a package containing blood plasma and transfusion gear for use in treating the wounded on board Kearny. Monssen (DD-435) retrieved the package but the gear becomes disengaged and sank. Later, a PBM (VP-74) repeated the operation a few hours later; successfully, with Monssen retrieving the medical supplies intact. Plunkett, Livermore and Decatur, meanwhile, made concerted depth charge attacks on sound contacts in proximity with no visible results. German submarines break off operations against SC 48. Ultimately, Livermore arrived at Argentia on the 21st and then steamed to Boston, arriving there on the 23rd.

Livermore got underway from Boston on 1 November 1941, and later that same day arrived at Casco Bay in Portland, Maine. She departed Casco Bay for Argentia on 3 November and arrived there on the 5th, then escorted another convoy to Hvalfjörður, and returned to Argentia on 25 November. Only a few days after the United States’ official entry into the Second World War on 11 December, Livermore made her final round trip voyage of the year, getting underway from Casco Bay on 14 December and arriving at Hvalfjörður shortly thereafter. She weighed anchor on the 25th and shaped a course for Boston, where she arrived without incident within the week.

On 15 January 1942, having shifted over to New York a few days prior, Livermore set out on another North Atlantic convoy, departing that metropolis as a submarine screen for Task Force (TF) 15 en route to Hvalfjörður. The task force consisted of Wasp, Quincy, the battleship Texas (BB-35), and the troop transports HMTS Strathaird, Munargo (AP-20), Chateau Thierry (AP-31). The task force arrived safely at port in Hvalfjörður on 25 January. Livermore returned to Boston on 9 February, and then visited numerous ports along the East Coast and the Caribbean while screening the battleships Washington (BB-56) and North Carolina (BB-55) as they conducted sea trials.  

In April 1942, Livermore began her first of several transatlantic convoy missions. At 0720 on the 7th she got underway from the New York Navy Yard for escort duty with the light cruiser Philadelphia (CL-41), and the destroyers Ericsson (DD-440), Ellis (DD-154), Eberle (DD-430), Kearny, Bernadou (DD-153), Lea (DD-118), Cole (DD-155) and Du Pont (DD-152). The task force of warships escorted convoys AT 17 and NA 7 which consisted of numerous U.S. and British troop transports, bearing for Greenock, Scotland. Livermore arrived at Halifax, N.S., on 9 April, re-fueled and then continued on the voyage. On the 15th the convoy split with Livermore and Kearny escorting NA 7 to Britain while the main body continued on to Iceland. The destroyer and her charge arrived safely at Greenock on 18 April.

She made a quick turnaround and on 19 April 1942, Livermore and Kearny departed Greenock and proceeded to form an anti-submarine screen for the destroyer tender Melville (AD-2) en route to Iceland. The three of them arrived in Hvalfjörður on 22 April and Livermore moored to the buoy in berth D27. She remained in port for several days undergoing brief inspection. On the 25th at 0900, the destroyer got underway for Reykjavik, Iceland. The next day Livermore and Kearny joined the repair ship Vulcan (AR-5) and provision storeship Tarazed (AF-13) at sea to escort them to Boston. While still mid-voyage, during the evening of 2 May, Livermore made sound contact with an enemy submarine and dropped four depth charges. The results of the attack were inclusive and the threat shortly thereafter dissipated. On 4 May, Livermore and the others arrived at the Boston Navy Yard.


With a bone-in-teeth and her crew at quarters, Livermore stands out of Boston, 11 May 1942, painted in disruptive camouflage. Note that she has received a search radar at the top of her foremast but has not yet received fire control radar atop her Mk. 37 director. While the number of 5-inch mounts has been cut to four, she now carries six 20-millimeter Oerlikons, and much tophamper has been reduced aft. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-29801, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: With a bone-in-teeth and her crew at quarters, Livermore stands out of Boston, 11 May 1942, painted in disruptive camouflage. Note that she has received a search radar at the top of her foremast but has not yet received fire control radar atop her Mk. 37 director. While the number of 5-inch mounts has been cut to four, she now carries six 20-millimeter Oerlikons, and much tophamper has been reduced aft. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-29801, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Following six days of availability the destroyer steamed to Casco Bay and anchored in Berth R. Livermore remained in the area for several days conducting exercises with Kearny and getting some much-needed engineering repairs accomplished. On the 18th she made her way back to the Boston and went alongside Pier 10 for degaussing. She got underway with Kearny on 21 May on another escort mission screening a convoy consisting of the seaplane tender Pocomoke (AV-9), Tarazed, and U.S. Army Transport Dorchester, transferring a complement of troops. The convoy had some initial troubles getting into a proper formation due the onset of heavy fog that reduced visibility to less than 200 yards. The fog continued to hinder the convoy as it ventured out to sea, causing both transports to become separated from the group on more than one occasion.

Despite their early difficulties the convoy arrived at Argentia on 24 May 1942. The next day at 1400 Livermore again got underway with Kearny escorting Dorchester to Greenland. On the 28th Livermore was ordered to return to Argentia while Kearny and Dorchester proceeded to Greenland. At 1530, Livermore arrived back in Argentia and moored alongside the oiler Winooski (AO-38) for fuel. On 30 May, the destroyer conducted some training exercises with the British submarine HMS P-514 and then shaped a course for Halifax where she arrived at 1900 the following day.

On 2 June 1942, she stood out from Halifax, to form a submarine screen along with Benson (DD-421), Mayo (DD-422), Gleaves (DD-423), Niblack (DD-424) and Kearny, for convoy AT 16, which included numerous supply and transport ships. On the 10th Livermore and Kearny were detached from the Task Force and proceeded towards Moville, Ireland. The two destroyers made it to their destination later that day mooring to the pier in Londonderry Port, Lisahally, Ireland.

Livermore, accompanied by Kearny, Mayo, Gleaves, and Niblack conducted exercises together at sea on 14 June 1942 and then Livermore shaped a course for Greenock that same day. She arrived at Greenock on the 15th at 0700, and then anchored in Berth E2. On the 16th at 2230, Livermore, along with the battleship New York (BB-34), and her fellow destroyers Kearny, Gleaves, Niblack, Benson and Mayo got underway for Boston, escorting convoy CT 1. They arrived without incident at Boston near Vineyard Sound Lightship at 1700 on 26 June. Upon reaching their destination Livermore broke off from the formation and shaped a course for Brooklyn, where she arrived early in the morning the next day and moored to the north side of pier 35; whereupon she took on fuel and provisions.

Keeping up her tireless pace, the same day Livermore arrived at New York, she again got underway to assist in escorting New York. On 28 June 1942 she arrived in company at the Norfolk Navy Yard where she was released from duty and began a period of port availability. After just over a week at port the destroyer got underway at 0800 on 8 July with Kearny en route to New York. Livermore entered New York harbor on 9 July and moored to the north side of the 33rd St. Pier, in South Brooklyn. While in port that day her commanding officer, Cmdr. Huber, attended a convoy conference at the Port Director’s Office. Livermore remained at Brooklyn through the 12th, finally getting underway on 13 July with Kearny, Gleaves, and Mayo escorting the Persian Gulf-bound convoy AS 4.

While en route with the aforementioned convoy on 16 July 1942, one of her charges, the cargo ship Fairport was struck by two torpedoes from the German submarine U-161, (Kapitänleutnant Albrecht Achilles), at which point the vessel sheered out of formation and sank. Fortunately, Kearny rescued all hands—43 crewmen, the 16-man naval armed guard, and 66 passengers—and the convoy arrived at Bermuda later that same day. The convoy continued on the following day at 1415 Livermore spotted a life raft with approximately 20 people on it. The survivors were from the U.S. refrigerated cargo ship Santa Rita which had been torpedoed and shelled on 9 July by the German submarine U-172, (Kapitänleutnant Carl Emmermann). Livermore, along with Mayo and a crash boat rescued the 48 merchant seamen, two passengers, and the nine-man armed guard detachment who survived the U-boat’s attack. U-172 took the master captive, however, and four men died during the engagement.

On 18 July 1942, the light cruisers Omaha (CL-4), and Juneau (CL-52) and the destroyer Somers (DD-381) joined the convoy. A few days later, on the 20th, Livermore and some of the other escorts were detached from the convoy and proceeded to Trinidad for fuel. At approximately 0800 the next day, while still some 25 miles from port, the Livermore was hailed by a British patrol boat and asked to take on 33 survivors from the British tanker Donovania, which had been torpedoed earlier that day by German submarine U-160, (Kapitänleutnant Georg Lassen) Livermore took the men on board, 16 of whom were injured, and after arriving at port in Trinidad later that day transferred them to shore. After briefly refueling, Livermore, along with Wilkes (DD-441) got underway for Norfolk.

The destroyer arrived at Norfolk on 25 July 1942 and moored in berth 53. The next day Livermore got underway at 0830 in company with Wilkes, and the battleship Arkansas (BB-33) bearing for New York. On the 27th she was released from her escort duty with Arkansas near Ambrose Lightship and at 1300 she shifted into her berth at pier D at the New York Navy Yard and began a period of availability.

Livermore remained in port until 4 August 1942. On the 5th she shifted over to Pier 33, South Brooklyn and then the next day, on 6 August, she got underway with TF 21 escorting 14 U.S., British, and Polish troop transports. Other escorts included Arkansas, the light cruiser Brooklyn (CL-40), and the destroyers Roe (DD-418), Ericsson, Madison (DD-425), Eberle, Nicholson (DD-442), Kearny, Mayo, Niblack, Benson, Gleaves, Hilary P. Jones (DD-427), and Charles F. Hughes (DD-428).

The ships arrived at Halifax on 8 August 1942. On the 10th, Livermore, and Kearny escorted the troop transport H.F. Alexander to Boston. They arrived at their destination the following day and the destroyer moored to Commonwealth Pier and fueled. Shortly thereafter she got back underway setting a course for Newport, via the Cape Cod Canal. At about 2300 she encountered heavy fog and anchored just off the entrance to the Canal. The fog finally lifted the following morning and the destroyer proceeded through the canal entered the harbor. In the late afternoon that same day, Livermore departed New Port acting as an escort for the seaplane tender Albemarle (AV-5) en route to Norfolk.

The two arrived at Norfolk without incident on 13 August 1942. The next day Livermore got underway with Kearny and Rowan (DD-405) for Delaware Bay, where they arrived at approximately 1900. Livermore remained anchored in the bay through the next day, finally getting underway at 0400 on the 16th to escort the battleship South Dakota (BB-57), along with Kearny and Rowan, to the Canal Zone. They all reached Cristobal, C.Z., on the 20th and Livermore moored to pier 7. She departed the next day in company with Kearny and made it back to Norfolk on the 24th mooring to pier 5.

On 25 August 1942, Livermore got underway from Norfolk with Kearny, Ericsson, and Eberle, escorting the four tankers Chicopee (AO-34), Mattaponi (AO-41), Esso Richmond (II) and White Plains to Houston, Texas. They made the voyage in five days, arriving in Galveston Harbor at 1725 on the 30th, whereupon Livermore moored to pier 19. On 1 September, Livermore and Kearny got underway escorting Chicopee, Mattaponi, and Montana, which was also another tanker. The convoy arrived at the Navy Yard Annex in South Boston on 8 September and Livermore moored to Pier 1 in preparation for eight days of availability.

Livermore weighed anchor and got underway amid some light fog on 17 September 1942, to conduct firing drills in the Casco Bay area with Kearny. After several days of exercises in those waters, on the 21st she headed for New York eventually mooring to the north side of the 33rd St. Pier, South Brooklyn, on the 22nd. After a few days in port Livermore headed back to sea in company with Kearny to escort Convoy NY3, consisting of the troop transports Thurston (AP-77), Dorothea L. Dix (AP-67), and Elizabeth C. Stanton (AP-69). That night around 2028, Thurston broke down and Livermore stayed behind to screen her. After a few hours she escorted Thurston to Norfolk, where they arrived without further incident on the 25th.

From 28 to 29 September 1942, Livermore conducted shore bombardment exercises at Bloodsworth Island in Chesapeake Bay. Then on the 30th she anchored between the Tail of the Horseshoe and Middle Grounds, to stand guard against rumored attacks in the area by enemy motor torpedo boats and midget submarines. Livermore shifted between the two aforementioned locations, conducting exercises and standing watch for most of the next month. Finally, on 24 October, she got underway with Roe, Kearny, and Ericsson to form an anti-submarine screen for Cruiser Division 8, which was acting as the advance force for troop transports, supply ships, and tankers headed for French Morocco as part of the planned invasion of Vichy French North Africa, Operation Torch.

On 7 November 1942, the day before Torch was set to begin, Livermore was still at sea and nearing her destination. On the morning of the 7th she was ordered to join Northern Attack Group, TG 34.8, composed of Texas, the light cruiser Savannah (CL-42); destroyers Roe, Kearny, Eberle, Ericsson, Parker (DD-604), and Dallas (DD-199); and mine sweepers Osprey (AM-56) and Raven (AM-55). The Attack Group was charged with escorting ten troop and supply ships.

Livermore arrived with her Attack Group in the transport area, 12,000 yards off the jetty at Mehida, French Morocco, at midnight on 7 November 1942. Operation Torch began in earnest on 8 November, with three simultaneously executed, amphibious Allied assaults targeting Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers. The eventual success of the operation gave Allied forces an additional foothold in North Africa enabling the eventual expulsion of Axis forces. For her part in the operation Livermore dutifully screened transports landing off Mehida through the 11th.

In recalling the operations, Cmdr. Vernon commented that “During the entire period, all officers and men were in very high spirits, and extremely anxious to engage in actual combat. Despite the long time at battle stations no fatigue was observed.” On 9 November 1942, the destroyer was tasked with destroying a hostile seaplane which, she quickly accomplished and on the 10th, in company with Kearny she bombarded shore emplacements. At 1050 on the 12th a plane in Livermore’s vicinity dropped a depth charge and the destroyer moved in to investigate. After making sound contact at 1101 she proceeded to lay down a full pattern of depth charges. During this action a depth charge from the no.3 K-Gun was fired overboard, close aboard, and upon its detonation the ship’s electrical power failed. As a result, Livermore cleared the area to conduct repairs and Roe and Kearny continued the search.

Upon the successful conclusion of the landing operations at Mehida, Livermore began the voyage back to the states with Task Force 34.8, on 15 November 1942. The task force dissolved during the approach to the Virginia capes on the 26th and at 2400, Livermore anchored at Norfolk. On the 28th the destroyer departed Norfolk and steamed to the Charleston Navy Yard for ten days of availability.

After concluding her availability period on 10 December 1942, Livermore steamed back to Norfolk, conducted some firing exercises in the Chesapeake Bay on the 14th and 15th, and moored again at Norfolk on the 16th. On 18 December the destroyer shipped out to guard a convoy with fellow destroyer escorts Boyle (DD-600), and Ericsson headed for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They all arrived safely and without incident on the 22nd. The following day Livermore conducted some brief training with the ill-fated submarine R-12 (SS-89). Then, the next day Livermore departed Guantanamo and proceeded to Trinidad, where she arrived on the 30th.

With the commencement of the New Year 1943, Livermore began a three-month period conducting patrol duties with the escort carrier Santee (ACV-29) and Eberle in the vicinity of Recife, Brazil. In addition to her patrols with Santee she also briefly accompanied Savannah, conducting operations in the same area. Nothing of particular import occurred during her time in the Caribbean and she returned to Charleston, S.C., on 29 March 1943.

For the remainder of the year Livermore conducted multiple round trip voyages from New York to Casablanca. She set out for her first in company with TF 64 to escort convoys UGS 7A and UGL 3, from New York to Casablanca, departing on 14 April 1943 and arriving 4 May; with the same TF she escorted GUS 7 from Casablanca to N.Y., between 9–26 May. After a brief respite she joined company with TF 61 and escorted convoy UGS 10 from N.Y. to Casablanca (3 June–3 July); she returned with the TF to N.Y., escorting convoy GUS 9, from 6–24 July. With TF 65 she escorted convoy VGS 14 from N.Y., to Casablanca (4–23August) and then shortly thereafter returned with convoy GUS 13 (27 August–14 September).


Livermore anchored at New York, 24 September 1943, showing her two-tone graded camouflage, the dividing line between upper and lower colors following the horizon instead of the sheer of the main deck. Close examination of the original print shows a sentry with a slung rifle just below 5-incher of Mt. 51 with two of his shipmates. Fenders are hung over the side of the ship near the ladder amidships. Note floater net baskets at bridge level. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-53744, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Livermore anchored at New York, 24 September 1943, showing her two-tone graded camouflage, the dividing line between upper and lower colors following the horizon instead of the sheer of the main deck. Close examination of the original print shows a sentry with a slung rifle just below 5-incher of Mt. 51 with two of his shipmates. Fenders are hung over the side of the ship near the ladder amidships. Note floater net baskets at bridge level. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-53744, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Following a brief refit Livermore got underway for Casco Bay on 24 September 1943, arriving there later that day. Through the 29th she participated in daily exercises in the area until finally shaping a course for Norfolk on 30th. After arriving at Norfolk on 2 October, the destroyer spent a few days at anchor and then set out on the 4th to meet up with her next trans-Atlantic convoy UGS 20. In company with TF 65 she escorted the convoy to Casablanca arriving there on 22 October. A week was spent at port and then Livermore weighed anchor, along with her TF, to escort GUS 19 back to N.Y., where they arrived without incident on 16 November.

Upon her return to N.Y., Livermore briefly went into dry dock. She then got underway on 27 November 1943 to conduct exercises in the vicinity of Block Island, with the submarine Barracuda (SS-163); an excursion, which lasted for several days. On 1 December however, she shaped a course for, and later that day arrived at Norfolk in preparation for her final convoy to Casablanca. She steamed with TF 65 on 5 December, escorting UGS 26 and arrived at Casablanca on the 22nd. On her return to New York she escorted GUS 25 from 27 December 1943 to 17 January 1944. In general, the cruises were relatively uneventful excepting a peculiar incident during the December voyage, in which, an unidentified sailor was washed overboard from Livermore and then almost immediately tossed on board Eberle by the same wave.

After returning from her last trip from Casablanca, Livermore went into dry dock in New York until 22 January 1944; after which she conducted a brief shakedown and steamed to Norfolk. On 24 January, Livermore joined company with the escort carrier Card (CVE-11) and got underway for the Mediterranean where as part of TG 21.14, they hunted for enemy submarines. After working together for nearly a month Livermore parted company with Card on 20 February, and shaped a course for Oran Harbor, Algeria. While at Oran on the 23rd she received orders to proceed to Naples, Italy, in preparation for her participation in the ongoing Allied landings at Anzio, Italy which had begun on 22 January.


Livermore coming alongside Card (CVE-11), 9 February 1944. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-218107, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Livermore coming alongside Card (CVE-11), 9 February 1944. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-218107, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

On 5 March 1944, Livermore arrived in the vicinity of the embattled beachhead at Anzio, where she provided shore bombardment support and anti-aircraft protection. The day after her arrival she made a run on an enemy submarine, but the action had no conclusive results. The crescendo of her participation in the operation occurred on the 16th when she engaged in a vicious fight with ten or more attacking enemy aircraft. Although the number of planes she shot down was difficult to determine the destroyer incurred several confirmed losses on the enemy. On 22 March, she got underway from the area escorting a convoy to Naples; upon her arrival there, later in the day on the 22nd, her crew witnessed the ongoing eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which took place from 17 to 23 March. The dust and winds that accompanied the eruption kept her in port for several days thereafter, but she, nonetheless, steamed back to Anzio on the 26th and resumed her support of operations there.


Livermore’s gun crews stand alert during a patrol of the waters off Anzio, which can be seen in the background, circa March 1944 by Combat Photo Unit Ten. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-K-13779, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Livermore’s gun crews stand alert during a patrol of the waters off Anzio, which can be seen in the background, circa March 1944 by Combat Photo Unit Ten. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-K-13779, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Livermore ended her role in the action at Anzio on 31 March 1944, upon receiving orders to steam to Naples. She arrived at Naples the following day and after briefly re-fueling at the port there she got underway to join convoy GUF 11 and CTF 68 headed for Oran. She arrived at Oran on 8 June and entered dry dock for some minor repairs. For the remainder of the month of June and through the month of July 1944, Livermore remained primarily in the vicinity of the western coast of North Africa, participating in convoy runs from Oran to Naples, conducting occasional firing exercises, and sometimes escorting warships.

The destroyer Livermore’s next major contribution to the war in the European theater occurred on 15 August 1944, with the commencement of the Allied invasion of Southern coast of France, Operation Dragoon. Livermore, departed from Malta on 12 August, and arrived with Combined Task Group 84.7, to attack Cavalaire Bay, France, on the 15th. For her part in the operation Livermore bombarded the enemy held coast on the both 15th and the 16th. During the opening act of the shelling, on the 15th, her combat information center was struck by a shore battery projectile, but fortunately the damage was only minor.

Following the success of Dragoon, Livermore remained in the area until 29 August 1941, conducting patrols, providing relief for other ships, and occasionally as was the case on the 25th, off of Marseilles, France, participating in the shelling of any remaining enemy shore batteries. On the 30th she rendezvoused with convoy SRF 7 and in company with Kearny, Ericsson, HMS Lookout and HMS Eggesford proceeded to escort the convoy to Naples. They reached their destination on 1 September, and Livermore anchored in the harbor, where she remained until the 6th.

On 7 September 1944, at 1840, Livermore, Kearny, and Ericsson got underway escorting convoy SF 9 to the Gulf of St. Tropez, which they reached without incident on the 9th. Within only a few hours of her arrival at St. Tropez, Livermore joined with Task Unit 80.6.2, escorting SRF 10 to Naples and arrived there on the 11th. The destroyer remained at anchor until the 16th, getting underway the following day in company with Kearny and Ericsson escorting convoy SF 12 to Toulon harbor, France. The convoy safely entered the harbor on the 19th and Livermore anchored for the night. A few days later on the 22nd the destroyer steamed individually to Oran and upon her arrival on the 23rd she remained anchored there through the end of the month. She departed Oran on 2 October, and escorted convoy AF 5 to Toulon, arriving there on the 4th. Underway again on 5 October, she got convoy SRF 17 safely to Naples on the 7th and then remained at anchor there for nearly a week.

On 17 October 1944, Livermore escorted convoy SF19 to Toulon and the day after their arrival, on the 19th, she steamed with convoy ARF 8 to Oran. She arrived at her destination on the 22nd and then remained at anchor until the 25th. On 26 October, she departed Oran, escorting Philadelphia back to New York. They arrived unmolested on 6 November and Livermore entered the New York Navy Yard for an extended overhaul.


Livermore at sea, 7 December 1944, in pattern camouflage, with Mt. 51 and Mt. 52 trained slightly to starboard, as is the Mk. 37 director; stub mast aft supports high-frequency direction finder (HF/DF) antenna. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-290565, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Livermore at sea, 7 December 1944, in pattern camouflage, with Mt. 51 and Mt. 52 trained slightly to starboard, as is the Mk. 37 director; stub mast aft supports high-frequency direction finder (HF/DF) antenna. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-290565, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

With the land war in Europe in full swing and the continued need for the unfettered flow of supplies from the U.S., as essential as ever, Livermore emerged from her overhaul destined to participate in a series of three round trip crossing from the East Coast of the U.S. to Oran. For her first of these three voyages she departed New York on 18 December 1944 as an escort for convoy UGS 64 and arrived at Oran on 6 January 1945. After spending a few days at port in Oran she departed on the 12th as an escort for convoy UGS 65, and arrived back in New York on 2 February, whereupon she underwent a ten-day availability.

On 17 February 1945, Livermore joined convoy UGS 75 as an escort and made her second journey to Oran, arriving there on 7 March. The destroyer got back underway again on the 13th, as an escort for convoy UGS 77, and made it back to the East Coast on 29 March. Livermore received another availability and then well into the first week of April, left port to conduct anti-aircraft firing drills in the vicinity of Block Island, N.Y. She later departed from Norfolk on 17 April and joined with convoy UGS 87 the following day for her final trip to Oran. She arrived at Oran on 5 May, and then headed back to the U.S., on the 12th, escorting convoy UGS 89. Livermore none the worse for wear, arrived safely back at the New York Navy Yard, on 29 May.

With victory in Europe in May 1945, U.S. military assets in that theater began the process of shifting over to the continuing campaign in the Pacific. Following her final trans-Atlantic voyage on 29 May, Livermore had an availability period at New York and then she quickly began the process of preparing for deployment to the Pacific. She steamed out of New York on 22 June and then transited the Panama Canal (9- 11 July). Upon her entrance into the Pacific theater the destroyer stopped over in San Diego, Calif., for four days and then steamed to Pearl Harbor, T.H., where she arrived on 29 July.

Livermore was conducting training at Pearl on Monday, 2 September 1945, when the Empire of Japan surrendered, effectively ending the Second World War. Despite the cessation of hostilities, however, the destroyer’s duties were not at an end. She shortly thereafter made the voyage to Japan, escorting transports carrying the 98th Army Division for the occupation of southern Honshu. Livermore arrived at her destination, at Wakayama harbor, on 27 September.

Following the disembarking of the 98th Division, Livermore patrolled the harbor for several days. She then steamed for Saipan, Marianas Islands, on 1 October 1945 and arriving on the 6th. The ship anchored at Saipan only briefly and then set a course for Manila, Philippines, where she arrived on 12 October. She got underway from Manila on the 16th and arrived that same day at Lingayen, Philippines. On 18 October the destroyer weighed anchor to return to Wakayama, arriving there on the 23rd. She made her final contribution to the Japanese occupation when she voyaged to Nagoya, Japan, from 29 to 30 October.

On 3 November 1945, the destroyer cleared Nagoya, then set a course for the Aleutian Islands. She arrived at Adak on 9 November, and then, after moving on to Dutch Harbor and Attu, embarked recently discharged troops for transportation to Seattle and San Francisco; she departed for Seattle on 24 November. While disembarking veterans in Seattle, Livermore’s crew was rather disappointed when the ship’s pet, a cat named “Bogey,” also decided to jump ship.

Livermore arrived at San Francisco Bay on 22 December 1945, three days before Christmas, and disembarked the last of her passengers. With her duties in the Pacific completed she then began the long voyage back to the East Coast; arriving at Charleston, S.C., on 18 January 1946. Upon her arrival at the Navy Yard in Charleston, Livermore underwent an extended refit.

From the calamitous beginning of the war to its euphoric end, Livermore and the sailor’s that manned her served tenaciously, steaming a total of 347,078 miles. As one of Livermore’s longtime sailors recalled “I will ever remember our cruise as a combination of pleasant moments, moments of hell, excitement, and boredom all combined for five- and one-half years of active duty.”

Following the conclusion of the war, Livermore was designated for use in the Naval Reserve Training Program and placed in commission in that capacity on 1 May 1946. The destroyer was decommissioned and designated as “in service” on 24 January 1947, and thereafter assigned to Naval Reserve training with the Sixth Naval District; although later on 15 March 1949, she was reassigned to the First Naval District. While participating in a training cruise on 30 July 1949 she ran aground off Cape Cod. She was refloated the next day and proceeded to Boston where, ultimately, on 15 May 1950 she was placed out of service and inactivated.


Livermore laid up circa 1955. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 72669.)
Caption: Livermore laid up circa 1955. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 72669.)

Livermore was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 19 July 1956. From 1956 to late 1958, her hull was cannibalized for spare parts and experimental purposes. During that time, she was anchored off Indian Head, Md. Upon conclusion of the experiments, she was sold on 3 March 1961 to Potomac Shipwrecking Co., Pope’s Creek, Md., and then towed away for scrapping on 17 April 1961.

Livermore was awarded three battle stars for her World War II service.

Commanding Officers Dates of Command
Lt. Cmdr. Vernon Huber 7 October 1940–4 December 1942
Lt. Cmdr. Harry E. Siedel, Jr. 4 December 1942–8 November 1944
Cmdr. Kerfoot B. Smith 8 November 1944–30 April 1946


Jeremiah D. Foster

7 January 2019

Published: Wed Jan 09 15:17:41 EST 2019