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Melvin I (DD-335)

(DD‑335: dp. 1,190; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'3" (mean); s. 35 k.; cpl. 95; a. 4 4", 1 3", 12 21" tt.; cl. Clemson)

Lt. (jg.) John T. Melvin, born 16 October 1887 at Selma, Ala., was appointed midshipman 6 July 1907 and commissioned ensign 7 July 1911. Resigning his commission 20 August 1915, he was appointed lieutenant (jg.), 9 February 1917, upon his joining the Naval Reserve. Attached to the patrol boat Alcedo, Lieutenant (jg.) Melvin lost his life 5 November 1917 when that vessel was sunk by a German submarine in the war zone. Alcedo was the first American war vessel to go down in World War I.


The first Melvin (DD‑335) was laid down 15 September 1920 at the Union Plant, Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., San Francisco, Calif.; launched 11 April 1921; sponsored by Miss Laura L. McKinistry; and commissioned 31 May 1921, Lt. Comdr. Charles E. Rosendahl in command.

Following a brief shakedown, Melvin began operations off the west coast, which was to be her primary cruising area for her entire career, with a round‑trip voyage to San Diego. During her 9 years in commission Melvin thrice transited the Panama Canal for Caribbean‑based fleet problems, 1923, 1924, and 1927. Following such operations in the latter year, she cruised north to New York and Newport before sailing for Nicaragua. Arriving in the Bluefields area 25 June, she remained until 6 July to lend support, if needed, to Marines then charged with supervising the establishment of the Nicaraguan Guardia Nacional and maintaining an uneasy truce by gaining order from the chaotic Nicaraguan political situation. Exercises and type training in Hawaiian waters also interrupted her west coast operations and, subsequent to such maneuvers in the spring of 1925, she completed her only roundtrip cruise across the Pacific, a good will tour which took her to Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand.

On 17 July 1929, Melvin entered the Navy yard at Mare Island, San Francisco, to begin Inactivation. On 7 October, in tow of Tern, she headed south on her last voyage to San Diego. Arriving on the 11th, she decommissioned 8 May 1930 and on the 10th was towed back to Mare Island for scrapping. Struck from the Naval Register 3 November 1930, her materials were sold in the course of the next 2 years.

Published: Fri Aug 07 08:51:39 EDT 2015