Naval History and Heritage Command

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Murray II (Destroyer No. 97)

(DD‑97: dp. 1,191; l. 314'5"; b. 31'9"; dr. 9'2"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 113; a. 4 4", 2 1‑pdr., 12 21" tt., 1 dcp.; cl. Wickes)

The first Murray retained her former name; the second two were named for Capt. Alexander Murray and his grandson Rear Adm. Alexander Murray.

The elder Alexander Murray was born 12 July 1755 in Chestertown, Md. During the Revolution, he served as captain in the 1st Maryland Regiment, commanded several privateers, and was commissioned lieutenant in the Continental Navy 20 July 1781, returning to private life in 1785. Upon the organization of the U.S. Navy, Murray was commissioned captain 1 July 1798, and commanded Montezuma, Insurgente, and Constellation during the quasi‑war with France; Constellation against the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean 1801‑1803; and Adams in home waters in 1805. From 1808 until his death 6 October 1821, Murray was superintendent of gunboats at Philadelphia, and from 8 July 1813 also was first commandant of the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

His grandson was born 2 January 1816 in Pittsburgh, Pa. He was appointed midshipman 22 August 1835 and participated in the capture of Alvarado, Tobasco, Tuxpan, Vera Cruz, and Tampico during the Mexican War. In the Civil War he commanded a combined Army‑Navy operation up the York and Pamunky Rivers in February 1862, destroying 27 Confederate vessels while cruising within 11 miles of Richmond. He served in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron during the rest of the war. In 1866‑67 he commanded a special squadron cruising to Russia, then served as commandant of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, on the Lighthouse Board, and in command of the Pacific Station. He died 10 November 1884 in Washington, D.C.


The second Murray (Destroyer No. 97) was laid down 22 December 1917 by Fore River Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, Mass.; launched 8 June 1918; sponsored by Miss Alice S. Guthrie; and commissioned at Boston 21 August 1918, Lt. Comdr. R. G. Walling in command.

During her 4 years of operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean with the Atlantic Fleet, Murray aided in postwar development of antisubmarine and mine warfare techniques. She was reclassified to a light minelayer (DM‑2) 17 July 1920, and received alternations necessary to her new role. She decommissioned at Philadelphia 1 July 1922, and lay there in reserve until stricken from the Navy list 7 January 1936. She was sold for scrapping 29 September 1936 to Schiavone‑Bonomo Corp., New York City.

Published: Tue Jul 03 15:08:49 EDT 2018