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Warrington I (Destroyer No. 30)

1911-1935

Lewis Warrington -- born on 3 November 1782 at Williamsburg, Va. -- attended the College of William and Mary briefly before accepting an appointment as a midshipman in the Navy on 6 January 1800. His first duty, in the frigate Chesapeake, took him to the West Indies where his ship cruised with a squadron during the last year of the Quasi-War with France. His ship appears to have engaged in one action near the end of the cruise when, on New Year's Day 1801, she took the French privateer La Jeune Creole.

Following the cessation of hostilities with France, Midshipman Warrington remained in the Navy. His ship spent most of 1801 in ordinary at Norfolk. The following year, Warrington was transferred to the frigate President for service in the Mediterranean against the Barbary pirates. Over the next five years, he remained with the Mediterranean Squadron, serving successively in President, then the schooners Vixen and Enterprise. Promoted to lieutenant in 1805, he returned home in 1807 to assume command of a gunboat at Norfolk, Va. In 1809, Lt. Warrington voyaged to Europe in Siren as a dispatch courier. He next served a tour of duty on board the man-of-war Essex.

When the war with England began in June of 1812, Warrington was on board Congress serving as the frigate's first lieutenant while she patrolled the North Atlantic. During his tour of duty in that warship, she made two successful war cruises, capturing nine prizes off the east coast of the United States during the first and four off the Atlantic seaboard of South America during the second.

Promoted to master commandant in July 1813, he took command of the sloop-of-war Peacock later in the year. On 12 March 1814, he put to sea with his new command bound for the naval station at St. Mary's, Ga. After delivering supplies to that installation, he encountered the British brig Epervier off Cape Canaveral, Fla. Peacock emerged victorious from a brisk 45-minute exchange with that opponent, inflicting 10 times her own losses on the enemy. For his role in the victory, Warrington received the thanks of Congress in the form of a gold medal, and of the state of Virginia in the form of a gold-hilted sword.

Warrington took his prize into Savannah, Ga., and then embarked upon his second cruise on 4 June. On that voyage, which took him to the Grand Banks, the Irish coast, the Shetland Islands, and the Faroe Islands, he took 14 prizes.

After returning via the West Indies to New York, Warrington took Peacock on her third and final war cruise. His sloop-of-war stood out of New York with Hornet and Tom Bowline on 23 January 1815, sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, and entered the Indian Ocean. Unaware that peace had been concluded in December 1814 at Ghent, Belgium, Warrington led his little force on another successful foray against British commerce. After taking three prizes in the Indian Ocean, he entered the East Indies in search of more quarry. On 30 June, he encountered the East India Company cruiser Nautilus in the Sunda Strait and attacked her. After a sharp action which cost the British ship 15 men including her first lieutenant, she surrendered to Warrington and his force. At this point, Warrington learned of the peace, and he therefore released the prize and started for home. Peacock arrived back in New York on 30 October 1815.

Warrington commanded the frigate Macedonian briefly in 1816, for a voyage to Cartagena, Spain, to convey there, Christopher Hughes, the representative of the United States at negotiations over the release of some Americans imprisoned by Spanish authorities. In 1819 and 1820, Capt. Warrington commanded the frigate Java, followed by the frigate Guerriere in 1820 and 1821. Each ship was assigned to the Mediterranean Squadron during his tenure as her commanding officer. Capt. Warrington returned home and received orders to duty at the Norfolk Navy Yard. In February 1825, he relieved David Porter as commander of the West Indian Squadron during the latter stages of the piracy suppression campaign and thereafter bore the title, commodore.

Warrington returned home in 1826, and served ashore for the remainder of his career. After four years in Washington (1826-1830) as one of three commissioners on the Navy Board, Warrington returned to Norfolk for a decade as commandant of the navy yard. In 1840, he was reassigned to Washington for another two years as commissioner on the Navy Board. After the 1842 reorganization of the Navy Department, Warrington became Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks.

On 28 February 1844, he took over temporarily the duties of the Secretary of the Navy after Secretary Thomas W. Gilmer died as a result of injuries received when the large cannon Peacemaker exploded during a firing demonstration on board Princeton at Washington. Near the end of March, Warrington relinquished those duties to the new secretary, John W. Mason, and resumed his former assignment. He became Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance in 1846 and held the office until his death on 12 October 1851.

I

(Destroyer No. 30: displacement 742; length 293'10"; beam 26'1"; draft 9'5"; speed 30 knots; complement 89; armament 5 3-inch, 6 18-inch torpedo tubes 3 .30-caliber machine guns; class Roe)

The first Warrington (Destroyer No. 30) was laid down on 21 June 1909 at Philadelphia, Pa., by the William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Co.; launched on 18 June 1910; sponsored by Mrs. Richard Hatton; and commissioned on 20 March 1911, Lt. Walter M. Hunt in command.


Warrington under construction at Philadelphia, 1 April 1910. (U.S. Navy Photograph 19-N-24-24-2, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Warrington under construction at Philadelphia, 1 April 1910. (U.S. Navy Photograph 19-N-24-24-2, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Warrington in drydock, 3 January 1911. (U.S. Navy Photograph 19-N-24-24-8, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Warrington in drydock, 3 January 1911. (U.S. Navy Photograph 19-N-24-24-8, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Warrington in drydock, 3 January 1911. (U.S. Navy Photograph 19-N-24-24-10, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Warrington in drydock, 3 January 1911. (U.S. Navy Photograph 19-N-24-24-10, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Warrington’s commissioning crew, circa March 1911. Officers are (left to right): Ens. Rufus W. Mathewson; Lt. Walter M. Hunt; Ens. Carleton M. Dolan; Ens. John B. Staley. Donor, J. Jacoby, is directly behind Lt. Hunt. Note "USS Lewis Warrington 1910" on the bell. Original print given to Naval Historical Foundation by Mr. J. Jacoby. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 46944)

Warrington’s commissioning crew, circa March 1911. Officers are (left to right): Ens. Rufus W. Mathewson; Lt. Walter M. Hunt; Ens. Carleton M. Dolan; Ens. John B. Staley. Donor, J. Jacoby, is directly behind Lt. Hunt. Note "USS Lewis Warrington 1910" on the bell. Original print given to Naval Historical Foundation by Mr. J. Jacoby. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 46944)

After fitting out at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Warrington moved on 5 August, to the Torpedo Station at Newport, R.I., where she loaded torpedoes in preparation for training with the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet. During most of the fall and early winter, the warship conducted battle drills and practice torpedo firings with the submarines and destroyers of the torpedo fleet. She also joined the cruisers and battleships of the Atlantic Fleet for training in broader combat maneuvers. Those training evolutions took her as far north as Cape Cod, Mass., and as far south as Cuba.


Warrington underway, no date (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 61894)

Warrington underway, no date (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 61894)

On 27 December 1911, the destroyer departed Charleston, S.C., in company with the ships of Destroyer Divisions 8 and 9, bound for Hampton Roads. At about 1240 the following morning, the two divisions of destroyers reached the vicinity of the Virginia capes. Suddenly, an unidentified schooner knifed her way through the darkness and mist, struck Warrington aft, and sliced off about 30 feet of her stern. The collision deprived her of all propulsion and forced her to anchor at sea some 17 miles off Cape Hatteras. Sterett (Destroyer No. 27) responded to her distress call first, but, soon, Walke (Destroyer No. 34) and Perkins (Destroyer No. 26) joined the vigil. The three ships struggled through the morning and forenoon watches to pass a towline to their stricken sister, but it was not until the revenue cutter Onondaga arrived at 1:00 p.m., that the latter ship succeeded in taking Warrington in tow. The revenue cutter towed her to the Norfolk Navy Yard where she was placed in reserve.

Returned to full commission on 2 December 1912 upon completion of her repairs, Warrington resumed operations with the torpedo forces assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, by then designated the Atlantic Torpedo Flotilla. For a little over four years, she operated in the eastern coastal waters of the U.S., participating in various gunnery drills and torpedo-firing practices with the torpedo flotilla as well as in fleet maneuvers and battle problems with the assembled Atlantic Fleet. During part of that interlude, the destroyer was based at Newport and worked out of Boston during the remainder. She ran aground on 20 May 1916 at Rockport, Mass., prompting a board of investigation ordered by the Commander, Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet.

When the United States entered World War I on 6 April 1917, Warrington began patrols off Newport to protect the harbor from German submarines. On 7 May, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations organized destroyers fitting out for distance service into designated divisions.

Warrington was assigned to Division Five along with Patterson (Destroyer No. 36), Paulding Destroyer No. 22), Trippe (Destroyer No. 33), Jenkins (Destroyer No. 42), and Drayton (Destroyer No. 23). This division was ordered to depart for distant service on 21 May. After six weeks of security patrols and preparations, the division stood out of Boston on the 21st, bound for Europe.


Warrington (left) oiling at sea during World War I, from either Kanawha (Fuel Ship No. 13) or Maumee (Fuel Ship No. 14). Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77154)

Warrington (left) oiling at sea during World War I, from either Kanawha (Fuel Ship No. 13) or Maumee (Fuel Ship No. 14). Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77154)

After a stop at Newfoundland en route, Warrington arrived at Queenstown [Cobh], on the southern coast of Ireland, on 1 June 1917. There, she began six months of service patrolling the southern approaches to the British ports on the Irish Sea and escorting convoys on the final leg of their voyage across the Atlantic to the British Isles.


Warrington, Walke (Destroyer No. 34), and Porter (Destroyer No. 34) in British waters. Warrington is in foreground, Walke is next, and Porter (full length) is in the background. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 109545)

Warrington, Walke (Destroyer No. 34), and Porter (Destroyer No. 34) in British waters. Warrington is in foreground, Walke is next, and Porter (full length) is in the background. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 109545)

Ship's radio crew during World War I. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass. 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77155)

Ship's radio crew during World War I. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass. 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77155)

Shortly after the initiation of her patrolling duties she rescued 16 survivors from the British Q-ship HMS Zylpha that had been torpedoed by U-82 (Kapitänleutnant Hans Adam, commanding) on 11 June 1917. A month later on 13 July, Warrington sighted an enemy submarine about four miles distant while patrolling south of Ireland. The U-boat submerged and the destroyer dropped a depth charge over a large oil slick and later struck a submerged object that lifted the stern of the ship, and then dropped two additional depth charges. The contact was later classified as “possibly slightly damaging” the enemy.


HMS Zylpha sinking on 11 June 1917, photographed from Warrington. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass. 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77170).

HMS Zylpha sinking on 11 June 1917, photographed from Warrington. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass. 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77170).

HMS Zylpha sinking on 11 June 1917, photographed from Warrington which is rescuing the survivors in the boat. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77169)

HMS Zylpha sinking on 11 June 1917, photographed from Warrington which is rescuing the survivors in the boat. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77169)

Deck view, taken while on patrol in the English Channel, 22 July 1917, with a French blimp overhead. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77166).

Deck view, taken while on patrol in the English Channel, 22 July 1917, with a French blimp overhead. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77166).

Ten days later, on 23 July 1917, Warrington collided with Davis (Destroyer No. 65) prompting the convening of a board of inquiry. On 30 August, Warrington, in company with the flagship Allen (Destroyer No. 66), Jenkins, Winslow (Destroyer No. 53), Patterson, Fanning (Destroyer No. 37), Wilkes (Destroyer No. 67) and Perkins (Destroyer No.26) rendezvoused with Convoy OQ-3 off Daunt Rock and escorted it through the Irish Sea and into Liverpool, England, and Cardiff, Wales, respectively. The destroyer continued to operate out of Queenstown until late November, when she received orders reassigning her to the Second Division, Patrol Forces, U.S. Naval Forces in France under Rear Adm. Henry B. Wilson.


Crewmen relaxing on the forecastle during World War I convoy operations. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77152)

Crewmen relaxing on the forecastle during World War I convoy operations. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77152)

Warrington’s motor sailer comes alongside, during World War I. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. +Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77164)

Warrington’s motor sailer comes alongside, during World War I. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. +Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77164)

Warrington reached Brest (Base No. 7), her new base of operations, on 29 November 1917, and resumed a grueling schedule of patrols and escort missions.


The French pilot who guided Warrington into Brest Harbor when she first arrived in November 1917. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77157)

The French pilot who guided Warrington into Brest Harbor when she first arrived in November 1917. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77157)

On 17 December 1917 she was underway in a gale when she received damage from heavy seas. After several months of patrolling and escort missions, Warrington went into the dockyard at Chatham, England, for a period of maintenance (6 April-13 April 1918).

On the morning of 31 May 1918, while escorting a convoy along the French coast, Warrington received a distress call from the troop transport President Lincoln which had been struck, earlier that morning, by three torpedoes from U-90 (Oberleutnant zur See Helmut Patzig) well out to sea. The destroyer immediately parted company with her coastal convoy and raced to rescue the sinking ship’s crew. She did not reach the area of the sinking until late that night, but succeeded in rescuing 443 survivors just after 11:00 p.m., Smith (Destroyer No. 17) took on all but one of the remaining 688 survivors of President Lincoln. That single exception, Lt. Edouard V. M. Izac, was rescued by U-90. On 1 June, during the voyage back to Brest, Warrington and Smith depth charged U-90. Lt. Izac, who later escaped from a German prison camp (for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor), reported that the charges shook the submarine severely. No evidence, however, of any success appeared on the surface, and the two destroyers, conscious of the importance of landing the rescued, abandoned the attack and continued on to Brest. They entered that port the following day, and disembarked the President Lincoln survivors. Afterward, on the 2nd, Warrington escorted the troop transports Leviathan (Id. No. 1326) and President Grant (Id. No. 3014) and Bridge (Supply Ship No.1) into Brest. Continuing her patrol and escort duties based from that French port, Warrington dropped depth charges on an oil slick on 7 June, with no apparent result. The destroyer encountered another oil slick on 11 July; again she dropped depth charges with a like negative result.

On 8 August 1918, Warrington, along with Tucker, Drayton, Winslow, Porter (Destroyer No. 59), and Fanning, rescued the surviving crew of the sunken French armored cruiser Dupetit Thouars, torpedoed the day before by U-62 (Kapitänleutnant Ernst Hashagen).


Survivors from the French armored cruiser Dupetit Thouars rescued by Warrington. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77159)

Survivors from the French armored cruiser Dupetit Thouars rescued by Warrington. Courtesy of Mr. Gustavus C. Robbins, Somerville, Mass., 1973. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 77159)

Cushing (Destroyer No. 55) and Nicholson (Destroyer No. 52). Stationed astern, Nicholson reported observing a submarine and began dropping depth charges. Warrington maneuvered and dropped additional depth charges within 800 yards of Nicholson’s barrage on what they observed as a wake. With a negative result, Warrington rejoined the convoy, while Nicholson remained in the vicinity.

On 16 September 1918, the Coast Guard derelict destroyer Seneca, based at Gibraltar, was escorting the inbound Convoy OM-99. At 11:30 a.m., the British collier Wellington was torpedoed by U-118 (Kapitänleutnant Herbert Stohwasser). Seneca proceeded at full speed to her assistance. At 11:31 a.m., U-118 was sighted a few hundred yards from Wellington. Seneca’s crew fired three shots at the submarine before it submerged, and the ship dropped depth charges and fired additional shots to keep her down. First Lt. Fletcher W. Brown, USCG, at once volunteered to assist Wellington’s master. Brown selected 19 volunteers to go over to Wellington, while 11 of the 42 men in Wellington’s crew also remained with the master. Brown was to be in charge, with the master to navigate her into Brest. At 12:35, Seneca left Wellington and rejoined the convoy. Warrington, escorting another convoy, detached and was on her way to assist Wellington, expecting to reach her by 5:00 p.m.

Arriving on board Wellington, Brown did everything possible to save the ship, but with the approach of a storm, Wellington was foundering. Some of those on board got away in a boat, leaving Brown and 18 of his men, and five of Wellington’s, stranded. Brown set the men to constructing life rafts. The bow, however, continued settling. The radio operator, in contact with Warrington, continued sending position reports. Rockets were fired from Wellington, and at 2:30 p.m. on the 17th, Warrington’s answering rockets were observed off the port bow. As Wellington listed rapidly, Brown gave the order to abandon ship. He continued signaling with a hand flashlight to Warrington about 1,200 yards away as the ship’s keel turned to a sixty degree angle. Then her boilers exploded and the vessel rose up for her final plunge. Brown jumped and swam clear, searching for something to which he could cling. After about three and a half hours in the water, Brown was picked up in an unconscious state. Eight others of Seneca’s crew were rescued, but one died shortly afterward. All told, 11 Seneca and five Wellington men perished. Among the eight other Seneca men pulled from the water was a seaman, James C. Osborn, who, supporting a shipmate, Coxswain Jorge A. Pedersen, had swum to a small life raft with the semiconscious man and held him between his feet. Several times in the hours that followed, they were washed off, but each time Osborn recovered his shipmate and hoisted him back on the pitching raft. Finally sighting Warrington, Osborn semaphored “I’m all right but he’s gone unless you come right away.” Both were recovered. After hovering in the area for six hours to ensure all survivors were brought aboard, Warrington departed and returned to Brest.

Late in October 1918, Germany discontinued unrestricted submarine warfare and, early in November, sued for peace. The armistice was concluded on 11 November 1918, but Warrington continued to serve in European waters until the spring of 1919. On 22 March, she stood out of Brest in the screen of a convoy of submarine chasers and tugs. After visiting the Azores, where she ran aground at Ponta del Gada on 10 April, she continued on to Bermuda. The warship then headed for Philadelphia. She reached the Delaware capes early in May 1919 and entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard for repairs.


Drydocked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, 1919. A submarine chaser is also present in the foreground. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 46282)

Drydocked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, 1919. A submarine chaser is also present in the foreground. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 46282)

Warrington remained in the Philadelphia Navy Yard at League Island until decommissioned on 31 January 1920. She was re-designated DD-30 as part of a Navy-wide administrative reorganization on 17 July 1920 and she lay in reserve at Philadelphia into 1935.

Stricken from the Navy Register on 20 March 1935, she was sold to M. Black & Co., Norfolk, Va., on 28 June 1935, in accordance with the terms of the London Treaty for the Limitation and Reduction of Naval Armaments, and was scrapped by her purchaser on 3 April 1936.

Commanding Officers Dates of Command
Lt. Walter M. Hunt 20 March 1911 – 3 February 1912
Lt. John C. Fremont 3 February1912 – 16 April 1912
Lt. (j.g.) William F. Cochrane, Jr. 16 April 1912 – 4 September 1912
Ens. Leonard N. Linsley 4 September 1912 – 29 November 1912
Lt. Tracy D. McCawley 29 November 1912 – 16 December 1912
Lt. William Ancrum 16 December 1912 – 20 May 1913
Lt. Daniel P. Mannix 20 May 1913 – 11 May 1915
Lt. Charles S. Joyce 11 May 1915 – 30 November 1915
Lt. Isaac F. Dortch 30 November 1915 – 29 November 1917
Lt. Cmdr. George W. Kenyon 29 November 1917 – 15 June 1918
Lt. Cmdr. Norman R. Van de Veer 15 June 1918 – 30 October 1918
Lt. Cmdr. William F. Gresham 30 October 1918 – 22 January 1919
Lt. Cmdr. Ralph E. Sampson 22 January 1919 – 12 May 1919
Lt. Cmdr. Bushrod B. Howard 12 May 1919 – 14 June 1919
Lt. Philip W. Warren 14 June 1919 – 22 July 1919
Lt. Frederick D. Powers 22 July 1919 – 31 January 1920

 

Christopher B. Havern Sr.
30 January 2017

Published:Mon Jan 30 14:07:33 EST 2017