Delaware Military History

USS Du Pont

Three ships of the United States Navy have borne the name USS Du Pont, in honor of Rear Admiral
Samuel Francis Du Pont.

USS Du Pont (TB-7), a Porter-class torpedo boat, launched in 1897, renamed Coast Torpedo Boat
No. 3 in 1918, and sold in 1920.
USS Du Pont (DD-152), a Wickes-class destroyer, launched in 1918 and sold in 1947.
USS Du Pont (DD-941), a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer, launched in 1956 and sold in 1993.

The first
USS Du Pont (Torpedo Boat No.7/TB-7/Coast Torpedo Boat No. 3) was launched 30 March
1897 by Herreshoff Manufacturing Co., Bristol, R.I.; sponsored by Miss L. Converse; and
commissioned 23 September 1897, Lieutenant (junior grade) S. S. Wood in command.

Du Pont operated on the east coast, carrying dispatches and training Naval Reservists until the
outbreak of the Spanish-American War. She carried orders and messages to ships lying at Dry
Tortugas and Key West, Fla., and served on picket and patrol duty off Key West and Matanzas and
Santiago, Cuba. She returned to New York 9 August 1898.

Arriving at Newport, Rhode Island 4 November 1898, Du Pont was placed out of commission 4 days
later. She remained at Newport out of commission, employed occasionally in experimental and
training duty. From 1901 to 1909 she was based at Norfolk, Virginia in the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla.
During this time she was in commission twice: From September 1903 to September 1904 as a training
ship at the Naval Academy, and from June 1905 to June 1906 for operations with the Coast
Squadron on the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf of Mexico.

Recommissioned 14 May 1909 Du Pont cruised along the coast with the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet until
placed in reserve again at Charleston Navy Yard in November 1909. From May 1910 to June 1911 she
served the Naval Militia of North Carolina, and after lying in Newport from October 1911 to May
1914, was loaned to the Naval Militia of Massachusetts 10 June 1914.

With the entry of the United States into World War I Du Pont was recommissioned 9 April 1917 and
assigned to duty in the 2d Naval District. The following year she was attached to Patrol Squadron,
New London Section, for duty in Narragansett Bay. From 1 August 1918 she was known as Coast
Torpedo Boat No. 3 to release the name Du Pont for new construction. She arrived at Philadelphia
Navy Yard 24 January 1919, was decommissioned there 8 March 1919, and sold 19 July 1920.

USS Du Pont (DD–152) was a Wickes class destroyer in the United States Navy during the World
War II, later reclassified as AG-80. She was the second ship named for Rear Admiral Samuel Francis
Du Pont.

Du Pont was launched 22 October 1918 by William Cramp & Sons Ship and Engine Building
Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; sponsored by Miss C. S. Du Pont, great-grandniece of Rear
Admiral Du Pont; and commissioned 30 April 1919, Commander W. Baggaley in command.

Service history

Du Pont sailed from Newport 6 May 1919 to patrol off the Azores during the historic first
transatlantic airplane flight, made by Navy seaplanes, then visited Brest, France, before returning to
New York 15 June. She sailed 10 July for the Mediterranean and on the 27th reported to Commander,
U.S. Naval Forces, European Waters, at Constantinople, Turkey. She carried mail and passengers in
connection with relief in eastern Europe, and investigated conditions in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and
Greece. Returning to New York 21 July 1920, she was placed in reserve and operated with 50 percent
of her complement in training duty along the Atlantic coast until placed out of commission at
Philadelphia 19 April 1922.

Recommissioned 1 May 1930, Du Pont operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean, in practice
and exercises and on reserve training cruises. Between 13 March and 29 March 1931 she escorted
Arizona with President H. C. Hoover embarked for visits to Ponce, Puerto Rico, and St. Thomas,
Virgin Islands, then returned to tactical exercises with the fleet and occasional duty as a plane guard.
Between 9 January and 22 October 1932, Du Pont cruised to the west coast, returning to Norfolk to
join Rotating Reserve Squadron 19. She operated from Boston training Naval Reservists until
assigned temporary duty on patrol off Cuba from September 1933 until February 1934.

On 15 August 1934, Du Pont returned to active commission. She left Charleston, South Carolina, 15
September, served as target vessel and plane guard in the Caribbean, then arrived at San Diego 9
November. Based there she served in training and tactical development with the fleet, cruising to
Alaskan waters and Pearl Harbor on a problem during 29 April 1935 – 10 June 1935. She sailed from
the west coast 27 April 1936 for the annual fleet problem held that year in the Canal Zone, then
transited the Panama Canal, and arrived at Jacksonville, Florida, 7 June for Naval Reserve training
duty along the east coast. Arriving at Philadelphia Navy Yard 29 September 1936, Du Pont was
placed out of commission 14 January 1937.

World War II
With the outbreak of war in Europe, Du Pont was recommissioned 16 October 1939 for duty on the
Neutrality Patrol. She patrolled along the east coast, trained reservists, and spent several periods
training with submarines out of New London. Between 7 July 1941 and 26 February 1942, she
escorted five vital convoys to NS Argentia, Newfoundland, and Iceland, continuing escort and
antisubmarine patrol duty in the Atlantic as far north as Argentia and south to the Caribbean. Du
Pont, 15 March 1942, rescued 30 survivors from a torpedoed merchantman. From 8 May 1942 to 19
January 1943, she guarded convoys from New York and Norfolk to Key West and Guantanamo Bay.
After overhaul, Du Pont returned to the Caribbean to escort tanker convoys between Aruba,
Netherlands West Indies, and Guantanamo Bay until 17 May 1943 when she sailed from Aruba to
the Mediterranean. She arrived at Algiers, Algeria, 1 June, and put into Casablanca 5 days later. The
destroyer sailed on 9 June for New York in the escort for Card, rescuing four men from downed
aircraft during hunter-killer operations en route. She arrived at New York 6 July.

Between 17 July and 12 September 1943, Du Pont made two voyages to the United Kingdom on
convoy escort duty. On 25 September, she sailed from Norfolk for an antisubmarine patrol with a
hunter-killer group centered on Card. On 6 October she joined the screen for Bogue during exercises
in Casco Bay and Long Island Sound. The group sailed from Norfolk 14 November to give close
support to a Gibraltar-bound convoy. On the return passage one of Bogue's planes sighted and
bombed surfaced 172, 12 December. Du Pont and George E. Badger continued the attack, driving the
submarine to the surface on the morning of the following day. The destroyers opened fire and after
the submarine's conning tower exploded, rescued 46 survivors including the captain as U-172 sank
in 26°19′N 29°58′W. Du Pont shared in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the Bogue task group
for distinguished success in operations against submarines.

Du Pont escorted a convoy to Gibraltar and back to Boston between 25 January and 9 March 1944,
and then returned to escort duty in the Caribbean. She left Norfolk 11 June in the screen of
Albemarle sailing by way of Casablanca to Avonmouth, England, arriving 28 June. Du Pont
returned to Boston 13 July with Albemarle who was carrying casualties from the Normandy

After overhaul and refresher training, Du Pont put into Charleston Navy Yard 16 September 1944 to
undergo conversion to an auxiliary vessel. Reclassified AG-80, 25 September 1944, she sailed from
Charleston 9 October and arrived at Key West 2 days later to act as target ship for Fleet Air Wing 5.
She rescued two downed aviators 24 November and 2 days later, transferred her doctor to a
Norwegian merchantman to render emergency treatment. She continued to serve off Florida aiding
aviation training until 1 April 1946 when she arrived at Boston. Du Pont was decommissioned 2
May 1946 and sold 12 March 1947.

In addition to the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to TG 21.13, Du Pont received three battle stars
for World War II service.

USS DuPont (DD-941), named for Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont USN (1809–1866), was a
Forrest Sherman-class destroyer built by the Bath Iron Works Corporation at Bath in Maine and
launched by Mrs. H. B. Du Pont, great-great-grandniece of Rear Admiral Du Pont; and
commissioned 1 July 1957, Commander W. J. Maddocks in command.

From 6 to 31 July 1958 Du Pont served on a midshipman cruise and antisubmarine exercises in the
Atlantic, duty broken by a visit to New York. Du Pont sailed 2 September for a tour of duty with the
6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, during which she participated in highly realistic air defense and
antisubmarine warfare problems. She returned to Norfolk 12 March 1959, to prepare for Operation
"Inland Seas,"[1] the historic first passage of a naval task force into the Great Lakes through the
Saint Lawrence Seaway. She escorted HMY Britannia with Queen Elizabeth II of the United
Kingdom embarked during the dedicatory ceremonies on 26 June.

Du Pont crossed the Atlantic in August and September 1959, visiting Southhampton, England, after
serving as plane guard for the transatlantic flight of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. On 28
January 1960 Du Pont sailed from Norfolk for a second tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the
Mediterranean, returning on 31 August for an overhaul in the Naval Shipyard where she remained
through the end of 1960.

In 1972, she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Atlantic Fleet. In 1979, the USS
Du Pont was relocated to the Bethlehem Steel Works Ship Yard in Hoboken, New Jersey, where it
underwent a major refit. In 1980, the ship got underway and was attached to Comdesron 2, under
the command of Cmdr. Harlan K. Ullman.

Following the refit, the ship sailed for its home port of Norfolk, Virginia before going to
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Under Cmdr. Ullman's command, the crew participated in two week's of
reference training, simulating wartime conditions. The crew of the USS Du Pont received the highest
honor Guantanamo Bay awards for battle efficiencies, being awarded three of the Battle "E's".

In 1981, Du Pont went to the Middle East, sailing through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea then to
the Persian Gulf. The ship was assigned to the Nimitz battle group, remaining on patrol in the
Persian Gulf following the release of American hostages held in Iran. The ship was continually on
alert, as Iranian P3 Orions, originally supplied by the United States, would survey the gulf to track
U.S. ship movements.

In 1982, Du Pont was assigned to assist Israel, after the confrontation took place between Israeli
forces and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The ship remained off the coast of Beirut for nearly
100 days, lending naval gunfire support. The Du Pont was stationed off the coast of Lebanon longer
than any other U.S. Navy ship.

Du Pont was decommissioned on 4 March, 1983 and sold for scrap on 11 December, 1992.
Delaware Military History
Delaware Military History