USS Cassin (DD-43)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Cassin.
USS Cassin (DD-43).JPG
USS Cassin in Coast Guard service
Career (United States)
Name: USS Cassin
Namesake: Stephen Cassin
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Laid down: 1 May 1912
Launched: 20 May 1913
Commissioned: 9 August 1913
Decommissioned: 7 June 1922
Fate: Transferred to the United States Coast Guard.
Career
Name: USS Cassin
Commissioned: 30 August 1924 (USCG)
Decommissioned: 5 June 1933 (USCG)
Fate: Returned to the Navy on 30 June 1933 and sold 22 August 1934.
General characteristics
Class & type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,020 long tons (1,040 t)
Length: 305 ft 3 in (93.04 m)
Beam: 30 ft 4 in (9.25 m)
Draft: 10 ft 3 in (3.12 m)
Speed: 30 kn (35 mph; 56 km/h)
Armament: 4 × 4 in (100 mm)/50 cal guns
8 × 18 in (460 mm) torpedo tubes

The first USS Cassin (DD-43) was the lead ship of her class of destroyers in the United States Navy during World War I. She was later transferred to the United States Coast Guard, where she was designated CG-1. She was named for Stephen Cassin.

Construction[edit]

Cassin's keel was laid down on 1 May 1912, by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, who later launched her on 20 May 1913; sponsored by Miss H. C. Carusi; and commissioned on 9 August 1913.[1] Lieutenant Commander Harris Laning was placed in command; and reported to the Atlantic Torpedo Flotilla.

Pre-World War I[edit]

From her arrival at Key West, Florida from 5 December 1913-16 June 1914, Cassin sailed with the 6th Division in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in fleet maneuvers and exercises. On 19 May 1914, she sailed to the rescue of SS Atlantis, wrecked off Tampico Bar. Taking the stricken ship's passengers on board, she landed them at Tampico, Mexico. After overhaul, Cassin operated along the east coast from 21 October-27 January 1915, when she returned to the Caribbean for winter maneuvers.

World War I[edit]

Operations along the east coast on Neutrality patrol and drills and surveillance patrol in the Caribbean were Cassin's employment until April 1917, when she was immediately prepared for overseas deployment. She arrived at Queenstown, Ireland on 17 May, and began operations which called for her to rendezvous with American troop convoys at sea and escort them to ports in England and France. On 15 October, she sighted the German submarine U-61 about 20 nmi (23 mi; 37 km) south of Mine Head Lighthouse, Monagoush, County Waterford, Ireland, and pursued her. At 13:30, Cassin was struck on her port stern by a torpedo.

According to the report issued by the Secretary of the Navy, the torpedo would have missed the Cassin entirely, except it breached the surface of the water on two occasions and turned to the left each time. The torpedo struck above the water line, and ignited several depth charges.[2]

Gunner's Mate First Class Osmond Ingram was killed. When he saw the approaching torpedo, he ran to where the depth charges were and began throwing them overboard. He was killed in the explosion. For his actions, he received a posthumous Medal of Honor. Nine other men received minor wounds, but miraculously, though there were more than 20 men sleeping in compartments that were completely destroyed by the torpedo, no one else was killed. In fact, Fireman First Class F. W. Kruse is reported to have wandered out of his living compartment while completely unconscious after having had 84 in (2,100 mm) of frame blown away immediately adjacent to his bunk.[2]

Cassin, her rudder blown off and stern extensively damaged, began to circle. This did not prevent her, however, from firing four rounds at the submarine when she spotted its conning tower at 1430. The submarine, thus discouraged from further attack, submerged and was not contacted again. Through the night, Cassin was guarded by the American destroyer Porter and the British sloop HMS Jessamine and HMS Tamarisk,[3] a disguised sloop under Captain Ronald Niel Stuart. In the morning, HMS Snowdrop took Cassin in tow for Queenstown. After repairs there and at Newport, England, Cassin returned to escort duty on 2 July 1918.

Inter-war period[edit]

Cassin's war service received a well-deserved honor on 12–13 December, when she was chosen as one of the escorts for George Washington, carrying President Woodrow Wilson into Brest, France, for his attendance at the Versailles Peace Conference. Cassin returned to Boston, Massachusetts on 3 January 1919.

After winter maneuvers in the Caribbean, Cassin cleared New York City on 1 May for the Azores, where she took station guarding the route of the Navy's historic transatlantic NC-4 flight. She returned to Boston, Massachusetts for repairs, then sailed on to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she was placed in reserve on 18 June for more extensive repairs. Reactivated at Charleston, South Carolina on 14 February 1921, Cassin joined Destroyer Flotilla 5 for operations along the New England coast until 11 October, when she returned to Charleston. Returning to Philadelphia on 29 March 1922, she was decommissioned there on 7 June.

Transferred to the Treasury Department on 28 April 1924 for service in Coast Guard, she was part of the Rum Patrol. She was homeported in New London, Connecticut.

Cassin was returned to naval custody on 30 June 1933 and sold for scrap 22 August 1934.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "DD 43 - USS Cassin (HULL 58)". gdbiw.com. Bath Iron Works. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  2. ^ a b Gill, Charles C. (1920). Harper's Pictorial Library of the World War, Volume 4. Harper & Brothers. Retrieved 2010-02-05.  pp. 343-45
  3. ^ Feuer, p. 20.

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

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