USS Chauncey (DD-296)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Chauncey.
USS Chauncey (Destroyer # 296) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, 8 July 1919.
USS Chauncey (Destroyer # 296) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, 8 July 1919.
Career (US)
Name: USS Chauncey
Namesake: Isaac Chauncey
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Union Iron Works, San Francisco
Laid down: 17 June 1918
Launched: 29 September 1918
Commissioned: 25 June 1919
Decommissioned: 26 October 1923
Struck: 25 September 1925
Fate: Wrecked in the Honda Point Disaster, 8 September 1923
General characteristics
Class & type: Clemson-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,215 tons
Length: 314 ft 4 in (95.81 m)
Beam: 30 ft 8 in (9.35 m)
Draft: 9 ft 10 in (3 m)
Propulsion: 26,500 shp (20 MW);
geared turbines,
twin propellers
Speed: 33 knots (65 km/h)
Range: 4,900 nmi (9,100 km)
  @ 15 kt
Complement: 130 officers and enlisted
Armament: 4 × 4" (102 mm), 1 × 3" (76 mm), 12 × 21" (533 mm) torpedo tubes

The second USS Chauncey (DD-296) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was named for Isaac Chauncey.

History[edit]

Chauncey was launched 29 September 1918 by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California; sponsored by Miss D. M. Todd; commissioned 25 June 1919, Commander W. A. Glassford, Jr., in command ; and reported to the Pacific Fleet.

From the time of her commissioning, Chauncey sailed from San Diego and Mare Island to Hawaii and along the Pacific coast taking part in fleet exercises, gunnery practice, and other training activities. From 15 July 1920 to 14 October 1921, she was in ready reserve at San Diego and Mare Island, then returned to active duty as flagship of Destroyer Division 31.

On the evening of 8 September 1923, Chauncey in company with a large group of destroyers was sailing through a heavy fog from San Francisco to San Diego, when a navigational error on board the first ship in her column turned that destroyer and the six that followed toward the rocky California coast rather than on a reach down Santa Barbara Channel. All seven destroyers, including Chauncey, went aground on the jagged rocks off Point Pedernales, in what was called the Honda Point Disaster.

USS Chauncey aground at Honda Point.

Chauncey stranded upright, high on the rocks, near USS Young (DD-312), which had capsized. With none of her men lost, Chauncey at once went to the aid of Young, passing a line by which 70 of Young's crew clambered hand-over-hand to Chauncey. Swimmers from Chauncey then rigged a network of lifelines to the coastal cliffs, and both her men and Young's reached safety by this means. The abandoned Chauncey was wrecked by the surf, and was decommissioned 26 October 1923. All the hulks were sold for salvage and removal as of 25 September 1925.

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