USS Craven (DD-70)

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USS Craven (DD-70) at her launching
Career (USA)
Name: USS Craven
Builder: Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Launched: 29 June 1918
Commissioned: 19 October 1918
Decommissioned: 23 October 1940
Fate: Transferred to UK, 23 October 1940
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Lewes
Acquired: 23 October 1940
Commissioned: 23 October 1940
Decommissioned: 1945
Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Class & type: Caldwell-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,020 tons (standard), 1,125 tons (normal)
Length: 308 ft (93.88 m) waterline, 315 ft 6 in (96.2 m) overall
Beam: 31 ft 3 in (9.52 m)
Draft: 8 ft (2.44 m), 11 ft 6 in (3.5 m) max
Installed power: 20,000 shp (15 MW)
Propulsion: Thornycroft boilers, Parsons geared turbines, two shafts
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h)
Complement: 146
Armament: 4 in /50 guns (4×1), 1-pdr 1.1 in AA (1x1); later 3" (76 mm) (1x1), 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tube (2×3 each beam)

USS Craven (DD-70), a Caldwell-class destroyer, served in the United States Navy, and later in the Royal Navy as HMS Lewes.

The second US Navy ship named for Commander Tunis Craven (1813–1864), Craven was launched on 29 June 1918 by Norfolk Navy Yard, sponsored by Mrs. F. Learned, daughter of Commander Craven, and commissioned on 19 October 1918, Lieutenant Commander M. B. McComb in command.

Service history[edit]

United States Navy[edit]

Craven cruised on the east coast and in the Caribbean in training, maneuvers, and torpedo practice, until 3 May 1919 when she sailed from New York for Trepassey Bay, Newfoundland. Here she served on a weather station and observed the flight of Navy seaplanes in the historic first aerial crossing of the Atlantic. After overhaul, Craven participated in Army gun tests at Fort Story, Virginia, and had recruiting duty at Hampton Roads, Virginia; Fall River, Massachusetts, and Newport, Rhode Island, until placed in reserve at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 10 October 1919.

Still in reduced commission, Craven arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, 10 February 1921. She transported liberty parties between Charleston and Jacksonville, Florida, and took part in the fleet maneuvers off Virginia and in Narragansett Bay. Arriving at Philadelphia 29 March 1922, Craven was placed out of commission 15 June 1922. On 12 November 1939, she was renamed Conway for William Conway.

Royal Navy[edit]

Recommissioned 9 August 1940, Conway arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 17 October. Here she was decommissioned 23 October 1940 and turned over to British authorities in the land bases for destroyers exchange. She was commissioned as HMS Lewes (G68) (after Lewes in East Sussex) the same day.

Lewes departed Halifax 1 November and arrived at Belfast, Northern Ireland, 9 November, searching for Admiral Scheer during her passage. She was refitted at Plymouth, England, and ordered to remain there under the command of Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth. Severely damaged in enemy air raids on 21 and 22 April 1941, she remained out of action until December when she joined the Home Fleet. In February 1942, she joined Rosyth Escort Force, escorting convoys between the Thames and the Firth of Forth, Scotland. On 9 and 10 November 1942, she engaged German E-boats which attacked her convoy off Lowestoft. Lewes escorted a troop convoy on its way to the Middle East and arrived at Simonstown, Union of South Africa, 18 May 1943. As well as serving as target for aircraft during their training, she searched for enemy submarines reported rounding Cape of Good Hope.

In 1944, she joined the Eastern Fleet as a submarine tender and torpedo target ship. Lewes departed Durban 13 August and arrived at Ceylon a month later. She was based at Trincomalee until January 1945, when she was transferred to the British Pacific Fleet as a target ship for aircraft training. Arriving at Fremantle, Australia, 11 February 1945, she shifted to Sydney 20 February and remained there until the end of hostilities. On 12 October 1945, she was reported as no longer necessary to the fleet, and was ordered scrapped. She was stripped of valuable scrap and the hull scuttled off Sydney on 25 May 1946.

References[edit]

USS Conway Website http://www.ussconway.com

  • Fitzsimons, Bernard, General Editor. The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare, Volume 5, pp. 510–11, "Caldwell", and Volume 16, pp. 1717–18, "Leeds". London: Phoebus, 1978.
  • Willshaw, Fred. "DD-70 USS Craven". Destroyer Photo Archive. NavSource Online. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links[edit]