USS Moody (DD-277)

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USS Moody (Destroyer # 277, later DD-277)
Career (US)
Namesake: William Henry Moody
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Squantum Victory Yard
Laid down: 9 December 1918
Launched: 28 June 1919
Commissioned: 10 December 1919
Decommissioned: 2 June 1930
Struck: 3 November 1930
Fate: Sold for scrap 10 June 1931
Sunk for filming of movie scene 21 February 1933
General characteristics
Class & type: Clemson-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,308 tons
Length: 314 ft 3 in (95.78 m)
Beam: 30 ft 11 in (9.42 m)
Draft: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
Propulsion: 26,500 shp (20 MW);
geared turbines,
2 screws
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h)
Range: 4,900 nmi (9,100 km)
  @ 15 kt
Complement: 122 officers and enlisted
Armament: 4 × 4 in (102 mm), 1 × 3 in (76 mm), 12 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes

USS Moody (DD-277) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy following World War I. She was named for Justice William Henry Moody.

History[edit]

Moody was laid down 9 December 1918 and launched 28 June 1919 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation; and commissioned 10 December 1919 Commander James D. Wilson in command.

Assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Moody departed Boston 9 February 1920, loaded torpedoes and ammunition at Newport, Rhode Island, and steamed via New York, Guantanamo and the Panama Canal to the west coast, arriving San Diego, California on the 31st. The flush-decked four stacker operated along the California coast through June and then departed San Francisco, California 1 July for Washington where on the 10th she joined the cruise of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, Interior Secretary John B. Payne, and Admiral Hugh Rodman, Commander of the Pacific Fleet, to Alaska. On an inspection tour of Alaskan coal and oil fields and looking for possible fleet anchorages, the cruise touched at nine ports including Sitka, Duncan Day, and Juneau, and lasted for nearly 1 month. Moody returned to San Diego 31 August to operate off the California coast in training and in battle exercises for 2 months. She put into San Diego 10 October, remaining there and decommissioning 15 June 1922.

The destroyer recommissioned 27 September 1923, Lt. E. A. Zehner in command. Assigned to Destroyer Squadrons, Battle Fleet, the ship operated along the Pacific coast for the next 19 months and then on 27 May 1925 departed Bremerton, Washington for fleet exercises in the Hawaiian Islands. Operating out of Pearl Harbor and Lahaina Roads for 1 month, she then departed Pearl 1 July for the South Pacific, stopped at Pago Pago, American Samoa, and then made good will visits to Melbourne, Australia, and Dunedin and Wellington, New Zealand. Returning via Honolulu to San Diego 26 September, Moody then resumed west coast operations into 1927, including a voyage to Panama between February and April 1926.

On 17 February 1927, she sailed from San Diego for tactical maneuvers with the United States Fleet in the Caribbean. Proceeding through the Panama Canal 4 March, she arrived at Guantanamo 18 March and operated out of that port and Gonaïves on Fleet Problem 7, involving the defense of the Panama Canal until 22 April. She then proceeded to New York for repairs, sailing for home 16 May, arriving San Diego 25 June.

The destroyer remained in service with the Battle Fleet through mid-1929. From April to June 1928, she made another cruise to Hawaii with the fleet for the extensive exercises of Fleet Problem 8. She sailed to Mexico and Panama in early 1929 and then in July cruised to the Pacific Northwest, as far north as Ketchikan.

Fate[edit]

Moody decommissioned at San Diego 2 June 1930. She was towed to Mare Island Navy Yard arriving on the 8th. The destroyer was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 3 November in accordance with the London Treaty limiting naval armaments. Most of her superstructure was sold as scrap metal 10 June 1931 and she was sold to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for about US$35,000. Ex-Moody was altered to represent a German destroyer, and charges of dynamite were set at carefully planned locations. On the afternoon 21 February 1933, the first charge was detonated, splitting ex-Moody between two watertight compartments so she continued to float after breaking up. Then two other detonations breached the watertight bulkheads, sinking the hulk later that evening. The explosions and sinkings were filmed as the destruction caused by torpedoes from the fictional American submarine AL-14 (played by USS S-31 (SS-136)) in the 1933 submarine movie Hell Below.

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