USS Stockton (DD-73)
USS Stockton (DD-73)
|Career (United States)|
|Name:||USS Stockton (DD-73)|
|Builder:||William Cramp & Sons Ship and Engine Building Company Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Launched:||21 August 1917|
|Commissioned:||12 January 1918|
|Decommissioned:||23 October 1940|
|Fate:||Transferred to Britain on 23 October 1940|
|Career (United Kingdom)|
|Acquired:||23 October 1940|
|Struck:||8 January 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk as target ship off Yellowcraigs beach, Dirleton, East Lothian, Scotland, in July 1945.|
|Class & type:||Caldwell-class destroyer|
|Length:||315 ft 6 in (96.6 m)|
|Beam:||31 ft 4 in (9.55 m)|
|Draft:||8 ft 1 in (2.46 m)|
|Speed:||30 knots (56 km/h)|
|Complement:||128 officers and enlisted|
The second US Navy ship named for Captain Robert F. Stockton (1795–1866), Stockton was laid down on 16 October 1916 by William Cramp & Sons at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; launched on 17 July 1917, sponsored by Miss Ellen Emelie De Martelly and commissioned on 26 November 1917, Commander H. A. Baldridge in command.
Service history 
Stockton spent the last year of World War I assigned to convoy escort and antisubmarine duty, operating out of Queenstown, Ireland. During that time, she engaged an enemy U-boat on at least one occasion. On 30 March 1918, she and Ericsson were escorting the troopship St. Paul on the Queenstown-Liverpool circuit, when Ericsson opened fire on a German submarine. The submerged enemy launched a torpedo at Stockton almost immediately thereafter, and the destroyer narrowly evaded the "fish." The two destroyers dropped patterns of depth charges, but the U-boat managed to evade their attack and escaped. Later that night, Stockton collided with Slieve Bloom near South Stack Light. The destroyer had to put into Liverpool for repairs and the merchantman sank.
Stockton returned to the United States in 1919, and for three years continued to serve with the fleet. On 26 June 1922, she was placed out of commission and laid up at Philadelphia. Stockton was recommissioned on 16 August 1940 and shuttled to Halifax, where she was decommissioned on the 23 August and turned over to the United Kingdom under the provisions of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement. She served the Royal Navy as HMS Ludlow until decommissioning in June 1945. Following decommission, Ludlow was beached off Fidra Island, Firth of Forth on 15 July 1945 to be used as a rocket target by the RAF. It is reputed that the first salvo of rockets hit just below the water line and sank her. She now lies off Yellowcraigs beach in 6m of water (Ord Survey NT 522 861) and, although well broken up, her remains are still visible just above the surface at low tide.
Her name was struck from the US Navy list on 8 January 1941.
See also