USS Turner (DD-259)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Turner and USS Moosehead.
Career (US)
Name: USS Turner
Namesake: Daniel Turner
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts
Laid down: 19 December 1918
Launched: 17 May 1919
Commissioned: 24 September 1919
Decommissioned: 7 June 1922
Career (US)
Name: YW-56
In service: October 1936
Out of service: 13 February 1943
Career (US)
Name: USS Moosehead
Namesake: Moosehead Lake region of Maine
Commissioned: 5 April 1943
Decommissioned: 19 March 1946
Struck: 17 April 1946
Fate: Sold for scrapping 20 February 1947
General characteristics
Class & type: Clemson-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,868 tons
Length: 314 feet 4 inches (95.81 m)
Beam: 31 feet 8 inches (9.65 m)
Draft: 11 feet 2 inches (3.4 m)
Propulsion: 26,500 shp (20 MW);
geared turbines,
2 screws
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h)
Range: 4,900 nmi (9,100 km)
  @ 15 kt
Complement: 197 officers and enlisted
Armament: 2 x 3" (76 mm), 4 x 20 mm., 4 dcp., 2 rkt.

The first USS Turner (DD-259) was a Clemson-class destroyer in commission in the United States Navy from 1919 to 1922. She served in a non-commissioned status as the water lighter YW-56 from 1936 to 1943, and was in commission as a miscellaneous auxiliary, the second USS Moosehead (IX-98), from 1943 to 1946.

As Turner[edit]

Named for Daniel Turner, she was laid down by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts, 19 December 1918 and launched 17 May 1919; sponsored by Mrs. Leigh C. Palmer; and commissioned at Boston 24 September 1919, Lieutenant Commander M. L. Hersey, Jr., in command.

After duty along the east and west coasts, Turner decommissioned at San Diego, California, 7 June 1922, and she was placed in reserve. Her name was struck from the Navy list 5 August 1936.

Conversion to YW-56[edit]

On 28 September 1936 the fourstack destroyer was authorized for conversion to a self-propelled water barge. Converted at San Diego, California in October, she reclassified to YW-56 and began operations in the San Diego area. The water lighter was assigned to the 11th Naval District 17 October 1940, and in May 1942 she was given additional duty as a ferry between San Diego and San Clemente Island.

As Moosehead[edit]

YW-56 was renamed Moosehead, the second U.S. Navy ship of that name, and reclassified IX-98 on 13 February 1943. Following installation of sonar and radar equipment, she commissioned at San Diego 5 April 1943, Lt. D. J. Spahr in command. She reported for duty with the Operational Training Command, Pacific Fleet, 11 April, and on 23 April she became flagship of Rear Admiral Frank A. Braisted, COTCPac. During the remaining years of World War II Moosehead operated out of San Diego.

Between May 1943 and December 1944 Moosehead made an average of 11 round trips a month to San Clemente Island carrying passengers, mail, and cargo for the 11th Naval District. From August 1944 until early in 1945 she towed targets for battleships, cruisers, and destroyers and served as a torpedo target for destroyers and torpedo planes. In addition she screened battleships and cruisers during training exercises.

Moosehead carried out her most important service as an at-sea platform for training officers and men of Combat Information Center crews. She carried the latest radar and sonar equipment as well as a CIC classroom and berthing facilities. In July 1943 she began training CIC crews of escort carriers. During the next two and a half years she trained CIC teams for all escort carriers of the Casablanca and Commencement Bay classes. Early in 1944 she broadened the scope of her training to include CIC teams from APA’s, AKA’s, DE’s, AD’s, and PCE’s. In addition, she served as a test and evaluation ship for experimental rockets, radar equipment, and radio jamming devices.

Although Moosehead operated along the coast of southern California during her entire career under that name, she steamed more than 100,000 miles and trained more than 4,200 officers and men. Following the end of World War II, she continued training duty as flagship for commander, Training Command, West Coast. On 24 December 1945 she reported to the 11th Naval District for disposal.

Fate[edit]

She decommissioned at San Diego 19 March 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy list 17 April. She was released to the Maritime Commission 20 February 1947 and sold the same day to Hugo Neu for scrapping.

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