Destroyer squadron

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A destroyer squadron is a naval squadron or flotilla usually consisting of destroyers rather than other types of vessel. In some navies other vessels, such as frigates, may be included. In English the word "squadron" tends to be used for larger and "flotilla" for smaller vessels; both may be used for destroyer units. Similar formations are used in non-English-speaking countries, e.g., the "escadrille"—which would translate directly as "squadron"—in France.

Royal Navy[edit]

The Royal Navy began to form units of destroyers after the introduction of 'torpedo boat destroyers' in the early 1900s. RN destroyer units, amongst others, are listed in the list of squadrons and flotillas of the Royal Navy, sections on squadrons and flotillas of destroyers, frigates, and escorts.

US Navy[edit]

The U.S. Navy acronym for a destroyer squadron is DESRON; it comprises three or more destroyers or frigates. It is not generally an operational unit, but is responsible for training, equipping and administering of its ships. A mixed unit including destroyers is the cruiser-destroyer group. The officer in command of DESRON SIX, for example, is designated Commander Destroyer Squadron Six, COMDESRON SIX for short.

As during World War II, a full-strength DesRon (as it was abbreviated at the time) comprised two Destroyer Divisions or DesDivs of four ships each, plus a squadron flagship; these were operational as well as administrative units.

In the late Fifties and through early 1962 a Squadron (Desron) comprised two four ship Divisions (Desdivs) with one ship designated the flagship. The flagship carried the Squadron Commodore as well as the ship's Captain. The Squadron normally operated as a unit within a Task Group or Fleet, its main duty being as anti-submarine screen for the aircraft carriers. Often, however, the divisions of the squadron were assigned to separate duties - and sometimes two ship elements might be sent on individual assignments. The flagship not only carried the Commodore, it also carried the Squadron doctor and chaplain.

From April 1, 1962, Cruiser-Destroyer forces in the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets were organized in Cruiser-Destroyer Flotillas (CRUDESFLOTs). These formations included Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla One in the Pacific (included Parks), Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Three at Long Beach in the Pacific (commanded for a time by Rear Admiral Draper Kauffman), Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Two in the Atlantic (included Yosemite), Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Four in the Atlantic, which supplied ships for the Task Force Alfa antisubmarine experiment and had USS Shenandoah (AD-26) as flagship for a time. Cornelius S. Snodgrass served as chief of staff for CRUDESFLOT 4 before his retirement in 1974.[1] Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Six in the Atlantic (flagship at one point USS Macdonough (DDG-39) and included Yellowstone). Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Six included Destroyer Squadron Four with USS Johnson in 1971, seemingly home-ported at the Charleston Naval Base. Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Seven was homeported at San Diego, commanded by Admiral Waldemar F. A. Wendt from April 1962, with concurrent duty as Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Pacific, October–November 1961. CRUDESFLOT SEVEN was also commanded at one point by then Rear Admiral Elmo Zumwalt. In December 1969, Admiral Robert S. Salzer assumed command of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla 3. Salzar assumed command of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla 7 in September 1970, and after the disestablishment of that formation on 16 March 1971 returned to command of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla 3.

Other flotillas included Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Eight in the Atlantic, which at one point included Destroyer Squadron Twenty-Two,[2] Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Nine in the Pacific, Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Eleven in the Pacific (with DesDiv 152, DesRon 15?), and Cruiser-Destroyer Flotillas Ten and Twelve in the Atlantic.

On 30 June 1973 Cruiser-Destroyer Flotillas were redesignated Cruiser-Destroyer Groups (CRUDESGRUs). The overall responsibility for surface warships on the west coast of the USA is taken by the Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific (COMNAVSURFPAC); on the east coast, the same responsibility rests with the Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic (COMSURFLANT). Previously under this system, when deployed, a Cruiser-Destroyer Group Commander would normally have been assigned to command a Carrier Battle Group (CVBG). Cruiser-Destroyer Groups were superseded by Carrier strike groups from 1 October 2004.

When a destroyer squadron deploys, for instance as part of a carrier strike group, overall command is transferred to the Naval Component Commander of the local Regional Command (e.g. COMNAVCENT or Commander US Naval Forces, Central Command).

List of US destroyer squadrons[edit]

Capt. Jeffrey Harley, Commander Destroyer Squadron Nine (DESRON 9), left, and Cmdr. Jonathan Christian, Commodore Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest, right, bow their heads during the invocation at the beginning of the change of command ceremony held for Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest in the Grand Vista Ballroom at Naval Station Everett.

List of cruiser-destroyer groups[edit]

U.S. Atlantic Fleet[edit]

  • Cruiser-Destroyer Group 2 (former CruDesFlot 2)
  • Cruiser-Destroyer Group 4 - had USS Tidewater (AD-31) as flagship from 10 September to 13 November 1970
  • Cruiser-Destroyer Group 8 (former CruDesFlot 8)
  • Cruiser-Destroyer Group 12 (former CruDesFlot 12, re-designated 30 June 1973)


U.S. Pacific Fleet[edit]


  • Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 7 (Rear Adm Zumwalt took command, San Diego, July 24, 1965)[16]


  1. ^ Obituary, C. S. Snodgrass Jr.(Local), Virginian-Pilot, December 30, 2007
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ See
  6. ^ Desron 9 History
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "The Ships & Squadrons of the USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group". USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). U.S. Navy. 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  12. ^ Joint Warror 12-2 draws to a close, 10/12/2012
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Crazy Ivan, Based on a True Story of Submarine Espionage, 169.
  15. ^ John B. Hattendorf, Adm Richard G. Colbert: Pioneer in Building Global Maritime Partnerships, Naval War College Review, Summer 2008, Vol. 61, No. 3, 120.
  16. ^ Berman, Zumwalt, 154