USS Allen (DD-66)
|Namesake:||Lieutenant William Henry Allen (1784–1813)|
|Builder:||Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine|
|Laid down:||10 May 1915|
|Launched:||5 December 1916|
|Struck:||1 November 1945|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap 26 September 1946.|
|Class and type:||Sampson-class destroyer|
|Displacement:||1,111 tons (normal), 1,225 tons (full load)|
|Length:||315 ft 3 in (96.09 m)|
|Beam:||30 ft 7 in (9.32 m)|
|Draft:||10 ft 9 in (3.28 m)|
|Speed:||29.5 knots (54.6 km/h)|
|Complement:||99 officers and crew|
|Fitted with radar in WW-2, SC and SU type antennas seen mounted on ship by late 1942.|
USS Allen (DD-66) was a Sampson-class destroyer of the United States Navy launched in 1916. She was the second Navy ship named for Lieutenant William Henry Allen (1784–1813), a naval officer during the War of 1812. She was the longest serving destroyer on the Naval Vessel Register when she was sold in 1946 and was one of the few ships in the US Navy during World War II which was completed during World War I.
Allen was laid down on 10 May 1915 at Bath Maine, by the Bath Iron Works, launched on 5 December 1916, sponsored by Miss Dorthea Dix Allen and Miss Harriet Allen Butler, and commissioned on 24 January 1917, Lieutenant Commander Samuel W. Bryant in command. Final delivery from Bath Iron Works recorded as 22 October 1917, per the official records of the Bath Iron Works Company. (record Number 68). Construction cost $816,185.43 (hull and machinery).
World War I
Over the next five months, Allen conducted patrol and escort duty along the eastern seaboard and in the West Indies. During that time, the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allies on 6 April. On 14 June, the destroyer put to sea from New York in the escort of one of the first convoys to take American troops to Europe. After seeing the convoy safely across the Atlantic, Allen joined other American destroyers at Queenstown, Ireland, and began duty patrolling against U-boats and escorting convoys on the last leg of their voyage to Europe under the command of Commander Henry D. Cooke. Cooke was later awarded with Navy Cross for his leadership of USS Allen.
That duty included escort missions into both French and British ports. During her service at Queenstown, she reported engagements with German submarines on 10 separate occasions, but postwar checks of German records failed to substantiate even the most plausible of the supposed encounters. One of the last duties the destroyer performed in European waters came in December 1918 when she helped to escort George Washington, with President Woodrow Wilson embarked, into Brest, France, on the 13th. Following that mission, the destroyer returned to Queenstown, whence she departed on the day after Christmas, bound for home. Allen pulled into New York on 7 January 1919.
After voyage repairs, the destroyer resumed duty along the east coast and in the West Indies with the United States Atlantic Fleet. That duty continued until 22 June 1922 at which time she was placed out of commission, in reserve. She was placed back in commission three years later, on 23 June 1925. Allen spent almost three years as a training platform for naval reservists at Washington, D.C. In March 1928, the destroyer returned to the Reserve Fleet and was berthed at Philadelphia. There, she remained for more than 12 years. On 23 August 1940, Allen was recommissioned at Philadelphia, Lieutenant Commander Frederick P. Williams in command.
World War II
Following a brief period of service on the United States East Coast, Allen was reassigned to the Pacific Fleet as a unit of Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 80. By the time Allen returned to commission, the Pacific Fleet had been moved from its base on the United States West Coast to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a gesture to "restrain" the Japanese. Therefore, Allen moved to the Hawaiian base whence she operated until the beginning of hostilities between the United States and Japan.
On the morning of 7 December 1941, Allen was moored in East Loch to the northeast of Ford Island and just southeast of the hospital ship USS Solace (AH-5). During the Japanese attack on the harbor that morning, she claimed to have assisted in downing three enemy planes; however, in her actual after-action report online at the U.S. Navy's Naval Historical Center Web site, her commanding officer states "that no damage to attacking forces was seen to have been inflicted by this ship."
Following the attack, Allen began duty escorting ships between islands of the Hawaiian chain and patrolling the area for enemy ships, primarily submarines. A primary training function of Allen during this period was to work-up new submarine crews in penetrating ASW defensive positions, with Allen acting as the defender. This task is recorded in several histories of US submarine operations in the Pacific as their first actual action against a ship. She also made periodic round-trip voyages to the United States West Coast. Such duty remained her occupation throughout World War II.
In September 1945, Allen steamed from Hawaii to Philadelphia, where she was placed out of commission on 15 October 1945. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 November 1945, and she was sold to the Boston Metals Company, Baltimore, Maryland, on 26 September 1946 for scrapping.
Being in service prior to the US entry into World War I, and serving through World War II, Allen was the longest-serving destroyer on the Naval Register when she was sold.
- World War I Victory Medal with "DESTROYER" clasp
- American Defense Service Medal with "FLEET" clasp
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one battle star
- World War II Victory Medal
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- U.S. Flush Deck Destroyers in Action by Al Adcock & Don Greer. Squadron Publications
- "Table 21 - Ships on Navy List June 30, 1919". Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office: 762. 1921.