USS Chauncey (DD-3)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Chauncey.
USS Chauncey (DD-3).jpg
USS Chauncey' photographed prior to World War I.
Career (United States)
Name: Chauncey
Namesake: Commedore Isaac Chauncey
Builder: Neafie and Levy Ship and Engine Building Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Laid down: 2 December 1899
Launched: 26 October 1901
Sponsored by: Mrs. M. C. S. Todd
Commissioned: 21 February 1903
Out of service: 19 November 1917
Identification: Hull symbol:DD-3
Code letters:NDF
ICS November.svgICS Delta.svgICS Foxtrot.svg
Fate: sunk in collision with cargo ship SS Rose 110 miles west of Gibraltar 19 November 1917
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Bainbridge-class destroyer
Displacement: 420 long tons (430 t) (standard)
Length: 250 ft (76 m) (oa)
Beam: 23 ft 7 in (7.19 m)
Draft: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Installed power: 8,000 shp (6,000 kW)
Propulsion: 2 × Vertical triple expansion engines
2 × shaft
Speed: 29 kn (33 mph; 54 km/h)
Complement: 3 officers
72 enlisted men
Armament: 2 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 caliber guns

5 × 6-pounder 57 mm (2.2 in) guns

2 × 18 in (460 mm) torpedo tubes

The first USS Chauncey (DD-3) (originally "Destroyer No. 3") was a Bainbridge-class destroyer in the United States Navy named for Commodore Isaac Chauncey. It was launched in 1901 and sunk in 1917.

Construction and design[edit]

Chauncey was laid down at Neafie and Levy Ship and Engine Building Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 2 December 1899 as a member of the Bainbridge class,[a] and was launched on 26 October 1901.[5]

Chauncey was 249 feet 9 78 inches (76.15 m) long overall and 244 feet 2 78 inches (74.44 m) at the waterline, with a beam of 23 feet 5 inches (7.14 m) and a draft of 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m).[5][6] As the Bainbridge class was intended to be more seaworthy than the US Navy's torpedo boats, the ship had a raised forecastle instead of the "turtleback" forecastle common in European designs.[7] Design displacement was 420 long tons (430 t) and 631 long tons (641 t) full load,[6] although all ships of the class were overweight.[4] Four Thornycroft boilers fed steam at 250 pounds per square inch (1,700 kPa) to triple expansion steam engines rated at 8,000 indicated horsepower (6,000 kW) driving two shafts for a design speed of 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph). Four funnels were fitted.[5][6] Armament consisted of two 3 inch (76 mm) 50 caliber guns, five 6-pounder (57 mm) guns and two 18 inch torpedo tubes.[5]

Chauncey was placed in reduced commission on 20 November 1902, then placed in reserve on 2 December 1902 and received full commission on 21 February 1903. Lieutenant Stanford Elwood Moses was placed in command and Chauncey reported to the Atlantic Fleet.[8]

Pre-World War I[edit]

Chauncey served with the Coast Squadron until 20 September 1903, when she was transferred to the Asiatic Fleet and left Key West for the Orient on 18 December. After sailing by way of the Suez Canal, she arrived at Cavite to join the force representing US interest in the Far East as it cruised in the Philippines during winters and off China during summers. Aside from the period of 3 December 1905 – 12 January 1907, when she was in reserve at Cavite, Chauncey continued this service until the entrance of America into World War I.


The destroyer sailed from Cavite on 1 August 1917 for convoy escort duty in the eastern Atlantic, based at St. Nazaire, France. On 19 November, while about 110 mi (180 km) west of Gibraltar on escort duty, Chauncey was rammed by the British merchantman SS Rose as both ships steamed in war-imposed darkness. At 03:17, Chauncey sank in 9,000 ft (2,700 m) of water, taking to their death 21 men including her captain, Lieutenant Commander Walter E. Reno. 70 survivors were picked up by Rose, and carried to port.

USS Chauncey in literature[edit]

The novel Delilah was written by a survivor of Chauncey, Marcus Goodrich, and is a fictional account based on his experience serving aboard Chauncey as an enlisted man.

Noteworthy commanding officers[edit]


  1. ^ Some sources state that Torpedo Boat Destroyers 1–5 comprised the Bainbridge class,[2][3] while other sources state that four more very similar ships (Torpedo Boat Destroyers 10–13) were also part of the same class.[4]
  1. ^ "USS Chauncey (DD-3)". Retrieved June 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ Chesneau and Kolesnik 1979, pp. 157–158.
  3. ^ Osborne 2005, p. 45.
  4. ^ a b Friedman 1982, p. 17.
  5. ^ a b c d Chesneau and Kolesnik 1979, p. 157.
  6. ^ a b c Friedman 1982, p. 392.
  7. ^ Friedman 1982, pp. 14–15.
  8. ^ "Chauncey". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 


  1. ^ Haislip, Harvey, CAPT USN. (September 1977). "A Memory of Ships". United States Naval Institute Proceedings.