USS Downes (DD-45)

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USS Downes (DD-45) 1913.jpg
USS Downes (DD-45) underway in 1915 undergoing sea trials.
United States
Name: Downes
Namesake: Captain John Downes
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Company, Camden, New Jersey
Cost: $805,490.17[1]
Laid down: 27 June 1912
Launched: 8 November 1913
Sponsored by: Mrs. M. H. Simons, great-granddaughter of Captain Downes
Commissioned: 11 February 1915
Decommissioned: 6 June 1922
Struck: 5 July 1934
Fate: transferred to the United States Coast Guard, 28 April 1924
Status: sold 22 August 1934, broken up for scrap
Notes: Downes lost her name to new construction 1 July 1933
USCG Downes.
USCG Downes (CG-4) on Coast Guard service during the Prohibition Era.
United States
Name: Downes
Acquired: 28 April 1924[2]
Commissioned: 14 October 1924[2]
Decommissioned: 18 November 1930[2]
Identification: Hull symbol:CG-4
Fate: Returned to the Navy on 22 May 1931.
General characteristics [3]
Class and type: Cassin-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,072 long tons (1,089 t)[4]
Length: 305 ft 3 in (93.04 m)
Beam: 31 ft 2 in (9.50 m)
Draft: 9 ft 7 in (2.92 m) (mean)[4]
Installed power:
  • oil fired boilers
  • 16,000 ihp (12,000 kW)
  • 29.5 kn (33.9 mph; 54.6 km/h)
  • 29 kn (33 mph; 54 km/h) (Speed on Trial)[4]
  • 5 officers 96 enlisted (USN)[5]
  • 6 officers, 82 enlisted (USCG)[6]

The first USS Downes (DD-45) was a Cassin-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I. She was later transferred to the United States Coast Guard, where she was designated CG-4. She was named for Captain John Downes.


Downes was launched on 8 November 1913 by New York Shipbuilding Company of Camden, New Jersey. She was sponsored by Mrs. M. H. Simons, great-granddaughter of Captain Downes and outfitted for service at Philadelphia Navy Yard. Downes was commissioned on 11 February 1915, Lieutenant Commander A. W. Johnson in command.

World War I[edit]

Downes conducted her shakedown off New York and in Chesapeake Bay, and then returned to Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she was placed in ordinary from 4 October 1915 – 26 May 1917 for the construction and installation of new machinery by the contractor. Fitted out for distant service, she sailed from New York on 18 October 1917 for Devonport, England, arriving on 7 November.

Downes was based at Queenstown, Ireland, from 17 November 1917 – 5 December 1918, and operated on convoy escort duty inbound to British ports, across the channel, and outbound to rendezvous with the ocean escorts. She patrolled against submarines off the Irish coast, making numerous attacks with no sure results and with other destroyers aided distressed ships. On two occasions her efficiency won commendations from the British Admiralty, once for her protection of the torpedoed Manley and again for the rescue and salvage of a British submarine.

Inter-war period[edit]

Downes arrived at Brest, France on 6 December to meet and escort President Woodrow Wilson embarked in George Washington, passing in review before returning to Queenstown on 14 December. The day after Christmas she sailed for the United States, arriving at Norfolk, Virginia on 18 January 1919. After winter maneuvers in Cuban waters, she returned to New York on 14 March. Downes reported to Norfolk on 5 May for overhaul and on 31 May was placed in ordinary. Returned to full commission, she sailed for Newport, Rhode Island on 12 May 1921 for summer maneuvers.

From 22 October-20 March 1922, she lay at Charleston, South Carolina, and on 24 March arrived at Philadelphia Navy Yard. Downes was placed out of commission there on 6 June and laid up.

She was transferred to the United States Coast Guard on 28 April 1924. She initially served at the Academy as a practice ship. Later, she was part of the Rum Patrol.[6] Returned to Naval custody at Philadelphia on 22 May 1931, Downes was scrapped and sold on 22 August 1934 in accordance with the London Naval Treaty.


  1. ^ "Table 21 - Ships on Navy List June 30, 1919". Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office: 762. 1921. 
  2. ^ a b c Record of Movements Vessels of the United States Coast Guard 1790 -December 31, 1933 (PDF). Washington: TREASURY DEPARTMENT. 1989. p. 448. 
  3. ^ "USS Downes (DD-45)". Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Table 10 - Ships on Navy List June 30, 1919". Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office: 714. 1921. 
  5. ^ "Table 16 - Ships on Navy List June 30, 1919". Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office: 749. 1921. 
  6. ^ a b c "Cassin (CG-4)" (PDF). U.S. Coast Guard Webcuttes. U. S. Coast Guard Historian's Office. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Photo gallery of Downes at NavSource Naval History