USS J. Fred Talbott

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J. Fred Talbott at anchor
United States
NameJ. Fred Talbott
NamesakeJoshua Frederick Cockey Talbott
BuilderWilliam Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia
Yard number471
Laid down8 July 1918
Launched14 December 1918
Commissioned30 June 1919
Decommissioned18 January 1923
Recommissioned1 May 1930
ReclassifiedMiscellaneous auxiliary, AG-81, 25 September 1944
Decommissioned21 May 1946
Stricken19 June 1946
FateSold for scrapping, 22 December 1946
General characteristics
Class and type Wickes-class destroyer
Displacement1,090 tons
Length314 ft 5 in (95.8 m)
Beam30 ft 6 in (9.3 m)
Draft8 ft 8 in (2.6 m)
Speed35 knots (65 km/h)
Complement101 officers and enlisted

USS J. Fred Talbott (DD-156), named for Joshua Frederick Cockey Talbott (1843–1918), Representative from Maryland Second District from 1879 to 1885, from 1893 to 1895 and again from 1903 to 1918, was a Wickes-class destroyer.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

J. Fred Talbott was laid down by the William Cramp & Sons Ship and Engine Building Company at Philadelphia on 8 July 1918, launched on 14 December 1918 by Mrs. Robert L. Bates, niece of Representative Talbott and commissioned on 30 June 1919, Commander T. G. Ellyson in command.

Service history[edit]

J. Fred Talbott departed Newport, Rhode Island on 10 July for the Mediterranean Sea, where she acted as a station ship at various ports acting as US representation during reconstruction. Upon her return to the United States on 21 June 1920, the ship took part in Neutrality Patrol duty on the East Coast and engaged in fleet exercises before her decommissioning at Philadelphia on 18 January 1923.

J. Fred Talbott recommissioned 1 May 1930, Lieutenant C. H. Cobb in command, and immediately began shakedown training in Delaware Bay. For the ten years that followed, the ship operated along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean Sea engaging in anti-submarine training; fleet operations; and carrying out the many far-ranging duties of the United States fleet. She also helped to train reserves and midshipmen.

With the outbreak of the war in Europe, and the United States' initial effort to protect its shipping while remaining neutral, J. Fred Talbott was assigned patrol duties in the waters off the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. Following the US entry into the war with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the ship took up convoy escort duties between New Orleans, Cuba, and the Panama Canal.

Following an overhaul in Boston in January 1944, J. Fred Talbott sailed on 13 February with her first transatlantic convoy, and, after her safe return from Casablanca, took up escort duties with convoys from Iceland southward into the Caribbean. Later in the year, after arrival on 15 September, she was converted at New York and reclassified AG-81 on 25 September 1944. The ship arrived Port Everglades, Florida, 1 November to act as a target ship for torpedo bombers, continuing this training service until the war's end.

J. Fred Talbott was decommissioned at Boston on 21 May 1946, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 19 June 1946 and sold for scrap to the Boston Metals Corporation of Baltimore, Maryland on 22 December 1946.


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