USS Lamberton (DD-119)

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USS Lamberton underway
United States
Name: Lamberton
Namesake: Benjamin P. Lamberton
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
Laid down: 1 October 1917
Launched: 30 March 1918
Commissioned: 22 August 1918
Decommissioned: 13 December 1946
  • 16 April 1932, AG-21
  • 19 November 1940, DMS-2
  • 5 June 1945, AG-21
Fate: Sold, 9 May 1947, scrapped
General characteristics
Class and type: Wickes-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,090 tons
Length: 314 ft 5 in (95.8 m)
Beam: 31 ft 8 in (9.7 m)
Draft: 8 ft 8 in (2.6 m)
Speed: 35 kn (65 km/h)
Complement: 113 officers and enlisted

USS Lamberton (DD-119)/(DMS-2) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was the only ship named for Benjamin P. Lamberton, an admiral who had served with Admiral Dewey in the Battle of Manila Bay.

Lamberton was laid down on 1 October 1917 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company at their yard in Newport News, Virginia. The destroyer was launched on 30 March 1918, sponsored by Miss Isabell Stedman Lamberton, Admiral Lamberton's granddaughter. The vessel was commissioned on 22 August 1918, Lieutenant Commander Frank Slingluff, Jr. in command.

Service history[edit]

After shakedown in the Caribbean Sea, Lamberton joined the Atlantic Fleet for maneuvers off the Azores in early 1919. Reassigned to the newly formed Pacific Fleet, the destroyer departed Hampton Roads on 19 July and arrived at San Diego on 7 August.

Based at San Diego, Lamberton operated along the west coast from August 1919 until June 1922. She participated in training maneuvers and performed experiments to develop superior naval tactics. The destroyer decommissioned at San Diego on 30 June 1922.

World War II[edit]

Lamberton recommissioned 15 November 1930, Lieutenant Commander S. N. Moore in command. Operating along the west coast, she performed training exercises for nearly two years. She was reclassified AG-21 on 16 April 1932 and converted to a target-towing ship. From 1933 until 1940 she operated out of San Diego towing targets for surface ships, submarines, and aircraft, a role which paid dividends during World War II. She also engaged in experimental minesweeping exercises off the west coast and was reclassified DMS-2 on 19 November 1940. The actor Ernest Borgnine served aboard Lamberton before the war, being discharged in September 1941. He reenlisted in January 1942 and served in the U.S. Navy with the Atlantic Fleet.[1]

After arriving at Pearl Harbor on 11 September 1941, Lamberton resumed target towing and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) screening operations in the Hawaiian Islands. On 7 December 1941, she was escorting the cruiser Minneapolis to Oahu when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor. Following the attack, she returned to port to sweep the harbor. For the next seven months she remained on offshore patrol in the Hawaiian Islands.

Departing Pearl Harbor on 11 July 1942, Lamberton steamed north, arriving at Kodiak, Alaska seven days later. The high-speed minesweeper performed patrol and escort duty in the frigid North Pacific during the Aleutian campaign. In mid-May 1943, she escorted the task group which brought reinforcements for the second landing at Massacre Bay, Attu. Lamberton continued patrol operations until late June when she sailed for Kuluk Bay.

The high-speed minesweeper then steamed to San Diego, arriving there on 23 July. For the rest of the war, she performed target-towing operations off the west coast and out of Pearl Harbor. Lamberton was reclassified AG-21 on 5 June 1945, and, following the Japanese surrender, she operated out of San Diego as an auxiliary.

On 9 October 1945 Lamberton was one of 266 vessels damaged by Typhoon Louise when it struck Okinawa. Of these, 222 were run aground, including Lamberton. She was later refloated and returned to duty. Curiously, her listing in the Naval History and Heritage Command's history of that event still shows her designated as DMS-2.

She was decommissioned at Bremerton, Washington on 13 December 1946 and was sold on 9 May 1947 to National Metal and Steel Corporation, Terminal Island, Los Angeles, California for scrapping.


Lamberton received one battle star for World War II service.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wise & Rehill, p. 118.

References cited[edit]

External links[edit]