USS Laub (DD-263)

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USS Laub
United States
Name: USS Laub
Namesake: Henry Laub
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Squantum Victory Yard
Laid down: 20 April 1918
Launched: 28 August 1918
Commissioned: 17 March 1919
Decommissioned: 8 October 1940
Struck: 8 January 1942
Identification: DD-263
Fate: Transferred to the United Kingdom, 8 October 1940
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Burwell
Acquired: 8 October 1940
Identification: H94
Fate: Scrapped 1947
General characteristics
Class and type: Clemson-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,190 tons
Length: 314 ft 5 in (95.83 m)
Beam: 31 ft 8 in (9.65 m)
Draft: 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
  • 26,500 shp (19,800 kW);
  • geared turbines,
  • 2 screws
Speed: 35 kn (65 km/h; 40 mph)
Range: 4,900 nmi (9,100 km; 5,600 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 120 officers and enlisted

The first USS Laub (DD-263) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy and transferred to the Royal Navy where she served as HMS Burwell (H94) during World War II. She was named for Henry Laub.


Laub was laid down by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Squantum, Massachusetts on 20 April 1918. The destroyer was launched on 28 August 1918, sponsored by Miss Marjorie Mohan, a collateral descendant of Henry Laub. The ship was commissioned on 17 March 1919, Commander W. F. Amsden in command.

Assigned to the Atlantic destroyer force out of Newport, Rhode Island, Laub was dispatched 2 to 17 May 1919 to take up position off Newfoundland as plane guard, and navigational aid during the NC-4 transatlantic flight. The destroyer continued exercises off the east coast until 30 June when she sailed for European service. Arriving Brest 17 July, Laub operated with the fleet off Western Europe until she sailed late in August for duty in the eastern Mediterranean. Upon arrival at Constantinople 2 September, Laub operated with the Food Commission, bringing relief to Europe. She sailed for America on the 17th, arriving New York City 4 October. Her stay on the east coast was a brief one as she sailed 2 weeks later to join the Pacific Fleet, arriving San Diego, California 27 November.

From December 1919 until she decommissioned 15 June 1922, Laub performed torpedo experiments and reserve training cruises along the Pacific coast.

Laub recommissioned 18 December 1939, Cmdr. B. W. Chippendale in command. After shakedown out of San Diego, the destroyer arrived Guantanamo 7 April 1940 to join the Caribbean Neutrality patrol. Following 2 months' duty out of Guantanamo, she sailed to Galveston, Texas for patrol operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Following 4 months of operations in the gulf and along the Atlantic coast, Laub arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 5 September. She decommissioned there 8 October 1940.

Laub was transferred to Great Britain the following day as part of the destroyer-bases agreement. During World War II she served in the Royal Navy protecting Allied shipping in the North Atlantic under the name HMS Burwell. Burwell was modified for trade convoy escort service by removal of three of the original 4"/50 caliber guns and one of the triple torpedo tube mounts to reduce topside weight for additional depth charge stowage and installation of Hedgehog.[1]

A notable incident during her Royal Navy career was her involvement in the capture of the German U-boat U-570 in August 1941.


  1. ^ Lenton&Colledge (1968) pp.92-94


  • Lenton, H.T. and Colledge J.J. (1968). British and Dominion Warships of World War II. Doubleday and Company.
  • This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

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