USS Mahan (DD-102)

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For other ships with the same name, see USS Mahan.
USS Mahan, DD-102
United States
Name: Mahan
Namesake: Alfred Thayer Mahan
Builder: Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts
Laid down: 4 May 1918
Launched: 4 August 1918
Commissioned: 24 October 1918
Decommissioned: 1 May 1930
Reclassified: 17 July 1920, as DM-7
Struck: 22 October 1930
Fate: Sold for scrap, 17 January 1931
General characteristics
Class and type: Wickes-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,060 tons
Length: 314 ft 5 in (95.83 m)
Beam: 30 ft 11 in (9.42 m)
Draft: 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m)
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)
Complement: 133 officers and enlisted
  • 4 × 4 in (102 mm) guns
  • 2 × 1 pdr guns
  • 12 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes

The first USS Mahan (DD-102) was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy, named for Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan. The ship was converted into a light minelayer on 17 July 1920 and designated as DM-7.


Mahan was a flush deck destroyer; so-called because she was designed without a raised forecastle like past US destroyers. The ship had four smokestacks, and was built with a fuller hull for increased strength. The flush deck destroyers included the Caldwell, Wickes and Clemson classes, which were often referred to as the flush deckers or the four stackers.[1]

Service history[edit]

Mahan's keel was laid down on 4 May 1918 by the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts. She was launched on 4 August 1918, sponsored by Miss Ellen K. Mahan, niece of Rear Admiral Mahan. The ship was commissioned on 24 October 1918 with Lieutenant Commander F. P. Conger in command.

After shakedown, Mahan operated off Cuba until May 1919. She then steamed to the Azores to become one of the guide ships for the transatlantic flights of the Navy flying boats: NC-1, NC-3, and NC-4. Mahan returned to Boston, Massachusetts, via Brest, France, on 21 June. She was converted into a light minelayer on 17 July 1920 and designated as DM-7.

With the exception of a cruise to Pearl Harbor for maneuvers in early 1925, Mahan operated along the east coast, the Caribbean Sea, and off the Panama Canal Zone for the next 10 years. During this time, the destroyer participated in fleet training exercises, and patrolled courses for the International Six Meter Sailing Races of 1922 and 1927. Mahan assisted in salvage operations for submarines S-51 in September 1925 off Block Island, and did so for S-4, periodically, from 17 December 1927 through mid-March 1928 off Provincetown, Massachusetts. Mahan conducted reserve-training cruises in the Caribbean Sea from 1928 to September 1929. Throughout the decade, in addition to her regular duties, Mahan served as an experimental ship testing new equipment for the Navy’s future use.

On 20 September 1929, Mahan entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard where she decommissioned on 1 May 1930 and struck from the Navy Register on 22 October. She was sold for scrap on 17 January 1931 to the Boston Iron & Metal Company of Baltimore, Maryland.


USS Mahan was used in the Destroyermen series, written by Taylor Anderson. In the books, Mahan and her sister ship USS Walker are pursued by superior Japanese naval forces after the Battle of the Java Sea and seek refuge in a squall. The squall transports Mahan and Walker to an alternate earth, one where a different evolutionary path occurred. Anderson also uses other decommissioned ships in the series: USS S-19 and the Japanese battlecruiser Amagi.



  1. ^ Flush-Deckers, Destroyer History Foundation


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