USS Stockton (DD-73)

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USS Stockton (DD-73).jpg
USS Stockton
United States
Name: USS Stockton
Builder: William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia
Yard number: 437
Laid down: 16 October 1916
Launched: 17 July 1917
Commissioned: 26 November 1917
Decommissioned: 23 October 1940
Struck: 8 January 1941
Identification: DD-73
Fate: Transferred to Britain on 23 October 1940
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Ludlow
Acquired: 23 October 1940
Decommissioned: June 1945
Fate: Beached 15 July 1945 for use as target ship
General characteristics
Class and type: Caldwell-class destroyer
  • 1,020 tons (standard)
  • 1,125 tons (normal)
Length: 315 ft 6 in (96.16 m)
Beam: 31 ft 4 in (9.55 m)
Draft: 8 ft 1 in (2.46 m)
  • White-Forster boilers
  • Parsons turbines
  • three shafts
  • 18,500 hp (13,800 kW)
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 128 officers and enlisted

USS Stockton (DD-73), a Caldwell-class destroyer, served in the United States Navy, and later in the Royal Navy as HMS Ludlow.

The second US Navy ship named for Commodore Robert F. Stockton (1795–1866), Stockton was laid down on 16 October 1916 by William Cramp & Sons at Philadelphia; launched on 17 July 1917, sponsored by Miss Ellen Emelie De Martelly and commissioned on 26 November 1917, Commander H. A. Baldridge in command.

Service history[edit]

United States Navy[edit]

Stockton spent the last year of World War I assigned to convoy escort and antisubmarine duty, operating out of Queenstown, Ireland. During that time, she engaged an enemy U-boat on at least one occasion. On 30 March 1918, she and Ericsson were escorting the troopship St. Paul on the Queenstown-Liverpool circuit, when Ericsson opened fire on a German submarine. The submerged enemy launched a torpedo at Stockton almost immediately thereafter, and the destroyer narrowly evaded the "fish." The two destroyers dropped patterns of depth charges, but the U-boat managed to evade their attack and escaped. Later that night, Stockton collided with Slieve Bloom near South Stack Light. The destroyer had to put into Liverpool for repairs and the merchantman sank.

Stockton returned to the United States in 1919, and for three years continued to serve with the fleet. On 26 June 1922, she was placed out of commission and laid up at Philadelphia. Stockton was recommissioned on 16 August 1940 and shuttled to Halifax, where she was decommissioned on 23 August and turned over to the United Kingdom under the provisions of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement.

Stocktonʼs name was struck from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register on 8 January 1941.

Royal Navy[edit]

Ludlowʼs ensign on display in St Laurence, Ludlow

The ship served the Royal Navy as HMS Ludlow (G57) until decommissioning in June 1945.

Model of Ludlow in Ludlow Museum

Following decommissioning, Ludlow was beached in the Firth of Forth off Yellowcraigs beach, Fidra, Dirleton, East Lothian, Scotland, on 15 July 1945 to be used as a rocket target by the Royal Air Force. It is reputed that the first salvo of rockets hit just below the water line and sank her. She now lies off Yellowcraigs beach in 6 metres (20 ft) of water (Ord Survey NT 522 861) and, although well broken up, her remains are still visible just above the surface at low tide.

See also[edit]


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

Coordinates: 56°03′N 0°45′W / 56.050°N 0.750°W / 56.050; -0.750