History Podcasts

USS Lamson (DD-18)

USS Lamson (DD-18)

USS Lamson (DD-18)

USS Lamson (DD-18) was a Smith class destroyer that took part in the US occupation of Veracruz in 1916, served at the Azores in 1917 and from Brest from October 1917 until the end of the First World War.

The Lamson was named after Roswell Hawkes Lamson, a US Navy commander during the American Civil War. She was laid down by William Cramp at Philadelphia on 18 March 1908, launched on 16 June 1909 and commissioned on 10 February 1910.

Between 1910 and 1916 the Lamson served with the Atlantic Squadron, operating along the US east coast and into the Caribbean. On 1 January 1914 she was part of the First Division, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Torpedo Flotilla. One of her commanders during this period was William Halsey, later one of the most important US Admirals of the Second World War.

She began to see more active service during 1916. In May 1916 she was sent to the Dominican Republic to protect American interests during a revolt that saw Secretary of War Desiderio Arias overthrow President Juan Isidro Jimenes Pereyra. This soon turned into a full scale American occupation that lasted until 1924.

In late June the Lamson was sent to Veracruz, where she supported the occupation of the city for two weeks, before returning to the US on 11 July. She then returned to operations off the US East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. Anyone who served on her between 2-9 July 1916 qualified for the Mexican Service Medal.

After the American entry into the First World War in April 1917 the Lamson patrolled the US east coast for several months. On 26 July she began three months of escort and antisubmarine patrols from the Azores, before on 6 October she left the Azores and shifted her base to Brest.

During her time at Brest she performed escort missions and anti-submarine patrols. On 28 October she rescued the survivors of the Finland after she was sunk by a U-boat.

On 11 December 1918 the Lamson was part of a flotilla that departed from Brest heading for the United States. She reached Charleston on 31 December 1918, and like all other coal powered destroyers was decommissioned in the following year (15 July 1919). She was sold for scrap on 21 November 1919.

Displacement (standard)

600t design

Displacement (normal load)

900t as built

Top Speed

28kts design
28.36kts at 9,946shp at 716t on trial (Smith)


3-shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers


2,800nm at 10kts design
2,000nm at 18kts on trial


293ft 10in


26ft 0in


Five 3in guns
Two 0.30in guns
Three 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement



16 June 1909


10 February 1910


Sold 1919

Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War

USS Lamson (DD-18) - History

After shakedown in the Atlantic and Caribbean, Lamson departed Norfolk 16 June 1937 for the Pacific. Arriving San Diego 1 July, the destroyer performed exercises and tactical training operations until she sailed for Pearl Harbor 5 October 1939. Lamson continued training operations from her Hawaiian base for the next 2 years.

She was returning to Pearl Harbor from patrol duty during the Japanese attack 7 December 1941. After a search for the enemy task force, the destroyer patrolled Hawaiian waters and steamed to Johnston Island to rescue civilians. Departing Pearl Harbor 6 January 1942, Lamson arrived Pago Pago, Samoa, 2 weeks later for ASW patrols.

During early March, she arrived in the Fiji Islands to join the expanded ASW screen, which was formed to keep the South Pacific supply lines open. After 6 months of patrol and screening operations, Lamson saw action 22 October when, with Mahan, she attacked Japanese picket boats stationed between Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The two destroyers made a coordinated attack beating off enemy air raids and sank two enemy craft.

On 30 November, Lamson joined Rear Admiral Wright&rsquos Task Force 67 during the fierce Battle of Tassafaronga. One Japanese destroyer was sunk and one damaged while the American force lost one cruiser and three damaged. Lamson returned to operate in the South Pacific for the next 8 months, screening convoys en route to Guadalcanal. Constantly at sea on patrol and ASW screen, the destroyer assisted other units as they paved the way for the Allied advance across the Pacific.

Arriving Milne Bay 19 August 1943, Lamson Joined Destroyer Squadron 5, the forerunner of the Seventh Fleet, to engage in the New Guinea operations. In the landings at Lae and Finschhafen during September, she joined in the preinvasion bombardment gave fire support after the landings, and escorted to the island reinforcement convoys needed to spearhead the drive toward Japan.

After two months of escort duty, Lamson joined three other destroyers 29 November and penetrated 100 miles into enemy territory to bomb Madang, the main Japanese naval base on New Guinea. On 15 December, she engaged in preinvasion bombardment of Arawe, New Britain and during the landings at Cape Gloucester 11 days after splashed two &ldquoVals.&rdquo Continuing the New Guinea operation, the destroyer bombarded Saidor 2 January 1944.

After a brief overhaul at Mare Island and training at Pearl Harbor, Lamson arrived Eniwetok 8 August to join the Fifth Fleet. For the next two months, she engaged in patrol duty and ASW screen in the Marshalls before reassignment to the Seventh Fleet.

Departing Hollandia on 25 October, Lamson steamed to the Philippines to serve as picket, patrol and screening ship for the massive Leyte assault. Throughout November, the destroyer beat off numerous suicide plan attacks aimed at convoys bringing supplies to the Philippines. While screening a convoy off Ormoc Bay, Lamson splashed two &ldquoDinahs&rdquo before a third crashed into her superstructure, killing 25 of the destroyer&rsquos crew and injuring 54 others.

She arrived Puget Sound Navy Yard 16 January 1945 for extensive repairs. Returning Eniwetok 10 May, Lamson operated for the rest of the war on patrol and air-sea rescue work off Iwo Jima. A fitting climax to Lamson&rsquos fine war record came on 3 September, when she arrived Chichi Jima to supervise the surrender of the Bonin Islands. Following occupation duty at Sasebo for one month, the destroyer departed Japan 29 October for San Diego arriving there 29 November.

However, Lamson was still destined to play a valuable role in America&rsquos progress as she arrived Bikini Atoll later in May 1946 to participate in the Atomic Bomb Test Able. The destroyer was sunk in the atomic explosion 2 July 1946.

USS Lamson (DD-18) - History

USS Lamson , a 700-ton Smith class destroyer built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was commissioned in February 1910. She served along the U.S. East Coast and in the Caribbean area prior to 1917, participating in operations off the troubled Dominican Republic and Mexico in 1916. In July 1917, a few months after the United States entered World War I, Lamson steamed to the Azores, where she was employed on patrol and escort missions until October. After that, the destroyer was based at Brest, France, performing similar functions in a successful effort to control the German submarine threat against Allied shipping. A month after the 11 November 1918 Armistice ended the fighting, she returned home. USS Lamson was decommissioned in July 1919 and was sold in November of that year.

This page features all the views we have related to USS Lamson (Destroyer # 18).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Running builder's trials, circa late 1909 or early 1910.
Photographed by J.W. Dawson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN (Retired), 1978.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 80KB 740 x 490 pixels

At anchor, circa 1910, before her smokestacks were raised.

Courtesy of William H. Davis, 1977.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 69KB 740 x 535 pixels

Underway in 1912.
Photographed by O.W. Waterman, Hampton, Virginia.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 64KB 740 x 500 pixels

Collection of Admiral Harold R. Stark, USN.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 63KB 740 x 440 pixels

Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania

Older destroyers in the Navy Yard's Reserve Basin, preparing to go out of commission, 5 March 1919.
They are, from left to right:
USS Lamson (Destroyer # 18)
USS Flusser (Destroyer # 20)
USS Paul Jones (Destroyer # 10) and
USS Decatur (Destroyer # 5).
Other ships are in the background.
Note depth charge racks, after steering wheels and twin 18-inch torpedo tubes on Lamson and Flusser .

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 133KB 740 x 610 pixels

USS Lamson (Destroyer # 18) is seen in the background of the following view of another ship:

Leaving Brest harbor, France, to take escort position, on 22 October 1918.
USS Lamson (Destroyer # 18) is in the left center distance.
Note the pattern camouflage worn by both destroyers.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 77KB 740 x 535 pixels

USS Lamson (Destroyer # 18) may be among the destroyers seen in the following photograph:


This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Mahan Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid 20 March 1934 - Launched 17 June 1936

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.


This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.

Navy ships named for PNW Locations

Pictures of the USS Plainfield abandoned near Dismal Nitch, Washington got me to thinking about ships that were named for locations, things, or native peoples in the Pacific Northwest. This list is by no means exhaustive, so please comment below if you know of any additional ships.

Oregon (1841-1845) – also known as the Thomas H. Perkins, part of the Wilkes Expedition
CSS Oregon (1846-1861) – wooden steam sidewheeler mail boat seized by the Confederacy to become a blockade runner and gunboat.
USS Klamath (1865-1874)
USS Idaho (1864) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Idaho_(1864)
USS Astoria (Omaha) (1867) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Omaha_(1869)
USS Oregon (BB-3) (1890-1956) – One of the most famous US Navy ships, ever.
USS Tacoma (1893) – a harbor tugboat built 1893 as Sebago purchased by U.S. Navy during the Spanish-American War renamed Tacoma in 1898 reverted to original name, 1900 sold for scrapping, 1937
USS Astoria (AK-8) (1902-1914) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Astoria_(AK-8)
Arcata I (1903-193?) – https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/a/arcata-coast-guard-cutter-i.html
USS Tacoma (CL-20) (1903-1924) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tacoma_(CL-20)
USS Idaho (BB-24) (1905-1914) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Idaho_(BB-24)
USS Seattle (ACR-11) (1905-1916) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Seattle_(ACR-11)
USS Lamson (DD-18) (1910-1919) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Lamson_(DD-18)
USS Astoria – (1917-1921) – https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/a/astoria-screw-steamer-i.html
USS Chinook (Sp-644) (1917-1918) – a wooden patrol boat
USS Idaho (BB-42) (1917-1947) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Idaho_(BB-42)
USS Idaho (SP-545) (1917-1918) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Idaho_(SP-545)
Bayocean – (1918-1919) – https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/b/bayocean-i.html
Bellingham (1918-1919) – https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/b/bellingham-i.html
USS Oregonian (1918-1919) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Oregonian_(ID-1323) was a Cargo Ship in WWI.
USS Astoria (CA-34) (1929-1942) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Astoria_(CA-34)
USS Boise (CL-47) (1938) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Boise_(CL-47)
Arcata II (PC-601) (1942-1960) – https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/a/arcata-pc-601-ii.html
USS Cascade (1942-1963) – https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/c/cascade.html
USS Molalla -(1942-1978) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Molala_(ATF-106) was named after the Molalla Indians
USS Alsea (AT-97) (1943-1962) – https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/a/alsea.html
USS Astoria (CL-90) – (1943-1971) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Astoria_(CL-90)
USS Ault (DD-698) (1943-1973) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Ault
USS Bannock (ATF-81) (1943-1977) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Bannock_(ATF-81)
USS Benton County (LST-263) (1943-1958) – Amphibious landing ship
USS Eugene (1943-1946)- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Eugene_(PF-40) WWII Frigate, given to Cuba after the war.
USS Tacoma (PF-3) (1943-1951) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tacoma_(PF-3)
USS Marion County (LST-975) (1945-1946) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Marion_County_(LST-975)
USS Oregon City (1945-1973) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Oregon_City_(CA-122)
USS Spokane (1946-1972) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Spokane_(CL-120)
Arcata (YTB-768) (1963-2004) – https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/a/arcata-ytb-768-iii.html
SS Gem State (T-ACS-2) (1965 – Present) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Gem_State_(T-ACS-2)
USS Seattle (AOE-3) (1968) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Seattle_(AOE-3)
USS Tacoma (PG-92) (1968-1995) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tacoma_(PG-92)
SS Beaver State (1987-2006)- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Beaver_State_(T-ACS-10) was a Crane Ship
USS Boise (SSN-764) (1991 – Present) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Boise_(SSN-764)
BBC Seattle (T-AK-5272) (2013-Present) – https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/b/bbc-seattle–t-ak-5272-.html
USS Oregon (SSN-793) 2019 – – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Oregon_(SSN-793)
USS Idaho (SSN-799) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Idaho_(SSN-799)

USS Klaskanine – http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/20/2063.htm was a Gas tanker in WWII
USS Klickitat – http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/20/2064.htm was also a WWII gas tanker
USS Paiute – http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/39/39159.htm

USS Cape Lookout (ID-3214)
USS Coos Bay (AVP-25)
USS Crook County (LST-611)
USS Currier (DE-700)
USS Curry County (LST-685)
USS Douglas County (LST-731)
USS Eugene (PF-40)
USS George M. Campbell (DE-773)
USS Grant County (LST-1174)
USS Jefferson County (LST-845)
USS Lake County (LST-880)
USS Lamson (DD-18)
USS Lamson (DD-328)
USS Lamson (DD-367)
USS Lincoln County (LST-898)
USS Maloy (DE-791)
USS Mazama (AE-9)
USS McMinnville (PCS-1401)
USS Oregon City (CA-122)
USS Portland (LPD-27)
USS Portland (LSD-37)
USS Salem (CA-139)
USS Tillamook (AT-16)
USS Tillamook (ATA-192)
USS Tillamook (SP-269)
USS Willamette (1865)
USS Willamette (AO-180) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Willamette_(AO-180) was fleet replenishment oiler

USS Mt. Hood – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Mount_Hood_(AE-11) and USS Mt. Hood -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Mount_Hood_(AE-29)
USS West Coast – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_West_Coast_(ID-3315) was a WWI cargo ship built in Portland
USS Washington (ACR-11) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Washington_(ACR-11)
USS Washington (BB-47) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Washington_(BB-47)
USS Washington (BB-56) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Washington_(BB-56)
USS Washington (SSN-787) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Washington_(SSN-787)

On to Part II -Navy ships named for PNW Locations, including the famous USS Oregon and the USS Chinook

Assigned to the Atlantic Squadron, Lamson operated along the East Coast and in the Caribbean from 1910 until 1916 participating in torpedo exercises, fleet maneuvers and coastal patrol.

Departing Key West on 7 May 1916, the destroyer made the Dominican Republic two days later to support the Marines sent by President Wilson to protect American interests during the Dominican revolt. She returned to Key West in mid-June before sailing on the 28th for Vera Cruz. She joined other American ships in Mexican waters, as the Mexican political situation was still in turmoil. Following her return to Key West on 11 July, Lamson operated along the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico until the United States entered World War I.

During the early months of the war Lamson patrolled the coastline before preparing for oversea service. Arriving at Ponta Delgada, Azores on 26 July 1917, she conducted escort and patrol duty for the next three months. On 6 October, Lamson departed the Azores for escort operations out of Brest, France. She assisted survivors of Finland on 28 October after the merchant ship had been torpedoed by a German submarine.

For the rest of the war, Lamson continued escort and patrol operations and aided in the victory of Allied forces by neutralizing the German U-boat threat to convoys. After the Armistice Lamson departed Brest on 11 December 1918 and arrived Charleston, South Carolina on 31 December. She decommissioned on 15 July 1919 and was sold on 21 November 1919.

America's New Deal Navy: Destroyers USS Drayton and USS Lamson

Above: The PWA provided funds for the construction of the U.S.S. Drayton (DD-366), shown here near Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, in 1944. The barrel-shaped depth charges seen in this photograph highlight one of the primary roles of a destroyer - finding and eliminating enemy submarines. The Drayton participated in the search for Amelia Earhart in 1937, and was involved in a large number of conflicts in the Pacific during World War II, earning eleven battle stars. Photo courtesy of the National Archives and ibiblio.org.

Above: PWA funds also built the U.S.S. Lamson (DD-367). The Lamson had a particularly violent life. In late 1944, a Japanese aircraft crashed into her and caused many casualties. Then, on July 2, 1946, she was sunk by one of the atomic explosion tests at Bikini Atoll (the video above shows the wreck of the Lamson in 2012). Nevertheless, the Lamson earned five battle stars during the war, knocking out several enemy aircraft, protecting other ships, and supporting many invasions with shore bombardments. Original YouTube link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwX5bobO9U0.

The Drayton and Lamson could travel at 40+ knots, had twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes, five 5-inch guns, and anti-aircraft weapons.

USS Lamson (DD-18) - History

(DD-18 dp. 700 1. 293'10" b. 26': dr. 8': s. 28.6 k.:
cpl. 107 a. 4 3", 3 18" tt. cl. Smith)

The first Lamson (DD-18) was laid down 18 March 1908 by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, Pa.
launched 16 June 1909 sponsored by Mrs. Henry S. Gore, and commissioned 10 February 1910, Lt. Comdr. J. M. I,udy in command.

Assigned to the Atlantic Squadron, Lamson operahd along the east coast and in the Caribbean from 1910 until 1916 participating in torpedo exercises, fleet maneuvers, and coastal patrol. Departing Key West 7 May 1916, the destroyer arrived Dominican Republic 2 days later to support the U.S. Marines sent by President Wilson to protect American interests during the Dominican revolt.

She returned to Key West in mid-June before sailing on the 28th for Vera Cruz. She joined other American ships in Mexican waters as the Mexican political situation was still in turmoil. Foilowing her return to Rey West 11 July, Lamllon operated along the east coast and in the Gulf of Mexico until the United States entered World War I.

During the early months of the war she patrolled the coastline before preparing for oversee service. Arriving Delgada, Azores, 26 July 1917, the destroyer performed escort and patrol duty for the next 3 months. Lamson departed the Azores e October for escort operations out of Brest, France. She assisted survivors of Fim land on 28 October after the merchant ship had been torpedoed by a German submarine.

USS Lamson (DD 367)

Sunk in the atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll on 25 July 1946
Stricken 15 August 1946.

Commands listed for USS Lamson (DD 367)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Lt.Cdr. Byron Hall Hanlon, USN16 Jun 1938Apr 1940 ( 1 )
2Lt.Cdr. Phillip Henry Pendleton, USNApr 1940Apr 1941 ( 1 )
3Lt.Cdr. Preston Virginius Mercer, USNApr 194112 Jun 1942
4Lt. Walter Terry Jenkins, USN12 Jun 194223 Jun 1942
5Lt.Cdr. Phillip Henry Fitzgerald, USN23 Jun 1942Nov 1943
6T/Cdr. Joseph Russell Rubins, USNNov 194319 May 1944
7T/Cdr. John Vavasour Noel, Jr., USN19 May 194416 Aug 1945 ( 1 )
8Lt.Cdr. Robert McCormick Ayer, USNR16 Aug 194524 Nov 1945

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Lamson include:

29 Dec 1944
USS Iowa (Capt. J.L. Holloway, Jr., USN) was undocked and then departed Seeadler Harbour for Pearl Harbour. No.3 propeller had been removed and sucured on the deck of the ship. During the trip to Pearl Harbour Iowa was escorted by the destroyers USS Caldwell (Lt.Cdr. D.R. Robinson, USNR), USS Killen (Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Lamson (Cdr. J.V. Noel, Jr., USN).

For the daily positions of USS Iowa during this passage see the map below.

Media links

USS Lamson (DD-18) - History

1,500 Tons
341' 4" x 34' 8" x 9' 1"
Armament 1936-1944
5 x 5"/38 cal DP guns
12 x 21"torpedo tubes
4 x .50 cal MG
2 x depth charge racks

Armament 1944-1946
4 x 5/38 cal DP guns
12 x 21" torpedo tubes
4 x 40mm AA
6 x 20mm AA
2 x depth charge racks
4 x K-gun depth charges

Built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. Laid down March 20, 1934. Launched June 17, 1936. Commissioned October 21, 1936.

During July 1937 Lexington participated in the search for Lockheed Model 10 Electra 1055 piloted by Amelia Earhart with navigator Frederick Joseph "Fred" Noonan. During the search she was escorted by USS Lamson DD-367.

For her World War II service, Lamson earned five battle stars. During May 1946 arrived at Bikini Atoll and was used as a target vessel during Operation Crossroads and anchored in a target array.

Sinking History
On July 1, 1946 Lamson was positioned 760 yards from the aiming point as "ship #6" with her port side broadside to the blast and sank into Bikini Atoll.

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

List of site sources >>>

Watch the video: ラムソン DD-18 (December 2021).