USS STERETT (DD 27) Chronological History


March 22 – DD-27 keel is laid down at Quincy, Massachusetts, by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company.

May 12 – DD-27 is launched this day and her sponsor was Miss Dorothy Rosalie Sterett-Giddings.


December 15 – DD-27 is commissioned at Boston, Massachusetts with Lieutenant Commander Robert L. Berry in Command.


June 15 – LCDR Robert Lawrence Berry is relieved by LCDR Frank Robert McCrary becoming DD-27’s second Commanding Officer. LCDR McCrary rose to the rank of Captain and was awarded the Navy Cross.

July 4 – LCDR Frank Robert McCrary is relieved by LT Charles Thomas Hutchings, Jr. becoming DD-27’s third Commanding Officer. LT Hutchins rose to the rank of Captain and was awarded the Navy Cross during World War I.


September 1 – LT Charles Thomas Hutchings, Jr. is relieved by LTJG Harry Booth Hird becoming DD-27’s fourth Commanding Officer. LTJG Hird rose to the rank of Captain.

November 5 – DD-27 is placed in the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla operating in the Gulf of Mexico out of Galveston, Texas.


31 May – LTJG Harry Booth Hird is relieved by LT George Wirt Simpson becoming DD-27’s fifth Commanding Officer. LT Simpson rose to the rank of Commander and was awarded the Navy Cross.


August 12 – LT George Wirt Simpson is relieved by LT Ralph Gordon Walling becoming DD-27’s sixth Commanding Officer. LT Walling rose to the rank of Commander and was awarded the Navy Cross.


June 1 – DD-27 is part of the fleet which landed and supported the Marines at Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic, and marched to Santiago to restore order and to protect lives and property.

October 12 – LT Ralph Gordon Walling is relieved by CDR Allen Shannon Farquhar becoming DD-27’s seventh Commanding Officer. CDR Farquhar rose to rank of Rear Admiral and was awarded the Navy Cross.


January 1 – DD-27 enters the Mississippi River stopping at New Orleans before proceeding to Vicksburg, Mississippi.

June 9 – Operating from Queenstown, Ireland, during WWI, DD-27 meets convoys and conducts them to either Berehaven, Ireland, or to Devonport, England. 

December 27 – Two days after the fourth Christmas of the Great War, DD-27 picks up survivors after USS SANTEE was struck by a torpedo fired by U-61 off Queenstown, Ireland.


May 31 – DD-27 comes upon a surfaced U-boat. As STERETT closed, the submarine rapidly submerged as she began dropping depth charges furiously. Air bubbles and oil soon appeared on the surface indicating damage to the German raider. For their dogged determination, the officers and men of STERETT received the commendation of the Commander-in-Chief, Coast of Ireland.

September 9 – CDR Allan Shannon Farquhar is relieved by LCDR James Thomas Alexander becoming DD-27’s eighth Commanding Officer. Captain Alexander rose to the rank of Captain and was awarded the Navy Cross.

October 4 – While providing convoy protection to HIRANO MARU, a merchant ship owned by the Nippon Yusen Kaisha Line sailing from Liverpool, UK, to Yokohama, Japan, via South Africa, DD-27 comes under attack. HIRANO MARU is hit by a torpedo and sinks within seven minutes. Nearly 300 men, women and children perished in the dark, cold and stormy sea. A Class III German Submarine UB 91 attacks DD-27 and stops STERETT from rescuing the struggling survivors. 



January 3 – After the end of World War I, DD-27 returns to Charleston until she is moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is decommissioned.

June 19 – LCDR James Thomas Alexander is relieved by LT William Dwayne Austin becoming DD-27’s ninth Commanding Officer.

July 10 – LT William Dwayne Austin is relieved by LT Thomas Leigh Gatch becoming DD-27’s tenth and last Commanding Officer. LT Gatch rose to the rank of Vice Admiral and was awarded the Navy Cross.

December 23 – DD-27 is decommissioned at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after almost 9 years of service.


March 8 – DD-27 is stricken from the Naval Vessel Registry after a little more than 15 years of inactivity and was sold for scrapping to M. Black and Company of Norfolk, Virginia on 28 June 1935.

Maintaining the objective of the Association by educating the public on the maritime heritage of all ships named STERETT as to the roles these ships played in the United States history, and the importance of preserving the ship’s historic data for future generations (2013 Bylaws, Article II).

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