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USS Du Pont (DD-152), 1930s
Here we see the Wickes class destroyer USS Du Pont (DD-152) during the 1930s, with an awning over the fore-deck.
U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann .The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
USS Du Pont (DD 941)
USS DU PONT was a FORREST SHERMAN - class destroyer and the third ship in the Navy to bear the name. In the mid-1960s, the USS DU PONT was one of the eight FORREST SHERMAN - class destroyers chosen to receive an anti-submarine warfare capability upgrade which included the replacement of one of the Mk-42 5-inch guns with a Mk-16 ASROC missile launcher. The ships that underwent the conversion then formed the BARRY - class.
Decommissioned after almost of 26 years of service on March 4, 1983, the DU PONT was stricken from the Navy list on June 1, 1990, and on December 11, 1992, the destroyer was finally sold for scrapping.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: July 30, 1954|
|Keel laid: May 11, 1955|
|Launched: September 8, 1956|
|Commissioned: July 1, 1957|
|Decommissioned: March 4, 1983|
|Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine|
|Propulsion system: four-1200 lb. boilers two steam turbines two shafts|
|Length: 418.3 feet (127.5 meters)|
|Beam: 45,3 feet (13.8 meters)|
|Draft: 22 feet (6.7 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 4,000 tons full load|
|Speed: 32+ knots|
|Armament: two Mk-42 5-inch/54 caliber guns, Mk-32 ASW torpedo tubes (two triple mounts), one Mk-16 ASROC missile launcher|
|Crew: 17 officers, 287 enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS DU PONT. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS Du Pont (DD 152)
Decommissioned at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19 April 1922
Recommisioned 15 August 1934
Decommissioned 14 January 1937
Recommissioned 16 October 1939
Converted for target towing and reclassified as AG-80 on 25 September 1944
Decommissioned 2 May 1946
Sold for scrap 12 March 1946.
Commands listed for USS Du Pont (DD 152)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Lt.Cdr. William Leroy Messmer, USN||16 Oct 1939||10 Jul 1940|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Eugene Matthew Waldron, USN||10 Jul 1940||17 Dec 1941|
|3||Lt. Ernest William Longton, USN||17 Dec 1941||6 Mar 1942|
|4||T/Lt.Cdr. Frank Marshall Adamson, USN||6 Mar 1942||25 Jan 1943|
|5||T/Cdr. James Gilbert Marshall, USN||25 Jan 1943||17 Mar 1944|
|6||William Henry Stewart, USNR||17 Mar 1944||7 Oct 1944|
|7||Richard Berrian Hadaway, USNR||7 Oct 1944||1 Mar 1945|
|8||Walter Herman Dietz, USNR||1 Mar 1945||21 Nov 1945|
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Notable events involving Du Pont include:
15 Mar 1942
USS Du Pont picks up 26 survivors from the American merchant Ario that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-158 east of Cape Lookout in position 34°37'N, 76°20'W.
13 Dec 1943
German U-boat U-172 was sunk on 13 December 1943 in the mid-Atlantic after a 27 hour fight west of the Canary Islands, in position 26°29'N, 29°58'W, by depth charges and Fido homing torpedoes from Avenger and Wildcat aircraft (VC-19) of the American escort carrier USS Bogue and by some 200 depth charges from the US destroyers USS George E. Badger, USS Clemson, USS Osmond Ingram and USS Du Pont.
Mexican-American War [ edit | edit source ]
USS Cyane Taking Possession of San Diego Old Town July 1846, by Carlton T. Chapman (detail)
Du Pont was given command of USS Cyane in 1846 and quickly showed his skill as a naval combat commander, taking or destroying thirty enemy ships and clearing the Gulf of California in the process. Du Pont transported Major John Fremont’s troops to San Diego, where they captured the city. Du Pont then continued operations along the Baja coast, including the capture of La Paz, and burnt two enemy gunboats in the harbor of Guaymas under heavy fire. He led the main line of ships that took Mazatlán on November 11, 1847, and on February 15, 1848, launched an amphibious assault on San José del Cabo that managed to strike three miles (5 km) inland and relieve a besieged squadron, despite heavy resistance. He was given command of the California naval blockade in the last months of the war and, after taking part in further land maneuvers, was ordered home.
After overhaul and refresher training, Du Pont put into Charleston Navy Yard 16 September 1944 to undergo conversion to an auxiliary vessel. Reclassified AG-80, 25 September 1944, she sailed from Charleston 9 October and arrived at Key West 2 days later to act as target ship for Fleet Air Wing 5. She rescued two downed aviators 24 November and 2 days later, transferred her doctor to a Norwegian merchantman to render emergency treatment. She continued to serve off Florida aiding aviation training until 1 April 1946 when she arrived at Boston. Du Pont was decommissioned 2 May 1946 and sold 12 March 1947.
|HX 153||7-13 Oct 1941 Ώ]||from Newfoundland to Iceland prior to US declaration of war|
|ON 28||25 Oct-3 Nov 1941 ΐ]||from Iceland to Newfoundland prior to US declaration of war|
|HX 161||23-25 Nov 1941 Ώ]||from Newfoundland to Iceland prior to US declaration of war|
|ON 43||11-15 Dec 1941 ΐ]||from Iceland to Newfoundland|
|HX 172||28 Jan-2 Feb Feb 1942 Ώ]||from Newfoundland to Iceland|
|ON 65||12-19 Feb 1942 ΐ]||from Iceland to Newfoundland|
Du Pont was born at Goodstay, his family home at Bergen Point (now Bayonne), New Jersey, the fourth child and second son of Victor Marie du Pont and Gabrielle Joséphine de la Fite de Pelleport. His uncle was Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, the founder of E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company, which began as a gunpowder factory and today is a multinational chemical corporation. (Samuel was the only member of his generation to use a capital D.)  Du Pont spent his childhood at his father's home, Louviers, across the Brandywine Creek from his uncle's estate and gunpowder factory, Eleutherian Mills, just north of Wilmington, Delaware. He was enrolled at Mount Airy Academy in Germantown, Pennsylvania, at age 9. However, his father was unable to fund his education because of his failing wool mill, and he was encouraged to instead enlist in the U.S. Navy. His family's close connections with President Thomas Jefferson helped secure him an appointment as a midshipman by President James Madison at the age of 12, and he first set sail aboard the 74-gun ship of the line Franklin out of Delaware in December 1815.
As there was no naval academy at the time, Du Pont learned mathematics and navigation at sea and became an accomplished navigator by the time he took his next assignment aboard the frigate Constitution in 1821. He then served aboard the frigate Congress in the West Indies and off the coast of Brazil. Though still not yet a commissioned officer, he was promoted to sailing master during his service aboard the 74-gun North Carolina in 1825, which sailed on a mission to display American influence and power in the Mediterranean. Soon after his promotion to Lieutenant in 1826, he was ordered aboard the 12-gun schooner Porpoise, returned home for two years after his father's death in 1827, and then served aboard the 16-gun sloop Ontario in 1829. Despite the short period in which he had been an officer by this time, Du Pont had begun to openly criticize many of his senior officers, whom he believed were incompetent and had only received their commands through political influence.
After returning from the Ontario in June 1833, Du Pont married Sophie Madeleine du Pont (1810–88), his first cousin as the daughter of his uncle, Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. As he never kept an officer's journal, his voluminous correspondence with Sophie serves as the main documentation of his operations and observations throughout the rest of his naval career. From 1835 until 1838, he was the executive officer of the frigate Constellation and the sloop Warren, commanding both the latter and the schooner Grampus in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1838 he joined the ship Ohio in the Mediterranean until 1841. The following year he was promoted to Commander and set sail for China aboard the brig Perry, but was forced to return home and give up his command because of severe illness. He returned to service in 1845 as commander of the Congress, the flagship of Commodore Robert Stockton, reaching California by way of a cruise of the Hawaiian Islands by the time the Mexican-American War had begun.
At 07.22 hours on 15 March 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Ario (Master Thorolf R. Hannevig) was 11 miles southwest of the Cape Lookout Buoy and had to change her course, because a small vessel crossed the port bow. So the tanker was not steering a zigzag course, when she was struck three minutes later by a torpedo from U-158 on the starboard side at #9 tank. The radio operator sent a distress signal and received an answer. The master ordered the ship abandoned, but before any of the boats could be launched the U-boat opened fire at the vessel. For 30 minutes the ship was shelled with 40 rounds, while the crew of eight officers and 26 crewmen cleared the ship. The #3 boat containing 12 men was struck by a shell before it reached the water, killing five men, while two others were picked up by another lifeboat but died of injuries and one man died later in hospital. U-158 closed in to view the vessel and almost collided with a lifeboat before leaving the area.
Later the master, the chief mate, the second mate, the chief engineer and an able seaman reboarded the Ario to check for possible salvage, but the vessel was in sinking condition. After seven hours the survivors were picked up by the USS Du Pont (DD 152) and landed at Charleston. One officer and seven men died in the attack.
The Ario was still afloat when last seen at 18.30 hours on 15 March. She finally sank in shallow water about 10 miles east of Cape Lookout in 34°14N/76°27W.
Location of attack on Ario.
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The remains of the site believed to be Ario are located inshore in relatively shallow waters, approximately 60 feet deep. Due to its location, the site is very broken apart due to the post-war efforts to clear navigable areas by dynamiting and wire-dragging sunken vessel remains considered navigational hazards. Additionally, being close to shore and with shifting sands, visibility at the site varies.
For the purpose of identifying the remains of this site, research (utilizing field operations data from our expeditions, archival information as well as public input) has led NOAA to conclude that this shipwreck is Ario. We believe confusion regarding the identification of Ario stems from a combination of initial reporting of vessel locations during the height of U-boat attacks, the number of vessels lost in the area, as well as resources diverted to the salvage of the still floating Olean that had been attacked by the same U-boat as Ario, U-158. This type of confusion is understandable with a large number of shipwrecks so close together and the "fog of war" effect.
Additionally, since 2008, with the assistance of local divers and avocational researchers, NOAA has determined that other initially reported shipwreck identities were incorrect and has been working to clarify their identities. Working with our partners, sites that had been identified as Mirlo, Papoose, W.E. Hutton, and San Delfino have now been more accurately identified as San Delfino, W.E. Hutton, Ario, and Papoose respectively (once believed Mirlo is in fact San Delfino site of believed Papoose is actually W.E. Hutton site of W.E. Hutton is Ario and the site of believed San Delfino is actually Papoose).
NOAA continues to welcome information and data that can assist and strengthen ship histories, identification and personal stories.
Scattered wreckage of Ario
The Civil War
When communication was cut off with Washington at the start of the Civil War, du Pont took the initiative of sending a fleet to the Chesapeake Bay to protect the landing of Union troops at Annapolis, Maryland. In June of 1861, he was made president of a board in Washington formed to develop a plan of naval operations against the Confederacy. He was appointed flag officer and commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, leading from Norfolk, Virginia the largest fleet ever commanded by an American officer at that time. On November 7, du Pont led a successful attack on the fortifications at Port Royal harbor in South Carolina. This victory led to the southern waters of Georgia and the entire eastern coast of Florida being secured by Union naval forces and an effective blockade established. Du Pont received accommodations from Congress for his brilliant tactical success, and was appointed rear admiral on July 16, 1862.
Towards the end of 1862, du Pont became the first U.S. naval officer to be assigned command over armored "ironclad" ships. Though he commanded them ably in engagements with other ships, they performed poorly in an attack on Fort McAllister, due to their small number of guns and slow rate of fire. Du Pont was then given direct orders from the Navy Department to launch an attack on Charleston, South Carolina, which was the main area in which the blockade of the Confederacy had been unsuccessful and the site of the first shots fired in the Civil War with the fall of Fort Sumter. Though du Pont believed that Charleston could not be taken without significant land troop support, he attacked nonetheless with nine ironclads on April 7, 1863. Unable to navigate properly in the obstructed channels leading to the harbor, his ships were caught in a blistering crossfire and he withdrew them before nightfall. Five of his nine ironclads were disabled in the failed attack and one more subsequently sank.
The Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, blamed du Pont for the highly publicized failure at Charleston. Du Pont himself anguished over it, and after one more major engagement in which he sank a Confederate ironclad, was relieved of command on July 5 at his own request. Though enlisting the help of Maryland Representative Henry Winter Davis to get his official report of the incident published by the Navy, an ultimately inconclusive congressional investigation into the failure essentially turned into a trial of whether du Pont had misused his ships and misled his superiors. Du Pont's attempt to garner the support of President Lincoln was ignored and he returned home to Delaware. He returned to Washington to serve briefly on a board reviewing naval promotions, and then while on a trip to Philadelphia with his wife, died on June 23, 1865 without being officially exhonerated during his life.
However, subsequent events arguably vindicated du Pont's judgment and capabilities. A subsequent U.S. naval attack on the city failed, despite being launched with a significantly larger fleet of armored ships. Charleston was finally taken only by the invasion of General Sherman's army in 1865.
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