War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, their respective allies from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars. From the outbreak of war with Napoleonic France, Britain had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the US contested as illegal under international law. To man the blockade, Britain impressed American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. Incidents such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, which happened five years before the war, inflamed anti-British sentiment in the US. In 1811, the British were in turn outraged by the Little Belt affair, in which 11 British sailors died. Britain supplied Native Americans who raided American settlers on the frontier, hindering American expansion and provoking resentment. Historians debate whether the desire to annex some or all of British North America contributed to the American decision to go to war. On June 18, 1812, US President James Madison, after heavy pressure from the War Hawks in Congress, signed the American declaration of war into law.
With most of its army in Europe fighting Napoleon, Britain adopted a defensive strategy, with offensive operations limited to the border, the western frontier. American prosecution of the war effort suffered from its unpopularity in New England, where it was derogatorily referred to as "Mr. Madison's War". American defeats at the Siege of Detroit and the Battle of Queenston Heights thwarted attempts to seize Upper Canada, improving British morale. American attempts to invade Lower Canada and capture Montreal failed. In 1813, the Americans won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, at the Battle of the Thames defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy, securing a primary war goal. A final American attempt to invade Canada was fought to a draw at the Battle of Lundy's Lane during the summer of 1814. At sea, the powerful Royal Navy blockaded American ports, cutting off trade and allowing the British to raid the coast at will. In 1814, one of these raids burned the capital, but the Americans repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions of the northern and mid-Atlantic United States from Canada.
Fighting took place overseas in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In neighbouring Spanish Florida, a two-day battle for the city of Pensacola ended in Spanish surrender. In Britain, there was mounting opposition to wartime taxation. With the abdication of Napoleon, the war with France ended and Britain ceased impressment, rendering the issue of the impressment of American sailors moot; the British were able to increase the strength of the blockade on the United States coast, annihilating American maritime trade, but attempts to invade the U. S. ended unsuccessfully. Peace negotiations began in August 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24. News of the peace did not reach America for some time. Unaware of the treaty, British forces invaded Louisiana and were defeated at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815; these late victories were viewed by Americans as having restored national honour, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity.
News of the treaty arrived shortly thereafter. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes. Historians have long debated the relative weight of the multiple reasons underlying the origins of the War of 1812; this section summarizes several contributing factors which resulted in the declaration of war by the United States. As Risjord notes, a powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honour in the face of what they considered to be British insults such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair. H. W. Brands says, "The other war hawks spoke of the struggle with Britain as a second war of independence; the approaching conflict was about violations of American rights, but it was about vindication of American identity." Americans at the time and historians since have called it the United States' "Second War of Independence". The British were offended by what they considered insults such as the Little Belt affair.
This gave the British a particular interest in capturing the United States flagship President, which they succeeded in doing in 1815. In 1807, Britain introduced a series of trade restrictions via the Orders in Council to impede neutral trade with France, which Britain was fighting in the Napoleonic Wars; the United States contested these restrictions as illegal under international law. Historian Reginald Horsman states, "a large section of influential British opinion, both in the government and in the country, thought that America presented a threat to British maritime supremacy."The American merchant marine had nearly doubled between 1802 and 1810, making it by far the largest neutral fleet. Britain was the largest trading partner, receiving 80% of U. S. cotton and 50% of other U. S. exports. The British public and press were resentful of commercial competition; the United States' view was. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy expanded to 176 ships of the line and 600 ships overall, requiring 140,000 sailors to man.
While the Royal Navy could man its ships with volunteers in peacetime, it competed in wartime with merchant shi
USS Somers (DD-301)
USS Somers, a Clemson-class destroyer, engaged in peacetime operations with the Pacific Fleet from 1920 until she was scrapped under the London Naval Treaty in 1930. She was the fourth ship of the United States Navy named for Richard Somers. Somers was laid down on 4 July 1918 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, San Francisco, California. Somers arrived at San Diego, California on 20 July 1920, five days sailed for the Puget Sound area and summer exercises with the Battle Fleet, she returned to San Diego on 4 August for war maneuvers off Coronado, California and on 3 October was attached to the Reserve Divisions at San Diego. Resuming active status in March 1922, Somers underwent overhaul at Puget Sound and returned to San Diego on 8 July for tactical and gunnery exercises. Departing San Diego on 6 February 1923, she operated off Panama with the fleet between 26 February and 11 April, conducting exercises and participating in Fleet Problem I, she proceeded to Puget Sound for her annual overhaul between 22 April and 28 June.
Somers remained in the north for summer exercises with the Battle Fleet and, on 25 July and 26 July, carried staff officers of President Warren G. Harding from Seattle, Washington to Vancouver, British Columbia, during the president's Alaskan trip. On 27 August, she departed Puget Sound with her squadron for San Diego. Somers escaped disaster by conducting an emergency turn and, although she grazed a rock, suffered only moderate damage to her bow; when the fog lifted the next morning, Somers discovered Fuller and Woodbury aground on an offshore rock. Together with a passing fishing vessel, Bueno Amor de Roma, the destroyer rescued survivors, she arrived at San Diego on 10 September and received repairs at Mare Island from 31 October to 5 December. On 2 January 1924, Somers departed San Diego with the Battle Fleet for the annual fleet concentration, transited the Panama Canal on 18 January, participated in winter exercises and Fleet Problems II and III in the Caribbean until 31 March. Returning to San Diego in early April, she conducted summer exercises in the Puget Sound area from 2 July to 1 September.
Departing San Diego on 3 April 1925, Somers headed for Hawaii. She participated in Joint Army and Navy Problem 3 en route and arrived at Pearl Harbor with the fleet on 27 April. On 1 July, the Battle Fleet, including Somers, departed Pearl Harbor for a goodwill cruise to the Southwest Pacific and visited Melbourne, Australia. Somers sailed on 1 February 1926 from San Diego for the annual fleet concentration off the Canal Zone which lasted until 20 March. On 14 June, she departed San Diego for summer exercises in the Puget Sound area, returning on 1 September. Annual overhaul at Puget Sound lasted from 7 December 1926 to 19 January 1927. After completing exercises in the Caribbean on 22 April, the fleet made a visit to New York, conducted a joint Army and Navy exercise in Narragansett Bay, arrived at Hampton Roads on 29 May for the Presidential Naval Review there. Departing Hampton Roads on 4 June, the Battle Fleet, including Somers, called at San Diego from 25 June to 1 July and arrived in the Puget Sound area on 16 July for summer exercises.
Somers and her squadron left Puget Sound on 20 August and sailed to Hawaii, searching for planes lost on a flight from the United States to Honolulu. She returned to San Diego on 5 September and underwent overhaul at Puget Sound from 25 December 1927 to 29 February 1928. After a month at San Diego, she sailed on 9 April 1928 with the fleet for Hawaii to conduct Fleet Problem VIII, she returned to San Diego on 23 June and got underway six days for summer exercises in Puget Sound including a reserve training cruise to Alaska from 7 to 21 July. Returning to San Diego on 4 September, she received repairs at Bremerton, Washington from 31 December 1928 to 8 February 1929. On 25 September 1929 at San Diego, she towed the destroyer Buchanan from the reserve fleet to her buoy. On 10 April 1930, Somers was Buchanan commissioned in her place. Somers was struck from the Navy list on 18 November 1930, scrapped at Mare Island in 1930 and 1931, her materials were sold on 19 March 1931; this article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
The entry can be found here. Http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/301.htm
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" were "large and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been shortened to "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War. Before World War II destroyers were light vessels with little endurance for unattended ocean operations. After the war, the advent of the guided missile allowed destroyers to take on the surface combatant roles filled by battleships and cruisers; this resulted in larger and more powerful guided missile destroyers more capable of independent operation.
At the start of the 21st century, destroyers are the global standard for surface combatant ships, with only two nations operating the heavier class cruisers, with no battleships or true battlecruisers remaining. Modern guided missile destroyers are equivalent in tonnage but vastly superior in firepower to cruisers of the World War II era, are capable of carrying nuclear tipped cruise missiles. At 510 feet long, a displacement of 9,200 tons, with armament of more than 90 missiles, guided missile destroyers such as the Arleigh Burke-class are larger and more armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers; some European navies, such as the French, Spanish, or German, use the term "frigate" for their destroyers, which leads to some confusion. The emergence and development of the destroyer was related to the invention of the self-propelled torpedo in the 1860s. A navy now had the potential to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet using steam launches to fire torpedoes. Cheap, fast boats armed with torpedoes called torpedo boats were built and became a threat to large capital ships near enemy coasts.
The first seagoing vessel designed to launch the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was the 33-ton HMS Lightning in 1876. She was armed with two drop collars to launch these weapons, these were replaced in 1879 by a single torpedo tube in the bow. By the 1880s, the type had evolved into small ships of 50–100 tons, fast enough to evade enemy picket boats. At first, the threat of a torpedo boat attack to a battle fleet was considered to exist only when at anchor. In response to this new threat, more gunned picket boats called "catchers" were built which were used to escort the battle fleet at sea, they needed significant seaworthiness and endurance to operate with the battle fleet, as they became larger, they became designated "torpedo boat destroyers", by the First World War were known as "destroyers" in English. The anti-torpedo boat origin of this type of ship is retained in its name in other languages, including French, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch and, up until the Second World War, Polish. Once destroyers became more than just catchers guarding an anchorage, it was realized that they were ideal to take over the role of torpedo boats themselves, so they were fitted with torpedo tubes as well as guns.
At that time, into World War I, the only function of destroyers was to protect their own battle fleet from enemy torpedo attacks and to make such attacks on the battleships of the enemy. The task of escorting merchant convoys was still in the future. An important development came with the construction of HMS Swift in 1884 redesignated TB 81; this was a large torpedo boat with three torpedo tubes. At 23.75 knots, while still not fast enough to engage enemy torpedo boats reliably, the ship at least had the armament to deal with them. Another forerunner of the torpedo boat destroyer was the Japanese torpedo boat Kotaka, built in 1885. Designed to Japanese specifications and ordered from the Glasgow Yarrow shipyards in 1885, she was transported in parts to Japan, where she was assembled and launched in 1887; the 165-foot long vessel was armed with four 1-pounder quick-firing guns and six torpedo tubes, reached 19 knots, at 203 tons, was the largest torpedo boat built to date. In her trials in 1889, Kotaka demonstrated that she could exceed the role of coastal defense, was capable of accompanying larger warships on the high seas.
The Yarrow shipyards, builder of the parts for Kotaka, "considered Japan to have invented the destroyer". The first vessel designed for the explicit purpose of hunting and destroying torpedo boats was the torpedo gunboat. Small cruisers, torpedo gunboats were equipped with torpedo tubes and an adequate gun armament, intended for hunting down smaller enemy boats. By the end of the 1890s torpedo gunboats were made obsolete by their more successful contemporaries, the torpedo boat destroyers, which were much faster; the first example of this was HMS Rattlesnake, designed by Nathaniel Barnaby in 1885, commissioned in response to the Russian War scare. The gunboat was armed with torpedoes and designed for hunting and destroying
Richard Somers was an officer of the United States Navy, killed during a daring assault on Tripoli. Born at Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey, he attended the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia with future naval heroes Stephen Decatur and Charles Stewart, he was appointed midshipman on April 23, 1797 and served in the West Indies during the Quasi-War with France on the frigate United States with Decatur and Stewart, a ship commanded by Captain John Barry. He was promoted to lieutenant on May 21, 1799. In 1800, Somers fought three duels on the same day with multiple opponents because they accused him of cowardice for failing to challenge Decatur over a joking insult they overheard. Somers had to be supported during the third. Somers was detached from United States on June 13, 1801 and ordered to Boston on 30 July 1801, he served in the latter frigate in the Mediterranean. After Boston returned to Washington, DC, Somers was furloughed on November 1802 to await orders. On May 5, 1803, Somers was ordered to Baltimore, Maryland, to man, fit out, command USS Nautilus, when that schooner was ready for sea, to sail her to the Mediterranean.
Nautilus got underway on 30 June, reached Gibraltar on July 27, sailed four days to Spain. He returned to Gibraltar to meet Commodore Edward Preble, in Constitution, bringing a new squadron for action against the Barbary pirates. Nautilus sailed with Preble on October 6 to Tangier where the display of American naval strength induced the Europeans of Morocco to renew the treaty of 1786. Thereafter, Tripoli became the focus of Preble's attention. Somers' service as commanding officer of Nautilus during operations against Tripoli won him promotion to Master Commandant on May 18, 1804. In the summer, he commanded a division of gunboats during five attacks on Tripoli, during the First Barbary War. On September 4, 1804, Somers assumed command of fire ship Intrepid, fitted out as a "floating volcano" to be sailed into Tripoli harbor and blown up in the midst of the corsair fleet close under the walls of the city; that night, she got underway into the harbor, but she exploded prematurely, killing Somers and his entire crew of volunteers.
Somers is buried in Libya. In 2004, the New Jersey state assembly passed two resolutions calling for the return of his remains, it is hoped that with the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya in August 2011 that the effort to repatriate the remains will be successful. Since 1804, six ships of the US Navy have successively been named the USS Somers in his honor; the town of Somers, New York, located in Westchester County is named in his honor. Somers Point, New Jersey, is named after Richard's great-grandfather; every year there is a Richard Somers Day celebration in Somers Point. Tripoli Monument Richard Somers is a homegrown American hero
The Clemson class was a series of 156 destroyers which served with the United States Navy from after World War I through World War II. The Clemson-class ships were commissioned by the United States Navy from 1919 to 1922, built by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, New York Shipbuilding Corporation, William Cramp & Sons, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Bath Iron Works, some quite rapidly; the Clemson class was a minor redesign of the Wickes class for greater fuel capacity and was the last pre-World War II class of flush-decker destroyers to be built for the United States. Until the Fletcher-class destroyer, the Clemsons were the most numerous class of destroyers commissioned in the United States Navy and were known colloquially as "flush-deckers", "four-stackers" or "four-pipers"; as built, the Clemson class would be a straightforward expansion of the Wickes-class destroyers. While the Wickes class had given good service there was a desire to build a class more tailored towards the anti-submarine role, as such several design studies were completed about increasing the ships' range.
These designs included a reduction in speed to between 26–28 knots by eliminating two boilers, freeing up displacement for depth charges and more fuel. This proposal foreshadowed the destroyer escorts of World War II. Upgrading the gun armament from 4-inch to 5-inch guns was considered, but only five ships were armed with 5-inch guns. In addition, the tapered stern of the Wickes-class destroyers resulted in a large turning radius and a correction to this defect was sought, although this was not corrected in the final design. In the end the General Board decided the 35 knots speed be retained so as to allow the Clemson class to be used as a fleet escort; the pressing need for destroyers overruled any change that would slow production compared to the proceeding Wickes class. Wing tanks for fuel oil were installed on either side of the ships to increase the operational range; this design choice meant the fuel oil would be stored above the waterline and create additional vulnerability, but the Navy felt a 4,900-nautical-mile range was worth the risk.
Additional improvements included provisions for 5-inch guns to be installed at a date, an enlarged rudder to help reduce the turn radius, an additional 3-inch anti-aircraft gun on the after deck-house. The class resulted from a General Board recommendation for further destroyers to combat the submarine threat, culminating in a total of 267 Wickes- and Clemson-class destroyers completed. However, the design of the ships remained optimized for operation with the battleship fleet; the main armament was the same as the Wickes class: four 4-inch /50 caliber guns and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes. The Mark 8 torpedo was equipped, remained the standard torpedo for this class, as 600 Mark 8 torpedoes were issued to the British in 1940 as part of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement. Although the design provided for two anti-aircraft guns, most ships carried a single 3-inch /23 caliber AA gun on the aft deckhouse. A frequent modification was replacing the aft 4-inch gun with the 3-inch gun to make more room for the depth charge tracks.
Anti-submarine armament was added after construction. Two depth charge tracks were provided aft, along with a Y-gun depth charge projector forward of the aft deckhouse. Despite the provision for 5-inch guns, only seven ships were built with an increased gun armament. USS Hovey and USS Long had twin 4-inch/50 mounts for a total of eight guns, while DD 231–235 had four 5-inch /51 caliber guns in place of the 4-inch guns; as with the preceding Wickes class, the fleet found that the tapered cruiser stern, which made for a nice depth charge deployment feature, dug into the water and increased the turning radius, thus hampering anti-submarine work. While an increased rudder size helped, the answer would be in a redesigned stern, but this was not implemented, they were reported to be prone to heavy rolling in light load conditions. The flush deck gave the hull great strength but this made the deck wet. 156 Clemson class destroyers were built, with an additional six cancelled. Fourteen ships of the class were involved in the Honda Point Disaster in 1923, of which seven were lost.
Many never saw wartime service, as a significant number were decommissioned in 1930 and scrapped as part of the London Naval Treaty. About 40 Clemson-class destroyers with Yarrow boilers were scrapped or otherwise disposed of in 1930–31, as these boilers wore out in service. Flush-deckers in reserve were commissioned as replacements. In 1936 only some 169 of the flush deck destroyers would be left, four Caldwell class and the rest Wickes and Clemson class. In 1937 four Clemson class were converted to destroyer minelayers, joining several Wickes-class ships in this role. Nineteen were transferred to the Royal Navy in 1940 as part of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement, where they became part of the Town class. Others were upgraded or converted to high-speed transports, high-speed minesweepers, destroyer minelayers, or seaplane tenders and served through World War II. Four Wickes-class DM conversions and the four Clemson-class DM conversions survived to serve in World War II. Most ships remaining in service during World War II were rearmed with dual-purpose 3-inch/50 caliber guns to provide better anti-aircraft protection.
The AVD seaplane tender conversions received two guns.
The Somers-class destroyer was a class of five 1850-ton United States Navy destroyers based on the Porter class. They were answers to the large destroyers that the Japanese navy was building at the time, were intended to be flotilla leaders, they were laid down 1935-1936 and commissioned 1937-1939. They were built to round out the thirteen destroyers of 1,850 tons standard displacement allowed by the tonnage limits of the London Naval Treaty, were intended to be repeat Porters. However, new high-pressure, high-temperature boilers became available, allowing the use of a single stack; this combined with weight savings allowed an increase from two quadruple centerline torpedo tube mounts to three. However, the Somers class were still top-heavy; this was the first US destroyer class to use 600 psi steam superheated to 850 °F, which became standard for US warships built in the late 1930s and World War II. Like the Porters, they were built with eight 5-inch /38 caliber guns in four single purpose twin mounts.
Anti-aircraft protection was provided by two quadruple 1.1-inch machine cannon mounts and two.50-caliber machine guns. The 1.1-inch mounts were intended to compensate for the 5-inch guns' lack of AA capability. As with the Porters, the Somers' main armament was reduced to six guns during World War II, with the anti-aircraft armament replaced by 40 mm Bofors and 20 mm Oerlikon guns and the torpedo armament reduced to eight tubes. In two ships the torpedo armament was eliminated to maximize the number of 40 mm guns. All of the class served in World War II on Neutrality Patrols in the Atlantic and Caribbean. In early 1942 Warrington and Sampson were transferred to the Southeast Pacific Area, where they escorted convoys between the Panama Canal and the Society Islands. In mid-1943 these two were transferred to the Southwest Pacific Area and operated near New Guinea and in the Solomon Islands. In May 1944 all were transferred to the North Atlantic to support the invasion of Normandy, which Somers and Jouett were directly involved in.
Somers and Jouett supported the invasion of southern France in August. Warrington foundered in a hurricane in the Bahamas in September 1944; the others escorted convoys for the remainder of the war, were scrapped by 1947. The five Somers class were built to round out the eight Porter-class 1850-ton destroyers to the London Naval Treaty tonnage limit of thirteen such ships, were intended to be repeat Porters. However, controversial high-pressure, high-temperature air-encased boilers derived from the ones installed in the modernized battleship New Mexico became available, the class was built to a modified design by Gibbs & Cox; the new boilers allowed the use of a single stack. This combined with weight savings allowed an increase from two quadruple centerline torpedo tube mounts to three. However, the Somers class were still top-heavy; the resulting broadside of twelve torpedo tubes was the heaviest on a US destroyer. Gun armament remained the same as the Porters, with eight 5-inch/38 caliber single purpose guns in four twin mounts.
Two quadruple 1.1-inch machine cannon mounts were added to compensate for the lack of main battery anti-aircraft capability. The Somers-class propulsion plant was the most advanced yet installed in a US Navy destroyer. Compared with the Porters, four Babcock & Wilcox boilers of a new air-encased design raised the design horsepower from 50,000 shaft horsepower to 52,000 shaft horsepower. Steam conditions rose to 600 psi, superheated to 850 °F for the first time. Boiler economizers were included for improved fuel efficiency; the main steam turbines were impulse-type and included cruising turbines and double-reduction gearing. This increased the ships' range from 6,380 nautical miles to 7,020 nautical miles. Like the Porters, the Somers class were built with eight Mark 12 5-inch/38 caliber guns in four Mark 22 single purpose twin mounts. Torpedo armament was increased to twelve 21-inch tubes in three quad mountings on the centerline, but with no reloads; the Mark 15 torpedo was equipped. Anti-aircraft protection was provided by two quadruple 1.1-inch machine cannon mounts and two.50-caliber machine guns.
The 1.1-inch mounts were intended to compensate for the 5 inch guns' lack of AA capability. During World War II, as with the Porters, the Somers-class main armament was reduced to six guns, with the light AA armament replaced by up to six 40 mm Bofors in twin mounts and several 20 mm Oerlikon guns by landing a torpedo tube mount. On most ships four K-gun depth charge throwers were added to augment the as-built pair of depth charge racks. In Davis and Jouett the main armament was replaced by five dual-purpose guns in two twin and one single mount. In these two, the torpedo armament was eliminated along with two K-guns and one depth charge rack to maximize the number of 40 mm guns at 14, placed in two quad mounts and three twin mounts. In 1941, all of the class were ba
USS Somers (DD-381)
USS Somers was a destroyer commissioned in the United States Navy from 1937 to 1945. She was named for Richard Somers. During World War II, Somers was active in the South Atlantic, the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Somers was laid down on 27 June 1935 at Federal, New Jersey launched on 13 March 1937. In 1938 she transported a consignment of gold from the Bank of England to New York. On 6 November 1941, she and the cruiser USS Omaha captured the German freighter Odenwald, carrying 3800 tons of scarce rubber while disguised as the American merchantman Willmoto. Odenwald was taken to Puerto Rico. An admiralty court ruled that since the ship was illegally claiming American registration, there were sufficient grounds for confiscation. A legal case was started claiming that the crews of the two American ships had salvage rights because the Odenwald crew's attempt to scuttle the ship was the equivalent of abandoning her; the court case, settled in 1947 ruled the members of the boarding party and the prize crew were entitled to $3,000 apiece while all the other crewmen in Omaha and Somers were entitled to two months’ pay and allowances.
This was the last prize money awarded by the US Navy. In November 1942 Somers, with USS Milwaukee and USS Cincinnati, intercepted another German blockade runner, the Anneliese Essberger, near Brazil. In January 1943 Somers and USS Memphis moved to Bathurst, Gambia in West Africa to support the Casablanca Conference between President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, the Free French. At the end of the month Somers relocated to Dakar and assisted in escorting the Free French warships Richelieu and Montcalm to the United States. By March Somers was based in Trinidad on patrols to Brazil as before. On New Years Day 1944 Somers intercepted the German blockade runner Westerland, which scuttled itself. In May Somers escorted a convoy to England as part of the buildup for the Normandy invasion. Somers next participated in the invasion of Normandy as a convoy escort and, in August, the Southern France invasion, providing naval gunfire support as well as serving in the anti-submarine screen.
On 15 August 1944, four hours before H-Hour, D-Day, along the French Riviera, Somers encountered and sank the German corvette UJ6081 and the sloop SG21 at the Battle of Port Cros. Following this action, she moved inshore to give gunfire support to the invasion. For two days she bombarded enemy strongpoints off the coast near Toulon with 5 inch shells and exchanged fire with enemy shore batteries east of Marseilles. Somers sustained some damage during this action. For the next month, the destroyer operated in the Mediterranean Sea, visiting ports on the southern coast of France, Ajaccio and Oran, Algeria, she arrived in New York on 8 October. Somers was overhauled at the Brooklyn Navy Yard until 8 November moved to Casco Bay, for training. On 23 November, she joined the screen of a Britain bound convoy for the first of four transatlantic voyages which closed Somers' combat service, she returned to the United States on 12 May 1945 at the end of her last voyage to the United Kingdom. For the remainder of the war, Somers operated along the eastern seaboard and, in July, made one summer cruise to the Caribbean to train midshipmen.
On 4 August 1945, she put into Charleston, South Carolina, for overhaul and remained until 11 September. Instead of returning to active duty, Somers reported to the Commandant, 6th Naval District, for decommissioning and disposal, she decommissioned at Charleston on 28 October 1945 and was retained there until removed by her purchaser, Boston Metals of Baltimore, Md. On 16 May 1947. Somers was struck from the Navy list on 28 January 1947. Somers earned two battle stars during World War II. List of United States Navy destroyers K. Jack. Register of Ships of the U. S. Navy, 1775-1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-26202-0. Friedman, Norman, US Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis:2004, ISBN 1-55750-442-3. Gardiner and Chesneau, Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Conway Maritime Press, London:1980. ISBN 0-83170-303-2. Silverstone, Paul H.. U. S. Warships of World War II. London: Ian Allan Ltd; this article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
The entry can be found here. USS Somers photos at Naval History and Heritage Command USS Somers photo gallery at NavSource.org Somers-class destroyers at Destroyer History Foundation Tin Can Sailors @ Destroyers.org – Somers class destroyer article Tin Can Sailors @ Destroyers.org – Somers class destroyer specs USS Somers and USS Warrington General Information Book with as-built data at Destroyer History Foundation "Goldplater" destroyers at Destroyer History Foundation 1850-ton leader classes at Destroyer History Foundation