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USS Paulding  (DD22)
(Paulding Class, 1910)

USS Paulding, moored in Queenstown (Cobh)

Picture Source USNHHC

On the first of June 1917, USS Paulding arrived for duty in Queenstown (Now Cobh) in  Ireland. She was in company with, USS Drayton, Jenkins, Patterson ,Trippe, and Warrington.    Queenstown was the centre for anti-submarine forces, on the Western Approaches, under the command of Admiral Lewis Bayley, Commander in Chief , Coast of Ireland. The Paulding commenced operations immediately.  

Initially there was uncertainty as to the most effective use of  destroyers. At first they were given patrol areas which they would scout, singly or in pairs. Any stray incoming merchantmen seen, were to be escorted to near their destinations. This was a most ineffective use of the force, as the chances of coming across, and destroying a lone submarine in the vastness of the Western Approaches was virtually nil.

By Summer 1917, under the urging of commanders such as Admiral Sims, Commander of US Naval Forces in Europe, the convoy system was initiated. Groups of merchantmen were escorted through the war zone by flanking destroyer screens. This had the dual effect of reducing the amount of targets for German u-boats, and allowing destroyers and sloops to attack the harassing submarines.  The priorities of the destroyers were to:

Destroy Submarines.

Protect and escort Merchantmen.

Save the crews and passengers of torpedoed ships.

Anti-submarine patrols did continue also for the duration of the war, especially in the Irish Sea and close to the coast of France, where u-boats would try to sink merchantmen as the convoys dispersed.  In 1918, any destroyer in the Irish Sea, which was not actively convoying, came under the orders of The Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla, under the command of Captain Gordon Campbell VC based in Holyhead, Wales.  US destroyers  were also used to patrol the west coast of Ireland to hunt suspected gun-running ships, for Irish Republicans.

The destroyers , initially, were ill-equipped to fight submerged submarines. When they arrived in Europe they were armed with guns and torpedoes. The only undersea weapons supplied were single hand-launched 50lb depth charges which were particularly ineffective. It was the later fitting of dual depth charge racks on the sterns of the ships, Thornycroft depth charge throwers, and Y shaped charge throwers that turned them into a dangerous force. These were capable of dropping and firing a continuous patterned barrage  of 200lb, charges around a submarine's suspected position. Most of the retro-fitting of these armaments was done at Cammel Laird in Birkenhead, England.

At 2pm on June 10th, 1917, in pos 52.02N, 07.02W, while Paulding was escorting the SS Aurania, the periscope of a submarine was sighted on the starboard quarter of the Aurania. The periscope disappeared in few seconds. Paulding raced to the spot, but could find no evidence of the submarine. Escort was resumed to the Tuskar

On the 12th of June,1917, SS Coronado was torpedoed in pos 51.23N, 08.32W, while under escort. Vessel remained afloat and was picked up by tug Warrior, with HMS Primrose and USS Paulding escorting. She was brought into Queenstoen the following day.

At 2.55pm on June 14th, 1917, while escorting SS Collegian, pos 51.47N, 07.21W, the Paulding struck a submerged object which caused a very noticeable jar, woke sleepers from their bunks and roused all hands on deck. At the time of striking the submerged object the Paulding was nearing the end of a turn on her zig-zag course. The Collegian reported by wireless that in plain English that a torpedo had been fired at her and had missed. When questioned later by the Commanding Officer of the Paulding, he  stated that the torpedo was fired at about 3pm and that a periscope was seen 800 yards on her port quarter. The Paulding saw no trace of a submarine, and it did not occur to the officer of the deck that the submerged object might be a submarine. No depth charge was dropped. The subsequent report of the Collegian, and the fact that the exact time at which the torpedo was fired at her was not observed, indicate that the submerged object struck by the Paulding at 2.55pm was the submarine which fired torpedo at the Collegian. Weather conditions at the time; sea smooth, visibility good.  

Later on the 14th of June, 1917, at 9.30pm in pos 51.30N, 06.25W, USS Paulding sighted periscope. Two torpedoes were fired at Paulding, both missing. A minute later a third torpedo was fired, also missing. Paulding dropped one depth charge. No apparent result.

At 08.00hrs on 20th of July 1918, USS Paulding reported sighting enemy submarine in pos 51.47N, 07.26W. HMS Haldon and HMS Eridge searched this position for 24 hours without result.

On the week of the 27th of July, 1917 four ships containing valuable stores for the United States Army were met and safely escorted to their destination by USS Wilkes, Benham, Jarvis, Paulding, Ammen, and Perkins.

On the 19th of August,1917, SS Spectator was torpedoed and sunk, 11 miles 110 deg T, from Galley Head. USS Paulding picked up 43 survivors and landed them at Queenstown.  

On the 7th of January, 1918, USS Duncan, Paulding, Ammen, Trippe, Jarvis, and sloops HMS Zinnia, and Tamarisk, safely escorted outbound convoy OQ31.  This convoy sailed from Milford Haven to the west. Convoy consisted of 5 merchantmen and the escorts

On the 17th of  January, 1918, USS Paulding and Ammen escorted SS New York from rendezvous SLK to Liverpool  

On the 23rd of January, 1918, USS Paulding and Ammen, escorted SS St Paul from 14.40N, 15.00W, to Liverpool.  

On the 4th of February, 1918,in pos52.09N,05.43W, USS McDougal was rammed by an unknown steamer, cutting her stern off abaft the after bulkhead and por propellor. Paulding went to her assistance and Burrows joined her later. Armed yacht Beryl took McDougal in tow until tug Paladin ll arrived. McDougal eventually arrived at Liverpool at 17.00hrs on the 5th.  

On the 3rd of May, 1918, USS paulding observed moving wake, in position 49.35N, 07.31W. Paulding dropped depth charge but no result observed.  

On the 6th of May, 1918, in pos 52.57N, 05.12W, USS Paulding sighted submarine on the surface. Dropped depth charge near oil spot. No apparent result.  

On the 14th of May, 1918, in pos 51.35N,07.27W, USS Paulding sighted wake of torpedo. Dropped 25 depth charges. Oil was seen to come to the surface.  

On the 20th of May, 1918, in pos 5 miles, 132 deg from Minehead, USS Paulding dropped depth charge on disturbance in water. No visible result.  

On the 8th of July, 1918, in pos 52.52N, 05.20W, USS Paulding sighted a moving wake. Dropped depth charges, no result apparent.  

On the 18th of July, 1918, in pos 51.08N, 07.50W, USS Paulding dropped depth charge on heavy oil slick. No result. An hour later sighted submarine which submerged. Dropped depth charge, but no result.  

On the 19th of July, 1918, in pos 40 miles, 194deg from Mine Head, USS Paulding bombed oil slick. No result seen.  

On the 20th of July, 1918, in pos 21 miles, 170 deg from Mine Head, USS Paulding sighted enemy submarine which submerged immediately.  

On the 30th of July 1918, USS McCall, Pauding escorted oiler Crenella westward in Convoy HS 31 (11.00W) to Queenstown.  

On the 21st August 1918, USS Caldwell, USS Paulding escorted oiler Crenella from Queenstown to Liverpool

On the 5th September, USS Jenkins, Paulding , HMS Flying Fox escorted US Storeship Proteus and oiler Kanawha from Queenstown to 16.00W.  

In December, 1918, USS Paulding departed Queenstown for the USA.


Commanding Officer, Lieutenant  John S..Barleon, 1917 to 1918,

Commanding Officer,  Commander  R. Slingluff, 1918,

Commanding Officer, Lorain Anderson , 1918,