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Site Last Updated October 2016

Ships of the United States Navy in Cork Ireland during World War One
(For fleet list click here)

(Roe Class, 19##)

USS Terry in unknown location
Picture source

USS Terry arrived for duty in Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland, in January 1918.  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.

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.

On the 25th of April, 1918, in pos 3 miles, 100 degT from Bar light vessel, USS Terry observed suspicious wake. Dropped 8 depth charges. No visible result.

On the  19th of March 1918, she assisted Manley (Destroyer No. 74) with casualties after that destroyer was damaged by an accidental depth charge explosion.

On the 25th of April, 1918, in position 3 miles, 100 degT from Bar light vessel, USS Terry observed suspicious wake.  Terry dropped 8 depth charges. There was no visible result.

On the 31st of May, 1918, in position 51.03N, 9.09W USS Sterrett sighted periscope of submarine. Sterrett at the time was escorting oiler Astrakhan, with McCall. The Sterrett dropped depth charges. Oil and bubbles came to surface and Sterrett was able to trail submarine by these. Sterrett had no depth charges left. USS Porter, HMS Jessamine and 3 motor launches went to Sterretts assistance but Porter had to give up the search due to lack o fuel.At 4.35am on 1st June submarine came to surface and after engagement with Sterrett dived again. HMS JEssamine arrived at this point and dropped two depth charges with no apparent result. USS Wilkes, USS Ericsson, USS Shaw, and USS Terry joined up and continued the search, but nothing further was seen. 

On the 17th of July, 1918, USS Terry and the British sloopHMS Zinnia escorted the submarine tender USS Bushnell from Berehaven to Queenstown.  

On the 16th of August, 1918, convoy OL30 was escorted from Liverpool to westward dispersal point. The escort consisted of USS Trippe, Jenkins, Terry, HMS Snowdrop, and HMS Heather.

On the 19th of October, 1918, USS Conyngham and USS Terry escorted oiler Thermidor from Queenstown to 14.00W.

On the 22nd of October, 1918, USS Stevens, Downes, Conyngham, Terry, and Duncan, escorted HMS Olympic from Westward to Southampton.

In December 1918, USS Terry left the Queenstown Command and returned to the United States

Commanding Officer, Commander
J.Shafroath ,1918,
Commanding Officer, Commander  R.E.Rogers , 1918,

The US Naval History and Heritage Website has a comprehensive history of this ship, which can be found at

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Site created 24th September 2002