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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)

USS  TUCKER     DD57
(Tucker Class, 1916)


USS Tucker on pre-war picture postcard
Picture Source USNHHC

USS Tucker, in company with Rowan, Cassin, Ericsson, Winslow, and Jacob Jones, arrived in Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland, on the 17th of May, 1917.     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 21st of May, 1917, in position 51.27N, 10.20W, USS Tucker fired on one submarine and sighted a second. No results apparent from this  attack.

On the 12th of June, 1917, SS Indian, with especially valuable cargo was attacked by submarine in pos 51.10N, 11.03W. USS Patterson and USS Tucker proceeded to her assistance. Submarine was fired on by Patterson and promptly submerged. Tucker picked up Indian and escorted her until relieved by USS Ericsson.  On the same date USS Tucker also picked up 47 survivors of SS Polyxena, torpedoed at noon. Survivors were landed at Bantry and Tucker returned to patrol.  


On the 5th of July, 1917, USS Tucker, in position 52,21N, 12.36W, sighted heavy film of oil, on the surface of the sea. One depth charge was dropped, and the oil became thicker, but no other result observed.


On the 20th of July, 1917, USS Conyngham, Cummings, Winslow, Tucker, and Warrington, safely escorted an incoming convoy of 17 ships .

On the  1st of  August, 1917,  USS Tucker saved 39 men from SS Karina torpedoed and sunk by UC-75, 18 miles south of Hook Head, Co.Wexford.

On the 6th of August, 1917 in pos 49.12N, 18.13W USS Tucker sighted periscope of enemy submarine and dropped a depth charge, no result seen.


On October the 8th, 1917, USS Allen and USS Tucker were proceeding to Milford Haven, when Tucker spotted some wreckage in the water with men clinging to it . The 13 rescued men were from the SS Richard de Larrinaga, torpedoed and sunk without warning by U57, in position 51.42N, 07.40W. This is about 15 miles south of Ballycotton, Co.Cork. Thirty five men, including the master were lost in the sinking. The survivors were brought to Milford Haven


On December 21st, 1917, USS Tucker was sailing as flagboat to escort of convoy HE2. When the convoy was dispersed, Tucker headed for Queenstown. At 1.55pm sighted what appeared to be a periscope. Sounded general quarters and searched area, but nothing was found. Continued to Queenstown.


On the 15th of January, 1918, USS Tucker escorted SS Lord Erne from Queenstown to dispersal in position 50.50N, 12.00W  

On the 1st of February, 1918, in pos 50.32N, 07.20W, USS Tucker sighted enemy submarine. Tucker altered course and depth charged submarine, which had submerged, Both charges exploded, but no results were visible.

In June 1918, Tucker left the Queenstown Command and joined the escorts working out of Brest, France.

Notes:

Commanding Officer, S.W.Bryant,  1917,

Commanding Officer, W.H.Lassing, 1918,





The US Naval History and Heritage Website has a comprehensive history of this ship, which can be found at
http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs.html

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