Military Wiki
USS Downes (DD-45)
USS Downes (DD-45) 1913.jpg
USS Downes (DD-45) before commissioning in 1913
Career (United States)
Name: USS Downes (DD-45)
Namesake: John Downes
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Company of Camden, New Jersey
Laid down: 27 June 1912
Launched: 8 November 1913
Commissioned: 11 February 1915
Decommissioned: 6 June 1922
Struck: 5 July 1934
Fate: Transferred to the United States Coast Guard
Name: USS Downes (CG-4)
Commissioned: 14 October 1924 (USCG)
Decommissioned: 18 November 1930 (USCG)
Fate: Returned to the Navy on 22 May 1931. Sold and scrapped 22 August 1934
General characteristics
Class & type: Cassin-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,072 tons
Length: 305 ft 3 in (93.04 m)
Beam: 31 ft 2 in (9.50 m)
Draft: 9 ft 3 in (2,820 mm)
Speed: 29 kn (33 mph; 54 km/h)
Complement: 98 officers and enlisted
Armament: 4 × 4 in (100 mm)/50 cal guns, 8 × 18 in (460 mm) torpedo tubes

The first USS Downes (DD-45) was a Cassin-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I. She was later transferred to the United States Coast Guard, where she was designated CG-4. She was named for Captain John Downes.


Downes was launched on 8 November 1913 by New York Shipbuilding Company of Camden, New Jersey. She was sponsored by Mrs. M. H. Simons, great-granddaughter of Captain Downes and outfitted for service at Philadelphia Navy Yard. Downes was commissioned on 11 February 1915, Lieutenant Commander A. W. Johnson in command.

World War I

Downes conducted her shakedown off New York and in Chesapeake Bay, and then returned to Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she was placed in ordinary from 4 October 1915 – 26 May 1917 for the construction and installation of new machinery by the contractor. Fitted out for distant service, she sailed from New York on 18 October 1917 for Devonport, England, arriving on 7 November.

Downes was based at Queenstown, Ireland, from 17 November 1917 – 5 December 1918, and operated on convoy escort duty inbound to British ports, across the channel, and outbound to rendezvous with the ocean escorts. She patrolled against submarines off the Irish coast, making numerous attacks with no sure results and with other destroyers aided distressed ships. On two occasions her efficiency won commendations from the British Admiralty, once for her protection of the torpedoed Manley and again for the rescue and salvage of a British submarine.

Inter-war period

Downes arrived at Brest, France on 6 December to meet and escort President Woodrow Wilson embarked in George Washington, passing in review before returning to Queenstown on 14 December. The day after Christmas she sailed for the United States, arriving at Norfolk, Virginia on 18 January 1919. After winter maneuvers in Cuban waters, she returned to New York on 14 March. Downes reported to Norfolk on 5 May for overhaul and on 31 May was placed in ordinary. Returned to full commission, she sailed for Newport, Rhode Island on 12 May 1921 for summer maneuvers.

USCG Downes.

From 22 October-20 March 1922, she lay at Charleston, South Carolina, and on 24 March arrived at Philadelphia Navy Yard. Downes was placed out of commission there on 6 June and laid up.

She was transferred to the United States Coast Guard on 28 April 1924. She initially served at the Academy as a practice ship. Later, she was part of the Rum Patrol. Returned to Naval custody at Philadelphia on 22 May 1931, Downes was scrapped and sold on 22 August 1934 in accordance with the London Naval Treaty.


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