The first WHIPPLE (Destroyer No.
15) was laid down on 13 November 1899 at Sparrows Point, Md.,
by the Maryland Steel Co., launched on 15 August 1901- sponsored
by Miss Elsie Pope, and commissioned on 17 February 1903, Lt.
Jehu V. Chase in command.
After training in Chesapeake Bay, WHIPPLE
was assigned to the 2d Torpedo Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, and
was based at Norfolk. The destroyer periodically served as flagship
of the flotilla and operated off the east coast and in the Caribbean
until she was placed in reserve at Norfolk on 6 September 1905.
Returning to active service on 16 July
1906, the ship conducted tactical exercises and routine training
operations through November of 1907. On 2 December, WHIPPLE
stood out of Hampton Roads and headed south toward the Caribbean
for goodwill visits"showing the flag."
Subsequently following in the wake of
the 16 battle ships of the Great White Fleet, WHIPPLE
and her flotilla-mates called at Rio de Janeiro, rounded Cape
Horn for ports on the Chilean and Peruvian coasts and conducted
target practice at Magdalena Bay, Mexico. After participating
in a fleet review at San Francisco on 8 May 1908, WHIPPLE
remained on the west coast based at San Diego, as a unit of the
Pacific Torpedo Flotilla.
Departing San Francisco at the end of
a towline on 24 August, the destroyer subsequently took part
in fleet battle problems in Hawaiian waters. Upon completion
of the exercises, she steamed back to the west coast via Samoa
and Magdalena Bay, Baja California, before arriving at San Diego
on 1 December.
For the next six years, the destroyer
operated off the west coast between San Diego and Magdalena Bay
and made one cruise to Alaskan waters for maneuvers. The ship
received the Mexican Service Medal for service off the Mexican
coast in 1914 and 1916. While that country suffered in the throes
of revolution and civil strife the destroyer conducted patrols
and stood ready to protect American lives and property. In 1915
she served briefly as a training vessel for the California
On 6 April 1917, America entered World
War I on the side of Britain, France, and Italy. WHIPPLE
soon commenced patrols off the approaches to the vital Panama
Canal before departing the Canal Zone on 5 July.
Refitted for "distant service,"
the destroyer put to sea on 28 August, bound for the Atlantic
war zone and put into the Azores on 17 September. WHIPPLE
operated on escort duties, convoying ships to and from the strategic
islands for the next three months
She then received orders to report at
Brest, France. Antisubmarine patrols and convoy escort duties
occupied WHIPPLE through the early spring of 1918. On
17 April, munition ship Florence H. blew up off Quiberon Bay.
Braving flying debris from the exploding ship, WHIPPLE
joined STEWART (Destroyer No. 13) and TRUXTON (Destroyer
No. 14) in rescuing 32 men of the 77man crew of that doomed vessel.
carried out her routine wartime patrol duties through the end
of hostilities. On 9 December, the destroyer departed the French
coast and headed homeward, touching at the Azores and Bermuda
before making port at Philadelphia on 3 January 1919.
The destroyer was decommissioned at the
Philadelphia Navy Yard on 7 July 1919, and her name was struck
from the Navy list on 15 September. On 3 January 1920, J. G.
Hitner, of Philadelphia, purchased the ship for scrapping.
2 x 3 inch guns
5 x 6-pound guns
2 x 18 inch torpedo tubes
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