Allied Warships

USS Niblack (DD 424)

Destroyer of the Benson / Gleaves class

NavyThe US Navy
ClassBenson / Gleaves 
PennantDD 424 
Built byBath Iron Works (Bath, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Laid down8 Aug 1938 
Launched18 May 1940 
Commissioned1 Aug 1940 
End serviceJun 1946 

Decommissioned in June 1946.
Stricken 31 July 1968.
Sold 16 August 1973 and broken up for scrap.


Commands listed for USS Niblack (DD 424)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt.Cdr. Edward Robison Durgin, USN1 Aug 194031 Jul 1942
2Lt.Cdr. Walter Leo Dyer, USN31 Jul 194224 Apr 1943
3T/Cdr. Ray Russell Conner, USN24 Apr 194325 Oct 1944 (1)
4T/Cdr. Thomas Glover Warfield, USN25 Oct 194423 Mar 1945
5Lt.Cdr. Robert Edward Lapides, USNR23 Mar 194512 Dec 1945
6T/Lt.Cdr. Partee Wilson Crouch, Jr., USN12 Dec 1945Jun 1946

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Notable events involving Niblack include:

11 Apr 1941
While picking up survivors from the Dutch merchant Saleier, the US destroyer USS Niblack (Lt.Cdr Edward R. Durgin) picked up a sonar contact and attacked it with 3 depth charges. This action is often mentioned as first military action between Germany and the USA in the Second World War, but no U-boat reported being under attack on that day in the area, so the contact was probably false.

16 Mar 1942
HMS H 50 (Lt. H.B. Turner, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Niblack and USCGC Ingham. (2)

17 Mar 1942
HMS H 50 (Lt. H.B. Turner, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Niblack and USCGC Ingham. (2)

1 May 1942
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.F. Drijfhout Van Hooff, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMCS Rosthern (Cdr. P.B. Cross, RCNVR), USS Niblack (Lt.Cdr. E.R. Durgin, USN), HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN) and HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.V. Gladstone, RN). (3)

6 Aug 1942

Convoy AT 18.

This convoy departed New York on 6 August 1942.

It was made up of the following troop transports; Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Argentina (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Brazil (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), Monterey (American, 148017 GRT, built 1932), Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Thomas H. Barry (American, 11250 GRT, built 1930), Uruguay (American, 20183 GRT, built 1928), Wakefield (American, 24289 GRT, built 1931) and West Point (American, 26454 GRT, built 1940).

The armed merchant cruiser HMS Queen of Bermuda (A/Capt.(Retd.) A.D. Cochrane, RN) was also part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by Task Force 38, which was made up of the battleship 5922 Arkansas (Capt. C.F. Bryant, USN, which was also COMTASKFOR 38), light cruiser USS Brooklyn (T/Capt. F.C. Denebrink, USN) and the with destroyers USS Livermore (T/Cdr. V. Huber, USN, with COMDESDIV 21, T/Capt. T.L. Madeira, USN, on board), USS Kearny (T/Cdr. A.H. Oswald, USN), USS Plunkett (T/Cdr. W.H. Standley, Jr., USN, with COMDESRON 7, Cdr. S.R. Clark, USN, on board), USS Niblack (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Dyer, USN, with COMDESDIV 13, T/Capt. P.R. Heineman, USN, on board), USS Benson (T/Cdr. C.A. Fines, USN), USS Gleaves (T/Cdr. C.L. Winecoff, USN), USS Mayo (T/Cdr. I.T. Duke, USN), USS Charles F. Hughes (Lt.Cdr. B.S. Copping, USN) and USS Hilary P. Jones (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Ellis, USN) as inner screen for the convoy. An outer screen was formed of the destroyers USS Madison (Cdr. W.B. Ammon, USN, with COMDESDIV 14, ???, on board), USS Nicholson (Cdr. J.S. Keating, USN), USS Eberle (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Poehlmann, USN), USS Ericsson (T/Cdr. C.M. Jensen, USN) and USS Roe (T/Cdr. J.N. Opie, 3rd, USN).

Around 2300Q/7, Eberle, Ericsson and Roe were detached to proceed to Boston. USS Hilary P. Jones then joined the outer screen.

The convoy arrived at Halifax on 8 August 1942.


The convoy departed Halifax on 9 August 1942.

Two troop transports joined the convoy leaving Halifax, these were the; Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920) and Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938).

The convoy was now escorted by USS Arkansas, USS Brooklyn, USS Plunkett, USS Niblack, USS Gleaves, USS Mayo, USS Madison, USS Lansdale (T/Cdr. D.C. Varian, USN), USS Hilary P. Jones, USS Charles F. Hughes. The above destroyers served as inner screen. Also an out screen made up of the destroyers USS Mayrant (T/Capt. C.C. Hartman, USN, which was also COMDESDIV 16), USS Rhind (T/Cdr. H.T. Read, USN) and USS Nicholson was present.

Late on the 9th, the Cameronia straggled from the convoy. USS Hilary P. Jones was ordered to escort her. They rejoined on the 10th but the Cameronia had difficulty in keeping up with the convoy and was smoking badly.

On the 10th, USS Nicholson was detached to Casco Bay. Also on this day, USS Benson departed Halifax to overtake and join the convoy. She had been unable to depart with the convoy on the 9th due to the fact that she was in dock for repairs to her sonar installation.

On the 11th USS Benson joined from Halifax. USS Mayrant and USS Rhind were detached later on the 11th. They were to proceed to Argentia.

Around 1015Z/16, HMS Queen of Bermuda and the Batory were detached from the convoy and joined convoy DS 31 proceeding from the Clyde to Iceland. One of the escorts of convoy DS 31 then joined convoy AT 18, this was the AA cruiser HMS Curacoa (Capt. J.W. Boutwood, RN).

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 17 August 1942. (4)

18 Aug 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with aircraft, HMS Monkshood (Lt. G.W. McGuiness, RNR), USS Gleaves, USS Mayo, USS Niblack and USS Benson. (5)

19 Aug 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Niblack, USS Benson, USS Gleaves and USS Mayo. (5)

15 Jan 1944
The light cruisers HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN), HMS Dido (Capt. J. Terry, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. C.P. Frend, RN), USS Brooklyn (Capt. R.W. Cary, Jr., USN) and the destroyers HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. A.A.F. Talbot, DSO and Bar, RN), USS Niblack (T/Cdr. R.R. Conner, USN) and USS Trippe (T/Cdr. R.C. Williams, USN) all conducted exercises off Malta. (6)

18 Jan 1944
Around 1545/18, The light cruisers HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN), USS Brooklyn (Capt. R.W. Cary, Jr., USN) and the destroyers HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN), USS Niblack (T/Cdr. R.R. Conner, USN) and USS Trippe (T/Cdr. R.C. Williams, USN) departed Malta for Naples. They arrived at Naples around 1015/19. (7)

19 May 1944
German U-boat U-960 was sunk in the Mediterranean north-west of Algiers, in position 37°20'N, 01°35'E, by the US destroyers USS Niblack, USS Ludlow and Wellingtons (Sqdn 36) and Venturas (Sqdn 500).

2 Aug 1944
During 2/3 August 1944, the light cruiser HMS Royalist (Capt. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN, flying the flag of R.Adm. T.H. Troubridge, DSO and Bar, RN), AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.T. Jellicoe, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), escort carriers HMS Attacker (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), HMS Emperor (A/Capt. T.J.N. Hilken, DSO, RN), HMS Khedive (Capt.(Retd.) H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Pursuer (A/Capt. H.R. Graham, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Searcher (Capt. G.O.C. Davies, RN) destroyers HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, DSO, MVO, RN, Capt. D.24), HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. A.A.F. Talbot, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Tyrian (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) and RHS Navarinon, USS Jeffers (T/Cdr. H.Q. Murray, USN with COMDESRON 17, T/Capt. A.C. Murdaugh, USN on board), Murphy (T/Cdr. R.A. Wolverton, USN), USS Niblack (T/Cdr. R.R. Conner, USN), USS Hilary P. Jones (T/Cdr. F.M. Stiesberg, USN) and the destroyer escort USS Marsh (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Jordan, USNR) conducted exercises off Malta.

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

U.S. Destroyers

Friedman, Norman

United States Destroyer Operations In World War II.

Roscoe, Theodore


  2. ADM 173/17271
  3. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  4. ADM 53/116482
  5. ADM 173/17252
  6. Logbook USS Brooklyn
  7. ADM 199/1430 + Logbook USS Brooklyn

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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