Allied Warships

USS Babbitt (DD 128)

Destroyer of the Wickes class

NavyThe US Navy
PennantDD 128 
Built byNew York Shipbuilding Corp. (Camden, New Jersey, U.S.A.) 
Laid down19 Feb 1918 
Launched30 Sep 1918 
Commissioned24 Oct 1919 
End service25 Jan 1946 

USS Babbitt (DD-128) reported to the Pacific Fleet after commissioning. Babbitt served with the Pacific Fleet on manoeuvres and exercises until going out of commission at San Diego on 15 June 1922.

Upon recommissioning on 4 April 1930, Babbitt reported to the Pacific Fleet and served along the West Coast until February 1931 when she proceeded to the Atlantic. Between February 1931 and May 1932 she operated with Destroyer Squadron, Scouting Force, along the eastern seaboard, in the West Indies, the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Canal Zone. During May 1932 April 1933 Babbitt served at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, and made a cruise to Chile conducting exercises with experimental torpedoes. She was assigned to Rotating Reserve Destroyer Squadron 19 at Norfolk between 25 May and 20 October 1933 and then assumed reduced commission status until January 1935. While in this status she operated with the Training Squadron, Scouting Force, training reserves. For a brief period between January and May 1935 she returned to Rotating Reserve Destroyer Squadron 19.

Placed in full commission 15 May 1935 Babbitt served with the Midshipmen's Coastal Cruise Detachment and then, for two years, with the Special Service Squadron in the Cuban-Puerto Rican area. In April 1939 she participated in the opening of the New York World's Fair. Subsequently she was attached to Destroyer Squadron 27 Patrol Force, on Neutrality Patrol and convoy escort duty along the Atlantic and Caribbean coastlines.

During World War II Babbitt operated as a convoy escort in the waters off Iceland, along the east and gulf coasts of the United States and In the Caribbean. Between 10 March 1943 and 21 March 1944 she also completed five trans-Atlantic escort crossings one to England and four to North Africa.

On 2 February 1945 Babbitt reported to the Underwater Sound Laboratory, New London, Connecticut., for experimental sonar work. On 10 June 1945 her classification was changed to AG-102. She remained on experimental duty until December 1945 when she entered New York Navy Yard for pre-inactivation overhaul. Babbitt was decommissioned on 25 January 1946 and sold 5 June 1946.


Commands listed for USS Babbitt (DD 128)

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.

1George Lawrence Purmont, USN16 Feb 19395 Nov 1941
2Lt.Cdr. Valery Havard, Jr., USN5 Nov 194111 Sep 1942
3T/Lt.Cdr. Samuel Frank Quarles, USN11 Sep 194221 Dec 1943
4Lt.Cdr. William John Caspari, USN21 Dec 194314 May 1945 (1)
5Samuel Knight Hight, USNR14 May 194513 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Babbitt include:

26 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Yestor (Lt. R.C. Holt, RNVR), HMS Beverley (Lt. R.A. Price, RN), USS Babbitt, USS Spencer, HMCS Collingwood (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W. Woods, RCNR) and HMCS Trillium (T/Lt. P.C. Evans, RCNR). (2)

27 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Babbitt. (2)

28 Aug 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Babbitt, HMCS Bittersweet (A/Lt.Cdr. J.A. Woods, RCNR) and aircraft. (3)

8 Apr 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.S.C Clarabut, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Madison, USS Lansdale, USS Charles F. Hughes, USS Babbitt and USS Upshur. (4)

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 173/17216
  3. ADM 173/17252
  4. ADM 173/17827

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

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