Allied Warships

USS Roper (DD 147)

Destroyer of the Wickes class

NavyThe US Navy
PennantDD 147 
Built byWilliam Cramp and Sons (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.) 
Laid down19 Mar 1918 
Launched17 Aug 1918 
Commissioned15 Feb 1919 
End service15 Sep 1945 

Decommissioned at San Diego, California on 14 December 1922
Recommissioned on 18 March 1930
Reclassified High Speed Transport APD-20 on 20 October 1943
Roper was hit by a Kamikaze and returned to the Mare Island Navy Yard at Vallejo, California for repairs but with the cessation of hostilities repair work was halted
She was decommissioned on 15 September 1945
Stricken 11 October 1945
Sold on 31 March 1946 and broken up for scrap.


Commands listed for USS Roper (DD 147)

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Hamilton Wilcox Howe, USN15 Apr 1942
1John Blair Gragg, USN15 Apr 19421 Oct 1943
2Winfield Fox DeLong, USNR1 Oct 19435 Jan 1944
3Ulysses Brooks Carter, USNR5 Jan 194411 Jul 1945
4Alfred Gilbert Steer, Jr., USNR11 Jul 194515 Sep 1945

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Notable events involving Roper include:

23 Mar 1942
USS Roper sank the bow section of the damaged American tanker Naeco with gunfire. The Neaco was torpedoed by German U-boat U-124 about 65 nautical miles south-east of Cape Lookout, North Carolina in position 33°59'N, 76°40'W.

31 Mar 1942
USS Roper picks up 70 survivors of the American passenger ship City of New York that was torpedoed and sunk on 29 March 1943 by German U-boat U-160 40 nautical miles east of Cape Hatteras in position 35°16'N, 74°25'W.

14 Apr 1942
On this day USS Roper (Lt.Cdr. Hamilton Howe) sank U-85 near Cape Hatteras, USA.

U-85 was the first U-boat to be sunk off the North American coast after the start of Operation Drumbeat (Paukenschlag) on 13 January 1942.

On the day that she was sunk U-85 stayed on the surface through the engagement. After repeated gunfire hits on the boat, fatally damaging her, the order to abandon ship was given and maybe half of the crew got into the water and then U-85 started to sink again fast. USS Roper then dropped 11 depth charges onto the already sinking U-boat and its 2 dozen survivors and in the process killed everyone in the water.

The wreck of U-85 is now a popular dive site.

23 Apr 1942
USS Roper picks up 30 survivors from the Panamanian merchant Desert Light that was torpedoed and sunk on 16 April 1942 east of Cape Hattaras in position 35°35'N, 72°48'W by German U-boat U-572.

29 Apr 1942
USS Roper picks up 14 survivors from the British merchant Empire Drum that was torpedoed and sunk on 24 April 1942 southeast of New York by German U-boat U-136. 13 more survivors from the same ship were picked up on 1 May.

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

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