< Herndon DD- 198

Herndon DD- 198


Herndon I

(DD-198: dp. 1,190 1. 314'5", b. 31'9"; dr. 9'4", s. 35
k.; cpl. 122, a. 4 4", 3 3", 12 21" tt.; cl. Clemson)

The first Herndon (DD-198) was launched 31 May 1919 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, VA., sponsored by Miss Lucy Taylor Herndon, niece of Commander Herndon; and commissioned 14 September 1920 at Norfolk, Lt. Comdr. L. H. Thebaud in command.

After shakedown in New England waters, Herndon was placed in reserve in Charleston 3 November 1920. She served in reserve for training exercises and maneuvers along the East Coast until she decommissioned at Philadelphia 6 June 1922. Herndon, after serving in the Coast Guard from 1930 to 1934, recommissioned in the Navy 4 December 1939. Following trials and shakedown, she reached Guantanamo Bay 23 January 1940 to join the Caribbean Neutrality Patrol. In July and August she operated out of the Canal Zone in connection with tactical and antisubmarine maneuvers so valuable in the long naval struggle to come.

Herndon decommissioned and was turned over to Great Britain under the lend lease program at Halifax, Nova Scotia 9 September 1940. As HMS Churchill, she served as leader of the first "Town"-class flotilla in transatlantic convoys and patrol duty off the western approaches to the British Isles. High points in her career in the Royal Navy include participation in the search for Bismark after the German super battleship had sunk Hood, and a visit by her namesake, the redoubtable Prime Minister, on his way home from the momentous Atlantic Conference with President Roosevelt in August 1941. Churchill also served as an escort for the pre- and post-invasion buildup for Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa. Transferred to the Russian Navy 16 July 1944, the destroyer was renamed Delatelnyi (Active) and was sunk by a U-boat 16 January 1945 40 miles east of Cape Tereberski while escorting a convoy over the treacherous route from Kola Inlet to the White Sea.