The First American Destroyer Sunk By Enemy Attack

USS Jacob Jones Sinking

The USS Jacob Jones was Jacob Nicholas Jone’s namesake. Jones was a Naval officer who served in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812.

Patrol And Rescue

The DD-61, Tucker-class destroyer was commissioned in 1916 and was tasked with patrolling the coast of New England. USS Jacob Jones was sent to the United Kingdom in April 1917, as the United States joined World War I.

When a German U-Boat attacked a British steamship on July 8, she was able to rescue 44 survivors. A couple of weeks later, when another steamship was attacked, the USS Jacob Jones escorted the ship and eventually brought on the 25 survivors.

For the remainder of the summer, the destroyer focused on escorting and rescuing ships. When October came around, she rescued 305 people from the Orama.

Enemy Attack

An enemy torpedo hit the USS Jacob Jones on December 6, 1917. The U-53’s strike took out the ship’s power, and they could not call for assistance.

As Commander David W. Bagley ordered everyone to leave the ship, it began sinking, and the depth charges began exploding. The USS Jacob Jones lost two officers and 64 men.

Somewhere on the bottom of the ocean lies the USS Jacob Jones and her crew, but no one knows exactly where.

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