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USS Davis (DD-65)

USS Davis (DD-65)


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USS Davis (DD-65)

USS Davis (DD-65) was a Sampson class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18, taking part in a significant number of attacks on U-boats as well as rescuing the survivors from U-103, sunk after she was rammed by the Titanic's sister ship Olympic.

The Davis was named after Charles Henry Davis, a US naval officer during the Civil War who served against Vicksburg and as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation during the war, retiring with the rank of Rear Admiral.

The Davis was launched on 15 August 1916, when her sponsor was Rear Admiral Davis's granddaughter Miss E. Davis. She was commissioned on 5 October 1916 with Lt Commander R.F. Zogbaum Jr in command. After her shakedown cruise she joined the Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, and operated off the US East Coast and in the Caribbean.

On 24 April 1917 she sailed from Boston as part of the first US destroyer detachment to be sent to European waters (Wadsworth (DD-60), Porter (DD-59), Davis (DD-65), Conyngham (DD-58), McDougal (DD-54), and Wainwright (DD-62). The squadron reached Queenstown on 4 May 1917 and almost immediately began combat duties. She was used for anti-submarine patrols and on convoy escort duties, including escorting the first American Expeditionary Force troops across the Atlantic between 25 and 28 June 1917.

On 12 May 1918 HMT Olympic (the sister ship of the Titanic, then served as a British troop ship) rammed U-103 just before the submarine could torpedo her. The Olympic continued on without stopping (the correct move, as she was filled with US troops heading to France, and stopping would have left her dangerously vulnerably to attack). The Davis sighted a distress flare from the crew of the U-103, who had abandoned ship, and picked up 35 survivors. They were then taken to Milford Haven.

In May-June 1918 the Davis and the Allen carried out the joint second highest number of attacks on possible U-boats of any US destroyers in European waters, conducting six depth charge and one gun attack each. In the period April-May 1918 the Jenkins and the Davis each escorted nine merchant convoys in European waters, second only to the McCall with eleven. However despite this high level of activity she wasn't involved the sinking of any U-boats, although she did rescue the survivors of several U-boat victories.

On 13 December 1918 she was part of the fleet that escorted President Woodrow Wilson as he arrived at Brest on the USS George Washington. She returned to the US at the start of 1919 and joined Division 4, Flotilla 8, Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. Between September 1919 and November 1920 she was placed in reserve at Philadelphia. Between December 1920 and 29 March 1922 she operated from Charleston and Newport in reduced commission. On 20 June 1922 she was decommissioned at Philadelphia.

Between 25 March 1926 and 30 June 1933 the Davis operated with the Coast Guard, taking part in the prohibition era 'Rum Patrol'. After her return to the Navy she was decommissioned, and just over a year later, on 22 August 1934, sold for scrap.

Anyone who served on her between 4 May 1917 and 11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

Displacement (standard)

1,100t

Displacement (loaded)

1,225t

Top Speed

29.5kts at 17,500shp (design)
29.57kts at 17,964shp at 1,135t tons on trial (Rowan)

Engine

2-shaft Curtis turbines
4 boilers

Length

315ft 3in

Width

29ft 10in

Armaments

Four 4in/50 guns
Two 1 pounder AA guns
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple mountings

Crew complement

99

Launched

15 August 1916

Commissioned

5 October 1916

Sold for scrap

22 August 1934

Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War


U.S.S. DAVIS

USS Davis was built at Bath Maine in 1938, and commissioned later that year. She was originally assigned to neutrality patrols in the North Atlantic, and then sent on to the Gulf of Mexico for training exercises. Once training was complete, she was sent to the West Coast until April of 1941, at which point she returned for escort and patrol duties in the Caribbean. After the war broke out in December, USS Davis continued her escort and patrol missions, making a rescue from the British Glacier sailing ship. In April 1944, the ship arrived in New York and headed for a convoy mission to England.

In June, she continued European patrols and ended up being damaged from an explosion on her convoy support mission in the latter part of June. Emergency repairs were made to the ship in Baie, an English port. 2 days later, she carried on, arriving at Charleston in August to undergo permanent repairs. Once repairs were completed in December 1944, she went back to her escort duties in the Atlantic. On July 10, 1945 she returned to Norfolk. USS Davis was decommissioned without return to duty in October 1945. She was subsequently sold for scrapping in November 1947.


USS Davis (DD-65) - History

Davis was assigned to Neutrality Patrol in the North Atlantic after war broke out in Europe 1 September 1939. On 13 November she sailed from Boston for Galveston, Tex., from which she patrolled in the Gulf of Mexico and conducted training exercises until clearing for patrol duty on the west coast between 11 March 1940 and 26 April 1941. She returned to the Caribbean for patrol and escort duty.

Continuing to serve in the Caribbean, after the United States entered the war, Davis also sailed on escort and patrol off Recife, Brazil, occasionally voyaging to the southern ports of the United States to pick up men and cargo, or to join convoys. On 19 July 1942 she rescued 10 men from the torpedoed British sailing ship Glacier. She sailed from Recife 19 December 1943 for a &hellip blockade runner Burgenland (7 January 1944) whom she transferred to the authorities at Recife upon arrival 9 January.

Davis arrived in New York 15 April 1944 escorting Franklin (CV 13), and sailed for England 14 May as a convoy escort, arriving at Plymouth 25 May. On 5 June she was underway from Milford Haven, Wales, to join a convoy en route to Baie de la Seine for the invasion of Normandy. Davis arrived 7 June and five days later while on patrol, repulsed an enemy torpedo boat attack. Returning to the Baie from Devonport, England, 21 June, with a support convoy, she was heavily damaged from an explosion on the port quarter, probably a mine, and after emergency repairs departed 2 days later for Portland England. She continued to Charleston, South Carolina, arriving 11 August for permanent repairs.

Davis returned to convoy escort duty 26 December 1944 and until 21 June 1945 made four voyages between New York and English ports. Arriving at Norfolk 10 July, she remained there until decommissioned 19 October 1945. She was sold 24 November 1947.


The Truth About Tonkin

On 2 August 1964, North Vietnamese patrol torpedo boats attacked the USS Maddox (DD-731) while the destroyer was in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin. There is no doubting that fact. But what happened in the Gulf during the late hours of 4 August—and the consequential actions taken by U.S. officials in Washington—has been seemingly cloaked in confusion and mystery ever since that night.

Nearly 200 documents the National Security Agency (NSA) declassified and released in 2005 and 2006, however, have helped shed light on what transpired in the Gulf of Tonkin on 4 August. The papers, more than 140 of them classified top secret, include phone transcripts, oral-history interviews, signals intelligence (SIGINT) messages, and chronologies of the Tonkin events developed by Department of Defense and NSA officials. Combined with recently declassified tapes of phone calls from White House officials involved with the events and previously uncovered facts about Tonkin, these documents provide compelling evidence about the subsequent decisions that led to the full commitment of U.S. armed forces to the Vietnam War.

Raids and Patrols in the Tonkin Gulf

In early 1964, South Vietnam began conducting a covert series of U.S.-backed commando attacks and intelligence-gathering missions along the North Vietnamese coast. Codenamed Operations Plan (OPLAN) 34A, the activities were conceived and overseen by the Department of Defense, with the support of the Central Intelligence Agency, and carried out by the South Vietnamese Navy. Initial successes, however, were limited numerous South Vietnamese raiders were captured, and OPLAN 34A units suffered heavy casualties. In July 1964, Lieutenant General William C. Westmoreland, commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, shifted the operation's tactics from commando attacks on land to shore bombardments using mortars, rockets, and recoilless rifles fired from South Vietnamese patrol boats. 1

The U.S. Navy, meanwhile, had been conducting occasional reconnaissance and SIGINT-gathering missions farther offshore in the Tonkin Gulf. Destroyers carried out these so-called Desoto patrols. After missions in December 1962 and April of the next year, patrols were scheduled for 1964 in the vicinity of OPLAN 34A raids. In fact, one of the patrols' main missions was to gather information that would be useful to the raiders. 2 A top-secret document declassified in 2005 revealed the standing orders to the Desoto patrols: "[L]ocate and identify all coastal radar transmitters, note all navigation aids along the DVR's [Democratic Republic of Vietnam's] coastline, and monitor the Vietnamese junk fleet for a possible connection to DRV/Viet Cong maritime supply and infiltration routes." 3

The United States was playing a dangerous game. The South Vietnamese—conducted OPLAN 34A raids and the U.S. Navy's Desoto patrols could be perceived as collaborative efforts against North Vietnamese targets. In reality, there was no coordination between the forces conducting the operations.

Daylight Attack on a Destroyer

On 28 July, the Maddox sortied from Taiwan en route to her Desoto patrol station. Specially equipped with a communications intercept van and 17 SIGINT specialists, she was to patrol in international waters off the North Vietnamese coast, from the demilitarized zone (DMZ) north to the Chinese border. On the night of 30-31 July, the destroyer was on station in the Gulf of Tonkin when a 34A raid was launched against Hon Me Island. From two boats, South Vietnamese commandos fired machine guns and small cannon at the island's radar and military installations. At the same time, two other South Vietnamese commando boats carried out a similar attack against Hon Ngu Island, more than 25 miles to the south. 4

After observing North Vietnamese patrol torpedo boats pursuing the vessels that had attacked Hon Me, the Maddox withdrew from the area. Nevertheless, when later queried by NSA headquarters, the destroyer indicated she had been unaware of the OPLAN raid on the island. 5 That ignorance set the stage for a showdown between North Vietnamese forces and the U.S. Navy eavesdropping platform.

By 1 August, the destroyer had returned to the area and was back on patrol. In the early hours of the next day, Maddox communication technicians intercepted SIGINT reports of North Vietnamese vessels getting under way, possibly intent on attacking the destroyer. On board the ship, Commander, Destroyer Division 192, Captain John J. Herrick ordered the vessel out to sea, hoping to avoid a confrontation. But at 1045, he reversed orders, turning the Maddox back toward the coast, this time to the north of Hon Me Island.

Weather conditions were clear, and seas were calm. At 1440, the destroyer detected three North Vietnamese patrol boats approaching her position from the west. Aware of North Vietnamese intent from the earlier SIGINT message, Captain Herrick ordered gun crews to open fire if the fast-approaching trio closed to within 10,000 yards of the destroyer, and at about 1505 three 5-inch shots were fired across the bow of the closest boat. In return, the lead vessel launched a torpedo and veered away. A second boat then launched two "fish" but was hit by gunfire from the destroyer. Re-engaging, the first PT boat launched a second torpedo and opened fire with her 14.5-mm guns, but Maddox shell fire heavily damaged the vessel. 6

Overhead, meanwhile, four F8 Crusaders that the Maddox had called in earlier from the USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) were rapidly approaching. One of the pilots, Navy Commander James Stockdale, commanding officer of VF-51, recalled that they passed over the unscathed Maddox at 1530, minutes after the 22-minute surface engagement had ended. All of the enemy boats were heading northwest at about 40 knots, two in front of the third by about a mile. The destroyer was retiring to the south.

Stockdale and the other pilots, with orders to "attack and destroy the PT boats," made multiple firing runs on the enemy vessels. The two lead boats maneuvered evasively but were nevertheless heavily damaged. The third was left dead in the water and burning. 7

Fighting Phantoms on 4 August

The next day, the Maddox resumed her Desoto patrol, and, to demonstrate American resolve and the right to navigate in international waters, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the USS Turner Joy (DD-951) to join the first destroyer on patrol off the North Vietnamese coast. That night, the South Vietnamese staged more OPLAN 34A raids. Three patrol craft attacked a security garrison at Cua Ron (the mouth of the Ron River) and a radar site at Vinh Son, firing 770 rounds of high-explosive munitions at the targets. 8 North Vietnamese installations had been attacked four separate times in five days.

On the morning of 4 August, U.S. intelligence intercepted a report indicating that the communists intended to conduct offensive maritime operations in the Gulf of Tonkin. In contrast to the clear conditions two days earlier, thunderstorms and rain squalls reduced visibility and increased wave heights to six feet. In addition to the difficult detection conditions, the Maddox's SPS-40 long-range air-search radar and the Turner Joy's SPG-53 fire-control radar were both inoperative. 9 That night, Herrick had the two ships move out to sea to give themselves maneuver space in case of attack.

The Maddox nevertheless reported at 2040 that she was tracking unidentified vessels. Although the U.S. destroyers were operating more than 100 miles from the North Vietnamese coastline, the approaching vessels seemed to come at the ships from multiple directions, some from the northeast, others from the southwest. Still other targets appeared from the east, mimicking attacking profiles of torpedo boats. Targets would disappear, and then new targets would appear from the opposite compass direction.

Over the next three hours, the two ships repeatedly maneuvered at high speeds to evade perceived enemy boat attacks. The destroyers reported automatic-weapons fire more than 20 torpedo attacks sightings of torpedo wakes, enemy cockpit lights, and searchlight illumination and numerous radar and surface contacts. By the time the destroyers broke off their "counterattack," they had fired 249 5-inch shells, 123 3-inch shells, and four or five depth charges. 10

Commander Stockdale was again in the action, this time alone. When his wingman's aircraft developed trouble, Stockdale got permission to launch solo from the Ticonderoga. He arrived overhead at 2135. For more than 90 minutes, he made runs parallel to the ships' course and at low altitude (below 2,000 feet) looking for the enemy vessels. He reported later, "I had the best seat in the house to watch that event and our destroyers were just shooting at phantom targets—there were no PT boats there . . . there was nothing there but black water and American firepower." 11

Captain Herrick also began to have doubts about the attack. As the battle continued, he realized the "attacks" were actually the results of "overeager sonar operators" and poor equipment performance. The Turner Joy had not detected any torpedoes during the entire encounter, and Herrick determined that the Maddox's operators were probably hearing the ship's propellers reflecting off her rudder during sharp turns. 12 The destroyer's main gun director was never able to lock onto any targets because, as the operator surmised, the radar was detecting the stormy sea's wave tops.

By 0127 on 5 August, hours after the "attacks" had occurred, Herrick had queried his crew and reviewed the preceding hours' events. He sent a flash (highest priority) message to Honolulu, which was received in Washington at 1327 on 4 August, declaring his doubts: "Review of action makes many reported contacts and torpedoes fired appear doubtful. Freak weather effects on radar and overeager sonarmen may have accounted for many reports. No actual visual sightings by MADDOX. Suggest complete evaluation before any further action taken." 13

Confusion in Washington

Messages declassified in 2005 and recently released tapes from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library reveal confusion among the leadership in Washington. Calls between the Joint Chiefs of Staff the National Military Command Center headquarters of the Commander in Chief, Pacific and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara were frequently exchanged during the phantom battle. Vietnam was 12 hours ahead of Washington time, so the "attacks" in the evening of 4 August in the Gulf of Tonkin were being monitored in Washington late that morning.

In Hawaii, Pacific Fleet Commander-in-Chief Admiral U. S. Grant Sharp was receiving Captain Herrick's reports by flash message traffic, not voice reports. At 0248 in the Gulf, Herrick sent another report in which he changed his previous story:

Certain that original ambush was bonafide. Details of action following present a confusing picture. Have interviewed witnesses who made positive visual sightings of cockpit lights or similar passing near MADDOX. Several reported torpedoes were probably boats themselves which were observed to make several close passes on MADDOX. Own ship screw noises on rudders may have accounted for some. At present cannot even estimate number of boats involved. TURNER JOY reports two torpedoes passed near her. 14

McNamara phoned Sharp at 1608 Washington time to talk it over and asked, "Was there a possibility that there had been no attack?" Sharp admitted that there was a "slight possibility" because of freak radar echoes, inexperienced sonarmen, and no visual sightings of torpedo wakes. The admiral added that he was trying to get information and recommended holding any order for a retaliatory strike against North Vietnam until "we have a definite indication of what happened." 15

Other intelligence supported the belief that an attack had occurred. An intercepted SIGINT message, apparently from one of the patrol boats, reported: "Shot down two planes in the battle area. We sacrificed two comrades but all the rest are okay. The enemy ship could also have been damaged." 16 Amid all the other confusion and growing doubt about the attack, this battle report was a compelling piece of evidence. At 1723 in Washington, Air Force Lieutenant General David Burchinal, the director of the Joint Staff, was watching the events unfold from the National Military Command Center when he received a phone call from Sharp. He admitted that the new SIGINT intercept "pins it down better than anything so far." 17

McNamara considered the report, coupled with Admiral Sharp's belief the attack was authentic, as conclusive proof. At 2336, President Johnson appeared on national television and announced his intent to retaliate against North Vietnamese targets: "Repeated acts of violence against the armed forces of the United States must be met not only with alert defense, but with positive reply. The reply is being given as I speak to you tonight." 18

Back on board the Ticonderoga, Commander Stockdale had been ordered to prepare to launch an air strike against the North Vietnamese targets for their "attacks" of the previous evening. Unlike Captain Herrick, Stockdale had no doubt about what had happened: "We were about to launch a war under false pretenses, in the face of the on-scene military commander's advice to the contrary." 19 Despite his reservations, Stockdale led a strike of 18 aircraft against an oil storage facility at Vinh, located just inland of where the alleged attacks on the Maddox and Turner Joy had occurred. Although the raid was successful (the oil depot was completely destroyed and 33 of 35 vessels were hit), two American aircraft were shot down one pilot was killed and the second captured. 20

On 7 August, Congress, with near unanimity, approved the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which President Johnson signed into law three days later. Requested by Johnson, the resolution authorized the chief executive to "take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression." No approval or oversight of military force was required by Congress, essentially eliminating the system of checks and balances so fundamental to the U.S. Constitution. On hearing of the authorization's passage by both houses of Congress, the delighted President remarked that the resolution "was like Grandma's nightshirt. It covers everything." 21

Analysis of the Evidence

Historians have long suspected that the second attack in the Gulf of Tonkin never occurred and that the resolution was based on faulty evidence. But no declassified information had suggested that McNamara, Johnson, or anyone else in the decision-making process had intentionally misinterpreted the intelligence concerning the 4 August incident. More than 40 years after the events, that all changed with the release of the nearly 200 documents related to the Gulf of Tonkin incident and transcripts from the Johnson Library.

These new documents and tapes reveal what historians could not prove: There was not a second attack on U.S. Navy ships in the Tonkin Gulf in early August 1964. Furthermore, the evidence suggests a disturbing and deliberate attempt by Secretary of Defense McNamara to distort the evidence and mislead Congress.

Among the most revealing documents is a study of the Gulf of Tonkin incidents by NSA historian Robert J. Hanyok. Titled "Skunks, Bogies, Silent Hounds, and the Flying Fish: The Gulf of Tonkin Mystery, 2-4 August 1964," it had been published in the classified Cryptological Quarterly in early 2001. Hanyok conducted a comprehensive analysis of SIGINT records from the nights of the attacks and concluded that there was indeed an attack on 2 August but the attack on the 4th did not occur, despite claims to the contrary by President Johnson and Secretary McNamara. According to John Prados of the independent National Security Archive, Hanyok asserted that faulty signals intelligence became "vital evidence of a second attack and [Johnson and McNamara] used this claim to support retaliatory air strikes and to buttress the administration's request for a Congressional resolution that would give the White House freedom of action in Vietnam." 22

Almost 90 percent of the SIGINT intercepts that would have provided a conflicting account were kept out of the reports sent to the Pentagon and White House. Additionally, messages that were forwarded contained "severe analytic errors, unexplained translation changes, and the conjunction of two messages into one translation." Other vital intercepts mysteriously disappeared. Hanyok claimed that "The overwhelming body of reports, if used, would have told the story that no attack occurred." 23

The historian also concluded that some of the signals intercepted during the nights of 2 and 4 August were falsified to support the retaliatory attacks. Moreover, some intercepts were altered to show different receipt times, and other evidence was cherry picked to deliberately distort the truth. According to Hanyok, "SIGINT information was presented in such a manner as to preclude responsible decision makers in the Johnson Administration from having the complete and objective narrative of events of 04 August 1964." 24

And what about the North Vietnamese battle report that seemed to provide irrefutable confirmation of the attack? On further examination, it was found to be referring to the 2 August attacks against the Maddox but had been routinely transmitted in a follow-up report during the second "attack." The North Vietnamese were oblivious to the confusion it would generate.

What should have stood out to the U.S. leadership collecting all the data of these attacks was that, with the exception of the battle report, no other SIGINT "chatter" was detected during the attacks on 4 August. In contrast, during the 2 August attack NSA listening posts monitored VHF communications between North Vietnamese vessels, HF communications between higher headquarters in Hanoi and the boats, and communication relays to the regional naval station. None of these communications occurred on the night of 4 August.

The Defense Secretary's Role

Subsequently, Secretary McNamara intentionally misled Congress and the public about his knowledge of and the nature of the 34A operations, which surely would have been perceived as the actual cause for the 2 August attack on the Maddox and the apparent attack on the 4th. On 6 August, when called before a joint session of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees to testify about the incident, McNamara eluded the questioning of Senator Wayne Morse (D-OR) when he asked specifically whether the 34A operations may have provoked the North Vietnamese response. McNamara instead declared that "our Navy played absolutely no part in, was not associated with, was not aware of, any South Vietnamese actions, if there were any." 25

Later that day, Secretary McNamara lied when he denied knowledge of the provocative 34A patrols at a Pentagon news conference. When asked by a reporter if he knew of any confrontations between the South and North Vietnamese navies, he responded: "No, none that I know of. . . . [T]hey operate on their own. They are part of the South Vietnamese Navy . . . operating in the coastal waters, inspecting suspicious incoming junks, seeking to deter and prevent the infiltration of both men and material." Another reporter pressed the issue, "Do these [patrol boats] go north, into North Vietnamese waters?" McNamara again eluded the question, "They have advanced closer and closer to the 17th parallel, and in some cases, I think they have moved beyond that in an effort to stop the infiltration closer to the point of origin." 26

In reality, McNamara knew full well that the 34A attacks had probably provoked the 2 August attacks on the Maddox. On an audio tape from the Johnson Library declassified in December 2005, he admitted to the President the morning after the attacks that the two events were almost certainly connected:

And I think I should also, or we should also at that time, Mr. President, explain this OPLAN 34-A, these covert operations. There's no question but what that had bearing on it. On Friday night, as you probably know, we had four TP [sic] boats from [South] Vietnam, manned by [South] Vietnamese or other nationals, attack two islands, and we expended, oh, 1,000 rounds of ammunition of one kind or another against them. We probably shot up a radar station and a few other miscellaneous buildings. And following 24 hours after that with this destroyer in the same area undoubtedly led them to connect the two events. . . ." 27

Intelligence officials realized the obvious. When President Johnson asked during a 4 August meeting of the National Security Council, "Do they want a war by attacking our ships in the middle of the Gulf of Tonkin?" CIA Director John McCone answered matter-of-factly, "No, the North Vietnamese are reacting defensively to our attacks on their offshore islands . . . the attack is a signal to us that the North Vietnamese have the will and determination to continue the war." 28

Johnson himself apparently had his own doubts about what happened in the Gulf on 4 August. A few days after the Tonkin Gulf Resolution was passed, he commented, "Hell, those damn, stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish." 29

Can the omission of evidence by McNamara be forgiven? Within time, the conflict in Vietnam would likely have occurred anyway, given the political and military events already in motion. However, the retaliatory attack of 5 August marked the United States' first overt military action against the North Vietnamese and the most serious escalation up to that date. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution, essentially unchallenged by a Congress that believed it was an appropriate response to unprovoked, aggressive, and deliberate attacks on U.S. vessels on the high seas, would open the floodgates for direct American military involvement in Vietnam. McNamara's intentional distortion of events prevented Congress from providing the civilian oversight of military matters so fundamental to the congressional charter.

Some historians do not let the Johnson administration off so easily. Army Colonel H. R. McMaster, author of the highly acclaimed 1997 book Dereliction of Duty, accused Johnson and McNamara of outright deception:

To enhance his chances for election, [Johnson] and McNamara deceived the American people and Congress about events and the nature of the American commitment in Vietnam. They used a questionable report of a North Vietnamese attack on American naval vessels to justify the president's policy to the electorate and to defuse Republican senator and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater's charges that Lyndon Johnson was irresolute and "soft" in the foreign policy arena. 30

For his part, McNamara never admitted his mistakes. In his award-winning 2003 video memoirs Fog of War, he remained unapologetic and even bragged of his ability to deceive: "I learned early on never answer the question that is asked of you. Answer the question that you wish had been asked of you. And quite frankly, I follow that rule. It's a very good rule." 31

We may never know the whole truth behind the Tonkin events and the motivations of those involved. However, it is important to put what we do know into context. The administration's zeal for aggressive action, motivated by President Johnson's election worries, created an atmosphere of recklessness and overenthusiasm in which it became easy to draw conclusions based on scanty evidence and to overlook normally prudent precautionary measures. Without the full picture, Congress could not offer the checks and balances it was designed to provide. Subsequently, the White House carried the nation into the longest and one of the most costly conflicts in our nation's history.


Destroyer Escorts


The Edsall class destroyer escort USS Leopold (DE 319) of the US Navy. She was lost on 9 Mar 1944.

503 destroyer escorts (DE's) (The Royal Navy had similar ships called frigates) were commissioned by the allies between Jan 1943 and May 1945. The first 3 came in Jan 1943 and they peaked at 48 being commissioned in October that year. 4 more were completed postwar, two of them in 1955.

The destroyer escort was not nearly as expensive as the fleet destroyer (DD) and much better suited for convoy escort duties. They were slower than the DD's (21 knots against 35 knots), well armed and most important of all, they could be built much faster. These vessels became the most common U-boat hunters from middle of 1943 on wards.

All Destroyer Escort classes

The list is divided by navy, then ordered by commissioned date of each class (oldest first).

US Navy

Please note that we list the classes by navies that initiated/owned the class. Often vessels of certain classes were then built for other nations (or lent), those ships are not visible here but only through the navies pages or by looking into each class.

War losses: Destroyer Escorts

11 Destroyer Escorts lost. See all Allied Warship losses.

See all Allied Warship types

Books dealing with this subject include:

The Captain Class Frigates in the Second World War, Collingwood, Donald, 1999
The Court-Martial of Ensign Mason, Nash, Edgar M., 2001
Destroyer Escort Sailors, Destroyer Escort Sailors Assn., 1997
Destroyer Escorts in Action, Adcock, Al, 1997
Destroyer Escorts of World War Two, Walkowiak, Thomas F., 1996
Destroyers of World War Two, Whitley, M. J., 2000
Little Wolf at Leyte, J. Henry, Jr Doscher, 1996
Men of Poseidon, Graves, Richard W., 2000
Tempest, Fire and Foe, Andrews, Lewis, 1999
The Buckley-Class Destroyer Escorts, Bruce Hampton Franklin, 1999
USS Frost, Kerrigan, Warren J., 2001
Where Divers Dare, Randall Peffer, 2016
World War II American Destroyer Escorts, Edsall Class (FMR), Borchers, Duane D., Sr.,
World War II American Destroyer Escorts, Evarts Class (GMT), Borchers, Duane D., Sr.,
World War II American Destroyer Escorts, John C. Butler Class (WGT), Borchers, Duane D., Sr.,


George Peppard, Versatile Actor, Dies at 65

George Peppard, the actor who first achieved prominence opposite Audrey Hepburn in the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and was better known to modern audiences as the tough, cigar-chomping mercenary Hannibal Smith, leader of television’s “The A-Team,” has died. He was 65.

Peppard, who underwent successful surgery for lung cancer two years ago, died Sunday night of pneumonia at UCLA Medical Center. Publicist Cheryl Kagan said that Peppard’s cancer had been in remission since a tumor was removed from his right lung, but that he entered the hospital Thursday with breathing problems that developed into pneumonia.

A longtime heavy drinker and smoker, Peppard abandoned alcohol in 1978 and kicked his two-pack-a-day cigarette habit after the lung surgery in 1992.

Known as difficult in his professional and personal life, the versatile actor suffered long periods of unemployment and four divorces, two from actress Elizabeth Ashley, whom he met while filming “The Carpetbaggers.”

“Getting married and having a bad divorce is just like breaking your leg. The same leg, in the same place,” joked the tall, ruggedly handsome Peppard a few years ago. “I’m lucky I don’t walk with a cane.”

Peppard proved as pragmatic as he was outspoken. Although he originally disparaged the small screen in favor of films, he achieved his widest success and perhaps greatest pleasure starring in three NBC television series--as the Polish American detective “Banacek” from 1972 to 1974, as a neurosurgeon on “Doctors’ Hospital” from 1975 to 1976, and as the Vietnam veteran colonel on “The A-Team” from 1983 to 1987.

“I’m concentrating on big-screen roles. . . . (I) turned down two television series,” he told The Times in 1961. “In a series you don’t have time to develop a character. There’s no buildup in the first segment you’re already established, with absolutely no background.”

Peppard appeared in more than 25 films after making his debut in “The Strange One” in 1957. But his first were the best--"Pork Chop Hill” in 1959, “Home From the Hill” in 1960, his role as the writer supporting Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in “Tiffany’s” in 1961, “How the West Was Won” in 1962 and “The Carpetbaggers” in 1964. Although he appeared with the superstars--Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, James Stewart, John Wayne--he never became one himself.

“I don’t know of one good actor who hasn’t gone to hell when he got big enough,” he raged to syndicated columnist Hedda Hopper in 1962, although he later conceded that he admired Stewart, Wayne and others when he got to know them. “When they start getting the million-dollar salary and the percentage, they start doing everything except what they’re equipped for--they start producing and directing.”

But a decade later, Peppard ate those words, telling a Santa Monica court he was giving up acting in favor of directing and producing in order to make enough money for alimony payments. His greatest effort proved to be the 1979 film “Five Days From Home,” which he wrote, produced, directed and starred in. Peppard employed family members, including his third wife, actress Sherry Boucher, and managed to market the film independently to some critical praise but little financial success.

Conceding that television wasn’t so bad after all, he made the pilot for “Dynasty” in the role of the patriarch--only to be ousted in favor of John Forsythe. Peppard went through several years in which he joked that he “couldn’t get arrested,” much less find work.

Then, with the tough-guy stereotype he always attributed to his role as a megalomaniacal tycoon in “Carpetbaggers,” Peppard was tapped for leader of “The A-Team,” which he came to rate as the best role of his career.

“I thought the pilot was terrific,” he told The Times shortly after the series debuted in 1983. “I realized the role would give me the chance to do the sort of thing I’ve never been allowed to do in movies. I mean, I get to disguise myself as a Chinese person, a Skid Row drunk, a gay hairdresser--I wanted to change from leading man to character actor for years now but have never been given the chance before.”

He remained delighted with the series, which spawned a popular live-action show at Universal Studios amusement park, well after it ended.

“It’s the first time I ever had money in the bank,” he said in 1990. “It was a giant boost to my career, and made me a viable actor for other roles.”

Among those roles was that of a World War II British secret service agent in the 1990 television miniseries “Night of the Fox.” He also returned to the stage, appearing in “Love Letters” in London and “The Lion in Winter” in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he met his fifth wife, Laura. Most recently, he appeared in the March 3 episode of the television series “Matlock.”

Born in Detroit, Peppard was educated at Purdue University and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, then studied at the Actors Studio in New York. In the 1950s, he worked in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, summer stock in New England, New York-based television dramas and such Broadway plays as “The Pleasure of His Company.”

Peppard earned a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and served as grand marshal for the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade in 1983.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Brad, Julie and Christian, and three grandchildren.


USS Davis (DD-65) - History

It's time to make your reservations for the

2019 USS Davidson Reunion!
Oct. 16-20, 2019
Seattle, Washington


Interested in a USS Davidson Membership?
Memberships can be made in (1) yr - $20, (2) yr - $40, or (3) yrs - $50.

Harry Ackley - Treasurer

Please make checks payable to:
"USS Davidson Reunion Association / Harry Ackley"
PO Box 1424
Fairfield, CT 06825


To pay by PayPal - please send your payment online to
[email protected]

The USS Davidson Reunion Association is now on Facebook!

If you are already a member of Facebook, click here and "Become a Fan." Updates from the reunion will be posted as time allows and you can keep track of events happening this week! If you are not a member of Facebook, it's free to join,and you can chat with friends and keep up with the latest events of the USS Davidson Reunion Association!

The U.S.S. Davidson DE -1045 was commissioned December 7th, 1965 as a destroyer escort of the Garcia Class ocean escorts. She was actually larger than her WWII counterparts. She was designed specifically as an anti-submarine warfare ship having the latest sonar capability as well as being armed with an ASROC launcher, torpedo launchers and two 5" 38 caliber guns. The Davidson was reclassified as a frigate FF-1045 in the mid 70's. She was home ported at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii throughout her years in commission in the U.S. Navy. She was decommissioned in 1988 and then she was put into naval service as the PARAIBA D-28, a PARA class destroyer, in the Marinha do Brasil which is the Navy of Brazil. She continued her naval service for almost another 14 years until July, 2002 at which time she (he in the Marinha do Brasil) was retired and put into retirement in a reserve status.

During her United States Navy service, she made numerous WestPac cruises during the Vietnam war and was one of the many ships to be a part of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club. She also saw service in the Mid Eastern conflicts occurring in the Arabian Gulf in the 80's. She exemplifies service in the Destroyer Navy and the experiences young men had going to sea aboard a "Greyhound of the Sea" during the Vietnam Years.

Copyright ©2001-2019. USS Davidson Reunion Commitee.
All Rights Reserved.


Rare Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona Relic For Auction by Small Missoula Company

MISSOULA, MT —A wheel from the USS Arizona, recovered by U.S. Navy Diver Commander Edward C. Raymer will be offered online by Davis Brothers Auction, a local Missoula auction company, on April 18th, 2021, starting at 10AM-MST.

The USS Arizona wheel (estimate $100,000 – $150,000) was consigned by Hayes Otoupalik who purchased it from the estate of Commander Edward C. Raymer, author of “Descent into Darkness,” a book that describes his salvage effort of the battleships at Pearl Harbor and his time as a WWII diver.

Davis Brothers Auction

Commander Raymer risked his life to lead one of the largest salvage efforts of the USS Arizona and other ships in Pearl Harbor. In doing so, he restored battleships to go back into service and developed underwater welding techniques used to this day. The wheel he recovered was saved as a memento of the dive.

“A national historic relic like this does not come onto the market very often,” William Davis, Co-Owner of Davis Brothers. “It’s truly a privilege to be able to represent this piece of history.”

Arizona burning after the attack

This year marks the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona was the largest loss of life for the U.S. Navy and the most servicemen deaths in one day since the Civil War. The rest of the USS Arizona is now a part of a National Monument that highlights one of the most significant days in American history.

Davis Brothers Auction

Currently, artifacts or relics are not allowed to be taken from the ship. Any items that now exist on the Private market were acquired from the ship prior to the attack or shortly thereafter during recovery and clean up efforts. To be able to purchase this wheel is a once in a lifetime opportunity.


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A British Maritime Tradition Collides with American Ideals

Impressment constituted a longstanding maritime tradition in Great Britain, a prerogative held by the Crown following centuries of development (reported instances of impressment occurred as early as the Anglo-Saxon period, followed by extensive usage from the Elizabethan era to the Commonwealth years under Oliver Cromwell). As Britain evolved into a strong seafaring nation, the Royal Navy gradually viewed impressment as a legitimate method of recruitment. When necessary, naval authorities orchestrated press gangs in British ports under the guise of the "impress service." Headed by a naval recruiting officer, the service hired local ruffians to comb the surrounding countryside for suitable recruits in exchange for traveling expenses and a fee for each conscript. Ostensibly, the gangs only targeted British subjects, including Royal Navy deserters and inhabitants of coastal areas who excelled in such necessary seafaring skills as rope and sail making, navigation, and ship carpentry. By the 18th century, Britain came to regard impressment as a maritime right and extended the practice to boarding neutral merchant ships in local waters and at sea.

In the 1790s, impressment became even more important as the outbreak of war between Britain and France in the wake of the French Revolution spawned a dire need for a much larger navy. Between 1793 and 1812, Parliament increased the size of the Royal Navy from 135 to 584 ships and expanded personnel from 36,000 to 114,000 seamen. By contrast, manpower in the British merchant marine in 1792 already stood at 118,000, reflecting a noticeable preferment for civilian over military service. The Royal Navy had a venerable and notorious reputation for long voyages, harsh discipline, and poor compensation—sailors' wages were often withheld for at least six months to discourage desertions—which paled in comparison to the more humane conditions in the civilian merchant fleet (where everyone's well-being hinged upon the success and profitability of each voyage). In response to the recruiting disparity, impressment became a vital tool.

The practice, however, immediately drew Britain into ideological conflict with the recently established government of the United States. Tempered by generations of local self rule and individual freedoms—reflected emphatically in the Declaration of Independence, the recent cathartic experience of the American Revolution, and the resulting Constitution and Bill of Rights—the United States strenuously disavowed impressment as an international right. The whole nature and purpose of press gangs represented an affront to human rights and national sovereignty the act of forcing individuals to serve a foreign power against their will was an "arbitrary deprivation" of personal liberty devoid of the due process of law.

This perceived flouting of freedom on the part of the British also clashed directly with America's emerging attitude regarding the rights of neutrals on the high seas. International maritime law at that time limited the extent of national sovereignty to a country's warships and territorial waters, which often left civilian fleets vulnerable on the open seas. The sanctity and authority of a nation's flag did not necessarily exempt its merchantmen from aggression by belligerents engaged in the established rules of warfare, which allowed enemy goods, contraband, and personnel to be seized wherever they might be found. Nations at war thus asserted the right to stop and search neutral ships as a matter of course. Britain aggressively pursued such a policy as it waged open warfare at sea with France in the 1790s, invoking the right of impressment in the process.

Conversely, the United States, attempting to assert itself as an emerging naval power, not only championed the right of neutrals to engage in free trade with belligerents at war but also believed that neutrality protected all persons sailing under a sovereign flag regardless of national origin. As Secretary of State James Madison observed in 1804 to James Monroe, who was then serving as U.S. minister to Great Britain, "We consider a neutral flag on the high seas as a safeguard to those sailing under it. . . . [N]owhere will she [Great Britain] find an exception to this freedom of the seas, and of neutral ships, which justifies the taking away of any person not an enemy in military service, found on board a neutral vessel." The right of visitation and search, Americans maintained, should allow for a cursory examination of a vessel's papers or manifest but preclude the seizure of neutral civilians.

U.S. opposition to impressment increased dramatically as Britain's growing need for able-bodied sailors quickly exposed the apparent vulnerability of American seamen. Even though they disavowed any desire to impress U.S. citizens, the British openly claimed the right to take British deserters from American ships. (Quite often, British seamen composed 35 to 40 percent of U.S. naval crews in the early 19th century, enticed to serve by better pay and working conditions). Obvious similarities in culture and language complicated efforts to distinguish between American and British-born seamen as well, leading to frequent instances of wrongful impressment. Acknowledging the problem in 1792, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson observed, "The practice in Great Britain of impressing seamen whenever war is apprehended will fall more heavily on ours, than on those of any other foreign nation, on account of the sameness of language."

On May 28, 1796, Congress finally passed legislation (1 Stat. 477) to counteract the impressment threat. Intended to identify and repatriate American victims, the act authorized the government to appoint agents to investigate impressment incidents and pursue legal means to obtain the release of the seamen. Masters of American ships at sea had to report incidents of impressment to the customs agent at the nearest American port, or to lodge a "protest" with the U.S. consulate if an impressment took place in a foreign port. An act of March 2, 1799 (1 Stat. 731), also required the submission of annual reports to Congress regarding impressment activity. In the midst of this official American reaction against the perceived horrors and injustice of impressment, however, similar behavior on the part of the U.S. Navy apparently occurred with little notice or comment. The effort to document American impressment cases ironically allowed the atrocities perpetrated against Charles Davis and other British seamen eventually to come to light as well.

Turning the Tables: The Ordeal of Charles Davis

Charles Davis was born in the parish of St. Mary's in Dublin, Ireland, about 1786. In 1795, at the age of nine, he was apprenticed to a Dublin mariner named Edward Murphy, the master of a merchant vessel called the Valentine. Murphy taught the young lad the basic aspects of the seafaring trade for two years and then sent Davis to sea on several merchant vessels for practical experience. One voyage even drew Davis into the nefarious world of the Atlantic slave trade, when he sailed on the slave ship Princess Amelia from Liverpool to the coast of Africa and then to Santo Domingo and Grenada in the West Indies. While docked at the port of Antigua with the merchant brig Ann in February 1807, Davis experienced impressment for the first time when he was abducted by the HMS St. Lucia. That ordeal ended after two French privateers captured the British schooner. Davis finally returned to Liverpool in August 1807, where he worked in the dockyards as a rigger for about three years.

On August 5, 1810, Davis went back to sea on the merchant ship Margaret for what would prove to be his final civilian voyage. The Margaret brought Davis to America (contrary to his claim in the Hall report) for the first time on October 2, landing at the port of Charleston, South Carolina. After four days aboard ship, Davis and three shipmates went ashore to a local tavern. By his own admission, Davis imbibed too much and could not recall what happened next, except that "on the following morning he found himself on board the American United States sloop of war Wasp . . . he does not know by what means he was put on board her." Suddenly finding himself addressed as seaman Thomas Holland, Davis immediately applied to First Lieutenant Ingles of the Wasp to be returned to the Margaret, pointing out that he was British rather than an American citizen. Ingles bluntly refused, stating that he would see Davis "drowned first, 'for the English keep the Americans and I will keep you.'"

Thus began 13 months of forced labor in the U.S. Navy under an assumed name. The Wasp cruised for a time along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, during which Ingles put Davis in irons on several occasions for refusing to work and threatening to jump ship at the first opportunity. On November 20, 1810, he finally succeeded in slipping his chains after the Wasp returned to Charleston harbor. Swimming to shore, Davis walked 124 miles to Savannah where, unfortunately, another Charleston tavern keeper recognized him (his desertion had been well publicized by the captain of the Wasp) and caused Davis to be arrested. After Davis returned to the Wasp, the captain placed him in double irons for 72 days. For attempting to desert, Davis was also court-martialed and sentenced to 78 lashes with a cat-o-nine tails, with the punishment to be administered on board the USS John Adams in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Around the time of his trial and punishment (Davis never explained the exact time frame of the disciplinary action), the USS Constitution arrived at Hampton Roads in July 1811 to seek a draft of new men for her crew. Capt. Isaac Hull of the Constitution boarded the John Adams twice to requisition crewmembers while Davis was still on board. At first, Hull rejected Davis because of his nationality, which suggested there was indeed some validity to the latter's claim of being held illicitly on the naval ship. After returning for a second look, however, Hull decided to take Davis, reportedly commenting: "I do not care a damn let you be English or what you will. I will run the risk of taking you." With Captain Hull's pronouncement, Charles Davis boarded the Constitution on July 27 and began the voyage that finally ended with his dramatic escape at Spithead on November 12, 1811.

Clues Revealed about U.S. Impressment Activities

Limited information about British victims makes it difficult to estimate the full scope of impressments perpetrated by the U.S. Navy. As one of the more detailed surviving cases, however, the ordeal of Charles Davis certainly suggests a few generalities about the nature of American impressment activities. First, Davis's experience indicates that some well-known American naval commanders willingly engaged in the practice, in particular Isaac Hull, who later helmed the Constitution to its famous victory against HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812. Hull's actions mirrored an earlier incident involving another rising naval officer, William Bainbridge. As the young captain of a civilian merchant vessel in 1796—two years prior to his appointment as a Navy lieutenant—Bainbridge retaliated against the impressment of one of his crewmembers by the HMS Indefatigable by seizing an English sailor from the next merchant vessel he came upon in open waters. This episode, enhanced even more when Bainbridge openly announced his intentions to the English sea captain, cemented his later naval reputation.

Second, American complicity in press gang activity appeared to be widespread, rivaling some of the State Department's myriad evidence about American victims. Davis alluded to the existence of many other British victims in his own testimony to Admiralty officials, asserting "there are about 60 or 70 H.B.M. [His Britannic Majesty's] subjects now on board the said ship Constitution . . . he does not know their names but he believes they would come forward and own themselves as such subjects if any officer was to claim them." Davis noted in particular that numerous "forecastle men have told him they were Englishmen," many of whom "expressed . . . a desire to get away from the Constitution." Another British seaman, William Bowman, who was pressed into the U.S. Navy in New York on or about June 4, 1811, likewise reported "there were a great many English on board" the USS Hornet, "several of whom would be glad to quit her."

Not surprisingly, U.S. Navy records are sufficiently vague about the exact nature of forced recruitments. Muster rolls for the USS Wasp simply show that Charles Davis, aka Thomas Holland, first appeared on board at Charleston on October 25, 1810, and later transferred to the USS Constitution for detached service on July 27, 1811. Without knowing the other side of the story, the records appear to document a typical enlistment. Likewise, the deck logs of the Constitution noted the acquisition of new crewmembers on July 27—including 10 pursers, 2 quartermasters, 29 seamen, and 32 ordinary seamen—but suggested nothing contentious about the nature of the transfers. The only specific reference to Davis's ordeal appeared in the Constitution's log for November 13, 1811, when the deck officer noted at "1/2 past 8 p.m. an officer came alongside from the Havannah frigate and said they had taken up a man which had swam from the Constitution. It proved to be Thomas Holland, a seaman."

British sailors also apparently faced treatment of equal brutality at the hands of the Americans, despite the prevailing perception of better conditions in the U.S. Navy. Davis aptly illustrated several methods of harsh punishment in his own story, including placement in irons for long periods of time for resisting authority and lashings with a cat-o-nine tails for attempting desertion. Similarly, Bowman, after being taken aboard the Hornet, faced the threat of undetermined punishment for contacting his wife after the American warship arrived at Cowes, an English seaport on the Isle of Wight, near the port of Southampton. When Elizabeth Elinor Bowman came to the Hornet to see her husband, the American officers treated her with equal roughness. At first, they refused to allow Elizabeth on board and then only granted her a half-hour visit. Afterward, the officers denied Elizabeth permission to leave and detained her for several days.

The manner in which Davis wound up in American custody suggests the U.S. Navy also engaged in the tactic of "shanghaiing" potential victims for compulsory service at sea. Although the term itself became more commonly associated with later maritime kidnappings along the California coast in the 1850s, this allegedly popular method of impressment involved snatching incapacitated victims from dives and hostels in local seaports (especially after they had been deliberately drugged or intoxicated). After getting drunk at a Charleston tavern on the night of October 6, 1811, and unable to explain how he later found himself aboard the USS Wasp, Davis subsequently learned that the real Thomas Holland, the proprietor of the tavern, had in fact delivered him to the crew of the Wasp soon after Davis passed out. For unknown reasons, Holland gave his own name to the crew when he presented his "recruit," causing Davis to serve under the alias "Thomas Holland" during his entire time with the U.S. Navy. While it is impossible to determine if Davis was intentionally drugged, his account still intimates the possibility of collusion between the tavern keeper and American naval personnel and likewise demonstrates that some U.S. officers willingly took advantage of impaired sailors to bolster their crews.

A final aspect of the Davis case suggests a similarity between British and American efforts to document impressment incidents against each other. In a manner comparable to the U.S. State Department's instructions to compile lists and depositions about American victims, the British Board of Admiralty—the supervisory authority over the Royal Navy in the early 19th century—made systematic attempts to solicit firsthand evidence and official correspondence regarding the impressment of British sailors. Davis's detailed testimony and accompanying letters between Adm. Sir Roger Curtis and John Wilson Croker, first secretary to the Admiralty, demonstrated a methodical effort to implement directives of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty and obtain timely information from British sailors who escaped American warships. Curtis even acquired evidence about the condition of William Bowman (readily supplied by his wife, Elizabeth) while the latter was still detained aboard the USS Hornet in January 1812.

The experience of Charles Davis—filled with details of questionable motives, tactics, and treatment—highlighted American culpability as an equally ruthless participant in the whole issue of naval impressment. Although the United States took a decidedly high-minded stance against the maritime practice, insisting on the democratic rights of seamen and sovereign vessels of all nationalities on the high seas—an ideal that eventually drew the U.S. government into a second war with Great Britain in 1812—evidence of duplicitous behavior on the part of the American naval establishment certainly existed. In the end, impressment proved to be a commonly accepted practice, perhaps even a necessary evil, among maritime powers in an age of routine warfare on the high seas. The ordeal of Charles Davis simply highlighted the other side of a turbulent issue in America's seafaring history, revealing useful insights about ordinary seamen living through extraordinary times.

John P. Deeben is a genealogy archives specialist in the Research Support Branch at the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from Gettysburg College and Pennsylvania State University, respectively.

Note on Sources

Very few general studies about the history of impressment have been produced in scholarly circles, the most useful being a 1960 reprint of a 1925 dissertation by James Fulton Zimmerman, Impressment of American Seamen (New York: Columbia University Press, 1925), which gives the figure of fewer than 10,000 Americans being impressed. A few general histories of the War of 1812 also touch on the subject, including Bradford Perkins, Prologue to War: England and the United States, 1805–1812 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968) Reginald Horsman, The Causes of the War of 1812 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962) and Donald R. Hickey, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989). Hickey has also dealt more recently with disputed facts and misconceptions about impressment and other issues in Don't Give Up the Ship! Myths of the War of 1812 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006). The episode about William Bainbridge's impressment activities is recounted in Joseph Wheelan, Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror, 1801–1805 (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003).


Former Raiders defensive back Mike Davis dies at 65

HENDERSON, Nev. — Mike Davis, the former Raiders defensive back who made one of the most memorable interceptions in team history, has died. He was 65.

The Raiders announced Davis' death Sunday. The team gave no details on the cause of death.

The former Colorado star was a second-round pick by the Raiders in 1977 and will always be remembered for his interception at the end of a playoff win at Cleveland on Jan. 4, 1981.

With the Raiders protecting a 14-12 lead with less than one minute remaining, the Browns had the ball at the Oakland 13 in position for a potential winning goal.

Kicker Don Cockroft had already missed one extra point and two field goals, and the Browns botched a snap on another extra point on a cold day by Lake Erie.

That led coach Sam Rutigliano to call a pass play called "Red Slot Right, Halfback Stay, 88" on second down to go for a touchdown instead. He instructed quarterback Brian Sipe to throw it away if no one was open.

Sipe threw to Ozzie Newsome in the end zone but Davis cut in front and intercepted the pass to seal the victory that sent the Raiders to the AFC title game.

The Raiders beat the Chargers in that game and went on to win their second Super Bowl against Philadelphia.

Davis played 107 of his 115 career games with the Raiders, finishing his career with the Chargers in 1987. He had 11 interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries in the regular season.

Davis also had two interceptions in the AFC title game against Seattle in the 1983 season before the Raiders went on to another Super Bowl title.

“Mike was a beloved teammate, friend and cherished part of our family,” the team said in the statement. “The thoughts and prayers of the Raider Nation are with Mike’s family: Mary, Mike Jr. and Allen. Mike will forever be in our hearts and minds.”


Watch the video: The sinking of USS CUSHING DD 985 (June 2022).


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