Historical Sketch of
Text from Principal Investigator
DD-249 was named for Revolutionary War naval hero Esek Hopkins (1718-1802).
On 22 December 1775 Hopkins was named Commander in Chief of the Fleet
authorized by the Continental Congress to defend American commerce.
Hopkins' fleet consisted of 8 small merchant ships, hastily renovated to
serve as warships. On 17 February 1776 Hopkins sailed his daring little
fleet to Nassau in the Bahamas on the first-ever American amphibious
assault that succeeded in capturing vitally needed munitions and other
supplies. Hopkins returned to Rhode Island with his seizures, plus several
British merchantmen that he had captured. DD-249, the third
was commissioned 21 March 1921. In 1940, at Pearl Harbor she was converted
into a high speed minesweeper (DMS-13) in the Pearl Harbor Naval
When the Japanese attacked on 7 December 1941,
Johnston Island for war maneuvers but immediately returned to port when she
heard the news.
Serving as the flagship for Adm. R. K. Kelly Turner,
participated in many of the major amphibious operations of the Pacific War
from Guadalcanal to Saipan to Guam to Leyte Gulf to Lingayen Gulf. She
also took part in the Iwo Jima and Okinawa landings, where she shot down
several Japanese kamikazes. She won 2 Navy Unit Commendations for her
actions at Guadalcanal and Lingayen Gulf. She earned 10 battle stars for
her wartime service. After the war
was decommissioned 21
December 1945 and sold for scrap on 8 November 1946.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
vols., (Navy Department, Office of Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History
Division, Washington, DC, 1963) Volume III, pp.361-363.
John W. Newsom Papers #634, East Carolina
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