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USS TURNER (DD-259 / YW-56 / IX-98)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NERQ

Displacement 1,215 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 1 x 3"/23AA, 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 26,500 SHP; Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 114
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bethlehem Steel, Quincy on December 19 1918.
Launched May 17 1919 and commissioned September 24 1919.
Decommissioned June 7 1922.
Stricken August 5 1936 and retained as YW-56 unpowered Water Barge.
Stricken again July 24 1942 but reactivated on February 10 1943 as
electronics training vessel IX-98 Moosehead.
Stricken April 17 1946.
Fate Sold February 20 1947 to Hugo Neu, New York and broken up for scrap.

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Turner 12kDaniel Turner was probably born at Richmond on Staten Island in 1794 and was appointed a midshipman in the Navy on 1 January 1808. Following brief duty at the New York Naval Station, he served in Constitution on the North Atlantic Station. On 8 June 1812, he received orders to Norwich, Conn., where he took command of the gunboats located there. On 14 March 1813, two days after receiving his com-mission as a lieutenant, Turner was sent to Sackett's Harbor, N.Y., located on the shores of Lake Erie. There, he took command of Niagra, a brig in Oliver Hazard Perry's squadron. However, just before the Battle of Lake Erie, he relinquished command to Capt. Jesse D. Elliott and assumed command of Caledonia. The little brig played an important role in the Battle of Lake Erie on 10 September 1813 because, at one point in the action, her two 24-pounder long guns were the only ones in Perry's flotilla capable of returning the distant fire of the three heaviest British ships then in the process of pounding Perry's flagship Lawrence. For his part in the American victory at Lake Erie, Lt. Turner received the praise of Perry, a vote of thanks and a medal from Congress, and a sword from the state of New York. In the summer of 1814, Turner succeeded to the command of schooner Scorpion, and he cruised Lakes Erie and Huron in her supporting army operations around Detroit and blockading British forces at the Nottawa-saga River and Lake Simcoe. On 6 September 1814, Turner and his command were captured by the British when he brought Scorpion alongside the former American schooner Tigress which, unbeknownst to him, had been captured a few days earlier. After a period of imprisonment at Mackinac, Lt. Turner returned to the United States in exchange for a British prisoner of war. Between 1815 and 1817, Turner cruised the Mediterranean in the frigate Java commanded by his old superior on the Great Lakes, Oliver Hazard Perry. During that deployment, Java visited Algiers and Tripoli in a show of American naval strength calculated to impress the Barbary pirates and intimidate them into honoring their treaties with the United States. In 1817, Java returned to Newport, R.I., to be laid up. Between 1819 and 1824, Turner returned to sea in the schooner Nonsuch attached to a squadron commanded again by Oliver Hazard Perry. In addition to hunting West Indian pirates, his ship sailed up the Orinoco River to carry Perry on a diplomatic mission to the Venezuelan government under Simon Bolivar. During the return downriver, Perry and many of the crew contracted yellow fever. Turner was close at hand when his mentor died at Trinidad on 23 August 1819. During the remaining years of Turner's assignment to Nonsuch, his ship worked along the east coast of the United States, patrolled in the West Indies to suppress piracy, and made a brief cruise to the Mediterranean in 1824. Following shore duty at Boston, Turner returned to sea in 1827 for a three-year assignment with the West India Squadron, as the commanding officer of Erie. In 1830, he came ashore again for three years at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard. Promoted to captain on 3 March 1835, Turner spent a long period waiting orders before returning to sea in 1839 in command of Constitution. He sailed the Pacific Station in "Old Ironsides," until he was relieved in 1841. From 1843 to 1846, he commanded the American squadron which operated along the Brazilian coast. From that duty, he reported ashore again as Commandant, Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard. Capt. Turner died suddenly on 4 February 1850 at Philadelphia, and he was buried in Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore, Md.Bill Gonyo
Turner 10kUndated, location unknown.Peter Varley
Turner 139kCirca 1919-1921, location unknown. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker/Robert Hurst
Red Lead Row 195kRed Lead Row, San Diego Destroyer Base, California. Photographed at the end of 1922, with at least 65 destroyers tied up there. Ships present are identified as: (left to right, in the right diagonal row): Stansbury (DD-180); MacKenzie (DD-175); Renshaw (DD-176); Howard (DD-179); Gillis (DD-260); Tingey (DD-272); McLanahan (DD-264); Swasey (DD-273); Morris (DD-271); Bailey (DD-269); Tattnall (DD-125); Breese (DD-122); Radford (DD-120); Aaron Ward (DD-132) -- probably; Ramsey (DD-124); Montgomery (DD-121); and Lea (DD-118). (left to right, in the middle diagonal row): Wickes (DD-75); Thornton (DD-270); Meade (DD-274); Crane (DD-109); Evans (DD-78); McCawley (DD-276); Doyen (DD-280); Elliot (DD-146); Henshaw (DD-278); Moody (DD-277); Meyer (DD-279); Sinclair (DD-275); Turner (DD-259); Philip (DD-76); Hamilton (DD-141); Boggs (DD-136); Claxton (DD-140); Ward (DD-139); Hazelwood (DD-107) or Kilty (DD-137); Kennison (DD-138); Jacob Jones (DD-130); Aulick (DD-258); Babbitt (DD-128); Twiggs (DD-127); and Badger (DD-126). (left to right, in the left diagonal row): Shubrick (DD-268); Edwards (DD-265); Palmer (DD-161); Welles (DD-257); Mugford (DD-105); Upshur (DD-144); Greer (DD-145); Wasmuth (DD-338); Hogan (DD-178); O'Bannon (DD-177); and -- possibly -- Decatur (DD-341). (Nested alongside wharf in left center, left to right): Prairie (AD-5); Buffalo (AD-8); Trever (DD-339); and Perry (DD-340). Minesweepers just astern of this group are Partridge (AM-16) and Brant (AM-24). Nearest ship in the group of destroyers at far left is Dent (DD-116). The others with her are unidentified. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. : NH 42539 Robert Hurst
Turner 137kPicture of what is most probably the non-propelled water barge USS YW-56 (ex-USS Turner, DD-259) moored at the Destroyer Base, San Diego, California, 9 April 1941. By this point, she ahs been stripped of all armament, and retains her forward stack. U.S. Naval Historical Centre Photo # NH 95609.Robert Hurst
Turner 70kUSS Moosehead (IX-98), ex-USS Turner (DD-259), Photographed circa April 1943 by Lieutenant Commander D.J. Spahr. Note the Mark 4 ("FD") radar antenna atop her midships deckhouse and the boom attached to her foremast. The 4"/50 gun on Moosehead's foredeck was later replaced by a 3"/50. Copied from "Flush Decks and Four Pipes", by Commander John D. Alden, USN., page 54. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1976. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Photo #: NH 84197.Robert Hurst

USS TURNER DD-259 / YW-56 / IX-98 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

LCDR Max Leslie Hersey, Jr.    Sep 24 1919 - Jan 15 1920
CDR James Perdue Olding    Jan 15 1920 - Oct 5 1921
LT William Henry Farrell    Oct 5 1921 - Jun 7 1922
Decommissioned June 7 1922 - February 10 1943
(As IX-98)
LTJG David Jeremiah Spahr    Apr 5 1943 - Oct 12 1944
LT William David Acker Jr.    Oct 12 1944 - Feb 12 1946
LCDR Rudolph Lee Ward    Feb 12 1946 - Mar 19 1946
Laid down as Turner (DD-259) (q.v.) by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, Mass., 19 December 1918; launched 17 May 1919; sponsored by Mrs. Leigh C. Palmer; and commissioned at Boston 24 September 1919, Lt. Comdr. M. L. Hersey, Jr., in command. After duty along the east and west coasts, Turner decommissioned at San Diego, Calif., 7 June 1922, and she was placed in reserve. Her name was struck from the Navy list 5 August 1936. On 28 September 1936 the four stack destroyer was authorized for conversion to a self-propelled water barge. Converted at San Diego in October, she was reclassified to YW-56 and began operations in the San Diego area. The water lighter was assigned to the 11th Naval District 17 October 1940, and in May 1942 she was given the additional duty as a ferry between San Diego and San Clemente Island. YW-56 was renamed Moosehead and reclassified IX-98 on 13 February 1943. Following installation of sonar and radar equipment, she commissioned at San Diego 5 April 1943, Lt. D. J. Spahr in command. She reported for duty with the Operational Training Command, Pacific Fleet, 11 April, and on 23 April she became flagship of Rear Adm. F. A. Braisted, COTCPac. During the remaining years of World War II Moosehead made an average of 11 round trips a month to San Clemente Island carrying passengers, mail, and cargo for the 11th Naval District. From August 1944 until early 1945 she towed targets for battleships, cruisers, and destroyers and served as a torpedo target for destroyers and torpedo planes. In addition she screened battleships and cruisers during training exercises. Moosehead carried out her most important service as an at-sea platform for training officers and men of Combat Information Center crews. She carried the latest radar and sonar equipment as well as a CIC classroom and berthing facilities. In July 1943 she began training CIC crews of escort carriers of the Casablanca and Commencement Bay classes. Early in 1944 she broadened the scope of her training to include CIC teams from APA's, AKA's, DE's, AD's, and PCE's. In addition, she served as test and evaluation ship for experimental rockets, radar equipment, and radio jamming devices. Although Moosehead operated along the coast of southern California during her entire career under that name, she steamed more than 100,000 miles and trained more than 4,200 officers and men, Following the end of World War II, she continued training duty as flagship for Commander, Training Command, West Coast. On 24 December 1945 she reported to the 11th Naval District for disposal. She decommissioned at San Diego 19 March 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy list 17 April. She was released to the Maritime Commission 20 February 1947 and sold the same day to Hugo Neu for scrapping.

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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