USS MacDonough (DD-9)

USS MacDonough (DD-9) was a Lawrence class destroyer that spent most of her career operating on the US East Coast before moving to France in January 1918 to carry out convoy escort duties.

The MacDonough was laid down on 10 April 1899, launched on 24 December 1900 and commissioned on 5 September 1903. She was named after Commodore Thomas Macdonough, a successful American naval commander on Lake Champlain during the War of 1812.

USS MacDonough (DD-9), 1908
USS MacDonough (DD-9)

After her shakedown cruise the Macdonough was used as a training ship for midshipmen at Annapolis, before on 31 May 1904 she joined the Coast Squadron of the North Atlantic Fleet. She spent three years operating with the Coast Squadron, ranging as far south as the Caribbean.

Between 16 May 1907 and 21 November 1908 the MacDonough served with the Reserve Torpedo Fleet at Norfolk.

After her return to full commission the MacDonough became the flagship of the 3rd Torpedo Flotilla, based at Pensacola, Florida. She was based there until the spring of 1909 when she returned to the east coast to join the Atlantic Torpedo Squadron. This was a short-lived assignment - in the summer of 1909 she sailed up the Mississippi to St Louis to take part in the city's Centennial Celebration.

In December 1909 the MacDonough was placed into the reserve fleet. She remained in the reserve at Charleston for two years, although did take part in the summer exercises of 1910 and make two cruises to New York during this period. In 1913 and 1914 she took part in summer cruises with the Massachusetts Naval Militia.

On 29 January 1915 the MacDonough was finally recommissioned and joined the Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet. She spent the next two years supporting the submarines as they conducted exercises along the coast between Pensacola and Newport.

From March to June 1917 the MacDonough conducted a recruiting cruise along the Mississippi River.

In April 1917 the United States entered the First World War. In June the MacDonough joined the Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, and from then until January 1918 she took part in screening operations along the east coast, guarding against German U-boats. This included a period spent screening the Battleship Force Atlantic in August 1917.

On 16 January 1918 the MacDonough left Philadelphia and sailed across the Atlantic to become part of the US naval squadron operating from France. She performed a mix of escort and patrol duties from February 1918 until May 1919.

The MacDonough returned to Philadelphia on 24 June 1919, where she was decommissioned on 3 September. She was struck off the Naval Register on 7 November 1919 and sold for scrap on 10 March 1920. 

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

30kts (designed), 29kts (trial)


4 Four River Boilers
2 Vertical Triple Expansion engines
2 shafts


246ft 3in


22ft 3in


Two 3in/50 guns
Five 6 pounder guns
Two 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement



24 December 1900


5 September 1903


Sold 1920

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann . The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
cover cover cover

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 November 2015), USS MacDonough (DD-9) ,

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