USS Satterlee (DD-190)

USS Satterlee (DD-190) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy, entering service in 1919. After brief service until 1922, the ship was placed in reserve. The ship was reactivated for World War II before being transferred to the Royal Navy in 1940. Renamed HMS Belmont, the destroyer was used as a convoy escort in the Battle of the Atlantic where she was torpedoed and sunk on 31 January 1942.

USS Satterlee
United States
Name: USS Satterlee
Namesake: Charles Satterlee
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company
Laid down: 10 July 1918
Launched: 21 December 1918
Commissioned: 23 December 1919
Decommissioned: 11 July 1922
Recommissioned: 18 December 1939
Decommissioned: 8 October 1940
Struck: 8 June 1941
Identification: DD-190
Fate: Transferred to UK, 8 October 1940
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Belmont
Acquired: 8 October 1940
Commissioned: 8 October 1940
Fate: Sunk, 31 January 1942
General characteristics
Class and type: Clemson-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,215 long tons (1,234 t)
Length: 314 ft 5 in (95.83 m)
Beam: 30 ft 11 in (9.42 m)
Draft: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
Installed power: 26,500 shp (19,800 kW)
Speed: 35 kn (40 mph; 65 km/h)
Range: 4,900 nmi (5,600 mi; 9,100 km) at 15 kn (17 mph; 28 km/h)
Complement: 122 officers and enlisted

Construction and career

United States Navy service

The first Navy ship named for Captain Charles Satterlee USCG (18751918), Satterlee was laid down on 10 July 1918 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia and launched on 21 December 1918; sponsored by Ms. Rebecca E. Satterlee, niece of Captain Satterlee. The destroyer was commissioned on 23 December 1919, Commander Reed M. Fawell in command.

Satterlee joined her destroyer flotilla at Manzanillo, Cuba on 27 January 1920 and conducted training in the Caribbean until 26 April. After repairs and trials, she rejoined the flotilla at Newport, Rhode Island on 11 June. She was present at the America's Cup races off New York City from 9–26 July, and visited Miami from 2–28 August before resuming training off Newport. The destroyer joined the Atlantic Fleet at Guantanamo Bay on 10 January 1921 and participated in fleet maneuvers until 24 April. She then resumed training and upkeep along the Atlantic coast until she was decommissioned on 11 July 1922 and placed in reserve at Philadelphia.

With war breaking out in both Europe and the Far East, Satterlee was recommissioned at Philadelphia on 18 December 1939, Lieutenant Commander H. R. Demarest in command, and assigned to duty on Neutrality Patrol. She arrived in the Caribbean on 2 February 1940 for patrol duty and training. The ship departed the Caribbean on 15 April, and underwent overhaul at Norfolk, Virginia from 19 April – 5 July. She then operated along the east coast until decommissioned on 8 October.

Royal Navy service

Satterlee was transferred to the United Kingdom on the same day and served the Royal Navy as HMS Belmont, one of 50 old American destroyers exchanged for bases in British Colonies in the western Atlantic.

HMS Belmont was commissioned on 8 October 1940 and arrived at Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 24 October. She joined the 3d Escort Group in the Western Approaches Command and conducted escorting duty for Atlantic convoys, broken only for repairs of collision damage between March and July 1941. While under the command of Lt. Cdr. G. B. O. Harding RN on 31 January 1942, she was struck by a single torpedo south of Newfoundland in position 42º02'N, 57º18'W, and sunk with the loss of all 138 hands by the German U-boat U-82 (commanded by Lt. Cdr. Rollmann) while escorting a convoy (NA.2) of British and Canadian airmen to the United Kingdom.

The names of her crew are commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial at Southsea Common, Southsea, Hampshire, UK.


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