USS Lawrence (DD-8)

USS Lawrence (DD-8)

USS Lawrence (DD-8)

USS Lawrence (DD-8) was the name ship of the Lawrence class of destroyers. Before the First World War she served with both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, while during the war she guarded the Panama Canal and then operated in the Florida Keys.

The Lawrence was laid down on 10 April 1899, launched on 7 November 1900 and commissioned on 7 April 1903. She joined the 2nd Torpedo Flotilla and operated on the US East Coast and in the Caribbean from then until 14 November 1906, when she was decommissioned (possibly for repairs).

The Lawrence was recommissioned on 23 July 1907 and rejoined the 2nd Torpedo Flotilla. In December 1907 she joined the 'Great White Fleet' on the first of its circumnavigation of the globe, a trip around South America. The Lawrence reached San Diego on 28 April, and escorted the battleships of the fleet into San Francisco on 6 May 1908.

After escorting the fleet the Lawrence joined the Pacific Fleet, operating along the entire stretch of coast from Canada to Panama. In 1914 she operated off the coast of Mexico, protecting foreign nationals during that year's Mexican revolution.

After the US entry into the First World War in April 1917 the Lawrence moved south to protect the western entrance to the Panama Canal. During this period she was based at Balboa, now part of Panama City.

In May 1918 the Lawrence moved to Key West, where she operating in and around the Florida Keys.

After the end of the war the US Navy decided to scrap its coal powered destroyers. The Lawrence was decommissioned on 20 June 1919 and sold for scrap on 3 January 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



7 November 1900


14 April 1903


Sold 1920

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USS Lawrence (DD-8)

USS Lawrence (DD-8), osmi razarač klase Bainbridge u sastavu američke ratne mornarice. Ime je dobio po Jamesu Lawrenceu.

USS Lawrence (DD-8)

USS Lawrence 26. svibnja 1916.
Državna pripadnost:
Klasa i vrsta Razarač klase Bainbridge
Brodogradilište Fore River Ship & Engine Company, Weymouth, Massachusetts
Istisnina 427 t (standardna)
601 t (puna)
Dužina 76 m
Širina 7 m
Gaz 2 m
Brzina 28,4 čv.

The USS Lawrence

The first USS Lawrence was one of two 493-ton Niagara-class brigs (more correctly: snows) built at Erie, Pennsylvania, by Adam and Noah Brown under the supervision of Sailing Master Daniel Dobbins and Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry, for United States Navy service on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812.

She was commissioned in early August 1813 and quickly began operations with a voyage to Detroit, Michigan in search of the opposing British squadron. During the 10 September 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, Lawrence served as flagship for Perry until she was disabled by enemy fire. Perry then transferred to her sister-ship, the Niagara, from which he fought the battle to a successful conclusion.

In mid-1815, following the end of hostilities, Lawrence was sunk in Misery Bay on Presque Isle, PA in order to preserve her hull. Her submerged hulk was sold in 1825 and, except for a brief examination in 1836, remained underwater for five more decades.

In September 1875, her remains were raised, cut into sections and transported by rail to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she was exhibited during The U.S. Centennial International Exhibition of 1876. Her remains were destroyed by a fire during that exhibition.

Raised hulk of the USS Lawrence, Misery Bay, Erie PA 1875

Builder: Adam and Noah Brown

Fate: Sunk for preservation 1815, raised 1875, lost in 1876 fire

Armament: 2 x long 12-pounders, 18 x short 32-pounder cannonades

Four other United States Navy ships have borne the name USS Lawrence in honor of James Lawrence.

USS Lawrence (1843), was also a brig decommissioned in 1846

USS Lawrence (DD-8), was a 400-ton Bainbridge-class destroyer, commissioned in 1903 and serving until 1920

USS Lawrence (DD-250), was a Clemson-class destroyer, serving from 1921 to 1945

USS Lawrence (DDG-4), was a Charles F. Adams-class destroyer commissioned in 1962, and serving until 1994

World War I

After America's entry into World War I, Lawrence was placed in full commission on 13 June 1917 to join coastal defense units. Arriving Balboa, Panama, on 29 July, she guarded the ocean approaches to the Panama Canal Zone until on 30 May 1918, when she steamed toward Key West. Upon her arrival there she operated as coastal escort and patrol ship. After the Armistice, Lawrence steamed to Philadelphia, arriving there on 1 February 1919. She decommissioned on 20 June and was sold to Joseph G. Hitner of Philadelphia on 3 January 1920.

USS Lawrence (DD-8) - History

USS Lawrence , first of a two-ship class of 400-ton destroyers built at Weymouth, Massachusetts, was commissioned in April 1903. She served along the East Coast and in the Caribbean for over four years, taking part in training and exercises. Late in 1907 she began a long voyage around South America, accompanying other destroyers and the battleships of the "Great White Fleet" to the Pacific Coast, her base for nearly a decade. In July 1917, following the United States' entry into the First World War, Lawrence moved to Central America, where she protected the entrances to the Panama Canal. This duty lasted until the end of May 1918, when her operating area was transferred to the area of Key West, Florida. Early in 1919, with the "Great War" at an end, she steamed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she remained until decommissioning in June. USS Lawrence was sold in January 1920.

USS Lawrence was named in honor of Captain James Lawrence (1781-1813), who lost his life while commanding the frigate Chesapeake in battle with HMS Shannon on 1 June 1813.

This page features, or provides links to, all the views we have related to Lawrence (Destroyer # 8).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

USS Lawrence (Destroyer # 8)

At anchor in an East Coast harbor, circa 1903-1908.
The second-class battleship Texas is in the right background.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 65KB 740 x 620 pixels

USS Lawrence (Destroyer # 8)

Halftone photograph reproduction, published by the Chilton Printing Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, showing the ship underway during the early 1900s. It may have been taken during her trials in 1903.

Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1972.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 63KB 740 x 480 pixels

USS Lawrence (Destroyer # 8)

Halftone photographic reproduction published on a postal card advertising "Dr. Miles' Restorative Nervine", a patent medicine. The image was copyrighted in 1907 by Underwood & Underwood.

Courtesy of Jack Howland, 1985.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 82KB 740 x 435 pixels

USS Lawrence (Destroyer # 8)

Anchored in a Pacific Coast harbor, probably on 26 May 1916.

Collection of Thomas P. Naughton, 1973.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 74KB 740 x 480 pixels

The ship seen in the following photograph is either Lawrence , or her sister ship Macdonough (Destroyer # 9):

USS Lawrence (Destroyer # 8)
USS Macdonough (Destroyer # 9)

Off the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, circa 1918.
The receiving ships Richmond (left) and Cumberland (center) are in the background, at the St. Helena Naval Training Station.

USS Lawrence (DD-8) - History

The USS St. Lawrence's keel was laid down in 1826 at the Norfolk Navy Yard but she remained incomplete due to escalating costs and a shortage of funds. Building was finally resumed during the Mexican War and the new frigate was finally launched early in 1848 (Frigate: tonnage 1,726 length between perpendiculars175' beam 45' depth of hold 14'5" complement 480 armament 8 8" shell guns, 42 32-pounders class Brandywine) and commissioned on August 17th of that year. US Navy, Captain Hiram Paulding (Below left) was appointed as her first Commander.

On August 29th 1848, the Navy Department, at the request of the Prussian Minister to the United States, directed Paulding to ‘appoint’ a Mister H. W. Foester as Master's Mate. The German States, then striving to establish a German Federation, had realised the need for a German navy and had asked the United States for help in establishing and training a national fighting force afloat.

The ship maiden voyage began on September 8th and headed eastward across the Atlantic to Cowes, on the Isle of Wight before reaching the mouth of the Weser River on October 7th. The following day, she was towed to Bremerhaven and remained there for the next seven weeks to allow Capt. Paulding visited several German states to discuss matters important to the establishment of their new navy. Finally departing Bremerhaven, ‘St. Lawrence’ received on board four Prussian midshipmen for training on the customs, discipline and seamanship which had made the United States Navy respected throughout the world.

The frigate left the mouth of the Weser on 22 November and reached Southampton, England, on December 2nd. She anchored there for more than a month while her officers and men concentrated on building good ties with their Royal Navy counterparts. From January 1849, the ship visited several European ports, again mainly on diplomatic duties before returning to New York to decommissioned there on November 15th.

Re-commissioned on February 5th 1851 with Commander Joshua Sands in command, the frigate departed New York on the 20th, carrying to England the exhibits from the United States for the International Exposition at London, the first modern world's fair. On her return voyage, she gave the United States Chargé d'Affairs in Portugal passage from Southampton to Lisbon, reaching New York on August 11th and decommissioned for a second time there, a week later.

Re-commissioned once more in November 1851, the USS St. Lawrence sailed in December for the Pacific. For the next three and a half years, she cruised along the west coast of North and South America, from Cape Horn to Puget Sound, occasionally venturing as far west as the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands. In 1853, she relieved ‘Raritan’ as flagship of the Pacific Squadron and continued this duty until she relinquished her role as flagship to ‘Independence’ on February 2nd 1855. She departed Valparaiso five days later and arrived at Hampton Roads on April 21st. She was placed in ordinary (operational storge) at Norfolk exactly a month later.

On September 1856, St. Lawrence sailed for the Atlantic coast of South America to become flagship of the Brazil Squadron early the next year. Her service on the Brazil Station was enlivened late in 1858 by the expedition to Paraguay to obtain redress for the unprovoked firing upon the USS Water Witch during surveying operations in the Parana River.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, the USS St. Lawrence was hurriedly prepared for action and commissioned on June 21st 1861, with Capt. Hugh Y. Purviance in command. She sailed for the Confederate coast eight days later but was delayed in the Lower Delaware by low tides until July 8th when she finally put to sea. After joining the Atlantic Blockading Squadron upon her arrival at Hampton Roads, she headed further south and captured the British Brig, ‘Herald’ off Cape Hatteras, N.C. That blockade runner had escaped from Beaufort, N.C., laden with naval stores and was bound for Liverpool. Capt. Purviance sent the prize to Hampton Roads and continued his voyage south.

On June 28th, a lookout on the frigate spotted a schooner flying English colors and gave chase. Some four hours later, as the ‘St. Lawrence’ was overhauling the schooner, the fleeing vessel ran up the Confederate flag and fired three shots. One caused damage to the frigate's mainsail and took a splinter out of the main yard. The ‘St. Lawrence’ answered with her forecastle battery and hit the schooner, wounding it mortally. Survivors revealed their ship had been the Confederate privateer, ‘Petrel’ of Charleston. Boats from the ‘St. Lawrence’ had rescued all but two of the privateer's 38 crewmen.

The frigate proceeded south and blockaded Savannah until returning to Hampton Roads in September where, after minor repairs and taking on provisions, she headed back to blockade duty off the Georgia coast. On October 19th 1861 when responsibility for blockading the Confederate Atlantic coast was divided, the USS St. Lawrence was assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. On November 6th, she captured the English schooner, ‘Jenny Lee’, en route for Nassau. The ‘St. Lawrence’ continued blockade duty, operating along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, until ordered north on January 27th 1862.

After replenishing her ammunition, provisions, and water at New York, the frigate sailed for the Virginia Capes for service in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, reaching Hampton Roads on March 6th and was on hand when Confederate ironclad ‘Virginia’ (formerly USS Merrimac) attacked Union warships there two days later. On the first day of combat, the gunboat, USS Cambridge towed the ‘St. Lawrence’ toward the scene of the action. As the two ships passed Sewell's Point, Southern batteries opened fire with shot and shell and made several hits, but did no serious damage. The two Union warships responded in kind but as they approached the battle, learned the ‘Cumberland’ had been sunk, the ‘Congress’ had surrendered and ‘Minnesota’ had run hard aground.

Within hours the ‘St. Lawrence’ had also grounded and whilst the ‘Cambridge and ‘Young America’ were attempting to refloat her, the CSS Virginia opened fire from some 900 yards distance. ‘St. Lawrence’ replied with rapid fire but her projectiles glanced harmlessly off the ironclad's greased armor. One 80-pound shell from Virginia penetrated St. Lawrence's starboard quarter just above the water line inflicting considerable damage to her wardroom pantry and to the Assistant Surgeon's stateroom. Toward dusk, the ‘Virginia’ retired, planning to resume the task of destroying the Union men-of-war after the return of daylight but the ‘St. Lawrence’ was refloated in time to withdraw to the anchorage at Fort Monroe. That night, the USS Monitor arrived and took position near the ‘Minnesota’, still hard aground. The following day, ‘Virginia’ returned to Hampton Roads and engaged the Monitor in their historic battle. After the actions in Hampton Roads, St. Lawrence served briefly in the Potomac to protect the Federal capital from attack by sea. She returned to Hampton Roads late in April, but was reassigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron.

Assigned to the 2d Torpedo Flotilla, Lawrence served along the East Coast and in the Caribbean for over four years, taking part in training and exercises off New England in the summer and out of Key West, Florida, in the winter. She decommissioned at Philadelphia 14 November 1906.

Recommissioned on 23 July 1907, Lawrence resumed operations with the Torpedo Flotilla out of Norfolk, Virginia until the following spring, when the flotilla conducted a long voyage around South America to San Diego to support the circumnavigation of the world by the battleships of the &ldquoGreat White Fleet.&rdquo Arriving there on 28 April 1908 she helped escort the battleships into San Francisco Bay on 6 May.

Assigned to the 3d Torpedo Flotilla, Lawrence served on the Pacific Coast for nearly a decade, patrolling as far north as Canada and south to Panama. The destroyer served off Mexico during the summer of 1914, protecting American and foreign nationals during the unrest accompanying the Mexican revolution.

Following the United States&rsquo entry into the First World War in April 1917, Lawrence moved to Central America, where she protected the entrances to the Panama Canal out of Balboa. This duty lasted until the end of May 1918, when she was transferred back to Key West. Early in 1919, with the &ldquoGreat War&rdquo at an end, she steamed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she remained until decommissioning 20 June. The old warship was sold to Joseph G. Hitner of Philadelphia on 3 January 1920.

The Museum

The USS Lexington arrived at Corpus Christi beach in 1992 as a result of active fundraising, strong community support, and the world’s oldest aircraft carrier has since served as a naval aviation museum, educational facility, and popular area tourist attraction. “The Blue Ghost” has remained self-sufficient, never receiving funds from government agencies. The revenue that keeps this national treasure open has come solely from grants, donations, admissions, Ships Store sales, special events, and the youth overnight program.

During the 1980’s the U.S. Navy came to realize that keeping in service its last remaining World War II Essex Class aircraft carrier was becoming increasingly expensive and that the USS Lexington would have to be replaced by a more modern ship. In August 1990, the Secretary of the Navy announced that the USS Forrestal would replace the USS Lexington as the Navy’s training carrier.

Because of Corpus Christi’s long and proud history with the Navy and naval aviation, in particular, the Corpus Christi Area Economic Development Commission formed a task force of prominent community leaders, known as Landing Force 16, to bring the “Blue Ghost” to the city. With an active fund-raising campaign in place and strong community support, the Corpus Christi City Council endorsed a $3 million dollar bond sale to finance the project. In August 1991, Landing Force 16 presented Corpus Christi’s proposal to Secretary of the Navy Lawrence Garrett, III. Although in stiff competition with several other communities, on the strength of community support, the USS Lexington was awarded to the Corpus Christi team.

On 29 January 1992, the USS Lexington arrived at Naval Station Ingleside and became a permanent Texas resident. On 8 June 1992, the United States Navy officially signed over the USS Lexington to city officials and on 17 June she was towed to her final berth on North Beach. The USS Lexington was opened to the public in October 1992, and on 14 November was dedicated in a formal ceremony attended by representatives of the City, State, and Federal governments, as well as former crew members and members of numerous veterans organizations.

From the very first day of operation as a naval aviation museum, the USS Lexington has remained totally self-sufficient, never having received funds from local, state or federal government agencies. The Museum has relied solely on revenues generated from grants, donations, admissions, ship’s store sales, special events, and the youth overnight program. These revenues have covered all expenses not only to operate and maintain the ship but also to fund all capital improvements as well.

USS William P. Lawrence celebrates Afridan-American History Month

Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Emiline Senn | PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 28, 2016) -- Command Master Chief Warren Britten gives opening remarks to the crew for the African American History Month talent show aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110). Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific, William P. Lawrence, commanded by Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor, is operating as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Emiline L. M. Senn/Released) see less | View Image Page



Courtesy Story

USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Emiline L. M. Senn

PACIFIC OCEAN – Members of the diversity committee on the guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) organized a talent show and ice cream social with cake cutting on the mess decks to wrap up African-American History Month, Feb. 28.

The talent show featured music, ranging from African-American inspired jazz from the ‘60s to modern songs, readings from present-day poets, and included a history lesson about this year’s theme, ‘Hallowed Ground: Sites of African-American Histories.’
“The diversity committee came together and decided to create ‘The Juke Joint,’ which historically was a [jazz club] where African-Americans came together when they didn’t have anything else,” said Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Cassandra Bowden, president of the diversity committee.

Bowden worked with her team to orchestrate events throughout the month to recognize African-American achievements, including documentary showings and trivia challenges over the ship’s general announcement system (1MC).

“Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we would get on the 1MC and read biographical facts about a prominent African-American figure,” said Bowden, “and whoever called the pilot house with the correct name first, would receive a ship’s coin.”

Every February, the Navy celebrates African-American History Month to recognize and honor African-American contributions to our service and our nation.

“Throughout our nation’s history, not everyone’s contributions have been equally represented,” said Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate Jaye Bell, chairman of the diversity committee. “It’s important to understand that minorities had a hand in building this nation … making it what it is today.”

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific, William P. Lawrence, commanded by Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor, is operating as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.
For more information, please visit www

USS Lawrence (DD-8) - History

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Watch the video: Top 10 Most Powerful Destroyers In The World in 2021