USS Hale (DD-133)/ HMS Caldwell

USS Hale (DD-133)/ HMS Caldwell

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USS Hale (DD-133)/ HMS Caldwell

USS Hale (DD-133) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the US Neutrality Patrol before becoming HMS Caldwell and carrying out convoy escort duties for the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy.

The Hale was named after Senator Eugene Hale, a politician who played a part in the birth of the 'New Navy', the modernisation of the US Navy that began in the early 1880s.

The Hale was launched at Bath, Maine, on 29 May 1919 and commissioned on 12 June 1919. She joined Destroyer Squadron 3 of the Atlantic Fleet, and on 11 July 1919 left the United States for European waters. After a series of goodwill visits to European and North Africa ports she moved to the Adriatic in October to help implement the terms of the Austro-Hungarian armistice, and then moved to Turkish waters. She was used to carry relief officials, freight and refugees between Greece, Bulgaria and Russia, before returning to the United States on 31 March 1920. After two years of peacetime operations off the East Coast she was decommissioned on 22 June 1922.

The Hale was recommissioned on 1 May 1930 and joined the Scouting Fleet, before moving to the West Coast to operate with the Battle Fleet in the spring of 1931. She took part in manoeuvres and helped development the techniques of carrier operations, before being placed back into the reserve on 9 April 1937. During this period she also served at the Naval Research Laboratory, where she was painted in one of a series of experimental camouflage schemes.

The Hale was recommissioned on 30 September 1939 and joined the neutrality patrol, initially in the Caribbean, from bases at Galveston and Key West. She was then chosen as one of the fifty destroyers to be given to Britain under the destroyers for bases deal, and on 6 September 1940 she arrived at Halifax, where on 9 September she transferred to the Royal Navy, becoming HMS Caldwell.

As HMS Caldwell

The Caldwell was used to escort convoys across the Atlantic, and then in the Caribbean. In mid-1942 she joined the Royal Canadian Navy for operations in the Atlantic. On 18 December 1942 she was so heavily damaged by a storm that she was disabled and was drifting helplessly when the Wanderer found her on 21 December. She had to be towed to St. John's for repairs, and then move to Boston for full repairs. She resumed operations with the RCN, but on 1 December 1943 she entered the reserve in the Tyne. She was sold for scrap on 23 February 1945.

Displacement (standard)

1,160t (design)

Displacement (loaded)

Top Speed

35kts (design)
35.34kts at 24,610shp at 1,149t on trial (Wickes)


2 shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers
24,200shp (design)


3,800nm at 15kts on trial (Wickes)
2,850nm at 20kts on trial (Wickes)

Armour - belt

- deck


314ft 4in


30ft 11in

Armaments (as built)

Four 4in/50 guns
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple tubes
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement



29 May 1919


12 June 1919

Sold for scrap

23 February 1945

USS Hale (DD-133)/ HMS Caldwell - History

(DD-133: dp. 1,090(n.) l. 314'5" b. 31'8", dr. 8'8" s. 35 k. cpl. 113 a. 4 4", 2 3-pdrs., 12 21" tt. cl. Wickes )

The first Hale (DD-133) was launched by the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, 29 May 1919, sponsored by Miss Mary Hale, granddaughter of Senator Hale and commissioned at Boston 12 June 1919, Comdr. Allan S. Farquhar in command.

Hale joined Destroyer Squadron 3, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and after training exercises departed 11 July 1919 for Europe. On this cruise, the ship paid goodwill visits to European and Mediterranean ports, assisted in the execution of the Austrian Armistice in October, and joined the American detachment in Turkish waters. Hale then carried refugees, relief officials, and freight between the ports of Greece, Bulgaria, and Russia, showing the flag in the vital Mediterranean and Balkan area. She returned to Philadelphia 31 March 1920 and resumed her schedule Of training and development exercises along the Eastern Coast. Hale decommissioned at Philadelphia 22 June 1922 and remained in reserve until 31 May 1930, when she recommissioned.

Departing Philadelphia 15 May, Hale took part in refresher training operations and then resumed readiness exercises on the East Coast. She participated in Scouting Fleet maneuvers in early 1931 in the Caribbean, and arrived San Diego via the Panama Canal 4 April 1931. For the next few years Hale participated in maneuvers with the Battle Force along the California coast and spent much time perfecting the techniques of modern carrier tactics with carriers Saratoga and Lexington. The destroyer decommissioned once more at San Diego 9 April 1937.

Hale recommissioned at San Diego 30 September 1939, at a time of mounting crisis in both oceans, and departed 25 November for neutrality patrol in the Caribbean. Her base was changed to Galveston 22 February 1940, and later to Key West, but the ship continued to patrol the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. At Philadelphia 1 September 1940 she prepared for transfer to Great Britain as a part of the famous destroyers for bases agreement. She arrived Halifax 6 September 1940 and decommissioned 3 days later, Entering the Royal Navy, she became HMS Caldwell.

During her career in the British Navy, Caldwell was assigned to escort duty in the Atlantic and later in the Caribbean, as Britain tried desperately to cope with the German U-boat menace. She joined the Royal Canadian Navy in mid-1942, and while returning to St. John's, Newfoundland, 18 December 1942, was seriously damaged during a heavy gale. She became disabled, and was found drifting helplessly by Wanderer 21 December. Caldwell was then towed to St. John's and later to Boston. Ready for sea again in May 1943, the ship resumed convoy duty with the Royal Canadian Navy until 1 December, when she returned to Tyne and was placed in reserve. Caldwell was broken up for scrap in September 1944.

USS Hale (DD-133)/ HMS Caldwell - History

Battle of Britain:
RAF Bomber Command: 4 Group. 78 Sqn. 1 aircraft crashed on landing at Linton-on-Ouse. Crew safe. 51 Sqn. 1 aircraft ditched 120 miles off Firth of Forth on return from Bremen. 1 crew member killed, over 5 safe.
Bombing - Bremen shipyards - industrial targets at Berlin.
51 Sqn. Nine aircraft to Bremen. One returned early, six bombed primary. One badly damaged and ditched on return, four rescued, one drowned.
58 Sqn. Four aircraft. Three bombed primary, one bombed Wesermunde.
78 Sqn. Four aircraft to Berlin. Two bombed primary, two bombed alternatives. Three aircraft to Bremen, all bombed successfully.
2 Group: 101 Sqn. Invasion barges at Antwerp. 1 aircraft FTR. Two crew saved.

RAF Fighter Command: Thames Estuary and Southampton are attacked. Major attack with some 200 bombers on London frustrated by 11 and 12 Groups, jettisoned bombs damaging suburbs widely.

There are scattered showers and thundery in the east but the English. Channel is fair. During the day, one main attack is made in the afternoon by some 300 aircraft in the direction of Thames Estuary/South London and Biggin Hill but only a section penetrated to Central London. There are also a number of enemy reconnaissances, mostly over Convoys on East Coast. In the East, one raid is reported to have made an early morning attack on a Trawler, 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Lowestoft. Four raids made a reconnaissance of convoys off East Anglian Coast, of which one also penetrated to Bury St Edmunds. Two raids crossed Lincolnshire Coast. Interception is made by without success. In the South East, one early raid to Clacton and another from Beachy Head to Central London and back over Hastings. Later in the morning a raid of three aircraft approached the Kent coast. Fighters unsuccessfully attempted interception. Apart from patrols in Calais/Boulogne, France, area, there is little Luftwaffe activity until 1605 hours when formations began to mass in Calais/Boulogne area. From 1655 hours an attack in force on the South East crossed the Coast between North Foreland and Cover. German strength is estimated at some 300 aircraft amongst which there are reported to have been six four-engined aircraft with strong fighter escort. Up to 1730 hours the main trend is towards the Estuary and South London, though one raid of about 35 aircraft penetrated to Central London. A general drift Westwards then developed, and small raids are plotted as far West as Salisbury. The Luftwaffe withdrew in small groups and during this period Dover is shelled. 24 Squadrons of fighters are detailed to this attack, inflicting heavy casualties, and an intercepted instruction from Gruppe Headquarters read "Break off task if fighter opposition is too strong." Later it is reported that shipping off Dover is attacked by enemy seaplanes with fighter escort.

During the night of 9/10 September, the main target is London, including the City and West End. The usual stream of raids started to come out of Cherbourg and the Somme, France, about 2000 hours, crossing the coast between Isle of Wight and Dungeness, all proceeding to the London area, where again four to five raids are maintained for most of the period. From about 0230 hours the method of approach changed and activity increased. Raids have by this time practically ceased to come out of French Coast and are replaced by a larger series of raids from the Dutch Islands via the Thames Estuary into the London area, homing over Dungeness. Soon after 0430 hours the last raids are leaving the London Area and by 0455 hours the country is clear of enemy raids. There are a few raids before midnight in South Wales, Bristol, Midlands and one to Liverpool, and later raids spread up the East Coast with a few penetrations inland. Minelaying is suspected between Newcastle and Middlesborough. Dover is reported to have been shelled several times during the night.

Today, RAF Fighter Command claimed 50-9-13 Luftwaffe aircraft and antiaircraft batteries claimed 2-2-0 aircraft the RAF lost 20 aircraft with five pilots killed or missing.

Destroyers HMS Clare, Churchill, Chesterfield, Chelsea, Castleton, Campbeltown, Cameron and Caldwell commissioned.

NORTH SEA: Cruiser HMS Galatea is damaged by an acoustic mine in the Thames Estuary.

FRANCE : The French light cruisers FR Gloire, Montcalm and Georges Leygues and their destroyer escort leave Toulon, France, for Dakar, French West Africa. They reach Dakar safely on 14 September.

Berlin: Hitler postpones the invasion of England until 24 September.
The Luftwaffe General Staff announces that the demise of Fighter Command is near, and issues new instructions for the systematic destruction of London. Luftlotte 2 will undertake daylight raids against key military and commercial targets in Greater London, while Luftlotte 3 would bomb the areas of government and docks.

The Germans warn that all ships in the war zones defined by the Axis powers are subject to attack.

PALESTINE : Italian planes bomb Tel Aviv.

INDIA : In Pondicherry, French Governor Bonvin proclaims the French Settlements in India's adhesion to Free France.

CANADA : The Second Victory Loan campaign begins to raise CDN$300 million (US$249 million).

U.S.A. : A Naval Appropriations bill becomes law in the US. This 5.5 billion dollar authorization will provide 210 new ships including 7 battleships and 12 carriers.
The first 8 overage USN destroyers in the destroyers-for-bases deal, are transferred to the RN at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

USS Aaron Ward (DD-132), commissioned as HMS Castleton (I-23), USS Buchanan (DD-131), commissioned as HMS Campbeltown (I-42), USS Abel P. Upshur (DD-193), commissioned as HMS Clare (I-14), USS Welles (DD-257), commissioned as HMS Cameron (I-05), USS Welborn C. Wood (DD-195), commissioned as HMS Chesterfield (I-28), and USS Hale (DD-133), commissioned as HMS Caldwell (I-20), part of the destroyers-for-bases deal.

USS Crowninshield (DD-134), is commissioned as HMS Chelsea (I-35), and USS Herndon (DD-198), is commissioned as HMS Churchill (I-45). In 1944 Chelsea as Dzerki and Churchill as Dyatelnyi will be transferred to Russia as Dzerki and returned to the Royal Navy in 1949. Churchill will be the last war loss of the class and the only one of the destroyers transferred to Russia to be lost. (Ron Babuka)

Don McNeill and Alice Marble win the national tennis titles at Forrest Hills, New York.

ATLANTIC OCEAN : U-28 sank SS Mardinian in Convoy SC-2.
U-47 sank SS Possidon in Convoy SC-2.

USS Hale

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