The USS Jenkins (DD-42) was a destroyer which served in the US Navy during World War I. Some histories list her as a Monaghan-class destroyer while others consider her a modified Paulding-class vessel. She was named after Thornton A. Jenkins, a 19th century naval hero who took the surrender of Port Hudson in 1873. She was the first of three naval vessels to bear the name Jenkins. She was armed with five three-inch guns and six torpedo tubes, had a crew of 83 officers and men, and could make 29 knots.
On March 24, 1911, the Bath Iron Works laid down Jenkins and she launched just over a year later on April 29, 1912. She was sponsored by the daughter of Rear Admiral Jenkins, Miss Alice Jenkins, and commissioned less than two months later in June 1912 under the command of Lieutenant Commander E. H. Delany.
Jenkins was based out of Newport, Rhode Island until April 1914, training along the east coast and in the Caribbean, when she set sail for Tampico, Mexico to support the American occupation of Vera Cruz during the Mexican Revolution.
In the early years of World War I Jenkins patrolled the North American coastline searching for German U-boats. In May 1917 she sailed to Europe and conducted convoys, patrols, and anti-submarine missions from her base in Queenstown, Ireland. Jenkins had encounters with a number of German submarines but without recorded result. Jenkins also rescued survivors from a number of sunken merchantmen during this period.
In January 1918 she was damaged during gunnery exercises, when a shell from the battleship USS New York struck her accidentally. One crewman, Seaman Second Class Wiliam Lusso, was killed as a result. This was Jenkins’ only weapons-related fatality.
Shortly after the November 1918 signing of the Armistice, Jenkins set sail for home. She returned to Boston, arriving on January 3, 1919. She continued patrols and operations along the east coast until July 1919, when she was sent to Philadelphia for decommissioning. Jenkins was formally decommissioned on October 13, 1919, and was scrapped in 1935 in conformance with the terms of the London Naval Treaty.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Jenkins (DD-42)
Asbestos has long been known for its resistance to fire and heat. Unfortunately, it has also been demonstrated to be the primary factor in the development of debilitating diseases like mesothelioma. Sailors aboard the Jenkins face an increased risk for this and other diseases because asbestos products were used throughout the ship, particularly around her engines, pumps and boilers.
If you served on the USS Jenkins or helped construct or scrap this vessel and were later diagnosed with an asbestos related illness, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injury. Learn more about mesothelioma and your legal rights in our free information packet. Just submit the form on this page to be sent this valuable guide right away.
“Jenkins [I].” Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/j2/jenkins-i.htm. Updated 10 April 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
Hartwell, Joe. “USS Jenkins, DD-42 WWI "Flivver Type" Destroyer.”
http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cacunithistories/USS_Jenkins.html. Updated 15 February 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2010.