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USS Farquhar (DD-304)

USS Farquhar (DD-304) was one of 156 Clemson-class destroyers to be constructed for the U.S. Navy after World War. I. She was the first of two naval vessels to be named in honor of Rear Admiral Norman von Heldreich Farquhar, who was an officer in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. Farquhar is best known for having commanded a naval squadron after it had been wrecked in Apia, Samoa in 1889.


Farquhar was launched by Union Iron Works in San Francisco, California on January 18, 1919. She was sponsored by Mrs. J. Reed. Lieutenant Commander R.A. Hall took command of Farquhar on August 5, 1920.

As was the case with all Clemson-class destroyers, Farquhar was capable of reaching up to 35 knots. Clemson-class destroyers featured wing tanks on either side, making it possible for the ships to carry more fuel than the previous classes of destroyer ships. With the tanks located above the waterline, Clemson-class destroyers were more vulnerable to attack than the previous classes of destroyers.

Naval History

Following commissioning, Farquhar left her home port of San Diego to begin operations with the Pacific Fleet. She then began operations along the west coast, spanning from the coast of Washington state all the way to the Panama Canal Zone. During this time, Farquhar engaged in maneuvers, training and war problems.

In August 1921, Farquhar was called upon to rescue 42 passengers from SS San Jose after the ship had been stranded off the coast of Mexico. In 1924, she sailed to the Caribbean to participate in fleet concentrations. The following April, Farquhar participated in maneuvers in Hawaii, at which time she joined a large force in order to complete a cruise to Samoa, New Zealand and Australia. She returned to the west coast in September.

In 1927, Farquhar once again sailed to the Caribbean to participate in fleet concentrations. During this cruise, she sailed to New York; Newport, Rhode Island and Norfolk, Virginia before she sailed back to San Diego. In April the following year, Farquhar sailed to the Hawaiian Islands. Here, she participated in exercise with the complete Battle Fleet until June. In July the following year, she carried reservists for training.

Farquhar was decommissioned on February 20, 1930. Following decommissioning, she briefly served as a barracks ship for submarines. Farquhar was ultimately scrapped in accordance with the London Treaty, which called for the limitation of naval armaments. Her scrapped materials were sold on April 23, 1932.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Farquhar (DD-304)

In ships built before the 1930s, the asbestos risk was greatest in engineering compartments and around the ships pumps and pipes. Boilers of the era contained asbestos fire shields, and asbestos insulation was used to offset the huge amount of heat produced by the ships engines. Since any exposure to asbestos can be dangerous, every sailor that served aboard Farquhar had some risk. Navy veterans diagnosed with asbestos cancer can often receive compensation for their illness from the companies that manufactured the harmful asbestos products.



Farquhar. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center.

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