An early member of the Bainbridge class, the USS Hopkins (DD-6) was named for Esek Hopkins (1718 – 1802), Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy. The Bainbridge class was the United States Navy’s first class of oceangoing torpedo destroyer, a label later shortened in common use to just “destroyer.” She conducted training exercises, patrols, and escort missions during her 15-year career.
The USS Hopkins was launched on April 24, 1902 by Harlin & Hollingsworth Co. under the sponsorship of Esek Hopkins’ great-great-granddaughter, Mrs. Alice Gould Hawes. Hopkins was commissioned in September 23, 1903, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard with Lieutenant M. M. Taylor in command.
On May 12, 1904, Hopkins sailed from Philadelphia to join the Fleet of Norfolk. She spent two months conducting training before sailing to the Caribbean to take part in torpedo exercises and other training missions for the next three years.
Hopkins took part in the Presidential Review of the fleet in September 1906 off Oyster Bay, then (along with USS Lawrence) she escorted President Roosevelt to Cape Cod Bay.
From early December 1907 to May 1908, she accompanied the Atlantic Fleet on a long voyage around South America to join up with the Pacific Fleet for a shared fleet review by the Secretary of the Navy. This “practice cruise” trained crews in long-distance sea voyages and also carried out a diplomatic function, visiting a number of Central and South American ports. Hopkins was then assigned to the Pacific Torpedo Fleet.
In February of 1910, there was a serious boiler accident aboard Hopkins. For heroic actions in the aftermath of the accident, two water tenders aboard Hopkins were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Shortly after the United States entered into World War I at the beginning of April 1917, Hopkins sailed from the West Coast to the Panama Canal Zone for convoying and patrol duties. At the beginning of August 1917, she arrived in Virginia at Hampton Roads to take on escort and patrol duties down the coast to Bermuda, her mission through the end of the war.
After the war ended, Hopkins was decommissioned in June 1919 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Four months later, she was taken off the Navy List and in September 1920, she was sold for scrap to the Denton Shore Lumber Company.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Hopkins (DD-6)
Installing asbestos fireproofing and insulation was common in ships of this era. The Hopkins used such products to insulate engines, boilers, pumps and pipes. Asbestos was also used in some of her ropes and packing materials. The wide variety of asbestos products aboard this vessel put her crew at a significant risk for exposure to dangerous asbestos fibers. The harm occurs when these microscopic particles are inhaled. They can infiltrate the mesothelial lining, leading to scarring or cellular damage, and possibly mesothelioma.
The high concentration of asbestos aboard ships means that more Navy veterans suffer mesothelioma than any other service. If you or a member of your immediate family was diagnosed with an asbestos disease after sailing on the USS Hopkins, you might be able to claim compensation for the injury. Complete the form on this page to be sent our free mesothelioma information packet, which includes up-to-date facts about the disease and advice about your legal options.Sources
“Hopkins I”, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/h7/hopkins-i.htm) Retrieved 14 December 2010.