USS Sampson (DD-63) was the first of the Sampson-class destroyers built for the US Navy. She was also the first of four Navy ships to be named in the honor of Admiral William T. Sampson, who served in the US Navy from 1857-1902. Admiral Sampson was best known for his victory in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
USS Sampson was laid down by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Quincy, Massachusetts on April 21, 1915. She was sponsored by Miss Marjorie Sampson Smith and was launched on March 4, 1916. On June 27, 1916, Commander B. C. Sampson took command of Sampson at the Boston Navy Yard.
Sampson conducted shakedown training at Narragansett Bay, after which she was assigned to Division 9 of the Atlantic Destroyer Force. Following war games off Provincetown, Massachusetts, Sampson joined in the escort screen of a convoy that reached Queenstown, Ireland in May 1917. She then reported for duty in European waters where she assisted with convoy escort duty in the British Isles. After having two British-type depth charge projectors installed on her stern, she began protecting troop transports and merchant convoys from hostile submarines until the end of World War I. Prior to the end of World War I, Sampson responded to several distress calls, including rescuing several survivors from the English Monarch and Elle on June 18 and 19 in 1917.
On December 12, 1918, Sampson assisted with the escort of SS George Washington, which was carrying President Woodrow Wilson to Brest, France. She returned to Queenstown two days later before sailing for home later that month. She arrived at the New York Navy Yard on January 7, 1919. Here, she underwent repairs before being assigned to the 4th Division, 2d Flotilla, of the Destroyer Force.
After her reassignment, Sampson sailed to the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport, Rhode Island where she reported to the Inspector of Ordnance. Here, she participated in experimental testing of torpedoes and mines. This duty was interrupted in May 1919 when she was called to assist in guarding the route of the NC-4 seaplane as it completed the world’s first trans-oceanic flight.
In December 1919, Sampson entered the New York Navy Yard for deactivation overhaul. This was completed in February of 1921, after which she was towed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She was decommissioned on June 15, 1921 until she was ordered scrapped on July 17, 1935 as part of the London Treat for the reduction of naval armaments. Her name was struck from the Navy list on January 7, 1936 and she was sold for scrap to Boston Iron and Metal Company, Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland 8 months later.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Sampson (DD-63)
Ships like Sampson used asbestos-containing materials extensively in boilers and engineering spaces, and to insulate pipes all through the vessel. Asbestos had long been known for its excellent insulating properties, but was later discovered to be the cause of a cancer known as mesothelioma. Sailors that served on the USS Sampson face an increased risk of this deadly disease as a result of their asbestos exposure while on board.
If you or a family member suffered an asbestos-related illness as a result of naval service, there may be legal avenues that will provide compensation for your injury. A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can counsel you about your options and steps in the litigation process. Because accurate information on malignant mesothelioma isn't always easy to find we've published a mesothelioma information package that contains information about legal options and treatment resources, along with a list of mesothelioma clinics nationwide. All you have to do is complete the form on this page and we'll send you your free kit.Sources
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
http://www.destroyers.org/DANFS/h-DD-63.htm Retrieved 14 December 2010