The USS Yarnall (DD-143) served in the US Navy for two decades in the early 20th century, and then in the navies of Great Britain, Canada, and the Soviet Union. She was named for Lieutenant John Joliffe Yarnall who served in the US Navy during the War of 1812 and the Second Barbary War. Yarnall was built as a Wickes-class ship.
Yarnall was laid down in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Company in February 1918, launched in June, and commissioned in November with Commander William F. Halsey, Jr., in command. Carrying a crew of 103, Yarnall was 314 feet, five inches long and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, two anti-aircraft guns, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Yarnall deployed with United States naval forces to France in 1919, and was then reassigned to Flotilla 6, Destroyer Squadron 4, Pacific Fleet at San Diego, California. In the fall of 1920, Yarnall was assigned to duty in the Far East and returned to the United States in the summer of 1921. She was decommissioned at San Diego in May 1922 until being reactivated in April 1930. Yarnall alternated between the west and east coasts until being decommissioned again at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in December 1936.
Yarnall was reactivated, with Lieutenant Commander John G. Winn in command, in October 1939, and assigned to Destroyer Squadron 11 of the Atlantic Squadron. Operating out of Norfolk, Virginia, Yarnall was deployed with the Neutrality Patrol until the fall of 1940, and then turned over to the Royal Navy of Great Britain, and decommissioned by the US Navy in October 1940. The same day, she was commissioned as HMS Lincoln by the Royal Navy.
The formal Yarnall was assigned to the First Escort Group, Western Approaches Command, in November, and escorted troop transports and cargo convoys from mid-ocean locations to the British Isles. She was renamed HMCS Lincoln when deployed with the Royal Canadian Navy in July 1942, and placed in reserve in Great Britain in 1944. In August, the former Yarnall was transferred to the Soviet Navy, renamed Druzhny, and used for spare parts for other ships sent to the Soviet Union. In August 1952, the hulk of the former Yarnall returned to Great Britain and in September she was broken up for scrap.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Yarnall (DD-143)
Using asbestos insulation in the design of naval ships was ordered by law in the US in the early 1930s, after a fire at sea on a luxury liner caused the deaths of 137 passengers and crew. Navy ships like Yarnall installed asbestos extensively, particularly in engines and engine rooms, as well as in fireproofing in the other sections of the ship.
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Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-143. (http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd143txt.htm) Retrieved 23 December 2010. NavSource Naval History, USS Yarnall (DD-143).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/143.htm) Retrieved 23 December 2010.