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U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann .The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
USS Ringgold (DD-89), 27 December 1918 - History
USS Ringgold was formally transferred to Great Britain 26 November 1940 at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and renamed Newark in honour of towns in both Great Britain and the United States. Although manned initially by a Royal Canadian Navy care and maintenance party, Newark was commissioned for Royal Navy service 5 December 1940, Lt. Comdr. R. H. W. Atkins, RN, in command.
Newark was damaged in collision with her sister Newmarket 9 December 1940, necessitating repairs that delayed her departure for British waters. Standing out of Halifax 4 February 1941 in company with H.M.S. Wells, she encountered a heavy gale and subsequently developed engine trouble. Towed back to Halifax, Newark again departed 26 February 1941 and arrived at Belfast 5 March and Plymouth, England 9 March 1941.
Assigned to the 17th Destroyer Division, Newark participated in escort duty for the 1st Mine-laying Division operating in the Irish Sea and for the Iceland ferry service. She suffered minor bomb damage in an air attack at Belfast on the night of 4-5 May 1941 but resumed active duty that August. While in company with H.M.S. Southern Prince 25 August 1941, Newark was hit by a torpedo forward and had to be escorted into Belfast. Following completion of repairs in May 1942, Newark rejoined the 17th Destroyer Division. She assisted H.M.S. Castleton in rescuing survivors of the German submarine U-464 on 20 August 1942.
Newark was transferred to the Rosyth Escort Force during 1944, operating in the North Sea and in waters north of the British Isles on antisubmarine duty. In January 1945 she became an aircraft target ship under orders of the Rear Admiral, Northern Air Stations. Newark was scrapped at Botness on 18 February 1947.
USS Ringgold (DD-89), 27 December 1918 - History
Following the passage of the Selective Service Act and the registration of approximately 10,000,000 men on June 5, 1917, the problem of housing had been solved, but only on paper. The War Department called for sixteen National Army cantonments having a capacity of roughly 40,000 men each, grounds for drill, maneuvers and target ranges which would be adequate for the training needs of such an encampment.
A single track electric railway ran between Des Moines and Perry, Iowa, inadequate for heavy freight traffic and geared more for civilian passengers.
By November 24th the buildings that were authorized for Camp Dodge were completed, which included a base hospital with two officers' quarters, 129 individual heating plants, a 131,052 foot-long sewer system, water mains 170,355 feet-long, pumping stations, and a million-gallon water reservoir. The Civic Center, centrally located in the camp, was erected with the purpose of attending to the welfare of the soldiers, containing theatre with the seating capacity of 3,000. Within this complex was a Y.M.C.A., a hostess house, a Lutheran Brotherhood building, a Knights of Columbus auditorium, and a library which was erected by the American Library Association.
In compliance with the War Department's order, the 88th Division commenced on August 25, 1917, with Major General Edward H. PLUMMER assuming command.
Major General PLUMMER was directed to organize the 88th as follows:
337th Machine Gun Battalion
175th Infantry Brigade
Bri. Gen Charles C. BALLOU (never joined the brigade)
Maj. Peter J. HENNESSEY, Col. George E. HOULE, Lt. Col. John J. RYAN
MOTTO: "Liberty & Rights" Campaign Credit: Alsace, France
Maj. Horace N. MUNRO, Lt. Col. Rush S. WELLS
MOTTO: "Fidelity & Service" Campaign Credit: Alsace, France
338th Machine Gun Battalion
176th Infantry Brigade
Maj. R. B. ELLIS, Lt. Col. James F. McKINLEY
MOTTO: "Toujours Pret" (Always Ready) Campaign Credit: Alsace, France
Maj. Henry A. MEYER, Col. Clyde E. HAWKINS
339th Machine Gun Battalion
163D Field Artillery Brigade
337th Field Artillery
Col. George R. GREENE
MOTTO: "Cedo nulil" (I Yield to None) Campaign Credit: Steamer without inscription
338th Field Artillery
Lt. Col Francis W. HONEYCUTT
MOTTO: "Deo et Patria" (God & Country) Campaign Credit: Steamer without inscription
339th Field Artillery
Col. Samuel C. VESTAL
MOTTO: "Expugnare" (To Conquer) Campaign Credit: Steamer without inscription
313th Trench Mortar Battery
313th Train Headquarters & Military Police
313th Ammunition Train,
Lt. Co. Robert R. WALLACH
MOTTO: "Haec Manus ob Partiam" (This Hand for my Country) Campaign Credit: Alsace, France
313th Supply Train, Co.
James P. HARBESON (division trains)
Brig. Gen. Harrison J. PRICE,
All incoming drafted men came through the Depot Brigade before being permanently assigned to the division. Here, as applicable, the men saw specialists such as chemists, psychologists, doctors, and so on. The Depot Brigade also took care of men physically unfit for combatant branches of the service prior the discharge.
The Division had been organized by September 5, 1917, almost complete in officers but without enlisted personnel. On September 5th the first drafted men began to arrive at Camp Dodge, coming from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and central Illinois. They came without any concept of military life.
Initial training focused on physical drill.
On July 22, 1918, the War Department sent a telegram containing instruction for the movement of the Division to the Port of Embarkation. Two detachments left Camp Dodge on the night of July 28, headed for Camp Upton located at Long Island, New York. On August 3rd, the Advance School Detachment sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, arriving at Brest on August 11th, and from there proceeded to Chatillion-sur-Seine, site of the 3d Corps School. The Advance Detachment and Billeting Party sailed about the Cunard Liner "Aquitania" on August 6th, arriving in Liverpool, England on August 12th. After a four days rest, they landed at Cherbourg, France on August 16th, and proceeded to Semur, Cote d'Or where they established their headquarters.
The 349th Infantry sailed on the White Star Liner "Olympic" on August 9th, arriving at Southampton England on August 16th, then proceeding on to Le Havre.
The Regiment Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the 1st Battalion, Medical Department, and the 350th Machine Gun Company and 350th Supply Company sailed aboard the H.M.S. "Delta" on August 11th, arriving at Tilbury- on-Thames August 25th, and Cherbourg on August 29th. On August 15th, the 1st Battalion Headquarters, Company M of the Supply Company, the Medical Detachment of the 352D Infantry, and the 337th Machine Gun Battalion sailed from New York aboard the "Ascanius" of the Blue Funnel Line, arriving at Liverpool on August 28th, and at Cherborg on September 1st.
The 339th Machine Gun Battalion sailed from Philadelphia on August 14th aboard the Blue Funnel Line "Phens", arriving in Liverpool on August 27th, and at Le Havre on August 30th.
On August 15th, the 3D Battalion and Company G of the 350th Infantry, and the 338th Machine Gun Battalion sailed from Hoboken aboard the H.M.S. "Kashmir." The remainder of the 350th Infantry sailed the same day aboard the "Messanabie." The "Messanabie" and H.M.S. "Kasmir" arrived at Liverpoor on August 28th, and arrived at Cherbourg on September 1st.
The U.S.S. "Ulysses" sailed in a convoy with "Ascanius" from Philadelphia with the 2nd Battalion and the the 3D Battalion of the 351st Infantry [minus Co. M of the 352D Infantry], landing at Liverpool on August 28th and on to Le Havre on August 30. Company M of the 352D Infantry sailed from Philadelphia aboard the "City of Exeter" on August 14th, arriving in Manchester, England on the 29th and then at Le Havre August 31st.
The remainder of the 88th Division embarked as follows:
The remainder of the 351st Infantry sailed aboard the "Saxon" and the "Scotian", arriving at Liverpool August 28th, then proceeded on to Cherborg. The 313th Ammunition Train and the 313 Sanitary Train sailed August 18th aboard the "Vedic", arriving in Liverpool August 31st and at Le Havre September 5th. The 313th Field Signal Battalion sailed August 17 aboard H.M.S. "Bohemia", arriving in Liverpool August 31st before proceeding to Le Havre. Division Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment and Headquarters Troop sailed from Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, August 21st aboard H.M.S. "Demosthenes" and arrived at Liverpool August 21st and then at Le Havre September 4th. The 313th Supply Train sailed aboard H.M.S. "Empress of Britain" on August 23th, arriving at Liverpool September 4th and at Le Havre on September 7th.
The 163D Field Artillery Brigade and the 313th Trench Mortar Battery arrived in France [date not provided], but those units did not join the 88th in France. The 163D Field Artillery Brigade went into training at Clermont, Ferrand, and Bordeaus, France, destined to never be sent to the front, and returned to the United States soon after the armistice was signed.
The entire front was approximately 19 kilometers long with "No Man's Land" ranging in width from a kilometer at some points to less than 300 meters at others. This territory had been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting however both sides had come to a standstill - facing one another and content to maintain a defensive stance by the time of the arrival of the 88th. The German troops were Divisions of the Army Detachment "B" under the command of General V. GUNDELL who maintained headquarters at Colmar, the 30th Bavarian Reserve Division under the command of Lieutenant General BERG, and the 44th Landwehr Division under the command of General D. Inf. KRAUSE.
When the 88th arrived, the entire sector was traversed with abandoned trenches partially filled with water, caved-in revetments, and a labyrinth of barbed wire. No Man's Land was a maze of shell holes and old fortifications, overgrown with brush and weeds. Upon their arrival, the entire 313th Engineer Regiment went to work rehabilitating and strengthening the essential parts of the trench system. The infantry cleaned up the sector and made the dugouts and trenches habitable.
The first casualties in action occurred during the night of October 12th-13th when the Germans launched a raid on the 2D Battalion of the 350th Infantry. During the attack, Captain Peter V. BRETHORST, Sergeant J. A. HORA, Privates Fred G. EKSTROM and Clinton F. LESAN of Company F Privates Willie LEROY, Fred R. CRESWELL, and Pat MORRIS of Company G were fatally wounded when they were struck by shrapnel. Eight enlisted men along with Captain Henry A. HOUSE of Company E and Captain Orren E. SAFFORD of Company G were captured in No Man's Land. Approximately eighteen Americans and three Frenchmen were wounded.
On October 18th the Germans attempted a raid on the 351st Infantry stationed in Schnoholz Woods, located on a steep hill. The German raid was completely repulsed within twenty minutes. During this action Private Edgar L. McCORD of Company I was killed at his post, and Private Harley MILLER, also of Company I, was wounded.
The 88th was retired from front line duty in November. The morale of the troops was excellent, and their fighting ability had been amply demonstrated in four raids against the enemy.
The Armistice went into effect at 11 o'clock on November 11th, 1918. The 88th Division was demobilized in June of 1919, Camp Dodge.
U.S. Destroyer which lost its' bow
Post by captain_wright » 26 May 2009, 02:09
Can someone name the destroyer which lost its' bow due to a collision with a tanker?
The story about this desteoyer and its' bow was on the History channels' "Deep Sea Detectives".
Re: U.S. Destroyer which lost its' bow
Post by Takao » 26 May 2009, 20:51
Re: U.S. Destroyer which lost its' bow
Post by Martti » 26 May 2009, 20:53
It was the appropriately-named USS Murphy (DD-603).
Note that ships lost or severly damaged (including lost bows or fantails) during collisions was hardly unheard-of. A quick seach includes the following:
CA-29 Chicago collided with freighter Silver Palm on 25.10.1933, bow severly damaged, three killed.
BB-56 Washington collided with BB-58 Indiana on 1.2.1944, bow severly damaged.
DD-500 Ringgold collided with DD-541 Yarnall on 4.3.1945, Ringgold lost her bow, Yarnall had one killed, six injured.
DD-510 Eaton collided with BB-64 Wisconsin in 1956, bow severly damaged.
AVD-11 Thornton collided with AO-51 Ashtabula and AO-70 Escalante on 5.4.1945.
DD-308 William Jones collided with DD-298 Percival on 31.1.1926.
DD-846 Ozbourn collided with DD-717 Theodore E. Chandler in 1948 and lost her bow.
HMS Newark (ex-USS DD-89 Ringgold) collided with HMS Newmarket (ex-USS DD-88 Robinson) on 5.12.1940 and again with HMS Volunteer on 10.4.1941.
There are other examples in US Navy, and more similar occurances in other navies.
Some Notes Concerning RN Destroyer Pendant Numbers
Taken from the MARHST-L maritime history list, the following discussion concerns the "pendant numbers" (ie the number/character signal codes used in the Royal Navy to identify individual ships) used by RN destroyers during the Great War. These changed frequently, and can be a source of frustration when trying to use them to identify ships in photographs. The scholar of WW2 has an easier task, as they tended to be more static during that conflict, and reference lists are much easier to find.
This correspondance was triggered by a request to identify which destroyer it was who sported "85" on her hull- hence the Who was "85"? subtopic below.
Probably the best reference to RN pendant numbers of WW1 is British Warships 1914-1919 , by F. J. Dittmar & J. J. Colledge (Ian Allen, 1972), even though it can be hard to find. It lists the pendant numbers for all Commonwealth warships during the War, but unfortunately these numbers are recorded by ship, and there is no separate index by pendant number.
Pendant Numbers (pronounced "pennant numbers") were used by the Royal Navy (and the Commonwealth navies) as a means of identifying individual ships by signal hoist. Smaller vessels often had them painted-up on the hull: these are the numbers you can see in old photographs.
"-" Flag Superior" was the alphabetic "leading character" that was sometimes part of the numbering scheme.
This photograph shows HMCS Sackville, the Canadian Naval Memorial, in Halifax Nova Scotia. Although of World War 2 vintage, the K181 painted on her hull typifies Commonwealth pendant numbers. The "Flag Superior" was "K".
In August 2003, Bob Todd posted the following on MARHST-L:
RN Pendant were promulgated on Pendant Board lists which were produced at irregular intervals and not all of them have survived. Each list superseded the previous one. Some of them came into effect almost immediately but at the end of the First World War it was often a couple of months before they became effective. The following lists are known to have survived: 6 December 1914 22 February 1915 24 April 1915 5 June 1915 31 July 1915 1 November 1915 2 January 1916 2 March 1916 15 April 1916 6 October 1917 31 December 1917 24 April 1918 effective 14 June 19 July 1918 effective 13 September 22 January 1919 30 September 1919 effective 1 November.
To paraphrase Anthony Preston in V&W CLASS DESTROYERS (1971) in 1914 all destroyers had pendant/pennant numbers with flag superior D or H for fleet destroyers while some older vessels used P. Distinguishing letters were dropped at the beginning of the war and new lists of numbers prepared. At first all Grand Fleet destroyers had the flag superior "F" but "G" was added later. As destroyers were dispersed the numbering system became more widespread. In 1920 a new list was issued with all destroyers having the flag superior "D" or "H".
Pre-war and up to late 1915 the pendant number was not normally painted on the hull, but the class letter often was pre-war (e.g., "L" class destroyers carried an L). Destroyers were ordered to paint their pendant number on the hull in 1915, although the practice was not standard until September 1916. Leaders did not normally paint on their numbers, destroyer minelayers changed theirs frequently.
LeFleming in WARSHIPS OF WORLD WAR ONE says that numbers were changed frequently to confuse the enemy. He mentions the early series of numbers that included the D0A-D9A variety, etc.
The wartime "F" and "G" lists generally followed the alphabetical listing of the ships' names within the flotilla. "If F20 was allocated to the leader of the . 30th Flotilla, F21 to F28 would belong to the [original] destroyers of her division" in alphabetical order.
Vanquisher was F85 from September 1918 to September 1919. If your photo is a V&W that must be her. No V&W carried D, H or L85.
Jane's 1919 and 1924 provide no information on pendant numbers. Jane's 1930 gives Shikari as D85 and Rowena as H85.
(From Jack Arrowsmith ([email protected]), 27 Jan 1997)
IIRC, the RN introduced Pendant numbers in 1914, and then during WWI changed them irregularly - to confuse the enemy - and every body else, I think. I have managed to track down Pendant's for destroyers 1914-15, and as yet I have had no success with 1916-18, as well I'm not sure but ships in the Far East may have worked under there own system as I find ship's go out there and drop off the list.
(From Paul Silverstone ([email protected]), 30 Jan 1997)
The best source for RN pendant numbers during WWII is not Jane's Fighting Ships. I believe the best are the lists published in the World Ship Society's Warship Supplement some years ago. These cover all letters superior and numbers.
For World War I look at "British Warships 1914-1919" by Dittmar & Colledge. Very complete although not given in numerical sequence.
Who was "85"?
(From Jack Arrowsmith ([email protected]), 27 Jan 1997)
"D85" was HMS Quail 06/12/14 to 01/09/15 HMS Myrimidon was "D85" 01/09/15, and, HMS Syren was "D85" on 01/01/18 to 13/09/18. HMS Ruby was "H85" 06/12/14 to 01/09/15, HMS Mermaid was "H85" 13/09/18. "F85" 1918-19 was HMS Vanquisher but I have no details on her as yet.
Abbreviations: cl=class, B= Builder, su=sunk, s=sold L=Launched,LD=Laid down, and, C=Completed.
My entries show the following information:
D 85 [HMS Quail B/cl, B:LR, L:24/09/1895, 355t, 213' x 21/5', (D85:06/12/14), see-(D89:01/09/15,)]
P 83 [HMS Myrmidon B/cl, B:PM, L:25/05/1900, 370t, 215' x 20.75', (P83:06/12/14), see-(D85:01/09/15)]
D 85 [HMS Myrmidon ex-(P83), su:26/03/17 Collision in Channel]
P 72 [HMS Syren B/cl, B:PM, L:20/12/1900, 390t, 215' x 20.75' (P72:06/12/14), see-(D93:01/09/15)]
D 93 [HMS Syren ex-(P72) see-(D85:01/01/18)]
D 85 [HMS Syren ex-(D93), s:14/09/20, Hayes, Porthcawl]
F 84 [HMS Vanquisher V/cl, B:JB, LD:27/09/16,L:18/08/17,C:10/17, see-(F21)]
F 21 [HMS Vanquisher (1917) ex-(F84) see-(F08)]
F 08 [HMS Vanquisher (1918) ex-(F21) see-(F85)]
F 85 [HMS Vanquisher (1918/19) ex-(F08) see-(F62)]
H 85 [HMS Ruby H/cl, B:WH, L:04/11/10, (H85:06/12/14), see-(H98:01/01/18)]
P 35 [HMS Mermaid C/cl, B:HL, L:22/02/1898, 255t, 210.5' x 21', (P35:06/12/14), see-(D63:01/09/15)]
D 63 [HMS Mermaid (1915) ex-(P35) see-(D56:01/01/18)]
D 56 [HMS Mermaid (1918) ex-(D63), see-(H85:13/09/18)]
H 85 [HMS Mermaid (1918) ex-(D56), s:23/07/19, Ward, New Holland]
I am afraid that is all I have for you - the information was taken from:
Hard Lying, The Birth of the Destroyer 1893-1913 by Peter Smith Naval Institute Press Printed in Great Britain by W & J MacKay Ltd, Chatham, Kent ISBN 0-87021-828-X
(From Paul Silverstone ([email protected]), 29 Jan 1997)
Concerning RN destroyer no.85 - you don't say what class. However, QUAIL (B class) had D.85 in 1914, MYRMIDON (same class in Sep 1915, SYREN (same class) in Jan 1918. This is obviously difficult since all were the same class. These were all D superior. H.85 in 1914 was RUBY (H class). This number later went to MORRIS (M class), in Jan 1918. I also found G.85 RESTLESS (Admiralty R class) in Jan 1918. GRENVILLE had G.85 earlier in Jan 1917. In Jan.1917, TANCRED (Admiralty R class) was F.85 in Jan.1917.
Counting Women's Ballots
This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: May 2016
- Print publication year: 2016
- Online ISBN: 9781316492673
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316492673
- Subjects: Area Studies, Politics: General Interest, American Studies, American Government, Politics and Policy, History, Politics and International Relations, Twentieth Century American History
- Series: Cambridge Studies in Gender and Politics
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.
How did the first female voters cast their ballots? For almost 100 years, answers to this question have eluded scholars. Counting Women's Ballots employs new data and novel methods to provide insights into whether, how, and with what consequences women voted in the elections after suffrage. The analysis covers a larger and more diverse set of places, over a longer period of time, than has previously been possible. J. Kevin Corder and Christina Wolbrecht find that the extent to which women voted and which parties they supported varied considerably across time and place, challenging attempts to describe female voters in terms of simple generalizations. Many women adapted quickly to their new right others did not. In some cases, women reinforced existing partisan advantages in others, they contributed to dramatic political realignment. Counting Women's Ballots improves our understanding of the largest expansion of the American electorate during a transformative period of American history.
'J. Kevin Corder and Christina Wolbrecht’s superb, award-winning book provides a masterly account of voting after the addition of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution … The authors’ exacting techniques and thorough analyses contribute decisive answers to long-standing questions, making this a landmark book.'
Source: The Journal of American History
'This important and compelling book should be of interest to scholars of gender and politics, voting behavior, and party realignment during the Progressive Era and New Deal. It sheds light on a crucial period of voting in America.'
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Harding was one of 111 Wickes-class destroyers built by the United States Navy between 1917 and 1919. She, along with seven of her sisters, were constructed at Union Iron Works shipyards in San Francisco, California using specifications and detail designs drawn up by Bethlehem Steel.  
She had a standard displacement of 1,060 tonnes (1,040 long tons 1,170 short tons) an overall length of 315 feet 5 inches (96.1 m), a beam of 31 feet 8 inches (9.7 m) and a draft of 8 feet 6 inches (2.6 m). On trials, Harding reached a speed of 35 knots (65 km/h). She was armed with four 4"/50 caliber guns, three .30 caliber machine guns, and twelve torpedo tubes 21-inch (533 mm) Mark 15 torpedoes. She had a regular crew complement of 122 officers and enlisted men.  She was driven by two Curtis steam turbines powered by four Yarrow boilers. 
Specifics on Harding ' s performance are not known, but she was one of the group of Wickes-class destroyers known unofficially as the 'Liberty Type' to differentiate them from the destroyers constructed from detail designs drawn up by Bath Iron Works, which used Parsons or Westinghouse turbines. The 'Liberty' type destroyers deteriorated badly in service, and in 1929 all 60 of this group were retired by the Navy. Actual performance of these ships was far below intended specifications especially in fuel economy, with most only able to make 2,300 nautical miles (4,260 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h) instead of the design standard of 3,100 nautical miles (5,741 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h).   The class also suffered problems with turning and weight. 
Harding was the first ship to be named for Seth Harding. The second Harding was a Gleaves-class destroyer, commissioned in 1943. 
Harding was launched on 4 July 1918 from Union Iron Works. She was sponsored by the wife of George A. Armes, and embarked under the command of Commander Henry D. Cooke. On 3 February 1919, she was assigned to the United States Atlantic Fleet and sailed for Newport, Rhode Island via Santa Cruz, California. Transiting the Panama Canal, she arrived on 18 February. Two days later she moved to Boston, Massachusetts and stood out of that harbor on 21 February, to escort George Washington which was transporting President Woodrow Wilson from the Versailles Conference. Two days later she participated in ceremonies in Boston harbor celebrating the arrival of that ship. 
Next, she put in for repairs at Norfolk, Virginia until 8 March, when she left for fleet exercises near Cuba. Following this, Harding left for New York, arriving there on 14 April. On 1 May, she departed as part of a group of destroyers acting as a guide for a flight of Navy Curtiss NC seaplanes across the Atlantic Ocean.  Harding provided searchlight illumination by night during the first part of the flight NC-1 and NC-3 made forced landings near the Azores and Harding rendered assistance to NC-1 before it sank. NC-4, the remaining seaplane, arrived at Ponta Delgada 20 May and as she took off for the last leg of her journey, Harding got underway to provide radio compass signals at sea. After the seaplanes landed at Plymouth, England, to complete the flight on 31 May 1919, Harding visited Brest, France and the Azores before returning to Newport 18 June. For several months, Harding was based out of Newport and Norfolk on training exercises. 
After the end of World War I, the U.S. Navy began to convert surplus ships to support its growing seaplane tender program. Several steamers and minelayers were selected in 1919, but Harding was the only destroyer, because it was determined that she would require minimal modifications. Following this success, and as aircraft carrier designs advanced, more ships were designed specifically to support naval aviation. Fourteen Clemson-class destroyers were converted to seaplane tenders in 1938 when it was determined that aircraft production was outpacing the development of these ships.  During the conversion of Harding, her three .30 caliber machine guns were removed and her crew complement was reduced to 100 officers and enlisted men. Her torpedo tubes may also have been removed.  On 13 December 1919, she reported to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for conversion to a seaplane tender. She completed the conversion at Charleston Navy Yard and on 20 May 1920, she sailed for duty at Pensacola Naval Air Station. Immediately after this, though, Harding was loaded with medical supplies from the American Red Cross and was ordered to Veracruz, Mexico, where an outbreak of bubonic plague necessitated serum and other supplies. She reached Veracruz on 9 June 1920 and unloaded her supplies. She then steamed for Pensacola, Florida, stopping at Tampico on the way, and arrived in Florida on 13 June. 
At Pensacola, Harding was assigned to a seaplane pilot training program. She remained there until 4 August 1920, after which she operated in the Caribbean area tending seaplanes until 23 February 1921. She stopped briefly at Philadelphia before heading to Hampton Roads to support bombing tests on surrendered German ships, leaving Norfolk on 21 June. She was present during the bombing tests on SM U-117 and remained assigned to the tests until the sinking of the German battleship SMS Ostfriesland on 21 July 1921. Harding was detached from this duty the next day.  
Harding subsequently conducted training exercises out of Newport and other East Coast ports until 27 December 1921, when she arrived at Charleston, South Carolina. Remaining there until 3 April 1922, she sailed to Philadelphia where she decommissioned 1 July 1922. Harding was then sold for scrap on 29 September 1936, to Schiavone-Bonomo Corporation in New York City.