Oldest destroyer sunk by enemy fire found

| August 18, 2022

The wreck of the USS Jacob Jones, the first destroyer ever sunk by enemy fire, has been located about 20 miles from Start, England in 400 foot deep waters in the English Channel. She was sunk by torpedoes from U53 and went down with 2 officers and 62 enlisted still on board.

We are thrilled to announce that we have identified the wreck of USS Jacob Jones, the first US destroyer to be sunk by enemy action. 64 of her crew men died when she was torpedoed by U 53 on December 6 1917. She lies in 120M of water 60 miles south of Newlyn, Cornwall. We based ourselves there and everyone has been excellent.

After the sinking, U-boat commander Hans Rose radioed Jacob Jones’s base at Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland to tell them to rescue survivors.

CBS News

Lieutenant Stanton F. Kalk, who was the officer-of-the-deck when the torpedo struck, displayed “extraordinary heroism” in helping men out of the water and into life rafts and boats, the NHHC said. He died of exhaustion and exposure, and was posthumously awarded the Navy’s Distinguished Service Medal. Two Navy destroyers were later named after Kalk.

Among the 39 survivors, according to the dive team, was Lt Cdr Norman Scott, who went on to be killed in action in World War II, ultimately receiving the Medal of Honor.

As I read the story, the Jones was on convoy escort duty at the time. According the the article, they reported the wreck’s location without taking from it out of respect.



Category: Fair Winds and Following Seas, Navy, No Longer Missing, War Stories, We Remember, WWI

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LTCDR Scott was a Rear Admiral of the USS Atlanta (Flagship) when he gave his life in November 1942 in the Solomon Islands:


LT Kalk was a 1916 US Naval Academy:


Rest In Peace To All.


“Eight minutes after being hit…the destroyer sank.” Not a whole lot of time to GTFO. Very chivalrous of the U Boat Commander to call in for a SAR. Rest in Peace, Warriors.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

Coal fired 4 stack flush deck Tin Cans the way to go back in the day.