Badger (George F.) (CG Destroyer-16; CG-16)

April 22, 2020

Badger (George F.) (CG Destroyer-16; CG-16)

Built: Newport News Shipbuilding Company, Newport News, VA

Commissioned (USN): 28 July 1920

Acquired (USCG): 1 Oct 1930

Commissioned (USCG): 20 Mar 1931

Decommissioned: 21 May 1934

Displacement: 1,190 tons

Dimensions: 314' 5" overall x 31’ 9" x 9’10" draft

Machinery: Geared turbines, 2 screws, 26,500 hp, 35 knots

Complement: 101 (USN)

Armament: 5-4"/50 (USN)

Design & Service

A total of thirty-one Navy destroyers were lent to the Coast Guard for the enforcement of Prohibition. The vessels ranged from the prewar 742-ton "flivvers" to the postwar four-stack flush deckers like Badger. Adapting these vessels to service was thought to be less costly than building new ships. The wartime service and exceedingly poor condition of earlier destroyer classes often required nearly a year of reconditioning before they were seaworthy. The flush deckers, on the other hand, were in much better condition. Not having had wartime service, they were more quickly reconditioned for anti-bootlegging patrols.

These vessels were also by far the largest and most sophisticated vessels ever operated by the service. Trained personnel were nearly nonexistent. Congress authorized hundreds of new enlistees. It was these inexperienced men that generally made up the crews of these vessels. All were capable of over 25 knots, an advantage in the rum-chasing business, but they were easily outmaneuvered by smaller boats. As a result, the destroyers’ mission was to picket the larger supply ships ("mother ships") and prevent them from off-loading their cargo onto smaller, speedier contact boats.

Operational History

  • 20 Mar 1931 Destroyer taken over from Navy and commissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA.
  • 3 Apr 1931 Arrived at her permanent station in New London, CT. Cuban Expedition
  • 7 Sep 1933 Discontinued target practice at Hampton Roads, VA and departed for Key West
  • 9 Sep 1933 Arrived in Key West for duty with the Navy.
  • 6 Oct 1933 Left Key West for Nueva Gerona, Cuba; arrived 7 Oct.
  • 8 Nov 1933 Released from duty with the Navy. Destroyer Squadron directed to return to duty in the Eastern Area.
  • 21 May 1934 Decommissioned and reacquired by USN