Beale, 1924; CG Destroyer CG-9

May 12, 2020

Beale, 1924 (USCG) (CGD-9)

Builder: William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia. PA

Commissioned (USN): 30 Aug 1912

Acquired (CG): 28 Apr 1924

Commissioned (CG): 26 Oct 1924

Decommissioned: 1 Jun 1930

Displacement: 742 tons

Dimensions: 293’10" overall x 27’ x 9’5"

Machinery: Direct-drive turbines, 3 screws, 12,000 hp, 29.5 knots.

Complement: 6 officers, 82 men

Armament: 3 3"/50, 1 1-pdr.

Design & Service

A total of thirty-one Navy destroyers were lent to the Coast Guard for enforcing Prohibition. Adapting these vessels to service was thought to be less costly than building new ships. In the end the rehabilitation of the vessels became a saga in itself because of the exceedingly poor condition of many of these war-weary ships. In many instances it took nearly a year to bring the vessels up to seaworthiness. Additionally, these were by far the largest and most sophisticated vessels ever operated by the service and trained personnel were nearly nonexistent. As a result, Congress authorized hundreds of new enlistees. It was these inexperienced men that generally made up the destroyer crews. USCGD Beale was one of the pre-World War I 742-ton "flivvers". All were capable of over 25 knots, an advantage in the rum-chasing business. They, however, were easily outmaneuvered by smaller vessels. The destroyers’ mission, therefore, was to picket the larger supply ships ("mother ships") and prevent them from off-loading their cargo onto the smaller, speedier contact boats that ran the liquor into shore. Beale was among the first group of destroyers loaned to the Coast Guard. She was originally stationed at New London, CT and then transferred to Boston in 1926.

Operational Highlights

  • 8 Apr 1924: Transferred from the US Navy to the Coast Guard at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
  • 26 Oct 1924: Commissioned at Cape May, NJ.
  • 17 Nov 1924: Arrived at New York Navy Yard for repairs. Underwent repairs until year’s end.
  • 22 May 1926: Reassigned to new duty station at Boston.
  • 22 Jul 1926: Arrived at Boston.
  • 1 Jun 1930: Decommissioned.
  • 12 Aug 1930: Ordered towed to Philadelphia Navy Yard and turned over to US Navy.
  • 18 Oct 1930: Turned over to US Navy at Philadelphia Navy Yard.