Daily Event for October 9

October 9, 1918: The USS Shaw DD-68, while escorting the liner Aquitania suffered a jammed rudder which caused the ship to turn in front of the 45,000 ton liner. The destroyer displacing only 1,100 tons was no match for the Aquitania, and the liner slammed into the Shaw severing ninety feet of the bow off and killing 12 of her crew. The Shaw, now with a damaged bridge burst into flames. This would have doomed many ships but, the crew brought the fire under control and brought her into Portsmouth under her own power. She was under repair until May 1919 and then returned to the USA. She joined the destroyer reserve fleet until she was decommissioned in 1922.

In 1926 the Shaw was transferred to the Coast Guard and served there until 1933 when she was returned to the Navy. Her name was canceled in Nov. 1933 so it could be assigned to a new destroyer (Shaw DD-373), which would be made famous by in a photograph taken of her explosion during the attack on Pearl Harbor. USS Shaw DD-68 was scrapped in 1934.

© 2005 Michael W. Pocock