USS Flusser (DD-20) was a destroyer of the Smith-class serving the United States Navy (USN) prior to, and during, the American involvement in World War 1 (1914-1918). The Smith-class constituted five total ships with Flusser becoming the forth of the group. The class was led by USS Smith (DD-17) and she was joined by USS Lamson (DD-18), USS Preston (DD-19), and USS Reid (DD-21). USS Flusser saw her keel laid down in 1908 and was then launched to sea for trials on July 20th, 1909 - officially commissioned on October 28th, 1909 but only destined to serve until 1919.
Bath Iron Works was responsible for her construction.
The Smith-class was notable for becoming the first destroyer warships in USN service to be powered by turbines while also being the last to feature coal-fired boiler units. Power was from 4 x Mosher coal-fired boilers feeding 3 x Parsons direct-drive steam turbines offering 10,000 horsepower and used to drive 3 x Shafts under stern. Maximum speed in ideal conditions could reach 28 knots, making the ships fast in the water, and range was 2,800 nautical miles.
Flusser exhibited a running length of 293.9 feet with a beam measuring 26 feet and a draught down to 8 feet. Displacement was 710 tons under normal load and 915 tons under full load. Her crew complement numbered 87 with four of these represented by officer-level personnel.
As built, the warship was given primary armament of 5 x 3" (76mm) /50 caliber main guns. She also carried 3 x 18" (450mm) torpedo tubes giving her useful counters against most surface threats of the day.
USS Flusser was given historic Charleston, South Carolina as her homeport in her early-going. She reported there in December of 1909 and formed part of the "Atlantic Torpedo Fleet" during the pre-war period. She undertook various cruises along the American East Coast as well as into Caribbean waters into 1916. With the arrival of war in Europe back in mid-1914, the United States Navy was evermore drawn into the conflict, forcing "neutrality patrols" to be conducted by warships like Flusser prior to the American entry into the war - which occurred in 1917.
Once at war, USS Flusser was used in the convoy escort role protecting vital supplies attempting to reach the European battlefronts. In the early part of 1917, she was laid up for repair at New Orleans (Louisiana) but returned to service once more, now August of 1917. She operated in this fashion until the war drew to a close in November of 1918. The Armistice was signed to formally end the years-long bloody affair and a massive post-war drawdown then took hold.
On July 14th, 1919, she was officially decommissioned and her name was struck from the Naval Register on September 15th of that year. She was sold off on November 15th and ultimately scrapped.