USS Truxtun (DD-14) headed the new Truxtun-class group of naval surface destroyers of the United States Navy (USN) at the turn of the last century. The class numbered three and included USS Whipple (DD-15) and USS Worden (DD-16). All were constructed by the shipbuilders of the Maryland Steel Company of Sparrows Point, Maryland and laid down on November 13th, 1899, launched on August 15th, 1901 and commissioned on September 11th, October 21st and December 31st, 1902, respectively.
As built, USS Truxtun was given a displacement of 440 tons under normal load and 615 tons under full load. Dimensions included a running length of 259.5 feet, a beam of 23.2 feet and a draught of 9.9 feet. Power was from 4 x Thornycroft boiler units (coal-fired) feeding 2 x Vertical triple-expansion engines developing 8,300 horsepower to 2 x Shafts. Maximum speed could reach 30 knots in ideal conditions. The warship was crewed by up to 78 personnel (three officers).
USS Truxtun was officially taken into USN service in April of 1903 where she underwent various exercises and regional journeys along the American East Coast and across the Caribbean. In December of 1907 she was set up for presidential review along with other USN warships as part of the "Great White Fleet". This battle fleet was used to travel the world in a show of American naval strength, making friendly port-of-calls when possible. After this, Truxtun operated along the American West Coast.
War in Europe broke out in mid-1914 to begin World War 1 (1914-1918) but America did not declare war on Germany until April of 1917. Many American destroyers, Truxtun included were mainly used as deterrents and fleet / convoy protection for their part in the war. USS Truxtun showed her force in the Panama Canal region while keeping a wary eye on German ship movements in and around Latin / Central America. She crossed the Panama Canal to reach Atlantic waters in July of 1917 and, that August, she journeyed to the Azores and served as escort and attempted rescue of a torpedoed ship. She then attempted to attack what was believed to be a German U-boat but failed to net her prize. In November of 1918, World War 1 ended with the Armistice of November 15th and Truxtun returned to home waters that December-January with other USN destroyers.
On July 18th, 1919, she was officially decommissioned from service and struck from the Naval Register on September 15th. In January of 1920, her hulk was sold off to one Joseph G. Hitner to be converted into a merchantman along with her sister ships. Beyond this, the now-civilian market ship was scrapped once her usefulness was expended.