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USS Flusser (DD-20)

Destroyer Warship [ 1909 ]

Just five ships made up the Smith-class group of destroyers for the United States Navy prior to World War 1 - USS Flusser became forth of the class.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/13/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States

Destroyed, Scrapped.


USS Smith (DD-17); USS Lamson (DD-18); USS Preston (DD-19); USS Flusser (DD-20); USS Reid (DD-21)

National flag of the United States United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore Bombardment
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.

293.9 ft
89.58 m
26.0 ft
7.92 m
8.0 ft
2.44 m

Installed Power: 4 x Mosher coal-fired boiler units feeding 3 x Parsons Direct-Drive steam turbines developing 10,000 horsepower to 4 x Shafts.
Surface Speed
28.0 kts
(32.2 mph)
2,802 nm
(3,225 mi | 5,190 km)

kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers

1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
5 x 3" (76mm) /50 caliber main guns.
3 x 18" (450mm) torpedo tubes (six torpedo reloads).

Supported Types

Graphical image of a historical warship turreted main gun armament
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)

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Military lapel ribbon for early warship designs
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Images Gallery

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Image of the USS Flusser (DD-20)
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