DD 9 (Lawrence Class)
USS MACDONOUGH (DD-9) was the first ship of the Fleet named after Commodore Thomas Macdonough, the victor of the Battle of Lake Champlain.
MACDONOUGH was one of the first "torpedo boat destroyers" built by the US Navy. The newly developed torpedo had given the navies of the world a dangerous new weapon to use against capitol ships. Small fast boats armed with torpedoes could sink a battleship, and a new type of small fast ship was built to hunt them.
These early destroyers were experimental ships, almost all engine. At thiry knots they were faster than any warships in history. A telling feature of their design was a turtleback bow to deflect the waves the constantly broke over the ship. They were small, cramped, damp, and rolled like crazy, but they paved the way for all the 'tin cans' to follow.
USS MACDONOUGH , torpedo boat destroyer 9, was built by the Fore River Ship and Engine Company of Weymouth, Massachusetts. Her keel was laid on April 10, 1899. She was launched on December 24, 1900 under the sponsorship of Miss Lucy Shaler Macdonough, granddaughter of Commodore Macdonough. MACDONOUGH was commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on September 5, 1903.
MACDONOUGH spent 17 years as a unit of the Atlantic Fleet, operating in Atlantic and Caribbean waters. MACDONOUGH also made good will and recruiting trips up the Mississippi River.
During World War I she deployed to France as a unit of Third Division, Flotilla One, Destroyer Forces, US Naval Forces. MACDONOUGH performed convoy escort and patrol off the French coast.
MACDONOUGH was decommissioned on September 3, 1919. Her name was carried on in the fleet by the second USS MACDONOUGH (DD-331) commissioned in 1921.