From: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, Vol. I, p. 178.
Otway Burns was born at Queen's Creek, near Swansboro, N. C., in 1775. During the War of 1812 he acquired letters of marque for the privateer Snap Dragon and commanded the fast little schooner on three cruises, having several encounters w ith British men-of-war, also taking numerous prizes. After the war he engaged in shipbuilding at Beaufort, N. C., and spent 13 years in the General Assembly of North Carolina. In 1835 President Jackson appointed him keeper of the Brant Island Shoal Light, a position he held until his death 25 August 1850.
(DD-171: dp. 1191, l. 314'5", b. 31'8", dr. 9'2"; s. 33.8 k.; cpl. 107; a. 4 4", 2 3", 12 21" TT.; cl. Little)
The first Burns (DD-171) was launched 4 July 1918 by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Calif.; sponsored by Miss Alice H. Palmer, and commissioned 7 August 1919, Commander W. H. Lee in command.
Burns was attached to Destroyer Force, Pacific, until March 1920 when she was ordered to special duty as a tender for NC Seaplane Division. On 15 March 1921 she was reclassified DM-11 and on 5 May she was assigned to the Mine Force, Pacific. She was at Mare Island Navy Yard 11 July undergoing conversion and overhaul when her home yard was changed and she departed for the Naval Station, Pearl Harbor, where she completed the yard period. Thereafter, attached to Mine Squadron 2 Pacific Fleet, she s erved throughout her active service in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands except for periodic concentrations of the Fleet in other areas for maneuvers and Fleet problems.
In 1925 she joined the Fleet for a tour of Australia and New Zealand. In the summers of 1926, 1927, and 1928 she conducted training cruises for Naval Reservists. In 1927 Burns returned to San Diego with her squadron for inspection, training, and recreation. Returning to Pearl Harbor, she participated in mining and gunnery practice, and acted as high-speed target for submarines in Hawaiian waters until November 1929. Arriving at San Diego 26 November, Burns was decommissioned 2 June 1930. On 11 June she was towed to Mare Island Navy Yard where she was used as a barracks-ship. She was later scrapped and her material sold 22 April 1932.