Wilkes II

		(Destroyer No. 67: dp. 1,110 (n.); l. 315'3"; b. 29'11"; dr. 10'81~'' (aft); s. 29.58 k.; cpl. 99; a. 4 
4", 2 1 pdrs., 2 .30-car. mg., 12 21" tt.; cl. Sampson)

	The second Wilkes (Destroyer No. 67) was laid down on 11 March 1915 at Philadelphia by the William 
Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Co.; launched on 18 May 1916; sponsored by Miss Carrie McIver Wilkes- 
and commissioned on 10 November 1916, Lt. Comdr. Julius F. Hellweg in command.

	Wilkes spent the winter preceding America's entry into World War I outfitting first in the Philadelphia 
Navy Yard and later in the Torpedo Station located at Newport, R.I. and conducting fleet maneuvers in Cuban 
waters. She returned from those operations at the height of the crisis over the German declaration of 
unrestricted submarine warfare, arriving in Norfolk on 7 March 1917. Just one month later, on 6 April the United 
States joined the war against the Central Powers. At the end of April, the destroyer escorted the French cruiser 
Amiral Auge from Norfolk to New York. On 15 June, she departed New York in the screen of the first American 
troop convoy to voyage to Europe. She escorted her charges into Saint Nazaire on 26 June then headed for 
Portsmouth, England, where she celebrated Independence Day. From there she continued on to her permanent 
European base, Queenstown, Ireland, where she arrived on the 6th.

	Wilkes operated from the Queenstown base for the duration of World War I. For the most part, she 
conducted antisubmarine patrols and escorted convoys
bound for England on the last leg of their voyage. Occasionally, however, she was called upon to shepherd 
convoys into port at Brest and Saint Nazaire, France. Although her duties appeared routine, they were 
strenuous. She spent many arduous days at sea in the stormy Atlantic with only hours or, at most, a day or two 
in port to provision. Though it appears that she never saw combat with German U-boats, she did witness the 
results of their depredations once when she rescued 23 survivors of the torpedoed British merchantman SS 
Purley on 25 July 1917. She continued her patrol and escort duties until after Christmas 1918, over a month after 
the cessation of hostilities. On 26 December, she departed Queenstown and headed for home. On 7 January 
1919, she arrived in New York.

	Immediately upon her return, Wilkes began overhaul at New York. That occupied her time until 1 May 
when the destroyer embarked upon her most noteworthy postwar mission duty as a picket ship for the first 
transatlantic flight. Only one of the four Navy-Curtiss (NC) flying boats slated for the mission actually completed 
the flight. NC-4 reached the Azores at Horta on 17 May, made the hop to Ponta Delgada on the 20th, and 
departed the Azores for Lisbon, Portugal, on the 27th. Wilkes served as a picket on that second leg of the flight 
as the fourth ship in a line of 14 destroyers between the Azores and the European continent. The NC-4 reached 
her destination that same day, and Wilkes' part in the event was completed. While NC-4 finished the third and 
last leg of its flight from Lisbon to Plymouth, England on 30 and 31 May, Wilkes pointed her bow homeward. 
The destroyer reentered New York harbor on 4 June and resumed peacetime operations along the Atlantic 
coast. For the next 34 months, she plied the waters off the eastern seaboard in the spring, summer, and fall. 
Late each fall, she headed south to participate in fleet maneuvers in Cuban waters, the Caribbean, and the Gulf 
of Mexico. During that time, she was based at three different ports Newport, R.I., New York, N.Y., and 
Charleston, S.C. On 12 April 1922, Wilkes entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard where she was placed out of 
commission on 5 June 1922.

	Wilkes remained inactive at Philadelphia for over four years. In the summer of 1926, she was turned 
over to the Coast Guard, desperately in need of additional ships to suppress the illegal, but lucrative, traffic in 
alcoholic beverages spawned by Prohibition. She was commissioned a Coast Guard destroyer at New London,
Conn., on 23 August 1926, Lt. Comdr. M. J. Ryan, USCG, in command. For the next eight years, she patrolled the 
east coast from New England to Florida. In 1934, the repeal of Prohibition brought an end to the illicit alcohol 
trade and the "Rum Patrol" as well. Wilkes completed her last Coast Guard patrol at Philadelphia on 15 March 
1934. There, she was placed out of commission on 29 March and returned to the Navy. On 5 July, her name was 
struck from the Navy list. She was sold on 22 August 1934 for scrapping under the terms of the London Treaty for 
the limitation of naval armaments.