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War of 1812
World War II
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( Destroyer No. 191: dp. 1,190 1. 314'5", b. 31'9", dr. 9'3"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 101; a. i 4", 3 3", 12 21" tt.; cl. Clemson)
The first Mason (Destroyer No. 191) was laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, Va., 10 July 1918; Iaunched 8 March 1919; sponsored by Miss Mary Mason Williams, great-granddaughter of Secretary Mason and commissioned at Norfolk Navy Yard 28 February 1920, Lt. Carl F. Holden temporarily in command until Lt. Comdr. Hartwell C. Davis took command 8 March.
On 17 July Mason was designated DD-191. After shake. down off Norfolk, she operated along the east coast for the next 2 years until she sailed for Philadelphia. As a result of the Washington Treaty of 6 February 1922 limiting naval armament, the destroyer decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard 3 July 1922.
After World War II broke out in Europe, Mason recommissioned 4 December 1939. Under terms of the "Destroyers for Bases" executive agreement of 2 September 1940, she became one of 50 overage four-pipers turned over to Great Britain in exchange for 99-year leases on strategic bases in the Western Hemisphere. Mason arrived Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2 October, decommissioned the 8th; and was transferred to the British Royal Navy as HMS Broadwatcr ( H-81) the next day.
On 15 October she departed Halifax for the British Isles, via St. John's, Newfoundland, arriving in the Clyde River, Scotland, the 26th for service with the 11th Escort Group, Western Approaches Command. During the early part of 1941 the indispensable destroyer escorted convoys, carrying troops and military supplies, around the Cape of Good Hope to the Middle East. She spent May and June at Southampton, England.
Assigned to the Newfoundland Escort Force in July, the ship patrolled the North Atlantic and guarded convoys against the German submarine "wolfpacks" into the fall of that year. Early in the morning of 17 October she attacked a U boat, one of a pack assaulting an American convoy SC-48 some 400 miles south of Iceland. Twenty four hours later she herself fell victim to torpedoes of 17-101 and sank at 1340 the same day.