|Builder:||Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia|
|Laid down:||10 November 1917|
|Launched:||11 May 1918|
|Commissioned:||23 October 1918 to 17 June 1922
1 June 1931 to 15 January 1946
|Reclassified:||DM-18, 5 January 1931|
|Struck:||7 February 1946|
|Fate:||Sold for scrapping 16 May 1946|
|Class and type:||Wickes class destroyer|
|Length:||314 ft 5 in (95.83 m)|
|Beam:||31 ft 8 in (9.65 m)|
|Draft:||9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)|
|Speed:||35 knots (65 km/h)|
|Complement:||122 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||4 × 4" (102 mm), 2 × 3" (76 mm), 12 × 21" (533 mm) torpedo tubes|
Breese was launched 11 May 1918 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia; sponsored by Mrs. Gilbert McIlvaine, daughter of Captain Breese; and commissioned 23 October 1918, Lieutenant J.g. B. Smith in command.
She reported to Commander, Cruiser Force, Atlantic Fleet and cruised for several days as a convoy escort at the close of World War I. Returning to Norfolk, she was assigned to Division 12, Destroyer Force Atlantic Fleet, and served in Cuban waters during the spring of 1919. In July 1919, Division 12 was assigned to the Pacific Fleet, based at San Diego. For a year, she served with Squadron 4 and, from June 1920, was in Rotating Reserve. From October 1920 to June 1922, she participated in division maneuvers and fleet maneuvers with the Battle Force, in the Pacific, and went out of commission 17 June 1922.
Breese was redesignated a light minelayer (DM-18) on 5 January 1931. Recommissioned 1 June 1931, following overhaul and conversion at Mare Island Navy Yard, she returned to San Diego for trials and standardization tests before departing for Pearl Harbor. Assigned to Division 1, Minecraft, Battle Force, U. S. Fleet, in Hawaiian waters, she engaged in training exercises, served with submarine divisions as target ship, and as station ship for airplane flights until her return to San Diego in June 1937. She was out of commission in reserve from 12 November 1937 until 25 September 1939.
Upon recommissioning, Breese Joined Mine Division 5 Battle Force. On 2 November 1939, she arrived at Puget Sound Navy Yard for Neutrality Patrol off the Oregon and Washington coasts. The next year, she made an inspection trip to Alaskan bases with Commander, Alaskan Sector, embarked. Upon returning, she rejoined her Division in San Francisco and prepared for a cruise to Hawaii, where she arrived 10 December 1940. Attached to Mine Division 2, Minecraft, Battle Force, Pacific Fleet, through the succeeding year she took part in training exercises in the operating area and on the Maui range. On 7 December 1941, Breese was anchored at Pearl Harbor and by 0767; she opened with her machine guns at close range on the attacking Japanese planes. Although she received no material damage from the Japanese attack, she aided in the sinking of one midget submarine and damaged numerous enemy planes.
Breese operated in the Central Pacific from 7 December 1941 until 10 October 1944. She then extended her sphere of duty westward to include various islands in the Marianas-Philippine area and continued to serve as a mine layer and patrol ship until 7 November 1945.
During her wartime career she carried out minesweeping duties during the consolidation of the Solomon Islands (1–13 May 1943); New Georgia-Rendova Vangunu operation (29 June-25 August); occupation and defense of Cape Torokina (1 November-8 November); Leyte landings (12–24 October 1944); Lingayen Gulf landings (4–18 January 1945); Iwo Jima operation (7 February-7 March); Okinawa seizure (25 March-30 June); and 3rd Fleet operations against Japan (5 July-31 July). In August and September 1945 Breese swept mines in the East China Sea and Kyūshū-Korean area.
On 7 November 1945, Breese steamed to the west coast arriving 26 November. She transited the Panama Canal and put into New York 13 December. She was decommissioned 15 January 1946 and sold 16 May 1946.
Breese received ten battle stars for her World War II service. There were no casualties from enemy action although a considerable amount of shell fragments fell on deck. Two men injured slightly during the firing of the 3"/23 caliber by recoil while acting as loaders: FORD, Wesley Ernest, #337-24-95, F2c, USN, abrasions right index finger.
As of 2004, no other ships in the United States Navy have borne this name.
- List of United States Navy destroyers
- List of World War II ships
- List of ship launches in 1918
- List of ship commissionings in 1918
- List of ship decommissionings in 1946
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.