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USS Edwards (DD-265)/ HMS Buxton
USS Edwards (DD-265) was a Clemson class destroyer that had a limited career in US service before going to Britain, where she became HMS Buxton. In British and Canadian service she was used on Atlantic convoy escort duties from 1941-43 but needed constant repairs and was eventually turned into a static training ship.
The Edwards was named after William Edwards, a midshipman who was killed in battle during the War of 1812.
The Edwards was launched on 10 October 1918 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp of Squantum, Mass. She was sponsored by Miss Julia Edward Noyes, the great-granddaughter of Edwards’ uncle. She was commissioned on 24 April 1919.
In May 1919 she helped support the first transatlantic flight, which was made by a group of Navy Curtiss flying boats. The Edwards was used to ferry spare parts to St John’s, Newfoundland, while other destroyers were used to line the route as an aid to navigation. The flying boat NC-4 successfully completed the crossing in several stages – the journey took just over ten days, although only just over 24 hours was spend in the air.
On 28 May the Edwards left Boston heading for Europe, to serve with the Food Administration. She reached Gibraltar in June, and was used to escort the transport ship George Washington as she carried President Wilson to Brest. She then visited ports in England and Germany, before departing for the United States. She reached home on 25 August 1919.
The Edwards was then assigned to the Pacific Fleet. She left New York on 17 September and arrived at her new base at San Diego on 13 October 1919. On 1 November she was placed into reduced commission with a partial complement. In February 1920 she moved to Puget Sound and in 1921 she returned to San Diego. Although she was in the reserve for this entire period, she did carry out the occasion target practice. She was decommissioned on 8 June 1922.
The Edwards was recommissioned on 18 December 1939 as part of the massive increase in size of the US Navy that followed the outbreak of war in Europe. She was assigned to the Neutrality Patrol, and after an essential overhaul departed for Galveston on 22 March. For the next few months she patrolled around the Gulf of Mexico and along the US East Coast.
In the autumn of 1940 she was chosen as one of the fifty old destroyers to go to Britain under the terms of the Destroyers for Bases deal. She was decommissioned from the US Navy on 8 October 1940 and commissioned into the Royal Navy on the same day, becoming HMS Buxton.
As HMS Buxton
The Buxton was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 8 October 1940 at Halifax. On 18 October she reached St John’s, but was found to be suffering from defects and had to return to Halifax. The resulting repairs lasted from November 1940 to February 1941, although mainly because she had a low priority.
In March she was chosen for local escort duties, although her first mission, from 3-7 March, saw her travel from Halifax to Bermuda. However she developed more problems on the voyage and needed repairs at Bermuda. She departed for Halifax on 15 March, and spent the period from April-July escorting Canadian coastal convoys. In August she underwent a refit at Boston, Mass, and in September returned to the local convoys.
In October 1941 the Buxton was chosen for service with the 6th Escort Group, based at Liverpool. She crossed the Atlantic as part of the escort for Troop Convoy TC14, but on her arrival was found to need yet more work, and she spent the period from November 1941 to January 1942 undergoing yet another refit. At the same time she had surface warning and aircraft warning radar sets installed. Even after the refit was complete her return to service didn’t go smoothly. In March she moved to Tobermory to work-up, but suffered structure damage and she wasn’t able to join the group until May 1942! She served in the North-West Approaches with her new group from June-July 1942, but was then allocated to the Royal Canadian Navy for service in the western Atlantic.
As HMCS Buxton
In August 1942 the Buxton joined the RCN Western Local Escort Force at Halifax. From September to November 1942 she was used on convoy defence in the western Atlantic, before undergoing another refit, this time at Boston from December 1942 to February 1943.
In March 1943 she rejoined the Western Local Escort Force, and from April to July she was used to escort convoys between New York and Halifax in the west and the Western Ocean Meeting Point.
In August 1943 she was paid off and her crew transferred to a new Canadian frigate. She was used as a static training ship, first at Halifax and later at Digby, Nova Scotia. She was withdrawn from this role in January 1945 and placed onto the disposal list on 16 January. She was sold to be broken up on 21 March 1946.
2-shaft Westinghouse geared tubines
2,500nm at 20kts (design)
Four 4in/ 50 guns
10 October 1918
24 April 1918
Sold for scrap
21 March 1946