USS Radford (DD-120/ AG-22)

USS Radford (DD-120/ AG-22) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw service in the last month of the First World War and that was briefly selected for use as a mobile target vessel before being scrapped under the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

The Radford was named after Rear Admiral William Radford, a US Naval officer during the Mexican War and the American Civil War

The Radford was launched at Newport News on 5 April 1918 and commissioned on 30 September 1918 with Lt Comdr. Arthur S. Carpenter in command. 

USS Radford (DD-120), 1922
USS Radford (DD-120), 1922

The Radford undertook a short shakedown cruise to Melville, Rhode Island, which lasted from 12-21 October 1918. She then left Hampton Roads to join the escort of Troop Convoy 76, heading along the coast to New York on the way to Europe.

Anyone who served on her between 13 October and 11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

After the war the Radford visited Cuba in January-March 1919. She then operated with the Atlantic Fleet, before being assigned to the Pacific Fleet in July 1919. She reached San Diego on 7 August and joined the Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet. She took part in training exercises and manoeuvres with Division 12, Squadron 10, Destroyer Flotilla 4, before decommissioning on 9 June 1922.

Radford (DD-120), Sproston (DD-173), Breese (DD-122), Badger (DD-126), Montgomery (DD-121)
Radford (DD-120), Sproston (DD-173), Breese (DD-122), Badger (DD-126), Montgomery (DD-121)

The Radford remained in the reserve for fifteen years. On 16 April 1932 she was redesignated as AG-22 as part of a plan to convert her into a mobile target vessel, but the work was never carried out, and she became DD-120 again on 27 June 1932. She was struck off on 19 May 1936 and was sunk on 5 August 1936 under the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

Displacement (standard)

1,160t (design)

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35kts (design)
35.34kts at 24,610shp at 1,149t on trial (Wickes)


2 shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers
24,200shp (design)


3,800nm at 15kts on trial (Wickes)
2,850nm at 20kts on trial (Wickes)

Armour - belt


 - deck



314ft 4in


30ft 11in

Armaments (as built)

Four 4in/50 guns
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple tubes
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement



5 April 1918


30 September 1918

Struck off

19 May 1936


5 August 1936

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann . The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (2 August 2017), USS Radford (DD-120/ AG-22) ,

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