USS Reuben James DD-245, first US Navy ship lost in the Atlantic

Upon the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939, the US established a neutrality patrol force to guard the Atlantic and Caribbean approaches to American coast. Later on in March 1941 the convoy escort force was established to promote the safe arrival of war material to Britain. This escort force guarded North Atlantic convoys as far as Iceland, where they became responsibility of British escorts.
On October 31, 1941, the German U-552 under Erich Topp, a Type VIIC boat, was attacking the eastbound convoy HX-156 and at roughly 05:25 hours torpedoed one of its escorts. The ship`s magazine exploded and the ship sank quickly and 115 out of its crew of 144 perished. The ship was the destroyer USS Reuben James DD-245, and it was the first US Navy ship lost in hostile action in WW-II.
This took place roughly 6 weeks before war was declared between Germany and the United States although US Navy ships had been escorting convoys and attacking U-boats before that.
Specifications, USS Reuben James DD-245:
A Clemson class destroyer, laid down by New York Shipbuilding on April 2, 1919, commissioned September 20 1920.
Displacement (tons):1,215
Dimensions (L*B*D feet): 314`5*31`8*9`10
Propulsion: 24,200hp, geared turbines, 2 screws
Speed (knots): 35
Armament: 4*4"/50 cal. Deck guns, 1*3"/23 AA gun, 12*21" (533mm) torpedo tubes
Complement:114 officers and crew


Image Country Year Description
United States 1991 Destroyer Reuben James sunk Oct' 1941 (wrong inscription)
Marshall Is. 1991 USS Reuben James
Marshall Is. 1991 USS Reuben James sunk, 1941(2 stamps printed se-tenant)
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