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Hull Number: DD-283

Launch Date: 09/05/2019

Commissioned Date: 12/01/2019

Decommissioned Date: 05/01/1930





Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Joseph Berry Breck—born in Maine in 1830—was appointed acting ensign on 27 February 1863. On 24 April 1863, Acting Ens. Breck placed the screw steamer Niphon in commission and took command of her. His ship was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and, initially, was stationed off Fort Fisher, N.C.. However, he and his ship operated off New Inlet for most of the remainder of the Civil War. Breck participated in a number of operations ashore, the most important of which was the destruction of the salt works at Masonboro Sound, N.C., on 27 August 1864. He also volunteered to participate in the operation to destroy the powerful Confederate ram Albemarle; the seniority of Lt. William B. Cushing, however, secured for that officer the undying fame that accompanied that successful exploit that might have been Breck’s.

He also joined in the capture of six of the largest blockade runners taken during the war. Probably the most important of those was the steamer Cornubia, taken on 8 November 1863. Her papers exposed the scheme whereby the Confederacy had secretly acquired ships in England. Eventually attaining the rank of lieutenant commander, Breck served until November of 1864 when a medical board invalided him out of the service. Seeking a climate conducive to his recovery, he moved to San Francisco, Calif., where he died on 26 July 1865.


Sold on 01/17/1931 to Boston Iron and Metal Co., Baltimore, MD. Scrapped.

USS BRECK DD-283 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1959)

Breck (DD-283) was launched 5 September 1919 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Squantum, MA, sponsored by Mrs. Forest MacNee, granddaughter of Lieutenant Commander Breck; and commissioned 1 December 1919, Lieutenant Commander C. E. Van Hook in command.

Breck served with the Atlantic Fleet, attached to Destroyer Squadron 1 and for six months operated in the Caribbean area. From 15 July 1920 until June 1921 she was at Newport RI, in reserve commission, having only limited duty training Naval Reserves on the Atlantic coast. In June 1921 she rejoined the Destroyer Force and continuously participated in scheduled drills and exercises along the Atlantic coast and for a time had special duty in connection with the calibration of coastal Radio Compass Stations.

In June 1922 she joined Squadrons Escorting fleet, and annually took part in squadron and fleet operations. In August 1925 her home yard was changed from Boston to Norfolk Navy Yard and Breck was attached to Destroyer Division 25. As a unit of that Division she served with US Naval Forces, Europe, between June 1926 and June 1927 showing the flag along the European and North African coasts and engaging in target and engineering competition. Upon returning to the United States she put in at New York Navy Yard and then proceeded to Newport where she embarked Naval Reserves for the training cruise with the Scouting Fleet. The succeeding years were similar in the established routine of gunnery practice, war games, and maneuvers until the end of September 1929 when Breck arrived with other units of Destroyer Squadron 9 at Philadelphia Navy Yard, ending her active service. Breck was decommissioned 1 May 1930 and sold 17 January 1931.