Jarvis. US Naval War College Museum collection.
The first USS Jarvis (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 38) was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, New Jersey on 1 July 1911; launched on 4 April 1912; sponsored by Mrs. Jean King; and commissioned on 22 October 1912, Lt. Comdr. D. P. Mannix in command.

Following shakedown off Cuba, Jarvis spent a year operating out of Norfolk in the Caribbean. She departed Pensacola, Florida. 20 April 1914 for patrols oft Tampico and Vera Cruz, Mexico during the Vera Cruz Occupation. Returning to Norfolk on 16 June, she operated in the Atlantic until departing New York on 26 May 1917 to join US Naval Forces which operated in European waters under Vice Admiral W. S. Sims.

Arriving Queenstown, Ireland via St. Nazaire, France on 11 June, Jarvis commenced patrol and escort duty along the Irish and English coasts. The operations of destroyers such as Jarvis were of immense value to the Allies in overcoming the German submarine menace. While not credited with sinking any U-boats, on two occasions Jarvis rescued crews of ships torpedoed by enemy submarines. On 19 June she rescued 41 survivors of SS Batoum off the Irish coast, and she pulled 22 survivors of the British merchantman Purley from the North Sea 25 July. After recovering Batoum’s survivors, she braved a possible torpedo attack and positioned herself between SS Mechanician and a U-boat to protect the merchant ship from enemy torpedoes.

Jarvis operated out of Queenstown until 15 February 1918, when she sailed to Brest, France to guard Allied shipping along the French coast. She patrolled out of Brest until 28 December and then sailed for the United States. Arriving at Philadelphia 12 January 1919, she resumed operations along the Atlantic Coast.

Jarvis returned to Philadelphia 21 July and decommissioned 26 November. Under the terms of the London Treaty of 1930, which limited naval armament, she was scrapped and her materials sold 23 April 1935.

Source: Naval History & Heritage Command including the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.