The first USS Terry (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 25) was laid down on 8 February 1909 at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 21 August 1909; sponsored by Mrs. George Henry Rock; and commissioned on 18 October 1910, Lt. Comdr. Martin E. Trench in command.

Following trials off the East Coast, Terry joined the Atlantic Fleet Torpedo Flotilla in winter operations in Cuban waters. She conducted both torpedo exercises with the flotilla and general maneuvers with the Fleet as a whole. The routine of winter maneuvers in the Caribbean alternated with spring and summer operations along the New England coast continued until November 1913, when the torpedo boat destroyer arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, for overhaul.

Soon after entering the navy yard there, Terry was placed in reserve. Though still in reserve after her overhaul was completed, Terry continued to be active. During 1914, she cruised the coast of Florida and, by February 1915, she was back in Cuban waters for winter maneuvers. That summer, Terry steamed as far north as Newport, Rhode Island, to conduct another round of torpedo exercises. Upon completion of the mission, she returned to her base at Charleston.

By 1 January 1916, Terry was operating with a reduced complement destroyer division. On the 31st, she cruised with units of the Atlantic Fleet to Key West, Florida. In May, she steamed from there to Santo Domingo. On 10 June, while maneuvering in the inner harbor at Puerto Plata, she struck a reef and settled until the greater part of the main deck was submerged. On the 13th, under the supervision of the commanding officer of Sacramento (Gunboat No. 19), Terry’s officers and men joined the staff of a wrecking company in salvage operations. The warship was refloated on 26 July, temporarily repaired by 7 July, and returned to the Charleston Navy Yard on 15 July.

America’s entry into World War I saw Terry undergoing extensive repairs at Charleston. Upon completion of the yard work, she began duty patrolling along the Atlantic coast and escorting merchantmen bound for Europe. In January 1918, Terry put to sea for operations with the destroyer force based at Queenstown, Ireland. There, she escorted convoys through the submarine-infested waters surrounding the British Isles. Her tour of duty at Queenstown was a relatively peaceful though rigorous one. While she never sighted a German U-boat nor engaged in combat operations, on one voyage she escorted a convoy which lost one ship to a submarine. On another occasion, on 19 March 1918, she assisted Manley (Destroyer No. 74) with casualties after that destroyer was damaged by an accidental depth charge explosion.

In December 1918, Terry returned to the United States and, after 11 months of extremely limited service, was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 13 November 1919. She remained there until she was transferred to the Coast Guard on 7 June 1924. She served in the Coast Guard until 18 October 1930, when she was returned to the Navy and restored on the Navy list in a decommissioned status, listed as a “vessel to be disposed of by sale or salvage.”

On 2 May 1934, Terry was sold for scrapping. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 28 June 1934.

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