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Silas Duncan born in Rockaway, N.J., in 1788, was appointed midshipman 15 November 1809. While third lieutenant of .Saratoga during the Battle of Lake Champlain, 11 September 1814, he was sent in a gig to order the gunboats to retire. He succeeded in delivering the orders despite concentrated enemy fire which severely wounded him and caused the loss of his right arm. For his gallant conduct he was thanked by Congress. From 1818 to 1824 Commander Duncan saw active service on board Independence, Hornet, Guerriere, Cyane, and Ferret. He died 14 September 1834 at White Sulphur Springs, W. VA.
(DD-46: dp. 1,014; 1. 306'3"; b. 31'1"; dr. 9'3"; s. 29 k.;
cpl. 97; a. 4 4", 8 18" tt.; cl. Cassin)
The first Duncan (DD-46) was launched 5 April 1913 by Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass,; sponsored by Miss D. Clark; and commissioned 30 August 1913, Lieutenant Commander C. E. Courtney in command.
Duncan sailed along the east coast and in the Caribbean for training, target practice, and exercises until 24 October 1914 when she was placed out of commission at Boston. Recommissioned 22 January 1916, she sailed out of Hampton Roads and Newport for neutrality patrol and exercises in the Caribbean, protecting battleships in fleet maneuvers, and guarding the entrance to the York River. Between 8 and 30 September 1917, she escorted a convoy to an eastern rendezvous, where an escort out of England met the ships.
Sailing for New York on 30 October Duncan escorted a convoy to Brest, France, arriving at Queenstown, Northern Ireland, 15 November to escort convoys and hunt submarines in the Irish Sea. On 17 July 1918 Duncan rescued from a small boat the survivors of the Norwegian bark Minefield and on 9 October, when one of her sisters, Shaw (DD-68) collided with SS Aquitania Duncan took off 84 of her crew, 12 of them wounded, and stood by while Shaw's remaining men took their ship into Portland, England, under her own power.
Remaining in European waters after the war, Duncan joined in escorting George Washington, bearing President W. Wilson, into Brest 13 December 1918. She cleared Queenstown 26 December for the Azores, Bermuda, and Norfolk, arriving 12 January 1919. After 5 months of east coast and Caribbean operations, she was placed in ordinary at Norfolk 31 May l919; in reduced commission 1 January 1920, in reserve 1 August 1920; assigned to operate with 50 percent of her complement 1 January 1921; and decommissioned 9 August 1921. She was scrapped 8 March 1935 in accordance with the terms of the London treaty limiting naval armaments.