The steel Caldwell class Destroyer USS Stockton was built as the Philadelphia yard of William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Corporation and launched on 17th July 1917. She measured 315.5′ x 30.5′ x 7.5 and weighed 1020 gross tons. She was powered by a three shaft steam turbine engine delivering 18550 horse power giving her a top speed of 30 knots.
USS Stockton spent the last year of World War I assigned to convoy escort and anti-submarine duty, operating out of Queenstown, Ireland. She returned to the United States in 1919, and for three years continued to serve with the US fleet. On 26th June 1922, she was decommissioned and laid up at Philadelphia. Stockton was recommissioned on 16th August 1940 and transferred to the Royal Navy under the provisions of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement. Her name was struck from the US Navy List on 8th January 1941. After a refit at Devonport Dockyard she entered service for the Royal Navy as HMS Ludlow and was allocated to the Rosyth Escort Force. She was withdrawn from service following VE day and decommissioned in June 1945. Following decommission she was stripped of all her fittings and beached off Fidra Island, Firth of Forth on 15th July 1945 to be used as a rocket target by the RAF. It is reputed that the first salvo of rockets hit just below the water line and sank her. The hulk was sold for demolition on site although this work seems never to have been seriously attempted as the remains are still visible at low water. She now lies off Yellowcraigs beach in 6m of water in position 56°03.912’N, 02°46.055’W and, although well broken up, her remains are still visible just above the surface at low tide.
The wreck lies in two distinct pieces (35-40 m apart) and is mostly buried in the sand. Some large and substantial structures still stand 3 or 4m off the seabed, which are exposed at extreme low tides. Seabed depths are around 6.5 – 7 metres at high water and 3-4 metres at low water when some parts of the wreckage are visible above the surface. The vessel lies approximately east/west, with the bow to the west. She is apparently broken in two or three pieces and is lying on her port side at the bow but remains more upright at the stern. Nothing can be seen of the engines, but a large piece of propeller shaft projects from the wreckage. At the bow area there is a large steam winch, with various capstans.