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NavSource Online: Cruiser Photo Archive



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Victor - Yankee - Alpha

Patch image contributed by Mike Smolinski
Displacement 11,000 Tons (full), Dimensions, 585' (oa) x 63' x 31' (Max)
Armament 2 MK-26 Standard SAM/ASW (66 Missiles) 2 x 5"/54RF, 6 x12.75" TT.
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; 2 G.E. Reactors (D2G), Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 30+ Knots, Crew 500.
Operational and Building Data
Keel laid on 19 AUG 1972 at Newport News Shipyard, Newport News, VA
Launched 14 DEC 1974
Reclassified CGN 38 on 30 June 1975
Commissioned 11 SEP 1976
Decommissioned 10 NOV 1994
Stricken 10 NOV 1994
Fate: Disposed - Hulk recycled at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard 25 SEP 2002

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation (2) - Navy Unit Commendation (2) - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Second Row - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (4) - Navy Expeditionary Service Medal (2) - National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - Southwest Asia Service Medal (2) - Armed Forces Service Medal
Fourth Row - Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (8) - Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Virginia 119k Keel laying postal cover, 19 August 1972. Robert M. Cieri
Virginia 153k Launching Booklet, 14 December 1974. Robert M. Cieri
704k Launching ceremony (keynote speaker John Warner is at the podium), 14 December 1974. Dale Hargrave
333k Virginia Warner christening Virginia CGN 38 in December 1974, She is the daughter of John Warner, former Secretary of the Navy and later U. S. senator from Virginia. At the time of the launching, he was head of the Bicentennial Commission.
Dale Hargrave
72kk Sliding down the shipway, 14 December 1974. Dale Hargrave
Virginia 31k Launch photo, 14 December 1974. USN
205k Three of the principals at the ceremony: SecNav J. William Middendorf, ADM Hyman G. Rickover, and John W. Warner, then Administrator of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration. Dale Hargrave
Virginia 377k Commissioning Booklet, 11 September 1976. Robert M. Cieri
51k Commissioning, Norfolk Naval Station, 11 September 1976. Dale Hargrave
72k Commissioning, Norfolk Naval Station, 11 September 1976. Dale Hargrave
72k Commissioning, Norfolk Naval Station, 11 September 1976. Note the original 1775 Contentional Navy Jack being flown (as all Navy ships were directed to fly in 1975 & 1976 to celebrate the nations's Bi-Centennial) Dale Hargrave
61k Commissioning, Norfolk Naval Station, 11 September 1976. Dale Hargrave
97k Commissioning, Norfolk Naval Station, 11 September 1976. Dale Hargrave
92k Commissioning, Norfolk Naval Station, 11 September 1976. The commissioning pennant being raised. Dale Hargrave
74k Commissioning, Norfolk Naval Station, 11 September 1976. The ship's bell. Dale Hargrave
Virginia 29k Bow on view. USN
Virginia 369k Undated starboard bow view.

Photo Atlantic Fleet Sales

Robert M. Cieri
  Starboard bow view while underway in Lisbon, Portugal, date unknown. Peter Lienau
  Starboard quarter view while underway in Lisbon, Portugal, date unknown. Peter Lienau
Virginia 116k Mayport Florida, April 1978. Richard Leonhardt

26 October 1980 - A port bow view of the nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser USS Virginia (CGN 38) underway.

U.S. Navy photo #DN-SN-87-06488 by: PH2 C. Youmans.

Robert M. Cieri

HAMPTON ROADS, VA, 22 December 1980 - Aerial bow view of the nuclear-powered cruiser USS Virginia (CGN 38) being assisted by Navy tugs. The nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser USS South Carolina (CGN 37) and nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) are close astern, as they enter port after an Indian Ocean deployment.

U.S. Navy photo #DN-ST-84-00318 by: PH2 Colin E. Fritz.

Robert M. Cieri

An aerial starboard bow view of six nuclear-powered guided missile cruisers underway in formation during exercise READEX 1-81. The ships are, from left to right: USS TEXAS (CGN 39), USS MISSISSIPPI (CGN 40), USS CALIFORNIA (CGN 36), USS SOUTH CAROLINA (CGN 37), USS VIRGINIA (CGN 38) and USS ARKANSAS (CGN 41). Photo taken 26 February 1981 by PH1 Anthony Alleyne.

DOD Photo #DN-SC-87-08333

Steve Dietrich

Six nuclear powered cruisers sailing together on 28 February 1981. The United States had operated nuclear powered cruisers for over three decades. USS Long Beach (CGN 9) entered service in 1961 while the final cruisers, the California class were decommissioned in 1999 (The Virginia class, the final class designed and built, were decommissioned in 1998). First row, front to back:

USS Virginia (CGN 38)
USS South Carolina (CGN 37)
USS California (CGN 36)

Second row, front to back:

USS Arkansas (CGN 41)
USS Mississippi (CGN 40)
USS Texas (CGN 39)

U.S. Navy

A port bow view of the nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser USS VIRGINIA (CGN 38) underway, 17 July 1981.

DOD Photo #DN-SC-87-01444

Steve Dietrich
Virginia 463k Anchored at Athens, Greece, 18 June 1983. Robert M. Cieri
280k USS Virginia (left) and USS South Carolina (right), 1987, location unknown. Robert M. Cieri
280k Welcome Aboard booklet, circa 1993. Robert M. Cieri

A bow on view of the nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser USS Virginia (CGN 38) berthed at the pier of Port Everglades, Florida and the destroyer USS Moosbrugger (DD 980) nested outboard, during a port call. Both ships are currently serving with NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic.

U.S. Navy Photo #DN-SC-93-02765 taken by OS2 John Bouvia on 2 March 1993.

Robert M. Cieri
Virginia 310k Deactivation Booklet, 26 February 1994. Robert M. Cieri
CVN-73 George Washington

Aerial view of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on the Elizabeth River, 25 March 1995. Ships in the yard, (L to R), the decommissioned submarine tender Orion (AS 18), a destroyer under overhaul, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), decommissioned submarine tender Hunley (AS 31), the stripped-down hull of the decommissioned nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser Virginia (CGN 38) and a medium auxiliary repair dock inside the large graving dock at lower right. Photo by Robert J. Sitar.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # 330-CFD-DN-SC-95-01523.


MK-26 Launcher recovered from the ex-Virginia forward main deck. USS Virginia also had one aft MK-26 launcher, each weighing 43,000 lbs and part of the Tartar Weapons System. The missiles are RIM-66C SM-2MR TSAMs (Training Surface to Air Missile) minus the rear control surfaces. USS Virginia was capable of firing 4 missiles simultaneously. This was the first MK-26 launcher (serial number 5) overhauled by the Navy, done at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in 1985. Located in Trophy Park, site of the original Gosport Navy Yard, in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

Naval Sea Systems Command

Yu Chu

Commanding Officers
Name/Rank Class Final Rank Dates
Davis Jr., George Wilmot, CAPT   VADM 09/11/76 - 08/78
Ailes, Robert Heber, CAPT   RADM 08/78 - 10/81
King, Joseph H., CAPT     10/81 - 12/84
Sheridan, Thomas Russell, CAPT     12/84 - 01/88
Voorheis, Gary Martin, CAPT 1967   01/88 - 05/91
Lipfert, Ralph Hall, CAPT 1966   05/91 - 11/10/94

(Courtesy of Robert M. Cieri, Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves)

View This Vessels DANFS History Entry on the U.S. Navy Historical Center website.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name:
E-mail: None

Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.

Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Cruiser Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Back To The Main Photo Index Back To The Cruiser Photo Index Page

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