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NavSource Naval History
Photographic History of the United States Navy



Operational and Building Data
Named by SecNav Mar 13 2015.
Keel laid by Huntington Ingalls, Pascagoula, MS May 23 2016.
Launched September 08 2017.
Christened November 04 2017.
Commissioned September 26 2020.

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Black 86kDelbert D. Black was born in Orr, Oklahoma, graduating from high school in 1940. He enlisted in the United States Navy on 14 March 1941. Upon completion of recruit training in San Diego, he was assigned to the USS Maryland (BB-46) and was aboard during the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. He later served at Receiving Station, Pearl Harbor; USS Doyle C. Barnes (DE-353); Naval Air Base, Samar, Philippines; USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39); USS Boxer (CVA-21); USS Antietam (CVA-36); U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, Washington, D.C.; Yokosuka, Japan ship repair facilities; USS Brush (DD-745); USS Carpenter (DDE-825); USS Norfolk (DL-1); Recruiting Duty, Columbia, Tennessee; USS Springfield (CL-66); and Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center (FAAWTC), Dam Neck, Virginia. During his career, he advanced from striking for the rate of Gunner's Mate to the rank of Master Chief. On 13 January 1967, the Secretary of the Navy announced that Master Chief Gunner's Mate (GMCM) Black was appointed as the first Senior Enlisted Advisor, the position that would evolve into Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. As such, he was the highest ranking enlisted man in the U.S. Navy, serving as the enlisted representative to the Chief of Naval Operations. He counseled the highest Navy brass on problems associated with enlisted guidance, leadership, and policy. Upon retirement from active duty, Master Chief Black continued his involvement with the Navy through retired and active duty organizations. He was an active member of the USO Council of Central Florida; the Fleet Reserve Association; and Co-Chairman on the Secretary of Navy Committee on Retired Personnel. He died at his home in Winter Park, Florida at the age of 77. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 11, Site 496 LH.Ron Reeves
Black 190k150313-N-OT964-453. Washington, March 13 2015, Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus, left, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens, and MCPON Black's surviving widow Ima Black, surviving widow of MCPON Delbert D. Black, wear command balls caps of the Guided-Missile Destroyer (DDG 119). Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus announced DDG 119 as the future USS Delbert D. Black, the first U.S Navy ship to be named after a Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, and honors the legacy of service of the Navy's first MCPON, Delbert D. Black. The ceremony was held outside at the United States Navy Memorial. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Martin L. Carey.Ron Reeves
Black 153k150414-N-OT964-144. Great Lakes, April 14 2015, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens speaks with a curator about MCPON Delbert Black's uniform inside historic Building 42, the future location of the National Museum of the American Sailor. The museum is being designed and will be located in the historic Building 42 outside the gate of Naval Service Training Center and will highlight the history of enlisted Sailors. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Martin L. Carey.Ron Reeves
Black 188kIma Black reacts after starting a plasma cutter machine at Ingalls Shipbuilding, officially beginning construction of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), which is named in honor of her late husband.Tommy Trampp
Black 77kPascagoula, Mississippi, Ingalls Shipbuilding today celebrated the start of construction on a new Navy destroyer, the future USS Delbert D. Black. The start of fabrication signifies that 100 tons of steel have been cut. "I am excited to see DDG 119 production starting off strong," said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager for Program Executive Office Ships, July 21 2015.Tommy Trampp
Black 167k160601-N-OT964-342. Pascagoula, Miss., June 1 2016, Mrs. Ima Black, wife of the Navy's first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), delivers remarks during the keel laying ceremony for the future guided-missile destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119). Black also signed her initials, and declared the keel 'truly and fairly laid.' U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Martin L. Carey.Ron Reeves
Black 185kChistening ceremony invitation for USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119).Ron Reeves
Black   Black   Black
Ima Black, 96 years young, christens her husband's namesake, November 4 2017.
Dale Hargrave

Commanding Officers
01CDR Matthew Aaron McKenna (USNA 2001)26 September 2020 - 07 May 2021
02CDR Mark Prince Gallagher07 May 2021 - 05 October 2022
03CDR Adam M. Stein05 October 2022 - present

Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 14 July 2023