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USS O'BANNON (DD-987)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NTLW

CLASS - SPRUANCE As Built.
Displacement 7800 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 563' (oa) x 55' x 20' 6" (Max)
Armament 2 x 5"/54 RF (2x1), 1 Sea Sparrow SAM (1x8) ASROC ASW (1x8),
6 x 12.75" Mk 32 ASW TT (2x3). 1 Helicopter.
Machinery, 80,000 SHP; 4 LM 2500 Gas Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 30 Knots, Range 6000 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 296.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Litton Ingalls, Pascagoula Miss. June 24 1977.
Launched September 25 1978 and commissioned December 15 1979.
Decommissioned August 19 2005.
Fate: Sunk as a part of SINKEX 2008 on October 6 2008.

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O' Bannon 77kPresley Neville O’Bannon (1776 - 12 September 1850) was an officer in the United States Marine Corps, famous for his exploits in the First Barbary War. He received a sword for his role in restoring Prince Hamet Karamali to his throne at Tripoli in recognition of his bravery. That sword became the model for the Mameluke Sword adopted in 1825 as the Marine officers' sword that is still part of the dress uniform today. Born in Fauquier County, Virginia, O'Bannon entered the Marine Corps 18 January 1801. As a First Lieutenant, he commanded a detachment of seven Marines in General William Eaton’s little force in the War with Tripoli. During the combined operations with the U.S. Navy, he led the successful attack in the Battle of Derna 27 April 1805, giving the Marines' Hymn its immortal “to the shores of Tripoli”. Although some sources maintain that at this battle Presley O'Bannon became the first man to raise the American flag over foreign soil, his superior William Eaton had done so a few months earlier while traveling on the Nile from Alexandria to Cairo. According to tradition, Hamet Karamanli was so impressed with O'Bannon's bravery, that following the attack, he presented Lt. O'Bannon with his personal Mameluke sword as a gesture of gratitude. Upon his return to the states, the state of Virginia presented him with a silver-hilted sword featuring an eaglehead hilt and a curved blade modeled after the original Mameluke given him by Hamet. Its blade is inscribed with his name and a commemoration of the battle of Tripoli. After resigning from the Marine Corps 6 March 1807, O’Bannon moved to Logan County, Kentucky, where he built a home in Russellville. He served in the Kentucky state legislature 1812, 1817, 1820-21 and in the Kentucky state senate 1824-1826. He died 12 September 1850 in Franklin County, Kentucky. His remains were moved to the Frankfort Cemetery in 1919. Perhaps due to the Marines' distinguished record during this campaign, including the capture of the Tripolitan city of Derna after a long and dangerous desert march, Marine Corps Commandant Archibald Henderson adopted the Mameluke sword in 1825 for wear by Marine officers. After initial distribution in 1826, Mameluke swords have been worn except for the years 1859-75 (when Marine officers were required to wear Army M1850 foot officers' swords), and a brief period when swords were suspended during World War II. Since that time, Mameluke swords have been worn by Marine officers in a continuing tradition to the present day as of 2007.Bill Gonyo
O'Bannon 138kArtist's conception of the O'Bannon as she appeared following her construction by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
O'Bannon 4kUndated, location unknown.-
O'Bannon 66kUndated, location unknownIgancio F. Lopez, Spanish Navy (RET)
O'Bannon 88kUndated, location unknownJerrod W. Brown
O'Bannon 57kUndated postcard Copyright © Atlantic Fleet Sales, Norfolk, VA.Mike Smolinski
O'Bannon 85kUndated, location unknownWendell Royce McLaughlin Jr
O'Bannon 124kUSS O'Bannon (DD-987) underway in the Sea of Marmara, off the Turkish coast, May 1980. Photo courtesy of Karsten Petersen.Robert Hurst
O'Bannon 154kApril 14 1981 at Genoa.Carlo Martinelli
O'Bannon 187kApril 15 1981 at Genoa.Carlo Martinelli
O'Bannon 154kApril 22 1981 at Genoa.Carlo Martinelli
O'Bannon 25kRodman, Panama Canal Zone July 31 1982.Marc Piché
O'Bannon 68kLisbon, Portugal January 1984.Marc Piché
O'Bannon 49kLisbon, Portugal January 1984.Marc Piché
O'Bannon 47kUSS O'Bannon (DD-987) closing to refuel from RFA Grey Rover, off Portland, July 1984. Photo taken by George Mortimore.Robert Hurst
O'Bannon 96kDN-ST-92-03447. Two members of Fleet Composite Squadron 6 (VC-6) conduct a pre-launch check on a BQM-74C target drone on the flight deck of the destroyer USS O'BANNON (DD 987) during Unitas XXXII, combined exercise involving the naval forces of the United States and nine other countries. Photo by PH2 John Bivera, July 31 1991.Bill Gonyo
O'Bannon 128kDN-ST-92-03326. Crew members plot the course of the destroyer USS O'BANNON (DD 987) as the ship takes part in Unitas XXXII, a combined exercise involving the naval forces of the United States and nine South American nations. Photo by JO1 Marc Boyd, August 1 1991.Bill Gonyo
O'Bannon 110kDN-ST-92-03453. Crew members man the rails aboard the destroyer USS O'BANNON (DD 987) as it passes through the Panama Canal during Unitas XXXII, a combined exercise involving the naval forces of the United States and nine South American nations. Photo by PH2 John Bivera, August 1 1991.Bill Gonyo
O'Bannon 184kDN-ST-92-03464. Crewmen and guests listen to a U.S. Navy band playing near the stern of the destroyer USS O'BANNON (DD 987) as the ship transits the Panama Canal during Unitas XXXII, a combined exercise involving the naval forces of the United States and nine South American nations. A Light Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 34 (HSL-34) SH-2F Seasprite helicopter and a Fleet Composite Squadron 6 (VC-6) BQM-74C target drone are on the ship's flight deck. Photo by PH2 John Bivera, August 1 1991.Bill Gonyo
O'Bannon 104kDN-ST-92-03456. The destroyer USS O' BANNON (DD-987) moves through the Miraflores Locks as it transits the Panama Canal during Unitas XXXII, a combined exercise involving the Naval forces of the United States and South American nations. Photo by PH2 John Bivera, August 1 1991.Bill Gonyo
O'Bannon 96kDN-ST-92-01296. Crew members aboard the destroyer USS O'BANNON (DD-987) fire a saluting gun as the ship enters port at Valparaiso. The vessel is taking part in exercise Unitas XXXII, an annual, combined exercise involving the U.S. Navy and the naval forces of nine South American countries. Photo by JO1 Marc Boyd, September 14 1991.Bill Gonyo
O'Bannon 119kDN-ST-92-04860. The destroyer USS O' BANNON (DD-987) is silhouetted against the sunlit water while en route to its home port of Naval Station, Charleston, S.C., following Unitas XXXII, a combined exercise involving the naval forces of the United States and eight South American nations. Photo by PH2 John Bivera, December 9 1991.Bill Gonyo
O'Bannon 44kJune 1 1992, Kiel, Germany, the destroyer USS O`Bannon (DD-987) approaches a quay during BALTOPS `92. The German national ensign flies from the stern of the destroyer FGS Molders (D-186) in the foreground.Fred Weiss
O'Bannon 261kJuly 5/6 1992, port side view of the Russian guided missile destroyer Rastoropnyy, foreground, taking part in an exercise with the destroyer USS O'Bannon (DD-987). The O'Bannon and the guided missile cruiser USS Yorktown (CG-48) are visiting the Russian naval base at Severomorsk as part of an ongoing exchange between the navies of the United States and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Photo taken by CWO2 Tony Alleyne. Defenseimagery.mil for DN-SC-93-00284.Robert Hurst/CDR Tony Troxell, USN, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command
O'Bannon 67kUSS O'Bannon DD 987 seen at Malaga, Spain on 19th March 1995.© Daniel Ferro
O'Bannon 66kAt sea aboard USS O’Bannon (DD 987) Nov. 24, 2002, smoke is released from the barrel of the ship’s MK-45 five inch gun mount during a live fire exercise. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Marthaellen L. Ball.Mike Smolinski
O'Bannon 154k030227-N-4649C-001. Caribbean Sea, February 27 2003, the destroyer USS O’Bannon (DD 987) launches a RIM-7 NATO Sea Sparrow missile during an exercise conducted with the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Facility. O’Bannon is the flagship for the multi-national force participating in UNITAS 44-03. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Chantel Chapman.Bill Gonyo
O'Bannon 45k030625-N-9251B-041, the Pacific Ocean, June 25 2003, USS O'Bannon (DD 987) conducts small boat operations in the coastal waters of Chile. O'Bannon is among 19 ships participating in Teamwork South 2003. Teamwork South is a bi-annual multi-national exercise hosted by the Chilean Navy and conducted in Chilean territorial waters to further bolster a robust relationship and mutual understanding in the region. It offers a unique opportunity to maintain a consistent training environment in the region as well as a continued multi-national commitment to hemispheric defense and coalition. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Marthaellen L. Ball.Jack Treutle
O'Bannon 88k050119-N-078F-051. January 19 2005, the Spruance Class Destroyer, USS O'Bannon (DD 987) is escorted by tugs to the Marathi Pier Facility as she arrives for an official port visit to Souda Bay, Crete, Greece, while on a routine deployment to the Mediterranean. U.S. Navy Photo by Paul Farley.Robert M. Cieri
O'Bannon 44k050303-N-0780F-026. March 3 2005, a starboard bow view of the Spruance Class Destroyer, USS O'Bannon (DD 987) as she approaches the Marathi Pier Facility for an official port visit to Souda Bay, Crete, Greece, while on a routine deployment to the Mediterranean. U.S. Navy Photo by Paul Farley.Robert M. Cieri
O'Bannon 193kDeparting Toulon on April 4 2005.Carlo Martinelli
O'Bannon 177kAs above.Carlo Martinelli
O'Bannon 198kAs above.Carlo Martinelli
O'Bannon 27kOctober 2008. the crew of USS Vicksburg executed months of training and rehearsal last week as an integral part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group sinking exercise of the ex-USS O'Bannon. Formed in a column of considerable water-borne firepower, the USS Vicksburg, USS Stout, USS Bainbridge, and USS Halyburton threw much of their war-fighting might at the helpless hulk of what was once DD-987. Vicksburg began the assault with the launch of a Harpoon missile, a spectacle of which the entire crew was invited onto the flight deck to watch. After sending the ordnance down-range, the embarked "Dark Knights" from HSL-46 Detachment Four took to the air for their own assault. Closing to firing range, Detachment Four and Halyburton's Detachment Two used their frame-mounted .50 caliber machine guns and door-mounted M240 machine guns to practice small arms strafing of a surface target. Once their allotted ammo cans were exhausted, the helicopters moved out to a safe distance to observe the warships close and engage the ex-USS O'Bannon in the majestic way that only a mighty surface combatant is able. Each ship was given the chance to fire their Mk 45 5-inch deck guns, Vicksburg being privileged to shoot both her forward and aft batteries. Between rounds of shelling with the 5-inch, each ship made an approach to utilize their SCAT crew-served weapons. As Vicksburg came alongside the EX-O'Bannon, the destruction from the Harpoon missile and 5-inch rounds was evident in the large holes throughout the ship. Closing to within three-hundred yards, the SCAT teams honed their targeting by engaging pre-designated areas of the superstructure. Leaving the EX-O'Bannon riddled with small-arms rounds and on fire, Vicksburg stood off to a safe distance while Bainbridge and Stout each fired an SM-2 missile. These last two engagements proved too great for the doomed ship, and the helicopter crews were able to report on the quick sinking as the EX-O'Bannon slid beneath the waves to its final resting place.Ron Reeves
O'Bannon 102kShip's patchMike Smolinski

USS O'BANNON DD-987 History
Note: History is unavailable at this time
This ship was built too late to be covered by the DANFS project

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Marshall Redfield Willenbucher    Dec 15 1979 - Dec 17 1981
CDR Anthony John Kibble    Dec 17 1981 - Apr 12 1984
CDR Patrick Anthony Callahan    Apr 12 1984 - Jun 12 1986
CDR Walter Scott Slocum    Jun 12 1986 - Jul 25 1988
CDR Mark Ostrom Flaherty    Jul 25 1988 - Jul 21 1990
CDR Robert Bishop Shields Jr.    Jul 21 1990 - May 15 1992
CDR James William Phillips    May 15 1992 - Mar 12 1994
CDR Larry Richard Simmons    Mar 12 1994 - Nov 14 1995
CDR Joseph Jerome O'Conor    Nov 14 1995 - Aug 15 1996
CDR Thomas F. McGuire    Aug 15 1996 - Apr 10 1998
CDR Gordan Evans Van Hook    Apr 10 1998 - Dec 17 1999
CDR Bruce Walter Nichols    Dec 17 1999 - Jul 28 2001
CDR Charles Joseph Berdar    Jul 28 2001 - Mar 12 2003
CDR Troy Allen Stoner    Mar 12 2003 - Aug 19 2005

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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