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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NOPQ

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. August 29 1977.
Launched November 22 1978 and commissioned February 16 1980.
Decommissioned August 25 2004.
Fate Sunk as a target off North Carolina, July 22 2006.

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Thorn 38kJonathan Thorn was born on 8 January 1779 at Schenectady, N.Y. and was appointed a midshipman on 28 April 1800. Subsequently serving with the Navy during the Tripolitan War, Thorn volunteered to take part in the hazardous expedition to destroy the captured frigate Philadelphia, which lay beneath the guns of the shore batteries in heavily defended Tripoli harbor. On 16 February 1804, Lt. Stephen Decatur, Jr., led a party of these volunteers in the ketch Intrepid into Tripoli and burned the erstwhile American frigate. Attached to the schooner Enterprise, Thorn was then assigned to Gunboat No. 4, under Decatur's command. In this vessel, he participated in the attack on Tripoli, with Commodore Edward Preble's squadron on 3 August 1804. Specially commended by Decatur for his conduct in this battle, Thorn received command of one of the Tripolitan gunboats captured and commanded this vessel in the engagement with the Tripolitan pirates on 7 August. Commissioned a lieutenant on 16 February 1807, Thorn became the first commandant of the New York Navy Yard at age 27. In 1810, he was granted a two-year furlough to command John Jacob Astor's sailing bark Tonquin in a voyage slated to take the ship to the Pacific Northwest to establish a fur trading post. Anchoring off Nootka on 5 June 1811, after a voyage which had taken the ship around Cape Horn to the Hawaiian Islands and to the mouth of the Columbia River, Thorn soon began trading with the local Indians. Angered by what they considered a bad business deal, the Indians came on board Tonquin and, in a brief, bloody action, massacred Thorn and his crew.Bill Gonyo
Thorn 58kUndated postcard Copyright © Atlantic Fleet Sales, Norfolk, VA.Mike Smolinski
Thorn 85kAtlantic Ocean, date unknown, starboard beam view of the Spruance class destroyer USS Thorn (DD-988) underway.Fred Weiss
Thorn 93kUndated, location unknown.Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr
Thorn 212kUSS Thorn (DD-988) is christened by Mrs. Charles H. Ansley.S. Dale Hargrave
Thorn 211kAt Livorno, Italy on July 25 1981.Carlo Martinelli.
Thorn 99kDN-ST-90-01494. A port view of the destroyer USS THORN (DD 988) entering a port during the multinational naval Exercise UNITAS XXV. Photo by PHC Terry Mitchell, January 1 1984.Bill Gonyo
Thorn 96kDN-ST-90-01478, USS Thorn (DD 988) during the multinational naval exercise UNITAS XXV. Naval Air Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. Photo by PH2 Paul Erickson June 14 1984.Bill Gonyo
Thorn 117kDN-ST-85-08182. Officers from the United States and South America countries pose together on the deck of the Spruance-class destroyer USS Thorn (DD 988) prior to a ceremony marking the beginning of Operation UNITAS XXV. Marine Corps Brigadier General Joseph P. Hoar and Rear Admiral Clinton Taylor are standing in the center. Photo by JOCS Kirby Harrison at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico June 14 1984.Bill Gonyo
Thorn 58kPortsmouth, England June 18 1986.Marc Piché
Thorn 32kPortsmouth, England October 21 1986.Marc Piché
Thorn 113kGenoa, Italy on November 21 1987.Carlo Martinelli
Thorn 172kGenoa, Italy on November 25 1987.Carlo Martinelli
Thorn 27kBarcelona, Spain December 21 1987.Marc Piché
Hancock 221kDN-SC-95-01140. A starboard quarter view of the Spruance-class destroyers USS John Hancock (DD 981) and USS Thorn (DD 988) undergoing a routine overhaul at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Corporation located on the James River in Virginia. Taken by Don S. Montgomery, USN (Ret) on 29 October 1994.Robert M. Cieri
Thorn 37kHamburg, Germany September 13 1996.Marc Piché
Thorn 165kRoosevelt Roads, PR during March 1998.PNC Jim Bowers USN (Ret.)
Thorn 119kAs above.PNC Jim Bowers USN (Ret.)
Thorn 33kPortsmouth, VA July 24 1998.Marc Piché
Thorn 60kPortsmouth, VA July 24 1998.Marc Piché
Thorn 58kPortsmouth, VA July 24 1998.Marc Piché
Thorn 69kUSS Thorn DD 988 in Gibraltar on 10th May 2001.© Daniel Ferro
Thorn 120kDockside in Valetta, Malta on July 4, 2001.Marc Piché
Thorn 126kAt Barcelona, Spain, on Aug. 10, 2001. She is fitted with a Mk.23 target acquisition system, SQR-19 TACTAS, SLQ-32(v)3 ECM and SLQ-25 Nixie torpedo decoy, SSQ-108 ELINT system, 1 21-cell RAM launcher, etc.Fabio Peña
Thorn 119kAs aboveFabio Peña
Thorn 34kWestern Mediterranean December 23 2001.Marc Piché
Thorn 63kAt sea aboard USS Thorn (DD-988) July 21, 2003, the destroyer fires her aft MK 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight gun mount during Sink Exercise (SINKEX) 2003 off the coast of Virginia. U.S. Navy Photo.Fred Weiss
Thorn 110k030721-N-0000S-088. At sea aboard USS Thorn (DD 988) July. 21, 2003, the destroyer USS Thorn (DD 988) launches an AGM-84A “Harpoon” missile during Sink Exercise (SINKEX) 2003 off the coast of Virginia. U.S. Navy photo by Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Brian Smith. Bill Gonyo
Thorn 66kSeptember 5 2003, left to right, USS Thorn (DD 988), USS Cole (DDG 67), and USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), members of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, perform divisional tactics while underway in the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. Navy photo.Fred Weiss
Thorn 96k030905-N-5471P-005 Atlantic Ocean, September 5 2003, Enterprise Carrier Strike Group ships, USS Thorn (DD 988), USS Cole (DDG 67), and the USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), perform divisional tactics while underway in the Atlantic Ocean. The guided missile destroyers are conducting work-ups before an upcoming six-month deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Aaron Peterson.Bill Gonyo
Thorn 88k030922-N-7748K-004 Atlantic Ocean (Sept. 22, 2003), the Spruance-class destroyer USS Thorn (DD 988) escorts USS Enterprise (CVN 65) during the Comprehensive Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). The Enterprise Strike Group is underway participating in COMPTUEX in preparation for a Mediterranean Deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Joshua C. Kinter.Fabio Peña
Thorn 84kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Thorn 80kShip's Zippo.Tommy Trampp
Thorn 80kShip's Sunset Cruise Zippo.Tommy Trampp

USS THORN DD-988 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 Charles Alan Sellgren    Feb 16 1980 - Feb 19 1982

CDR Richard Ernest Pearsall    Feb 19 1982 - Feb 24 1984

CDR Eugene Anthony Razzetti    Feb 24 1984 - Apr 18 1986

CDR Jack Edward Martin    Apr 18 1986 - Jul 29 1988

CDR Herbert Charles Kaler    Jul 29 1988 - Jun 8 1990

CDR Edward William Kelly    Jun 8 1990 - Mar 27 1992

CDR James Byron Campbell    Mar 27 1992 - Dec 7 1993

CDR Robert Daniel Conrad    Dec 7 1993 - Jul 21 1995

CDR Benjamin Hiram Bankston    Jul 21 1995 - Feb 24 1997

CDR Martin Alan Drake    Feb 24 1997 - Sep 11 1998

CDR Joseph Sensi Jr.    Sep 11 1998 - Jun 2 2000

CDR Alfred Leon Pope    Jun 2 2000 - Jan 1 2002

CDR Dale Scott Chapman    Jan 1 2002 - Jan 16 2002 (Acting)

CDR John Dewitt Little    Jan 16 2002 - Jun 25 2004

LCDR Anthony John Lesperance    Jun 25 2004 - Aug 25 2004

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 13 July 2018