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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NDQV

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - QUIET WARRIOR

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. November 27 1972.
Launched November 10 1973.
Commissioned September 20 1975.
Decommissioned March 23 2005 at NavSta, Mayport, FL.
Fate: Sunk as a target off the Virginia Capes during Sinkex December 7-8 2006.

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Spruance 38kRaymond Ames Spruance was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on 3 July 1886, son of Alexander P. and Annie Ames (Hiss) Spruance. He attended high schools in East Orange, New Jersey, and Indianapolis, Indiana, and Stevens Preparatory School, Hoboken, New Jersey, before entering the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on appointment from Indiana in 1903. Graduated on 12 September 1906, with the Class of 1907, he served the two years at sea, then required by law, and was commissioned Ensign on 13 September 1908. Advancing progressively in rank, he attained that of Admiral, to date from 4 February 1944. He was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy in that rank on 1 July 1948. After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1906, he served on USS Iow until July 1907, then joined USS Minnesota, in which he made the World Cruise of the Fleet. In April 1909, he reported for instruction in electrical engineering at the General Electric Company, Schenectady, New York. Again ordered to sea, he served from May 1910 until October 1911 on USS Connecticut, after which he was Senior Engineer Officer of USS Cincinnati. In March 1913, he assumed command of USS Bainbridge. He returned to the United States in May 1914 and was assigned as Assistant to the Inspector of Machinery at the Newport News (Virginia) Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. During the period February to June 1916, he assisted in fitting out USS Pennyslvania and served on board that battleship from her commissioning, 12 June 1916 until November 1917. The last year of World War I, he was assigned as Assistant Engineer Officer of the Navy Yard, New York, New York, with additional temporary duty in London, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland, in connection with fire control. In January 1919, he reported as Executive Officer of USS Agamemnon, employed in returning troops to the United States after the end of the war. Between April 1919 and June 1921, he successively fitted out and commanded USS Aaron Ward and USS Percival. He was assigned to the Bureau of Engineering, Navy Department, Washington, DC, to the Commander Naval Forces Europe. He then assumed command of USS Dale and later commanded USS Osborne. He attended the Senior Course at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, during the period July 1926 to May 1927, after which he had a tour of duty in the Office of Naval Intelligence, Navy Department. In October 1929, he reported as Executive Officer of USS Mississippi and in June 1931 returned to the Naval War College for duty on the Staff. He was Chief of Staff and Aide to Commander Destroyers, Scouting Fleet from May 1933 until March 1935, then again served on the Staff of the Naval War College until April 1938, when he rejoined USS Mississippi this time to serve until January 1940 as Commanding Officer. In February 1940 he became the Commandant of the Tenth Naval District with headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and in July 1941 was assigned additional duty as Commander Caribbean Sea Frontier. He assumed command on 17 September 1941, of Cruiser Division Five, and served as second in command during operations in the Marshall Islands and at Wake Island in February 1942; and in the same capacity during the Marcus Island operations the following months. He was Junior Task Force Commander during the Battle of Midway in June 1942, when his force assisted in inflicting on the Japanese Navy its first decisive defeat in three hundred and fifty years. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and cited as follows: “For exceptionally meritorious service… as Task Force Commander, United States Pacific Fleet. During the Midway engagement which resulted in the defeat of and heavy losses to the enemy fleet, his seamanship, endurance, and tenacity in handling his task force were of the highest quality.” He is also entitled to the Ribbon for and a facsimile of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the USS Enterprise. In June 1942 he reported as Chief of Staff and Aide to the Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, and in September of that year was designated Deputy Commander in Chief. In August 1943, he became Commander Central Pacific Force, which on 29 April 1944 was redesignated Commander Fifth Fleet. During these Pacific assignments, he was in overall command of the occupation of the Gilbert Islands, November 1943; the invasion of the Marshalls, January 1944; operations for the capture of Saipan, Guam and Tinian in the Marianas, which included the Battle of the Philippine Sea, 19 – 20 June, 1944, and later for the capture of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He was awarded Gold Stars in lieu of the Second and Third Distinguished Service Medals. The citations follow in part according to dates of action: Gold Star in lieu of the Third Distinguished Service Medal: “For exceptionally meritorious Chief of Staff and later as Deputy Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, while serving on the staff of Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, from June 18, 1942 to August 5, 1943…(He) exercised sound judgment, keen foresight and expert administrative ability in carrying out his many and varied duties, and… contributed materially to increasing the tempo of the war against Japan…” Gold Star in lieu of the Second Distinguished Service Medal: “…in a position of great responsibility as Commander Central Pacific Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, during the seizure and occupation of the Gilbert Islands in November 1943. In command of naval forces and certain Army amphibious and air forces during the assaults on Tarawa, Makin and Apamama, Vice Admiral Spruance conducted this action with daring strategy brilliant employment of the units of this command. The expeditious completion of this vital operation under his forceful leadership assured success in opening the Central Pacific Area to the United States Forces.” He was also awarded the Navy Cross “for extraordinary heroism as Commander Fifth Fleet in action against enemy Japanese forces during the invasion and capture of Iwo Jim, Volcano Islands, and Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, from January to May 1945…” The citation further states in part: “Responsible for the operation of a vast and complicated organization which included more than 500,000 men of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, 318 combatant vessels and 1139 auxiliary vessels, (he) directed the forces under his command with daring, courage and aggressiveness. Carrier units of his force penetrated waters of the Japanese Homeland and Nansei Shoto and inflicted severe damage upon hostile aircraft, shore installations and shipping…” Detached from command of the Fifth Fleet on 8 November 1945, following the capitulation of the Japanese in August of that year, he relieved Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, as Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas. He was relieved of that command on 1 February 1946 and ordered to duty as President of the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. On 16 October 1946, the former Secretary of War, the Honorable Robert P. Patterson, presented the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Admiral Spruance, with citation as follows: “Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, U.S. Navy, as Task Force Commander during the capture of the Marshall and Marianas Islands, rendered exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services from January to June 1944. During the joint operations leading to the assault and capture of the important enemy bases, complete integration of Army and Navy units was accomplished under his outstanding leadership, enabling all the forces to perform their closely co-ordinated missions with outstanding success.” On 18 March 1948, Admiral Spruance was presented the Insignia and Chancery documents of the decoration of Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold with Palm and the Croix de Guerre with Palm, by the Belgian Ambassador for the Prince Regent of Belgium. He continued duty as President of the Naval War College until relieved of active duty pending his retirement on 1 July 1948. Shortly before his retirement, he received the following Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy: "Your brilliant record of achievement in World War II played a decisive part in our victory in the Pacific. At the crucial Battle of Midway your daring and skilled leadership routed the enemy in the full tide of his advance and established the pattern of air-sea warfare which was to lead to his eventual capitulation..." Admiral Spruance was appointed Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines by President Harry S. Truman in January 1952 and his resignation was accepted by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on 31 March 1955. In addition to the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with two Gold Stars, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Commendation Ribbon and the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Admiral Spruance had the Victory Medal, Overseas Clasp (World War I); American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp. Besides the Belgian decorations, he had the Gold Cross of the Chevalier of the Order of the Savior from the Government of Greece, and the Honorary Companion of the Order of the Bath from Great Britain. Admiral Spruance died on 13 December 1969, at his home in Pebble Beach, California. Ron Reeves/Robert M. Cieri
Spruance 252kUndated, location unknown.-
Spruance 33kUndated, location unknown.Joe Radigan
Spruance 59kUndated postcard Copyright © Atlantic Fleet Sales, Norfolk, VA.Mike Smolinski
Spruance 117kUndated image from the NAVSEA Journal.Bob Bush
Spruance 72kUndated, location unknown. Photo © Atlantic Fleet Sales.Robert M. Cieri
Spruance 74kUndated, location unknown.Robert Hurst
Spruance 123kUndated, location unknown. Photo from "Twenty-First Century Warships" by Steve Crawford.Robert Hurst
Spruance 208kUndated, the newly built destroyer USS Spruance (DD-963) lies askew in the broken Litton Launch Platform. The break in the platform appears about halfway along the wing wall. Image scanned from Mud, Muscle, and Miracles by Captain Charles A. Bartholomew, USN and Commander William I. Milwee, Jr., USN (Ret.).Robert Hurst
Spruance 48kUSS Spruance (DD-963) Automobile bumper sticker issued by the Litton Industries in anticipation of the ship's launching, which took place at their Pascagoula, Mississippi, shipyard on 10 November 1973. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Spruance 170kCover from the Launching Ceremony pamphlet, Pascagoula, MS 10 November 1973.Robert M. Cieri
Spruance 82kPhoto #: NH 96863. The stern-wheeler riverboat Magnolia Blossom nudges up to the ship during her launching ceremonies, at the Ingalls shipyard, Pascagoula, Mississippi, 10 November 1973. Spruance's christening party was embarked on the riverboat. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Bill Gonyo


Commemorative coin from the launching.Tommy Trampp
Spruance 86kOn builders trials February 1975.Robert Hurst
Spruance 196kOn trials February 1975.Bill Gonyo
Spruance 29kUSS Spruance (DD-963) bow-on view from the drydock floor, during the latter stages of the ship's construction, circa early 1975. Note large dome for her SQS-53 bow-mounted sonar. Photo was received in May 1975. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 96864 Mike Green
Spruance 166kLitton East Bank Shipyard, Pascagoula, Mississippi. Six Spruance class destroyers fitting out, circa May 1975. Ships are, from left: Paul F. Foster (DD-964); Spruance (DD-963), then running trials; Arthur W. Radford (DD-968); Elliot (DD-967); Hewitt (DD-966) and Kinkaid (DD-965). Official U.S. Navy Photograph.Fred Weiss
Spruance 157kUSS Spruance (DD-963) underway in the Gulf of Mexico, during trials. Photograph was received in May 1975. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.Fred Weiss
Spruance 85kCover from the Commissioning Ceremony pamphlet, Pascagoula, MS 20 September 1975.Robert M. Cieri
Spruance 127kUnderway in the Gulf of Mexico, during her shakedown cruise in the Fall of 1975. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.Fred Weiss
Spruance 91kUSS Spruance (DD-963) Lowering a 26-foot motor whaleboat for man overboard drill, during the ship's shakedown cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, Autumn 1975. Photograph was received in November 1975. It was taken by PH1 Lonnie M. McKay. The boat is 26MW7317. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Spruance 108kUSS Spruance (DD-963) underway in heavy seas from Hurricane Inez, during her shakedown cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, Autumn 1975. Photograph was received in November 1975. It was taken by PH1 Lonnie M. McKay. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Spruance 60kPhoto #: NH 103816. Admiral James L. Holloway, III, USN, Chief of Naval Operations (center, front) visiting USS Spruance (DD-963), one of the Atlantic Fleet Surface Force's newest ships, at Charleston, South Carolina, 18 March 1976. Vice Admiral Robert E. Adamson, Jr., Commander, Surface Force, Atlantic Fleet, is in the left center background. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.Bill Gonyo
Spruance 55kRotterdam, The Netherlands May 29 1977.Marc Piché
Spruance 27kAs above.Marc Piché
Spruance   Spruance   Spruance   Spruance
Spruance   Spruance   Spruance   Spruance
Welcome Aboard pamphlet - circa 1978
Wolfgang Hechler
Spruance 86kUSS Spruance (DD-963) cruising near the Soviet carrier Minsk off the coast of Tunisia, 1979. NPC #1174867.DCC(SS/SW) David Johnston, USN
Spruance 95kAt Barcelona, Spain, on Jan. 23, 1979, as she appeared in her early years, prior to installation of VLS, Harpoon, Phalanx, etc. The Spruances were initially criticized for their "lack of punch" and as being the "largest and lightest armed DDs in the World"; later, once they received their complete electronics and weapons systems, and after operational experience had underscored their virtues, their reputation improved remarkably and they were considered among the most valuable active ships in the Navy.Fabio Peña
Spruance 104kSee the inscription "Spruance International Heliport". Hangar size varies from ship to ship. Note the SATCOM antenna mounted atop the hangar, along with the two-antenna Mk.95 radar of the Mk.91 fire-control system for the ship's NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System. Barcelona, Spain, Jan. 23, 1979.Fabio Peña
Spruance 265kFebruary 22 1979, location unknown.Carlo Martinelli
Spruance 92kUSS Spruance DD-963, taken in the Mediterranean Sea in February of 1980.Robert M. Cieri
Spruance 105kDetail view of the forward superstructure and the base of the heavy foremast. The familiar ASROC "pepperbox" was still there but the rest of the area looks relatively uncluttered if compared with photos taken 20 years later! (The large, black, rectangular SPS-48 radar antenna belonged to USS Wainwright (CG 28), moored outboard of Spruance). Barcelona, Spain, April 20, 1980.Fabio Peña
Spruance 75kUSS Spruance (DD 963) shows her markedly straight lines in this photo taken at Barcelona, Spain, on April 20, 1980. The guided missile cruiser USS Wainwright (CG 28), alongside, had quite a different hull design. What both ships had in common was a stem-mounted anchor, revealing a large bow sonar dome.Fabio Peña
Spruance   Spruance   Spruance   Spruance   Spruance   Spruance
Spruance   Spruance   Spruance   Spruance   Spruance
Change of Command pamphlet - June 19 1981
Robert M. Cieri
Spruance 39kPortsmouth, England July 14 1983.Marc Piché
Spruance 27kAs above.Marc Piché
Spruance 43kAs above.Marc Piché
Spruance 32kAs above.Marc Piché
Spruance 115kDN-ST-85-11657. October 8 1983, a bow view of the destroyer USS Spruance (DD 963), left, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Ticonderoga (CG 47) moored at the destroyer and submarine piers, Naval Operating Base Norfolk. Although the superstructures are different, these ships use the same basic hull and propulsion plant. The destroyer tender USS Shenandoah (AD 44) appears in the background. U.S. Navy Photo by Don S. Montgomery.Robert M. Cieri
Spruance 25kUSS Spruance, closing to refuel from RFA Grey Rover, North Atlantic, March 1984. Photo taken by George Mortimore.Robert Hurst
Spruance 139kJune 1987.Bill Gonyo
Spruance 114kUSS Spruance (DD-963) underway after modernization with the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System, circa June 1987. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 96851 Mike Green
Spruance 229kLate 1980's in the Virginia Capes.Ed Cleary
Spruance 91kDN-ST-93-00011. Crewmen on the deck of the grounded destroyer USS SPRUANCE (DD-963) watch as the salvage ship USS GRASP (ARS-51) applies 140 tons of force to a tow line attached to the destroyer's bow. The SPRUANCE ran aground off Andros Island, Bahamas, January 25, 1989. Photo taken on January 28 1989.Bill Gonyo
Spruance 84kIn the Atlantic early 1990's.Marc Piché
Spruance 126kDN-ST-91-08598. The crew of the destroyer USS SPRUANCE (DD-963) mans the rails as the ship arrives at the pier. The SPRUANCE and other ships of the aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA (CV-60) battle group are returning to Mayport following their deployment to the Persian Gulf region for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Photo by PH3 Laurie Nippert, March 28 1991.Bill Gonyo
Spruance   Spruance   Spruance   Spruance
Spruance   Spruance   Spruance   Spruance
Welcome Aboard pamphlet - circa 1992
Wolfgang Hechler
Spruance 214kArriving at La Spezia, Italy on November 15 1999.Carlo Martinelli
Spruance 191kAs above.Carlo Martinelli
Spruance 159kDeparting La Spezia, Italy on November 22 1999.Carlo Martinelli
Spruance 87kToulon, France in 2003.Laurent Lamarche
Spruance 89k040915-N-9376H-001. Arabian Sea, September 15 2004, the guided missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 963) fires its 5"/54 gun during a three-day exercise in the Central Arabian Gulf. The joint exercise included USS Vicksburg (CG 69), USS Sirocco (PC 6), USCGC Baranof (WPB 1318) and air assets from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17. The Spruance is on a scheduled deployment in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR). U.S. Navy photo.Bill Gonyo
Spruance 154k041016-N-8704K-003. Arabian Gulf, October 16 2004, USS Sprunace (DD 963) steams along side the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) prior to commencing flight operations. The Kennedy and Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW 17) deployed June 7 and are operating in the Middle East region as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Units in the strike group are working closely with Multi-National Corps-Iraq and Iraqi forces to bring stability to the sovereign government of Iraq. US Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Third Class (AW/SW) Joshua Karsten.Robert M. Cieri
Spruance 78kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Spruance   Spruance
Ship's ashtray
Tommy Trampp

View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Raymond John Harbrecht    Sep 20 1975 - Jun 13 1977

CDR James Peter Cormack    Jun 13 1977 - Jul 7 1979

CDR Richard James Hayes    Jul 7 1979 - Jun 19 1981

CDR Patrick Martin Shepherd    Jun 19 1981 - Sep 2 1983

CDR Vernon Edward Clark    Sep 2 1983 - Nov 9 1985 (Later ADM & CNO)

CDR Glenn Frederick Gottschalk    Nov 9 1985 - Feb 27 1988

CDR Travis Wood Parker Jr.    Feb 27 1988 - Feb 10 1989

CDR Christopher Edward Weaver    Feb 10 1989 - Oct 1 1991 (Later RADM)

CDR William John Gerken    Oct 1 1991 - Oct 20 1992

CDR Richard Preston Foster    Oct 20 1992 - Jun 17 1994

CDR James Warren Stevenson Jr.    Jun 17 1994 - May 17 1996

CDR Mark Gregory Wahlstrom    May 17 1996 - Dec 6 1997

CDR Charles Edward Wilson Jr.    Dec 6 1997 - May 7 1999

CDR Robert Michael Wall    May 7 1999 - May 10 2001

CDR Scott Anthony Robinson    May 10 2001 - Sep 13 2002

CDR Michael John Foster    Sep 13 2002 - Jan 20 2004

CDR Jerome Frederick Hamel    Jan 20 2004 - Mar 23 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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