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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NBDQ

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. September 23 1974.
Launched August 24 1975 and commissioned November 19 1977.
Decommissioned on February 28, 2002.
Stricken November 6, 2002.
Fate: Sunk as a target July 11, 2008 by a Mark 48, Mod 7 torpedo fired from the HMAS Waller during RIMPAC 2008.

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Ray 55kDavid R. Ray, Hospital Corpsman Second Class, United States Navy for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Corpsman with Battery D, 2nd Battalion at Phu Loc 6, near An Hoa on 19 March 1969. During the early morning hours an estimated battalion sized enemy force launched a determined assault against the battery's position and succeeded in effecting a penetration of the barbed-wire perimeter. The initial burst of enemy fire caused numerous casualties among the Marines who had immediately manned their howitzers during the rocket and mortar attack. Undaunted by the intense hostile fire, Petty Officer Ray moved parapet to parapet, rendering emergency -medical treatment to the wounded. Although seriously wounded himself while administering first aid to a Marine casualty, he refused medical aid and continued his lifesaving efforts. While he was bandaging and attempting to comfort another wounded Marine, Petty Officer Ray was forced to battle two enemy soldiers who attacked his position, personally killing one and wounding the other. Rapidly losing his strength as a result of his severe wounds, he nonetheless managed to move through the hail of enemy fire to other casualties. once again, Petty Officer Ray was faced with the intense fire of oncoming enemy troops and, despite the grave personal danger and insurmountable odds, succeeded in treating the wounded and holding off the enemy until he ran out of ammunition, at which time he sustained fatal wounds. Petty Officer Ray's final act of heroism was to protect the patient he was treating. He threw himself upon the wounded Marine, thus saving the man's life when an enemy grenade exploded nearby. Through his determined and preserving actions, courageous spirit, and loyalty to the welfare of his Marine comrades, he served to inspire the men of Battery D to heroic efforts in defeating the enemy. Petty Officer Ray's exemplary conduct, steadfast determination, and unwavering devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. /s/ Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States Bill Gonyo
Ray 175kUndated, location unknown.-
Ray 133kUndated, location unknown.Jerry Hays
Ray 119kUndated, location unknown.William T. Larkins
Ray 59kUndated postcard Copyright © Marine Photos, San Diego, CA.Mike Smolinski
Ray 125kUndated view of the USS Peterson (DD-969), USS Caron (DD-970) and USS David R. Ray (DD-971) under construction at Pascagoula, MS from the NAVSEA Journal.Bob Bush
Ray 63kUndated, at Long Beach, CA.Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR (Ret.)
Ray 119kUndated, location unknown.Tommy Trampp
Ray 145kUndated postcard.Tommy Trampp
Ray 44kPanama Canal December 1977.Marc Piché
Ray 161kUSS David R. Ray (DD-971) & the USS O'Brien (DD-975) pier side at NAS North Island circa 1979.Richard Stiles
Ray 152kAs above.Richard Stiles
Ray 53kAt Yokosuka, Japan in October 1979.Richard Stiles
Ray 70kThe Ray in the Indian Ocean during the Iranian hostage crises, maneuvering near the USS Kitty Hawk CV-63, at dawn with a RH-53 helicopter of HM-16 (the squadron that attempted the hostage rescue) getting in some practice, circa December 1979/January 1980.Richard Stiles
Ray 94kThe same morning as the above, showing the sunrise over the stern of the USS David R. Ray (DD-971).Richard Stiles
Ray 84kJanuary 15 1980, Indian Ocean, a port bow view of the destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD 971 ) as seen from the aircraft carrier USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63).Fred Weiss
Ray 59kSeattle August 1980.Marc Piché
Ray 68kSeattle August 1980.Marc Piché
Ray 244kUSS Midway (CV-41) approaching Naval Facility Subic Bay, Philippines, 14 September 1982. Midway, with assigned Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW-5), was deployed to the Western Pacific from 14 September to 11 December 1982. In the floating dry dock in the foreground is the Spruance-class destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD-971). Moored side-by-side at the pier are the Knox-class frigates USS Kirk (FF-1087) and USS Francis Hammond (FF-1067). The guided missile cruiser USS Sterett (CG-31) is visible in the background. Photo taken by PHCS Steven Harris, USN. U.S. DefenseImagery photo VIRIN: DN-ST-84-00331.Robert Hurst
Ray 72kSan Diego January 10 1984.Marc Piché
Ray 54kSan Diego January 10 1984.Marc Piché
Ray 180kA series of 20 views of the USS David R. Ray (DD-971) in San Diego, mid summer 1985.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 155kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 171kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 135kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 133kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 198kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 183kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 114kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 135kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 133kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 140kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 144kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 183kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 168kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 155kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 103kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 139kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 160kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 129kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 138kAs above.Ed Zajkowski
Ray 133kDN-SC-86-03200. October 12 1985, the Spruance-class destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD 971) passes Alcatraz Island, with crewmen manning the rail during San Francisco Fleet Week '85 activities. U.S. Navy Photo by PH3 J.W.R. Oslund.Robert M. Cieri
Ray 111kSan Diego in 1990.David Buell
Ray 32kVictoria, BC December 5 1992.Marc Piché
Ray 114kDN-ST-94-02158. An informal portrait of Commander Alberto E. Vasquez, Jr., commanding officer of the destroyer USS DAVID R. RAY (DD-971) on the bridge of his command. Cdr. Vasquez is one of only four Hispanic officers to command surface ships in the U.S. Navy. Long Beach photo by PH1 Bob Shanks, November 1 1993.Bill Gonyo
Ray 28kSan Francisco October 1995.Marc Piché
Ray 92kSan Francisco October 1995.Marc Piché
Ray 85kThe destroyer USS DAVID R. RAY (DD-971), underway during fleet operation in the Eastern Pacific on Sept. 30, 1997.Bill Gonyo
Ray 85kSeptember 15 2000, the Destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD 971 ) (Spruance class), in the Pacific Northwest during the People`s Republic of China "Goodwill Cruise 2000."Fred Weiss
Ray 25kDecommissioning ceremony February 28 2002.Paul Yarnall
Ray 221k020228-N-5374S-001. Naval Station Everett, WA, February 28 2002, sailors aboard the destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD 971) disembark as the watch is secured and colors are drawn during the Ray's decommissioning ceremony. USS David R. Ray (DD 971) served for nearly 25 years from Nov. 19, 1977 until Feb. 28, 2002. U.S. Navy photo by: PH1 Patrick J. Sullivan.Robert M. Cieri
Ray 50kFebruary 21 2008, Spruance class ex-David R. Ray is swinging to a buoy in Sinclair Inlet just south of Bremerton. Preparing for a SINKEX. CDR Pete Leenhouts, USN (Ret.)
Ray 86kShip's patchMike Smolinski
Ray 74kBumper sticker.Tommy Trampp

USS DAVID R. RAY DD-971 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 Edward Bigelow Baker Jr.    Nov 19 1977 - May 12 1979 (Later RADM)

CDR Frederick Triggs III    May 12 1979 - May 21 1981

CDR Larry Ray Seaquist    May 21 1981 - May 27 1983

CDR Donald Ray Rhodes    May 27 1983 - Jul 8 1985

CDR Peter Avard Chipman Long    Jul 8 1985 - Jul 27 1987 (Later RADM)

CDR Brian James Barry    Jul 27 1987 - Jun 7 1989

CDR Wesley Allen Bergazzi    Jun 7 1989 - Apr 13 1991

CDR John Collins Harvey Jr.    Apr 13 1991 - Dec 8 1992 (Later ADM)

CDR Alberto Ernesto Vasquez Jr.    Dec 8 1992 - Oct 24 1994

CDR Steve Martin Kreutner    Oct 24 1994 - Jul 30 1996

CDR William Edward Dewes    Jul 30 1996 - Mar 9 1998

CDR Richard Douglas Fitzpatrick    Mar 9 1998 - Aug 11 1998

CDR Clifton Eugene Perkins Jr.    Aug 11 1998 - Apr 29 2000

CDR Todd Webster Malloy    Apr 29 2000 - Feb 28 2002

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Steve Korpal
Address: 938 Big Dalton Avenue, La Puente, CA 91740
Phone: (626)327-5425
E-mail: or

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 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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