USS BIDDLE was the ninth and last ship in the BELKNAP - class of guided missile cruisers and the fourth ship in the Navy to bear the name. Decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on November 30, 1993, the BIDDLE was later sold for scrapping.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: January 16, 1962|
|Keel laid: December 9, 1963|
|Launched: July 2, 1965|
|Commissioned: January 21, 1967|
|Decommissioned: November 30, 1993|
|Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine|
|Propulsion system:4 - 1200 psi boilers; 2 General Electric geared turbines|
|Length: 548 feet (167 meters)|
|Beam: 55 feet (16.8 meters)|
|Draft: 28,5 feet (8.7 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 8,100 tons|
|Speed: 30+ knots|
|Aircraft: one |
|Armament: two Mk 141 |
|Crew: 27 officers and 450 enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS BIDDLE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
Accidents aboard USS BIDDLE:
|January 10, 1981||Norfolk, Va.||USS BIDDLE and the USS RALEIGH (LPD 1) are slightly damaged when the BIDDLE strikes the moored RALEIGH while approaching a pier in Norfolk, Va.|
USS BIDDLE's Commanding Officers:
|January 1967 - September 1968||Captain Maylon T. Scott, USN|
|September 1968 - May 1970||Captain Alfred R. Olsen, USN|
|May 1970 - June 1971||Captain Louis J. Collister, USN|
|June 1971 - July 1972||Captain William O. McDaniel, USN|
|July 1972 - August 1974||Captain Edward W. Carter III, USN|
|August 1974 - August 1976||Captain Francis L. Carreli, USN|
|August 1976 - August 1978||Captain Albert L. Henry, USN|
|August 1978 - September 1980||Captain John N. Ryan, USN|
|September 1980 - September 1982||Captain Hollis E. Robertson, USN|
|September 1982 - June 1984||Captain Alvaro R. Gomez, USN|
|June 1984 - June 1986||Captain Joseph T. Hock, USN|
|June 1986 - October 1988||Captain Benjamin E. Allen, Jr., USN|
|October 1988 - September 1990||Captain Grant D. Fulkerson, USN|
|September 1990 - May 1992||Captain Louis F. Harlow, Jr., USN|
|May 1992 - November 1993||Captain Larry Gionet, USN|
About the Ship's Name:
Captain Nicholas Biddle was born 10 September 1750 in Philadelphia. At the age of 13 he went to sea in the merchant service, and in 1772 entered the British Navy as a midshipman. As tension mounted between the Colonies and the Crown, Biddle resigned his commission and returned to America, volunteering his services to his home state of Pennsylvania. On 1 August, 1775 he became Commanding Officer of the armed galley FRANKLIN, which had been fitted out by the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety to defend the Delaware.
In December 1775, Captain Biddle took command of the 14-gun brig ANDREW DORIA and joined the fleet commanded by Esek Hopkins in the expedition against New Providence. In this action ANDREW DORIA captured numerous armed merchantmen, including two armed transports carrying 400 reinforcements for the British Army in North America.
Later, Captain Biddle assumed command of RANDOLPH, which was manned in part by paroled British prisoners of war. These prisoners mutinied shortly after the ship sailed, but the superb leadership of the 27 year old captain ended the trouble quickly.
Violent storms dismasted his ship off the Delaware Capes, but Captain Biddle's superb seamanship brought RANDOLPH into Charleston for repairs. He sailed again for the West Indies on 4 September, 1777 and enroute captured HMS TRUE BRITON, along with her three ship convoy. Captain Biddle took his fourth prize back to Charleston and blockaded there until late February 1778, when he successfully eluded the British patrol and escaped to the open sea.
On 7 March, 1778 RANDOLPH, 32 guns, engaged HMS YARMOUTH, 64 guns. Despite his firepower disadvantage and a severe wound received early in action, Captain Biddle brilliantly directed the cannon fire of his ship, and YARMOUTH's commanding officer later reported that RANDOLPH fired three accurate broadsides to YARMOUTH's one. Tragically, however, fire penetrated RANDOLPH's powder magazines, and the ship exploded and sank instantly. Captain Biddle perished, and his 315 man crew had only four survivors.
Thus ended the brief but illustrious career of Captain Nicholas Biddle, Continental Navy. His life ended short of its twenty eighth year.
USS BIDDLE Image Gallery: