USS GRAVELY is one of the Flight IIA ARLEIGH BURKE - class of Aegis guided missile destroyers and the first ship in the Navy named after Vice Admiral Samuel Lee Gravely, Jr.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: September 13, 2002|
|Keel laid: November 26, 2007|
|Launched: March 30, 2009|
|Commissioned: November 20, 2010|
|Builder: Northrop Grumman Ship Systems' Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, Miss.|
|Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines|
|Length: 508,5 feet (155 meters)|
|Beam: 67 feet (20.4 meters)|
|Draft: 30,5 feet (9.3 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 9,200 tons full load|
|Speed: 32 knots|
|Aircraft: two SH-60 (LAMPS 3) helicopters|
|Armament: one Mk-45 5"/62 caliber lightweight gun, two Mk-41 VLS for Standard missiles and Tomahawk ASM/LAM, one 20mm Phalanx CIWS, two Mk-32 triple torpedo tubes for Mk-50 and Mk-46 torpedoes, two Mk 38 Mod 2 25mm machine gun systems|
|Homeport: Norfolk, Va.|
|Crew: approx. 320|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS GRAVELY. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
About the Ship's Name:
Samuel Lee Gravely, Jr., first enlisted in the Naval Reserves on September 15, 1942 and was trained as a Fireman Apprentice. In 1943, he was selected for the V-12 program, to train as a Naval officer. On December 14, 1944 Gravely successfully completed midshipman training, becoming the first African American commissioned from the Navy Reserve Officer Training Course. His first assignment was to Camp Robert Smalls, as the Assistant Battalion Commander for new recruits. Afterwards, he began his seagoing career as a sailor aboard the USS PC-1264, a submarine chaser that was one of only two World War II ships with a largely African-American crew. In April 1946, he was released from active duty, remaining in the Naval Reserve. He returned to his hometown of Richmond to complete his bachelor's degree in History. Gravely was recalled to active duty in 1949 as part of the Navy's response to President Harry S. Truman's Executive Order to desegregate the Armed Services, his initial assignment was as a Navy Recruiter, recruiting African-Americans in the Washington, D.C. area.
Gravely went from recruiting to building a Navy career that lasted 38 years and included many distinguished accomplishments. He became the first African American to command a US Navy warship (THEODORE E. CHANDLER DD 717), the first African American to command an American warship under combat conditions (TAUSSIG DD 746), the first African American to command a major naval warship (JOUETT CG 29), the first African American admiral, the first African American to rise to the rank of Vice Admiral, and the first African-American to command a U.S. Fleet (Commander, US 3rd Fleet).
Admiral Gravely was assigned tours of duty aboard the following: PC-1264, IOWA (BB 61) , TOLEDO (CA 133) and SEMINOLE (AKA 104). He served as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of the THEODORE E. CHANDLER (DD 717). Additionally, he was the Commanding Officer of the FALGOUT (DE 324), TAUSSIG (DD 746), and JOUETT (CG 29). His last tour of duty before his retirement in August 1980, was as Director of the Defense Communications Agency in Washington , overseeing the communications network linking Washington with American and allied bases worldwide. Admiral Gravely was also highly decorated, with decorations including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal.
About the Ship's Coat of Arms:
Dark blue is the color traditionally associated with the Navy, representing the sea. Gold denotes excellence, personifying Vice Admiral Gravely’s accomplishments and of being the ‘Man of Many Firsts’; the first African American commissioned as an officer from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, the first African American to command a United States Navy warship (USS THEODORE E. CHANDLER), the first African American to command an American warship under combat conditions (USS TAUSSIG), the first African American to command a major naval warship (USS JOUETT), the first African American admiral, the first African American to rise to the rank of Vice Admiral, and the first African-American to command a US Fleet (Commander, US 3rd Fleet), paving the way for others to follow. The Aegis shield indicates the modern weaponry of the USS GRAVELY. The chevron suggests the prow of a ship; divided into quarters alluding to the four ships – USS THEODORE E. CHANDLER, USS TAUSSIG, USS JOUETT and USS FALGOUT, commanded by Vice Admiral Gravely. The two red sections signify the ships he commanded during combat, one of which into direct fire (USS TAUSSIG). The blue lightning bolts emphasize the Vice Admiral’s expertise in naval communications. The trident represents seapower. Black denotes strength of character. The shield displays the Gravely family’s coat of arms.
The Gold heraldic seadog symbolizes an experienced sailor, highlighting Vice Admiral Gravely’s 38 years of naval service. The dark blue collar with the three stars displays his highest rank. Red signifies his courage and strength. The billet represents acceptance from his peers for his capabilities as an experienced naval officer. The representation of the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star honor his highest decorations awarded.
USS GRAVELY Image Gallery:
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the GRAVELY at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on May 8, 2014.