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General Characteristics Crew List Memorabilia About the Ship's Coat of Arms About the Name "Decatur" Image Gallery to end of page

USS Decatur (DDG 73)

USS DECATUR is the 23rd destroyer in the ARLEIGH BURKE class and the 13th ship in that class built by Bath Iron Works.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: January 15, 1996
Launched: November 9, 1996
Commissioned: August 29, 1998
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines
Propellers: two
Blades on each Propeller: five
Length: 505,25 feet (154 meters)
Beam: 67 feet (20.4 meters)
Draft: 30,5 feet (9.3 meters)
Displacement: approx. 8.300 tons full load
Speed: 30+ knots
Aircraft: None. But LAMPS 3 electronics installed on landing deck for coordinated DDG/helicopter ASW operations.
Armament: two MK 41 VLS for Standard missiles, Tomahawk; Harpoon missile launchers, one Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight gun, two Phalanx CIWS, Mk 46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts)
Homeport: San Diego, Calif.
Crew: 23 Officers, 24 Chief Petty Officers and 291 Enlisted

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS DECATUR. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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About the Ship's Coat of Arms:

( Click on the Coat of Arms for a larger version )

The Shield:

Dark blue represents the Navy and the oceans, it's realm. The seax recalls a series of victories by Stephen Decatur over sea forces of North African terorist nations including his daring destruction of the captured frigate, PHILADELPHIA. The English officer's sword symbolizes Decatur's brilliant victory over HMS MACEDONIAN during the War of 1812 in one of the greatest single-ship actions of naval history. The celestial crown represents anti-air warfare capabilities and bears five mullets, one for each of the ships named "Decatur" up to and including the newest ship. It also recalls Stephen Decatur's engagements against the British during the War of 1812. Scarlet denotes courage, gold symbolizes excellence.

The Crest:

The heritage of the name "Decatur" is recalled by the ship's mast and sail, recalling the Navy of Stephen Decatur's time and the first vessel to bear his name, a sloop-of-war built in 1838. The mast also refers to the traditional pine construction of the vessels of Decatur's navy. The pennant symbolizes the senior naval authority earned by the ship's namesake, Commodore Stephen Decatur.

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About the Destroyer’s Name, about Commodore Stephen Decatur:

Born in Maryland and raised in Philadelphia, Decatur showed evidence of the bold and courageous man he would become: he was known to dive from the tips of jib booms and, at the age of 14, defended his mother against a drunken ruffian. Commissioned a midshipman in 1798, within a year he was promoted to acting lieutenant of the UNITED STATES.

Praised for a decisive style of leadership during the encounter with the PHILADELPHIA, Decatur became the most striking figure of the Tripolitan Wars. He subsequently received the commission of captain, commanding the CONSTITUTION and later the CONGRESS. Responsibility for the gunboat flotilla in the Chesapeake, management of the Norfolk Navy Yard, and command of all U.S. Naval forces on the Southeast coast followed. He also presided over various courts of inquiry for naval affairs.

During the War of 1812, Decatur fought and defeated the MACEDONIAN, the second of his three famous frigate encounters. Other notable encounters include the battle between the PRESIDENT and a British blockade of New York harbor, where Decatur was able to destroy the enemy frigate ENDYMION. The PRESIDENT was later captured and Decatur wounded, but the victory over ENDYMION earned him high praise.

In 1815, Decatur commanded a nine-ship squadron headed for Algiers to settle conflicts which had persisted since 1812. Decatur's abilities as a negotiator were recognized after he secured a treaty with the Algerians and extracted compensation from the Tripolitans. During celebration of the truce with the North African States, Decatur declared his famous line: "Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but our country right or wrong."

From November 1815 until his death, Decatur served on the Board of Navy Commissioners. Successful Naval leaders of Decatur's time were rewarded financially for their exploits; Decatur invested his ample prize money in the Washington, D.C. area, building Decatur House which still stands today in Lafayette Square.

Decatur's death was predictably both heroic and tragic. As Navy Commissioner, he opposed the reinstatement of Captain John Barron whom he had suspended from service much earlier while serving on an inquiry board. Barron responded with a challenge to duel with the much younger Decatur. Ever the honorable warrior, Decatur allowed only a short distance of eight paces out of respect for Barron's faulty eyesight and claimed he would not fire to kill. At the first exchange, Barron was shot in the thigh, Decatur received a fatal shot. All of Washington turned out to mourn the hero who remains today a prominent figure in U.S. Naval history.

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The photos below were taken by me and show the DECATUR at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on March 23, 2010.

The photos below were taken by me and show the DECATUR undergoing maintenance at San Diego, Calif. The photos were taken on September 29 and 30, 2011.

The photos below were taken by me and show the DECATUR at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on May 10, 2012.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the DECATUR at BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair during her Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability. The photos were taken on December 27, 2014.

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