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General Characteristics Crew List Memorabilia COs of USS Oscar Austin About the Name Oscar Austin About the Christening ceremony Patch Gallery Image Gallery to end of page

USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79)


Photo by Carl Groll; DDG 79 departing the port of Kiel, Germany, on June 21, 2004.

USS OSCAR AUSTIN is the lead ship of the OSCAR AUSTIN - class, a sub-class of the ARLEIGH BURKE - class, making her the Navy's first FLIGHT IIA ARLEIGH BURKE - class guided missile destroyer. The OSCAR AUSTIN is the first ship in the Navy to bear the name.

General Characteristics:Keel laid: October 9, 1997
Launched and Christened: November 7, 1998
Commissioned: August 19, 2000
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines
Propellers: two
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"/54 caliber lightweight gun, two Mk-41 VLS for Standard missiles and Tomahawk ASM/LAM, two 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


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Crew List:

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


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USS OSCAR AUSTIN's Commanding Officers:


PeriodName
August 19, 2000 - November 2001Commander Paul C. Smith, USN
November 2001 - July 2003Commander John P. Cordle, USN
July 2003 - February 2005Commander Ralph L. Tindal, III, USN
February 2005 - October 2006Commander Peter C. DeMane, USN
October 2006 - April 2008Commander Eric F. Weilenman, USN
April 2008 - October 2009Commander James R. Midkiff, USN
October 2009 - August 2011Commander Jeffrey J. Hoppe, USN
August 2011 - presentCommander Charlos D. Washington, USN


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About the Ship’s Name, about Private First Class Oscar P. Austin:

Bath Iron Work's first FLIGHT IIA ARLEIGH BURKE Class AEGIS Destroyer proudly bears the name of private First Class Oscar P. Austin, United States Marine Corps. Displaying indomitable courage and selfless devotion to duty, Pfc Austin was killed in February 1969 when he sacrificed his own life to save an injured companion. He has been recognized with numerous medals and decorations, including the Purple Heart, the National Defense Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Medal of Honor. Oscar Austin was born January 15, 1948, In Nacogdoches, Texas and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona.

He graduated from Phoenix Union High School in 1967, and enlisted in the United Stated Marine Corps in April the following year. Upon completion of Basic Training, Austin was promoted to Private First Class in October 1968. He was transferred to the Republic of Vietnam where he served as an assistant machine gunner with Company E, Second Battalion, Seventh Marine, First Division (Rein), and FMF. During the early morning hours on February 23, 1969, Pfc Austin's observation post came under a fierce ground attack by a large North Vietnamese Army force using a heavy volume of hand grenades, satchel charges and small arms fire. Observing that one of his wounded companions had fallen unconscious in a position dangerously exposed to hostile fire, Austin unhesitatingly left the relative security of his fighting hole and, with complete disregard for his own safety, raced across the fireswept terrain to drag the marine to safety. As he neared his companion, he observed an enemy grenade land nearby. Leaping between the grenade and the injured marine, Austin took the full force of the explosion himself. Although he was badly injured, Austin turned to help his fallen companion and saw a North Vietnamese soldier aiming a weapon at the unconscious man. With full knowledge of the probable consequences, Austin threw himself between the injured marine and the hostile soldier. In doing so, he was mortally wounded. It is fitting that the first Flight IIA AEGIS Destroyer is named for Pfc Oscar Austin, a soldier whose courage and gallantry in the face of certain death exemplified the highest standards of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy.


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About the Christening ceremony:

The U.S. Navy christened the Aegis Guided Missile Destroyer OSCAR AUSTIN Saturday, Nov. 7, 1998, during a 2 p.m. ceremony at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.

Adm. J. Paul Reason, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, delivered the ceremony’s principal address and his wife, Dianne Reason, served as ship’s sponsor. Mildred Austin, mother of the ship’s namesake, served as matron of honor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Reason broke a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally name the ship.

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USS OSCAR AUSTIN Patch Gallery:

HSL-42 Det. 10HSL-46 Det. 2


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The photos below were taken June 18 - 21, 2004, at Kiel, Germany. They show the OSCAR AUSTIN arriving at Kiel on June 18; moored at the Tirpitz Harbor, and departing Kiel again on June 21.

Entering Kiel on June 18, 2004


Photo by Carl Groll

Moored at Kiel


Photo by Thoralf Doehring

Photo by Thoralf Doehring

Photo by Carl Groll

Departing Kiel on June 21, 2004


Photo by Carl Groll

Photo by Carl Groll

Photo by Carl Groll

Photo by Carl Groll

Photo by Carl Groll


The photos below were taken by me and show the OSCAR AUSTIN at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Va., on November 10, 2008.




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