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USS Moosbrugger (DD 980)

- decommissioned -

USS MOOSBRUGGER was the 18th ship in the SPRUANCE class and was last homeported in Mayport, FL. Decommissioned on December 15, 2000, the ship spent the following years laid-up at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility (NISMF), Philadelphia, PA. In 2006, she was towed to Brownsville, TX., where she was scrapped.

General Characteristics:Awarded: January 15, 1974
Keel laid: November 3, 1975
Launched: July 23, 1976
Commissioned: December 16, 1978
Decommissioned: December 15, 2000
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.
Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines
Propellers: two
Blades on each Propeller: five
Length: 564,3 feet (172 meters)
Beam: 55,1 feet (16.8 meters)
Draft: 28,9 feet (8.8 meters)
Displacement: approx. 9,200 tons full load
Speed: 30+ knots
Aircraft: two SH-60B Seahawk (LAMPS 3)
Armament: two Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight guns, one Mk 41 VLS for Tomahawk, ASROC and Standard missiles, Mk 46 torpedoes (two triple tube mounts), Harpoon missile launchers, one Sea Sparrow launcher, two 20mm Phalanx CIWS
Crew: approx. 340

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS MOOSBRUGGER. 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:

The official crest of the USS MOOSBRUGGER symbolizes the dedication and courage displayed by her namesake, Admiral Moosbrugger, during World War II.

The trident, an attribute of Neptune, god of the seas, represents the awesome strength and dominance of the modern destroyer. It also resembles the letter "M," an allusion to the initial letter of MOOSBRUGGER, the ship's namesake.

Through the heraldic fountain for water, the grappling iron (a device used for close range, early naval encounters), and the torpedo, the crest commemorates the Vella Gulf incident in the South Pacific during World War II. The then Commander Moosbrugger led his ships into exceedingly close range against Japanese Naval Forces; took the enemy by surprise, and delivered a devastating torpedo attack, thereby annihilating the hostile force. For this action, he was awarded the Navy Cross. The gold laurel wreath is symbolic of Vice Admiral Frederick Moosbrugger's long and distinguished career.

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Accidents aboard USS MOOSBRUGGER:

November 25, 1985Guantanamo Bay area, CubaUSS W. S. SIMS (FF 1059) and USS MOOSBRUGGER collide at sea in the Guantanamo Bay operating area.

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About the Ship’s Name, about Vice Admiral Fredrick Moosbrugger:

The late Fredrick Moosbrugger was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 9, 1900, son of Jacob and Rosina (Keier) Moosbrugger. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland on June 25, 1919 and received his commission upon graduation on June 8, 1923. He subsequently advanced through the various grades to the rank of Rear Admiral. He was transferred to the Retired List of the U.S. Navy on October 1, 1956, and was advanced to the rank of Vice Admiral.

Following graduation from the Naval Academy in June 1923, Vice Admiral Moosbrugger was assigned to sea duty for four years in USS NEVADA and USS TRUXTUN, operating in the valley of the Yangtze River, China, from 1926 to 1927. He returned to the United States to serve briefly at Headquarters, 13th Naval District in May 1927. He served aboard USS BRAZOS from August 1927 to June 1929, after which he reported for submarine instruction. Completing the course in December 1929, he joined Submarine Division 12 and served in the USS S-6 until April 1931. He returned to Annapolis as an instructor where he remained for three years. He then joined USS HOUSTON and served aboard the cruiser from June 1, 1934 to May 29, 1937. He reported for his second tour of duty at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was an instructor in the Department of Ordnance and Gunnery.

Returning to duty afloat in June 1939, he joined USS TENNESSEE as Gunnery Officer, and on April 28, 1941 assumed command of USS MCCALL. He was in command at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and directed the operations of that destroyer in close cooperation with a carrier task group to cover the reinforcement of Samoa, conduct raids on Wake and Marcus Islands, and perform escort and screening duties in the hazardous waters of the South Pacific.

From May 1942 until September 1943, Vice Admiral Moosbrugger assumed the successive command of Destroyer Divisions 12 and 15, in which he carried out patrol and escort missions to Guadalcanal and the Russel Islands, New Georgia, Rendova, Vangunu, and the Solomon Islands. He later served as escort commander for the invasion forces of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, protecting aircraft carriers, battleships, and troopships from kamikaze and submarine attack. Returning to the United States, he assumed command of the U.S. Naval School, General Line, in Newport, Rhode Island on April 5, 1946. From June 1949 to June 1952, he commanded USS SPRINGFIELD (CL 66), served as Commander Destroyer Flotilla One, and Commander Military Sea Transportation Service, Pacific Area. In December 1952, he became Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey California. Finally in December 1955, Vice Admiral Moosbrugger served his last assignment as Commander Training Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, from which he retired in October 1956.

In addition to the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Combat "V," and the Commendation Ribbon, Vice Admiral was awarded the Yangtze Service Medal; American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the Philippine Liberation Ribbon; the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; the National Defense Service Medal; the Korean Service Medal; and the United States Service Medal.

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Operation Desert ShieldMED '89 HSL DetachmentSNFL 2000
contributed by
Jonathon Charfauros

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Short history of USS MOOSBRUGGER:

USS MOOSBRUGGER's keel was laid on November 3, 1975. Launched on July 23, 1976 and commissioned on December 16, 1978, USS MOOSBRUGGER was the eighteenth in a series of 31 SPRUANCE-class destroyers.

USS MOOSBRUGGER relocated to Mayport, FL, on March 11, 1995, from its previous home port of Charleston, SC. The ship was the sixth of 11 ships scheduled for relocation to Mayport as a result of the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission decision.

USS MOOSBRUGGER deployed in 1996 to take part in UNITAS 96, a series of combined tactical at-sea operations, amphibious operations and in-port exercises with participating South American naval forces. During that deployment, USS MOOSBRUGGER spent almost two weeks in Venezuelan waters conducting anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare and anti-air gunnery exercises in the Caribbean. It then departed for Brazil for the next phase of UNITAS.

Three years before decommissioning, MOOSBRUGGER completed UNITAS 39-98 from July to November 1998, serving as Flagship for Commander Task Force 138.0 and operating with eight South American Navies. MOOSBRUGGER proudly displayed the CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for 1998, which recognized the ship's outstanding personnel programs.

While in Puerto Rico, on April 20, 1998, USS MOOSBRUGGER took part in Independent Deployer Exercise (INDEX) 98-2, off the coast of Puerto Rico. During the exercise, MOOSBRUGGER fired two Sea Sparrows from her deck at guided target drones launched from the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Facility at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads. The exercise also included target drones fired from A-4 aircraft. Following this, the task force then headed for Venezuela on July 18 as Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia each directed, in turn, their own phase of UNITAS. Overall, U.S. forces worked with host navies from Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. The specific exercises conducted in each phase are determined by the host navy, making each phase unique. Exercises included all areas of modern naval warfare including anti-air, amphibious, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.

USS MOOSBRUGGER's last tour of duty was a 6-month cruise with the NATO's STANAVFORLANT in summer 2000. MOOSBRUGGER served as flagship for COMSTANAVFORLANT until August 28, 2000, when she turned over flagship duties to USS THOMAS S. GATES (CG 51). During this cruise she visited several European ports including Portsmouth, England and Kiel in Germany where she participated in the Kiel Week celebrations.

A veteran of Operation "Urgent Fury" (Grenada), the Multi-National Peace Keeping force in Lebanon, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and counter-narcotics operations, MOOSBRUGGER has been awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (with Bronze Service Star), the Navy Expeditionary Medal (with Bronze Service Star), the Navy Unit Commendation, The Southwest Asia Service Medal (with two Bronze Service Stars), the National Defense Service Medal, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Liberation of Kuwait Medal.

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The photo below was taken and contributed by Michael Martin. It shows the MOOSBRUGGER being scrapped at Brownsville, Tx., in 2006. The photo was taken in late August 2006.

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