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USS Thorn (DD 988)

- decommissioned -
- sunk as a target -

USS THORN was the 26th SPRUANCE - class destroyer and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on August 25, 2004, the THORN was subsequently towed to the Inactive Ships On-site Maintenance Office, Philadelphia, Penn., where she remained until she was sunk as a target on July 22, 2006, off the US east coast.

General Characteristics:Awarded: January 15, 1975
Keel laid: August 29, 1977
Launched: February 3, 1979
Commissioned: February 16, 1980
Decommissioned: August 25, 2004
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 THORN. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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USS THORN Cruise Books:

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USS THORN Patch Gallery:

HSL-46 Det 1 - MED 2001HSL-48 Det 10 - MED 2003

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About the Ship's Namesake:

Jonathan Thorn - born on 8 January 1779 at Schenectady, N.Y. - was appointed a midshipman on 28 April 1800. Subsequently serving with the Navy during the Tripolitan War, Thorn volunteered to take part in the hazardous expedition to destroy the captured frigate PHILADELPHIA, which lay beneath the guns of the shore batteries in heavily defended Tripoli harbor. On 16 February 1804, Lt. Stephen Decatur, Jr., led a party of these volunteers in the ketch INTREPID into Tripoli and burned the erstwhile American frigate.

Attached to the schooner ENTERPRISE, Thorn was then assigned to Gunboat No. 4, under Decatur's command. In this vessel, he participated in the attack on Tripoli, with Commodore Edward Preble's squadron on 3 August 1804. Specially commended by Decatur for his conduct in this battle, Thorn received command of one of the Tripolitan gunboats captured and commanded this vessel in the engagement with the Tripolitan pirates on 7 August.

Commissioned a lieutenant on 16 February 1807, Thorn became the first commandant of the New York Navy Yard at age 27. In 1810, he was granted a two-year furlough to command John Jacob Astor's sailing bark TONQUIN in a voyage slated to take the ship to the Pacific Northwest to establish a fur trading post. Anchoring off Nootka on 5 June 1811, after a voyage which had taken the ship around Cape Horn to the Hawaiian Islands and to the mouth of the Columbia River, Thorn soon began trading with the local Indians. Angered by what they considered a bad business deal, the Indians came on board TONQUIN and, in a brief, bloody action, massacred Thorn and his crew.

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The photos below were taken by Brian Barton when USS THORN was at Naval Base Norfolk on July 23, 2002.

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