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USS Lawrence (DDG 4)

- formerly DD 954 -
- decommissioned -

USS LAWRENCE - the fifth ship in the Navy to bear the name - was the third ship in the CHARLES F. ADAMS - class of guided missile destroyers and was homeported in Norfolk, Va.

USS LAWRENCE was stricken from the navy list on May 16, 1990, and was then berthed at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility (NISMF), Philadelphia, PA. On February 10, 1999, LAWRENCE was sold for scrapping.

General Characteristics:Awarded: March 28, 1957
Keel laid: October 27, 1958
Launched: February 27, 1960
Commissioned: January 6, 1962
Decommissioned: March 30, 1990
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.
Propulsion system:4 - 1200 psi boilers; 2 geared turbines
Propellers: two
Length: 437 feet (133.2 meters)
Beam: 47 feet (14.3 meters)
Draft: 20 feet (6.1 meters)
Displacement: approx. 4,500 tons
Speed: 31+ knots
Armament: two Mk 42 5-inch/54 caliber guns, Mk 46 torpedoes from two Mk-32 triple mounts, one Mk 16 ASROC Missile Launcher, one Mk 11 Mod.0 Missile Launcher for Standard (MR) and Harpoon Missiles
Crew: 24 officers and 330 enlisted

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Crew List:

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

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About the Ship's Name:

James Lawrence was born in Burlington, New Jersey, on 1 October 1781. Though educated in the field of law, he joined the infant United States Navy in September 1798 as a Midshipman and served in the ship GANGES and frigate ADAMS during the undeclared war with France. Commissioned in the rank of Lieutenant in 1802, he served in the schooner ENTERPRISE during the War with Tripoli, taking part in a successful attack that burned enemy craft ashore on 2 June 1803. In February 1804 he was second in command of ketch INTREPID during the daring expedition to destroy the captured frigate PHILADELPHIA in Tripoli harbor. Later in the conflict he commanded ENTERPRISE and a gunboat in battles with the Tripolitans. He was also First Lieutenant of the frigate JOHN ADAMS and, in 1805, commanded the small Gunboat Number 6 during a voyage across the Atlantic to Italy.

Subsequently, Lieutenant Lawrence commanded the warships VIXEN, WASP and ARGUS. In 1810 he also took part in trials of an experimental spar-torpedo. Promoted to the rank of Master Commandant in November 1810, he took command of the sloop of war HORNET a year later and sailed her to Europe on a diplomatic mission. From the beginning of the War of 1812, Lawrence and HORNET cruised actively, capturing the privateer DOLPHIN on 9 July 1812. Later in the year HORNET blockaded the British sloop BONNE CITOYENNE at Bahia, Brazil, and on 24 February 1813 captured HMS PEACOCK.

Upon his return to the United States in March, Lawrence learned of his promotion to Captain. Two months later he took command of the frigate CHESAPEAKE, then preparing for sea at Boston, Massachusetts. She left port on 1 June 1813 and immediately engaged the Royal Navy frigate SHANNON in a fierce battle. Captain Lawrence, mortally wounded by small arms fire, ordered "Don't give up the ship" as he was carried below. However, his crew was overwhelmed by British boarders shortly afterwards. James Lawrence died of his wounds on 4 June, while CHESAPEAKE was being taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia, by her captors. His body was later repatriated to New York for burial.

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History of USS LAWRENCE:

USS LAWRENCE, built at Camden, New Jersey, was commissioned in January 1962. She made a shakedown cruise on the Great Lakes and, in the Fall of 1962, took part in Cuban Missile Crisis operations in the Caribbean. In February 1963 LAWRENCE began the first of more than a dozen overseas cruises, steaming across the Atlantic to join the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. Further Mediterranean tours took place in 1964, 1965, 1966-67, 1968, 1969-70, 1971, 1977-78 and 1979. During the latter cruise, in June 1979, she briefly visited the Black Sea. LAWRENCE also passed through the 6th Fleet area en route to deployments in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf areas that took place in 1974-75, 1980 and 1983.

The much-travelled destroyer made one Vietnam War tour to the Western Pacific in 1972-73, providing naval gunfire suport, dodging enemy return fire and serving as plane guard during aircraft carrier operations. LAWRENCE also saw frequent service closer to home, in the western Atlantic and Caribbean, and occasionally visited the waters of Northern Europe. In 1986 she steamed around South America as part of Operation Unitas XVII, exercising with Latin American navies and visiting ports in Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil. USS LAWRENCE was decommissioned in late March 1990 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register a few months later. She was sold in April 1994, but was repossessed in October 1996 after the failure of the ship breaking firm.

Following over two more years in Navy custody, LAWRENCE's hulk was again sold for scrapping in February 1999.

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