USS FITZGERALD is the twelfth ARLEIGH BURKE - class guided missile destroyer and the first ship in the Navy named after Lieutenant William Charles Fitzgerald.
|General Characteristics:||Keel Laid: February 9, 1993|
|Christened: January 29, 1994|
|Commissioned: October 14, 1995|
|Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine|
|Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines|
|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 |
|Homeport: San Diego, Calif.|
|Crew: 23 Officers, 24 Chief Petty Officers and 291 Enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS FITZGERALD. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
About the Shipĺs Name, about Lieutenant William Charles Fitzgerald:
The FITZGERALD is named for Lieutenant William Charles Fitzgerald who was presented the Navy Cross posthumously for extraordinary heroism during combat operations in Vietnam.
He was born January 28, 1938, in Montpelier, Vermont, second child and first son of Louis and Mildred Mary Fitzgerald. His father was a career Navy man who retired as a Chief Petty Officer. Bill grew up in the local area and graduated from Montpelier High School in June 1956. Following graduation, Bill followed in his fathers footsteps and enlisted in the United States Navy. As an enlisted man Bill served in USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (DD 823), USS HUGH PURVIS (DD 709), and USS GEARING (DD 710). Also, Bill served with utility Squadron SIX, Naval Air Station Norfolk, VA while working on the Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH) program. Seaman William Fitzgerald eventually earned selection to officer training and an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.
On August 7, 1967, while serving as senior advisor to Coastal Group Sixteen, Lieutenant Fitzgerald's base was attacked and overrun by Viet Cong forces. Lieutenant Fitzgerald requested an artillery barrage be laid down on his position and ordered his men to evacuate the base toward a nearby river while he remained in a bunker providing fire. He was fatally shot by Viet Cong forces before he could escape.
Fitzgerald Hall at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command in Newport, Rhode Island, also is named for Lieutenant Fitzgerald.
Accidents aboard USS FITZGERALD:
|June 17, 2017||56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan|
USS FITZGERALD collides with the Philippine-flagged container ship ACX CRYSTAL at about 2:20a.m. FITZGERALD is hit on the starboard side below the bridge. Initial photos showed heavy damage to the superstructure and hull. Further damage is reported below the waterline and the Navy also confirmed flooding to two berthing spaces, a machinery space, and the radio room, which damage control teams quickly began dewatering. In a June 18 press conference, VADM Joseph Aucoin, Commander 7th Fleet, described the damage as "The ship suffered severe damage rapidly flooding three large compartments that included one machinery room and two berthing areas for 116 crew. The commanding officer's cabin was also directly hit, trapping the CO inside."
Three injured, including FITZGERALD's Commanding Officer Bryce Benson, were transferred to US Naval Hospital Yokosuka. Seven sailors were initially reported missing. FITZGERALD continued under her own power to Yokosuka but Japanese Coast Guard units, USS DEWEY (DDG 105), two Navy tugs and several aircraft have been dispatched to assist.
On June 18, the Navy reported that search and rescue crews were able to access the damaged spaces aboard FITZGERALD and located the missing sailors. All seven crewmembers were killed in the accident.
Homeports of USS FITZGERALD:
|commissioned at Newport, RI.|
|1995 - 2004||San Diego, Calif.|
|2004 - 2020||Yokosuka, Japan|
|2020 - present||San Diego, Calif.|
USS FITZGERALD Patch Gallery:
USS FITZGERALD Image Gallery:
The photos below were taken by Lienhard Gei▀ler and show the FITZGERALD at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, on May 27, 2015.
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the FITZGERALD undergoing restoration at Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss., on October 17, 2019, following her collision in June 2017.
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the FITZGERALD at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on December 28, 2021.