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USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG 7)

- formerly DD 957 -
- decommissioned -
- sunk as a target -

USS HENRY B. WILSON was the sixth CHARLES F. ADAMS - class guided missile destroyer and the first ship in the Navy named after Admiral Wilson. The ship was also the first ship of her size to be side-launched and when launched was the largest warship ever constructed on the Great Lakes. Because of these unique circumstances, she was christened not with the traditional champagne but with a bottle filled with water from the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Decommissioned on October 2, 1989, and stricken from the Navy list on January 26, 1990, HENRY B. WILSON was sold to Consolidated Minerals for conversion into a power barge but was repossessed by the Navy on March 22, 1999. The HENRY B. WILSON spent the next years berthed at Benicia, CA, as part of the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet before she was towed to Mare Island in preparation for her SINKEX. The HENRY B. WILSON was finally sunk as a target on August 15, 2003, off the coast of southern California.

General Characteristics:Awarded: March 28, 1957
Keel laid: February 28, 1958
Launched: April 22, 1959
Commissioned: December 17, 1960
Decommissioned: October 2, 1989
Builder: Defoe Shipbuilding, Bay City, Michigan
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
Aircraft: none
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 HENRY B. WILSON. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS HENRY B. WILSON:

January 5, 1973off Saigon, South VietnamUSS HENRY B. WILSON suffers an explosion in mount 51 while off Saigon. The explosion destroys a foot of the barrel and injures two crewmen.
February 24, 1975Subic Bay, Philippines
USS KANSAS CITY (AOR 3) is struck by the HENRY B. WILSON while moored at Subic Bay, Philippines. Both ships suffer minor damage.

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About the Ship's Name:

Henry Braid Wilson was born 23 February 1861 at Camden, N.J., and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1881. During the early days of his career he served in TENNESSEE and SARATOGA and on coast survey expeditions to the Bering Sea. During the Spanish-American war Wilson was attached to gunboat BANCROFT and was commended for bravery. In the years that followed he served in many ships, and was PENNSYLVANIA's first commanding officer in 1916. He commanded the Atlantic Fleet's patrol forces during the First World War, and was responsible for the safe convoying of troops and supplies to Europe. For his outstanding service Wilson was awarded both the Navy and War Department Distinguished Service Medals. Following the war, he was Commander-in-Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet and later the Battle Fleet commander. In 1921 Admiral Wilson took over as Superintendent of the Naval Academy, and in his 4 years at Annapolis did much to raise its academic standing and improve the quality of education. Admiral Wilson retired in 1925 after nearly 50 years of service as seaman, leader, and educator. He died 30 January 1954 at New York City.

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The photo below is an official US Navy photo taken on June 1, 1991. It shows four CHARLES F. ADAMS - class ships laid up at the Pearl Harbor Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility. Visible are (from left to right): HOEL (DDG 13), JOSEPH STRAUSS (DDG 16), HENRY B. WILSON, and COCHRANE (DDG 21).

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