DD 967 Elliot
"Courage, Honor, Integrity"
The coat of arms of USS Elliot (DD 967) serves as a heraldic remembrance of the ship's namesake, Lieutenant Commander Arthur James Elliot, II. The red, white, and blue partitions of the shield are patterned after the insignia of Lieutenant Commander Elliot's command, River Squadron FIFTY-SEVEN. Red is the heraldic symbol of courage, zeal, and leadership; white symbolizes integrity; blue represents devotion and perseverance. The unsheathed sword is symbolic of command, and its position on the shield, point downward, is significant of death in combat.
The crest, composed of a mainmast and mainsail, symbolizes the Elliot family's long association with the nautical heritage of their native state of Maine. Generations of the family engaged in the shipbuilding and sailing trades, including Lieutenant Commander Elliot's paternal grandfather and namesake Arthur James Elliot, whose shipbuilding firm launched the last five-masted schooner ever built.
The pine tree emblazoned on the sail is the symbol of the state of Maine.
The ship's motto, "Courage, Honor, Integrity", is representative of those values which characterized Lieutenant Commander Elliot throughout his career. The motto serves as both a guide and an inspiration for the men who will serve in USS Elliot throughout her commissioned life.
USS Elliot (DD 967), commissioned on January 22, 1977, is the fifth ship of the 31-ship class of SPRUANCE destroyers. She is named in honor of Lt. Cmdr. Arthur J. Elliot, II, who, while in command of River Squadron FIFTY-SEVEN, was killed on December 29, 1968 during an engagement with enemy forces in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Elliot is the first ship of the class to bear the name of a Vietnam war hero.
On her maiden deployment in 1979, Elliot was responsible for the great strides achieved in U.S. understanding of the Soviet naval concept of operations when she conducted Surveillance Operations against the MINSK Task Group in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.
After the tragic downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 off Sakahlin Island in the Sea of Japan in 1983, Elliot, while hosting the Change of Command Ceremony for Destroyer Squadron TWENTY-FIVE, received a four-hour notice to get underway from Sasebo, Japan. She steamed at 32 knots for over 1,000 miles to arrive first on station and assume duties as on-scene search-and-rescue commander.
LCDR Arthur James Elliot, II was mortally wounded on December 29, 1968 while leading River Squadron 57 on an interdiction mission on the Vam Co Dong River in the Mekong Delta area of South Vietnam. He received the Bronze Star with Combat "V" for heroic achievement in coordinating suppressing fire and personally directing his patrol boat to provide covering fire for the other units during the action in which he was hit by enemy rocket fire.
On October 15, 1973, the keel of the fifth SPRUANCE-class destroyer was laid by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Less than two years later the new ship was christened USS Elliot (DD 967) in honor of LCDR Arthur Elliot. Naval service is steeped in tradition and requires dedication, sacrifice and respect for the unpredictable fury of the seas. A sense of tradition can be a source of courage and strength to a ship. When Mrs. Albert B. Elliot christened USS Elliot (DD 967) in honor of her son, she said:
"May she serve with distinction and pride and, as the years go by, forever reflect the courage and valor of the man whose name she bears. May God bless this ship, her officers and crew."
The USS Elliot was commissioned in formal ceremonies on 22 January 1977, at Pascagoula, MS. It got underway on 24 January 1977 for her maiden voyage, transiting from Pascagoula, MS, to San Diego, CA, via the Panama Canal. She was assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet as a unit of Destroyer Squadron NINE, under the administrative control of Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group FIVE and Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific. She then underwent five weeks of Shakedown Training before resuming scheduled testing program to determine that she met all contract specifications.
The USS Elliot participated in COMBATSYSTEX 1-77/READIEX 4-77 from 20 June thru 29 June 1977. This exercise was conducted using a war-at-sea scenario in a multi-threat environment, and was designed to evaluate the composite warfare coordinator concept and to improve fleet readiness. The participants included a cruiser destroyer group staff, supported by a special warfare group staff, three destroyer squadron staffs, seven cruisers, five destroyers, eight frigates, three amphibious ships, two submarines, and three auxiliaries, plus aircraft from two patrol squadrons, three air anti-submarine squadrons, and three light helicpoter anti-submarine squadrons. Also participating, primarily as aggressor forces, were units from a coastal riverine squadron and aircraft from various attack and fleet composite squadrons.
On 24 September, Elliot entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard and commenced a six-month restricted availability. The primary purpose of the availability was to install additional sensors and weapons equipments which had been developed since the initial design of the ship class. Primary jobs included the installation of the NATO SEA SPARROW Missile System which increased the ship's defense capabilities against hostile missiles, the HARPOON Missile System which increased Elliot's offensive capabilities, the Satellite communication system which added a new dimension to Elliot's communications suite, various helicpoter flight deck modifications and several other additions and modifications which increased overall efficiency and reliability of the ship.
The USS Elliot (DD 967) got underway from the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 14 April 1978 for sea trials. It then moved to Seal Beach, CA, for her ammunition load-out, after which the Elliot departed for her homeport of San Diego arriving at Pier SEVEN, Naval Station on 19 April 1978. From 18 through 24 May 1978, she got underway to test the NATO SEA SPARROW Missile System. Two telemetry configured missiles were fired at two MQM-74 drones. The first non-warhead shot passed less than two feet from its target drone. Both missile firings were considered to be direct hits. Elliot returned to San Diego, and from 5 through 9 June 1978 underwent HARPOON certification and the successful firing of a HARPOON blast test vehicle.
In mid-October 1978 helicopter qualifications took place on the USS Elliot. From 23 October 1978 through 27 October 1978, Elliot got underway in the Southern California operating areas for COMPTUEX 1-79, operating with other units of the Pacific Fleet. Elliot embarked HSL-33 LAMPS Helicopter Detachment ONE for this exercise. Elliot successfully fired several exercise torpedoes during COMPTUEX 1-79.
From November 2nd through the 9th, Elliot participated in READIEX 79 with other units of the Pacific Fleet. This provided at sea training in all areas of naval warfare. Areas of particular emphasis were ASW, AAW, NTDS Data operations, LINK communications, and coordination with other units. Elliot then spent 4-15 December participating in FLEETEX 1-79, operating with other units of the THIRD Fleet. The units were divided into Blue and Orange forces which opposed each other in an attempt to simulate a combat environment. The ship held a Nuclear Weapons Acceptance Inspection (NWAI) on the 22nd and 23rd of January 1979.
The USS Elliot's maiden deployment began 21 February 1979. She left for a 7 month WESTPAC deployment as flagship for Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-ONE. Along with Elliot were the other ships in Carrier Battle Group (TG 37.9), including the USS Ranger, USS Buchanan, USS Brooke, USS Downes, USS Camden and USS Mauna Kea. Embarked on Elliot was HSL 33 Detachment 1. The transit was conducted in three phases: 1. Open ocean transit to Hawaiian operating areas; 2. MIDPAC OPS; 3. Open Ocean transit and SEVENTH Fleet Chop. The Elliot then stoped at Diego Garcia from 12-16 April. After a rendezvous with the USS Midway and another stop at Diego Garcia, Elliot got underway for the Gulf of Aden as part of TG 77.4. The primary purpose of the battle group was to maintain a U.S. military presence in the area. The first half of Elliot's deployment ended when she returned to Subic Bay on 15 June for a two week upkeep period.
From Subic Bay on July 10th Elliot transitted towards Okinawa to participate in MISSILEX 2-79 and ASUWEX 2-79 with other units in WESTPAC. An ASROC, SVTT, Helo launched torpedo and a NATO SEA SPARROW missile were fired. The ASROC and torpedoes were rated as hits. The SEA SPARROW scored a skin to skin hit. Elliot also served as recovery ship for the drones used in the exercise. During the transits, ASW, AAW and opposed UNREP formations were used to further practice and gain experience. The ships were divided into SAG's and joined in an exercise with a transit group from Yokosuka.
The Elliot then stoped at Auckland, New Zealand, to take part in Exercise TASMANEX 79 with the USS Buchanan and Downes, and ships from the British, Australian and New Zealand navies. The Elliot returned to San Diego on 2 November.
On 10 December a 3 day NWAT (Nuclear Weapons Assist Team) visit began to review Elliot's procedures and training before its Defense Nuclear Surety Inspection in January 1980.
The year 1981 started with Elliot already overseas on her second Western Pacific deployment, as a member of TF 75, Surface Combatant Force, Seventh Fleet. After leaving Manila on 9 January Elliot returned to Subic Bay the same day for another upkeep period and preparations for RECONEX 81-2. This exercise started 14 January and was with a marine detachment from the 3rd Marine Reconnaissance Battalion. Elliot practiced day and night insertion and extraction operations on enemy shores. This exercise was conducted through 16 January off the west coast of Luzon Island.
On 19-22 January Elliot was a participant with USS Gray (FF-1054), USS Whipple (FF-1062), USS Lang (FF-1060), USS John Young (DD-973) (CTF 75 embarked), USS Ramsey (FFG-2), and USNS Navasota (TAO-106), in ASWEX 81-3U conducted off the coast of the Philippines. This exercise emphasized shallow water ASW and escorting of a high value unit through narrow straits. The USS Barbel (SS-580) and USS Grayback (SS-574) were the opposing submarines.
After a short upkeep period in mid-Freburayr at Subic Bay, Elliot got underway for Special Warfare Exercise 1-81. The first phase of this exercise consisted of Elliot provided NGFS for US and allied spotters, as 369 rounds of 5" ammunition werre delivered from both mounts during a 10 hour period. The second phase was a SEAL Team insertion operation with delivery and pick up of the SEAL Team One Delta Platoon in simulated hostile waters opposed by missile firing patrol boats. The Elliot then immediately departed for an Anti-Surface warfare exercise (ASUWEX) 81-1. Elliot was a major participant in this exercise designed to develop passive tactics of targeting for Harpoon missile attacks.
The USS Elliot then took part in Team Spirit 81 (MULTIPLEX 1-82/TAE KWAN DO). Elliot was part of a nine ship joint Korean-U.S. ASW Screening Force during amphibious operations. This operation was called MULTIPLEX 1-82/TAE KWON DO and took place from 8-14 March. After another brief stop in Pusan on 15-16 March Elliot was sent to Yokosuka, Japan for repairs to the waterproof coating on the shafts and minor sonar dome work. Elliot was drydocked from 19-25 March and all work was accomplished satisfactorily. After drydock Elliot proceeded to Singapore and then proceeded to the Gulf of Thailand to join with Poyal Thai Navy and other U.S. Navy units for SEA SIAM 81-2. While enroute to this exercise on 21 April Elliot encountered the first of several refugee boats. Over the next 8 days Elliot picked up 158 refugees. SEA SIAM 81-2 included operations in NGFS, anti-patrol boat tactics and multi-ship ASW tactics.
Elliot returned home to San Diego on 23 May and on 1 June was transferred to Destroyer Squadron TWENTY-ONE. It began regularly scheduled overhaul on 17 August, and departed from San Diego on 14 August. Its homeport was changed to Seattle, WA, on 17 August for the duration of the overhaul, at Todd Pacific Shipyard; thus marking the first private sector overhaul of a SPRUANCE-class destroyer. It departed from there on 30 April 1982 following extensive dockside and sea trials.
On 1 July 1982, the ship was reassigned from Destroyer Squadron TWENTY-ONE to Destroyer Squadron SEVENTEEN.
On August 19, 1982, the USS Elliot entered dry-dock in Long Beach Naval Shipyard for the replacement of the sonar dome rubber window. In December, the USS Elliot successfully qualified as a Naval Gunfire Support ship at the San Clemente Range. The three days of shooting were following by a week and a half underway with COMCRUDESGRU ONE and other ships in a war-at-sea exercise, "READIEX 83-1". The Elliot then participated in a major exercise, COMPTUEX 83-1 in late February. During this exercise Elliot participated in anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-air warfare exercises and completed an additional step in becoming a fully trained warship ready for deployment.
Elliot participated in another major at sea exercise in early March, READIEX 83-3. With Commander Destroyer Quadron TWENTY FIVE again embarked, Elliot operated with the BLUE forces. This was Elliot's final exercise before deployment.
Elliot departed San Diego, CA, on 13 April 1983 with the USS Brooke, toward Pearl Harbor, HI. Following a brief stop there, Elliot conducted a missile shoot against a drone target at the Pacific Missile Range facility on 24 April 1983. She then proceeded to the Philippines to participate in a major combined amphibious exercise with the Philippine armed forces. The exercise, BALIKATAN/TANGENT FLASH was conducted from 3-13 May. Elliot's participation started on 7 May with her embarked operational commander assuming screen commander of the task group conducting an opposed underway replenishment with the USNS Navasota. The exercise was conducted off the coast of Dingalan Bay, east of Luzon, the Philippines' largest island. Elliot was part of the ASW screening force protecting the landing zone from enemy submarine intrusion. Elliot also provided constructive naval gunfire support.
On 16 May, Elliot headed north, around the tip of Luzon, for Naval Gunfire Support Qualification at the Leon Creek Range. Later the same day, operation COPE THUNDER (a joint exercise with Air Force units) was underway with Elliot and USS Brooke as the target platform; with the exercise providing an opportunity to sharpen anti-air warfare skills. After a brief stop in Subic Bay, Elliot was unexpectedly tasked to get underway to escort the USS Coral Sea battle group through the South China Sea.
From 8-13 June, Elliot participated in exercise VALIANT BLITZ conducted off the coast of Okinawa. Like BALIKATAN/TANGENT FLASH, it was a major amphibious exercise. Elliot provided naval gunfire support for the marine landing forces and screening actions against hostile forces opposing the transport ships. COBRA GOLD, a combined U.S. and Royal Thai Navy amphibious exercise was conducted from 28 -30 June in the Gulf of Thailand. Elliot and the Thai Navy destroyers provided anti-submarine protection for the amphibious task force.
Exercise BATTLE WEEK kicked off on 5 July with the Elliot and Brooke tasked with the defense of Subic Bay. This included providing anti-air and anti-submarine defense. Elliot was underway on 6 July for the second phase of the exercise and successfully transited a mined channel cleared by mine sweeping helicopters. The final phase of the exercise emphasized over-the-horizon targeting and anti-submarine warfare techniques. On 7 July, Elliot qualified as a naval gunfire support ship for the second time in the deployment
Elliot effected the rendezvous with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces on 11 August and started ASWEX 83-2J. This anti-submarine warfare exercise was designed to test the mutual support capability of both forces in an ASW environment. Two days into the exercise, tropical storm "Ben" formed close to the task force position. With the intensity of storm Ben building up, the exercise was cancelled and all ships were directed to proceed towards Japan
The downing of the Korean Airlines Flight 007 in the Sea of Japan forced Elliot underway on four hours notice to proceed to the crash site off the coast of Sakhalin Island. Preparations to get underway were being made as the squadron commanders were relieving on the flight deck. Elliot steamed at 32 knots for over 1,000 miles to arrive first on station, where sheperformed surveillance duty with the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Munroe, USS Badger and various Japanese coast guard and fishing vessels. Early in the search efforts, Elliot embarked Commander, Task Force SEVEN FIVE and part of his staff. Elliot was relieved on station by USS Sterett on 14 September, then departed for Chinhae, Korea, where she prepared for a second TAE KWON DO exercise that lasted through 21 September. Various units of the Korean Navy participated in this anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare exercise.
September 22 saw Elliot again inport Sasebo, Japan in preparation for ANNUALEX, the largest Japanese naval exercise. ANNUALEX involved numerous ships of both forces protecting sea lanes around the Japanese islands. It was followed by a brief two-day stop at Yokosuka, Japan. The Elliot then departed to visit Hong Kong from 11- 14 October. While enroute, a surfaced FOXTROT submarine was encountered just off the southern coast of Taiwan. Elliot shadowed the FOXTROT submarine until relieved on station by a P-3 aircraft. Following this, the Elliot participated in BATTLEWEEK 84-1 on 27 October with the USS Badger as a member of the ORANGE force. The Elliot returned home to Sna Diego on 18 November 1983.
Early in May 1984, the USS Elliot was made a unit of Destroyer Squadron FIVE.
On 11 June 1984, while in drydock, the Elliot underwent a Defense Nuclear Surety Inspection (DNSI). Following this, the Elliot participated in exercises READIEX 84-4 and KERNAL USHER 84-2 in the Southern California operating areas from 31 July to 21 August. Major accomplishments included successful coordinated operations using air, surface and sub-surface assets. Major operations in anti-submarine tactics, formation maneuvers and gunnery exercises were also accomplished. Elliot's participation during KERNAL USHER 84-2 led to the successful evaluation and validation of the shallow water ASW tactics TACMEMO which the ship developed during COBRA GOLD exercises during the previous deployment. Successful over-the-side, ASROC and air-drop exercise torpedo firings on the submarine USS Blueback, as well as ASW operations in single ship, dual ship and coordinated operations with aircraft were conducted.
From 2-12 October, Elliot participated in exercise COMPTUEX 85-1, serving as flagship for the ORANGE opposition forces against the USS Constellation (CV-64) Battle Group. Following COMPTUEX 85-1, Elliot headed towards San Francisco Bay to rendezvous with other ships of Battle Group DELTA in order to participate in San Francisco's Fleet Week 84 festivities. Elliot returned to port on 29 November where she remained in an upkeep status for the remainder of the year.
Elliot's first major Third Fleet exercise of 1985, Exercise KERNEL USHER 85-2, was conducted during 5-13 March. The primary objective of the exercise was to practice a large-scale amphibious assualt. However, the event involved a much wider scope of activity for Elliot. The exercise tested the entire gamut of Elliot's operational capabilities including anti-submarine, anti-air, anti-surface and naval gunfire support operations. Upon completion of KERNEL USHER, Elliot returned to San Diego where she became flagship for Commander, Destroyer Group ONE for a two-week period.
Elliot put to sea for another exercise, this time as part of the Kitty Hawk Battle Group. This exercise, COMPTUEX 85-4, lasting from 10-25 April, involved extensive operations against nuclear submarines and included test firings of an ASROC rocket and of an exercise torpedo.
After a pre-deployment inport period, Elliot put to sea for her Western Pacific deployment on 10 July 1985. The first segment consisted of a transit to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as a member of the New Jersey Battleship Battle Group. After arriving in Pearl Harbor on 19 July, the Battle Group put to sea again on 22 July for a five-day exercise entitled COMPTUEX 85-5. During this exercise Elliot successfully engaged a target drone with her NATO SEA SPARROW Missile System. After completing the exercise, units of the New Jersey Battle Group returned to Pearl Harbor.
Elliot put to sea again on 2 August with the New Jersey Battle Group for an ENCOUNTEREX exercise with the Kitty Hawk and other units of Battle Group BRAVO. After several days of intensive operations with Battle Group BRAVO, Elliot detached in company with SIDES (FFG-14) and proceeded to a port visit in Sasebo, Japan which lasted from 17 to 21 August. The first international exercise of the deployment began when Elliot put to sea on 24 August with units of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force for ASWEX 85-2JA in the Sea of Japan. The ship returned to Sasebo on 27 August. Her stay in Sasebo was extended to afford the ship protection during the near-passage of two typhoons.
Elliot got underway on 2 September for a two-day transit to Yokosuka, Japan where she remained inport for an upkeep period which lasted from 4 to 13 September. Departing Yokosuka on 14 Spetember, Elliot transited to Chinhae, Korea to conduct planning for an exercise with Korean naval units. Elliot was at sea from 18-20 September with Republic of Korea naval units for an ASW exercise entitled TAE KWON DO XLVII/ASWEX 85-4K. During this exercise, Elliot rendered on-scene assistance to the American submarine Darter which was dissabled during a collision with the merchant ship Kansas Getty. Having concluded TAE KWON DO XLVII/ASWEX 85-4K, Elliot proceeded to Pusan, Korea for a port visit which lasted from 21 to 24 Spetember. Departing Pusan on 25 September, Elliot got underway for a five-day transit first to the vicinity of Okinawa, and then back to Yokosuka, Japan. During operations in the vicinity of Okinawa Elliot conducted RECONEX 85-4 with elements of a U.S. Marine Corps Reconnaisance Battallion and supported training landings on the beach.
Elliot and Sides arrived in Yokosuka, Japan on 1 October for preparation for ANNUALEX 60G, a major JMSDF exercise conducted in waters off the east coast of Japan. This multi-faceted exercise lasted from 5-13 October and tested operational compatability of the forces involved to perform in a wide variety of mission areas ranging from ASW to AAW and ASUW. Elements of the Midway Battle Group joined the exercise for the last phase of operations. After a brief stop in Yokosuka on 14 October, Elliot commenced a five-day transit to Subic Bay, Philippines for an upkeep period which lasted from 21 October through 2 November. The transit to Subic Bay included a typhoon storm evasion which had Elliot sail through the San Bernardino Straits.
The next major event of Elliot's agenda was an exercise with naval units of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. The four missile patrol boats joined with Elliot in BURONGEX 86, an exercise which tested the capabilities of the ships of both nations to operate jointly. The exercise was climaxed with a short visit to the Sultanate of Brunei. Having completed this assignment, Elliot returned to Subic Bay for a four-day visit prior to putting to sea for an exercise with two units of the Royal Thai Navy. SEA OF SIAM 86-1 again tasked Elliot and SIDES together this time with HMTS TAPI and HMTS PINKLAO. Elliot put to sea again from 20-21 November, stopping shortly in Hong Kong, before arriving at Subic Bay on 29 November.
The end of Elliot's 1985 Western Pacific deployment was marked when the ship departed from Subic Bay on 1 December in company with the Kitty Hawk Battle Group for a transit to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The trans-Pacific transit involved extensive operations including an ENCOUNTEREX, which involved a joint effort between Elliot and Fife. The two ships detached from the Battle Group on 8 December and proceeded ahead of Kitty Hawk to intercept the destroyer Joseph Strauss. The transit to Pearl Harbor reached its conclusion on 12 December. Elliot put to sea again on 14 December for the transit to San Diego, CA, which was completed on 21 December.
On 24-28 February 1986, the ship was once again underway to the SOCA: OPAREA for Recertification Examination (OPPRE) preparations. During this at sea period Elliot served as target ship in a Torpedo Exercise (TORPEX) for USS Pollack. Elliot started off September by successfully completing a Nuclear Weapons Technical Proficiency Inspection (NTPI) and was underway on 8-13 September for a Fleet Training Group Refresher Training (REFTRA) Assist. On 17 September Elliot was underway to participate in COMTUEX 86-5, during which time the ship conducted a towing exercise with USS Halsey (CG-23) on 21 September. On 23 September Elliot conducted torpedo firing exercises off San Clemente Island. COMTUEX concluded on 25 September.
On 11 October, Elliot passed under the Golden Gate and entered San Francisco Bay in a tight column formation with 9 other US Navy ships to open San Francisco Fleet Week '87. Them, on 5-25 November Elliot got underway participating in READIEX 87-1 and Keral Usher 87-1 on the SOCAL OPAREA. On 17 November the ship participated in advanced missile exercises which culminated in the successful firing of a NATO Sea Sparrow Missile. Elliot returned to NAVSTA San Diego on 25 November.
On January 1, 1992, Elliot moored along Alava Wharf, Subic Bay Naval Station, Republic of the Philippines. Elliot was tasked with conducting an encounter exercise against the USS Gurnard utilizing the AN/SQR-19 towed array and its embarked SH-60B LAMPS MK III Det while enroute San Diego. On 20 January 1992, Elliot returned to her homeport of San Diego, CA.
In August 1992, the Elliot participated in COMPTUEX 92-7T, Gun SQT, and a TORPEX. It then took part in a Total Ship's Training Assessment (TSTA) Phase I, which challenged the ship's crew in every major evolution from Tomahawk and Harpoon scenarios in CIC, to DLQs and highline transfers, VBSS drills and RAS. The Elliot then supported Commander Third Fleet with Mobile Sea Range (MSR), by serving as the primary coordination platform, for which she was outfitted with equipment to monitor activities of the entire carrier battle group.
On November 16th, with HSL 49 Det FIVE embarked, Elliot departed San Diego to commence counter narcotics patrol operations. During this period, the ship embarked many additional riders in support of the operation. Utilizing her organic capabilities, combined with Naval, Coast Guard, and Air Force assets, Elliot patrolled her assigned areas, providing a steady flow of tactical data to authorities in CONUS. She returned to San Diego on 21 December.
During April 1993, the training cycle continued with Elliot participating in a number of qualifications and inspections including: Anti-Submarine Warfare team training phase I, Supply Management Assessment, Total Ships Tailored Training Phase III, and Naval Gunfire Support FIREX II. On 9 July 1993, Elliot, with HSL 49 DET FIVE embarked, departed San Diego enroute Pearl Harbor, HI, in company with USS Rentz and USS Chandler. While enroute Pearl Harbor, Elliot participated in Middle East Force Exercise 93-3T.
During operations at Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Elliot took charge of all live fire weapons employment. Acting as the Anti-Surface Warfare Commander, and working with PMRF range control, Elliot took control of every weapons engagement providing ships in company a safe and effective training environment.
On 17 July, Elliot continued her westward transit enroute Apra Harbor, Guam, where she remained overnight to conduct her final weapons onload. While enroute from Guam to Singapore, Elliot evaded storms, as the Western Pacific monsoon season set in. Arriving Singapore, Elliot conducted a five day upkeep availability with COMLOGFOR SEVENTH FLEET. She departed Singapore on 5 August and conducted a night transit of the Strait of Malacca enroute Phuket, Thailand. Due to operational commitments in the Arabian Gulf, Elliot conducted an independent Indian Ocean transit, entering the Strait of Hormuz on 15 August for turnover with USS O'Brien. While inport Bahrain, Elliot assumed duties as flagship for the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Central Command (COMUSNAVCENT), and continued making preparations for Anti-Submarine Warfare operations in the North Arabian Sea.
On 23 August, the Elliot deployed off the coast of southern Iran conducting SHAREM 102 PHASE II/AIREM-B-93P in company with USS Ingraham, USS Pasadena, and USNS Silas Bent. Elliot was assigned as Officer in Tactical Command of the event and continued ASW operations through 29 August.
On 1 September 1993, the Elliot was on station in the North Arabian Gulf (NAG), ready for immediate Strike tasking. While on station in the NAG, Elliot participated in exercise NEMEAN LION 93-3. Elliot's Combat Information Center and Strike Warfare teams completed all Cruise Missile tasking. Contingency Strike Operations continued through 05 September. On 06 September, Elliot made a port call at Jebel Ali, U.A.E. She departed on 15 September to be again on station in the NAG, ready for immediate Strike Tasking. Strike Operations continued through 30 September, with the embarked LAMPS REDSTINGER 110 conducting daily surface surveillance patrols.
Elliot remained on station through 10 October and assumed duties as the NAG Anti-Air Warfare Commander and Arabian Gulf Force Over The Horizon Track Coordinator, ensuring that a current and correct tactical database was maintained and transmitted to the Commander, Joint Task Force, Southwest Asia (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) and COMUSNAVCENT (Bahrain). Strike Operations continued through 21 October. Elliot continued NAG Strike Operations through the end of the month and embarked Commander, Destroyer Squadron SEVEN, serving as flagship for the Arabian Gulf Anti-Surface and Maritime Interception Force Commander. On 29 October while conducting Mina-Al-Bkar Oil terminal (MABOT) surveillance operations, Elliot located and conducted a boarding of the MV AMETIST (tug) ensuring compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
The USS Elliot remained on station in the NAG through 7 November 1993. She then conducted a port visit to Dubai, U.A.E., from 8-12 November, and a visit to Bahrain to embark the COMUSNAVCENT Battle Staff. SHF communications suite testing was successful, a first for a Spruance-class destroyer. Elliot remained on station through the end of November. On Thanksgiving Day, Elliot conducted a boarding of the MV TYPHUS in company with HMS CAMPBELTOWN. This was the first cargo vessel inbound to Iraq since the end of the Iran-Iraq war. On 28 November Elliot completed her turnover with USS John Young and departed the Arabian Gulf. Elliot then travelled to Fremantle, Australia, refueling along the way at Diego Garcia on 5 December 1993, before getting underway to Pearl Harbor, HI.
As a result of a reoganization of the Pacific Fleet's surface ships into six core battle groups and eight destroyer squadrons, the USS Elliot was reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 7. The reorganization was scheduled to have been completed by October 1, 1995, with homeport changes to be completed within the next year.
The USS Elliot took part in Pacific Joint Task Force Exercise 96-1 off the coast of San Diego in March 1996. The close-to-shore exercise involved testing various weapons systems including a system that tracks submarines, ships and aircraft up to 500 nautical miles. An amphibious demonstration at San Clemente Island, CA, search and rescue exercises and command and control of various air strike and support missions are also part of the exercise.
The USS Elliot later underwent a period of Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA). National Steel & Shipbuilding, San Diego, was awarded a $9,922,249 firm-fixed-price contract for the EDSRA of the ship. Work was performed in San Diego, and was to be completed by March 1997.
From August 6 through 10, 1997, the USS Elliot took part in Seattle's Seafair, along with the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and a number of other Navy ships.
The USS Elliot, in September 1997, took part in Teamwork North 97, an undersea warfare exercise against the Chilean diesel submarine Simpson and USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716), off the coast of Southern California. The exercise provided the Aegis cruiser USS Valley Forge (CG 50), destroyer USS Elliot (DD 967) and frigate USS Jarrett (FFG 33) an opportunity to evaluate search, classification and engagement techniques against a diesel submarine threat, as well as providing an opportunity to determine how ships and aircraft can best protect other assets from a submarine attack. The week began with submarine familiarization exercises designed to train personnel on the characteristics of submarine sensors. Next, the exercise focused on protecting two priority assets -- an oiler and an aircraft carrier -- while refueling. That was followed by a choke point/barrier transit exercise in which the three surface combatants had to transit a narrow water lane, while screening the carrier or oiler and avoiding the enemy submarine. The week concluded with an exercise torpedo firing by Valley Forge and Jarrett.
The Elliot took part in Pacific Joint Task Force Exercise 98-1 (PAC JTFEX 98-1) from April 13 through 24, 1998, off the Southern California coast. The exercise aimed at preparing naval forces to participate in joint operations with other U.S. forces, and involved more than 25 ships, and various types of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters from the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Battle Group and the USS Essex (LHD 2) Amphibious Ready Group. Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 was embarked in Abraham Lincoln and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked in Essex. Naval operations included Maritime Interception Operations (MIO), Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO), various air strike and support missions, operational testing of various weapons systems, Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD), logistics support, search and rescue, and command and control. An amphibious landing at Camp Pendleton, CA, on April 21, involved Navy surface and helicopter assault forces, U.S. Air Force aircraft, as well as units from Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
The USS Elliot deployed on June 17, to join the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) for a six-month overseas assignment. It took up station with the Battle Group in the Arabian Gulf region in late July after passing through the Strait of Hormuz on July 24, 1998, to relieve the USS John C. Stenni (CVN 74) Battle Group. Battle force units conducted operations in the Arabian Sea, participated in multinational interception operations in the Arabian Gulf, flew thousands of missions in support of Operation Southern Watch and visited several overseas ports including Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Jebel Ali, Bahrain, and several ports in Australia. The USS Elliot returned home to San Diego on December 7.
Elliot was one of eight U.S. naval ships participating in Exercise Arabian Gauntlet 2000.
June 2001 marked the end of the Inter-deployment Training Cycle for the USS Elliot, which then joined the John C. Stennis Battle Group for further training. On 20 June, the Elliot got underway for its Final Evaluation Period (FEP), the culmination of the Inter-deployment Training Cycle. In August, the Elliot completed COMPTUEX, its first "work up" towards the next deployment. For three weeks, the John C. Stennis battlegroup simulated a war-time environment. The battlegroup conducted numerous exercises versus various independently steaming Navy vessels that took on the role of hostile forces. Elliot participated in multiple combat systems exercises during COMPTUEX, including numerous Tomahawk launching scenarios, undersea warfare exercises, and surface warfare exercises. The Electronic Warfare division established a successful link with the HSL-43 Det 6 Battle Cats greatly enhancing the ship's Over-the-Horizon targeting capabilities.
In the wake of the WTC attacks, the John C. Stennis Battlegroup received news that it would deploy earlier than expected. Consequently, Elliot conducted it's Pre-Overseas Movement (POM) stand-down from 1-30 October. The USS Elliot received an early deployment order to deploy to the Western pacific in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and spent 30 October through 8 November underway to conduct a compressed Joint Training Fleet Exercises (JTFEX), the final work-up of the pre-deployment cycle. The John C. Stennis Battlegroup preformed many complex training exercises in a short period of time in preparation for the accelerated deployment.
Then, with heightened force protection measures, Elliot commenced WESTPAC 2001/2 on 12 November. The USS Elliot conducted several short notice-training events during the high-speed transit across the Pacific Ocean, and finally pulled into Hong Kong for a Quality of Life port visit in November before getting underway to transit the South China Sea, which it passed through while conducting training with the Singaporean Navy. After Singapore, the ship transited the Malaccan Straits, and then crossed through the Indian Ocean, before entering the Fifth Fleet Operating Area and performing duties off the coast of Pakistan.
The USS Elliot then conducted Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) as part of its Western Pacific Deployment. Transiting through the Strait of Hormuz and entered the Arabian Gulf to pull into Bahrain to conduct voyage repairs and receive briefings, before commencing MIO. The USS Elliot assumed duties as Flagship for MIO Operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf in mid-January. It conducted several queries and boardings, as well as directed vessels to a holding point in support of United Nations Sanctions against Iraq.
After 26 years of service, the Sailors aboard the San Diego-based destroyer USS Elliot (DD 967) lowered the ensign and commissioning pennant as they departed the ship for the last time, Dec. 2, 2003. Following the decommissining of the Elliot the crew conducted a sea swap with the crew of the USS Fletcher.
USS Elliot (DD 146)
Since USS Elliot (DD 967) is the first ship named after LCDR Arthur Elliot, one might suspect that her roots are recent. A close look at the ship's coat of arms, however, indicates that her heritage reaches back to early America. The crest, composed of a mainmast and mainsail, symbolizes the Elliot family's long association with the nautical heritage of their native state of Maine. Generations of the family engaged in the shipbuilding and sailing trades, including LCDR Elliot's paternal grandfather and namesake Arthur James Elliot, whose shipbuilding firm launched the last five-masted schooner ever built. Elliot's heritage, however, goes beyond the service of LCDR Elliot and his family.
The USS Elliot is actually the second USS Elliot. The original USS Elliot (DD 146) was named after LCDR Richard McCall Elliot. LCDR Richard Elliot was killed onboard USS Manley (DD 74) on March 19, 1918 when her depth charges exploded in a collision with a British ship in the convoy Manley was escorting. USS Elliot (DD 146) was launched July 4, 1918 by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, PA; sponsored by Mrs. R. M. Elliot, widow of LCDR Richard Elliot; and commissioned January 25, 1919. With a length of 314 ft. 5 in. and a displacement of 1,247 tons, the original Elliot would be dwarfed by its modern SPRUANCE-class destroyer descendant which has a length of 563 ft. 4 in. and a displacement of 8,020 tons. During the early 1920s Elliot stood by in China during civil disturbances which threatened American lives and property. Her service spanned three decades, and during World War II she earned a battle star for action off the Aleutian Islands.
Elliot's roots not only go back in time, but stretch overseas to Scotland. The ship has enjoyed a warm relationship with the Elliot Clan Society for several years, which has included correspondence and occasional ship visits with American members of the Elliot clan. The Elliot Clan is a worldwide society of Eliots, Eliotts, and Elliotts. Sir Arthur Eliott of Rexburghshire, Scotland (Clan Chief) wrote:
Your mention of an earlier destroyer named Elliot caused me to look out an album of portrait drawings of World War I, which had been left to me by my mother (who was American). Sure enough, in this album is a portrait of LCDR Richard McCall Elliot. According to the citation, he was distinguished for exceptional bravery onboard U.S. destroyer AYLWIN in 1915 by rescuing men in the flooded engine room after the boiler had exploded. As you say, sadly, he was killed only a few years later in a collision with a British ship while escorting a convoy.
Lt. Cmdr. Arthur J. Elliot, II
Lt. Cmdr. Arthur J. Elliot, II was credited with many instances in which heroic action on his part lead to extraordinary results.
Arthur James Elliot was born in Rockland, ME, on April 9, 1933. He was the oldest of three boys. About six feet tall, light hair and a high school athlete who played both basketball and baseball, he graduated from Thomaston High School in 1950 and worked for a year before entering Gorham State Teachers College, Gorham, ME. In college, he majored in industrial arts and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1955. He was a good student in college where he played intramural sports and was president of his fraternity.
Elliot's grandfather and father were part owners and operators of a small shipyard -- Dunn & Elliot in Thomaston, Maine. The grandfather was a sea captain who skippered a four master schooner carrying general cargo. As a boy, Elliot worked in the shipyard that builds, stores and services small wooden fishing and pleasure boats. He loved the sea and was taught to sail and fish by his father and grandfather. During the summers, Elliot worked as a counselor at a boys camp and taught sailing to the youngsters.
After graduation from college, he taught industrial arts at high school in Augusta, ME, for one year. After repeated attempts to enter the Navy Officers Candidate School (OCS), he finally received a waiver on his eyesight and was accepted into OCS June 1956. He was commissioned as an Ensign in the Naval Reserve October 12, 1956. Upon graduation from OCS at Newport, he was assigned to the USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD 729) in the engineering department.
He served in Lyman K. Swenson for two years, nine months where he qualified as officer of the deck and filled billets as anti-submarine warfare officer, gunnery officer, damage control and electrical officer. During this period, he was promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade). Elliot resigned from the Navy August 9, 1959 to take a position ass an industrial arts instructor in a new high school that was just opening in Augusta, Maine. However, he did remain active in the Naval Reserve.
Less than a year later, he volunteered for return to active duty and was accepted on May 5, 1960. Aboard the Little Rock in the Atlantic Fleet, he participated in Sixth Fleet exercises in the Mediterranean and was promoted to Lieutenant. His duties included those of CIC Officer. In July 1962 he was assigned as Aide and Flag Lieutenant to Rear Admiral William D. Irwin and Rear Admiral Redfield Mason at Commander, Service Forces, Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor. While he did not like all the pomp and ceremonies attached to this duty, he remained at this post until assigned to the USS John King (DDG 3) in September 1965. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander, Elliot became the ship's Operations Officer and served in JOHN KING in the Atlantic Fleet until December 1967.
He volunteered for duty in Vietnam and was named commanding officer of PBR (Patrol Boat River) Squadron 57 in the Mekong area in January 1968. He served in this capacity until killed in action on December 29, 1968.
In the early days of the Vietnam Conflict, arms and ammunition passed from China to the north into North Vietnam. U. S. Forces were successful in cutting off that flow which lead to another source for these items. This new source was Cambodia. Since there was no stated conflict with that country, missions to Cambodia were not supposed to take place. The flow of arms, ammunition, and troops continued. Admiral Zumwalt and others immediately saw the need for the "Brown Water Navy".
Since PBR and Navy "Swift Boats" could transverse the rivers and streams into the Cambodia territory, they posed the best possible force to interdict the enemy. Arthur James Elliot's command was of ComRivRon 57. Major missions included "Giant Slingshot" and "Parrots Beak".
One such mission saw him and approximately twenty of his boats going up the streams to interdict the arms flow from Cambodia, with jungle growth making the passage difficult and streams occasionally emptying into small lakes. The Viet Cong became aware that his squadron had passed on a mission "up stream" and positioned themselves for ambush on their return.
On this return, the squadron entered into one of the small lake areas and fell immediately under automatic weapons fire and rocket attack. In that battle, US men were sitting ducks and because of the jungle growth they couldn't see any exit to get away. Lt. Cmdr Elliot apparently realized this and sought to find a way out. In order to do this, he had to get out from behind the protective armor and take his boat around the perimeter of the small lake. Once he found the exit area, he stationed his boat there and directed each of his fellow shipmates from the area. His boat was the last to cut a circle and head out when a B-40 rocket made a direct hit, killing him instantly. Fortunately, his crew and all the other boats made it back to their base safely.
The jungle growth that allowed such an ambush to take place and made these missions so difficult was addressed by Admiral Zumwalt in his decision to use Agent Orange. Admiral Zumwalt was extremely upset with the loss of his young officers and men in these type conflicts.
Lt Cmdr Elliot's tour of duty in Vietnam had been officially over but he had agreed to an extension. His relief, Lt. Peterson requested a delay in his assumption of command. Lt Cmdr Elliot's tragedy was compounded by the fact that Peterson too was killed in action, hence the USS Petereson (DD-969).
The citations for the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal give a description of his combat experience. Besides these two awards, Elliot also holds the Purple Heart, Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm, National Order of Vietnam (5th Class), Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal, and the U.S. Navy Expeditionary Medal.
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