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DD 973 John Young
"Set Sail With Courage"

The Coat of Arms of USS John Young (DD 973) serves as a heraldic reminder of the ship's namesake, Captain John Young. The shield of the coat of arms is a tri-color design. The upper portion is Scarlet and the lower portion is Independence Blue. These are separated by a wavy bar of white.

John Young was appointed in the Continental Navy from Philadelphia in 1776 and received his Captain's commission in October of that year. During much of his period of service he was associated with France who was helping the then fledgling American nation in their struggle for independence. This is represented by the golden fleur-de-lis in the upper part of the shield.

In August of 1780, enroute from French Martinique to the United States aboard the 18 gun sloop-of-war SARATOGA, Captain Young captured four enemy vessels after a severe engagement with two of them at a time. This deed is symbolized by the wavy bar with four stars.

On 20 March 1781, Captain Young's ship SARATOGA sailing in the company of French and American ships, became separated in a storm and was never seen again. The loss at sea of Captain Young and his crew is symbolized by the anchor without cable. The tricolor design alludes to the national colors of both the United States and her Revolutionary War all, France.

The mast with sail hoisted is symbolic of the Continental sloop-of-war SARATOGA, Captain Young's last command. The coat of arms of the early American "YOUNG" family is represented by the red rose on the sail.

The ship's motto, "Prends La Mer Avec Courage" meaning "Set Sail with Courage", serves as an inspiration for the men and women who serve aboard the USS John Young.

The USS John Young was built by Ingalls Shipbuiding-Divsion of Litton Industries, Pascagoula, MS. Her Keel was laid on 17 February 1975. She was christened on 7 February 1976 and commissioned on 20 May 1978. The ship is the eleventh SPRUANCE class destroyer.

A highly versatile multi-mission destroyer, USS John Young is capable of operating independently or with amphibious assault and aircraft carrier task forces. John Young's primary missions include the prosecution of both surface and subsurface threats. The ship's offensive assets include Harpoon anti-ship missiles, five-inch guns, and ship and helicopter-launched torpedoes. John Young is also equipped with long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles to attack land targets.

The USS John Young (DD 973) following appropriate Congressional notification, became one of eight combat ships that began receiving women as crewmembers in 1994.

As part of a reorganization by the Pacific Fleet's surface ships into six core battle groups and eight destroyer squadrons, with the reorganization scheduled to be completed by October 1, 1995, and homeport changes to be completed within the folowing, year, the USS John Young was reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 23.

On April 28, 1996, Navy and Coast Guard inspectors aboard USS John Young (DD 973) boarded a merchant ship thus marking the 10,000th such boarding in support of United Nations' sanctions against Iraq. As part of a multinational maritime interception force, operating in the Arabian Gulf, the team boarded an Indian flagged dhow in the Arabian Gulf to make the milestone boarding. The vessel was empty and permitted to proceed.

The USS John Young (DD 973) departed San Diego on November 18, 1997 enroute to the Arabian Gulf for a six-month deployment as part of the Middle East Force (MEF).

The USS John Young (DD 973) teamed up with the Coast Guard in late March 2001 for a major drug bust at sea.

The John Young was decommissioned on Sept 12, 2002 at Pier 2 at Naval Station San Diego.

Captain John Young

The USS John Young (DD 973) is the second ship named in honor of Captain John Young. The John Young (DD 312) was the first one, and was commissioned on November 29, 1920. Captain John Young, Continental Navy (c. 1740-1781), was a gallant and daring naval officer who lost his life in the struggle for independence during the American Revolution.

John Young began his seafaring career at an early age in the colonial merchant marine. A master mariner before the first shots of the revolution were fired, the Continental Congress honored him with a commission and the command of the sloop-of-war INDEPENDENCE. Captain Young's mission was the protection of American shipping in the West Indies, and the raiding of British merchantmen whenever and wherever the opportunity might arise. While in command of the INDEPENDENCE, Captain Young delivered important diplomatic dispatches to the American delegation to France, headed by Doctor Benjamin Franklin, and participated in the first salute of recognition to the American flag from a foreign power.

Captain Young went on to command two other Continental Navy vessels, the IMPERTINENT and the SARATOGA. In August of 1790, while enroute to home waters from the French colony of Martinique in the 18 gun sloop-of-war SARATOGA, Captain Young captured four enemy vessels after a close engagement with two of them simultaneously.

Shortly after taking his nineteenth prize on March 20, 1781, Captain Young's career was suddenly cut short. While sailing in company with French and American ships, the SARATOGA became separated in a storm and never seen again.

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