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DDG 102 Sampson

On May 7, 2004, the Department of Defense announced that Secretary of the Navy Gordon England had decided that DDG hull number 102 will be named Sampson.

Sampson is a Flight IIA variant of the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer and incorporates a helicopter hanger facility into the original design. The ship can each carry two SH-60B/R helicopters. Guided missile destroyers operate independently and in conjunction with carrier strike groups, surface action groups, expeditionary strike groups and replenishment groups.

Three previous ships have carried this name: DD 63, DD 394 and DDG 10. DD-63 Sampson was the first ship of the Sampson Class of destroyers. Commissioned in 1916, served in World War I, decommissioned in 1921. DD-394 Sampson was a Somers Class destroyer. Commissioned in 1938, served in World War II, decommissioned in 1946. And DDG-10 Sampson was a Charles F. Adams Class guided missile destroyer. Commissioned in 1961 and decommissioned in 1991.

The Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Sampson (DDG 102), was christened Saturday, Sept. 16, 2006, during a ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine delivered the ceremony's principal address. Clara Parsons, great granddaughter of Rear Adm. Sampson, served as ship's sponsor.

DDG 102 Sampson commissioned on 05 November 2007.

William Thomas Sampson

DDG 102 is named in honor of the service of William Thomas Sampson (1840-1902) who graduated first in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1861. During his service in the Civil War, Sampson survived a mine explosion in 1865. He went on to serve aboard four ships. When the United States declared war against Spain following the sinking of the battleship Maine, Rear Adm. Sampson, in flagship New York, put to sea from Key West in 1898 in search of the Spanish Fleet. They established a blockade of the Spanish Fleet in the harbor of Santiago. When the Spanish fleet attempted escape, it was completely destroyed by Sampson's forces in a running sea battle lasting five hours. The next day, Sampson sent his famous message: "The Fleet under my command offers the nation as a Fourth of July present, the whole of Cervera's Fleet!" After the war, he commanded the North Atlantic Fleet and later retired as commandant of the Boston Navy Yard in 1902.

William Thomas Sampson, born on 9 February 1840 in Palmyra, N.Y., entered the United States Naval Academy on 24 September 1857. After graduating 1st in his class four years later, he served as an instructor at the Academy. In 1864, he became the executive officer of the monitor Patapsco of the South Atlantic Blockading Station and engaged in sweeping torpedoes off Charleston. He survived the loss of that ironclad on 15 January 1865, when she struck a torpedo, exploded, and sank with a loss of 75 lives.

Following duty in the steam frigate, Colorado, on the European Station, another tour as instructor at the Naval Academy, and in the Bureau of Navigation of the Navy Department, he served in the screw sloop, Congress. He then commanded Alert, practice ship Mayflower, and Swatara while on duty at the Naval Academy.

During the next years, he was Assistant to the Superintendent of the Naval Observatory, then Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I. On 9 September 1886, he became Superintendent of the Naval Academy. He was promoted to Captain on 9 April 1889, reported to the Mare Island Navy Yard to fit out San Francisco, and assumed command when that protected cruiser was commissioned on 15 November 1889. He was detached in June 1892 to serve as Inspector of Ordnance in the Washington Navy Yard and was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance on 28 January 1893. He assumed command of battleship, Iowa, on 15 June 1897. On 17 February 1898, he was made President of the Board of Inquiry to investigate the destruction of battleship, Maine. On 26 March 1898, he assumed command of the North Atlantic Station, with the temporary rank of Rear Admiral.

The United States declared war against Spain on 21 April 1898; and, eight days later, Admiral Cervera's fleet sailed from the Cape Verde Islands for an uncertain destination. Admiral Sampson, in flagship New York, put to sea from Key West in search of the Spanish Fleet and established a close and efficient blockade on that fleet in the harbor of Santiago on 1 June 1898. On the morning of 3 July 1898, Cervera's fleet came out of the harbor and was completely destroyed in a running sea battle lasting five hours. The next day, Rear Admiral Sampson sent his famous message: "The Fleet under my command offers the nation as a Fourth of July present, the whole of Cervera's Fleet!" He was appointed Cuban Commissioner on 20 August 1898 but resumed command of the North Atlantic Fleet in December. He became Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard in October 1899 and transferred to the Retired List on 9 February 1902. Rear Admiral Sampson died in Washington, D.C., on 6 May 1902 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:54:20 ZULU