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DDG 57 Mitscher
"Sieze the Day"

USS Mitscher was commissioned on December 10th,1994, and was sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth Ferguson. Mitscher transferred to her homeport in Norfolk, Virginia later in December 1994, and has since made three Mediterranean deployments and participated in many Caribbean exercises.

The USS Mitscher (DDG 57) became the second U.S. Navy warship named to honor Admiral Marc A. Mitscher (1887-1947), famed naval aviator and World War II aircraft carrier task group commander. In 1988 the U.S. Navy contracted with Ingalls Shipbuilding, in Pascagoula, Mississippi to build the seventh ship of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57).These destroyers are designed to replace the Adams and Coontz-class destroyers.

On Friday, January 12, 2001 USS Mitscher began a six-month deployment with the Truman Battle Group. The entire battle group had trained together for the past eight months in preparation for this deployment through a series of increasingly demanding exercises and operations. These pre-deployment exercises culminated in October with the successful completion of Joint Task Force Exercise 01-1 and NATO Exercise Unified Spirit 2000.

During its 2001 deployment the USS Mitscher visited Algiers, Algeria, for an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) exercise with the Algerian Navy. The joint exercise included surface and subsurface units. Mitscher and an Algerian Koni-class frigate, RAIS KELLICH, were the surface participants. The nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Norfolk and the Algerian Kilo-class attack submarine EL HADJ SLIMANE, composed the subsurface force.

On the crest, the combined anchor and trident symbolize sea prowess and combat readiness. The life preserver ringing the anchor commemorates Admiral Mitscher's compassion for his crew as manifested through his relentless determination in tracking down and recovering downed air crews. The three tines of the trident represent the ship's significant capabilities in strike, air, and subsurface warfare. The trident's position, rising above the crest, symbolizes the ability to project power over great distances. The gold wings represent Admiral Mitscher's service and dedication, throughout his career, in advancing naval aviation and developing strike warfare.

On the shield, dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and represent the sea and excellence. Red is emblematic of sacrifice and valor. The cross throughout the shield recalls the Navy Cross Admiral Mitscher was awarded for his participation in the first successful transatlantic air passage. The two stars above the cross commemorate his awards of 2nd and 3rd Distinguished Service Medals and his 2nd and 3rd awards of the Navy Cross for meritorious service during operations in the Pacific during World War II. The armored gauntlet represents the strength and survivability of the ship. The lightning bolts symbolize energy and speed and the ability of the ship to conduct multi-mission operations in any dimension. Admiral Mitscher was a pioneer of strike warfare and a steadfast proponent of quick decisive action. The gauntlet grasping the lightning bolts highlights USS Mitscher's motto "SEIZE THE DAY" - a motto which embodies Admiral Mitscher's tenacious fighting spirit and dignifies DDG-57's legacy.

Marc A. Mitscher

Known to his friends as "Pete", Admiral Mitscher is most famous for his exploits as Commander of Task Force 58, a powerful combination of aircraft carriers and other warships which wreaked havoc upon the Japanese in the western Pacific. Admiral Mitscher graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1910, then served his first six years in the Navy at sea on various surface ships of the Pacific Fleet. Volunteering for aviation training, Lieutenant Mitscher graduated from the Navy's first formal flight school at Pensacola, Florida in 1916, and was designated Naval Aviator #33.

Several years later, in May 1919, Lieutenant Commander Mitscher was awarded his first Navy Cross for his participation in the world's first successful transatlantic flight with the "Nancys", piloting NC-1 of the squadron's famous Curtis flying boats.

In October 1941, Captain Mitscher was selected to be the commissioning CO of USS HORNET. Mitscher was promoted to Rear Admiral in February 1942 and led HORNET to the war in the Pacific. Under his command, HORNET served as the launching platform for Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle's B-25 raid on Tokyo in April, 1942. Additionally, Mitscher's ship was one of the three U.S. aircraft carriers that turned the tide of the war against Japan at Midway.

Assuming the role of Commander, Fast Carrier Task Force 58 in 1944 (commanding four separate battle groups of three to four carriers each), Admiral Mitscher was involved in every major battle in the Pacific War, including: the Marshall Islands, Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the Mariana's "Turkey Shoot". Throughout these campaigns, Mitscher was supported by his friend and Chief of Staff, then Captain Arleigh Burke, the Admiral for whom the DDG-51 class of AEGIS destroyers is named.

DL 2 / DDG 35 / DD 927

The keel of the first USS Mitscher was laid down on 3 October 1949 as DD-927. Because of their large size, however, ships of the Mitscher class were redesignated Destroyer Leaders and, on 15 May 1953, DL-2 was commissioned USS Mitscher.

DL-2 was on the cutting edge of technology for its time. The Mitscher class of guided missile "frigates" introduced the 1200lb steam plant to the US Naval service.

In 1957 Mitscher operated the first helicopter from a US destroyer, leading to the development of the DASH drone helicopter system. DL-2 was originally homeported in Newport, Rhode Island, conducting numerous Atlantic Fleet operations in her first twelve years of service. These included several NATO, Mediterranean, and Middle East deployments. In August 1964, while in the Mediterranean, she stood off Cyprus to aid in the evacuation of American nationals.

Almost 13 years after her commissioning, Mitscher left Newport for Philadelphia, where she was decommissioned for a two year conversion to a guided missile destroyer. On 29 June 1968, Mitscher rejoined the US Navy DDG-35. After nine more years of continuous operations, USS Mitscher was decommissioned for the final time on 1 June 1978, just 16 days after the 25th anniversary of her original commissioning.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:54:40 ZULU