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DDG 60 Paul Hamilton
"Courage to Prevail"

The Paul Hamilton was commissioned 27 May 1995 at Naval Station, Charleston, South Carolina. The mission of USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) is the support of national policy at sea. She is equipped to operate offensively in a high-density, multi threat environment as an integral member of a carrier battle group or Surface Action Group (SAG). In addition to her own self defense capabilities in Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), Paul Hamilton effectively provides local area protection to the battle group, SAG, and other military ships.

For the crew of USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), 2002 brought the beginning of an extensive cycle of preparations for the destroyer's upcoming deployment. These preparations began on Monday, January 7th, when Paul Hamilton left its homeport of Pearl Harbor and began its transit to San Diego, California for the start of Composite Task Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) 2002. COMPTUEX is a series of exercises designed to prepare the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Battle Group for its upcoming overseas deployment. Paul Hamilton departed San Diego on Friday, January 18th, and embarked on COMPTUEX '02. The crew was ready and excited to work closely with the ships and aircraft of the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group.

The three weeks of COMPTUEX proved to be of great benefit to Paul Hamilton and the rest of the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group. While operating off the coast of Southern California, the battle group engaged in a variety of exercises to foster the necessary teamwork and coordination that will be essential for a successful deployment. Paul Hamilton found itself in many different and exciting roles during the course of COMPTUEX. During air defense exercises, Paul Hamilton was able to successfully function as the secondary force air warfare commander. In this capacity crewmembers in the Combat Information Center (CIC) worked to control and coordinate aircraft from the Abraham Lincoln's air wing to prosecute threats to the battle group.

Paul Hamilton Sailors also found themselves engaged in numerous anti-submarine warfare exercises during the course of COMPTUEX. Requiring the analysis of sonar data, the control of both patrol aircraft and helicopters, and close communication between ships of the battle group, these exercises helped to improve the crew's ability to track submarines. Sonar Technician Surface First Class Gary Osborne observed, "Searching for actual submarines in a real environment gave our sonar team the opportunity to hone skills that we continuously practice during trainers."

Although much time was spent practicing warfare above and underneath the sea, there was still time for Paul Hamilton to engage in age old surface warfare tactics such as naval gunnery and boardings. The ship spent a day off the coast of San Clemente Island engaged in a shore bombardment exercise. Again, coordination and communication were key as Paul Hamilton's gunnery team worked hand-in-hand with close air support fighters and spotters on the ground to ensure that the training was both effectively and safely executed.

Frequent maritime interception operations exercises kept Paul Hamilton's bridge and boarding teams busy throughout COMPTUEX. These exercises allowed the teams the opportunity to refresh their boarding skills in preparations for executing similar missions in support of United Nations sanctions during the upcoming deployment.

The Paul Hamilton returned from its WESTPAC deploment in February 2001, it had left Pearl Harbor in August 2000.

From June 14-16, 2000 USS Paul Hamilton(DDG 60) successfully completed 3 challenging missile exercises at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Hawaii, as part of RIMPAC 2000. The three exercises certified the capabilities of PAUL HAMILTON's Aegis Weapon System and Harpoon Weapon System in preparation for her upcoming deployment in August 2000. On June 14, Paul Hamilton completed a Vandal missile exercise. The Vandal target is extremely difficult to hit as it travels at supersonic and very low altitude. On June 15 the Paul Hamilton carried out a live Harpoon Firing Exercise, which was also a SINKEX, targetting the Ex-USNS Hugh J. Gaffey (IX-501)

From 20-27 June 2000, USS Paul Hamilton along with ABRAHAM LINCOLN Battle Group, RIMPAC 2000 Multi-National Force (MNF), and Bi-Lateral Force (BIF) conducted sustained combat operations against the forces of fictitious "Country Orange." The tactical phase of RIMPAC 2000 involved a complex scenario in which the Battle Group, MNF, and BIF worked together to protect "Country Green" from an aggressive "Country Orange."

On December 6, 2002, while conducting Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) as part of the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group, the USS Paul Hamilton (DDG-60) and an unidentified vessel collided in the North Arabian Gulf at approximately 8:24 p.m. local time (12:24 EST). No personnel were injured aboard the USS Paul Hamilton. The ship suffered a non-threatening hole in the side of the ship above the waterline and was continued with its mission.

The USS Paul Hamilton returned to Pearl Harbor on April 26, 2003 following a 9-month deployment.

The coat of arms as blazoned in full color upon a white oval enclosed by a blue collar edged on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the name "USS Paul Hamilton" at the top and "DDG 60" in base all in gold.

On the shield, the compass rose, a traditional navigation instrument used by sailors past and present, symbolizes the purposeful direction required to accomplish any goal. The globe signifies that Paul Hamilton can go anywhere in the world to accomplish national objectives. The superimposed gold trident is a symbol of excellence and Paul Hamilton's ability to project seapower on the land, in the air and at sea. The three prongs also recall that Paul Hamilton was the third Secretary of the Navy, that three ships, DD 307, DD 590 and DDG 60 have borne the name and the three groups that contribute to the strength of PAUL HAMILTON; her crew, their families and the shore establishment.

On the crest The anchor honors Paul Hamilton as Secretary of the Navy. The octagon shape alludes to all who have contributed to the AEGIS program. The palmetto tree and crescent recall Paul Hamilton's service as Governor of South Carolina. The scroll of seven stars recalls the battle stars awarded to the officers and the men of USS Paul Hamilton (DD 590) in World War II.

Paul Hamilton

Born on October 16, 1762 at Willtown, St. Paul's Parish, South Carolina, Paul Hamilton was the second of three sons born to Archibald and Rebecca (Branford) Hamilton. His great-grandfather, also Paul Hamilton, had come from Scotland to Carolina with Lord Cardross in 1686. Paul's father and two brothers died while he was still a boy, leaving him the sole survivor for his mother's attentions and under the guardianship of his uncle Paul Hamilton.

His uncle determined to prepare Paul for the study of medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland, and so sent him to school in Charleston. However in December 1778 Uncle Paul removed him from school because of decreased revenues from his ward's estate. Paul spent most of the winter months of 1779 in the carefree pursuits of deer hunting, enjoying the last of his childhood.

After conquering Georgia, the British under General August Prevost invaded South Carolina in April and advanced upon Charleston. Men capable of bearing arms and every boy of 16 years or older were called into the militia. Paul joined the local militia company called the 'Willtown Hunters," commanded by Lt. Thomas Moss Osborn. In his journal Paul wrote:

"I felt a great anxiety to see the enemy and to hear a shot whistle, the stories of my friends who had seen some service, and could descant upon the merits of our struggle for Independence, and relate the enormities committed by our enemies, the British, warmed and excited me to a pitch of enthusiastic hatred of them, and I really longed to engage in battle."

Paul's initial ardor was cooled by his participation in many disheartening defeats. He was present, for instance, at the siege of Savannah, and he was almost captured by British dragoons under Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton after the fall of Charleston. He fled to North Carolina and joined forces with Major General Baron de Kalb.

In July Gen. Horatio Gates, the hero of Saratoga, took command of the southern army. Ignoring advice from de Kalb and other Continental officers, Gates determined to meet Lord Cornwallis head-on at Camden, S.C. There on August 16 the American army suffered its worst defeat of the war. Once again, Paul and his acquaintances fled for their lives, pursued by British dragoons. During their 21-mile retreat, they witnessed several of their comrades cut down and killed.

In Waxhaw, to which Paul and several of his friends had retreated, he wrote in his journal, "We then lay down to rest but such was the state of my spirits and the impression made on my mind by the horrid scenes of the morning, that I could not for a long time close my eyes."

Paul proceeded to Hillsborough N.C., where he joined up with the remnants of the southern army.

On December 31 1780, Gates was relieved by Gen. Nathanael Greene. A few days after this change of command Paul left North Carolina and proceeded south to join up with Gen. Francis Marion then practicing guerrilla warfare in the low country.

For the next three months, Hamilton advanced retreated, ambushed and skirmished almost on a daily basis under the wily Swamp Fox. At Georgetown, they captured the British commander by surprise at his home.

In April Hamilton joined a group of 70 men from the low country who wished to return to their homes and harass the British and force them out of their country. Paul was involved in several engagements against the British, including the capture and destruction of Fort Balfour at Pocotaligo. Additionally, Hamilton visited his mother at her home in Jacksonboro, and also a young lady by the name of Mary Wilkinson.

With the movement of forces under General Greene into the low country in November 1781, the British took refuge behind the walls of Charleston. For all practical purposes, the fighting was at an end.

Paul now turned his attention to other passions, and on October 10, 1782, he married Mary Wilkinson. After receiving his inheritance on his 21st birthday, he and Mary established their home at Edisto Island. Paul planted indigo and became a father with the birth of his first daughter, Mary, on November 22, 1783.

In 1785 Hamilton began a public career that lasted for almost three decades. He served as parish tax collector, justice of the peace, and district commissioner; he was elected a member of the state house of representatives, of the constitutional convention, and served in the state senate between 1794 and 1799. A year later he was selected as the state's first comptroller general.

Hamilton was elected governor of South Carolina in 1804. During his term he laid the groundwork for the establishment of the South Carolina College (now USC), and ended the importation of slaves. On March 4, 1809, President James Madison nominated Paul Hamilton to be Secretary of the Navy, the first South Carolinian to be selected to serve in a president's cabinet. President Madison selected Paul because of his interest in military preparedness while governor and his proven administrative ability. Additionally, a majority of the naval officers at that time were southern, so a southern secretary made sense. Confirmed by the Senate on May 15, Hamilton immediately went to work to improve the Navy. He wanted to increase its size, but Congress declined to appropriate money for new ships and even considered reducing the fleet. The danger of war with France was high in 1809, yet Congress severely cut the Navy's budget. Lack of ships was only one of Paul's problems, as the Navy was short on arms, gunpowder, and lumber to repair ships. He finally convinced Congress to appropriate $400,000 in January 1812 to purchase supplies, but the Navy was still short of crews and skilled workmen.

His lack of experience in naval matters did not hinder Hamilton's pursuit of innovative strategies in naval warfare. He funded Robert Fulton's experiments with torpedoes and tried to improve harbor defenses by building blockships and floating batteries. More importantly, Paul backed his captains in selecting a strategy at the beginning of the War of 1812, one that gave the small American Navy victories at sea until the larger British Navy blockaded them in port. He divided his small fleet into three divisions and sent them to sea to capture and destroy British shipping, forcing the British to concentrate their fleet and allow American merchant ships at sea to escape capture. Paul's second son, Archibald, was with Stephen Decatur on board the frigate United States, when they captured the British ship Macedonia on October 25, 1812. Upon their return to port in Baltimore, Commodore Decatur selected Midshipman Hamilton to deliver the captured flag to the White House. He arrived there on December 8, during a ball held to celebrate the victory of the Constitution over the Guerriere. Just as the dancing began, the official news arrived via Secretary Hamilton's son. Entering the ballroom with hurried pace, the ensign of the Macedonia in his hands, the young midshipman laid the British trophy at the feet of Dolly Madison, who received it like a queen. Tragically, Lieutenant Hamilton was killed on January 15, 1815, when the USS President was captured off the Chesapeake Bay, three weeks after the Treaty of Ghent was signed.

Despite Congressional opposition, Paul had effectively led the small American Navy, and his warships had been successful in the early months of the war. Yet, opposition continued, especially from Sen. William Crawford of Georgia. The unpopularity of the war and Madison's administration caused many to seek a scapegoat for its shortcomings and Hamilton became the target. Paul had never been at ease in Washington. He considered the living conditions there unhealthy, he missed his home and family, and creditors were tearing at his plantation with each successive crop failure. Hamilton could endure the criticism no more and determined to return home, resigning on December 31, 1812.

Paul returned to South Carolina, living at his plantation at McPhersonville. In 1815 he moved to Beaufort to live with his son, Dr. Paul Hamilton. There he died on April 30, 1816 (based on his tombstone), and was buried in the Hamilton burying ground on the Rhodes plantation on Port Royal Island.

DD 307

Paul Hamilton (DD 307) was launched 21 February 1919 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation of San Francisco, California. Miss Justin McGrath christened the ship on 24 September 1920 with LCDR J.F. McClain in command. USS Paul Hamilton (DD 307) was assigned to Division Thirty-Three, Squadron Six, Flotilla Two of the Cruiser-Destroyer Force based at San Diego, California. She performed yeoman service with the Pacific Battle Fleet from 1920 to 1930. Paul Hamilton (DD 307) was decommissioned on 20 January 1930.

DD 590

Paul Hamilton (DD 590) was laid down 20 January 1943 at the Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina. Mrs. William Deware Gordon officially christened the ship on 7 April 1943 and USS PAUL HAMILTON (DD 590) came to life on 25 October 1943 under the command of CDR Leo G. May. Stationed out of Norfolk, Virginia, Paul Hamilton (DD 590) served the lower Chesapeake Bay as a destroyer training unit until April 1944.

Arriving in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in May of 1944, Paul Hamilton (DD 590) formed part of the protective screen for the replenishment aircraft and fueling groups that serviced the Third Fleet during the landing at Saipan on 15 June 1944. She accompanied Task Force 58 during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

In the fall of that same year, Paul Hamilton (DD 590) served as a screening vessel for the replenishment and fueling groups that serviced the Third Fleet during the capture and occupation of the southern Palau Islands. A similar role was also carried out during the air strikes against Okinawa, Luzon, Formosa, The Visayan Islands and the Japanese Fleet.

In December of 1944 Paul Hamilton (DD 509) served outside the Philippine Islands protecting shipping from enemy surface attacks culiminating in the screening for the amphibious assault force that landed on Mindoro Island, Philippines, where on 15 December 1944 she shot down three enemy planes. In January 1945 Paul Hamilton (DD 590) participated in the assault of Iwo Jima, providing shore bombardment, fire support, and pilot rescue. By the end of World War II, she had received seven battle stars for service.

In July of 1945 Paul Hamilton (DD 590) reported to San Diego, California, for overhaul. In September 1945 she reported to the Reserve Fleet 24 where she remained inactive until struck from the Naval Register in 1968.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:54:43 ZULU