DDG 66 Gonzalez
"Beyond the Call"
The USS Gonzalez was commissioned on Oct. 12, 1996 and is homported at Norfolk, VA.
In August 2001 the Gonzalez was deployed to the Mediterranean as part of NATO's Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean battle group. The Gonzalez and other NATO ships joined Partnership for Peace naval forces from Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Ukraine in air, surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises.
The Gonzalez deployed for WESTPAC in mid-2001 as a part of the Enterprise Battle Group. The Gonzalez, though a part of the Enterprise Battle Group, did not take part in Operation Enduring Freedom as it had already departed for its home port.
The Gonzalez launched Tomahawk cruise missiles at Yugoslavia on March 29, 1999, while operating in the Adriatic Sea.
The Gonzalez took part in a Vandal Exercise in 1998 where it, along with 10 other ships, successfully engaged supersonic anti-ship missiles.
The USS Gonzalez departed Norfolk on November 29, 2003 along with the USS Cole (DDG 67) and USS Thorn (DD 988). The ships deployed as a Surface Strike Group and conducted operations in the Mediterranean. Gonzalez and Thorn returned to Norfolk May 28, 2004 and the Cole returned on May 27.
Shield & Crest
Dark blue and gold, on the shield in the Coat of Arms, are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and symbolize sea and excellence. Red is emblematic of valor and sacrifice. The embattled line reflects the Citadel and alludes a strong defense. The flashes depict speed the electronic capabilities of the AEGIS system while reflecting Marine Sergeant Alfredo Gonzalez's bravery under fire. The reversed blue star represents the Medal of Honor, our country's highest honor, awarded to SGT Gonzalez, the ship's namesake, for sacrifice and bravery. The border symbolizes unity and cooperation while the AEGIS shaped shield highlights USS Gonzalez' ability to conduct multi-mission warfare operations with quick decisive action.
The eagle, on the crest, is adapted from the Marine Corps Seal and reflects leadership and courage The two swords, Navy and Marine, are crossed for strength and teamwork and honor both services.
Alfredo Gonzalez was born May 23, 1946, in Edinburg, Texas. He graduated from Lamar Grammar School in 1955, and from Edinburg High School in 1965. Enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at San Antonio, Texas, June 3, 1965, he completed Recruit Training with 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Dept, San Diego, California, the following September, and Individual Combat Training 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry training regiment, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, that October. After completing Individual Combat Training, he became a rifleman with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF, and served in that capacity until January 1966. He next saw a one year Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division (Rein), FMF. He was promoted to Private First Class, January 1, 1966; to Lance Corporal, October 1, 1966, and to Corporal, December 1, 1966.
Upon his return to the United States in February 1967, he reported for duty as a rifleman with 2nd Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, for transfer to the Far East. On July 1, 1967, he was promoted to Sergeant, and later that month, arrived in the Republic of Vietnam. He served as Squad Leader and Platoon Sergeant with 3rd Platoon Company "A", 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF. While participating in the initial phase of Operation HUE CITY in the vicinity of Thua Thien, Vietnam, on February 4, 1968, Sergeant Gonzalez was mortally wounded from hostile rocket fire.
A complete list of medals and decorations include: the Congressional Medal of Honor; the Purple Heart; the Presidential Unit Citation; the National Defense Service Medal; the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars; the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm; the Military Merit Medal; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
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