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DDG 78 Porter

DDG 78 Porter's keel was laid down by Litton - Ingalls, Pascagoula Mississippi on December 2 1996. She was launched in November 1997 and was commissioned March 20, 1999.

Porter is the 28th of 38 Arleigh Burke Class ships authorized by Congress. These multi-mission ships are equipped with the Navy's Aegis combat weapons system, which combines space-age communication, radar and weapons technologies in a single platform for unlimited flexibility while operating "Forward...From the Sea".

The dark blue and gold on the shield of the coat of arms, represent the sea and excellence and are the colors traditionally used by the Navy; red is emblematic of sacrifice and courage. The shield is divided in four recalling the previous USS PorterS and highlighting the four cardinal compass points and the US Navy's world-wide mission. The stars commemorate the battle stars earned in World War II by the second and third USS Porter. The Aegis shield symbolizes DDG 78's modern warfare capabilities; and is red to reflect courage and action. The torch, from the Statue of Liberty, suggests the ship's motto and symbolizes the principles of freedom upon which our country was founded.

The crossed Naval Officers' swords on the crest honor both David Porter and his son as well as representing the ship's mission to "Train, Fight and Win." The laurel, arm, and trident are adapted from the US Naval Academy coat of arms; they highlight David Dixon Porter's tenure as superintendent of the Academy. The trident, the symbol of sea power, alludes to the Aegis vertical launch system; its three tines reflect the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the Civil War that the Porters served.

David Porter

The USS Porter is named after a Civil War Hero and his father. Commodore David Porter Vice Admiral David Dixon Porter The Father David Porter, born 1 February 1780 in Boston, Mass., served in the Quasi War with France first as midshipman on board Constellation, participating in the capture of L'lnsurgente 9 February 1799; secondly, as 1st lieutenant of Experiment and later in command of Amphitrite. During the Barbary Wars (1801-07) David Porter was 1st lieutenant of Enterprise, New York and Philadelphia and was taken prisoner when Philadelphia ran aground in Tripoli harbor 31 October 1803. After his release 3 June 1805 he remained in the Mediterranean as acting captain of Constitution and later captain of Enterprise. He was in charge of the naval forces at New Orleans 1808-10.

As commander of Essex in the War of 1812, Captain Porter achieved fame by capturing the first British warship of the conflict, Alert, 13 August 1812 as well as several merchantmen. In 1813 he sailed Essex around Cape Horn and cruised in the Pacific warring on British whalers. On 28 March 1814 Porter was forced to surrender off Valpariso after an unequal contest with the frigates HBMS Phoebe and Cherub and only when his ship was too disabled to offer any resistance. From 1815 to 1822 he was a member of the Board of Navy Commissioners but gave up this post to command the expedition for suppressing piracy in the West Indies 1823-25. Commodore Porter resigned his commission in 1826 and became the commander-in-chief of the Mexican Navy 1826-29. He died on 3 March 1843 while U.S. Minister of Turkey.

Vice Admiral David Dixon Porter was born on June 8, 1813, and was a native of Pennsylvania. He was the youngest son of David Porter, who commanded the Essex in the war of 1812-14 with Great Britain. Young Porter entered the service as midshipman in February, 1829, and served in the Mediterranean until 1835, when he was employed for several years in coast survey and river explorations. At the close of 1845 he was placed on special duty at the Washington observatory, resigning in 1846 to take part in the Mexican war. At the outbreak of the late war he was promoted to the rank of commander, and in 1862 the mortar fleet for the bombardment of the forts below New Orleans was placed under his orders.

Vice Admiral David Dixon Porter spent much of 1862-1863 along the Mississippi River and in smaller Mississippi Rivers, including the Yazoo, the Coldwater, the Tallahatchie, and the Yalobusha. He directed campaigns against a long list of Confederate positions in the Mississippi Delta, from he Grand Gulf batteries, to the Chickasaw Bluffs to Miliken's Bend and Port Hudson. After the capture of New Orleans he went up the river with his fleet, and was engaged in the unsuccessful siege of Vicksburg in July, 1862. During the second siege of that place, in the summer of 1863, he bombarded the works and materially assisted Gen. Grant, who commanded the besieging army. For this he made rear admiral. Porter did not leave Mississippi until his successful support of General Grant's siege of Vicksburg was completed with General Pemberton's surrender in July 1863. For his Civil War service, Porter received four letters of thanks from Congress, and was promoted to Vice Admiral in 1866. He was also engaged in the two combined attacks on Forth Fisher, which commands the approaches to Wilmington, North Carolina. The first of these attempts, at the close of 1864, miscarried; the second, in January, 1865, was completely successful.

In July, 1866, he was made vice-admiral, and after the death of Farragut, was promoted, October, 1870, to the rank of admiral, which carried with it the command of the entire navy of the United States, subject only to the order of the president. Admiral Porter urged the importance of protecting the coast approaches to all the large cities of the United States, with heavily armored minitors, carrying the heaviest guns. David Dixon Porter was nearly forgotten because his career and accomplishments have often been misinterpreted, when, in fact, he was arguably the foremost naval hero of the Civil War. Though Porter rose faster through the ranks, commanded more men and ships, won more victories, and was awarded more Congressional votes of thanks than any other officer in the U.S. Navy, historians have been influenced by his own postwar accounts, which were flawed by an unquenchable ego, thin skin, and a burning desire to vindicate his equally controversial father. David Dixon Porter was a firebrand hero of New Orleans, Vicksburg, and Fort Fisher.

His unique tactics and techniques rank among the most imaginative and successful in naval history. The crew onboard Porter's flagship encountered daring, brilliant attacks against the punishing batteries at Vicksburg and Fisher and costly failures at Steele's Bayou and Red River. David Dixon Porter held critical strategy meetings with Sherman and Grant, and a thrilling chase up and down the coast of South America after Semmes on the CSS Sumter. David Dixon Porter was a talented fighter and colorful personality with a marvelous sense of humor, earning respect and friendship from the likes of Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman, but drew the ire of political generals like Butler, Banks, and McClernand. He was a potent mix of energy, ambition, courage, and creativity with rash behavior, paranoia, and a taste for intrigue.


The first Porter (TB-6) was laid down in February 1896 by Herreshoff Manufacturing Co., Bristol, R.I.: launched 9 September 1896; sponsored by Miss Agnes M. Herreshoff; and commissioned 20 February 1897 at Newport, R.I., Lt. John Charles Fremont in command. Porter sailed to Washington, D.C. 27 February 1897 for inspection and was further examined 16-20 March at New York by the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation. She operated between New London and Newport; then visited New York from 15 July to 3 October before getting underway for her winter port, Charleston, S.C.

Porter cruised in southern waters until 8 December and then proceeded to Key West where she was stationed 1-22 January 1898. Porter arrived 26 January at Mobile for a visit but was ordered to return to Key West 6 March because of the tense situation in Cuba. When the United States declared war upon Spain she was already patrolling the waters off Key West and the Dry Tortugas. Porter returned to Key West 22 March for replenishment. Porter departed Key West 22 April with the North Atlantic Fleet for the blockade of the north coast of Cuba. She soon made contact with the enemy, capturing two Spanish schooners, Sofia and Matilda, 23-24 April. After refueling at Key West 2-7 May, Porter resumed blockade duty off Cape Haitien, Haiti keeping a watchful eye out for Cervera's squadron. She participated in the three-hour bombardment of San Juan 12-13 May with the 9 ships of Rear Admiral W. T. Sampson's fleet. During the attack Porter maintained a close position under the batteries with Detroit but was not hit. Porter returned 13-14 May to the blockade of the north coast of Hispaniola, cruising off Samana Bay, Santo Domingo and off Porto Plata, Haiti. After a brief interval at Key West and Mobile (18-25 May), she joined Commodore Schley's squadron (1-11 June) off Santiago de Cuba where it had bottled up the elusive Spanish warships. Porter came under heavy fire 7 June while silencing the shore batteries but was undamaged. Later (11-17 June) she supported the Marine beachhead at Guantanamo Bay. Porter took up her station off Santiago 17 June and again 21-22 June when she bombarded the Socapa battery during the landings at Daiquiri. She continued patrolling off Guantanamo until 9 July when she left for New York via Key West.

Upon her arrival at the New York Navy Yard 19 July, Porter was placed in reduced commission and decommissioned 5 November 1898. Porter was recommissioned 10 October 1899 at New York and served as a training ship for firemen at Newport, Norfolk and Annapolis. Porter decommissioned 21 December 1900 at New York.

She was put in reserve commission in late 1901 at Norfolk with the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla and continued this duty through 1907. Porter recommissioned 31 January 1908 at Norfolk, and was ordered to Pensacola 21 February. As flagship of the 3rd Torpedo Flotilla, she engaged in torpedo runs in St. Joseph's Bay, Fla. (4 March-22 April). Porter acted as naval escort to the remains of Governor De Witt Clinton in New York harbor 29 May 1908 before returning 1 July to the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla at Norfolk. Porter recommissioned 14 May 1909 at Charleston, S.C., Lt. Harold R. Stark in command, and was assigned to the 3rd Division, Atlantic Torpedo Flotilla. She proceeded to Provincetown, Mass. 10 June for fleet exercises that lasted until 5 August. Porter departed 28 August for Hampton Roads and the Southern Drill Grounds, later joining the fleet at New York for the Hudson-Fulton Celebration 1-10 October. She was reassigned 14 November to the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla at Charleston where she remained until October 1911. Porter sailed 30 October 1911 for New York where she took part in the fleet naval review on 2 November for President Theodore Roosevelt. The President had ordered the mobilization "to test the preparedness of the fleet and the efficiency of our organization on the ships in the yards."

Afterwards Porter returned to the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla at Philadelphia. She was mobilized in October 1912 for another review at New York which was inspected by the President l5 October. Porter was struck from the Navy List 6 November 1912 and was sold to Andrew Olsen 30 December 1912 at New York.

DD 59 / CG 7

The second Porter (DD-59) was laid down by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Penn., 24 February 1914; launched 26 August 1915; sponsored by Miss Georgiana Porter Cusachs; and commissioned 17 April 1916, Lt. Comdr. Ward K. Wortman in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean, Porter sailed in convoy 24 April 1917 escorting the first U.S. troops to Europe. She arrived at Queenstown, Ireland, 4 May, where she was based during World War I, meeting and escorting convoys from the U.S. as they entered the war zone. Kept busy as a convoy escort, she severely damaged U-108, 28 April 1918, while the German submarine was steaming to intercept a convoy. Operating from Brest after 14 June, she returned to the United States at the end of the war.

After World War I Porter operated off the East Coast and was decommissioned 23 June 1922. Transferred to the Coast Guard, 7 June 1924, she was returned to the Navy 30 June 1933, and disposed of by scrapping under the terms of the 1930 London Treaty for Limitation of Armament the following year. Her name was struck from the Navy List 5 July 1934 and her materials were sold 22 August 1934.

DD 356

The third Porter(DD-356) was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corp, Camden, N.J., 18 December 1933; launched 12 December 1935; sponsored by Miss Carlile Patterson Porter; and commissioned at Philadelphia 23 August 1936, Comdr. Forrest B. Royal in command.

After shakedown in waters off northern Europe, Porter visited St. John's, Newfoundland, for coronation ceremonies in honor of George VI in May 1937 and was at the Washington Navy yard during the Boy Scout Jamboree, June- July 1937. Then reassigned to the Pacific Fleet, she transited the Panama Canal and arrived at San Francisco 5 August 1937. She operated continuously with the Pacific Fleet until the outbreak of World War II, homeported at San Diego.

On 5 December 1941, Porter got underway from Pearl Harbor, escaping the Japanese attack by two days. She patrolled with cruisers and destroyers in Hawaiian waters before steaming in convoy 25 March 1942 for the west coast. She operated off the west coast with TF 1 for the next 4 months. Returning to Pearl Harbor in mid-August, she trained in Hawaiian waters until 16 October when she sortied with TF 16 and headed for the Solomon's.

On 26 October 1942, TF 16 exchanged air attacks with strong Japanese forces northeast of Guadalcanal in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. During the ensuing action, Porter was torpedoed by a submarine and, after the crew had abandoned ship, was sunk by gunfire from Shaw. Her name was struck from the Navy List 2 November 1942. Porter earned one battle star for World War II service.

DD 800

The fourth Porter (DD-800) was laid down by the Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Seattle, Wash., 6 July 1943; launched 13 March 1944; sponsored by Miss Georgiana Porter Cusachs; and commissioned 24 June 1944; Comdr. R. R. Prince in command.

After shakedown off San Diego, Porter sailed for duty off Adak, Alaska 16 September 1944. On 21 November 1944, with Task Force 92, she made an offensive sweep against the Kurile Islands and bombarded enemy military installations on matsuwa. She made another offensive sweep against the Japanese naval base at Suribachi Wan, Paramushiru. On 15 May, Porter participated in the first extensive sweep by surface vessels into the Japanese-controlled Sea of Okhotsk, bombarding Suribachi Wan during the retirement. Porter bombarded matsuma again on 10 and 11 June. On 25 June, during another sweep of the Sea of Okhotsk, Porter encountered a small convoy and sank a 2,000-ton Japanese merchantman with gunfire.

When V-J Day came Porter was undergoing overhaul at Portland, Oregon., where she remained until 1 September. After escorting Enterprise from Seattle to San Francisco, Porter underwent refresher training at San Diego, then steamed for the East Coast. On 3 July 1946 Porter was placed out of commission, in reserve attached to the U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet, berthed at Charleston.

Decommissioned 9 February 1951, Porter served in Korean waters from 18 June to 14 September 1952 with TF 95. A member of the "Trainbusters Club," she destroyed one North Korean train and damaged 2. She was placed out of commission, in reserve, berthed at Norfolk, Va., 10 August 1953, where she remained into 1970 as a unit if the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Porter earned one battle star for World War II service and one battle star for Korean War service.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:54:57 ZULU