DDG 82 Lassen
"From Courage Life"
The Lassen was commissioned on April 21, 2001.
The dark blue and gold on the shield of the coat of arms, are the colors traditionally used by the Navy. The Aegis shield highlights the modern weaponry of the USS LASSEN. The blue chevron recalls LT Lassen's service in the coastal campaign during the Vietnam War. It also simulates the prow of a ship, alluding to the first LASSEN's mission as an ammunition ship, which rearmed many of the major fleets. The heraldic sea lion symbolizes the strength and courage, demonstrated by LT Lassen. The chevron suggests the Medal of Honor awarded for LT Lassen's heroism, above and beyond the call of duty, for the rescue of two aviators. The compass rose symbolizes the landing lights of his helicopter, while rescuing the aviators, revealing his position to the enemy, when illumination was lost.
The palm fronds on the crest suggest the first LASSEN's area of operations in the Pacific; the lightning flashes symbolize striking capabilities and refer to the first LASSEN's service in World War II, rearming many of the major fleets. The trident's three tines represent battlestars earned during World War II in the Pacific as well as denoting the multifaceted offensive/defensive armament of the present DDG 82.
Clyde Everett Lassen
Clyde Everett Lassen, a native of Fort Myers, Florida, earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his courageous rescue of two downed aviators while commander of a search and rescue helicopter in Vietnam.
On June 19, 1968, Lassen, then a 27 year old Lieutenant flying a UH-2 Seasprite, embarked on a mission to recover two downed naval aviators whose plane had been shot down deep in North Vietnamese territory. Upon reaching the hilly terrain where the aviators were hiding, LT Lassen made several attempts to recover the aviators, but dense tree cover, enemy weapons fire and intermittent illumination frustrated his efforts. Determined to complete his mission, LT Lassen turned on the landing lights of the helicopter, despite the danger of revealing his position to the enemy. After the pilots made their way to the helicopter and with his damaged helicopter dangerously low on fuel, LT Lassen evaded further antiaircraft fire before landing safely at sea onboard a guided missile destroyer-with only five minutes of fuel left in the helicopter's fuel lines.
The account of the rescue was logged as a successful, routine search and rescue mission. But at the home base for Helicopter Combat Squadron Seven, the rescue flight of June 19, 1968, will always be acclaimed as one of the most daring feats of flying to come out of the Vietnam Conflict.
LT Lassen became the first naval aviator and fifth Navy man to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in Vietnam.
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