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DDG 85 McCampbell

Construction of DDG 85 took place at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, starting with the ship's keel being laid on July 16, 1999. McCampbell was launched in July 2000, ran her first sea trials in January 2002, and was delivered to the Navy in March 2002.

McCampbell is the 35th Arleigh Burke class destroyers authorized by Congress.

McCampbell is assigned to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 1, homeported in San Diego.

The USS Mc Campbell was commissioned on August 17, 2002 in San Francisco at Pier 30. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright served as ship's sponsor while Buffy McCampbell, wife of the ship's namesake, served as matron of honor.

USS McCampbell departed May 5, 2004 for its first deployment. The ship and its crew are headed to Southeast Asia in support of a Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) cruise. McCampbell will be conducting joint naval exercises with the countries of Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.

McCampbell will deploy on CARAT under the authority of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 1 along with USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS Salvor (ARS 52) based out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) homeported in Sasebo, Japan; and USCGC Mellon (WHEC 717) homeported in Seattle, Wash. This year marks the 10th anniversary of CARAT exercises.

Shield and Crest

The dark blue and gold on the shielf of the coat of arms are the colors traditionally used by the Navy and represent the sea and excellence. The light blue bend reflects the Pacific theater, where Captain McCampbell served as commander of Air Group 15. The "Fabled Fifteen", based on the USS ESSEX, is symbolized by the Roman numeral "XV". The thirty-four stars allude to the number of enemy aircraft destroyed by Captain McCampbell in air to air combat, distinguishing him as the leading Navy ace of World War II. The star and cross highlight the Navy Cross and Silver Star awarded to Captain McCampbell, for his gallantry and bravery during combat in the Philippines.

The tridents on the crest, symbolizing sea prowess, allude to the firepower and the multiple strike capabilities of the Aegis system. The reversed star denotes the Medal of Honor awarded to Captain McCampbell for heroism, in the First and Second Battles of the Philippine Sea. The sea lion is adapted from the government seal of the Republic of the Philippines. The winged shield of the coat of arms of the United States represents naval aviator's wings and Captain McCampbell's military specialty.

David S. McCampbell

Bath Iron Works's fourth FLIGHT IIA Arleigh Burke Class AEGIS Destroyer is the first ship to bear the name of Captain David S. McCampbell (1910-1996), United States Navy. Captain McCampbell is the Navy's all-time leading ace with 34 aerial victories during World War II. David McCampbell was born in Bessemer, Alabama, on January 16, 1910. He attended Staunton (Virginia) Military Academy and one year at Georgia School of Technology before his appointment to the United States Naval Academy, where he graduated with the class of 1933.

From September 1943 to September 1944 Captain McCampbell was commander of Air Group 15, in charge of fighters, bombers, and torpedo bombers aboard the aircraft carrier ESSEX. From April to November 1944, his group saw six months of continuous combat and participated in two major air-sea battles, the First and Second Battles of the Philippine Sea. During the more than 20,000 hours of air combat operations before it returned to the United States for a rest period, Air Group 15 destroyed more enemy planes (315 airborne and 348 on the ground) and sank more enemy shipping than any other Air Group in the Pacific War. Air Group 15's attacks on the Japanese in the Marianas and at Iwo Jima, Formosa, and Okinawa were key to the success of the "island hopping" campaign.

In addition to his duties as commander of the "Fabled Fifteen," Captain McCampbell became the Navy's "Ace of Aces" during the missions he flew in 1944. During the Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19, 1944), McCampbell's force "virtually annihilated" an attacking force of 80 Japanese carrier-based aircraft, of which he personally shot down seven. During the Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 24, 1944) Captain McCampbell and his wingman attacked a Japanese force of 60 aircraft. During the mission, Captain McCampbell shot down nine enemy planes, setting a single mission aerial combat record. When he landed his Grumman F6F Hellcat, his six machine guns had two rounds remaining and the plane had only enough fuel to keep it aloft for 10 more minutes. Captain McCampbell received the Medal of Honor for that action, becoming the only fast carrier task force pilot to do so. During a similarly courageous mission in June 1944, Air Group 15's planes routed a large enemy force and Captain McCampbell earned seven kills.

For his brilliant record in command of Air Group 15, Captain McCampbell was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit with Combat "V", the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Gold Stars in lieu of the second and third awards, and the Air Medal. After the war, his assignments included command of the carrier BON HOMME RICHARD and service as plans division chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired from active duty in 1964 and was interred at Arlington National Cemetery after his death on June 30, 1996.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:55:02 ZULU