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DDG 88 Preble
"Intrepid Patriot"

The guided-missle destroyer PREBLE was commisioned 09 November 2002, following construction at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The PREBLE is the sixth ship in the U.S. Navy named in honor of Commodore Edward Preble. An ARLEIGH BURKE-class Guided Missile Destroyer, she is capable of fulfilling multi-mission duties in support of carrier battle groups and surface action groups; including Air, Surface and Undersea Warfare. Centered around the AEGIS Combat System, her Phased- Array radar, Vertical Launch System, Tomahawk cruise missiles and LAMPS Anti-Submarine Warfare System, coupled with a state-of-the-art gas turbine propulsion plant make her one of the most powerful surface warships ever put to sea.

On August 13, 2002 Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered to the U.S. Navy its newest warship, Preble (DDG 88). The new vessel is the 17th Aegis guided missile destroyer built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Pascagoula, Miss. Ship Systems Vice President Bob Merchent called the new ship "a world-class surface combatant, a fine destroyer that will, wherever she may sail, represent leadership and courage." Preble departed from Pascagoula in October. She will join the U.S. Pacific Fleet during commissioning ceremonies Nov. 9, 2002, in Boston, Mass. DDG 88 will be homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Pre-commissioning Unit Preble arrived at Boston's World Trade Center Saturday, Nov. 2 to begin a week's worth of events culminating in the ship's commissioning. The commissioning ceremony was held Saturday, Nov. 9 at the World Trade Center in Boston. Among those expected to attend are U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy and the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Vern Clark.

Ship Coat of Arms

The coat of arms in full color as in the blazon all upon a white background and enclosed within a dark blue oval border edged on the outside with gold rope and bearing the name "USS Preble" at top and "DDG 88" in base in gold letters.

The ship's shield displays per fess embattled Or and Azure (Dark Blue) a chief rayonny Gules charged with a ship's topsail, crow's nest and pennant Argent; in base the head of a lion erased Or, langued and armed of the third surmounting a naval officer's sword and antique cutlass hilts to base saltirewise Proper. Gold and dark blue are the traditional colors associated with the Navy. Commodore Preble's attack and bombardment of the harbor at Tripoli in 1803 during his campaign against Barbary pirates is recalled by the embattlement and rayonny scarlet chief representing the fire and destruction he rained on the port. Scarlet symbolizes courage and Commodore Preble's fiery resolve and determination to end attacks upon American trading vessels in the region. The ship's sail further recalls his successful attack and blockade of Tripoli and refers to his other distinguished U.S. Navy commands, particularly of the USS Constitution and the frigate Essex. The head of the lion is derived from the Preble family coat of arms and symbolizes courage and strength. The crossed cutlass and sword represent combat and the readiness, past and present, to defend United States interests. Argent, or silver, signifies integrity, gold denotes excellence.

The ship's crest shows on a wreath Or and Azure (Dark Blue) a laurel wreath Proper surmounted by a stylized compass rose of the first, thereon an Aegis radar escutcheon of the second charged with a cinquefoil pierced Argent. The eight battle stars earned by USS Preble (DD 345) for World War II service are recalled by the points of the compass rose and by the laurel wreath, which signifies honor. The compass rose indicates worldwide capabilities and service of the new Preble and it's predecessors. The blue escutcheon, in the shape of the radar cover panel used on Aegis vessels, represents the advanced technology and weapons systems of the new ship. It is charged with a cinquefoil, recalling the five previous ships to honorably bear the name Preble. Argent, or silver, denotes integrity and valor, gold signifies excellence.

The Ship's motto is shown on a scroll Azure fimbriated and inscribed "INTREPID PATRIOT" Or. The colors used, blue and gold, represent the United States Navy.

Previous Ships

The first ship to be named PREBLE was an 80 ton Sloop, some times called COMMODORE PREBLE. She was armed with seven 9-pounders and had a complement of 30 men. PREBLE was in the squadron of Commodore Thomas MacDonough on Lake Champlain and took part in the decisive Battle of Lake Champlain, 11 September 1814. She was laid up after the battle until July 1815 when she was sold at Whitehall, New York.

The second ship to be named PREBLE was a Sloop-Of-War, built by the Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She was launched June 13, 1839. Her length was 117'; beam 32'; depth of hold 15', and tonnage 556. PREBLE sailed for Labrador, made a cruise to the Mediterranean in 1843 and was attached to the African Squadron in 1845. PREBLE again sailed from New York in 1846 and joined the Pacific Squadron on the west coast, taking part in the Mexican War. In the summer of 1848 she sailed for the East Indies and Japan. On 18 April 1849, under Captain James Glynn, the release of sixteen shipwrecked seaman from the American Whaling ship LAGODA was negotiated. She returned to the east coast of the United States in November 1850 and served as practice ship for midshipmen until 1857 when she was placed in ordinary. She was ordered to the Gulf Blockading Squadron in July 1861 and was engaged in the blockade of the Mississippi River. PREBLE was destroyed by fire in Pensacola Harbor on 27 April 1863.

The third PREBLE (DD-12) was laid down by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Calif., 21 April 1899 launched 2 March 1901, sponsored by Miss Ethel Preble. PREBLE had an over-all length of 146'; extreme beam 15'4"; normal displacement 154.6 tons; mean draft 5'10"; and designed complement of 3 officers and 21 men. Her original armament was three 1-pounders and three 18" triple torpedo tubes. Her designed speed was 22.5 knots. PREBLE, assigned to the Pacific Fleet, operated with the 4th and 2nd Torpedo Flotillas off the western seaboard from Washington to the Panama Canal Zone until 1908. On April 18 1906, San Francisco experienced "The Great Earthquake and Fire." PREBLE participated in the rescue effort by landing shore parties to assist the wounded at Harbor Emergency Hospital. PREBLE made a cruise to Hawaii and Samoa (24 August-November 1908) then resumed west coast operations, continuing them until 4 February 1909, when she arrived at Mare Island Navy Yard for inactivation. In reserve 23 February-17 September, she was then reassigned to the Pacific Torpedo Flotilla, and until 1913 operated with Torpedo Flotilla, Pacific Fleet. Placed in reserve again 19 June 1913, she remained at Mare Island Navy Yard until resuming operations with the torpedo flotilla 23 April 1914.

Torpedo practice, gunnery exercises and minesweeping operations followed, and during the summer of 1915 PREBLE participated in a cruise to Alaskan waters to gather logistic information. After another period in reserve status (25 October 1914, 3 April 1917), PREBLE departed San Diego 30 April 1917 for the east coast. She arrived at Norfolk 13 July and, until the end of World War I, was engaged in coastwise convoy duty along the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Remaining on the east coast after the war, she decommissioned at New York, 11 July 1919. Her name was struck from the Navy List 15 September 1919 and she was sold, 3 January 1920, to Joseph G. Hitner of Philadelphia, Pa.

The fourth PREBLE (DD-345) was laid down by the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, 12 April 1919 and launched 8 March 1920, sponsored by Miss Sallie M. Tucker, great granddaughter of Commodore Edward Preble. PREBLE was commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard 19 March 1920.

After shakedown in Cuban waters, PREBLE was assigned special duty in Mexican waters, arriving in Vera Cruz 13 June. During the following weeks she made three voyages to Galveston, Tex., to obtain medical supplies including serum to fight bubonic plague which had developed during the rebellion of the Sonora triumvirate. In August she returned north to join the Atlantic Fleet in East Coast and Caribbean exercises. In January 1921 the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets joined off the Canal Zone and cruised to the west coast of South America. Separating on 23 February, the Atlantic Fleet steamed back to the Caribbean.

PREBLE departed Newport, R.I., 20 June enroute to the Asiatic Station, via Suez, with units of Squadron 15. She arrived at Chefoo, China, 26 August 1922, and for the next 7 years cruised off the coast of Asia from Manchuria to Burma in Japanese waters, and amongst the Philippines, East Indies and Marianas. In September 1923 she assisted victims of violent earthquakes which shook Japan. From 12 June to 2 July 1924 she was at Rangoon, Burma, and Calcutta, India delivering gas and oil for a round-the-world flight of Army planes. In 1927 PREBLE was assigned patrol duty in strife-torn China, taking aboard American and foreign refugees and escorting merchant vessels in the Yangtze and Whangpo Rivers.

PREBLE departed Tsingtao, China, 12 July 1929 and returned to San Diego, 17 August 1929. For several years she was based at San Diego, cruising along the western seaboard of the United States, with operations in waters of Mexico and the Caribbean. She was assigned to Rotating Reserve Destroyer Squadron 20 at the Mare Island Navy Yard 24 September 1932. In May 1934 PREBLE engaged in Fleet Problem 15 off the Panama Canal and in Cuban waters, before returning to the Pacific. She participated in Fleet Problems 16 and 18 in the Hawaiian area in May-June 1935 and April-May 1937.

On 19 May 1937 PREBLE was transferred from Destroyers Battle Force, to duty with Minecraft, Battle Force. Converted to a light minelayer, she was reclassified DM- 20, effective 30 June 1937. She departed Pearl Harbor 20 September 1937 for mine training operations on the West Coast and returned to Hawaii in December. She remained in the Hawaiian area until the outbreak of World War II, engaging in scheduled mining exercises and fleet maneuvers.

On 7 December 1941 when the Japanese forces launched their attack, PREBLE was being overhauled at Pearl Harbor and was unable to get underway. As necessary guns and ammunition were not aboard, a large number of PREBLE's crew handled ammunition, fought fires, and cared for the wounded aboard Pennsylvania (BB-38). On 30 January 1942 PREBLE completed her yard overhaul and joined the patrol operating just off the Pearl Harbor entrance. On 1 April she departed Pearl Harbor with units of Mine Division 1 to lay a large minefield at French Frigate Shoals, 500 miles northwest of Oahu. In July she assisted in laying a defensive minefield around the base at Kodiak, Alaska, returning to Pearl Harbor via Seattle for overhaul and patrol operations. On 6 December she departed Pearl Harbor for the Fiji Islands and Noumea, New Caledonia, serving on escort duty in the New Hebrides during January 1943.

On the night of 31 January TRACY (DM-19), MONTGOMERY (DM-17), and PREBLE laid mines in the mouth of the Tenambo River, Guadalcanal to prevent the evacuation of enemy troops. During the next two months PREBLE performed escort duties to the New Hebrides and Russell Islands.

On the night of 6 May, PREBLE with minelayers GAMBLE (DM-15) and BREESE (DM-18) and in company with RADFORD (DD-446) laid mines in Ferguson Passage between Gizo and Wanawana Islands in the Solomons. On the night of 7-8 May these mines sank a Japanese destroyer and damaged two others which were sunk the next day by torpedo bombers from Guadalcanal.

On 24 May PREBLE rescued 85 survivors from torpedoed SS STANVAE MANILA. On the night of 28 June BREESE, GAMBLE and PREBLE mined the waters near Shortland Island to prevent units of the Japanese fleet based there from interfering with landing operations on Rendova Island in the New Georgia Group, which were to be carried out at dawn. During July and August PREBLE again served as an escort vessel. On 9 September she departed Noumea for San Francisco.

After overhaul and convoy escort duty to Pearl Harbor, PREBLE reached Majuro, Marshall Islands, 3 February 1944 where she served as anti-submarine screen and mine layer before returning to Pearl Harbor. She then made three escort voyages from Pearl Harbor to Marshall Island ports. After minesweeping training, PREBLE departed Purvis Bay, Florida Island, 6 September, with minesweeping units of Rear Admiral Oldendorf's TG 32.5. Arriving off Peleliu in the early morning of 12 September, while fire support ships opened bombardment, PREBLE separated to investigate the shoals between Anguar and Peleliu Islands where the enemy had been suspected of planting acoustic mines. The next day she helped rescue survivors of PERRY (DMS-17) which had struck a mine. She continued to perform various screening and minesweeping duties.

PREBLE arrived Manus, Admiralty Islands, 1 October, where she joined mine sweeping Task Group 77.5 which arrived off the entrance to Leyte Gulf 17 October where she remained laying bouys and acting as mine destruction vessel for 6 days before returning to Manus. After training at Manus, she returned to San Pedro Bay 1 January 1945, but steamed a month later for Pearl Harbor and much needed repairs in the States, arriving San Francisco 8 March.

Returning to Pearl Harbor 8 May, PREBLE was redesignated a miscellaneous auxiliary vessel (AG-99) 5 June. She was assigned to duty escorting aircraft carriers engaged in training, acting as anti-submarine patrol vessel and plane guard during flight operations. She reached Guam with VELLA GULF (CVE-111) 20 July, subsequently escorting VELLA GULF to Okinawa. After returning to Guam, she escorted SITKOH BAY (CVE-86) to Samar, Philippines, arriving 20 September.

PREBLE steamed for the United States 9 October, arriving Norfolk 20 November. She decommissioned at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard 7 December 1945. Her name was struck from the Navy List 3 January 1946 and she was sold for scrap to Luria Brothers of Philadelphia 26 October 1946. PREBLE earned 8 battle stars for World War II service.

USS PREBLE (DDG-46) was the fifth ship to be named in honor of Commodore Edward Preble. DDG-46 was commissioned on May 9, 1960 as DLG-15 and was one of the first ships built from the keel up to fire Terrier guided missiles. USS Preble's keel was layed on 16 December 1957 at the Bath Iron Works and was launched on 23 May 1959.

USS PREBLE was commissioned on 9 May 1960 and completed outfitting on 19 July. PREBLE operated out of the Boston Navy Yard and Norfolk Naval Base until 30 July 1960. On 28 December 1991, PREBLE departed Norfolk on what would be her final deployment. Her destination was the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

Early 1991 however, found PREBLE on picket station in the northern Red Sea providing AAW cover in support of carrier strikes launched from the Red Sea carrier battle force. PREBLE was then assigned to the Maritime Interception Force in the northern Red Sea. PREBLE was later transferred to escort duty with the Red Sea battle force. In February a Change-of-Command Ceremony was held aboard PREBLE where CDR THOMAS W. FROHLICH, USN was relieved by CDR L. V. KESTER, USN. In mid-March, PREBLE accompanied the USS KENNEDY (CV-67) Battle Group through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean where she joined the 41st Naval On-Call Forces Mediterranean (NAVOCFORMED). During this assignment, PREBLE represented the U.S. at the 41st NAVOCFORMED deactivation ceremony in Naples, Italy.

On 11 April PREBLE rescued the crew of the Irish sailing yacht Meermin, which took on water while crossing the Mediterranean sea. PREBLE took the yacht, which had a two inch hole near her keel, under tow to Palma de Mallorca. From Mid-April to mid-May, PREBLE escorted the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) and provided AWA protection during Operation Provide Comfort, the humanitarian relief effort assisting the Iraqi Kurds. This marked the fourth carrier battle group in which PREBLE operated during the deployment. PREBLE returned to Norfolk, VA on 14 June 1991. During this deployment, PREBLE steamed over 30,000 nautical miles, spent 109 days under way and 60 days in port visiting seven countries in the Mediterranean and Red Sea.

PREBLE was decommissioned on 15 November 1991 at Pier 21, Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, VA.


Edward Preble was born at Falmouth, Maine on August 15, 1761 and began his career at the age of sixteen when he ran away to sea on a privateer. Two years later, he was appointed a midshipman on the frigate Protector and fought two engagements before being captured in 1781. The following year, after his release, he became First Lieutenant on the cruiser Winthrop. While on this ship Preble earned a reputation for undaunted courage and presence of mind. In one mission he led a boarding party in the capture of an anchored British brig at Castine, Maine, and escaped with her under hostile shore fire.

After the Revolutionary War, Preble remained in the merchant service. He was appointed a First Lieutenant in the United States Navy in April of 1798, and ordered the following January to command the brig Pickering of the U.S. Revenue Marine. The Pickering sailed in the squadron of Commodore Barry, protecting American commerce against French privateers in the West Indies.

Commissioned a Captain on 7 June 1799, he took command of the new frigate Essex in December, and sailed from New York in January 1800 to afford protection to American vessels engaged in China and Eastern trade. During this cruise Preble had the honor of being the first naval officer to fly the American flag east of the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1803 on board his flagship, USS CONSTITUTION, Preble sailed against the Barbary pirates as Commodore of a seven-ship, thousand-man squadron. In October of that year he established a peace treaty with the Emperor of Morocco, and then effected a blockade of the harbor of Tripoli. Preble and his Tripolitan campaign became one of the focal points for the development of the fighting tradition of the U.S. Navy. Not satisfied with a passive blockade, Preble attacked the harbor, which was well-fortified and defended by 25,000 men. In a series of daring raids, Preble's men caused severe damage and inflicted heavy causalities, a direct result of strenuous training and bold thinking. Preble's influence extended not only to events of his time, but also to the later successes of Stephen Decatur, William Bainbridge, Charles Stewart, Isaac Hull, and David Porter, all of whom served under his command at Tripoli. In 1804 Preble returned to the United States to supervise the construction of gunboats. He died a few years later on August 25, 1807.

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