Guided Missile Destroyer

DDG 106  -  USS Stockdale



DDG-106 USS Stockdale patch crest insignia

DDG-106 USS Stockdale Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Destroyer; Arleigh Burke - class / Flight IIA;

planned and built as DDG 106



Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, USA



Awarded: September 13, 2002

Laid down: August 10, 2006

Launched: February 24, 2008

Commissioned: April 18, 2009

ACTIVE UNIT/ in commission (Pacific Fleet)



San Diego, California, USA



Named after and in honor of Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale (1923 - 2005)

> see history, below;

Ship's Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO > Arleigh Burke class Guided Missile Destroyer


ship images


DDG-106 USS Stockdale Pacific Ocean 2011

Pacific Ocean - September 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale San Diego 2011

San Diego, California - July 2011


USS Stockdale DDG-106 Gulf of Thailand 2011

Gulf of Thailand - February 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale Gulf of Thailand 2011

Gulf of Thailand - February 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale Pacific Ocean 2011

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale Pacific Ocean 2011

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


USS Stockdale DDG-106 JS Kurama DDH-144 and USS Gridley DDG-101 Pacific Ocean 2011

USS Stockdale (DDG-106), JS Kurama (DDH-144) and USS Gridley (DDG-101) - Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale replenishment

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale underway replenishment unrep

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale Mk-45 Mod.4 gun

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale

Pacific Ocean - January 2011


DDG-106 USS Stockdale

Pacific Ocean - December 2010


DDG-106 USS Stockdale

Pacific Ocean - December 2010


DDG-106 USS Stockdale

Pacific Ocean - December 2010


DDG-106 USS Stockdale San Diego 2010

San Diego - November 2010


DDG-106 USS Stockdale San Diego

San Diego - November 2010


DDG-106 USS Stockdale

Pacific Ocean - September 2010


DDG-106 USS Stockdale commissioning Port Hueneme California April 2009

commissioning - Port Hueneme, California - April 18, 2009


DDG-106 USS Stockdale commissioning Port Hueneme California 2009

commissioning - Port Hueneme, California - April 18, 2009


DDG-106 USS Stockdale construction at Bath Iron Works Maine

during construction



James Bond Stockdale


Captain James Bond Stockdale US Navy POW Vietnam Skyhawk

Captain James B. Stockdale shortly before he was shot down over North Vietnam - 1965


Captain James Bond Stockdale US Navy  James Bond Stockdale Captain US Navy prisoner of war POW Vietnam

Former POW Captain James Bond Stockdale after he was released from war captivity - Travis AFB, California - February 1973


Rear Admiral James Bond Stockdale US Navy receives the Medal of Honor from president Gerald Ford  Rear Admiral James Bond Stockdale US Navy Medal of Honor

President Gerald R. Ford presents the Medal of Honor to Rear Admiral James B. Stockdale - March 4, 1976


Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale US Navy  James Bond Stockdale VADM US Navy Medal of Honor


Rear Admiral James Bond Stockdale US Navy DDG-106


James Bond Stockdale Admiral retired  James Bond Stockdale Admiral retired US Navy



Namesake & History:

Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale (December 23, 1923 – July 5, 2005):


Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale (December 23, 1923 – July 5, 2005) was one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the United States Navy.

Stockdale led aerial attacks from the carrier USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident. On his next deployment, while Commander of Carrier Air Wing 16 aboard the carrier USS Oriskany (CV-34), he was shot down over enemy territory on September 9, 1965. Stockdale was the highest-ranking naval officer held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He was awarded 26 personal combat decorations, including the Medal of Honor and four Silver Stars. During the late 1970s, he served as President of the Naval War College.

Stockdale was candidate for Vice President of the United States in the 1992 presidential election, on Ross Perot's independent ticket.

Early life and career

Stockdale was born in Abingdon, Illinois and, following a brief period at Monmouth College (1946), he attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland from which he graduated with the class of 1947 (which was in 1946 due to the reduced schedule still in effect from World War II). Stockdale had promised his father that he would try to become the best midshipman at the Naval Academy. Concerning his time at the Naval Academy, he would later say "Plebe year of education under stress was of great personal survival value to me."

Shortly after graduating, Stockdale reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, in Florida, for flight training. In 1954, Stockdale was accepted into the United States Naval Test Pilot School at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River base in Southern Maryland. It was there that he tutored a young Marine aviator named John Glenn in math and physics. In 1959 the Navy sent Stockdale to Stanford University where he received a masters degree in International Relations and Marxist Theory. Stockdale preferred the life of a fighter pilot over academia, but later credited Stoic philosophy with helping him cope as a POW.

Vietnam War

Gulf of Tonkin Incident

On 2 August 1964, while on a DESOTO patrol in the Tonkin Gulf, the destroyer USS Maddox (DD-731) engaged 3 North Vietnamese Navy P-4 torpedo boats from the 135th Torpedo Squadron, commanded by Le Duy Khoai. After fighting a running gun and torpedo battle, in which the Maddox fired over 280 5-inch shells, and the torpedo boats expended their 6 torpedoes (all misses) and hundreds of rounds of 14.5mm machinegun fire; the combatants broke contact. As the torpedo boats turned for their North Vietnamese coastline, four F-8 Crusader jet fighter bombers from the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) arrived, and immediately attacked the retreating torpedo boats. Commander James Stockdale and LTJG. Richard Hastings attacked torpedo boats T-333 and T-336, while Commander R. F. Mohrhardt and Lt. Commander C. E. Southwick attacked torpedo boat T-339. The four pilots reported scoring no hits with their Zuni rockets, but reported hits on all three torpedo boats with their 20mm cannons.

On August 4, 1964, Squadron Commander Stockdale was, again, one of the US pilots flying overhead during the second attack which occurred in the Tonkin Gulf; unlike the first attack, which was an actual sea battle, this second naval engagement is believed to have been a false alarm. In the early 1990s, he recounted: "[I] had the best seat in the house to watch that event, and our destroyers were just shooting at phantom targets - there were no PT boats there.... There was nothing there but black water and American fire power." Stockdale said his superiors ordered him to keep quiet about this. After he was captured, this knowledge threw a burden upon him. He later said he was concerned that his captors would eventually force him to reveal that he knew this secret about the Vietnam War.

Prisoner of war

On a mission over North Vietnam on September 9, 1965, Stockdale ejected from his A-4E Skyhawk, which had been disabled from friendly fire after the mechanical malfunction of his wing-man's ordanance. Stockdale ejected and parachuted into a small village, where he was severely beaten and taken into custody.

He was held as a prisoner of war in the Hoa Lo prison for the next seven years. Locked in leg irons in a bath stall, he was routinely tortured and beaten. When told by his captors that he was to be paraded in public, Stockdale slit his scalp with a razor to purposely disfigure himself so that his captors could not use him as propaganda. When they covered his head with a hat, Stockdale beat himself with a stool until his face was swollen beyond recognition. He told them in no uncertain terms that they would never use him. When Stockdale was discovered with information that could implicate his friends' 'black activities', he slit his wrists so they could not torture him into confession.

Little did Stockdale know that the actions of his wife, Mrs. Sybil Stockdale, had a tremendous impact on the North Vietnamese. Early in her husband's captivity she organized The League of American Families of POWs and MIAs, with other wives of servicemen who were in similar circumstance. By 1968 she and her organization, which called for the President and the U.S. Congress to publicly acknowledge the mistreatment of the POWs (something that they had never done even though they had evidence of gross mistreatment), was finally getting the attention of the American press and consequently the attention of the North Vietnamese. Mrs. Stockdale personally made these demands known at the Paris Peace Talks and private comments made to her by the head of the Vietnamese delegation there indicated concern that her organization might catch the attention of the American public, something the North Vietnamese knew could turn the tide against them. The result could not have been more fortunate for James Stockdale at the very time he slit his wrists.

Stockdale was part of a group of about a 11 prisoners known as the "Alcatraz Gang": George Thomas Coker, George McKnight, Jeremiah Denton, Harry Jenkins, Sam Johnson, James Mulligan, Howard Rutledge, Robert Shumaker, Ronald Storz and Nels Tanner; which was separated from other captives and placed in solitary confinement for their leadership in resisting their captors. "Alcatraz" was a special facility in a courtyard behind the North Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense, located about one mile away from Hoa Lo Prison. In Alcatraz, each of the 11 men were kept in solitary confinement, where cells measured 3 feet by 9 feet that had a light bulb kept on around the clock and they were locked each night in irons by a guard.

In a business book by James C. Collins called Good to Great, Collins writes about a conversation he had with Stockdale regarding his coping strategy during his period in the Vietnamese POW camp.
"I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."

When Collins asked who didn't make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

"Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart."

Stockdale then added:
"This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end - which you can never afford to lose - with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Witnessing this philosophy of duality, Collins went on to describe it as the Stockdale Paradox.

Return to the United States

Stockdale was released as a prisoner of war on February 12, 1973. His shoulders had been wrenched from their sockets, his leg shattered by angry villagers and a torturer, and his back broken. But he had refused to capitulate.

He received the Medal of Honor in 1976. Stockdale filed charges against two other officers who, he felt, had given aid and comfort to the enemy. However, the Navy Department under the leadership of then-Secretary of the Navy John Warner took no action and merely retired these men "in the best interests of the Navy."

Debilitated by his captivity and mistreatment, Stockdale could hardly walk or even stand upright upon his return to the United States, which prevented his return to active flying status. Out of respect for his courage, and out of high regard for his intellect, the Navy kept him on the active list, steadily promoting him over the next few years before permitting him to retire as a Vice Admiral. He completed his career by serving as President of the Naval War College, from October 13, 1977, until August 22, 1979.

Civilian academic career and writings

After his retirement in 1979, he became the President of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. His tenure there was short and stormy as he found himself at odds with the college's board as well as most of its administration, by proposing changes to the college's military system and other facets of the college, including the curbing of student hazing. He left The Citadel to become a fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in 1981.

During the following two decades, Stockdale wrote a number of books both on his experiences during the Vietnam War and afterwards. In Love and War: the Story of a Family's Ordeal and Sacrifice During the Vietnam War was co-written with his wife Sybil and published in 1984. It includes several letters sent between the Stockdales while he was a captured POW. It was later made into an NBC television movie, watched by 45 million people.

Admiral Stockdale was a member of the board of directors of the Rockford Institute, and was a frequent contributor to Chronicles: A magazine of American Culture.

Vice-Presidential candidacy

Stockdale came to know businessman and presidential candidate H. Ross Perot through Sybil Stockdale's work in establishing an organization to represent the families of Vietnam POWs. On March 30, 1992, Ross Perot announced that he had asked Stockdale to be his provisional Vice Presidential nominee Vice President on the 1992 Reform Party ticket at a news conference at the Loews Annapolis Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland.

Perot eventually re-entered the race in the fall of 1992, with Stockdale still in place as the vice-presidential nominee. Stockdale was not informed that he would be participating in the October 13 vice-presidential debate held in Atlanta, Georgia, until a week before the event. He had no formal preparation for the debate, unlike his opponents Al Gore and Dan Quayle. Stockdale infamously opened the debate by saying, "Who am I? Why am I here?" Initially, the rhetorical questions drew applause from the audience, seeming to be a good-natured acknowledgment of his relatively unknown status and lack of traditional qualifications. However, his unfocused style for the rest of the debate (including asking the moderator to repeat one question because he didn't have his hearing aid turned on) made him appear confused and almost disoriented. An unflattering recreation of the moment on Saturday Night Live later that week, with Phil Hartman as Stockdale, cemented a public perception of Stockdale as slow-witted. He was also often parodied for his repeated use of the word "gridlock" to describe slow governmental policy.

As his introduction to the large segment of American voters who had not previously heard of him, the debate was disastrous for Stockdale. He was portrayed in the media as elderly and confused, and his reputation never recovered. In a 1999 interview with Jim Lehrer, Stockdale explained that the statements were intended as an introduction of him and his record to the television audience:

It was terribly frustrating because I remember I started with, "Who am I? Why am I here?" and I never got back to that because there was never an opportunity for me to explain my life to people. It was so different from Quayle and Gore. The four years in solitary confinement in Vietnam, seven-and-a-half years in prisons, drop the first bomb that started the ... American bombing raid in the North Vietnam. We blew the oil storage tanks of them off the map. And I never - I couldn't approach - I don't say it just to brag, but, I mean, my sensitivities are completely different.

Perot and Stockdale received 19 percent of the vote in the 1992 presidential election, one of the best showings by an independent ticket in US electoral history, although they did not carry any states.

Final years

Stockdale retired to Coronado, California, as he slowly succumbed to Alzheimer's disease. He died from the illness on July 5, 2005. Stockdale's funeral service was held at the Naval Academy Chapel and he was buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery.


In January 2006, the Navy announced that the USS Stockdale (DDG-106), an Arleigh Burke–class guided missile destroyer, would be named for him. It was christened on May 10, 2008 in a ceremony at Bath Iron Works. The ship was Commissioned in Port Hueneme, Calif. on April 18, 2009, and will be homeported at Naval Station San Diego, Calif.

On August 30, 2007, the newly built main gate at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, was inaugurated and named after Vice Admiral James Stockdale.

The headquarters building for the Pacific Fleet's Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) school at NAS North Island was also named in his honor.

In July 2008, a statue of him was erected at the Southeast entrance of Luce Hall (Naval Academy), which houses the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership.

A luxury suite at the Loews Annapolis Hotel, the hotel where Perot announced his candidacy, was named in Stockdale's honor.

Electoral history

1992 election for U.S. President/Vice President - popular vote share
Clinton/Gore (D), 43.0% (370 Electoral Votes)
Bush/Quayle (R), 37.7% (168 Electoral Votes)
Perot/Stockdale (I), 18.9% (0 Electoral Votes)


source: wikipedia



from the DDG-106 homepage:

On September 9, 1965, then-Commander Stockdale catapulted his A-4E Skyhawk off the flight deck of the U.S.S. Oriskany on what turned out to be his final mission over North Vietnam . Approaching his target, his plane was riddled with anti-aircraft fire. Within seconds, his engine was aflame and all hydraulic control was gone. He "punched out," watching his plane slam into a rice paddy and explode in a fireball. Stockdale himself best describes what happened next:

"As I ejected from the plane I broke a bone in my back, but that was only the beginning. I landed in the streets of a small village. A thundering herd was coming down on me. They were going to defend the honor of their town. It was the quarterback sack of the century."

They tore off his clothes and beat him mercilessly. Stockdale suffered a broken leg and paralyzed arm before a military policeman took him into custody. He was now a prisoner of war, the highest ranking naval officer to be held as a POW in Vietnam.

Stockdale wound up in Hoa Lo Prison - the infamous " Hanoi Hilton" -- where he spent the next seven and a half years under unimaginably brutal conditions. He was physically tortured no fewer than 15 times. Techniques included beatings, whippings, and near-asphyxiation with ropes. Mental torture was incessant. He was kept in solitary confinement, in total darkness, for four years, chained in heavy, abrasive leg irons for two years, malnourished due to a starvation diet, denied medical care, and deprived of letters from home in violation of the Geneva Convention.

Through it all, Stockdale's captors held out the promise of better treatment if he would only admit that the United States was engaging in criminal behavior against the Vietnamese people, but Stockdale refused. Drawing strength from principles of stoic philosophy, Stockdale heroically resisted. His courage was an inspiration to his fellow POWs, with whom he communicated in an ingenious code, maintaining unit cohesion and morale. His jailers increased the level of torture, so Stockdale determined to fight back in the only way he could.

Told that he was to be taken "downtown" and paraded in front of foreign journalists, Stockdale slashed his scalp with a razor and beat himself in the face with a wooden stool. He reasoned that his captors would not dare display a prisoner who appeared to have been beaten. When he learned that his fellow prisoners were dying under torture, he slashed his wrists to show their captors that he preferred death to submission. Stockdale literally gambled with his life, and won. Convinced of Stockdale's determination to die rather than cooperate, the Communists ceased trying to extract bogus "confessions" from him. The torture of American prisoners ended, and treatment of all American POWs improved. Upon his release in 1973, Stockdale's extraordinary heroism became widely known, and he received the Congressional Medal of Honor in the nation's bicentennial year. He was one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the Navy, with 26 personal combat decorations, including four Silver Star medals in addition to the Medal of Honor.

Throughout Stockdale's captivity, his wife Sybil campaigned for respectful treatment for the families of all POWs by founding the League of Families. Sybil Stockdale was presented with the U.S. Navy Department's Distinguished Public Service Award by the Chief of Naval Operations. She is the only wife of an active-duty officer ever to be so honored.

After serving as the President of the Naval War College, Stockdale retired from the Navy in 1978 and embarked on a distinguished academic career, including a term as President of the Citadel, and 15 years as a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. In 1992 he graciously agreed to a request from his old friend H. Ross Perot to stand with Perot as the vice presidential candidate of the Reform Party, and throughout the campaign he comported himself with the same integrity and dignity that marked his entire career. Together, the Stockdales told their story in a joint memoir, In Love and War. Admiral Stockdale and his wife lived quietly on Coronado Island, off of San Diego, until his death in 2005.

Medal of Honor citation:
Rank and organization: Rear Admiral (then Captain), U.S. Navy.
Place and date: Hoa Lo prison, Hanoi, North Vietnam, 4 September 1969.
Entered service at: Abingdon, Illinois.
Born: 23 December 1923, Abingdon, Illinois.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while senior naval officer in the Prisoner of War camps of North Vietnam. Recognized by his captors as the leader in the Prisoners' of War resistance to interrogation and in their refusal to participate in propaganda exploitation, Rear Adm. Stockdale was singled out for interrogation and attendant torture after he was detected in a covert communications attempt. Sensing the start of another purge, and aware that his earlier efforts at self-disfiguration to dissuade his captors from exploiting him for propaganda purposes had resulted in cruel and agonizing punishment, Rear Adm. Stockdale resolved to make himself a symbol of resistance regardless of personal sacrifice. He deliberately inflicted a near-mortal wound to his person in order to convince his captors of his willingness to give up his life rather than capitulate. He was subsequently discovered and revived by the North Vietnamese who, convinced of his indomitable spirit, abated in their employment of excessive harassment and torture toward all of the Prisoners of War. By his heroic action, at great peril to himself, he earned the everlasting gratitude of his fellow prisoners and of his country. Rear Adm. Stockdale's valiant leadership and extraordinary courage in a hostile environment sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


USS Stockdale (DDG 106):


-- DDG-106 history wanted --




DDG-106 USS Stockdale patch crest insignia



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