Guided Missile Destroyer

DDG 5  -  USS Claude V. Ricketts

(ex USS Biddle)



DDG-5 USS Claude V. Ricketts patch crest insignia

DDG-5 USS Claude V. Ricketts - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Destroyer; Charles F. Adams - class

planned as DD 955; built as DDG 5



New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, New Jersey, USA



Awarded: March 28, 1957

Laid down: May 18, 1959

Launched: June 4, 1960

Commissioned: May 5, 1962 (as USS Biddle)

Renamed: USS Claude V. Ricketts on July 28, 1964

Decommissioned: October 31, 1989


Fate: Sold for scrap 15 Apr 1994. Contract was terminated 8 Oct 1996 and the hull was

repossessed with scrapping only 30% completed. Resold to Metro Machine, Inc. in 2001.

Scrapping completed November 8, 2002.






named after and in honor of Captain Nicholas Biddle (1750 - 1778)


renamed to USS Claude V. Ricketts in honor of Admiral Claude V. Ricketts (1906-1964)

who died on duty as Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), July 6, 1964.

> see history, below;

Ship’s Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO > Charles F. Adams - class Guided Missile Destroyer


ship images


USS Claude V. Ricketts DDG-5 and USS Lawrence DDG-4 awaiting scrapping

USS Claude V. Ricketts (front) and USS Lawrence (middle) awaiting scrapping - August 1994


DDG-5 USS Claude V. Ricketts - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer


DDG-5 USS Claude V. Ricketts - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer


DDG-5 USS Claude V. Ricketts - Charles F. Adams class destroyer


DDG-5 USS Claude V. Ricketts ex USS Biddle - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer


DDG-5 USS Biddle - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer

DDG-5 USS Biddle



Claude Vernon Ricketts / Nicholas Biddle


Claude Vernon Ricketts, US Navy   Admiral Claude Vernon Ricketts, CNO US Navy

Admiral Claude Vernon Ricketts


Captain Nicholas Biddle

Captain Nicholas Biddle



Namesake & History:

Captain Nicholas Biddle (September 10, 1750 – March 7, 1778):


Captain Nicholas Biddle was born 10 September 1750 in Philadelphia. At the age of 13 he went to sea in the merchant service, and in 1772 entered the British Navy as a midshipman. As tension mounted between the Colonies and the Crown, Biddle resigned his commission and returned to America, volunteering his services to his home state of Pennsylvania. On 01 August, 1775 he became Commanding Officer of the armed galley FRANKLIN, which had been fitted out by the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety to defend the Delaware.


In December 1775, Captain Biddle took command of the 14-gun brig ANDREW DORIA and joined the fleet commanded by Esek Hopkins in the expedition against New Providence. In this action ANDREW DORIA captured numerous armed merchantmen, including two armed transports carrying 400 reinforcements for the British Army in North America.

Later, Captain Biddle assumed command of RANDOLPH, which was manned in part by paroled British prisoners of war. These prisoners mutinied shortly after the ship sailed, but the superb leadership of the 27 year old captain ended the trouble quickly.


Violent storms dismasted his ship off the Delaware Capes, but Captain Biddle's superb seamanship brought RANDOLPH into Charleston for repairs. he sailed again for the West Indies on 04 September, 1777 and enroute captured HMS TRUE BRITON, along with her three ship convoy. Captain Biddle took his fourth prize back to Charleston and blockaded there until late February 1778, when he successfully eluded the British patrol and escaped to the open sea.


On 07 March, 1778 RANDOLPH, 32 guns, engaged HMS YARMOUTH, 64 guns. Despite his firepower disadvantage and a severe wound received early in action, Captain Biddle brilliantly directed the cannon fire of his ship, and YARMOUTH's commanding officer later reported that RANDOLPH fired three accurate broadsides to YARMOUTH's one. Tragically, however, fire penetrated RANDOLPH's powder magazines, and the ship exploded and sank instantly. Captain Biddle perished, and his 315 man crew had only four survivors.


Thus ended the brief but illustrious career of Captain Nicholas Biddle, Continental Navy. His life ended short of its twenty eighth year, but his spirit lives on in the ship that bears his name.


"I fear nothing but what I ought to fear. I am much more afraid of doing a foolish action than of loosing my life. I aim for a character of conduct, as well as courage, and hope never to throw away a vessel and crew merely to convince the world I have courage. No one has dared to impeach it yet. If any should, I will not leave them a moment of doubt."


Nicholas Biddle to his brother, Charles, 16 June 1776


Admiral Claude Vernon Ricketts (1906 – July 6, 1964):


Admiral Claude Vernon Ricketts served in the United States Navy as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

Originally enlisted in the Navy, Ricketts attended the United States Naval Academy and became an officer upon his graduation in 1929. As a lieutenant, he was the gunnery officer on board the USS West Virginia (BB-48) during the attack on Pearl Harbor. When West Virginia threatened to capsize after taking several torpedo hits, Ricketts led a successful effort to initiate counterflooding and stabilize the ship. His quick action is widely credited with preventing West Virginia from sharing the fate of USS Oklahoma.

Ricketts commanded USS Saint Paul (CA-73) during 1955. He later became Commander Second Fleet and then assumed duties as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
more Admiral Ricketts history & bio wanted


USS Biddle / Claude V. Ricketts (DDG 5):


USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5), previously Biddle and DD-955, was a Charles F. Adams-class guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy.


Originally to be designated as DD-955, the ship was laid down as DDG-5 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden, New Jersey on 18 May 1959, launched on 4 June 1960 and commissioned on 5 May 1962.


Biddle was renamed to Claude V. Ricketts on 28 July 1964 in honor of Admiral Claude V. Ricketts, who had died on 6 July.


The Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) served as the rescue unit and tied up alongside USS Belknap after her collision with USS John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1975 - the twelfth anniversary of the assassination of the president so named. The cruiser was ablaze with exploding ammunition and magazines, but the guided-missile destroyer and her crewmen fought and limited damage. In the end, CG-26 was knocked and melted to her 01 level, which is the next level above the main deck. Seven crewmembers aboard Belknap and one aboard the Kennedy were killed.


Claude V. Ricketts was decommissioned on 31 October 1989, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1990 and sold for scrap on 15 April 1994. The scrap contract was terminated on 1 October 1996 and the ship was resold to Metro Machine, Incorporated, of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania on 18 December 2001.


-- more DDG 5 history wanted --




DDG-5 USS Claude V. Ricketts patch crest insignia   DDG-5 USS Claude V. Ricketts patch crest insignia


DDG-5 USS Claude V. Ricketts cruise patch   DDG-5 USS Claude V. Ricketts cruise patch


DDG-5 USS Biddle patch crest insignia



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