Awarded: March 28, 1957
down: February 28, 1958
Launched: April 22, 1959
Commissioned: December 17, 1960
stricken 26 January 1990.
Sunk as a target:
August 15, 2003 (Pacific)
Henry Braid Wilson was born 23 February 1861
at Camden, N.J., and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1881.
During the early days of his career he served in Tennessee and Saratoga and
on coast survey expeditions to the Bering Sea. During the Spanish-American
war Wilson was attached to gunboat Bancroft and was commended for bravery. In
the years that followed he served in many ships, and was Pennsylvania's first
commanding officer in 1916.
He commanded the Atlantic Fleet's patrol forces during the First World War,
and was responsible for the safe convoying of troops and supplies to Europe.
For his outstanding service Wilson was awarded both the Navy and War
Department Distinguished Service Medals.
Following the war, he was Commander-in-Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet and later
the Battle Fleet commander.
In 1921 Admiral Wilson took over as Superintendent of the Naval Academy, and
in his 4 years at Annapolis did much to raise its academic standing and
improve the quality of education.
Admiral Wilson retired in 1925 after nearly 50 years of service as seaman,
leader, and educator.
He died 30 January 1954 at New York City.
Henry B. Wilson
(DDG-7) was launched 22 April 1959 by Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City,
Mich.; sponsored by Mrs. Patrick J. Hurley, daughter of Admiral Wilson ; and
commissioned 17 December 1960, Comdr. L. D. Caney in command.
One of a new class of destroyers built from the keel up to fire guided
missiles, Henry B. Wilson was the first ship of her size to be side-launched
and when launched was the largest warship ever constructed on the Great
Lakes. Because of these unique circumstances, she was christened not with the
traditional champagne but with a bottle filled with water from the Great
Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and the Atlantic Ocean. Following shakedown in
the Caribbean she arrived in early May 1961 at her new home port, San Diego.
During the months that followed Henry B. Wilson conducted tests and drills of
her missile systems, fleet exercises, and type training.
The guided missile destroyer sailed 6 January 1962 for duty in the Western
Pacific, the first ship in that region to be armed with Tartar missiles.
Stopping at Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka, she carried out antisubmarine
exercises until returning to the United States 19 July 1962.
Training off the California coast, punctuated with several missile firings,
occupied Henry B. Wilson until 17 October 1963, when she sailed with carrier
Kitty Hawk for duty with 7th Fleet in the Western Pacific. During the next 5
months she operated as part of America's mobil peacekeeping fleet between
Japan and the Philippines. After returning to San Diego 16 April 1964, she
resumed ASW and fire support operations.
Henry B. Wilson sailed on her third deployment to the Far East 4 June 1965.
Arriving Subic Bay, Luzon, 21 June, she became flagship for Destroyer
Squadron 21, then began rescue and air defense picket duty in the Gulf of
Tonkin 31 July, along with shore bombardment support. As escort for Midway (CV-41),
she departed Subic Bay 7 November and arrived San Diego the 24th.
After a year's operation off the West Coast, Henry B. Wilson departed San
Diego for the Far East 5 November 1966. She resume picket duty off Vietnam 23
December. During the first 3 months of 1967 she cruised the South China Sea
and Gulf of Tonkin, performing search and rescue missions and pounding enemy
coastal positions in support of ground operations. She returned to San Diego
early in May.
Summary of deployments
Date of Departure Date of Return Area of Operation
1962 19 Jul
17 Oct 1963 16 Apr
1965 24 Nov
1966 2 Aug
1968 24 Aug
13 Oct 1969 15 Apr
11 Jun 1971 18 Dec
1 Feb 1973 WestPac/Vietnam
30 Jan 1975 2 Sep
10 Aug 1976 21 Mar
1979 14 Feb
27 Feb 1981 21 Sep
16 Mar 1984 2 Oct
15 Sep 1986 14 Mar
1987 WestPac/Indian Ocean
1988 1 Jun
1989 WestPac/Indian Ocean
was the transit of the ship from the Boston Naval Shipyard via Newport, R.I.,
Norfolk, Va., Guantanamo Bay, Panama Canal, Callao, Peru and Acapulco, Mexico
to its new home port of San Diego, CA.
(**) No history report on file for DDG-7 covering calendar year 1972.
NOTE: Operations by the ship in local waters along the West Coast and also in
Hawaii were not considered major overseas deployments. Deployments begin on
the date of departure from home port and end on date of return to home port.
Decommissioned 2 October 1989 and stricken 26 January 1990, she was berthed
at San Francisco CA until sold for conversion into a power barge, 20 June
1994. NVR shows contract terminated 22 Mar 1999 (to be resold).
ex-DDG 7 spent the next years berthed at Benecia, CA, as part of the Suisun
Bay Reserve Fleet before she was towed to Mare Island in preparation for her
Finally sunk as a target;
Date: 15. August 2003
Location: 031° 33' 00.0" North, 119° 53' 00.0" West
Depth: 1336 fathoms
129 Miles off San Diego