Guided Missile Destroyer

DDG 73  -  USS Decatur



DDG-73 USS Decatur patch crest insignia

DDG-73 USS Decatur Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS

Type, Class:


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

planned and built as DDG 73



Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, USA



Awarded: January 19, 1993

Laid down: January 11, 1996

Launched: November 10, 1996

Commissioned: August 29, 1998

ACTIVE UNIT/ in commission (Pacific Fleet)



San Diego, California, USA



Named after and in honor of Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779 - 1820)

> see history, below;

Ship's Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO > Arleigh Burke - class Guided Missile Destroyer



see also: USS Decatur (DDG 31)


ship images


DDG-73 USS Decatur Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur launches a Standard Missile SM-3 from her Mk-41 VLS


USS Decatur DDG-73 launches a Standard Missile SM-3


DDG-73 USS Decatur launches a Standard Missile SM-3


DDG-73 USS Decatur Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS


DDG-73 USS Decatur


USS Decatur DDG-73


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


USS Decatur DDG-73 Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur


DDG-73 USS Decatur Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS



Stephen Decatur


Stephen Decatur, Commodore US Navy  Commodore Stephen Decatur, US Navy  Stephen Decatur, Commodore US Navy


Commodore Stephen Decatur, US Navy  Stephen Decatur, Commodore US Navy  Commodore Stephen Decatur, US Navy



Namesake & History:

Commodore Stephen Decatur (January 5, 1779 – March 22, 1820):


Stephen Decatur was born in Sinepuxent, Maryland, on 5 January 1779. His father, also named Stephen Decatur, commanded several privateers during the American Revolution and served as a Captain in the young United States Navy during 1798-1801. Young Stephen also joined the Navy in 1798, as a Midshipman, and was active during the undeclared war with France over the next two years. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1799. Given command of the brig Argus in 1803, he took to the Mediterranean for war service against Tripoli. Once in the combat zone, Lieutenant Decatur commanded the schooner Enterprise and, on 23 December 1803, captured the enemy ketch Mastico. That vessel, taken into the U.S. Navy under the name Intrepid, was used by Decatur on 16 February 1804 to execute a night raid into Tripoli harbor to destroy the former U.S. frigate Philadelphia, which had been captured after running aground at the end of October 1803.

This daring and extremely successful operation made Lieutenant Decatur an immediate national hero, a status that was enhanced by his courageous conduct during the 3 August 1804 bombardment of Tripoli. In that action, he led his men in hand-to-hand fighting while boarding and capturing an enemy gunboat. Decatur was subsequently promoted to the rank of Captain, and over the next eight years had command of several frigates. On 25 October 1812, while in command of USS United States, he engaged and captured the British frigate Macedonian, an action that gained him further acclaim. The strong British blockade kept Decatur in port for most of the rest of the War of 1812, but he was able to break out of New York in the frigate President on 15 January 1815. Captain Decatur was wounded when his ship was captured the next day by a superior enemy force, but he soon recovered and was given command of a powerful squadron.

With the war with Great Britain at an end, the United States had decided to deal once and for all with the North African Barbary powers' threat to American commerce. Commodore Decatur sailed his squadron to the Mediterranean Sea in May 1815 and, with the assistance of overwhelming force, persuaded Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli to sign treaties of peace. After returning home, he became a member of the Board of Navy Commissioners in Washington, D.C. In April 1816 he made a toast that would become a standard expression of American patriotism: "Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong."

In 1820 the strong-willed and spirited Decatur was challenged to a duel by a brother officer, Commodore James Barron. The contest, which took place at Bladensburg, Maryland, on 22 March 1820, resulted in wounds to both men. Barron survived, but Stephen Decatur died of his injuries shortly afterwards.

The U.S. Navy has named five ships in honor of Stephen Decatur, including: USS Decatur (1840-1865); USS Decatur (Destroyer # 5), 1902-1920; USS Decatur (DD-341), 1922-1945; USS Decatur (DD-936, later DDG-31), 1956-2004;


USS Decatur (DDG 73):


USS Decatur (DDG-73) is the fifth ship to carry the name. Decatur was laid down on 11 January 1996 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine; launched on 9 November 1996, sponsored by Mrs. Joan E. Shalikashvili, wife of John M. Shalikashvili, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and commissioned 19 June 1998, Commander Mike Knollmann in command.


Following a combination shakedown and transit cruise to the west coast, during which Decatur visited San Juan, Puerto Rico; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico she was commisioned on August 29, 1998, at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon. The guided-missile destroyer arrived at her new home port of San Diego on 4 September. She spent the remainder of the year conducting acoustic trials and combat system evaluations. Decatur then spent three months in a post-shakedown availability in the Southwest Marine Yard.


In April 1999, the warship conducted a short cruise to the Northwest, visiting Decatur Island, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, before returning to San Diego in early May. After a second visit to Washington in August, Decatur helped Bunker Hill in assisting MV Gardenia Ace--a car carrier--which had suffered a fire in her engine room.


Upon completion of her final missile tests and sea trials, Decatur commenced her first western Pacific deployment on 7 January 2000. After stopping at Pearl Harbor to load Tomahawk land-attack missiles, the guided-missile destroyer proceeded to the Yellow Sea for Exercise Sharem 2000 - a joint U.S. and South Korean naval exercise - in late January. On the 30th, the warship visited Chinhae, South Korea, and over the next two weeks also stopped at Yokosuka and Nagasaki, Japan. She then sailed south through the Taiwan Strait, made a three-day port visit to Hong Kong, and then commenced a South China Sea exercise with units of the Philippine Navy.


In early March, Decatur visited Malaysia and Guam before sailing south across the Equator to Fiji in April. After visits to American Samoa, and numerous ports in Australia, the guided missile destroyer returned to San Diego on 8 June.


Following upkeep and voyage repairs, the warship operated locally out of San Diego for the rest of the year. In February 2001, Decatur began various battle group and missile training off the West Coast. Following the terrorist plane hijackings and crashes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on 11 September, the cruiser put to sea for Operation NOBLE EAGLE in southern California waters. Returning to San Diego on the 23d, the warship spent seven weeks preparing for her deployment with the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) battle group on 12 November.


The warships steamed west and, after stops at Hong Kong and Singapore, transited the Strait of Malacca on 11 December. Sailing northwest into the Indian Ocean, the battlegroup moved into Central Commands AOR to participate in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, in Afghanistan. Between 17 December 2001 and 16 April 2002, Decatur escorted the USS Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Ready Group - during which time her security team boarded three merchant ships (including one non-compliant boarding of M/V Francisco Dagohoy on 10 April - in support of Maritime Interdiction Operations. During this period, the warship made three short port visits to Manama, Bahrain. Departing the region on 2 May, the warship sailed for home, stopping in Phuket, Thailand; Bali, Indonesia; Dili, East Timor; Apra, Guam; and Pearl Harbor before arriving in San Diego on 8 June 2002. Decatur spent the rest of the year in upkeep or training out of San Diego.


The Decatur departed on their second deployment to the Persian Gulf in August of 2003. She made stops in Pearl Harbor and Singapore before arriving in the Persian Gulf. The Decatur made a port visit to the Seychelles for four days in November. In December of 2003, the Decatur seized a 40-foot dhow on 15 December, discovering an estimated two tons of narcotics allegedly linked to an al-Qaeda smuggling operation. The drugs had an estimated street value of 8 to 10 million dollars.


-- more DDG-73 history wanted --




DDG-73 USS Decatur patch crest insignia   USS Decatur DDG-73 crest insignia patch   DDG-73 USS Decatur insignia patch crest



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