Guided Missile Destroyer

DDG 17  -  USS Conyngham



DDG-17 USS Conyngham patch crest insignia

DDG-17 USS Conyngham - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Destroyer; Charles F. Adams - class

planned and built as DDG 17



New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, USA



Awarded: July 21, 1959

Laid down: May 1, 1961

Launched: May 19, 1962

Commissioned: June 13, 1963

Decommissioned: October 20, 1990


Fate: Stricken May 31, 1991; sold for scrap April 15, 1994






Named after and in honor of Captain Gustavus Conyngham (1747 - 1819)

> see history, below;

Ship’s Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


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


ship images


DDG-17 USS Conyngham - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer


USS Conyngham DDG-17 - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer


DDG-17 USS Conyngham - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer


USS Conyngham DDG-17 - Charles F. Adams class destroyer


DDG-17 USS Conyngham


DDG-17 USS Conyngham


DDG-17 USS Conyngham


DDG-17 USS Conyngham


DDG-17 USS Conyngham


DDG-17 USS Conyngham


DDG-17 USS Conyngham



Gustavus Conyngham


Captain Gustavus Conyngham, Continental Navy   Gustavus Conyngham, Captain Continental Navy



Namesake & History:

Captain Gustavus Conyngham, Continental Navy (1747- 27. November 1819):


Gustavus Conyngham was born in County Donegal, Ireland, in 1747 (His date of birth has also been cited as "circa 1744"). He moved across the Atlantic in 1763 to become a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and later entered the shipping profession. In the fall of 1775 he arrived in Holland to seek supplies for the rebellious American colonies. When this mission was thwarted by British diplomacy, Conyngham went to France and, in March 1777, obtained a commission as Captain in the Continental Navy. Given command of the lugger Surprise (or Surprize), he began a fruitful commerce raiding career by capturing two British merchant vessels in the North Sea early in May and taking them to Dunkirk.

Though the French soon returned his prizes and seized Surprise, Conyngham was made captain of the cutter Revenge, in which he was to capture or destroy more than sixty enemy merchantmen and a few privateers during an remarkably productive cruise through the waters around the British Isles, off Spain and in the Caribbean Sea between July 1777 and February 1779. After returning to the United States, he undertook another voyage, but was captured and imprisoned in England. Captain Conyngham managed to escape after several attempts and, after reaching France, was briefly an officer of the Continental Frigate Alliance. Recaptured again while sailing back to the Colonies in mid-March 1780, he remained a prisoner until exchanged in June 1781.

Following the end of the Revolutionary War, Conyngham resumed his commercial shipping career. He also began a long and frustrating effort to gain Congressional recognition for his contributions to the struggle for American independence. Conyngham's later martial involvement included command of an armed brig in the Quasi-War with France and assisting with the defense of Philadelphia during the War of 1812. He died at Philadelphia on 27 November 1819.

The U.S. Navy has named three destroyers in honor of Gustavus Conyngham, including: Conyngham (Destroyer # 58, later DD-58) of 1916-1934; Conyngham (DD-371) of 1936-1948; and Conyngham (DDG-17) of 1963-1994.


USS Conyngham (DDG 17):


The third Conyngham was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., launched 19 May 1962; sponsored by Mrs. Carl B. Albert, wife of Representative Albert of Oklahoma, House Majority Leader, commissioned 13 July 1963, Commander Edwin P. Smith USN, in command.
During her 27 years of commissioned service, DDG 17 lived up to her motto,"Ready to Serve." Her presence exerted a powerful influence during times of crisis and helped maintain peace as a component of NATO seapower throughout the Cold War period. CONYNGHAM made 15 Mediterranean deployments, 3 to the Persian Gulf 7 to Northern Europe, and 11 to the Carribbean. She distinguised herself during crises in Cyprus( 1964, 1974); provided air cover for planes evacuating Americans from an insurrection in Amman Jordan (1970); took part in contingency operations during the Arab-Israeli Yom-Kipper War (1973); was the escort combatant during the evacution of Americans from Beirut Lebanon (1976); and conducted Black Sea Freedom of Navigation operations (1979).
During the 1980's CONYNGHAM continued to support United States foreign policy when she served off the coast of Lybia(1982); was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal for providing naval gunfire support to Marines stationed in, and off the coast of Beirut Lebanon(1983) and monitored maritime traffic off the coast of Nicaragua(1983). She sailed with the USS AMERICA CV 66 Battle Group in support of U.S. intervention forces in Granada (1983). While deployed to the Caribbean, CONYNGHAM was credited with four interdictions and was awarded the Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal (1986).
Known throughout her history as the "Gus Boat" after her namesake Gustavus Conyngham, USS CONYNGHAM continued superior preformance as she escorted U.S. flag merchant shipping through the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War in 1987. During the deployment she sortied from Bahrain on short notice and provided assistance to USS STARK FFG 31 after she was hit by two anti-ship missiles launched by an Iraqi F1. CONYNGHAM was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for her efforts in saving the crippled ship.
Recently, CONYNGHAM continued the "Gus Can Do" tradition during her deployments to the Fjords of Norway And Northern Europe (1988); she completed her 15th Mediterranean deployment and received her 4th Battle Efficiency "E" in 1989. On May 8 1990, while conducting pre-deployment operations off the coast of Virginia, CONYNGHAM met its greatest challange. A major fuel oil fire erupted from the stops Forward Fire Room into the ships superstructure, isolating the crew forward and aft, requiring an all hands effort to extinguish it. During the mass conflagration, the Operations Officer was killed and 18 men were injured. 79 crewmembers were honored in an awards cermony recognizing the crew's heroism and damage control efforts in saving the ship and returning her safely to port. In preparing for decommissioning, she has continued to support the Fleet through the salvage of her combat systems, and engineering components.
Decommissioned 20 Oct 1990 and stricken 31 May 1991, she was sold for scrap by DRMS, 15 Apr 1994 and broken up by J&L Metals, Wilmington, NC during 1995.




DDG-17 USS Conyngham patch crest insignia  DDG-17 USS Conyngham patch crest insignia  DDG-17 USS Conyngham patch crest insignia



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