Guided Missile Destroyer

DDG 18  -  USS Semmes



DDG-18 USS Semmes patch crest insignia

DDG-18 USS Semmes

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Destroyer; Charles F. Adams - class

planned and built as DDG 18



Avondale Shipyards, Inc; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA



Awarded: July 21, 1959

Laid down: August 15, 1960

Launched: May 20, 1961

Commissioned: December 10, 1962

Decommissioned: September 12, 1991


Fate: sold to Greece, renamed HS Kimon (D 218);

decommissioned on June 17, 2004; finally scrapped in Greece in 2006.






Named after and in honor of Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes (1809 - 1877)

> 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 Semmes DDG-18 - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer


DDG-18 USS Semmes - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer


DDG-18 USS Semmes


DDG-18 USS Semmes


DDG-18 USS Semmes


DDG-18 USS Semmes

USS Semmes during underway replenishment (UNREP) with USS Forrestal (CV-59)


DDG-18 USS Semmes


DDG-18 USS Semmes - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer


DDG-18 USS Semmes


DDG-18 USS Semmes


USS Semmes DDG-18 - Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer


DDG-18 USS Semmes



Raphael Semmes


Raphael Semmes, Rear Admiral CSN Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes, Confederate Navy Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes, CSN


Raphael Semmes and Lt. Kell aboard CSS Alabama

Capt. Semmes and Lt. Kell aboard CSS Alabama, 1863



Namesake & History:

Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes (September 27, 1809 – August 30, 1877):


Raphael Semmes was born in Charles County, Maryland, on 27 September 1809. Entering the Navy as a Midshipman in 1826, he subsequently studied law and was admitted to the bar while remaining in the service. During the Mexican War, he commanded the brig USS Somers in the Gulf of Mexico. She was lost in a storm off Vera Cruz in December 1846, but Semmes was commended for his actions in that incident. While on extended leave after the war, he practiced law in Mobile, Alabama. Promoted to the rank of Commander in 1855, Semmes was assigned to Lighthouse duties until 1861, when Alabama's secession from the Union prompted him to resign from the U.S. Navy and adhere to the Confederacy.

Appointed a Commander in the Confederate Navy in April 1861, Raphael Semmes was sent to New Orleans to convert a steamer into the cruiser CSS Sumter. He ran her through the Federal blockade in June 1861 and began a career of commerce raiding that is without equal in American naval history. During Sumter's six months' operations in the West Indies and the Atlantic, he captured eighteen merchant vessels and skillfully eluded pursuing Union warships. With his ship badly in need of overhaul, he brought her to Gibraltar in January 1862 and laid her up when the arrival of Federal cruisers made a return to sea impossible.

After taking himself and many of his officers to England, Semmes was promoted to the rank of Captain and given command of the newly-built cruiser CSS Alabama. From August 1862 until June 1864, Semmes took his ship through the Atlantic, into the Gulf of Mexico, around the Cape of Good Hope and into the East Indies, capturing some sixty merchantmen and sinking one Federal warship, USS Hatteras. At the end of her long cruise, Alabama was blockaded at Cherbourg, France, while seeking repairs. On 19 June 1864, Semmes took her to sea to fight the Union cruiser USS Kearsarge and was wounded when she was sunk in action. Rescued by the British yacht Dearhound, he went to England, recovered and made his way back to the Confederacy.

Semmes was promoted to Rear Admiral in February 1865 and commanded the James River Squadron during the last months of the Civil War. When the fall of Richmond, Virginia, forced the destruction of his ships, he was made a Brigadier General and led his sailors as an infantry force. Briefly imprisoned after the conflict, he worked as a teacher and newspaper editor until returning to Mobile, where he pursued a legal career. Raphael Semmes died on 30 August 1877.


USS Semmes (DDG 18):


The second Semmes (DDG-18) was laid down on 18 August 1960 at Avondale Shipyards, Inc., Westwego, La.; launched on 20 May 1961; sponsored by Mrs. F. E. Hebert; and commissioned on 10 December 1962, Comdr. Richard G. Alexander in command.

Following shakedown, Semmes joined Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 62, Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 6, at Charleston, S.C., in July 1963; and, into the summer of 1964, participated in various fleet exercises in the Atlantic and Caribbean. Toward the end of that summer, she sailed east for a six-week NATO exercise, “Masterstroke/Teamwork,” in the North Atlantic-Norwegian Sea area; and, on 22 September, she crossed the Arctic Circle. Two months later, on 28 November, she deployed to the Mediterranean for her first tour, of four months, with the 6th Fleet. She returned to Charleston in time to participate in the 2d Fleet's exercises during the spring of 1965. She then took part in support operations off the Dominican Republic.

From February to July 1966, the guided missile destroyer conducted her second tour with the 6th Fleet; and, on her return to the United States, changed her home port from Charleston to Norfolk, effective 1 August, in anticipation of her first major overhaul at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. In April 1967, Semmes resumed operations with refresher training in the Caribbean. In July, she rejoined DesRon 6 at Charleston; and, in August, she deployed for her third tour with the 6th Fleet. She participated in fleet and NATO exercises into January 1968; then returned to Charleston, arriving on the 31st for a month's rest before resuming operations in the Caribbean and off the east coast.

On 10 June, Semmes again sailed east. During that month and into July, she visited Germany and Denmark; then turned south for another 6th Fleet deployment. On 15 November, she was relieved by John King (DDG-3) at Rota, Spain; and, 11 days later, she returned to Charleston where she remained in port for the rest of the year.

In January 1969, she cleared Charleston to oarticipate in ASW and “Springboard” exercises in the Puerto Rican operating area; then returned to her homeport. In April, she returned to the Caribbean for 2d Fleet exercises.

Through the summer, Semmes continued to conduct exercises in the Caribbean and off the southeastern seaboard. In late September, she again crossed the Atlantic for a seven-month deployment with the 6th Fleet; and, on 10 February 1970, while moored at Naples, she was struck by the Greek freighter, SS Mautric. The damage sustained to her bow was quickly repaired; and, before the end of the month, she had resumed operations. By mid-March, she had arrived at Barcelona for turnover with Conyngham (DDG-17). On the 18th, she departed the Mediterranean; and, on the 28th, she returned to Charleston.

During 1971, her schedule remained basically the same; but her annual tour with the 6th Fleet, 16 July to 11 October, was followed by visits to the Netherlands and to Denmark for binational and NATO operations. On 20 December, Semmes returned to South Carolina; and, in January 1972, she entered the Charleston Naval Shipyard for conversion of her engineering plant to the Navy Distillate Fuel Oil System. With the spring, she resumed operations off the east coast and in the Caribbean. In September, she participated in NATO exercise "Strong Express," which again took her above the Arctic Circle and which was followed by visits to Norway and Denmark. In October, she returned to Charleston. In November, she conducted exercises in the Caribbean; and, in December, she prepared for another deployment in the Mediterranean with NATO's Standing Naval Force, Atlantic.

After sea trials in the Charleston operating area, Semmes got underway from that port on 4 January 1973. She arrived in Portsmouth, England, on the 15th, joining the NATO naval force there. For the next seven months, the guided missile destroyer cruised the Atlantic visiting ports on both sides of that ocean and participating in three exercises: NATO Exercise “Sunny Seas,” in January and February; Canadian Exercise MARCOT 2/73, in April and May; and Norwegian Exercise “Midnight Sun” in June. On 1 July, Semmes changed operational control back to the 2d Fleet and, nine days later, returned to Charleston.

Following a month of post-deployment standdown, from 10 July until 10 August, she resumed operations along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean. In November and December, she took part in Exercises "Fun in the Sun" and LANTREADEX 2-74. Semmes reentered Charleston on 19 December to prepare for overhaul. As of 31 July 1974, she is still in Charleston completing overhaul.


-- more DDG 18 history wanted --


Sold to Greece and renamed HS Kimon (D 218).

She was decommissioned on 17 June 2004, and, as of 2005, in reserve at Souda Bay, Crete. Finally scrapped in Greece in 2006.




DDG-18 USS Semmes patch crest insignia



| | USN ships start page |