Guided Missile Destroyer

DLG 7 / DDG 38  -  USS Luce



DDG-38 USS Luce patch crest insignia

DDG-38 USS Luce - Farragut Coontz class guided missile destroyer

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Destroyer; Farragut (Coontz) - class;

planned as DL 7; built and commissioned as DLG 7; redesignated to DDG 38



Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts, USA



Awarded: January 27, 1956

Laid down: October 1, 1957 (as DLG 7)

Launched: December 11, 1958 (as DLG 7)

Commissioned: May 20, 1961

redesignated to DDG 38: June 30, 1975

Decommissioned: April 1, 1991


Fate: Stricken April 2, 1991

sold for scrap: December 16, 1994; scrapping completed: June 17, 2005.






Named after and in honor of Rear Admiral Stephen Bleecker Luce (1827 - 1917)

> see history, below;

Ship’s Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO > Farragut - class Guided Missile Destroyer


ship images


DDG-38 USS Luce


DDG-38 USS Luce


DDG-38 USS Luce


DDG-38 USS Luce


DDG-38 USS Luce


DDG-38 USS Luce



Stephen Bleecker Luce


Stephen Bleecker Luce, US Navy  Stephen Bleecker Luce


Rear Admiral Stephen Bleecker Luce, US Navy  Stephen Bleecker Luce, Admiral US Navy



Namesake & History:

Rear Admiral Stephen Bleecker Luce (March 25, 1827 – July 28, 1917):


Stephen Bleecker Luce was born on 25 March 1827 in Albany, New York. He entered the Navy in October 1841 as a Midshipman and, during the next seven years, served in the frigate Congress and ships of the line North Carolina and Columbus. Following graduation as a member of the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 1847 and promotion to Passed Midshipman in 1848, he served at the Academy until mid-1849. Luce spent the first half of the 1850s serving in the sloop-of-war Vandalia in the Pacific, on astromomical duty in Washington, D.C., and as an officer of the steamer Vixen. Attaining the rank of Lieutenant in 1855, he was employed on coast survey work and served in the sloop-of-war Jamestown during the rest of the decade.


Lieutenant Luce began another Naval Academy tour in May 1860. A year later, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, he returned to sea as an officer of the steam frigate Wabash. He was back at the Naval Academy in 1862-1863, receiving promotion to Lieutenant Commander during this time. From mid-1863 to the end of the Civil War two years later, he commanded several warships, including the sailing corvette Macedonian, steam sloop Canandaigua, monitor Nantucket and "double-ender" gunboats Sonoma and Pontiac. Lieutenant Commander (Commander after mid-1866) Luce was the Naval Academy's Commandant of Midshipmen from October 1865 to June 1868. He then returned to sea as commanding officer of the gunboat Mohongo, in the Pacific, and steam sloop Juniata in the Mediterranean Sea.


Promoted to Captain in December 1872, Luce served at the Boston Navy Yard until the autumn of 1875, then commanded the steam sloop Hartford until August 1877. His later career was heavily involved with educational affairs, initially as Inspector of Training Ships, then in command of the training ship Minnesota and the Training Squadron. He strongly advocated higher education for the Navy's officers and, as a Commodore and Rear Admiral, was the first President of the newly-established Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island during 1884-1886. He also commanded the North Atlantic Squadron in 1884 and in 1886-1889. Though retired in March 1889, Rear Admiral Luce remained active in Naval affairs as President of the U.S. Naval Institute until 1898 and, during the first decade of the 1900s, as President of the Naval Academy's Board of Visitors and on special duty at the War College. Stephen B. Luce died at Newport, R.I., on 28 July 1917.


The Navy has named three ships in honor of Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, including: USS Luce (Destroyer # 99, later DM-4), 1918-1936; USS Luce (DD-522), 1943-1945; and USS Luce (DLG-7, later DDG-38), 1961-1995.


USS Luce (DDG 38):


The third Luce (DLG-7) was laid down by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., 1 October 1957; launched 11 December 1958; sponsored by Mrs. Felix B. Stump; and commissioned 20 May 1961, Comdr. David H. Bagley in command.


Luce departed Mayport,Fla., on her shakedown cruise 14 February 1962. She spent the month of April with the 6th Fleet in her first task force operations, and returned home 11 May where Capt. H. J. Ereckson, Commander Destroyer Division 84, made her his flagship. She departed 3 August to rejoin the 6th Fleet, en route participating in NATO exercises Riptide III with units of the British and French Navies. In the next 7 months she joined in three major NATO exercises before returning home 2 March 196 3. During the spring and early summer, the frigate conducted missile tests, trained midshipmen, and engaged in independent exercises along the Atlantic coast.


On 20 August 1963 she steamed to the Caribbean for independent air, surface, and shore bombardment firings and returned Mayport 4 September. She joined TF 23 for intensive ASW and AA exercises 28 October, and after a short operation with Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) was back in Mayport for tender availability.


On 8 February 1964 she again joined the 6th Fleet, and was called upon to stand guard for 3 weeks near the trouble-ridden island of Cyprus to evacuate American citizens if necessary. She hosted the Secretary of the Navy and Commander 6th Fleet 24 April fo r a missile firing demonstration, and then escorted Shangri-La (CVA-38) on a high-speed Atlantic crossing to Mayport, where she arrived 23 May.


In July the ship steamed to New York City to participate in operation "Sail" with a regatta of sailing craft from all over the world. She returned to Mayport after a 4-month overhaul 28 January 1965. The frigate had won both the Engineering and Battle Eff iciency "E"s during 1964.


Luce returned to the Caribbean for intensive refresher training in March 1965. On 29 April she embarked a company of marines at Guantanamo Bay and proceeded to the troubled Dominican Republic 30 April. She patrolled the coast of the politically dis turbed island until 8 May. She returned to the Mediterranean in June for 4 months of operations with units of the Spanish, French, Greek, and Italian Navies In September she operated with Correy ( DD-817 ) in the Black Sea, and she returned to the Mediterranean late in 1965. She arrived Mayport 6 November and embarked Commander Destroyer Squadron 8. In December she engaged in missile firing and after a brief time in port in 1966 continued testing and improving missile techniques and carrying out th e fleet's widespread peacekeeping activities which guard the free world.


On 13 June 1966 Luce got underway for deployment with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. After participating in various exercises with United States and other Allied ships, and representing the United States at two international trade fairs, she returned to Mayport on 26 October. The first half of 1967 saw Luce operating again with the 2nd Fleet in the Atlantic and Caribbean, and participating in a midshipmen training cruise in June. On 7 August, Luce began a regular overhaul at the U.S. Naval Shipyard, Charleston, S.C. She continued in orerhaul until early 1968, then operated locally and in the Caribbean until departing Mayport 14 September for the Persian Gulf, sailing via Recife, Brazil, and various ports along the west and east coasts of! Africa. She arrived at Bahrain 29 October and continued to stand watch over the troubled Middle East into 1969.


Decommissioned April 1, 1991 and stricken. Sold for scrap December 16, 1994. Scrapping completed: June 17, 2005.


-- more DDG 38 history wanted --




DDG-38 USS Luce patch crest insignia  DDG-38 USS Luce cruise patch



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