Guided Missile Destroyer

DLG 11 / DDG 42  -  USS Mahan



DDG-42 USS Mahan patch crest insignia

DDG-42 USS Mahan - Farragut class guided missile destroyer

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Destroyer; Farragut (Coontz) - class;

planned as DL 11; built and commissioned as DLG 11; redesignated to DDG 42;



San Francisco Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, California, USA



Awarded: November 18, 1955

Laid down: July 31, 1957 (as DLG 11)

Launched: October 7, 1959

Commissioned: August 25, 1960

redesignated to DDG 42: June 30, 1975

Decommissioned: June 15, 1993


Fate: Stricken June 15, 1993;

sold for scrap August 31, 1995 / repossessed October 1, 1996, scrapping 5% completed;

As of 9 June 2003, at Sparrows Point (Bethlehem Steel) in Baltimore, MD for scrapping.
Metro Machine, Philadelphia took contract in September 2003 and Mahan’s scrapping is in progress; scrapping completed May 18, 2004.






Named after and in honor of Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840 - 1914)

> see history, below;

Ship’s Motto:


PAX PER MARIS POTESTATEM  (peace through sea power)

Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO > Farragut (Coontz) - class Guided Missile Destroyer

see also: USS Mahan (DDG 72)


ship images


DDG-42 USS Mahan


DDG-42 USS Mahan


DDG-42 USS Mahan


DDG-42 USS Mahan


DDG-42 USS Mahan


DDG-42 USS Mahan


DDG-42 USS Mahan




DLG-11 USS Mahan


DLG-11 USS Mahan


DDG-42 USS Mahan



Alfred Thayer Mahan


Alfred Thayer Mahan, US Navy  Alfred Thayer Mahan, US Navy Admiral  Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, US Navy



Namesake & History:

Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (September 27, 1840 - December 1, 1914):


Early life and service


Born at West Point, New York to Dennis Hart Mahan (a professor at the United States Military Academy) and Mary Helena Mahan, he went to Columbia University for two years where he was a member of the Philolexian Society and then, against his parents' wishes, transferred to the Naval Academy, where he graduated second in his class in 1859.


Commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1861, Mahan served the Union in the American Civil War as an officer on Congress, Pocahontas, and James Adger, and as an instructor at the Naval Academy. In 1865 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander, and then to Commander (1872), and Captain (1885).


Despite his success in the Navy, his skills in actual command of a ship were not exemplary; and a number of vessels under his command were involved in collisions, with both moving and stationary objects.



Naval War College and writings


He was appointed commander of the new United States Naval War College in 1886, where in 1887 he met and befriended a young visiting lecturer named Theodore Roosevelt. During this period Mahan organized his lectures into his most influential books, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783, and The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793-1812, published 1890 and 1892, respectively.


The books' premise was that in the contests between France and England in the 18th century, domination of the sea via naval power was the deciding factor in the outcome, and therefore, that control of seaborne commerce was critical to domination in war. To a modern reader this may seem obvious and repeatedly demonstrated, but the notion was much more radical in Mahan's time, especially in a nation entirely obsessed with landward expansion to the west.


His books were received with great acclaim, and closely studied in Britain and Germany, influencing their buildup of forces in the years prior to World War I. Mahan's influence sowed the seeds for events such as the naval portion of the Spanish-American War and the battles of Tsushima, Jutland and the Atlantic.



Later career


Between 1889 and 1892 he was engaged in special service for the Bureau of Navigation, and in 1893 Mahan was appointed to command the powerful new protected cruiser Chicago on a visit to Europe, where he was received and feted. He returned to lecture at the War College and then, in 1896, he retired from active service.


Mahan continued to write voluminously and received honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, and McGill.


He became Rear Admiral in 1906 by an act of Congress promoting all retired captains who had served in the Civil War.





-  The Gulf and Inland Waters (1883)

-  The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 (1890) [available online from Project Gutenberg]

-  The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793-1812 (1892)

-  Admiral Farragut (1892)

-  The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future (1897)

-  Lessons of the War with Spain, and Other Articles (1899)

-  The Problem of Asia and Its Effect Upon International Policies (1900)

-  Types of Naval Officers Drawn from the History of the British Navy, with Some Account of the Conditions of Naval - Warfare at the

    Beginning of the

    Eighteenth Century, and of Its Subsequent Development During the Sail Period (1901)

-  Sea Power in Its Relations to the War of 1812 (1905)

-  Naval Administration and Warfare: Some General Principles, with Other Essays (1908)

-  Armaments and Arbitration; or, The Place of Force in the International Relations of States (1912)

-  The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1805 (abridged ed, 1980)


USS Mahan (DLG-11/DDG 42):




The third MAHAN (DLG 11) was laid down 31 July 1957 by the San Francisco Naval Shipyard; launched 7 October 1959; sponsored by Mrs. H. P. Smith, wife of Vice Adm. H. Page Smith; and commissioned 25 August 1960, Comdr. Wm. S. Busik in command.

During the first year and a half of her commissioned service, MAHAN’s primary assignment was the testing and evaluation of her weapons systems, ASROC and Terrier missiles. A unit of the Pacific Fleet’s Cruiser-Destroyer Force, she operated out of San Diego , participating in local and fleet exercises off the West Coast and in Hawaiian waters. Leaving San Diego 6 June 1962, she commenced her first western pacific deployment. For the next 6 months she cruised with other units of the 7th Fleet, taking part in antisubmarine, antiaircraft, and amphibious exercises as well as making good will calls on ports in the Far East. Included in these latter visits was a stop at Saigon 24 to 28 October for the Republic of Vietnam’s Independence anniversary celebrations.

1963 brought MAHAN’s entrance into the standard schedule of the Pacific Fleet, beginning with a shipyard overhaul at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. Following her yard period, she conducted training exercises off the Wes t Coast. She then departed San Diego 6 August for deployment in the western Pacific. In addition to assignments in Japanese and Philippine waters, she spent, on this tour, a total of 4 weeks cruising off South Vietnam before returning to California 10 March 1964.

Remaining on the West Coast until late 1965, the guided missile destroyer underwent a 5 1/2 month overhaul. 1 May to 20 October, followed by test and training exercises and a demonstration of her antisubmarine warfare capabilities before members of the United States-Canadian Military Cooperation Committee 9 December. During the summer of 1965, she embarked midshipmen from the Naval Academy and various NROTC units for summer training. Departing San Diego 19 October, she sailed to Pearl Harbor for antisubmarine training operations and then continued on to the western Pacific, arriving at Subic Bay 22 November. MAHAN operated with the 7th Fleet, spending alternate monthly periods on patrol off Vietnam, until returning to California in April 1964.

Upon arrival at San Diego 28 April, MAHAN continued her previous west coast activities, local and fleet training operations, missile firing exercises at the Pacific Missile Range , and, as during the summer of 1965, the training of midshipmen during June and July. August brought the installation of a helicopter flight deck.

The period 1 December 1966 through 4 June 1967 again saw MAHAN in the western Pacific where, as before, she operated off Vietnam , patrolling and providing gunfire support in the fight to prevent the aggressive spread of communism. Arriving back at San Diego 17 June. MAHAN sailed on 31 July to represent the Navy at Seattle ’s Annual Sea Fair. Following further coastal operations, she entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard 1 November for overhaul. This was completed late in April 1968 and MAHAN remained off the West Coast until departing for the western Pacific in August. She remained as a part of the 7th Fleet into 1969.


In 1973, after 13 years of almost continuous operations in Southeast Asia, she returned to the U.S. for a much needed overhaul at Bath Iron Works, ME. On April 1, 1975, DLG-11 was recommissioned at Bath. She then joined her new squadron DESRON 4, homeported at Charleston, SC. On July 1 1975, the ship was redesigned from DLG 11 to DDG-42 as part of a Navy-wide reclassification program.

MAHAN served as the test platform for the development of the CG/SM-2 (ER) missile program project; a new missile, designed to greatly increase the operational capability of presently installed TERRIER systems.

Following a regular overhaul in Philadelphia from April 1980-May 1981, MAHAN was selected to install and test the Terrier New Threat Upgrade (NTU) Combat System with the improved Standard Missile Two Block II (Extended Range). Testing lasted from October 1981- March 1985. This New Threat Upgrade system made USS MAHAN the most capable AAW ship afloat.

From April to November 1983, MAHAN was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea, serving most of the deployment as a member of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force off Beirut, Lebanon.

MAHAN achieved another first in July 1985, as she successfully conducted the first Remote Track Launch on Search missile firing.

MAHAN celebrated her 25th birthday on August 28, 1985 and departed again to the Mediterranean. During the deployment, MAHAN participated in Exercise Ocean Safari 85: a joint U.S. French missile exercise. She also represented Commander Sixth Fleet, serving as official starter for the inaugural Monaco-New York Yacht race, (hosting Monaco’s Crown Prince and the Deputy Under-Secretary of the Navy). MAHAN also served as East Mediterranean Ready Ship off of Israel and Lebanon and was involved in the Gulf of Sidra Freedom of Navigation operations off the coast of Libya.

After returning from deployment in April 1986, MAHAN began a 10-month regular overhaul lasting from September 1986 until August 1987.

In January 1988, MAHAN successfully completed refresher training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba . In the spring of 1988, MAHAN participated in a joint missile exercise with U.S. and ships of the German Navy.

MAHAN deployed with Standing Naval Forces Atlantic, from 17 June to 16 December 1989. While acting as the U.S. representative of this NATO force, MAHAN visited eight different countries and worked with fourteen ships from nine NATO nations. The crowning achievement of the cruise occurred in November 1989, when MAHAN added another first to her long list of accomplishments by firing the first SM-2 Block II (ER) in Northern Europe.

MAHAN’s last major deployment was in support of Operation Desert Storm from 26 September 1991 through 2 April 1992. During the deployment MAHAN slipped quietly through the mouth of the Suez Canal in the early morning of October 13, a sense of uncertainty and anticipation enveloped the ship. After five months in the heat of the Persian Gulf, MAHAN headed north, where she even cro ssed the Arctic Circle. The largest NATO exercise in over a decade, TEAMWORK 92 pitted the seamanship and war-fighting skills against a multi-faceted threat.

After 33 years of faithful service she was retired from the active roll on 15 June 1993, Naval Station Charleston, South Carolina.




DDG-42 USS Mahan patch crest insignia   DLG-11 USS Mahan patch crest insignia



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