Guided Missile Destroyer

DDG 83  -  USS Howard



DDG-83 USS Howard patch crest insignia

DDG-83 USS Howard Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS

Type, Class:


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

planned and built as DDG 83



Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, USA



Awarded: June 20, 1996

Laid down: December 10, 1998

Launched: November 20, 1999

Commissioned: October 20, 2001

ACTIVE UNIT/ in commission (Pacific Fleet)



San Diego, California, USA



Named after and in honor of First SGT Jimmie Earl Howard, USMC (1929 - 1993)

> see history, below;

Ship's Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO > Arleigh Burke - class Guided Missile Destroyer


ship images


DDG-83 USS Howard Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS


DDG-83 USS Howard


DDG-83 USS Howard


USS Howard DDG-83 Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS


DDG-83 USS Howard


DDG-83 USS Howard


DDG-83 USS Howard


DDG-83 USS Howard


DDG-83 USS Howard


DDG-83 USS Howard Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS


DDG-83 USS Howard


USS Howard DDG-83


DDG-83 USS Howard


DDG-83 USS Howard


DDG-83 USS Howard


DDG-83 USS Howard Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer AEGIS



Jimmie Earl Howard


Jimmie Earl Howard First Gunnery Sergeant USMC Medal of Honor  Jimmie Earl Howard First Sergeant Gunnery USMC Medal of Honor



Namesake & History:

First Sergeant Jimmie Earl Howard, USMC (July 27, 1929 – November 12, 1993):

USS HOWARD’s namesake is Marine Corps First Sergeant Jimmie E. Howard.  Born and raised in Burlington, Iowa, Jimmie Howard enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1950 at the age of 21.  He proved his valor in Korea awarded the Silver Star.  Among his other awards are three Purple Hearts.  Sixteen years later the 37 year-old father of six returned again to war, this time in the jungles of Vietnam.  Serving as platoon leader, Staff Sergeant Howard and his 18-man platoon from Company C, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division were operating as forward observers deep in enemy territory on Hill 488.  Against overwhelming odds in the face of a determined and much larger force of Viet Cong, Staff Sergeant Howard and his men successfully defended their position and platoon until relieved.

In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson presented our nation’s highest military honor to Howard for his efforts in Vietnam.  GYSGT Jimmie E. Howard stood proudly at attention next to his wife and six children while the story of his heroic stand at Hill 488 was read. President Lyndon B. Johnson then placed the Medal of Honor around the neck of an incredible leader and true American hero. The citation is as follows:

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty.  G/Sgt. Howard and his 18-man platoon were occupying an observation post deep within enemy-controlled territory.  Shortly after midnight a Viet Cong force of estimated battalion size approached the Marines' position and launched a vicious attack with small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire.  Reacting swiftly and fearlessly in the face of the overwhelming odds, G/Sgt. Howard skillfully organized his small but determined force into a tight perimeter defense and calmly moved from position to position to direct his men's fire.  Throughout the night, during assault after assault, his courageous example and firm leadership inspired and motivated his men to withstand the unrelenting fury of the hostile fire in the seemingly hopeless situation.  He constantly shouted encouragement to his men and exhibited imagination and resourcefulness in directing their return fire.  When fragments of an exploding enemy grenade wounded him severely and prevented him from moving his legs, he distributed his ammunition to the remaining members of his platoon and proceeded to maintain radio communications and direct air strikes on the enemy with uncanny accuracy.  At dawn, despite the fact that 5 men were killed and all but 1 wounded, his beleaguered platoon was still in command of its position.  When evacuation helicopters approached his position, G/Sgt. Howard warned them away and called for additional air strikes and directed devastating small-arms fire and air strikes against enemy automatic weapons positions in order to make the landing zone as secure as possible.  Through his extraordinary courage and resolute fighting spirit, G/Sgt. Howard was largely responsible for preventing the loss of his entire platoon.  His valiant leadership and courageous fighting spirit served to inspire the men of his platoon to heroic endeavor in the face of overwhelming odds, and reflect the highest credit upon G/Sgt. Howard, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service.”

Following retirement from the United States Marine Corps in 1972, Jimmie Howard settled in San Diego working for the local Veterans Affairs office and volunteered as a coach for community youth sports organizations to include serving as an assistant football coach at Point Loma High School.

On November 12, 1993 Jimmie Howard passed away at his home in San Diego. He is buried in Section O, Grave 3759 at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California.
Interestingly, every time USS Howard sets to sea from its homeport of San Diego, it passes within view of Gunnery Sgt. Howard's grave at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and salutes its namesake.


USS Howard (DDG 83):


On 16 February 2007, the USS Howard was awarded the 2006 Battle "E" award.

On September 28, 2008, USS Howard was reported to be in pursuit of the Ukrainian ship Faina, which on 25 September 2008 was captured by Somali pirates en route to Kenya. The Faina was reported to be carrying 33 Russian-built T-72 tanks along with ammunition and spare parts. 'Faina was eventually released by the pirates February 5, 2009.

In 2008, Howard received the 2008 Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy Award and provided humanitarian assistance to the Philippines.

Cmdr. Scott Switzer became the sixth commanding officer of Howard, replacing Cmdr. Curtis Goodnight on May 8, 2009 during a ceremony at San Diego.




DDG-83 USS Howard patch crest insignia   USS Howard DDG-83 crest insignia patch  DDG-83 USS Howard insignia patch crest


DDG-83 USS Howard patch crest insignia USS Howard DDG-83 crest insignia patch  DDG-83 USS Howard insignia patch crest



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