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Hull Number: DD-957

Launch Date: 04/23/1959

Commissioned Date: 12/17/1960

Decommissioned Date: 10/02/1989

Call Sign: NFZT

Voice Call Sign: BLACK VELVET (60-63)

Other Designations: DDG-7


Namesake: HENRY BRAID WILSON, JR.

HENRY BRAID WILSON, JR.

Wikipedia (as of 2024)

Henry Braid Wilson, Jr. (23 February 1861 – 30 January 1954) was an admiral in the United States Navy during World War I.

Wilson was a native of Camden, New Jersey. He joined the United States Navy in the latter part of the nineteenth century and continued to serve for over forty years. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1881, His assignments included duties as commanding officer of the USS North Dakotainspectorsenior inspector and president of the Board of Inspection and Survey from November 1913 until May 1916, and commanding officer of the USS Pennsylvania in 1916.

During World War I, he served as commander, Patrol Forces, Atlantic Fleet and then commander, U.S. Naval Forces, France.[1] After the World War he served as Commander-In-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet 1919–1921, Commander-In-Chief of the U.S. Battle Fleet and later superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy 1921–1925. Two notable students of his at the academy were cadets and future Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, class of 1922, and Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, class of 1923. Wilson retired in 1925, following forty-four years of service.

Wilson died in 1954 in New York City; at the time of his death he was the oldest living admiral of the U.S. Navy. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[2]

Wilson’s son-in-law was Hoover Administration Secretary of War and Major General Patrick J. Hurley.

Medals and Commendations

Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Sampson Medal
Spanish Campaign Medal
China Relief Expedition Medal
Philippine Campaign Medal
World War I Victory Medal with “Overseas” clasp

Disposition:

Stricken 1/26/1990


USS HENRY B. WILSON DD-957 Ship History

Wikipedia (as of 2024)

USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7), named for Admiral Henry Braid Wilson, was a Charles F. Adams-class guided missile armed destroyer laid down by Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, Michigan on 28 February 1958, launched on 22 April 1959 sponsored by Mrs. Patrick J. Hurley, daughter of Admiral Wilson, and commissioned on 17 December 1960.[1]

One of a new class of destroyers built from the keel up to fire guided missiles, Henry B. Wilson was the first ship of her size to be side-launched and when launched was the largest warship ever constructed on the Great Lakes. Because of these unique circumstances, she was christened not with the traditional champagne but with a bottle filled with water from the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence River, and the Atlantic Ocean. Following shakedown in the Caribbean she arrived in early May 1961 at her new home port, Naval Base San Diego. During the months that followed Henry B. Wilson conducted tests and drills of her missile systems, fleet exercises, and type training.[1]

The guided missile destroyer sailed 6 January 1962 for duty in the Western Pacific, the first ship in that region to be armed with Tartar missiles. Stopping at Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka, she carried out antisubmarine exercises until returning to the United States 19 July 1962.[1]

Training off the California coast, punctuated with several missile firings, occupied Henry B. Wilson until 17 October 1963, when she sailed with carrier USS Kitty Hawk for duty with 7th Fleet in the Western Pacific. During the next 5 months she operated as part of America’s mobile peacekeeping fleet between Japan and the Philippines. After returning to San Diego 16 April 1964, she resumed ASW and fire support operations.[1]

Henry B. Wilson sailed on her third deployment to the Far East 4 June 1965. Arriving Subic BayLuzon, 21 June, she became flagship for Destroyer Squadron 21, then began rescue and air defense picket duty in the Gulf of Tonkin 31 July, along with shore bombardment support. As escort for USS Midway (CV-41), she departed Subic Bay 7 November and arrived San Diego the 24th.[1]

After a year’s operation off the West CoastHenry B. Wilson departed San Diego for the Far East 5 November 1966. She resume picket duty off Vietnam 23 December. During the first 3 months of 1967 she cruised the South China Sea and Gulf of Tonkin, performing search and rescue missions and pounding enemy coastal positions in support of ground operations. She returned to San Diego early in May.[1]

Henry B. Wilson served as plane guard for carriers on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf, participated in Sea Dragon operations, patrolled on search and rescue duties and carried out naval gunfire support missions during the Vietnam War. In April 1975, she participated in Operation Eagle Pull (the evacuation of Phnom PenhCambodia, during its capture by the Khmer Rouge) and in May 1975 she participated in Operation Frequent Wind (the evacuation of South Vietnam during its capture by the People’s Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong) where part of her duties was to protect the ships loading evacuees by drawing fire from the shore batteries. During the same month she was one of the primaries in the operation to recapture the hijacked merchant ship SS Mayaguez in Cambodian waters.[2]

On 10 August 1976 Henry B. Wilson departed home port for a Western Pacific deployment, returning home 21 March 1977. On 8 August 1979 she departed for another Westpac cruise and returned home on 14 February 1980. On 27 February 1981 Henry B. Wilson departed for another Westpac, returning on 21 September 1981. On 16 Mar 1984 Henry B. Wilson departed for a Westpac deployment and returned home 2 October 1984. On 15 September 1986 she departed for a Westpac and Indian Ocean deployment, returning home 14 March 1987. On 2 December 1988 Henry B. Wilson departed on her final deployment going to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. She returned 1 June 1989.[1]

Henry B. Wilson was decommissioned on 2 October 1989, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 26 January 1990 and sold for scrap on 15 April 1994. The scrap contract was terminated on 23 March 1999 and the ship was resold on 6 April 2002. She was re-acquired and sunk as a target ship 15 August 2003.