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Hull Number: DD-966

Launch Date: 08/24/1974

Commissioned Date: 09/25/1976

Decommissioned Date: 07/17/2001

Call Sign: NDDW


Class: SPRUANCE

SPRUANCE Class


Length Overall: 563’ 3"

Beam: 55’

Draft: 29'

Full Load Displacement: 8,040 tons

Armament:

Two 5″/54 caliber guns
Two 20mm Close-In Weapons Systems
One ASROC Launcher
Two 12.75″ triple anti-submarine torpedo tubes

Complement:

19 Officers
315 Enlisted

Propulsion:

4 General Electric LM2500 Gas Turbines: 80,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 32.5 knots

Namesake: HENRY KENT HEWITT

HENRY KENT HEWITT

Wikipedia (as of 2024)

Henry Kent Hewitt (February 11, 1887 – September 15, 1972)[1] was the United States Navy commander of amphibious operations in north Africa and southern Europe through World War II. He was born in HackensackNew Jersey and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1907. His classmates included Patrick N. L. BellingerJonas H. IngramGeorge M. CourtsClaud A. Jones, and Willis W. Bradley.[2]

Hewitt served aboard USS Missouri in the Great White Fleet‘s circumnavigation of the globe from 1907–1909. His sea duty continued as a division officer aboard USS Connecticut and executive officer of the destroyer USS Flusser. In 1913 he was promoted to lieutenant, married Floride Louise Hunt (1887–1973), and began three years of shore duty as a Naval Academy mathematics instructor. He returned to sea in 1916 commanding the yacht Eagle in the Caribbean. Hewitt was awarded the Navy Cross commanding the destroyer USS Cummings escorting Atlantic convoys during World War I. His citation reads:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Commander Henry Kent Hewitt, United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. CUMMINGS, engaged in the important, exacting and hazardous duty of patrolling the waters infested with enemy submarines and mines, in escorting and protecting vitally important convoys of troops and supplies through these waters, and in offensive and defensive action, vigorously and unremittingly prosecuted against all forms of enemy naval activity during World War I.[1]

Hewitt was an instructor of electrical engineering and physics at the Naval Academy from 1919 to 1921 before returning to sea as gunnery officer aboard USS Pennsylvania. After spending three years at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, he commanded Destroyer Division Twelve with the battle fleet from 1931 to 1933. He then chaired the Naval Academy mathematics department for three years while the Naval Academy developed the Keuffel & Esser Log Log Trig slide rule.[3] He returned to sea commanding the cruiser USS Indianapolis and transported President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Pan-American Conference at Buenos Aires following the 1936 elections.[4]

Hewitt was promoted to rear admiral in 1939, and commanded Atlantic Fleet Task Groups in neutrality patrols and convoys from 1941 until becoming Commander, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, in April 1942. This force, also called Task Force 34, became the U.S. component of the Operation Torch landings in November 1942. Hewitt was then assigned as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Northwest Africa Waters or COMNAVNAW. His flagships included USS Augusta while he commanded American naval forces at the Naval Battle of Casablanca,[5] Monrovia while he commanded the western task force during the invasion of Sicily, and Ancon while he commanded all Allied amphibious forces during the invasion of Italy[6] and later Anzio landings and invasion of southern France.

Hewitt was awarded both the Army and Navy Distinguished Service Medals for his part in the invasion of North Africa. The Navy Distinguished Service Medal citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt (NSN: 0–5819), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, as Commander of the United States Naval Forces which escorted and supported the United States Army Forces in successful landings and occupation of certain objectives in French Morocco from 7 November 1942 to 15 November 1942. By his careful and exhaustive planning and his able and efficient conduct of escort and coverage of United States Army landing forces, Rear Admiral Hewitt contributed greatly to the successful accomplishment of one of three major objectives in the occupation of North Africa.[1]

The Army Distinguished Service Medal citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt (NSN: 0–5819), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility. Admiral Hewitt, in his capacity as Commander of the Amphibious Force Atlantic Fleet, and of Naval Task Force No. THIRTY-FOUR (34), with the highest type of skill and leadership, conducted his large fleet from the United States to the shores of French Morocco, through waters infested with hostile submarines, without loss. Through his care, foresight, and leadership, the forces he transported were landed 8 November 1942 on a hostile and unknown shore, during hours of darkness, in a heavy sea, at the proper time and places. In subsequent tactical action he handled his forces so as to prevent interference by hostile naval units with the landing of our forces as planned. His services contributed in marked degree to the success of the enterprise.[1]

Hewitt was awarded a second Navy Cross for his part in the invasion of Italy. The citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Admiral [then Vice Admiral] Henry Kent Hewitt (NSN: 0–5819), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commander, Western Naval Task Force, in action against enemy German forces during the invasion of Salerno, in September 1943. In command of more than 600 Allied Men-O’-War, ships and large landing craft responsible for the safe sea borne movements of the Allied FIFTH Army to the Gulf of Salerno, Admiral Hewitt brought them skillfully through mined approach courses and developed a sea frontier length of approximately fifty miles despite limited maneuvering space. As the second wave of our landing boats reached the shore, strong German armored elements, deployed along selected beaches, launched heavy counterattacks. They raked the sands where our troops were trying to dig in, tanks rolled out of the valley and charged; hostile artillery continually shelled ships in the anchorage; enemy air forces attacked with high and low-level bombings, dive-bombing and strafing, and with radio-controlled and rocket-glider bombs. The entire operation was in jeopardy. Aware of the narrow margin of success, Admiral Hewitt went ashore. He made a personal reconnaissance of the situation and learned of the peril in flat coastal plains where Allied formations were enveloped in two small detached areas pounded by artillery fire from rugged high ground inland, and requested immediate air and sea reinforcements. With his Flagship marked for destruction by the German Command and pursued as a vital target, he shifted his Flag to a less important unit. His long-range Naval guns blasted enemy formations without respite. German penetration was sealed off and rendered an immobile target for heavy strikes by Allied bombers, thus insuring the success of the Salerno Campaign. By his courage, initiative and inspiring leadership under fire, Admiral Hewitt upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.[1]

Hewitt was awarded a second Army Distinguished Service Medal for his part in the invasion of southern France. The citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Vice Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt (NSN: 0–5819), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility. As Naval Commander, Western Naval Task Force, from 13 August to 27 September 1944, Admiral Hewitt was responsible for all Naval activities in connection with the invasion of southern France. Displaying great technical skill, efficiency and a broad knowledge of the tremendous task entrusted to him, he coordinated all Naval activities of both United States and Allied Forces involved in the operation. His wide professional experience, sound judgment and energy were of the greatest service in executing combined operations. His forces engaged in amphibious offensive operations with marked effectiveness and made an invaluable contribution to the success of the invasion of southern France. His initiative and tact enlisted the enthusiastic cooperation of all forces under his command.[1]

Hewitt was awarded a second Navy Distinguished Service Medal as commander of the United States Eighth Fleet for the last two years of the war. The citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Vice Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt (NSN: 0–5819), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commander of the EIGHTH Fleet during the period from 1943 to 1945. Operating jointly with the forces of the United States Army, the forces under Vice Admiral Hewitt’s command executed a successful landing on hostile shores. The meticulous planning and sound tactical knowledge which were essential to the accomplishment of a particularly strategic mission reflect great credit upon Vice Admiral Hewitt and the United States Naval Service.[1]

Hewitt remained in this post until 1945, when he chaired a Pearl Harbor investigation. Following World War II, he commanded U.S. Naval Forces Europe, advised the Naval War College, and served as a Navy representative to the United Nations. Hewitt retired from active duty to Orwell, Vermont in 1949. and died at Middlebury, Vermont in 1972.[4] USS Hewitt was named in his honor.

Hewitt was married to the former Floride Hunt until his death. They had two daughters.[7]


Disposition:

Stricken 6/5/2002. Broken up.


USS HEWITT DD-966 Ship History

Wikipedia (as of 2024)

USS Hewitt (DD-966), named for Admiral H. Kent Hewitt USN (1887–1972), was a Spruance-class destroyer built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries at Pascagoula, Mississippi and launched on 14 September 1974 by Mrs. Leroy Hewitt Taylor and Mrs. Gerald Hewitt Norton, daughters of Admiral Hewitt.

Hewitt was the fourth of the Spruance-class destroyers. Known as the “Greyhounds of the fleet” for their speed, versatility and reliability, they were the largest general purpose destroyers ever to fly the flag of the United States.

Hewitt was commissioned on 25 September 1976. After an intensive period of initial training, Hewitt deployed to the Western Pacific in September 1978 and was assigned to the U.S. 7th Fleet. In addition to serving as a front line unit, Hewitt also acted as a good will ambassador with port visits to Australia, New ZealandFiji and Hong KongHewitt returned to San Diego in April 1979. In preparation for her next deployment, Hewitt participated in a multinational Rim-of-the-Pacific (RIMPAC) battle group exercise in February and March 1980.

She departed on her second overseas deployment on 15 May 1980. During that deployment, Hewitt and other members of Battle Group Charlie operated in the Indian Ocean to show U.S. resolve to protect free world access to Middle East petroleum resources, and to help obtain the release of 52 Americans held hostage in IranHewitt earned the Navy Expeditionary Medal for her contributions. During the latter part of the deployment, Hewitt also earned the Humanitarian Service Medal for rescuing a group of Vietnamese boat refugees adrift in the South China Sea. For her superior performance, Hewitt was awarded the Battle “E” as the most outstanding ship in Destroyer Squadron 21 (DesRon 21) from 1979 to 1980.

Hewitt entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 19 May 1981 for its first regular overhaul. Extensive modifications were performed to improve survivability, and new combat systems capabilities were added to improve quick reaction to missile attacks. After a rigorous re-qualification and retraining period, Hewitt departed on 21 March 1983 for its third deployment. Highlights included a three aircraft carrier fleet exercise with MidwayCoral Sea and Carl Vinson, and independent operations in the South China Sea.

Hewitt departed on her fourth deployment on 18 October 1984. Once again a member of Battle Group Charlie, she spent seven highly successful months in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. In January 1985, Hewitt set a record at the Tabones Firing Range in the Philippines by earning the highest score ever recorded at the range for Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) exercise. From February to April 1985, Hewitt operated in the North Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman. For its achievements during the deployment, Hewitt received the Meritorious Unit CommendationHewitt returned home to San Diego on 24 May 1985.

On 1 September 1985, Hewitt and other members of Destroyer Squadron 31 became the first Pacific Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Squadron. The squadron’s basic mission was to locate and track submarines in the Eastern Pacific, to develop USW tactics and training, and to serve as a ready response force under Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. From September 1985 to April 1987, Hewitt and the other ships in DesRon 31 set new standards of excellence[clarification needed] in USW.

During Hewitt‘s second overhaul (May 1987 to November 1988) at National Steel and Shipbuilding Company Shipyard in San Diego, California, she underwent a modernization which included installation of the Vertical Launch System, the Tomahawk Missile System, the Close-In Weapons System (CIWS), LAMPS MK III, and the SQQ-89 Sonar System. After a brief but extensive training and inspection cycle, Hewitt joined DesRon 21 and once again deployed to the Persian Gulf on 18 September 1989. Hewitt’s fifth Western Pacific deployment ended on 16 March 1990. Five months later, Hewitt was underway to her new homeport at Yokosuka, Japan.

Hewitt joined Destroyer Squadron 15 on 25 August 1990. In Yokosuka, she operated with numerous multi-national forces, including the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, and the South KoreanBruneianGreekFrenchSpanishAustralianSaudi ArabianRussianBritish, and Singaporean navies. Hewitt participated as flagship for Maritime Interception Force (MIF) Commander Red Sea for Boarding Operations in support of Operation Desert Storm in 1991 as part of United Nations sanctions against Iraq. Hewitt concluded an intensive six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf in April 1993. Her seventh deployment was highlighted by a Tomahawk strike against Iraq and combined operations with numerous navies, the Russian destroyer Admiral TributsHewitt also served as Maritime Action Group (MAG) Commander in October 1993, helping to develop the new MAG warfare concept. Hewitt was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for the 1992–1993 Persian Gulf deployment and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s USW Excellence Award for 1993.

Following a brief maintenance availability in early 1994. Hewitt participated in RIMPAC ’94. Directly following the exercise, Hewitt conducted live missile firings near Barking SandsKauaiHawaii which included a successful NATO Sea Sparrow engagement and the first fleet firing of the Penguin anti-ship missile with HSL 51 Detachment 6 on 25 June 1994. Hewitt again deployed to the Persian Gulf on 5 September 1994 as a primary component of the multinational Middle East peacekeeping unit, enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq. Hewitt returned to Yokosuka, Japan 10 January 1995 and received U.S. 7th Fleet’s Surface Warfare Award for 1994.

On 17 March 1995, Hewitt entered the yards for an extended availability period which ended 5 September 1995. Afterwards, Hewitt participated in several multinational USW exercises and was awarded the Battle “E” for her performance in 1995. On 3 June 1996, Hewitt deployed to the Persian Gulf for Middle East Force deployment (MEF) 96-2. While supporting U.S. 5th Fleet operations, Hewitt participated in Operation Desert Strike and launched two Tomahawk missiles on 4 September 1996 against Iraq. Hewitt received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for her actions during the deployment and returned home to Yokosuka, Japan on 30 October 1996.

In March 1997, Hewitt conducted battle group exercises with Independence and in April Destroyer Squadron 15 for the Sharem 120B exercise in the Yellow Sea conducted with the Republic of Korea Navy. In May Hewitt entered an availability and received the women at-sea modification to berth the first females permanently assigned to the ship. The first female Sailors reported on board in July. On 24 August 1997, Hewitt departed Yokosuka, Japan for a homeport change to NS San Diego, California. Hewitt joined Destroyer Squadron 23 on 29 August 1997 during her transit to San Diego.

On 27 January 1999, Hewitt deployed to the Persian Gulf for Middle East Force Deployment (MEF) 99-1. In support of U.N. Sanctions against Iraq. Hewitt conducted visit, board, search and seizure of merchants in the area. Hewitt returned to San Diego on 26 July 1999 followed by a two-month Selected Restricted Availability which ended 7 November 1999.

Hewitt was decommissioned 19 July 2001; she was sold for scrap to International Shipbreaking, Incorporated, of Brownsville, Texas on 9 August 2001. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register 5 June 2002.

Awards