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Hull Number: DD-983

Launch Date: 02/25/1978

Commissioned Date: 07/14/1979

Decommissioned Date: 09/04/1998



Length Overall: 563’ 3"

Beam: 55’

Draft: 29'

Full Load Displacement: 8,040 tons


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


19 Officers
315 Enlisted


4 General Electric LM2500 Gas Turbines: 80,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 32.5 knots



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, January 2018

The third ship to carry the name John Rodgers is named in honor of three men of the same name from the same family: Commodore John Rodgers (1772–1838); his son, Rear Admiral John Rodgers (1812–1882); and his great grandson, Commander John Rodgers (1881–1926). Three other Navy ships have borne the name Rodgers.

Commodore John Rodgers—son of Col. John and Elizabeth Reynolds Rodgers—was born 11 July 1772 near present-day Havre de Grace, Md. Desiring to go to sea as a youth, Rodgers set out for Baltimore, where his father secured for him a five-year apprenticeship with Capt. Benjamin Folger. Taking command of his first ship Jane in 1793, Rodgers made commercial runs from Baltimore to European ports for several years.

On 9 March 1798, Rodgers entered the Navy as second lieutenant, assigned to the new frigate Constellation. He took part in the capture of the French frigate L’Insurgente on 9 February 1799, taking command of the ship as her prize master. Promoted to captain on 15 May retroactive to 5 March, Rodgers assumed command of the sloop-of-war Maryland in June. The ship patrolled off the northern coast of South America, returning to Baltimore 1 October 1800. In March 1801, Rodgers’ ship transported Virginia Congressman John Dawson to France with the ratified Convention of 1800 that ended the quasi-war between that country and the United States. After returning to Baltimore in late August, pursuant to the Peace Establishment Act of 3 March 1801, Rodgers disbanded Maryland’s crew and in October sold the ship on behalf of the government. The Peace Establishment Act not only called for a reduction in naval vessels but also of sailors and officers as well, and as one of the Navy’s junior captains, Rodgers was discharged on 23 October 1801.

At the end of 1801, Rodgers returned to the merchant marine. He purchased the schooner Nelly and, his ship laden with goods, sailed for the island of Santo Domingo. In February 1802, he saved property in and helped women and children escape from the city of Cape François [Cap-Haïtien, Haiti], which was burned by former slaves in rebellion over imperial French rule. After sailing back to Baltimore to pick up more cargo, Rodgers returned to Cape François but shortly thereafter, the French government seized the cargo from his ships. Then on 12 April, Rodgers was arrested and subjected to what he considered to be “unjust, insulting and cruel treatment” by the French. He was released on the 29th with orders to leave the island within four days and never come back. Rodgers arrived in Baltimore in May and returned to Havre de Grace.

On 25 August 1802, Rodgers was reinstated as captain in the Navy and ordered to report to Washington, D.C., to take command of the frigate John Adams. He sailed for the Mediterranean on 19 September for service in the Barbary Wars. In May 1803 while cruising off Tripoli, he captured the Tripolitan ship Meshouda. Temporarily assuming command of the Mediterranean Squadron in September 1803, Rodgers helped to broker a peace agreement with Morocco. Now sailing in his flagship New York, Rodgers left the Mediterranean in mid-October.

Upon his return to the United States in December 1803, Rodgers received orders to superintend the building of a gunboat at the Washington Navy Yard. In the spring of 1804, he was placed in command of the frigate Congress and sailed again for the Mediterranean in July, arriving at Gibraltar 12 August. At Malta on 1 November, Rodgers took command of the frigate Constitution, and by the spring of 1805 he was in charge of the American naval blockade of Tripoli. He succeeded to the command of the Mediterranean Squadron on 22 May 1805 and in this role helped to bring about the end of hostilities with Tripoli and Tunis. He returned to Washington in Essex in the summer of 1806.

Rodgers returned to Havre de Grace to superintend the construction of another gunboat. On 21 October 1806, he married Minerva Denison, a union that would eventually produce 11 children between 1807 and 1829. Rodgers was ordered to take command of the New York Flotilla on 9 July 1807. Beginning on 7 December, Rodgers served as president of the court martial of Capt. James Barron and three other officers of the frigate Chesapeake, which on 22 June 1807 took fire from HMS Leopard when Barron refused a request from the British captain to muster his sailors to look for deserters from the British navy. Chesapeake was unprepared to defend herself from the ensuing barrages, resulting in three dead and 18 injured on the American ship, which Barron quickly surrendered. The British also seized four sailors that they alleged to be deserters.

At the conclusion of the trials on 22 February 1808, Rodgers returned to New York to enforce the Embargo Act, passed by Congress at the close of 1807. He went to Washington in November 1808 to lead a court of enquiry and then went back to New York in early 1809 to sail in Constitution as his flagship for enforcement of the Non-Intercourse Act, the successor to the Embargo Act, that prohibited trade with France and Great Britain. With a reorganization of the fleet in 1810, Rodgers commanded the northern squadron from New York, patrolling the area between Montauk, N.Y., and Cape May, N.J., in his flagship President.

In May 1811, Rodgers received orders to put to sea and resume patrols after the British ship HMS Guerrière impressed an American seaman from a U.S. merchant vessel off New York. Sailing off Cape Henry on 16 May, Rodgers in President pursued an unknown ship in the belief that it might be Guerrière. After a failure of communication between the two vessels, in the darkness of night, President exchanged fire with the other ship, which was in fact the much smaller British corvette Little Belt. The incident, in which 11 British sailors lost their lives, further inflamed tensions between the two countries. Commodore Rodgers regretted the episode but was acquitted of all blame by a Court of Inquiry.

Rodgers spent late 1811 and early 1812 preparing for the potential war with Britain. The U.S. declared war on 18 June 1812, and shortly thereafter, Rodgers in President sailed with his force to intercept British ships. On 23 June in the first action of the War of 1812, President encountered the British frigate Belvidera, which escaped after a running fight of eight hours. During this engagement, one of President’s bow chaser guns burst. Among the casualties, Rodgers suffered a broken leg. In four cruises in President over the course of the war, Rodgers captured 23 prizes. While he was away at sea in 1813, the British burned Havre de Grace, including Rodgers’ home. His family, however, survived.

On 16 April 1814, Rodgers took command of the new ship Guerrière, named after the British ship, which launched at Philadelphia on 20 June. During the summer while fitting out Guerrière, Rodgers took command of the Delaware flotilla. In August after the British burned Washington, D.C., Rodgers led his troops by land into Baltimore and assisted in the defense of that city both before and during the British attack on Fort McHenry on 13–14 September. After the British retreat from Baltimore, he and his men returned to Philadelphia to prepare Guerrière for sea, but he did not have the opportunity to sail again before the end of the war.

Rodgers declined the position of Secretary of the Navy both during the war and later in 1818, but he accepted an appointment as President of the Board of Navy Commissioners upon its establishment in February 1815. Placed in command of the Mediterranean Squadron in the summer of 1824, Rodgers resigned from the Board of Navy Commissioners on 15 December and sailed to the Mediterranean in his flagship North Carolina in March 1825. He returned to the United States in the summer of 1827 and resumed the presidency of the Board of Navy Commissioners on 8 October. Rodgers held this office until he resigned his commission on 1 May 1837, his health in decline since a bout of cholera in late 1832. Commodore Rodgers died in Philadelphia 1 August 1838.

Rear Admiral John Rodgers was born near Havre de Grace, Md., on 8 August 1812. The son of Commodore John Rodgers and Minerva Denison Rodgers, young John grew up in Washington, D.C. Rodgers received an appointment to the Navy as a midshipman on 18 April 1828, just two weeks after the drowning of his older brother Frederick, who had been a midshipman at the time of his death. John took the oath on 13 February 1829 and on 10 June was assigned to duty aboard the frigate Constellation in the Mediterranean Squadron. He transferred to the sloop-of-war Concord in the summer of 1831 and was detached from that ship on 16 December 1832 shortly after returning to the United States.

After a three-month leave period, Rodgers entered the Norfolk Naval School for midshipmen in March 1833 and one year later sat for his promotion examination. He was warranted as passed midshipman on 14 June 1834. While awaiting an open position at the lieutenant rank, Rodgers took a year-long leave of absence, during which time he pursued a course of general study at the University of Virginia.

On 31 March 1836, Rodgers was assigned to the schooner Jersey on Coast Survey duty in New York. On 29 September, he reported to duty on board the brig Dolphin, serving as acting master. Dolphin sailed to the Brazil station, returning to the United States in early 1839. On 9 November, he took command of the schooner Wave, which went to Florida to participate in operations against the Seminole tribe. Rodgers received his long-awaited promotion to lieutenant on 11 March 1840, to date from 28 January. Still in Florida, he assumed command of the schooner Jefferson in late 1841 and detached on 30 July 1842 after the squadron’s return to Norfolk.

From 22 November 1842 to 9 January 1844, Rodgers served on board the brig Boxer, attached to the Home Squadron. In May 1844, he was sent to Pittsburgh, Pa., to aid in the construction of the steamer Alleghany. On 5 May 1846, Rodgers reported to Boston to join the frigate United States. Spending the next three years on the coast of Africa and in the Mediterranean in United States as well as the sloop-of-war Marion, he was detached on 22 February 1849 and went on leave.

On 27 April 1849, Rodgers took command of a party assigned to the coastal survey of Florida in the schooner Petrel and later in the steamer Hetzel. On the night of 9–10 February 1850 while anchored off Cape Canaveral, Hetzel’s starboard anchor cable parted causing the ship to drag towards shore, where ultimately the surf beached and battered the steamer. Rodgers directed his crew in a tenacious effort to make the ship seaworthy and refloat her. After several false starts and much recaulking of the leaky ship when she was deliberately beached twice more, Rodgers succeeded in bringing the ship some 300 miles to Key West in early March. He continued survey work in Petrel while Hetzel was sent to New Orleans for repairs. On 26 November 1851, Rodgers took command of the steamer Legaré for the 1852 coastal survey season.

Rodgers received orders on 12 October 1852 to report for duty with the North Pacific Exploring and Surveying Expedition. He took command of the steamer John Hancock in Boston and joined the other ships of the squadron led by Cmdr. Cadwalader Ringgold in March 1853. The expedition departed from Norfolk on 11 June and sailed east across the Atlantic, around southern Africa, and across the Indian Ocean to Southeast Asia, where survey work began. In the summer of 1854, Cmdr. Ringgold took ill and Rodgers assumed command of the expedition and the flagship Vincennes on 31 July. Under Rodgers’ command, the ships of his squadron surveyed the coasts of Formosa [Taiwan] and Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Aleutian Islands. Rodgers sailed Vincennes north along the Kuril Islands, Kamchatka Peninsula, and Russian coast to the Bering Strait. He explored the Arctic Ocean for a month, reaching as far north as 70°41̍ N. The expedition ships rendezvoused at San Francisco in October 1855, and there Rodgers learned that he had been promoted to commander as of 14 September 1855. During the return voyage to the East Coast that began in February 1856, Rodgers surveyed the Sandwich [Hawaiian] and Society Islands.

Vincennes arrived in New York in July 1856 and on the 14th, Rodgers detached from the ship and took leave. He reported to Washington on 30 August to begin the task of assembling the expedition’s records and findings for publication. While thus employed, on 25 November 1857, Rodgers married Ann Elizabeth Hodge, a union that produced three children, a son (who ultimately achieved the rank of vice admiral in the U.S. Navy) and two daughters. In the summer of 1858, Rodgers briefly commanded the side-wheel steamer Water Witch, sailing her to Cuba to investigate reports of British warships firing upon U.S. shipping before resuming his work on the North Pacific Exploring and Surveying Expedition results.

As the country descended into Civil War, the state of Virginia seceded from the Union on 17 April 1861. The following day, Rodgers received orders to go to the Norfolk Navy Yard to save or destroy ships and materiel. Unable to escape from gathering Virginia troops after attempting to demolish the yard’s dry dock on the 20th, Rodgers surrendered. However, he was released and returned to Washington within a few days. On 16 May, Rodgers was sent to Cincinnati, Ohio, serving under Army Gen. George B. McClellan to purchase, convert, and fit out the first three ironclad gunboats on the inland waterways that would become the Mississippi Flotilla. In October, Rodgers returned to Washington and was ordered to command the gunboat Flag, which took part in the blockade of Savannah, Ga.

In April 1862, Rodgers took command of the ironclad steamer Galena, which supported General McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign in Virginia. In early May, Rodgers led a small fleet up the James River, and on the 15th, his ships fired upon Fort Darling, the last Confederate defensive position on the river before Richmond, eight miles upstream. Galena took the brunt of the return fire from the fort’s position atop Drewry’s Bluff, and although the ironclad performed admirably over the course of the battle, Rodgers noted: “We demonstrated that she is not Shotproof.” At least 13 shots penetrated the ship’s hull, and many of her casualties were struck by shrapnel from her metal plating.

On 4 August 1862, Rodgers was promoted to the rank of captain, to date from 16 July. He detached from Galena 8 November 1862 to assume command of Weehawken. During the transit from New York to Port Royal to join the South Blockading Squadron on the night of 20–21 January 1863, Rodgers and his crew prevented the new monitor from foundering during a tremendous gale. On 7 April, Weehawken led the way as a squadron of ironclads, including seven monitors, waged an ultimately unsuccessful attack on Fort Sumter. Rodgers’ monitor again saw battle on 17 June, when she fought and captured the Confederate ironclad Atlanta. For his efforts in the capture of Atlanta, Rodgers received the thanks of Congress on 23 December 1863 and was commissioned a commodore on 2 March 1864, retroactive to the date of the Atlanta engagement.

Rodgers assumed command of the new monitor Canonicus in July 1863, shortly before the ship’s launching. He was detached from this assignment on 11 September due to illness, but on 3 November, he received new orders for command of monitor Dictator. On 17 May 1864 during the ship’s lengthy fitting out period, Rodgers was appointed a member of the Board of Visitors at the Naval Academy, which had temporarily relocated to Newport, R.I. He remained with Dictator until her decommissioning on 5 September 1865.

The following day, Rodgers took command of a special squadron consisting of VanderbiltTuscaroraPowhatan, and the monitor Monadnock to relocate those ships to the Pacific Squadron. The ships began their journey from Hampton Roads, Va., on 2 November with Rodgers hoisting his pennant in Vanderbilt. After rounding Cape Horn and entering the Pacific, the squadron arrived at Valparaiso, Chile, on 1 March 1866, and Rodgers maintained American neutrality while trying to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Spain and Chile. Rodgers reached San Francisco on 21 June 1866 and detached from the special squadron a week later. After returning to the East Coast, Rodgers took command of the Boston Navy Yard on 15 December 1866, serving in that position for three years.

On 5 February 1870, Rodgers received orders to take command of the Asiatic Squadron and was also promoted to rear admiral, retroactive to 31 December 1869. During his time in this station, Rodgers in his flagship Colorado transported U.S. Minister to China Frederick F. Low to Korea in May 1871 for the purpose of negotiating a treaty to protect shipwrecked sailors. As Low conducted diplomatic efforts, Rodgers directed some of the ships in his squadron to conduct a surveying mission on the Salee River. On 1 June, Korean troops in a fort along the river fired upon one of the American ships. Rodgers delayed military retaliation to allow the Koreans the opportunity to make amends, but with no apology forthcoming after nine days, the admiral’s landing force went into action, laying waste to five forts over the next two days. The expedition retired from the forts on the 12th and Rodgers’ fleet lingered at anchor. However, the Koreans continued to refuse to enter into negotiations, and the squadron sailed for China on 3 July.

Rodgers remained in command of the Asiatic Squadron until 15 May 1872, after which he returned to the United States and reported to duty as President of the Examining and Retiring Boards in Washington, D.C., on 26 July 1872. Rodgers moved to the West Coast to command the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., from 30 June 1873 to 17 April 1877. He then returned to Washington and on 1 May 1877 became Superintendent of the Naval Observatory. In addition to his duties there, he became the chairman of the Light House Board on 13 May 1878 and was appointed President of the Advisory Board on 29 June 1881. Rodgers, the senior Rear Admiral on the active list, held all three positions until his death in Washington, D.C., on 5 May 1882.

Commander John Rodgers—great grandson of Commodore John Rodgers—was born in Washington, D.C., 15 January 1881 to Elizabeth B. Chambers and John Augustus Rodgers. His father would later achieve the rank of rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. His grandfather Robert Smith Rodgers, older brother of Rear Admiral John Rodgers, had been a colonel in the United States Army during the Civil War. His grandmother Sarah Perry Rodgers was the daughter of another noted naval commodore, Matthew C. Perry

Rodgers entered the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., on appointment at large on 7 September 1897. As a midshipman in the summer of 1898, he served in Columbia (Cruiser No. 12) during the Spanish American War. After struggling with his studies, Rodgers resigned from the Academy on 5 June 1899 but was reappointed to the incoming class on 9 September that same year. During his time at Annapolis, Rodgers played football and was captain of the crew team.

After graduating on 2 February 1903, the next day Rodgers reported to Santee, moored at the Naval Academy, where he served for the next four months. He next saw duty with the Asiatic Fleet, serving in SolaceKentuckyCincinnatiMohican, and Frolic. He returned to the United States in the summer of 1905 and was appointed ad interim ensign, to date from 3 February. His next assignment was to Lawrence (Destroyer No. 8) until her decommissioning at Philadelphia on 14 November 1906, when he reported to Hull (Destroyer No. 7), which recommissioned at Philadelphia that same day. Rodgers joined Nebraska (Battleship No. 14) on the West Coast on 15 July 1907. In early 1908, he was commissioned lieutenant (j.g.) and lieutenant. Beginning in July 1908, he sailed from San Francisco to Hampton Roads, Va., via Australia, Asia, and the Mediterranean in Nebraska as part of the Great White Fleet’s around-the-world journey.

On 15 November 1909, Rodgers reported to St. Louis (Cruiser No. 20) for service as that ship’s engineer officer until her decommissioning on 3 May 1910. Following some time on leave, on 9 July, Rodgers joined Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4) as assistant to the senior engineer officer. On 18 January 1911, civilian pilot Eugene B. Ely made the first landing of an airplane on a ship on a special platform built on Pennsylvania. Less than two weeks later, as Pennsylvania steamed at 13 knots in the Santa Barbara Channel, Rodgers took flight for 15 minutes in a Perkins man-carrying kite making observations and taking pictures 400 feet above the water, “395 feet higher,” one commentator noted, “than most of us want to go in such a contraption.”

Detached from Pennsylvania shortly thereafter, Rodgers’ next orders arrived in mid-March 1911, when he was sent to Dayton, Ohio, to train in aviation with Wilbur and Orville Wright. Qualifying as a pilot that August, Rodgers became the second U.S. naval officer to receive a pilot’s license, following Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson, who completed flight training with aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss.

In September 1911 Rodgers was assigned to the Engineering Experiment Station at the Naval Academy. Forming the first naval aviation detachment with his fellow pioneer naval aviators Ellyson and John H. Towers, these officers were tasked with “test[ing] gasoline motors and experimental work in development of aviation including instruction at aviation school.” Shortly after his arrival, however, Rodgers left temporarily to provide ground assistance to his cousin Cal P. Rodgers, who had just begun his quest to become the first person to fly across North America. Cal successfully accomplished this feat seven weeks later, making nearly 70 stops along the way, frequently by crashing his plane. John Rodgers returned to Annapolis after Cal reached Pasadena, Calif., in early November. On 20 January 1912, Rodgers arrived at San Diego, Calif., where he and the other early naval aviators established operations on North Island, conducting experiments with seaplane floats on their aircraft. In May 1912 the aviation detachment returned to Annapolis to continue experimentation to advance naval aviation.

Returning to general line duty in August 1912, Rodgers took command of the yacht Yankton. Later that year, he briefly served as ordnance officer of Illinois (Battleship No. 7) before assuming the same role in Nebraska on 9 December. On 24 October 1913, Rodgers became executive officer and navigator of Paducah (Gunboat No. 18). Further diversifying his naval resume, in January 1916, Rodgers commenced training in submarine operations in Columbia, now serving as flagship of the Submarine Flotilla, and continued his instruction in Fulton (Submarine Tender No. 1) in June. By September 1916, Rodgers took command of Division 1, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet and the submarine C-3 (Submarine No. 14). In March 1917, Rodgers attained the rank of lieutenant commander, to date from 29 August 1916. After the U.S. entered World War I, he had additional duty in command of the temporary submarine base at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone. Detached from C-3 on 25 June 1917, he remained as commander of Division 1, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet, until the end of the year, when he became commanding officer of the Submarine Base, New London, Conn.

Receiving a temporary promotion to commander at the beginning of 1918, Rodgers was also officially designated as Naval Aviator No. 2 on 19 January 1918. From 19 February–31 August, Rodgers took on additional duty as commander of the Submarine Flotilla Base in New London. On 13 December, he assumed command of Division 10, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet, stationed in Rainbow (Submarine Tender No. 7).

With the World War about to reach its formal conclusion with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Rodgers’ naval experience branched into yet another direction in June 1919 when he was sent to Europe to take command of Mine Sweeping Division No. 1, Atlantic. For his efforts in clearing mines from the North Sea, Rodgers received the Distinguished Service Medal. Detached on 1 October, Rodgers took command of Black Hawk (Destroyer Tender No. 9) for the next two months, sailing her back to the United States. On 8 December, Rodgers assumed the role of executive officer of Nevada (Battleship No. 36). Promoted to the permanent rank of commander as of 4 November 1920, in July 1921, Rodgers reported to the Navy Recruiting Station, Baltimore, where he was officer in charge and special disbursing agent.

By July 1922, Rodgers was a decade removed from his previous naval aviation assignment, although he remained interested in flying and had made some flights out of Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla. Rodgers returned to aviation duty in September 1922, when he assumed command of Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, T.H. In May 1925, he briefly took command of the aircraft tender Wright (AZ-1). Shortly thereafter, he was selected to command one of three planes slated to make the first attempt at a non-stop flight from California to Hawaii.

On the afternoon of 31 August 1925, the five-man crew of the seaplane PN-9 No.1 took off from San Pablo Bay, Calif., north of San Francisco, and headed for Honolulu. Running low on gas after nearly 25 hours of flight, Rodgers decided to land and refuel next to Aroostook (CM-3), stationed at sea as plane guard ship. However, using faulty radio compass bearings provided by the aircraft tender and further hampered by stormy weather, Rodgers was unable to locate the ship. Out of fuel, PN-9 No.1 made a forced landing in the Pacific on 1 September, well north of the Hawaiian Islands and far short of her destination. Without gas, the crew could not operate the plane’s radio to transmit their location to the many ships searching for them. With no rescue in sight on 2 September, Rodgers directed his crew to use the cover material of the seaplane’s wings to rig a sail to continue the trip afloat. Provisioned with only a three-day supply of food and water supplemented by water collected from a passing rain storm as well as a small amount of water produced in a still that had been provided by Rodgers’ mother, the men of PN-9 No.1 sailed their plane toward the island of Kauai for nine days. By the afternoon of 10 September, Rodgers and his crew had sailed 450 miles and were within 15 miles of Nawiliwili Bay when the submarine R-4 (SS-81) spotted the hapless plane and towed it in to port, putting an end to the airmen’s ordeal. Although PN-9 No.1 did not meet its actual objective, the seaplane’s flight of 1,841 statute miles set a long-distance record for non-stop flight by a seaplane that would stand for nearly five years.

After the experience with the PN-9 No.1 flight, Rodgers reported to Washington, D.C., on 2 January 1926 as the new Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics. A little over seven months later, on 27 August 1926, Rodgers took off from Naval Air Station, Anacostia, Washington, D.C., in a Vought VE-9 (BuNo. A-6470), bound for the Philadelphia Navy Yard on official business. Nearing his destination, Rodgers’ plane plunged into the Delaware River. Rodgers suffered grave injuries in the crash and later died at the naval hospital at League Island, Pennsylvania.

In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal, Commander Rodgers was awarded the Spanish Campaign Medal; the Mexican Service Medal; and the Victory Medal (World War I), Submarine Clasp.

Divorced in 1924, Rodgers had been married to Ethel Grenier. They had one child, Helen Perry Rodgers—born in Newport, R.I., in 1913 or 1914—who served as sponsor of the second John Rodgers (DD-574) at the ship’s launching on 7 May 1942.


Stricken when decommissioned. To be broken up.

USS JOHN RODGERS DD-983 Ship History

Wikipedia (as of 2024)

USS John Rodgers (DD-983), a Spruance-class destroyer, was the sixth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the three generations of the Rodgers family who served in the navy.

John Rodgers was laid down on 12 August 1976 by Ingalls ShipbuildingPascagoula, Mississippi. The vessel was launched on 18 March 1978, sponsored by Mrs. Roy C. Smith, Jr., the great, great-granddaughter of Commodore John Rodgers, and commissioned on 14 July 1979.

During the early 1980s, John Rodgers sailed into the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans under her commanding officer, Commander Wagner. She traversed both the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal. Under U.S. policy, John Rodgers sailed into the Persian Gulf in support of Iraq, during Iraq’s war against Iran.

John Rodgers crossed the equator on the way to Kenya. This resulted in the initiation of the “Pollywogs” (those who have not crossed the equator) by the “Shellbacks” (those who have crossed the equator). During this period, John Rodgers made port calls on four continents, including Panama, Spain, Italy, France, Monaco, England, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Bahrain and Kenya.

On September 16, 1983 while operating off Lebanon, John Rodgers fired her 5″ guns against Syrian controlled portions of Lebanon in response to Syrian shelling near the residence of the U.S. ambassador and harassing fire upon the U.S. Marines stationed at the Beirut airport. This made her the very first ship to use the 5″ 54 caliber Mark 45 gun in actual combat. This gun is now the standard large caliber gun system on U.S. naval combat ships and many other nations around the world.

On 19 September, U.S. policy shift from presence to direct support of Lebanese Army forces defending the strategically important village of Suk El Gharb in the Chouf Mountains east of Beirut. Along with Virginia, the two ships fired a total of 338 5-inch rounds. Ongoing fire support missions continued through 21 September.

During deployment in the Mediterranean Sea in 1990, the USS John Rodgers was sitting off of the coast of Israel when Iraq invaded Kuwait. The John Rodgers immediately began operations in support of Operation Desert Shield. For a couple of weeks, the John Rodgers performed patrols in the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to completing their deployment, the John Rodgers took up position in the Red Sea, continuing patrols.

In 1993, John Rodgers departed as the flagship for Commander, South Atlantic Force during UNITAS XXXIV under Rear Admiral. (lower half) Wirt R. Fladd, USN. During these several months of her long deployment, she cooperated with the navies of various South American nations, while making a number of goodwill port calls. Additionally, she traversed the Panama Canal and crossed the Equator on the way to South America. This resulted in the initiation of the “Pollywogs” (those who have not crossed the equator) by the “Shellbacks” (those who have crossed the equator). Lastly, she traversed the inland waterway from West to East at the tip of South American before continuing the cruise up the East coast of the continent. Stops during this cruise included Caracas, Venezuela; Cartagena, Colombia; Lima, Peru; Valparaiso, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza, Brazil.

In 1995 she deployed as part of the NATO Standing Naval Force Atlantic. Because of active hostilities among the countries formed following the breakup of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, she spent much of this deployment engaged in Maritime Interdiction Operations in the Adriatic Sea in support of Operation Sharp Guard. Her crew was able to enjoy some ports of call during the six-month cruise, including Lisbon, Portugal; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Marseille, France; Naples and Trieste, Italy; Corfu, Greece; and Istanbul, Turkey.

Owing to the closure of the Naval Station Charleston by the BRAC Commission in 1995, John Rodgers transferred her homeport from Charleston, South Carolina to Mayport, Florida in August of that year. Mayport remained her homeport throughout the remainder of her service.

From January to March 1996, John Rodgers participated in joint exercises with the British Royal Navy and Royal Marines in the waters around Scotland. During this time she also made port visits to Edinburgh, Scotland; Bremerhaven, Germany; and Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Also, on 23 May 1996, USS John Rodgers (DD 983) takes place in New York city fleet week.[1]

On 3 October 1997 John Rodgers departed on her last deployment in company with the Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group (MARG) 98-1 centered on USS Guam (LPH-9). This MARG relieved another MARG centered on USS Kearsarge (LHD-3). As a part of this deployment, John Rodgers participated in the Bright Star 97 naval exercise hosted by the Egyptian navy. She also participated in the Reliant Mermaid exercise conducted with Israel and Turkey in January 1998. John Rodgers participated in five other major exercises on this deployment. Port visits on this deployment included Spain, France, Italy, Egypt, Israel, Greece and Turkey.

John Rodgers made eight major deployments, including extensive operations in the Mediterranean SeaBlack Sea, and the Persian Gulf. She also took part in numerous counter drug operations in the Caribbean Sea. She and her crew participated in Operations Shield, Support Democracy, and Sharp Guard.

At various times during her career, John Rodgers served as the flagship for COMDESRONs 14, 20, 22, 32, 36, Canadian COMDESRON ONE, COMSOLANT, COMSTANAVFORLANT, and WEAUCONMARFOR, and also served as the host ship for the Change of Command of COMSIXTHFLT in 1988 and COMSTANAVFORLANT in 1995.

John Rodgers unit awards include: Joint Meritorious Unit AwardNavy Unit CommendationMeritorious Unit Commendation (second award), Battle “E”, National Defense Service MedalSouthwest Asia Service Medal (second award), Humanitarian Service MedalSea Service Deployment Ribbon (eighth award), Armed Forces Service Medal and United States Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon.

John Rodgers was decommissioned and stricken on 4 September 1998; she was stored at NISMF Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, awaiting sale for scrap. By 2005 she had been sold to International Shipbreaking Limited of Brownsville, Texas although scrapping work had yet to be completed. On 29 December 2005, John Rodgers (DD-983) was spotted heading south along the east coast of south Florida under tow. She has since been broken up for scrap.