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Hull Number: DDG-54

Launch Date: 05/16/1992

Commissioned Date: 03/19/1994

Call Sign: NCDW

Voice Call Sign: STEEL HAMMER





Wikipedia (as of 2024)

Curtis Dwight Wilbur (May 10, 1867 – September 8, 1954) was an American lawyer, California state judge, 43rd United States Secretary of the Navy and a United States circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Wilbur was born May 10, 1867, in BoonesboroIowa, to Dwight Locke Wilbur and Edna M. Lyman.[1][2][3] His family moved to JamestownDakota Territory (now North Dakota), where he graduated high school. In 1884, he was appointed to the United States Naval Academy, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1888.[4][5][6] Shortly after graduation, Wilbur resigned his commission, a common practice at the time, and moved to RiversideCalifornia. He read law at night while teaching mathematics during the day, and was admitted to the California bar in 1890.[7][8]

Wilbur associated with the firm of Bruson, Wilson & Lamme, and engaged in private practice for eight years in Los Angeles, California.[9][10] He was active in Republican politics, and in 1898 was president of the Fourth Ward Republican club.[11] In 1898, he served as Los Angeles County Deputy Assistant District Attorney in the office of John C. Donnell,[12][13] and by 1899 he was the Chief Deputy under District Attorney James C. Rives.[14][15]

In September 1902, the Republican Party nominated Wilbur for the post of judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court to the take the seat of Lucien Shaw, who was running for Supreme Court.[16][17][18] Wilbur won the election and in November 1902 began to hear cases pro tempore.[19][20] He was especially interested in promoting children’s welfare: on the Superior Court, he was presiding judge of the juvenile department;[21][22][23][24] in 1906 he was a director of the Bethlehem Benevolent Board;[25] in 1910, he was a founding director of the Juvenile Improvement Association;[26] in 1912, he was president of the Social Purity League, which offered religious lectures to the public;[27] in 1915, he helped organize the Boy Scouts in Los Angeles, and was named permanent chairman of the executive committee;[28] and he served as president of the state Sunday School Association, organizing evangelical gatherings for young people.[29][30][31]

It was during his time on the California Superior Court that he wrote and first published (in 1905) his popular “Bear Family” stories for children.[32]

He taught at the newly founded law school of the University of Southern California from about 1904 until 1917, while he sat on the Superior Court.[citation needed] Annually, he taught one course, extraordinary legal remedies.[citation needed]

In 1917, Governor William Stephens appointed Wilbur to the California Supreme Court,[33] where he served as an associate justice from January 1, 1918. In September 1922, Wilbur defeated William P. Lawlor in the primary election,[34][35] and in November was chosen as the 19th Chief Justice of California, holding the position from January 1923 to March 19, 1924.[36][37] When Wilbur resigned, Governor Friend Richardson appointed Louis Wescott Myers to take the post of chief justice.[38]

On March 19, 1924, Wilbur was sworn in as United States Secretary of the Navy.[39] The first appointee of President Calvin Coolidge, Wilbur came into the position with a reputation as a man of high intellect and a character of “unimpeachable integrity.” However, one critic called Wilbur “a good Sunday school teacher who wants to make the Navy safe for boys.”[40] In July 1925, he accompanied three battleships on a cruise of the Pacific coast, stopping in Marin County for a picnic of 600 midshipmen with a group of more than 100 society women on Mount Tamalpais.[41] In August 1928, he again accompanied a fleet to San Francisco, California on its way to Pacific training exercises.[42] By the end of his term, Wilbur had achieved success in enlarging and modernizing the fleet and established a naval air force, which would grow to become a potent component in the war with Japan during World War II.[43][44]

On March 1, 1929, in the last hours of his presidency, President Coolidge nominated Wilbur to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.[45] However, when the 70th Congress ended that week, the Senate had not acted on the nomination, so it expired.[46][47] Wilbur was nominated by President Herbert Hoover on April 18, 1929, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, to a new seat authorized by 45 Stat. 1414.[48] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 2, 1929, and received his commission the same day.[48] He was a member of the Conference of Senior Circuit Judges (now the Judicial Conference of the United States) from 1931 to 1944.[48][49][50] He assumed senior status on May 10, 1945.[48] His service terminated on September 8, 1954, due to his death in Palo Alto, California.[48][51][52]

Wilbur was married twice. On November 9, 1893, Wilbur married Ella T. Chilson.[54] She died on December 10, 1896.[55][56] Next, on January 13, 1898, he remarried to Olive Doolittle. They lived in a grand home completed in 1904 on Frederick Knob in San Francisco. Following retirement, Wilbur spent time with his wife and their three surviving children: Edna, Paul C. and Lyman Dwight.[57][58]

In the summer of 1933, one of Wilbur’s children, Dr. Leonard F. Wilbur (March 2, 1907, Los Angeles – March 24th 1940, China), travelled to China with his wife Jean B. Spaulding. He studied at the College of Chinese Studies in Beijing in 1933–1934, achieving relative proficiency in Chinese. From the autumn of 1934 he worked at the American Board Mission Hospital in Taigu in the province of Shanxi, becoming its superintendent in 1936. He died of a typhus fever on March 24, 1940, at the age of 33, shortly after having returned from a furlough he spent at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and after having been ill for two weeks. He was survived by his wife and a daughter named Ruth.[59]

Wilbur’s brother, Ray Lyman Wilbur, was United States Secretary of the Interior under Herbert Hoover, and a president of Stanford University.[60]


Wikipedia (as of 2024)

USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) is the fourth Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyerCurtis Wilbur was named for Curtis D. Wilbur, forty-third Secretary of the Navy, who served under President Calvin Coolidge. In 2016, she was based at Yokosuka, Japan, as part of Destroyer Squadron 15.[4]

Built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, she was commissioned in Long Beach, California, on 19 March 1994. The keynote speaker for the ceremony was then-Secretary of the NavyJohn H. Dalton.

During the summer of 1994, Curtis Wilbur participated in RIMPAC ’94, a major multi-national exercise involving more than thirty ships as well as numerous submarines and air assets, both carrier- and land-based. During this exercise, she performed duties as Force Air Defense Coordinator. Also that summer, the Board of Inspection and Survey conducted Final Contract Trials to assess the material status of the ship. Curtis Wilbur became the first ship of the class, and only the second ship ever to complete the examination with zero mission degrading deficiencies.

In October 1994, Curtis Wilbur became the first Aegis-equipped ship to integrate women into the crew.

Curtis Wilbur departed on her first Western Pacific Deployment on 31 July 1995, transiting the Pacific and heading to the Persian Gulf. While deployed with the United States Naval Forces Central Command, she supported Operations Southern Watch and Vigilant Sentinel. During her 100 days in theater, she served as Air Warfare Commander, Surface Warfare Commander, Undersea Warfare Commander, and Strike Warfare Commander. Curtis Wilbur also served as a member of the United States Fifth Fleet Expeditionary Task Force supporting United Nations sanctions against Iraq.

In September 1996, Curtis Wilbur became part of the United States Seventh Fleet, shifting homeports from San Diego to Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. Upon arrival in Japan, she successfully completed Tailored Ship’s Training Availability II and III and was the first ship ever to validate the Final Evaluation Period. On 15 February 1997, she deployed with the Independence Battle Group and participated in exercises Tandem Thrust ’97 and Cobra Gold. Curtis Wilbur served as the Air Warfare Commander during this deployment.

Throughout the remainder of 1997, Curtis Wilbur participated in numerous Seventh Fleet exercises, including Javelin Maker, Missilex 97-4, Aswex 97-6JA, Harmex 97-2, Annualex 09G, and Comptuex. For her “contributions to the fleet”, Curtis Wilbur was selected as the Destroyer Squadron Fifteen Battle Efficiency Winner for 1997.

In January 1998, Curtis Wilbur participated in Sharem 108-1 before deploying again, on short notice, to the South Pacific. During this deployment, Curtis Wilbur visited ports in Singapore, Australia, GuamHong Kong, South Korea and Japan. She also participated in Merlion ’98 and the Shimoda Black Ship Festival.

In June 1998 Curtis Wilbur commenced her second Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) in Yokosuka. This nine-week shipyard period brought with it many new upgrades, including JTIDS (Link 16), JMCIS 98, INMARSAT B, and numerous other Engineering and Combat System upgrades, making her the most capable destroyer in Seventh Fleet.

Upon completion of SRA and sea trials in August 1998, in addition to beginning the training cycle, Curtis Wilbur deployed for the joint and combined Exercise FOAL Eagle ’98 with the Republic of Korea Navy and completed a successful Cruise Missile Tactical Qualification and Naval Surface Fire Support qualification. During the training cycle the ship certified the Main Space Fire Drill for ECERT at TSTA II and had a near flawless performance during ECERT. After completing her second complete training cycle while forward deployed, Curtis Wilbur participated in Sharem 127 with the Korean Navy and deployed in March 1999 with the Kitty Hawk Battle Group.

After completing Tandem Thrust ’99, an annual multi-national training exercise, Curtis Wilbur received immediate tasking to proceed at best speed en route to the Persian Gulf. Steaming in company with Kitty Hawk and ChancellorsvilleCurtis Wilbur conducted a no-notice high speed transit and arrived in the Persian Gulf on 18 April 1999. Proceeding directly to the Northern Persian Gulf, Curtis Wilbur commenced operations in support of Operation Southern Watch; enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone over Iraq and supporting United Nations Sanctions against Iraq by conducting Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) as a member of the Fifth Fleet. Curtis Wilbur also participated in two major exercises while on her second Persian Gulf deployment: Nautical Swimmer ’99, a combined exercise with the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, and Sharem 128, an undersea warfare exercise in the North Arabian Sea. Following port visits to Bunbury, Australia and Pattaya, Thailand, Curtis Wilbur returned to Yokosuka, Japan on 25 August 1999.

On 1 October 2001, Curtis Wilbur again departed Yokosuka on another deployment. Assigned to the Kitty Hawk Strike Group, she conducted operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Persian Gulf. After a port visit to Phuket, Thailand, Curtis Wilburs first port visit in ten months, from 13 to 15 December, the ship returned to Yokosuka on 23 December 2001.

In early February 2002, Curtis Wilbur, along with the landing helicopter dock Essex, cruisers CowpensChancellorsville, destroyers O’BrienCushingJohn S. McCainfrigates VandegriftGary, and supply vessel John Ericsson along with the Japanese Sagami participated in Missilex ’02, an anti-ship missile defense training evolution. The Missilex took place on 7 and 8 February, in a training area off the island of Okinawa, with all the ships participating except John Ericsson and Sagami, which had conducted replenishments at sea with several ships earlier in the exercise.

On 30 June 2007, Curtis Wilbur collided with a Russian Udaloy-class destroyer while docking in VladivostokRussia, sustaining minor damage.[5] In March 2011, in company with the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the ship was deployed off northeastern Honshu, Japan to assist with relief efforts after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[6][7] During that time, the ship may have been exposed to leaking radiation from the Fukushima I nuclear accidents.[8]

In January 2016, Curtis Wilbur sailed within 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) of the disputed Triton Island in the South China Sea[9] as part a planned series of Freedom of navigation operations (also referred to as FONOPs).[10] On 22 October 2018, she transited the Taiwan Strait along with USS Antietam (CG-54).[11] On 16 September 2021, Curtis Wilbur arrived at her new home port of San Diego.[12]