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Hull Number: DDG-88

Launch Date: 06/01/2001

Commissioned Date: 11/09/2002

Call Sign: NPBL





Wikipedia (as of 2024)

Edward Preble (August 15, 1761 – August 25, 1807) was a United States naval officer who served with great distinction during the 1st Barbary War, leading American attacks on the city of Tripoli and forming the officer corps that would later lead the U.S. Navy in the War of 1812.

Preble was born at Falmouth, Eastern Massachusetts, now Portland, Maine, on August 15, 1761. He was the son of General Jedidiah Preble (1707–1784) and his second wife, Mehitable Roberts (née Bangs) Preble (1728–1805).[1] He received his early education in Falmouth and later attended Dummer School in Byfield, Massachusetts.[2]

As a boy, his home was destroyed in the burning of Falmouth by British Naval Commander Henry Mowat. It is said that this action compelled Preble to join the Navy. It also contributed to his terrible temper later in life.[3]

In 1779, he was appointed to the Massachusetts State Navy, becoming an officer in the 26-gun ship Protector. Becoming a British prisoner when that ship was captured in 1781, he was held for a time in the infamous prison ship HMS Jersey. On his release, he served in the Massachusetts Navy sloop Winthrop and led a boarding party to cut out a British brig at Castine, Maine.[2] At the opening of this action, Winthrop passed by the enemy ship so quickly that only Preble and 14 of his 45-man boarding party managed to get aboard. As Winthrop came back around to make another pass, Winthrop’s captain, George Little, asked Preble if he wanted more men. Preble, realizing that he would lose the element of surprise if he disclosed his far weaker position, coolly replied, “No. We have more than we want. We stand in each others’ way!” Going below with pistols in hand, he caught a portion of the crew still in their hammocks. Preble then announced that all were prisoners and that any resistance would be in vain. As British soldiers on shore began firing, Preble worked his prize out to sea while the Winthrop turned to deliver a broadside in reply before making her escape.[4]

Fifteen years of merchant service followed his Revolutionary War career and, in April 1798, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Navy. In January 1799, he assumed command of the 14-gun brig USS Pickering and took her to the West Indies to protect American commerce during the Quasi-War with France. Commissioned as a captain in June 1799, he took command of the 32-gun frigate USS Essex in December and sailed from Newport, Rhode Island in January 1800 for the Pacific to convoy home a group of East Indiamen.[4]

Upon his return, Preble announced to the Secretary of the Navy that he intended to retire from the Navy due to his health. Not wanting to lose such an experienced and capable officer, the secretary decided to put Preble on indefinite sick leave until a good post could be found for him.[5]

During this time, the United States was engaged in naval warfare with the city-state of Tripoli, whose corsairs were causing havoc amongst American merchantmen in the Mediterranean. The U.S. Navy had sent squadrons under two commanders, Richard Dale and Richard Valentine Morris, to protect American interests in the region. While Dale ran an effective blockade of Tripoli, the endless routine bored his officers. Upon his return, Dale left the Navy over a promotion dispute. The tenure of Richard Valentine Morris, on the other hand, was an utter fiasco, as Morris was neither an effective commander nor a very smart one. Morris spent most of his time socializing in Gibraltar and Malta, and he managed to be taken hostage by the Bey of Tunis, who felt that the American did not give him an adequate farewell (the ransom was paid by the American and Danish consuls). When he finally did arrive at Tripoli, he tried to play diplomat and sue for peace, which destabilized the strong negotiating position the Americans had been building up to that point. When Morris returned home, he was stripped of his commission by President Thomas Jefferson without so much as a court-martial.[4]

With Morris ordered home, President Jefferson needed a new officer to command the Mediterranean Squadron. Bypassing several senior officers, Preble was asked to travel to Boston and ready USS Constitution for duty in the Mediterranean. He accepted, and was given a promotion to commodore along with his new ship. He sailed on August 14, 1803.[4]

On September 10, Constitution was approaching Cadiz on a black, moonless night. Suddenly, the dim silhouette of a warship loomed out of the darkness close aboard. Preble immediately ordered Constitution cleared for action. Preble hailed her, only to receive a hail in return. He identified his ship as the United States frigate Constitution but received an evasive answer from the other ship. Preble replied: “I am now going to hail you for the last time. If a proper answer is not returned, I will fire a shot into you.” The stranger returned, “If you give me a shot, I’ll give you a broadside.” Preble demanded that the other ship identify herself and the stranger replied, “This is His Britannic Majesty’s Ship Donegal, 84 guns, Sir Richard Strachan, an English commodore.” He then commanded Preble, “Send your boat on board.” Preble was now devoid of all patience and exclaimed, “This is United States Ship Constitution, 44 guns, Edward Preble, an American commodore, who will be damned before he sends his boat on board of any vessel.” And then to his gun crews: “Blow your matches, boys!”[a] Before the incident escalated further, however, a boat arrived from the other ship and a British lieutenant relayed his captain’s apologies. The ship was in fact not Donegal but instead HMS Maidstone, a 32-gun frigate. Constitution had come alongside her so quietly that Maidstone had delayed answering with the proper hail while she readied her guns.[6] This act began the strong allegiance between Preble and the officers under his command, known as “Preble’s boys”, as he had shown that he was willing to defy a presumed ship of the line.[7][8]

After signing a peace treaty with Morocco, Preble established a blockade off TripoliStephen DecaturWilliam BainbridgeCharles StewartIsaac HullThomas MacdonoughJames Lawrence, and David Porter served under his command at Tripoli.[4]

While commanding in Tripoli, Preble masterminded the burning of USS Philadelphia by Lieutenant Stephen Decatur on February 16, 1804, preventing the captured frigate from falling into enemy hands. Had Tripoli gained the use of Philadelphia, the entire blockade would have been wasted. Stephen Decatur and his younger brother, James Decatur, led the actual operation.[4]

James Decatur was killed in the fighting later that year aboard one of the squadron’s attack craft.[4]

Over the course of his career, Preble helped establish many of the modern Navy’s rules and regulations. Described as a stern taskmaster, he kept high discipline upon the ships under his command. He also dictated that his ships be kept in a state of readiness for any action while under sail, something many US naval officers at the time did not insist upon. Future sea captains such as Decatur, Lawrence, and Porter took his procedures to heart at a time when the US Navy was highly unregulated. Many of Preble’s procedures became doctrine after the establishment of an official US Navy. The officers serving under him during his career also went on to become influential in the Navy Department after his death, and together they proudly wore the unofficial title of “Preble’s Boys”. (When Preble took over command he discovered that his oldest officer was 30 and the youngest 15 years old. He therefore grumbled the Secretary of the Navy had given him “just a pack of schoolboys”.)[9]

Preble’s Mediterranean cruise led directly to the US government’s firm anti-negotiation stance. Many Mediterranean states, including Tripoli, had been pirating American shipping vessels, ransoming the sailors, and demanding tribute to prevent future pirate attacks. The tribute rose after each successful payment, as did the brutality and boldness of the attacks.[10]

In September 1804, Commodore Preble requested relief due to a longtime illness. He returned to the United States in February 1805 and became engaged in the comparably light duty of shipbuilding activities at Portland, Maine. By congressional resolution in March 1805, a gold medal was struck and presented to Commodore Preble for the “gallantry and good conduct” of himself and his squadron at Tripoli. President Jefferson offered him the Navy Department in 1806, but Preble declined appointment due to his poor health.[10]

Preble died in Portland of a gastrointestinal illness on August 25, 1807. He is buried in Eastern Cemetery in Portland, Maine.[2]

On March 17, 1801, Preble was married to Mary Deering (1770–1851) in Portland, Maine. Mary was a daughter of Nathaniel Deering and Dorcas (née Milk) Deering. Together, they were the parents of one child:[11]

  • Edward Deering Preble (1806–1846), who married Sophia Elizabeth Wattles (1813–1889) in 1833.[1]

USS PREBLE DDG-88 Ship History

Wikipedia (as of 2024)

USS Preble (DDG-88) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She is the sixth U.S. Navy ship named in honor of Commodore Edward Preble, who served in the American Revolutionary War and was one of the early leaders of the Navy.

USS Preble is the 38th destroyer of her class. She was the 17th ship of this class to be built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and construction began on 22 June 2000. She was launched on 1 June 2001 and was christened on 9 June 2001. On 9 November 2002, she was commissioned during a ceremony at the Commonwealth Pier/World Trade Center in Boston, Massachusetts. At her commissioning ceremony USS Preble was docked bow to bow with USS Constitution, the command of her namesake. The ceremony included a symbolic welcoming aboard of the spirit of Commodore Preble signaled by the ringing of chimes. Among the speakers at the commissioning were U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, U.S. Representative Stephen Lynch, then Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon E. Clark USN (Ret.) and journalist and sailor Walter Cronkite.

Preble departed San Diego in June 2004 for her maiden deployment with the USS Belleau Wood Expeditionary Strike Group. Preble returned home after six months on 17 December 2004. On 20 January 2007, Preble departed for a routine deployment with the USS John C. Stennis carrier strike groupPreble supported Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Expeditionary Strike Force training and exercise Valiant Shield 2007 during the deployment. She returned to her homeport after seven months on 29 August 2007. In 2008, Preble successfully completed an accelerated training cycle and passed a rigorous Inspection Board and Survey (INSURV) in May. That fall, Preble executed the integrated training phase with the Stennis Strike Group in preparation for a deployment in 2009.

Preble deployed on 17 January 2009 for a routine deployment with the Stennis Carrier Strike Group where she spent five months in the Seventh Fleet area of responsibility, participated in Exercise Foal Eagle and culminated the deployment with a diplomatic port visit in TahitiFrench PolynesiaPreble returned to home port on 15 June 2009. In 2010 Preble shifted to align with the USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group and hosted sailors from the Royal New Zealand Navy. The Anzac-class frigate HMNZS Te Kaha and replenishment tanker HMNZS Endeavour conducted exercises with Preble during a 3-day underway period. Additionally, Preble was called to act as the lead ship for a Destroyer Squadron Seven multi-group sail that showcased the ship’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

In September 2010, Preble conducted an Operational Test Launch of two Block 3C Tomahawk missiles and one Block 4E Tomahawk missile off the coast of San Nicholas Island. The launch was successful and aided in the further development of the weapon system. Preble participated in an Integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare Course at sea as well as three weeks of exercises with Ronald Reagan and sister ships in Destroyer Squadron Seven during the Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) in October to November 2010. In November 2010, Preble successfully conducted a Mark 54 torpedo technical evaluation in support of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center’s development of the torpedo. Preble accurately fired six MK 54 torpedoes during the evaluation.

In all, Preble had a successful 2010 and was awarded the Destroyer Squadron Seven Battle Efficiency Award which recognizes sustained superior performance, operational effectiveness, and continuous readiness. In addition, the ship earned the Black E (Maritime Warfare Excellence), Blue E (Logistics Management and Supply Excellence), Yellow E (Ship Safety) and Red E (Engineering/Survivability Excellence).

In February 2011, Preble deployed with Carrier Strike Group SevenPreble was a first responder to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The ship conducted humanitarian and disaster relief efforts off the coast of northeastern Japan.[4][5]

After spending nearly a month off the coast of Japan, Preble began to conduct a series of fisheries patrols. From 28 February to 6 March 2011, she conducted these patrols in the Exclusive Economic Zones of various Pacific island nations as part of the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative.[6] With modern technology, fishing vessels have increased their capability and capacity to catch more fish, and consequently, it is imperative that the rights of small island nations to their EEZ be preserved to prevent illegal fishing and exploitation of their ecosystems.[6] EEZ patrols are part of an ongoing partnership between the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard to reduce and eliminate illegal, unregulated, unreported (IUU) fishing and effectively enforce fishing regulations across the Western Pacific.[6]

Prebles mission supported the United States’ long-standing partnership with the maritime nations of Micronesia, Oceania, and the Marshall Islands, with the focus on IUU fishing in the EEZs of these island nations and on the high seas itself. During the course of this operation, Preble encountered multiple vessels conducting fishing operations in EEZ. All the data was reported to USCG District 14 for evaluation and follow-on action via the embarked Coast Guard liaison team. Also, Prebles embarked detachment of Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopters from squadron HSL-43 was used to conduct routine aerial patrols, enabling the surveillance team to search multiple areas of interest.[6]

She then continued west to operate as part of the Seventh and Fifth Fleets. Preble came under the command of the Fifth Fleet in May 2011 and conducted counter-piracy operations as part of Combined Task Force 151. Preble returned home in late 2011.

On 25 August 2011, BAE Systems Ship Repair was awarded a $14.5 million contract, in addition to a previous contract, to upgrade and repair Preble.[7]

In 2019 it was announced that Preble would receive the HELIOS close in weapons system in 2021. USS Preble will be the first destroyer to be equipped with a high-energy laser to counter surface craft and unmanned aerial systems. The destroyer will also receive a BAE Systems Ship Repair upgrade, bringing the ship up to date in terms of capability and complexity.