Commodore Thomas Macdonough was born 23 December 1783 in The Trap (now Macdonough), Delaware. He was appointed midshipman 5 February 1800 and participated with distinction in operations against Tripoli, 1803‑04, serving on Philadelphia before her capture and volunteering for the dash into Tripoli Harbor with Decatur to burn the captured vessel. During the War of 1812, he commanded the United States Squadron on Lake Champlain. His energy in preparation and vigor in combat won a skillfully executed victory over the British in Plattsburg Bay, 11 September 1814 that had far‑reaching effects. In denying control of the lake to the British, Macdonough’s victory forced the invading army to retire to Canada, and left no grounds for British territorial claims in the area at the Ghent peace conference. Honored by Congress with promotion to captain, he served as Commandant, Portsmouth Navy Yard 1815‑18, before assuming command of Guerriere and taking up station in the Mediterranean. He sailed to the Mediterranean again in 1824 as commanding officer of Constitution, but because of poor health was relieved 14 October 1825 at his own request. He departed for home in Edwin, but died at sea 10 November 1825 and was buried in Middletown, Conn.
(DLG‑8: dp. 5,368; l. 513'; b. 53'; dr. 24'6"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 377; a. 1 5", 2 3", Terrier missile, ASROC; cl., Coontz.)
The fourth Macdonough was projected as DL‑8, but redesignated DLG‑8 prior to keel laying by the Fore River Shipyard, Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., 15 April 1958; launched 9 July 1959; sponsored by Mrs. Agnes Macdonough Wilson, great‑granddaughter of Commodore Thomas Macdonough; and commissioned 4 November 1961, Comdr. Wm. G. Hurley in command.
The guided‑missile frigate Macdonough, having undergone an extended shakedown and training period, reported to her home port at Charleston, S.C., 23 September 1962 and assumed duties as flagship for Commander, Cruiser‑Destroyer Flotilla 6, Atlantic Fleet. A, month later she joined other units of the 2d Fleet in enforcing the Cuban quarantine, remaining with that force until it was dissolved on Thanksgiving Day. The first 3 months of 1963 were spent firing missiles off the coast of Florida under the auspices of the Operational Test and Evaluation Force. She returned to Charleston in March and operated in the Charleston‑Norfolk area until departing on her first 6th Fleet deployment 4 June.
The frigate cruised the Mediterranean until the following fall, taking part in scheduled fleet exercises and training operations. Upon her return to the East Coast, 26 October, she resumed operations in the Charleston area. With the new year, 1964, Macdonough steamed south to Puerto Rico for training exercises with the 2d Fleet. During these exercises, she participated in an Atlantic Fleet live‑firing antiair warfare exercise, which included missile firing at drone aircraft. The ship returned to Charleston for 2 weeks in February, and then put out to sea again for carrier exercises off the East Coast followed by helicopter evaluation tests in the Atlantic.
Macdonough’s second Mediterranean deployment, 10 July to 22 December 1964, was followed by a 6‑month overhaul at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. Coastal operations out of home port occupied the frigate until mid-September 1965, when she proceeded to the Atlantic Fleet Missile Range and then to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for training exercises. Having returned to her Charleston home port in early November, Macdonough prepared for another Mediterranean deployment, departing Charleston at the end of the month.
On 8 April 1966, Macdonough returned to South Carolina and once again resumed operations and fleet and squadron exercises along the southern East Coast and in the Caribbean. During the summer a midshipman training cruise took the frigate to several east coast ports and to the Caribbean. After participating in “LANTFLEX 66,” and AAW/ASW/amphibious exercise, she returned to Charleston 16 December.
After conducting further exercises off the east coast, Macdonough prepared once again for oversea movement; and, on 2 May 1967, she departed Charleston for her fourth Mediterranean cruise. She conducted summer midshipmen training, visited various Mediterranean ports and participated in several joint exercises with ships of Allied navies, returning to South Carolina 28 October.
Macdonough continued operating with the mighty 2d Fleet until May 1968 when she again deployed to the Mediterranean, returning to her home port in September. She remained off the east coast into 1969.