Edward Preble was born at Falmouth, Eastern Massachusetts, now Portland, Maine, 15 August 1761. In 1779 he was appointed to the Massachusetts State Marine, 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 prison ship New Jersey. On his release, he served in Winthrop and led a boarding party to capture a British brig at Castine and worked it out to sea despite heavy shore fire. Fifteen years of merchant service followed his Revolutionary War service and in April 1798 he was appointed 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. In January 1799 he assumed command of the 14 gun brig Pickering and took her to the West Indies to protect American commerce. Commissioned Captain 7 June 1799, he took command of Essex in December and sailed in January 1800 for the Pacific to provide similar protective services for Americans engaged in the East Indies trade. Given command of the 3rd Squadron, with Constitution as his flagship, in 1803, he sailed for the Barbary coast and by October had promoted a treaty with Morocco and established a blockade off Tripoli. Relieved in September 1804, Commodore Preble returned to the United States in February 1805 and became engaged in shipbuilding activities at Portland, Maine, where he died 25 August 1807.
(DLG–15: dp. 5,709 (f.); l. 513’; b. 52’; dr. 18’; s. 33 k.; cpl. 377; a. Terrier, 15”, 4 3”, ASROC, 6 21” tt., I dcp.; cl. Coontz)
The fifth Preble (DLG–15) was laid down by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine, 16 December 1957; launched 23 May 1959; sponsored by Mrs. Ralph E. Wilson; and commissioned in the Boston Naval Shipyard 9 May 1960, Comdr. Edward G. Fitz-Patrick in command.
After shakedown off the East Coast, Preble transited the Panama Canal and arrived San Diego 2 September. After exercises along the coast of California, she got underway 27 February 1961 enroute to the Far East for a six month tour with the 7th Fleet. She returned to San Diego 28 Septemberto rejoin the 1st Fleet. She remained in the eastern Pacific through 1963 and on 26 February 1964 departed California for another tour of duty in the Far East, 13 March–20 July.
Rotated regularly to WestPac over the next five years she spent much of her deployed time with the 7th Fleet off the coast of Vietnam. During these tours she served as plane guard for carriers in the Tonkin Gulf, patrolled on SAR, and bombarded enemy positions along the coast.
Returning from WestPac in July 1968, she operated briefly along the California coast and in December got underway for Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. There for an extensive overhaul, she decommissioned 31 January 1969, recommissioned 23 May 1970, and returned to the Pacific Fleet.