Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5)

Originally to be designated as DD-955, the ship was laid down as DDG-5 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden, New Jersey on 18 May 1959, launched on 4 June 1960 and commissioned as USS Biddle on 5 May 1962, at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard CDR Paul Roth in command. USS Biddle was renamed to Claude V. Ricketts on 28 July 1964 in honor of Admiral Claude V. Ricketts, who had died on 6 July 1964.

USS Biddle operated in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea as part of the Second Fleet until the end of 1963. USS Biddle participated in naval activity near Cuba in weeks before the Cuban Missile Crisis. A Navy Expeditionary Medal was awarded for service from 19 August 1962 to 28 September 1962. USS Biddle made her first deployment to the Mediterranean Sea at the close of 1963 returning to Norfolk in March 1964. From June 1964 to end of 1965 USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) was part of a mixed-manning experiment for a proposed Multilateral Force (MLF). Its crew consisted of 10 officers and 164 crew from the US Navy with the remainder filled by sailors from West Germany, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Turkey. 

After the manning experiment, USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) made deployments to the Mediterranean Sea from 1966 to 1973. She also made a northern European cruise in July 1972. USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in August 1973 and returned to Norfolk in January 1974. Shortly after her return, the ship entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a ten-month overhaul returning to service in January 1975. USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) completed refresher training and ship trials in the Caribbean Sea from March to May 1975.

USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) deployed for seven months to the US Middle East Force and Sixth fleet at the start of September 1979. During the first part of the cruise, the ship made ports of call to Djibouti, Kenya, and Karachi, Pakistan On 4 November 1979, USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5)was making a port visit to Karachi, Pakistan when radical students invaded and occupied the US Embassy in Tehran, Iran and took the embassy staff hostage initiating the Iran hostage crisis. USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) was immediately tasked to proceed to the Persian Gulf area of operations to join with USS La Salle (AGF-3) and remained continuously at sea for more than 10 weeks over the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Holidays.

USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) was decommissioned on 31 October 1989 at Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, VA, stricken from the naval vessel Register on 1 June 1990.