Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Chafee (DDG-90)


The first U.S. Navy ship named to honor John Hubbard Chafee (22 October 1922-24 October 1999). For additional information see Chafee, John Hubbard

For the ship’s Command Operations Reports, see Chafee (DDG-90).

(DDG-90: displacement 9,515; length 510'; beam 66'; draft 32'; speed 30+ knots; complement 312; armament 1 5-inch, 1 Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) for 96 BGM-109 Tomahawks, RIM-66 SM-2MR Standards, and RUM-139 VL-ASROC Antisubmarine Rockets, 1 Mk 15 Close In Weapon System (CIWS), 2 25 millimeter, 4 .50 caliber machine guns, 6 Mk 32 torpedo tubes, and accommodations for the A/N WLD-1 Remote Mine-hunting System, aircraft 2 Sikorsky SH-60B Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III Seahawks; class Arleigh Burke)

Chafee (DDG-90) was laid down on 12 April 2001 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 2 November 2002; cosponsored by Mrs. Virginia C. Chafee, widow of the late Senator Chafee, and Mrs. Diane Blair, wife of Adm. Dennis C. Blair, Commander Pacific Command; and commissioned on 18 October 2003 at Newport, R.I., Cmdr. John W. Ailes in command.

Chafee (DDG-90) 2003-Seal


Dark blue and gold represent the Navy. The thirteen gold stars symbolize the thirteenth state, Rhode Island. The anchor is derived from the Secretary of the Navy’s flag, a reference to Chafee’s distinguished service (1969-1972). The scarlet border denotes sacrifice with honor, courage, and commitment, Chafee’s attributes while serving as a marine rifleman and officer at Guadalcanal, Okinawa, North China, and Korea. The bordure is wavy, referring to Chafee’s multi-mission capabilities to protect the maritime interests of the United States. White denotes integrity and gold signifies excellence.


The swords symbolize Senator Chafee’s distinguished service in World War II and the Korean War, the many decorations he received, and the readiness of Chafee to engage in combat. The laurel wreath, symbol of leadership and vigor, recalls his service to his country as a marine, statesman, three time Governor of Rhode Island (1962-1968), and as a conservationist to preserve the environment. The eagle refers to his role as United States Senator (1976-1999). Scarlet and gold signify respectively courage and merit.

Chafee (DDG-90) 2003-050314-N-9319H-143
A Sikorsky SH-60HH Seahawk of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 6 flies over Chafee during a joint task force training exercise with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 off the coast of southern California, 14 March 2005. (Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Angel G. Hilbrands, U.S. Navy Photograph 050314-N-9319H-143, Navy NewsStand)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

11 June 2015

Published: Wed Jun 17 08:31:37 EDT 2015