Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Howard (DDG-83)


Jimmie Earl Howard (27 July 1929-12 November 1993). For additional information see: Gunnery Sergeant
Jimmie Earl Howard, USMC

The first U.S. Navy ship named in honor of Jimmie E. Howard.

(DDG-83: displacement 9,515; length 510'; beam 66'; draft 32'; speed 30+ knots; complement 312; armament 1 5-inch, 2 Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) for BGM-109 Tomahawks, RIM-156 SM-2MR Standards, and RUM-139 VL-ASROC Antisubmarine Rockets, 2 Mk 15 Close In Weapon Systems (CIWS), 4 .50 caliber machine guns, and 6 Mk 32 torpedo tubes, aircraft 2 Sikorsky SH-60B Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III Seahawks; class Arleigh Burke)

Howard (DDG-83) was laid down on 9 December 1998 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 20 November 1999; co-sponsored by Mrs. Theresa M. Howard, widow of the late Gunnery Sgt. Howard, Mrs. Yvonne M. Howard, their oldest daughter, and Mrs. Jill F. Hultin, wife of Jerry M. Hultin, Under Secretary of the Navy; and commissioned on 20 October 2001 at Galveston, Texas, Cmdr. Joseph F. Nolan in command.


Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and represent the sea and excellence. The oriental dragon denotes service in the Pacific and the fighting spirit demonstrated by the platoon under Howard’s leadership. The chevron symbolizes naval support and strength. The stars, in the configuration of the Southern Cross, represent the First Marine Division’s insignia, which Howard wore, and to the location of the North Vietnamese attack on his platoon.



The six stars allude to the previous Howard’s World War II battles. The neckpad, suggesting an AEGIS array, highlights the modern warfare capabilities of the combat weapons system and represents the Medal of Honor, awarded to Howard for his leadership and bravery under fire. The crossed naval sword and Marine mameluke denote cooperation and teamwork, as well as support to Marines ashore with the ship’s advanced gunnery systems.


The lightning flashes in the Marine Corps colors red and gold represent speedy action and modern technology.

Aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), guided missile cruiser Chancellorsville (CG-62), Howard, and guided missile frigate Thach (FFG-43) supported relief efforts to victims of Typhoon Fengshen on Panay, Philippines, on 25 June 2008. Sikorsky HH-60H and SH-60F Seahawks from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 4 flying from the carrier, and SH-60Bs from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (Light) (HSL) 49 Detachment 4, embarked on board Chancellorsville, HSL-43 Detachment 6, embarked on board Howard, and HSL-49 Detachment 5, deployed with Thach, delivered food and water to people in the area. Two Grumman C-2A Greyhounds from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 flew rice and water from the carrier to Santa Barbara Airport, Iloilo. Ronald Reagan came about from the Sulu Sea on 3 July.

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

23 February 2015

Published: Mon Jul 20 11:35:56 EDT 2015