Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Halsey II (DDG-97)


The second U.S. Navy ship named to honor William Frederick Halsey Jr. (30 October 1882-16 August 1959). See William Frederick Halsey Jr. for additional information. The first Halsey, a guided missile frigate (DLG-23), reclassified to a guided missile cruiser (CG-23) on 30 June 1975, served from 1963-1994.

See Halsey (DDG-97) for the ship’s Command Operations Reports.


(DDG-97: 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, 1 Mk 15 Close In Weapon System (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)

The second Halsey (DDG-97) was laid down on 15 January 2001 at Pascagoula, Miss., by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division, Litton Industries; launched on 12 December 2001; cosponsored by Ms. Heidi C. Halsey, Mrs. Anne Halsey-Smith, and Mrs. Alice S. Talbot, the late Fleet Admiral Halsey’s granddaughters; and commissioned on 30 July 2005 at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, Calif., Cmdr. James L. Autrey in command.

Halsey (DDG-97) II 2005-050730-N-3672K-340
Sailors cheer as Halsey is commissioned at NAS North Island, 30 July 2005. (Lithographer’s Mate 1st Class John P. Kass, U.S. Navy Photograph 050730-N-3672K-340, Navy NewsStand)

An explosion erupted in the ship’s No. 1 Main Reduction Gear in Main Engine Room No. 1 on 5 January 2007. The blast caused serious damage to the equipment, bowing the gear casing and inspection port, damaging structural welds, and moving the gear out of alignment tolerances with other components of the propulsion train. A detailed inspection of the damage by government and civilian technical experts eventually led to the determination early the next month that the explosion damaged the gear beyond repair and it required replacing.

Vice Adm. Terrance T. Etnyre, Commander Naval Surface Forces, relieved Cmdr. John Pinkney Jr., the ship’s commanding officer, on 2 February 2007. Following a preliminary inquiry into incidents on board Halsey and a subsequent administrative proceeding, Etnyre expressed his loss in confidence in Pinkney’s ability to command. Lt. Cmdr. T. Monroe, the destroyer’s executive officer, assumed command until Cmdr. Paul J. Schlise relieved Monroe on 19 February. The ship meanwhile replaced the gear via a 40-foot hole cut in her hull, while drydocked at BAE San Diego (19 March-4 May 2007).

Inspectors from a Safety Inspection Board, followed by additional people from the Naval Sea Systems Command and Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, eventually determined that the presence of a volatile compound in the ship’s No. 1 MRG 2190 lube oil “significantly” lowered the oil’s flashpoint, allowing the explosion to occur. The likely cause of the lube oil contamination involved excessive heating of 2190 by thermostatically controlled heating elements in the MER 1 lube oil purifier heater. This resulted in coking and pyrolysis, or the breaking down of lube oil into more volatile components. These components lowered the flashpoint sufficiently to cause an explosive condition within the reduction gear. These results led the Navy to inspect other destroyer lube oil heaters for evidence of coking. Their inspection revealed that over 60 percent of the ships inspected experienced some level of coking caused by overheating. Halsey’s accident thus led the service to develop a more rigorous, systemic testing regimen for shipboard lube oil, which included testing viscosity and flashpoint.

Halsey (DDG-97) II 2005-110918-N-BC134-014
Halsey slices through a calm sea in this unattributed and undated photograph, published on 22 September 2011. (U.S. Navy Photograph 110918-N-BC134-014, Navy NewsStand)
Halsey (DDG-97) II 2005-111206-N-ZF681-254
Gas Turbine System Technician Mechanical Fireman Matthew Horn (right) braces himself on the ship’s heaving flight deck as he refuels an SH-60B Seahawk of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (Light) HSL-49 during a deployment to the Western Pacific, 6 December 2011. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Farrington, U.S. Navy Photograph 111206-N-ZF681-254, Navy NewsStand)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

9 June 2015

Published: Thu Jun 18 11:35:15 EDT 2015