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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Boats-Ships--Submarine
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(DE-1055 : dp. 2,624; l. 414'6" ; b. 44'; dr. 18'; s. 27.4 k.; cpl. 247; a. 1 5", 4 21" tt, ASROC, DASH ; cl. Knox)

Arthur Japy Hepburn, born 15 October 1877 in Carlisle, Pa., graduated from the Naval Academy 5 June 1897. During the Spanish-American War he served as Passed Midshipman in battleship Iowa, and he participated in the defeat of Admiral Cervera's Spanish Squadron off Santiago, Cuba, 3 July 1898. Commissioned Ensign 1 July 1899, during the next two decades he assisted in making oceanic surveys in the Pacific and performed a variety of duties ashore and afloat, including service in Georgia, Olympia, and South Carolina. During World War I he commanded the seized German liner Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Submarine Chaser Base, New London, Conn., until ordered to Europe in July 1918 to command the subchaser base at Queenstown, Ireland. After the armistice, he served in Chester, inspecting German naval ships and aircraft in accordance with naval terms of the Armistice. From 1919 to 1922 he was Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering, and from 1922 to 1924 he served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Naval Detachment in Turkish Waters. During the years prior to World War II, he served a wide variety of important posts both ashore and afloat. He took command of West Virginia (BB-48) in May 1925; became Director of Naval Intelligence in July 1926. From 1927 to 1930 he served as Chief of Staff with Battle Fleet and U.S. Fleet and on 23 May 1931 took command of Submarine Forces, U.S. Fleet. Between June 1932 and July 1933, he served as a naval member to the three-power Limitations of Arms Conference as Naval Adviser to the Geneva Delegation in Switzerland and to the American Representative at the London Naval Conference.

After serving as Commander 4th Naval District, and commanding destroyers of the U.S. Fleet, he became Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet 24 June 1936, serving in the rank of Admiral. Two years later he headed a board which reviewed America's national defense structure during the deteriorating international situation. The "Hepburn Board Report" was the basis for the massive Shore Establishment expansion that took place prior to World War II. In 1942, Admiral Hepburn was appointed Chairman of the General Board of the Navy, serving in that capacity throughout the war. He also served as a delegate to the Dumbarton Oaks meetings, which established guidelines for founding the United Nations. Admiral Hepburn retired from active duty 10 December 1945, and died 31 May 1964.

Hepburn (DE-1055) was laid down 1 June 1966, by Todd Shipyard Corp., San Pedro, Calif.; and launched 25 March 1967; sponsored by Mrs. Arthur J. Hepburn and Mrs. Joseph R. Barse. Once completed and commissioned, she will possess the capabilities to screen attack and support ships and to operate effectively against submarines. Operating either alone or with a hunter-killer group and equipped with the latest ASW equipment, the escort will be able to seek out and destroy enemy submarines. Moreover as is so important in these days of potential conflict, her ability to perform blockade, surveillance, search, and evacuation missions at a moment's notice will add readily to the Navy's deterrent force and assist in the continuing task of "keeping the peace." Her commissioning is scheduled for 1969.

Published: Wed Dec 24 09:06:10 EST 2014