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John Paul Jones II (DDG-53)

1993-

For biographical and bibliographical information see: The Story of John Paul Jones.

The second ship named John Paul Jones. The first John Paul Jones (DD-932), a destroyer, was reclassified to a guided missile destroyer (DDG-32) on 15 March 1967, and served from 1956-1982. In addition, three ships have been named Paul Jones in honor of John Paul Jones. The first Paul Jones, a sidewheel, double-ended, steam gunboat, served from 1862-1867. The second Paul Jones (Destroyer No. 10) served from 1902-1919. The third Paul Jones (DD-230), also a destroyer, served from 1921-1945.

II

(DDG-53: displacement 8,960; length 505'; beam 66'; draft 31'; speed 30+ knots; complement 356; 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, 8 RGM-84 Harpoons (2 Mk 141 launchers), 2 Mk 15 Close In Weapon Systems (CIWS), 4 .50 caliber machine guns, and 6 Mk 32 torpedo tubes, aircraft operate (but not embark) 1 Sikorsky SH-60B Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III Seahawk; class Arleigh Burke)

The second John Paul Jones (DDG-53) was laid down on 8 August 1990 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 26 October 1991; sponsored by Mrs. Connie J. Jeremiah, wife of Adm. David E. Jeremiah, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and commissioned on 18 December 1993 at San Diego, Calif., Capt. John M. Kelly in command.

John Paul Jones, Cmdr. David F. Steindl in command, took part (15 September-1 November 2001) in Operation Enduring Freedom I, the coalition’s retribution against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan for the terrorist attacks on 9/11, from her operating areas in the Northern Arabian Sea. The ship launched the first surface BGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) against enemy command and control targets, shortly after dusk on 7 October. Her sailors heard a distinctive click as the missiles slid onto their rails, and then flames glared in the darkness as the weapons’ boosters ignited and the TLAMs tore skyward. The ship fired so many missiles during the first couple of days of the fighting that her sailors later required several working parties with high-pressure fire hoses to scrub away the dense black soot that the weapons seared into the deck. John Paul Jones also provided air defense at times for the Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and Enterprise (CVN-65) Carrier Battle Groups. The poorly-equipped Taliban proved incapable of conventionally attacking the allied naval armada, but sailors monitored air traffic to be ready for suicidal hijackers crashing aircraft into ships. “But we didn’t know what terrorist attacks might occur,” Rear Adm. John G. Morgan Jr., Commander Enterprise Battle Group, explained. John Paul Jones made her first port visit after 67 continuous days at sea on 3 November when she visited Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory.

John Paul Jones fires a Tomahawk against the Taliban and al-Qaeda
John Paul Jones fires a Tomahawk against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, 7 October 2001. (Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Ted Banks, U.S. Navy Photograph 140619-N-ZZ999-167, Navy NewsStand)
The ship arrives in Seward, Alaska
The ship arrives in Seward, Alaska, to resupply, 3 May 2008. (Unattributed U.S. Navy Photograph 080503-F-3108S-009, Navy NewsStand)
Sailors assigned to John Paul Jones stand in front of their ship
Sailors assigned to John Paul Jones stand in front of their ship during her final day in drydock at San Diego, Calif., 7 September 2010. (Electronics Technician 2nd Class William Weinrich, U.S. Navy Photograph 100907-N-0121W-001, Navy NewsStand)
John Paul Jones continues to defend the United States
John Paul Jones continues to defend the United States while she launches a Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) during a live-fire test of the ship’s Aegis weapons system from the Pacific Ocean, 19 June 2014. Over the course of three days, her crew successfully intercepted six targets, firing a total of five missiles that included four SM-6s and one Standard Missile 2 (SM-2). (Unattributed U.S. Navy Photograph 140619-N-ZZ999-167, Navy NewsStand)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

14 October 2014

Published:Mon Mar 06 11:23:38 EST 2017