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Naval History and Heritage Command

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McCampbell (DDG-85)


David McCampbell (16 January 1910-30 June 1996). For additional information see McCampbell, David. This is the first U.S. Navy ship named in his honor.

For the ship’s Command Operations Reports see McCampbell (DDG-85).

(DDG-85: 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)

McCampbell (DDG-85) was laid down on 15 July 1999 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 2 July 2000; sponsored by Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright; and commissioned on 17 August 2002 at San Francisco, Calif., Cmdr. Mark C. Montgomery in command.

McCampbell (DDG-85) 2002-Ship's Seal


Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the Navy and represent the sea and excellence. The light blue bend reflects the Pacific Ocean, where McCampbell served as Commander, Air Group 15. The Roman numeral “XV” symbolizes “The Fabled Fifteen,” the group’s nickname while it operated from aircraft carrier Essex (CV-9). The thirty-four stars allude to the number of Japanese planes that McCampbell splashed in air-to-air combat, distinguishing him as the leading Navy ace of World War II. The star and cross highlight the Navy Cross and Silver Star awarded to McCampbell for his gallantry and bravery during the liberation of the Philippines.


The tridents, symbolizing sea prowess, allude to the firepower and the multiple strike capabilities of the Aegis system. The reversed star denotes the Medal of Honor awarded to McCampbell for valor, in the First and Second Battles of the Philippine Sea. The sea lion is adapted from the government seal of the Republic of the Philippines. The winged shield of the coat of arms of the United States represents naval aviator’s wings and McCampbell’s aviation expertise.

An earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale rocked western Sumatra, Indonesia, killing more than 750 people and triggering landslides that wiped-out villages and blocked roads, on 30 September 2009. On 9 October McCampbell and amphibious transport dock Denver (LPD-9), with marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked, arrived to support international relief efforts. Three Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallions of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 265 flying from Denver, and two Sikorsky SH-60B Seahawks of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (Light) (HSL) 51 Detachment 5 operating from McCampbell, delivered essential relief supplies and teams to people in remote areas isolated by the landslides. Additional aircraft, including two Aérospatiale SA-330J Pumas flying from Military Sealift Command-manned auxiliary dry cargo ship Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE-4), reinforced these operations. The Navy concluded its humanitarian assistance on 16 October.

A magnitude 9.0 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake occurred off the Tōhoku region of Honshū, Japan, at 1446 on 11 March 2011. The earthquake triggered tsunami waves that reached more than 100 feet in height at places, and caused nearly 25,000 casualties, including more than 15,000 killed. The United States initiated Operation Tomodachi (from the Japanese Tomodachi Sakusen: Operation Friend[s]) to provide humanitarian relief to the victims. A total of 24,000 U.S. servicemembers, 189 aircraft, and 24 ships served in Tomodachi (12 March-4 May 2011). McCampbell was forward deployed to Yokosuka Nava Base, Yokosuka, Japan, and the ship’s proximity to the disaster area enabled her to rapidly carry out search and rescue patrols, in company with guided missile destroyers Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) and John S. McCain (DDG-56), primarily off the Miyagi Prefecture.

McCampbell (DDG-85) 2002-120823-N-TG831-089
The ship test fires her 5-inch gun during a deployment with the George Washington (CVN-73) Carrier Strike Group to the Western Pacific, 23 August 2012. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Declan Barnes, U.S. Navy Photograph 120823-N-TG831-089, Navy NewsStand)
McCampbell (DDG-85) 2002-120830-N-TG831-101
McCampbell approaches Military Sealift Command-manned oiler John Ericsson (T-AO-194) to refuel, 30 August 2012. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Declan Barnes, U.S. Navy Photograph 120830-N-TG831-101, Navy NewsStand)
McCampbell (DDG-85) 2002-120903-N-TG831-015
A Grumman EA-6G Growler of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 flies over McCampbell during a training exercise, 3 September 2012. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Declan Barnes, U.S. Navy Photograph 120903-N-TG831-015, Navy NewsStand)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

5 May 2015

Published: Thu Aug 06 12:02:42 EDT 2015