(DE-1077: dp. 3,011; l. 438-; b. 47-; dr. 25-; s. 27 k.; cpl. 245; a. 1 5-, ASROC, 2 Mk. 32 tt, DASH, SPARROW III missiles; cl. Knox)
David George Ouellet was born 13 June 1944 in Newton, Mass. After finishing school, he enlisted in the Navy 28 July 1964 and upon completion of his training, joined Assault Craft Division Twelve for duty in Vietnam. After five months in Vietnam, he was ordered to San Diego for training in river patrol boats. Upon completion of this training, he returned to Vietnam and joined River Squadron Five, My Tho Detachment 532. He was on patrol in PBR-124 on 6 March 1967 as the forward machine gunner. While patrolling near a river bank, Seaman Ouellet saw an enemy grenade coming towards his boat. He ran back towards the stern shouting for everybody to take cover and when seeing the Boat Captain unprotected, he pushed him down a hatch to safety. Between the split second the missile landed in the boat and exploded, Seaman Ouellet placed himself between the missile and his shipmates and absorbed the impact of the blast. As a result, Seaman Ouellet was mortally wounded. For his heroic sacrifice, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
The first Ouellet was laid down 14 January 1969 by Avondale Shipyards Inc., Westwego, La.; launched 17 January 1970; sponsored by Mrs. Chester J. Ouellet; and commissioned 12 December 1970, Comdr. Albert L. Henry in command.