The first U.S. Navy ship named to honor William Pinckney (27 April 1915-21 July 1976). See USS Pinckney (DDG-91) for additional information.
(DDG-91: displacement 9,515; length 510'; beam 66'; draft 32'; speed 30+ knots; complement 312; armament 1 5-inch, 1 Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) for 96 BGM-109 Tomahawks, RIM-66 SM-2MR Standards, and RUM-139 VL-ASROC Antisubmarine Rockets, 1 Mk 15 Close In Weapon System (CIWS), 2 25 millimeter, 4 .50 caliber machine guns, 6 Mk 32 torpedo tubes, and accommodations for the A/N WLD-1 Remote Mine-hunting System, aircraft 2 Sikorsky SH-60B Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III Seahawks; class Arleigh Burke)
Pinckney (DDG-91) was laid down on 16 July 2001 at Pascagoula, Ms., by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division, Litton Industries; launched on 26 June 2002; sponsored by Mrs. Henrietta M. Pinckney, widow of the late Navy Cook 1st Cass Pinckney; and commissioned on 29 May 2004 at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, Calif., Cmdr. Robert M. Byron in command.
Gules (Scarlet) denotes courage and sacrifice. The black grid shaped like an Aegis shield refers to the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class, to which Pinckney belongs, and their state of the art equipment and armament. It also suggests a mess grill, symbolizing the duties of William Pinckney as Navy Cook 1st Class on board aircraft carrier Enterprise (CV-6) at the time he heroically saved a shipmate’s life on 26 October 1942. The trident symbolizes authority at sea. The eagle’s head denotes vigilance, resolve and seagoing defense of the United States. White (Argent) indicates integrity; black (Sable) signifies strength and fortitude.
The Navy Cross indicates the award for heroism made to Pinckney for his exemplary actions under fire in saving the life of a fellow sailor during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. The compass-rose signifies navigational expertise and global action during World War II. The wreath of laurel represents honor and achievement.
While Pinckney visited Charleston, S.C., on 12 March 2004, a group of about 200 of her crew traveled in four buses to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at Beaufort National Cemetery in honor of their ship’s namesake, who lies buried there. A bus carrying some of the sailors, however, collided with a truck on U.S. Route 17 about 20 miles north of Beaufort, S.C. Tragically, three crewmembers died in the traffic mishap: 33-year-old Fire Controlman 1st Class Michael T. Booker of Austin, Texas; 25-year-old Gas Turbine System Technician 2nd Class Alfred J. Concepcion of Upper Marlboro, Md.; and 19-year-old Seaman Apprentice Kip C. J. Baker of Pittsboro, Ind. Dozens of sailors also sustained injuries, and received treatment at various area hospitals.
Pinckney passes the picturesque Sydney Opera House while taking part in the Pacific 2006 International Maritime Exposition at that Australian city, 2 February 2006. (Unattributed U.S. Navy Photograph 070927-N-0890S-036, Navy NewsStand)
Sailors line Pinckney’s rails and cheer as she races past aircraft carrier Nimitz (CVN-68) during a seapower demonstration, published on 1 October 2007. (Unattributed U.S. Navy Photograph 070927-N-0890S-036, Navy NewsStand)
Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing B-777-200ER with 12 crewmembers and 227 passengers on board, disappeared while bound from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China, on 8 March 2014. Guided missile destroyers Kidd (DDG-100) and Pinckney and Military Sealift Command-manned oiler John Ericsson (T-AO-194) joined more than 40 vessels and 34 aircraft (including a Lockheed P-8A Poseidon of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16) from ten countries in combing the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea in an unsuccessful effort to find any survivors. The two Sikorsky MH-60Rs of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 embarked on board Kidd, and the Seahawk of HSM-78 Detachment 2 flying from Pinckney, enabled the searchers to greatly expand their search area.
A Seahawk touches down onto Pinckney’s flight deck to swap out its crew during the search for survivors of MH370, 9 March 2014. (Senior Chief Petty Officer Chris D. Boardman, U.S. Navy Photograph 140309-N-ZZ999-007, Navy NewsStand)
Detailed history under construction.
Mark L. Evans
15 June 2015