Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Theater of Operations--Pacific
  • Boats-Ships--Destroyer
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  • Ship History
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  • World War II 1939-1945
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Stout (DDG-55)


Herald Franklin Stout, born on 15 June 1903 in Dover, Ohio, to Franklin L. and Jemima M. T. Stout, graduated as valedictorian of Roosevelt High School in Dover. He entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, on appointment from the Sixteenth District of Ohio on 14 June 1922. Stout graduated and received his commission as ensign on 3 June 1926, then married Louise F. Finley, his hometown sweetheart, later the same day. Their union ultimately produced three sons, all of whom served the colors: Lieutenant Colonel Herald F. Jr., USA (Ret.), Colonel Bruce F., USA (Ret.), and Captain Peter C., USNR (Ret.).

Ensign Stout joined light cruiser Cincinnati (CL-6) on 10 July 1926 as her main engine officer, communications officer, radio officer, ship’s secretary, and then finally, as her gun division officer. He was detached from Cincinnati on 24 May 1931, and served a year in destroyer Breckinridge (DD-148), followed by service in Hatfield (DD-213) from 18 June 1932 to 21 April 1933. Stout reported to the Naval Postgraduate School at Annapolis for the course of instruction in the School of the Line, from 30 June 1933 to 28 May 1934, and then as an instructor in the Naval Academy’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Physics until 24 May 1936. He returned to sea as the executive officer and navigator of Elliott (DD-146) for three years, returning to the Naval Academy again as an instructor on 14 July 1939. Following instruction at the Mine Warfare School at Yorktown, Virginia, Lieutenant Commander Stout assumed command of light minelayer Breese (DM-18) on 24 July 1941.

Breese lay moored at Pearl Harbor, T.H., in berth D-3, Middle Loch, in a nest with three of her sister ships of Mine Division 2, when Japanese carrier planes attacked Oahu on 7 December 1941. Stout valiantly led his crewmen, who quickly manned guns and fired at the enemy planes, and sent boats to Pearl City landing to pick up returning men. Breese claimed to fire a 3-inch shell that splashed a plane, blowing the after part of the fuselage away, the remainder of the plane crashing into the west bank of the channel in flames. She also dropped 11 depth charges on an apparent Japanese midget submarine as the ship sortied from the harbor. Stout later paid tribute to the “behavior of the crew and officers,” adding that the “speed with which the guns were manned and put into action under very unfavorable circumstances speaks for itself.”

Stout assumed command of destroyer Claxton (DD-571) at Consolidated Steel Corporation, Ltd., Orange, Texas, on 24 October 1942. Stout commissioned the ship on 8 December 1942, and he received two awards of the Navy Cross for his courageous command of Claxton, as part of Destroyer Squadron 23 (the “Little Beavers”), during the fighting against the Japanese in the Solomon Islands, as well as a share of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the ship. Stout was detached from Claxton to command Destroyer Division 10 on 7 July 1944. He received the Silver Star for his “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy Japanese forces in Ormac Bay, Leyte.” He commanded Destroyer Squadron 56 from February 1945 until January 1946, after which he served as Chief Staff Officer to Commander, San Francisco Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. In June 1948, Stout assumed command of destroyer tender Sierra (AD-18), and from September 1949 to January 1952, had duty in connection with industrial plants with the Officer of Naval Material at Washington, D.C.

Stout, Herald F.
This picture of Stout later in his career aptly captures his rugged determination. (Stout (DDG-55) First Year Book, Ships History, Naval History & Heritage Command)

In January 1952, he became Commander Mine Squadron 3, Commander Western Pacific Minesweeping Force, and Commander Task Group 95.6, fighting in the Korean War. Stout reported as Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics to the Commandant of the Eleventh Naval District, with headquarters in San Diego, California, in April 1953. He remained there and in 1956, became the acting Commandant of the district until relieved of all active duty, pending his retirement. Captain Stout was transferred to the retired list and simultaneously advanced to the rank of rear admiral on the basis of his combat awards, on 30 June 1956.

Stout worked as a senior Reliability Design engineer with Convair Corporation, and as a Reliability Design engineer with Astronautics. His first wife passed away in 1966, and on 25 July 1976 he married Zoe E. Anderson, in the church where they met and served in ministry together. He was also a member of the Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons. Rear Admiral Stout died at the United Church of Christ of La Mesa, California, on 23 March 1987. The first U.S. ship named Stout.

(DDG-55: 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 embark (but not accommodate) 1 Sikorsky SH-60B Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III Seahawk; class Arleigh Burke)

Stout (DDG-55) was laid down on 8 August 1991 at Pascagoula, Miss., by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division, Litton Industries; launched on 16 October 1992; sponsored by Mrs. Bettie M. Boorda, wife of Adm. Jeremy M. Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations; and commissioned on 13 August 1994 at Houston, Texas, Cmdr. Carl E. Garrett Jr., in command.

Stout (DDG-55) 1994-Seal


Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and recall the sea and excellence. Red is emblematic of valor and courage; while white represents integrity. The battle axe is adapted from the Stout family’s coat of arms. Its upright position underscores Stout’s massive firepower and high survivability, while the double axe head, facing both ways, alludes to the all-encompassing offensive and defensive power of the integrated Aegis combat system. The star highlights Rear Adm. Stout’s many awards, as well as references the Silver Star. While commanding destroyer Claxton (DD-571), Stout resolutely aided his task force in sinking five Japanese warships during the Battles of Empress Augusta Bay and Cape St. George in 1943, thereby helping to establish an Allied beachhead on Bougainville. This fighting is symbolized by the blue wedge piercing the red field, the blue wedge representing Stout and U.S. naval forces disabling and destroying a surface force, signified by the red field.


The cross suggests the Navy Cross, one of many decorations awarded to Stout, and exemplifies the strong devotion to God and country that characterized Stout’s naval career, and that no Stout Sailor stands alone. It is enflamed to recall the fierce bombardment of the naval battle in the Solomon Islands. The lion, a symbol of courage, strength, and hunting skills, commemorates Stout and the men and officers who served under his leadership, and to those who continue that tradition serving on board Stout (DDG-55).

Stout (DDG-55) 1994-060429-N-1045B-006
Stout (right) joins aircraft carrier George Washington (CVN-73) for an antisubmarine exercise in the Caribbean, 29 April 2006. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael D. Blackwell II, Department of Defense Photograph 060429-N-1045B-006, Department of Defense Press Operations website)

Tanzanian-flagged passenger ferry Spice Islander I lost power while en route from Oman to Tanzania and drifted in pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast, in September 2007. The ferry rapidly consumed her fuel, food, and water and required immediate assistance. On 26 September, guided missile destroyer James E. Williams (DDG-95), with a Sikorsky SH-60B from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light (HSL) 44 Detachment 9 embarked, assisted Spice Islander I. The Seahawk also directed Stout to the scene, and Stout took the ferry in tow and provided the mariners with food, water, and fuel to enable Spice Islander I to resume her voyage.

In 2011 fighting raged across Libya between Moammar Qadhafi and rebels opposed to his regime. The war drove tens of thousands of refugees across the neighboring border, and overburdened UN relief workers revealed that the plight of the fugitives reached a “crisis point.” The UN Security Council thus passed Resolution 1973 authorizing the use of force, including the implementation of a no-fly zone, to end Qadhafi’s attacks against his own people. The U.S. froze at least $30 billion worth of Libyan assets, and on the night of 19 March 2011, American, British, Canadian, Danish, French, Italian, and Spanish forces launched Operation Odyssey Dawn to destroy Qadhafi’s ability to attack civilians and to impose a no-fly zone.

Stout (DDG-55) 1994-110319-N-9465P-105
Stout launches a BGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) against the recalcitrant Libyan dictator’s armed forces from her operating area in the Mediterranean, 19 March 2011. (Fire Controlman 2nd Class Nathan Pappas, U.S. Navy Photograph 110319-N-9465P-105, Navy NewsStand)
Stout (DDG-55) 1994-110319-N-9465P-104
The missile’s flames ignite the night as it hurtles toward the enemy. (Fire Controlman 2nd Class Nathan Pappas, U.S. Navy Photograph 110319-N-9465P-104, Navy NewsStand)

Air and missile strikes pounded more than 20 integrated Libyan air defense and radar systems and airfields. Four USMC McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier IIs and 15 USAF aircraft including Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirits flew 19 air sorties, and guided missile destroyers Barry (DDG-52) and Stout, guided missile submarine Florida (SSGN-728), attack submarines Providence (SSN-719) and Scranton (SSN-756), and British attack submarine Triumph (S.93) fired more than 110 BGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs). Grumman EA-6G Growlers and Harrier IIs subsequently jammed enemy transmissions. Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander Joint Task Force (JTF) Odyssey Dawn, broke his flag in command ship Mount Whitney (LCC-20). These attacks hit primarily SA-2, SA-3, and SA-5 surface-to-air missile batteries around Libyan airfields, as well as enemy aircraft on the ground and munitions sites, enabling the allies to enforce the no-fly zone from east to west throughout Libya. British Air Vice Marshal Gregory J. Bagwell, RAF, told reporters on 23 March that the Libyan Air Force “no longer exists as a fighting force.” JTF Odyssey Dawn was disestablished on 30 March, and the allied force shifted to NATO Operation Unified Protector. The ongoing NATO air support enabled the rebels to eventually defeat the dictator, and they ambushed and killed Qadhafi while he fled from Surt on 20 October 2011.

Stout (DDG-55) 1994-131123-N-QL471-591
Stout patrols the Mediterranean while deployed to the Sixth Fleet, 23 November 2013. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Billy Ho, U.S. Navy Photograph 131123-N-QL471-591, Navy NewsStand)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

17 October 2014

Published: Thu Sep 24 19:33:29 EDT 2015