Wayne Eugene Meyer, born on 21 April 1926 in Brunswick, Mo., to Eugene and Nettie G. Meyer, enlisted in the Naval Reserve as an apprentice seaman on 12 May 1943, two weeks prior to his graduation from high school. He served in the naval V-12 Unit at the University of Kansas, and graduated with a B.S. in electrical engineering, and was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve on 1 February 1946. On 2 February 1947, Meyer completed a second B.S. in electronics engineering, as a “radar student” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Meyer served as the Electronics Officer on board radar picket destroyer Goodrich (DDR-831) during a deployment to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean (2 February-22 May 1948). This voyage took place during the Greek Civil War, and the heightened tensions that ensued between the Western Allies and the East Bloc. He learned additional skills during this cruise, and stood watches as the Combat Information Center (CIC) Officer, Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Officer, and Air Controller (Night). Meyer followed this tour by shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific Fleets when he reported on board Springfield (CL-66) as her Electronics Officer, and sailed in the light cruiser to the Western Pacific during the Chinese Civil War (July 1948-December 1949). He also stood watches as the All Weather Air Controller. Meyer married Margaret T. Garvey on 17 September 1949, at Dorchester, Mass. Their union produced three children: Paula A., James E., and Robert W.
He returned to the east coast and sailed in destroyer tender Sierra (AD-18) during two voyages to the Mediterranean, serving at times as an Operations, CIC, ASW, and Communications Officer (December 1949-July 1951). Meyer then attended the Guided Missiles School at Fort Bliss, Texas, graduating 17th in a class of 65 (July 1951-April 1952). He followed this by serving as an instructor at the Special Weapons School, Atlantic Fleet (April 1952-September 1954), and as a student at the General Line School, Monterey, Calif. (September 1954-May 1955). He returned to sea as the Executive Officer of radar picket escort ship Strickland (DER-333), and sailed with her during the seaward extension of the Distant Early Warning Line to provide early warning of a surprise Soviet nuclear attack (May 1955-December 1956).
Meyer then served as the War Plans & Special Weapons Officer on the commander’s staff of Destroyer Force, Atlantic (December 1956-July 1958). He followed this by attaining his third second B.S., in electronics engineering, at the Navy’s Postgraduate School at Monterey (July 1958-May 1960). After a brief course in management at Monterey, Meyer attained an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT (July 1960-June 1961).
He then served as the Fire Control Officer and the Weapons Officer on board guided missile light cruiser Galveston (CLG-3) during the long pulse continuous wave conversion of the RIM-8 Talos long range surface-to-air missile (June 1961-17 June 1963). His work on the system while afloat prepared him for his next assignment as the Fire Control Manager of the RIM-2 Terrier medium range surface-to-air missile, at the Special Navy Task Force for Surface Missile Systems, Bureau of Naval Weapons, Washington, D.C. (17 June 1963-1 November 1966). He became the Engineering Director at the Naval Ship Missile Systems Engineering Station, Port Hueneme, Calif. (1 November 1966-24 February 1970).
The Navy then chose Meyer to lead the development of the new AEGIS Weapon System, an integrated naval command and control and weapons system that uses radar (and in its current incarnation computers) to track and guide weapons to enemy targets, in the Naval Ordnance Systems Command at Washington (July 1970-July 1972). In January 1977, he assumed duties as the founding project manager of the AEGIS Shipbuilding Project. This project ultimately incorporated the system within all of the cruisers and destroyers subsequently constructed. Meyer was designated a Pioneer in the Navy’s Acquisition Hall of Fame in the Pentagon, in 1977. Rear Adm. Meyer retired on 1 December 1985. Meyer’s first wife Margaret died in 1992, and in 2003 he wed Anna M. Seixas of Falls Church, Va. They had two children, Anna and Edward. Meyer died on 1 September 2009, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., on 17 September.
His decorations include: the Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Meritorious Service Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon with Bronze Star; China Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Medal with Bronze Star; Vietnam Service Medal; and the Ronald W. Reagan Missile Defense Award.
(DDG-108: 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 BGM-109 Tomahawks, RIM-156 SM-2MR Standards, and RUM-139 VL-ASROC Vertically Antisubmarine Rockets, 2 Mk 15 Close In Weapon Systems (CIWS), 2 25 millimeter, 4 .50 caliber machine guns, and 6 Mk 32 torpedo tubes, aircraft 2 Sikorsky MH-60R Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III Seahawks; cl. Arleigh Burke)
Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108) was laid down on 4 October 2006 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 18 January 2008; sponsored by Mrs. Anna M. Meyer, widow of the late Rear Adm. Meyer; and commissioned on 10 October 2009 at Philadelphia, Pa., Cmdr. Nick A. Sarap Jr., in command.
The shape of the arms enclosure, derived from the cover of the Aegis array assembly, represents Aegis engineering and refers to the mythological shield of Zeus: a reminder that Aegis shields the fleet. The left supporting Talos long range surface-to-air missile refers to the admiral’s early career and his duties in guided missile light cruiser Galveston (CLG-3), where he served as Fire Control and Gunnery Officer at the birth of modern U.S. naval missilery. The right supporting SM2/3 surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile refers to the evolution from Talos to the Standard. The eagle and swords recall the firepower of the ship and its readiness to defend the United States. The Medusa escutcheon recalls the mythology of Zeus and the power of the AEGIS system to effectively petrify an enemy. The orle of gold stars refers to Meyer’s thirteen years of leadership, vision, and commitment as the founding project manager of AEGIS Shipbuilding. The larger fourteenth star refers to his rise to the ranks of admiralty. The Navy Blue book binding and scarlet bordure of the Medusa escutcheon denotes unity, purpose, and courage: values of the greatest generation epitomized by Meyer. The dark blue represents the Navy, and the gold signifies excellence.
The mullet and anchor record Meyer’s award of the Distinguished Service Medal; the compass rose denotes his world-wide achievement; and the color scarlet signifies his sacrifice and courage. The wreath and sprig of Hawthorn Blossom at the base denote distinctive honor and Meyer’s origins in the fertile gumbo region of the state of Missouri. The opened technical book and slide rule represent the engineering rigor required in shipbuilding, and recall Meyer’s disciplined approach to engineering excellence, as well as the solid engineering foundation gained through schooling.
“One Powerful Legacy” in gold on a dark blue scroll garnished gold and doubled Celeste Blue.
Following Wayne E. Meyer’s commissioning, she continued on Sail Around, her voyage to her new home port of Naval Station (NS) San Diego, Calif. The ship visited NS Norfolk, Va., and NS Mayport, Fla., passed through the Panama Canal, visited Manzanillo, Mexico, and moored to Pier 2 at San Diego on 4 December 2009. During each of her port visits, crewmembers took part in Project Handclasp, a charity that uses Navy ships to deliver donated goods to families in need.
Wayne E. Meyer, Cmdr. John C. Howard in command, and with a detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 embarked, made her maiden deployment: to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, and Mediterranean (29 July 2011–28 February 2012).
Wayne E. Meyer operates with Destroyer Squadron 21 out of NS San Diego.
Detailed history under construction.
Mark L. Evans
24 March 2014