Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr., born in San Francisco, Calif., on 29 November 1920, entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1939, and was commissioned ensign on 19 June 1942. He served on board destroyers Phelps (DD-360) and Robinson (DD-562) during World War II, and received the Bronze Star for his actions as an evaluator in Robinson’s Combat Information Center during a torpedo attack against Japanese battleships at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, on 25 October 1944. Following the war, he commanded (as prize crew officer) Japanese river gunboat Ataka, and steamed her up the Yangtze River to disarm enemy troops in the Shanghai area (8 December 1945–March 1946).
Zumwalt served as the navigator of Wisconsin (BB-64) during the Korean War, piloting the battleship into the closest positions possible to obtain the maximum effect of her gunfire (23 November 1951–30 March 1952). He commanded guided missile frigate Dewey (DLG-14) (commissioned on 7 December 1959), and advanced to a succession of senior commands including Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Seven (July 1965–July 1966), Director, Systems Analysis Division, Chief of Naval Operations (August 1966–August 1968), Commander, Naval Forces Vietnam, and Naval Advisory Group Vietnam (September 1968–May 1970), and Chief of Naval Operations (July 1970–July 1974).
During his time as Chief of Naval Operations, the admiral worked to integrate men of color, and women, into the Navy. Sailors appreciated Zumwalt’s ‘Z-Grams’ whereby he initiated procedures to improve morale and liberalized naval practices concerning personal expression, such as allowing sailors to wear their hair longer, or by reducing inspections. Zumwalt died at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., on 2 January 2000.
For additional information see Admiral Elmo Russell Zumwalt Jr. at https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/people/chiefs-of-naval-operations/admiral-elmo-r--zumwalt-jr-.html.
(DDG-1000: displacement 15,761; length 610'; beam 81'; draft 28'; speed 30 knots; complement 186; armament 20 Mk 57 Vertical Launch System modules (80 cells) for RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, BGM-109E Tactical Tomahawks, and RUM-139C Anti-Submarine Rockets, two 155 millimeter Advanced Gun Systems, two Mk 46 30 millimeter Naval Weapon Systems, and two Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawks or one Seahawk and up to three Northrop Grumman RQ-8A Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; class Zumwalt)
Zumwalt (DDG-1000) was laid down on 17 November 2011 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works Corp.; launched on 28 October 2013; co-sponsored by Ann Zumwalt and Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers, two of the admiral’s children; and was commissioned on 15 October 2016 at Baltimore, Md., Capt. James A. Kirk in command.
Black denotes fidelity, conveying to Adm. Zumwalt’s commitment to country, the Navy, and Sailors. The terrestrial globe represents the ship's global mission. The trident symbolizes the naval authority manifest in DDG-1000’s cutting edge technology and firepower. The three tines denote her missile systems. The blue violet burst emitting from the center tine alludes to St. Elmo's fire, a weather phenomenon that sometimes appeared atop the masts of ships at sea during thunderstorms and was viewed by sailors to have religious significance. St. Erasmus of Formiae, also known as St. Elmo, was the patron saint of Sailors. Red refers to zeal and leadership. The chief denotes Zumwalt’s superior performance throughout his distinguished naval service. White conveys agreement. The letter “Z” is a modernized house mark, used in heraldry as an emblem of a family or clan member, and honors Zumwalt’s use of Z-NavOp messages, commonly referred to as “Z-grams,” to issue policy directives to reform his beloved Navy. The border honors the admiral being the youngest man to serve in the position of Chief of Naval Operations. The four stars commemorate the highest rank he achieved.
The demi-sun represents enlightenment and truth to which he devoted his life. The sun radiates 32 rays, symbolizing his years of service. The eagle embodies Zumwalt as a man of action and courage. The arrows denote readiness, illustrating the three major conflicts in which he served: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The olive branch symbolizes peace.
The Navy officer's sword, Marine Corps officer’s Mameluke, Navy chief petty officer's cutlass, and a Marine Corps non-commissioned officer's sword attest to unity and teamwork between the Navy and Marine Corps, signifying the ship's mission of land attack warfare in support of forces ashore.
Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the U.S. Navy, representing the sea and excellence. The motto, “PAX PROPTER VIM” (Peace through Power) reflects DDG-1000’s operational capabilities, and is a tribute to the motto of guided missile frigate Dewey (DLG-14), later reclassified to DDG-45, in which Zumwalt served as her commissioning commanding officer.
An artist's conception of the ship in action in a future battle. (U.S. Navy photograph 080723-N-0000X-001, Defense Visual Information Center)
Zumwalt moors at Canton Port Services at Baltimore, Md., in preparation for her commissioning, 13 October 2016. The photographer’s lens captures the ship’s unique silhouette, designed to help reduce her radar signature, as well as the brightly colored flags and patriotic bunting heralding her arrival in operational service. (PO2 George M. Ball, U.S. Navy Photograph 161015-N-AT895-366, Navy NewsStand)
The color guard prepares to parade the colors as Zumwalt is commissioned at Baltimore, Md., 15 October 2016. (PO1 Nathan Laird, U.S. Navy Photograph 161015-N-AT895-366, Navy NewsStand)
Adm. John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, delivers his remarks during the ship’s commissioning ceremony, 15 October 2016. (PO1 Nathan Laird, U.S. Navy Photograph 161015-N-AT895-066, Navy NewsStand)
Zumwalt dwarfs Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., Commander Pacific Command, as he speaks during her commissioning in this picture that emphasizes the destroyer’s large dimensions, 15 October 2016. (PO2 Sonja Wickard, U.S. Navy Photograph 161015-N-HV059-069, Navy NewsStand)
Balloons soar into the air, the crowd applauds, and sailors race to man the destroyer as she joins the fleet, 15 October 2016. (PO1 Nathan Laird, U.S. Navy Photograph 161015-N-AT895-424, Navy NewsStand)
The national ensign and Zumwalt’s commissioning pennant fly over the ship, 15 October 2016. (PO1 Nathan Laird, U.S. Navy Photograph 161015-N-AT895-158, Navy NewsStand)
Detailed history pending.
Mark L. Evans
17 October 2016