USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Biddle.
USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) underway c1964.jpg
USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) in 1964
Career (US)
Name: Biddle DDG-5
Namesake: Claude V. Ricketts
Ordered: 28 March 1957
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 18 May 1959
Launched: 14 June 1960
Acquired: 2 May 1962
Commissioned: 5 May 1962
Decommissioned: 31 October 1989
Renamed: Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) 28 July 1964
Struck: 1 June 1990
Fate: Disposed of by scrapping 8 November 2002
General characteristics
Class & type: Charles F. Adams-class destroyer
Displacement: 3,277 tons standard, 4,526 full load
Length: 437 ft (133 m)
Beam: 47 ft (14 m)
Draft: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Propulsion: 2 × Westinghouse steam turbines providing 70,000 shp (52 MW); 2 shafts
4 x Foster-Wheeler 1,275 psi (8,790 kPa) boilers
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h)
Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h)
Complement: 354 (24 officers, 330 enlisted)
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPS-39 3D air search radar
AN/SPS-10 surface search radar
AN/SPG-51 missile fire control radar
AN/SPG-53 gunfire control radar
AN/SQS-23 Sonar and the hull mounted SQQ-23 Pair Sonar for DDG-2 through 19
AN/SPS-40 Air Search Radar
Armament:

1 Mk 11 missile launcher (DDG2-14) or Mk 13 single arm missile launcher (DDG-15-24) for RIM-24 Tartar SAM system, or later the RIM-66 Standard (SM-1) and Harpoon antiship missile
2 x 5"/54 caliber Mark 42 (127 mm) gun


1 x RUR-5 ASROC Launcher
6 x 12.8 in (324 mm) ASW Torpedo Tubes (2 x Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes)
Aircraft carried: None

USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5), previously Biddle and DD-955, was a Charles F. Adams-class guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy. She was the third US Naval ship named after Nicholas Biddle, one of the first five captains of the Continental Navy.

Originally to be designated as DD-955, the ship was laid down as DDG-5 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden, New Jersey on 18 May 1959, launched on 4 June 1960 and commissioned as USS Biddle on 5 May 1962, at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard CDR Paul Roth in command.

Biddle was renamed to Claude V. Ricketts on 28 July 1964 in honor of Admiral Claude V. Ricketts, who had died on 6 July 1964.

Multilateral Force[edit]

From June 1964 to end of 1965 Claude V. Ricketts was part of a mixed-manning experiment for a proposed Multilateral Force (MLF). Its crew consisted of 10 officers and 164 crew from the US Navy with the remainder filled by sailors from West Germany, Italy, Greece, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Turkey. Though the MLF never was created, Secretary of the Navy Paul Nitze stated that the project on Claude V. Ricketts was successful.[1] The ship's crest includes the NATO insignia.[2]

Belknap collision[edit]

The Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) served as the rescue unit and tied up alongside USS Belknap (CG-26) after her collision with USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) on the night of 22 November 1975 - the twelfth anniversary of the assassination of the president so named. The Belknap was ablaze with exploding ammunition from the ready storage locker of her two 3-inch guns, but the crew of the Claude V. Ricketts battled the conflagration for 7 hours and limited the damage, evacuating the injured while fragments from exploding ammunition showered down upon her weather decks. In the end, CG-26 was knocked and melted to her 01 level, which is the next level above the main deck. Seven crew members aboard Belknap and one aboard the Kennedy were killed.

Iranian Hostage Crisis[edit]

The Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) was making a port visit to Karachi, Pakistan when radical students invaded and took control of the embassy staff on November 4, 1979. The Ricketts was immediately tasked to proceed to the Persian Gulf area of operations to join with the USS La Salle (AGF-3) and remained for the next four months continuously at sea. Fog shrouded the area for the week after arrival and lifted to reveal the Iranian coastline less than 10 miles away. At one point four armed Iranian F-4 Phantoms harassed the Ricketts with close fly-bys during refueling operations. The crew faced hardships as food stores dwindled. The Ricketts returned to Norfolk in March 1980.[citation needed]

Decommissioning[edit]

Claude V. Ricketts was decommissioned on 31 October 1989 at Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, VA, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1990 and sold for scrap on 15 April 1994, to NR Acquisitions of NYC and towed to Bethlehem Steel's old Fairfield yard in Baltimore, MD for scrapping by Wilmington Resources, Inc. of Wilmington, NC. Sale price $ 184,550.66.[citation needed] The scrap contract was terminated on 1 October 1996, and the Navy repossessed the ship on 18 October, and returned to NISMF Philadelphia and the ship was resold to Metro Machine, Incorporated, of Philadelphia Pennsylvania on 5 December 2001 . Scrapping was completed on 8 November 2002.

For other ships named Biddle, see USS Biddle. As of 2007, there have been no other ships named for Claude V. Ricketts.

References[edit]

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