USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51)

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USS Thomas S. Gates getting underway from Naval Station Pascagoula
USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) getting underway from Naval Station Pascagoula
Career (USA)
Ordered: 20 May 1982
Builder: Bath Iron Works
Laid down: 31 August 1984
Launched: 14 December 1985
Sponsored by: Mrs. Thomas S. (Anne) Gates, Jr., widow of the late Secretary of Defense.
Acquired: 22 June 1987
Commissioned: 22 August 1987
Decommissioned: 15 December 2005
Struck: 14 December 2005
Motto: Defender of the Republic
Fate: To be disposed of
Badge: USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) coat of arms.jpg
General characteristics
Class & type: Ticonderoga class cruiser
Displacement: Approx. 9,600 long tons (9,800 t) full load
Length: 567 feet (173 m)
Beam: 55 feet (16.8 meters)
Draught: 34 feet (10.2 meters)

4 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbine engines, 80,000 shaft horsepower (60,000 kW)
2 × controllable-reversible pitch propellers

2 × rudders
Speed: 32.5 knots (60 km/h)
Complement: 33 officers, 27 Chief Petty Officers, and approx. 340 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
Armament: 2 × Mk 26 missile launchers
68 × RIM-66 SM-2, and 20 × RUR-5 ASROC
8 × RGM-84 Harpoon missiles
2 × Mark 45 5 in / 54 cal lightweight gun
2–4 × .50 cal (12.7 mm) gun
2 × Phalanx CIWS
2 × Mk 32 12.75 in (324 mm) triple torpedo tubes
Aircraft carried: 2 × Sikorsky SH-60B or MH-60R Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.

USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) is a flight-I Ticonderoga-class cruiser in the United States Navy. The warship is named after Thomas S. Gates, Secretary of Defense in the last years of the Eisenhower Administration (1959–1961). Thomas S. Gates was laid down 31 August 1984 at Bath Iron Works, Maine and sponsored by Anne Gates, daughter of the ships namesake. Thomas S. Gates was launched 14 December 1985, purchased 22 June 1987 and was commissioned 22 August 1987.


Thomas S. Gates participated in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.[1][2]

In March 2003 Thomas S. Gates, homeported at Pascagoula, was assigned to Destroyer Squadron 6.[3]


Due to Hurricane Katrina, her last deployment was cut short. The crew was given leave to take care of their families and other personal business. The Navy decommissioned her on 15 December 2005,[2] four months earlier than the planned March, 2006 date, and only after serving 18 years in the active fleet. She was stricken the same date and was berthed at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia, PA in 2014. As of 2008, she was slated to be dismantled in the next five years along with her sisters Vincennes and Yorktown.[4] As of July 2014, NAVSEA planned to place ex-Thomas S. Gates and ex-Ticonderoga up for bid to scrappers via the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).[5]


Ship Insignia[edit]

Thomas S. Gates’s insignia reflects the government service of the man honored in the name of the ship. The upper section of the crest represents Gates’s World War II service in various aircraft carriers (large, small, and escort); the deep blue represents the Pacific Ocean; the gold U.S. Navy tradition. The heraldic rayonne division of scarlet and gold symbolizes the severity of Japanese kamikaze attacks that descended upon aircraft carriers during the Lingayen, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa campaigns, in which Gates participated. The anchor and stars, adapted from the Secretary of the Navy’s flag, refer to Gates’s tenure as Undersecretary of the Navy and Secretary of the Navy. The three arrows, which appear on the flag of the Secretary of Defense, reflect his tours as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense and Secretary of Defense.[1]

On the crest, the eagle, symbolic of power and authority, along with the ship’s wheel, allude to the strong leadership provided by Gates during a period of technological change (guns to missiles, conventional to nuclear power, piston engines to jets, and the beginning of space exploration) while at the helm of the Defense Department. The alternating colors of the wheel symbolize that era of change. The blue stars represent the United States, the red, China; the gold rays from the Presidential seal emphasize the significance of Gates’s appointment, by President Gerald R. Ford, to head the U.S. Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China, and reflect Gates’s contributions to the United States in that role, his last as a public servant.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS). Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Naval Vessel Historical Evaluation CG-51 Final Determination". US Navy NAVSEA. 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  3. ^ "US Navy Aircraft Carriers & Surface Combatants". Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  4. ^ "Navy sink list includes Forrestal, destroyers - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq". Navy Times. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  5. ^ "Inactive Ship inventory July 2014". US Navy NAVSEA. 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 

External links[edit]