USS Fitzgerald

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USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62)
Valiant Shield 2012 120912-N-TX154-258.jpg
USS Fitzgerald underway in 2012
United States of America
Name: USS Fitzgerald
Namesake: William Charles Fitzgerald
Ordered: 22 February 1990
Builder: Bath Iron Works
Laid down: 9 February 1993
Launched: 29 January 1994
Sponsored by: Betty Ann Fitzgerald
Christened: 29 January 1994
Commissioned: 14 October 1995
Motto: "Protect Your People"
Nickname(s): "Fighting Fitz", "Fightin' Fitz"[1]
Status: in active service, as of 2015
Badge: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
  • Light: approx. 6,800 long tons (6,900 t)
  • Full: approx. 8,900 long tons (9,000 t)
Length: 505 ft (154 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)
Speed: >30 knots (56 km/h)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 1 Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopter can be embarked

USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), named for U.S. Navy officer William Charles Fitzgerald, is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was laid down by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine 9 February 1993; launched 29 January 1994; and commissioned 14 October 1995 in Newport, Rhode Island. She was then homeported in Naval Station San Diego, California.


USS Fitzgerald pulls into port at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in March 2003
USS Fitzgerald in the Coral Sea, June 2005
Indian Navy guided missile destroyer INS Mysore (foreground) and USS Fitzgerald transit in formation in support of Exercise Malabar 2007.
A sailor aboard USS Fitzgerald in 2014.
USS Fitzgerald‍ '​s quarterdeck in 2014.


In early April 2004, it was announced that USS Fitzgerald would be one of fifteen destroyers and three cruisers which would be deployed to counter ballistic missile threats worldwide. She arrived in Yokosuka, Japan on 30 September 2004 to join the U.S. 7th Fleet after participating in a personnel exchange known as "Super Swap". 140 sailors from the destroyer USS O'Brien transferred to Fitzgerald and 95 of Fitzgerald’s sailors joined the decommissioning unit for O'Brien. She is now homeported at Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan.

In March 2011, in company with the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, Fitzgerald was deployed off northeastern Honshu, Japan to assist with relief efforts after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[2][3][4]

On 16 November 2011, while docked in Manila, Philippines, Fitzgerald acted as the site where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario signed the Manila Declaration calling for multilateral talks to resolve maritime disputes and to mark the 60th anniversary of the American-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty.[5][6]

Ship's crest[edit]

The Fitzgerald family coat of arms (a white shield with a red saltire) provides the foundation for the coat of arms for Fitzgerald. The shield signifies defense, while the saltire connotes strength and its red color represents valor and action. This traditional design has been modified by the addition of a blue cross paty interlaced with a gold annulet and four shamrocks. The cross commemorates the Navy Cross posthumously awarded to Lieutenant William Charles Fitzgerald for extraordinary heroism in the Vietnam battle that took his life. The annulet symbolizes the continuity of everlasting hope, fidelity and unity. The four shamrocks represent Lieutenant Fitzgerald's Irish family and heritage.


The sword and cutlass crossed behind the shield depict Lieutenant Fitzgerald's personal experiences as both an officer and enlisted sailor, as well as the professional excellence and teamwork in the United States Navy. The dolphins flanking the shield signify maritime dominance and allude to Fitzgerald's role in preserving America's command of the seas.


The trident, a traditional symbol of maritime prowess, represents both Lieutenant Fitzgerald's graduation from the United States Naval Academy and Fitzgerald‍ '​s war fighting capabilities. Each tine of the trident depicts separate warfare areas—air, surface and sub-surface—in which Fitzgerald possesses unmatched strengths. Lions, the traditional symbol for strength and courage on land, support each side of the trident. They commemorate the circumstances under which Lieutenant Fitzgerald gave his life and to signify the eternal vigilance and teamwork necessary to project U.S. maritime power ashore.


The scroll, in the national colors of red, white, and blue and emblazoned with the motto "Protect Your People," bears testimony to the ideals and actions exemplified throughout the life of William Charles Fitzgerald. This motto also links the Fitzgeralds' ancient family history—their Gallic war cry translates as "Defend the castle forever" – with the gallantry, dedication and extraordinary heroism of Lieutenant Fitzgerald and the honored traditions of the United States Navy.

Commanding officers[edit]

The commanding officer (C.O.) of USS Fitzgerald is a United States Navy commissioned officer that is the most senior officer on the ship. The C.O. is the ultimate authority over operations of Fitzgerald and her crew. To date, there have been thirteen commanding officers:

List of commanding officers[edit]

# Name Start of tenure End of tenure
13 CDR Christopher S. England 29 May 2014 incumbent
12 CDR Jonathan Lowe Schmitz[7] 17 December 2012 29 May 2014
11 CDR Brian T. Mutty[7] 26 July 2011 17 December 2012
10 CDR Dennis Velez[7] 18 May 2010 26 July 2011
9 CDR Richard John Dromerhauser[7] 31 October 2008 18 May 2010
8 CDR Daniel P. Dusek[7] 4 May 2007 31 October 2008
7 CDR David Wayne Hughes[7] 7 September 2005 4 May 2007
6 CDR Bradley Joseph Smith[7] 24 October 2003 7 September 2005
5 CDR John Phillip Neagley[7] 12 December 2001 24 October 2003
4 CDR Alfred Collins[7] 19 April 2000 12 December 2001
3 CDR James Stephen Grant[7] 23 October 1998 19 April 2000
2 CDR Charles Walt Martoglio[7] 30 April 1997 23 October 1998
1 CDR Gary Michael Holst[7] 14 October 1995 30 April 1997


USS Fitzgerald earned the 2012 Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award.[8]

Fitzgerald has been awarded the Navy Battle "E" several times; 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2007.[8]



  1. ^ "USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62)". Facebook. 
  2. ^ Rabiroff, John (17 March 2011). "U.S. military delivers 40 tons of supplies to hardest-hit areas". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "Warships Supporting Earthquake in Japan". Seawaves. [dead link]
  4. ^ Stewart, Joshua (14 March 2011). "Navy ships off Japan move to avoid radiation". Military Times. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Clinton uses warship to push Philippines alliance". ABS-CBN News Interactive. Agence France-Presse. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "US, Philippines boost alliance amid row with China". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Associated Press. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l
  8. ^ a b Dortch, Debbie (5 February 2012). "SECNAV Names 2012 Outstanding Food Service Ney Award Winners". US Navy. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 


External links[edit]