USS Harry W. Hill

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USS Harry W. Hill (DD-986) underway off San Diego in December 1984
USS Harry W. Hill in 1984
United States
Namesake: Harry W. Hill
Ordered: 15 January 1975
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
Laid down: 1 April 1977
Launched: 10 August 1978
Acquired: 29 October 1979
Commissioned: 17 November 1979
Decommissioned: 29 May 1998
Struck: 29 May 1998
Motto: Speed, Surprise, Success
Fate: Sunk as target, 15 July 2004
General characteristics
Class and type: Spruance-class destroyer
Displacement: 8,040 (long) tons full load
Length: 529 ft (161 m) waterline; 563 ft (172 m) overall
Beam: 55 ft (16.8 m)
Draft: 29 ft (8.8 m)
Propulsion: 4 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, 2 shafts, 80,000 shp (60 MW)
Speed: 32.5 knots (60 km/h)
  • 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
  • 3,300 nautical miles (6,100 km; 3,800 mi) at 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 19 officers, 315 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 2 x Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.

USS Harry W. Hill (DD-986), named for Admiral Harry W. Hill USN, was a Spruance-class destroyer built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries at Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Harry W. Hill was the only Spruance-class destroyer not to be armed with Tomahawk missile armored box launchers or the Mark 41 vertical launch system.


In late November 1982 Harry W. Hill was detached from the USS Enterprise battlegroup to shadow the Soviet aircraft carrier Minsk, which was transiting the Indian Ocean for her first deployment to the Far East, a matter of considerable interest to U.S. planners. As such, Enterprise assigned two intelligence specialists to Harry W. Hill to help in tracking the Russians. Harry W. Hill rejoined the battlegroup on 19–20 January 1983.

Harry W. Hill deployed as part of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, part of the 1990-1991 Gulf War. On 14 January 1991, she collided with the Wichita class replenishment oiler USS Kansas City while conducting underway replenishment operations in the Gulf of Oman. There were no personnel casualties or injuries reported.

In 1994, Harry W. Hill was significantly damaged during a maneuver to re-float her and exit a dry dock. In the incident, she was caught by a gust of wind which caused the ship to smash into the dry dock. One of the steel wire control lines intended to control the ship parted, seriously injuring two crewmen in the process. The ship sustained damaged to her rudders, screws, and controllable prop pitch systems.

Harry W. Hill is unique for being the only Spruance-class destroyer to never carry the Tomahawk cruise missile.


She was based out of San Diego for much of her career. Harry W. Hill was decommissioned and stricken from the Navy List on 29 May 1998. She was sunk as a target during RIMPAC 2004 on 15 July 2004.

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