USS Mason (DDG-87)

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For other ships with the same name, see USS Mason.
USS Mason.
USS Mason (DDG-87)
United States
Name: USS Mason
Namesake: Mason (DE-529)
Ordered: 13 December 1996
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Laid down: 19 January 2000
Launched: 23 June 2001
Commissioned: 12 April 2003
Motto: Proudly We Serve
Status: in active service
Badge: USS Mason DDG-87 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
Displacement: 9,200 tons
Length: 509 ft 6 in (155.30 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 × General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, 2 shafts, 100,000 shp (75,000 kW)
Speed: exceeds 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 380 officers and enlisted
Aircraft carried: 2 x SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters

USS Mason (DDG-87) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She is named for two men: former Secretary of the Navy John Young Mason and Flying Cross Winner Ensign Newton Henry Mason. This ship is the 37th destroyer of its class. USS Mason was the 21st ship of this class to be built at in Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and construction began on 19 January 2000. She was launched and christened on 23 June 2001. On 12 April 2003, a commissioning ceremony was held at Port Canaveral, Florida. Mason is currently homeported in Norfolk, Virginia.


This is the third ship with the name USS Mason. The first Mason (DD-191), in service from 1920 to 1941, was named for John Young Mason, well known for his service as the Secretary of the Navy for two American Presidents. The second Mason (DE-529) was named for Ensign Newton Henry Mason, a Naval Aviator who was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. This ship is named for the crew of the second Mason (DE-529) as this was the first ship in the US Navy with this distinction of a predominantly black crew.[1]


USS Mason conducted her maiden deployment with the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2004. Mason returned home after six months on 18 April 2005.[2]

On 3 October 2006, Mason departed Naval Station Norfolk for a seven-month deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of the Global War on Terrorism. She participated in Exercise Neon Falcon. Mason returned home in May 2007.[3]

Mason deployed with the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on 12 September 2008 for a scheduled deployment.[4]

On 12 March 2011, she sailed through the Suez Canal en route to the Mediterranean, to support possible humanitarian or military action in response to the 2011 Libyan civil war.[5] In April 2011, a boarding team from the ship successfully liberated five Yemeni hostages from eleven Somali pirates who had taken over the Yemeni-flagged ship F/V Nasri. The pirates had seriously injured two other fishermen in their attack, left the wounded ashore, and then taken Nasri to sea as a pirate mothership. Assault weapons, ammunition, rocket propelled grenades and launchers were destroyed by the boarding team.[6]

On 22 July 2013, she deployed to the 5th and 6th Fleet area of responsibility as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. Mason returned to her homeport on 18 April 2014.

On 7 November 2015 Mason, acting as the flagship for Destroyer Squadron 26, completed the first East Coast Passing Exercise with the People's Republic of China's People's Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] ships and U.S. Navy warships.

Commanding officers[edit]

The Commanding Officer (CO) of USS Mason (DDG-87) is the most senior officer that is in command of the ship. Sailors will refer to the CO as "the Captain" (regardless of rank), or sometimes informally as "Skipper". Below is the list of commanding officers of USS Mason.

# Name Start End
9 CDR Christopher J. Gilbertson 1 August 2015 Present
8 CDR Mikal J. Phillips 28 February 2014 1 August 2015
7 CDR Donald W. Marks 3 August 2012 28 February 2014
6 CDR Adan G. Cruz 15 March 2011 3 August 2012
5 CDR Kevin M. Robinson 15 May 2009 15 March 2011
4 CDR Robert E. Clark 31 August 2007 15 May 2009
3 CDR John V. Fuller 13 January 2006 31 August 2007
2 CDR Eugene H. Black III 21 May 2004 13 January 2006
1 CDR David J. Gale 12 April 2003 21 May 2004

Coat of Arms[edit]

USS Mason (DDG-87) Coat of Arms.jpg


The shield has background of white with a double chevron across the center. Above are opposing lions and below is a gold trident.

The traditional Navy colors were chosen for the shield because dark blue and gold represents the sea and excellence respectively. Our Nation’s colors, red, white and blue, are all represented. The double chevron is to honor DD 191 and DE 529, the former ships named USS Mason. The facing lions are adapted from the Mason family Coat of Arms, denote the Atlantic and Pacific campaigns of World War II. The trident, symbol of sea prowess, represents Mason’s modern warfare capabilities which include; AEGIS weapon system, Cooperative Engagement Capability, and Theater Ballistic Missile Defense.


The crest consists of a helm, crossing swords behind and a combined anchor and cross surrounded by a wreath.

The helm is symbolic to strong defense with power projection. The anchor refers to the namesake of DD 191, John Young Mason, who was the Secretary of the Navy under President John Tyler and James K. Polk. The cross is in reference to Newton Henry Mason’s Distinguished Flying Cross award. The wreath represents all the awards, honors and achievements of the past ships with the namesake Mason and crews who served them.


The motto is written on a scroll of white with a red trim.

The ships motto is "Proudly We Serve". The motto is an honor the high achievement of the African American crew of DE 529 who made history with their selfless bravery in defense of the country in World War II and also marks their contribution to the eventual desegregation of the Navy.


The coat of arms in full color as in the blazon, upon a white background enclosed within a dark blue oval border edged on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the inscription "USS Mason" at the top and "DDG 87" in the base all gold.



  1. ^ "History of USS Mason". United States Navy. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Mason Conducts Maritime Operations in Persian Gulf". Navy NewsStand. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group Returns from Deployment Navy NewsStand Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "USS Theodore Roosevelt Deploys in Support of Maritime Security". Navy NewsStand. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Libya Live Blog, 12 March. Al Jazeera Archived 13 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "USS Mason Intercepts Pirate Mother-ship in Arabian Sea". Combined Maritime Forces. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 

External links[edit]

This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.