USS Nathan James

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

USS Nathan James is a fictional guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy, used as the setting for the 1988 post-apocalyptic novel The Last Ship and the television series of the same name.


USS Nathan James
First appearance The Last Ship
Affiliation United States Navy
General characteristics
Class Nathan James-class guided missile destroyer
Registry DDG-80
Armaments 2 × 61-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launching Systems, 56 nuclear-tipped Tomahawk cruise missiles
Propulsion Nuclear reactor
Length 466 feet (142 m)
Width 59 feet (18 m)

USS Nathan James (DDG-80) is the lead ship of her class. The ship has a beam of 59 feet (18 m), a draft of 27 feet (8.2 m), and a length of 466 feet (142 m), with a rated speed of 38 knots (43.73 mph; 70.38 km/h). The number at the end of the hull code stands for the ship's position in the series, while the letters "DD" stand for "Destroyer" and the "G" for "Guided Missile". The ship was named after a U.S. Navy ensign who was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in World War II.


Armed with two 61-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launching Systems, Nathan James is nuclear-powered and carries a payload of 28 nuclear-tipped Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles for each Vertical Launching System, for a total of 56 nuclear-tipped Tomahawk cruise missiles rated at 200 kilotons each.[1][2]

Television series[edit]

USS Nathan James
First appearance The Last Ship
Affiliation United States Navy
Launched January 9, 2004
General characteristics
Class Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer
Registry DDG-151
Maximum speed over 30 knots (56 km/h)
Auxiliary craft 2 × SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters
Armaments 1 × 32 cell, 1 × 64 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems, 96 × RIM-66 SM-2, BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-ASROC, missiles
1 × 5/62 in (127/62 mm), 2 × 25 mm, 4 × 12.7 mm guns
2 × Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes
1 x 20mm Phalanx CIWS
Propulsion 4 × General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, 2 shafts
Power 100,000 shp (75,000 kW)
Length 509 feet (155 m)
Width 66 feet (20 m)

In the television series, USS Nathan James is homeported at Virginia's Naval Station Norfolk, rather than in Norway, as in the book. Its hull code is DDG-151, where in the book it is DDG-80, likely because USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) was christened after the release of the novel. In the canon of the show, it is named after a navy captain and was authorized in September 2001, laid down in June 2002, and launched in January 2004.[3] The ship's motto is "The Spear of the Navy".[4]

In the pilot, "Phase Six", it is mentioned that Nathan James has a crew complement of 217.[5] By the season 2 finale, "A More Perfect Union", CDR Chandler mentions that there are 204 crewmen on Nathan James.[6]

In the season 2 finale, "A More Perfect Union", Nathan James arrives in St. Louis, Missouri after defeating the Immunes and is scheduled to spend the next few months in drydock.

In "The Scott Effect", CAPT Slattery, CDR Garnett, CMDCM Jeter, LTJG Mason, Dr. Rios, GM2 Miller, and SA Diaz are taken prisoner from a Vietnamese nightclub by Asian pirates.[7] In "Shanzhai", CAPT Chandler, as ranking officer, retakes command of Nathan James and names LT Granderson acting executive officer over LT Cameron Burk, a senior lieutenant who held the conn while CAPT Slattery was off-ship.[8] Upon the rescue of the prisoners of war in "Dog Day", CAPT Chandler returns command of the ship to CAPT Slattery.

In "Casus Belli", Nathan James is under the command of CDR Kara Green and her executive officer is CDR Carlton Burk.[9]

USS Halsey stands in for the television show's version of USS Nathan James. USS Halsey is a Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and is armed with a 5"/62 caliber Mark 45 gun.[10]


Season 1 to Season 2 (2014–2015)[edit]

  • Dr. Rachel Scott, Ph.D. (KIA, 2015) (Rhona Mitra) – Paleomicrobiologist
  • Dr. Quincy Tophet, Ph.D. (KIA, 2015) (Sam Spruell) – Paleomicrobiologist; killed during the siege of Nathan James by Amy Granderson's Maryland State Police troopers
  • Tex Nolan (KIA, 2016) (John Pyper-Ferguson) – Private security contractor; member of the visit, board, search, and seizure teams
  • Bertrise (Hope Olaide Wilson) – A young Jamaican woman rescued by Nathan James who has a genetic immunity to the virus
  • Kelly Tophet (Alice Coulthard) – Dr. Tophet's wife; rescued from captivity on Admiral Ruskov's ship; disembarked at Norfolk
  • Ava Tophet (Jade Pettyjohn) – Dr. Tophet's daughter; rescued from captivity on Admiral Ruskov's ship; disembarked at Norfolk
  • Jed Chandler (KIA, 2016) (Bill Smitrovich) – CDR Chandler's father; disembarked at Norfolk
  • Ashley Chandler (Grace Kaufman) – CDR Chandler's daughter; disembarked at Norfolk
  • Sam Chandler (Aidan Sussman) – CDR Chandler's son; disembarked at Norfolk
  • President Jeffrey "Jeff" Michener (KIA, 2016) (Mark Moses) – The President of the United States who has a genetic immunity to the virus; rescued by Nathan James from Sean Ramsey and the Immunes, and joined the crew in "Safe Zone".

Season 3 (2016)[edit]

Season 4 (2017)[edit]

Season 5 (2018)[edit]

Awards and decorations[edit]

The following are the medals and service awards depicted being painted on the bridge wing of USS Nathan James.


These are:

See also[edit]


  • Naval hats depicting USS Nathan James appear in Family Guy, season 16, Episode 14.


  1. ^ Unknown rank


  1. ^ Brinkley, William (February 1989). The Last Ship (Paperback ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 3. ISBN 0345359828.
  2. ^ Brinkley, William (February 1989). The Last Ship (Paperback ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 21. ISBN 0345359828. USS Nathan James, DDG 80, guided missile destroyer, first of her class,
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Phase Six". The Last Ship. Season 1. Episode 1. June 22, 2014.
  6. ^ "A More Perfect Union". The Last Ship. Season 2. Episode 13. September 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "The Scott Effect". The Last Ship. Season 3. Episode 1. June 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "Shanzhai". The Last Ship. Season 3. Episode 3. June 26, 2016.
  9. ^ "Casus Belli". The Last Ship. Season 5. Episode 1. September 9, 2018.
  10. ^ "Naval Base San Diego; USS Halsey featured in "The Last Ship"". Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Justin L. Webb, Naval Base San Diego Public Affairs. United States Navy. November 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2015.