The Truxtun was named after Commodore Thomas Truxtun (1755-1822) embarked upon his seafaring career at age 12. By the age of 16, he was pressed into service in the Royal Navy. By the time he was 20, he had risen to command of Andrew Caldwell, bringing large quantities of gunpowder into Philadelphia in 1775.
He signed on as a lieutenant onboard the Congress, the first privateer to be fitted out for service against Great Britain, and in 1776-77 participated in the capture of many prizes. Successively, he commanded Independence, Commerce and St. James.
At a dinner in Truxtun's honor, George Washington declared his services had been worth those of a regiment. When the United States Navy was organized, he was selected as one of its first six captains on June 4, 1798. He was assigned command of the Constellation, one of the new frigates, and he put to sea immediately to prosecute the undeclared naval war with revolutionary France.
On Feb. 9, 1799, Truxtun scored the first of his two most famous victories. After an hour's fight, Constellation battered the French warship L’Insurgente into submission in one of the most illustrious battles of the Quasi-War with France. Truxtun retired from the Navy as a commodore and has had five previous ships carry his name: DD 14, DD 229 , APD-98 and CGN-35.