USS SAMPSON, At sea - Sailors aboard guided missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) celebrated the fifth anniversary of the ship's commissioning on November 03, 2007 while participating in battle exercises underway.
The crew enjoyed a steak and lobster super. Later in the evening, they gathered on the mess decks and the recognized the eleven remaining "plankowners”, crewmembers aboard the Sampson since the ship's commissioning. FC2 Matthew Boultinghouse, FC2 Jarrod Campanelli, FC2 Timothy Murray, FC1 Matthew Dannucci, GSM2 Evan Vantine, GSE Randy Abiva, GSM1 Michael Martinelli, DC3 Braxton Campbell, GSMC Erick Quintanilla, and STG1 James Fenley were all apart of the commissioning crew whose names will remain engraved on a plaque in Heritage Alley. Several of the plankowners spoke on the early days of the ship’s commissioning.
The Sampson is the fourth U.S. naval ship to be named for Rear Admiral William T. Sampson. Rear Admiral Sampson was known for making headlines during the Spanish-American War. Likewise, the Sampson has made quite a few headlines of her own while supporting the fleet. In five years time, Sampson has gone on two deployments, earned two Battle “E” efficiency ribbons, and won the Spokane trophy. The crew members take pride in the ship and in their jobs onboard and pass that enthusiasm on to encourage new crew members to keep up the high standards.
The crew ended the ship’s fifth anniversary with a traditional cake cutting ceremony. After a round of singing “Happy Birthday” to the ship, the sailor of the year, HM1 Hope Harmon, STG1 Fenley, FC1 Dannucci, FC2 Boultinghouse, and STGSN Paulie Larocco, cut the cake made by the ship’s food services division.