Coat of Arms

* Designed by the ship's crew, the official Coat of Arms of USS SPRUANCE (DDG 111) is highly symbolic of the ship it so strikingly represents.

Shield (blazon):   The shield shape represents the steadfast resolve of the United States Navy to defend the homeland, friends and allies, and acknowledges the ship’s powerful Aegis Weapons System which is named for the impervious shield often carried by Zeus, the supreme deity in Greek mythology, and his daughter Athena.

The shield and the "torse" (the braided device above the shield) feature the Navy’s colors of Blue and Gold. Navy Blue represents the oceans and seas, and Gold represents integrity and valor.

Behind the shield are crossed the Navy Officer Sword and the 1860-model Enlisted Chief Petty Officer Cutlass. These swords honor the core of Navy leadership that supports the shield, the ship, and her crew.

Coat of ArmsUpper right quadrant: The trident is a naval symbol of authority, power, and maritime domination. The "double trident" device was the primary design element in the coat of arms of USS SPRUANCE (DD 963), and honors the first ship to bear ADM Spruance’s name. The six points of the trident refer to the multi-mission capabilities of SPRUANCE. These missions include: (1) Air Warfare for area air defense of friends and allies; (2) Strike and Land Attack Operations against shore-based targets; (3) Surface Warfare to enforce the freedom of the seas; (4) Undersea Warfare Operations in support of carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups and convoys; (5) Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Operations; and (6) the Non-Combat Missions of Force Shaping, Maritime Partnership, and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief Operations.

Upper left quadrant: The lion symbolizes strength and resolve. The lion (a lion rampant sable, tongued and armed gules) is adapted from the primary features of both the medal of the Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold II and the Belgian Oorlogskruis (Cross of War) medal, with palm. World War II saw the periodic use of the European custom of one nation decorating heroes of another nation, and both were awarded to Admiral Spruance by the Belgian Ambassador for the Prince Regent of Belgium on 18 March, 1948.

Lower left quadrant: The eight-rayed Philippine sun rayonnant is a feature of the official seal and flag of the Republic of the Philippines, and honors ADM Spruance's service to the Philippines as the United States’ Ambassador from 1952 to 1955, during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations.

Lower right quadrant: A testament to the combined arms that under the command of ADM Spruance were so pivotal to the Navy’s successes in the War in the Pacific. The Naval Aviator’s wings honor the role of naval aviation in the decisive victories at the Battle of Midway and Battle of the Philippine Sea, and for their unwavering support of the ground forces so essential to the United States’ “island hopping” campaign in the Pacific. The red disk cut off at the mid-point (another feature taken from the original USS SPRUANCE (DD 963) Coat of Arms) represents the point at which Japan’s military dominance in the Pacific was arrested, starting with the Battle of Midway. The red lightning bolts represent the thoughtful planning, strategic brilliance, and decisive action that characterized ADM Spruance’s decisions at sea. The lightning bolts also honor the critical role of OP-20-G, the Navy’s radio intelligence organization of cryptologic analysts who broke the Japanese communications code “JN-25B”. Essential intelligence derived from Japanese communications intercepts contributed directly to the Navy’s victory at the Battle of Midway. There are five lightning bolts to refer to ADM Spruance’s subsequent command of Fifth Fleet, the largest fleet the world has ever assembled for the majority of operations in the Pacific, including the invasion of Okinawa, the first landing on Japanese home territory.

Crest: The compass rose represents Admiral Spruance’s lifelong study and understanding of sea power, its strategy and geopolitical importance worldwide, and serves to remind current and future crews that despite the array of modern weapons systems onboard USS SPRUANCE (DDG 111), devotion to the study of the fundamentals of seamanship and navigation will continue to shape the successes of this ship and her crews. As a compass guides its ship along her course, the decisive Battle of Midway changed the course of the War in the Pacific in favor of the United States. The 16 points of the Compass Rose represent Task Force 16, the designation of the task force under ADM Spruance’s command at the Battle of Midway. The five red circles allude to the rising sun of the Japanese flag, and represent the five Japanese ships: four aircraft carriers and one cruiser, sunk at the decisive Battle of Midway. The four stars above the compass rose honor the rank of Admiral achieved by Admiral Spruance. The wreath of laurel represents honor and achievement. The unbroken circle surrounding the compass rose represents the individual Sailor, the foundation of our great Navy.

In the center of the compass rose a sailing vessel is depicted on waves, sailing to the viewer's left, reproduced exactly from the image found in the center of the Navy Cross Medal. The vessel is a caravel of the type used between 1480 and 1500 and represents both naval service and the tradition of the sea. ADM Spruance was awarded the Navy Cross, the Navy’s second-highest medal, “for extraordinary heroism as Commander Fifth Fleet in action against enemy Japanese forces during the invasion and capture of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, and Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, from January to May 1945…” The citation further states in part:

“Responsible for the operation of a vast and complicated organization which included more than 500,000 men of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, 318 combatant vessels and 1139 auxiliary vessels, (he) directed the forces under his command with daring, courage and aggressiveness. Carrier units of his force penetrated waters of the Japanese Homeland and Nansei Shoto and inflicted severe damage upon hostile aircraft, shore installations and shipping…”


"Launch the Attack" is the succinct but powerful order ADM Spruance issued to his staff when the first of four Japanese aircraft carriers were located on the morning of the Battle of Midway on June 4th, 1942. ADM Spruance was a tactical genius whose advanced planning, forethought, and general guidance to his staff, combined with complete trust in the abilities of his subordinates, required only this simple order to be given to allow the events of the day to commence.

The "scroll" on which the motto appears features the Navy Blue and Gold as well as the Marine Corps color of Scarlet, which appears on the reverse of the scroll to honor the combined Navy and Marine Corps team that, under Admiral Spruance’s visionary leadership, changed the tide of war in the Pacific during World War II.

Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance
Raymond Ames Spruance was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on 3 July 1886, son of Alexander P. and Annie Ames (Hiss) Spruance. He attended high schools in East Orange, New Jersey, and Indianapolis, Indiana, and Stevens Preparatory School, Hoboken, New Jersey, before entering the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on appointment from Indiana in 1903. Graduated on 12 September 1906, with the Class of 1907, he served the two years at sea, then required by law, and was commissioned Ensign on 13 September 1908. Advancing progressively in rank, he attained that of Admiral, to date from 4 February 1944. He was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy in that rank on 1 July 1948. 
 For more information about Admiral Spruance, Click Here

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