CAPT David McCAMPBELL (1910-1996)
“THE ACE OF ACES”

David McCampbell

The U.S. Navy’s seventh Flight IIA Arleigh Burke Class AEGIS Destroyer proudly bears the name of Captain David S. McCampbell, United States Navy, and the Navy’s all-time leading ace with 34 aerial victories during WWII.

From September 1943 to November 1944 Captain McCampbell was Commander of Air Group 15, in charge of all fighters, bombers, and torpedo bombers aboard the aircraft carrier USS ESSEX (CV-9). His air group saw six months of continuous combat and more than 20,000 hours of combat air operations. During this period, Air Group 15 destroyed more enemy planes (315 airborne and 348 on the ground) and sank more enemy shipping than any other air group in the Pacific War.

In addition to his successes as commander of the “Fabled Fifteen,” Captain McCampbell set a single mission aerial combat record - shooting down nine enemy planes in one mission in October 1944. For this action, Captain McCampbell received the Medal of Honor. He was also awarded the Navy Cross, the Legion of Merit with Combat “V,” the Silver Star Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Gold Stars, and the Air Medal. After the war, Captain McCampbell went on to command the aircraft carrier USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CV 31). Captain David McCampbell died on June 30, 1996, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


Coat of Arms

BLAZON

SHEILD: Azure, a bend Celeste spattered with thirty-four mullets Argent between the roman numeral ‘XV’ Gules fimbriated of the third and a cross pateé charged with a hurt bearing mullet White.

 

CREST: From a wreath Argent and Azure, two tridents chevronwise reversed of the first superimposed by a mullet reversed flory voided Celeste bearing a sea lion grasping a sword of the third, in base the shield of the coat of arms of the United States winged and anchored of the like.

 

MOTTO: “RELENTLESS IN BATTLE

 

SEAL

The arms blazoned in full color upon a white oval enclosed by a dark blue collar edged on the outside with a gold rope bearing the inscription

“USS McCAMPBELL” at top and

“DDG 85” at base, all in gold.

 

SYMBOLISM

SHIELD:  Dark blue and gold, the colors traditionally used by the Navy, represent the sea and excellence.  The light blue bend reflects the Pacific theater, where Captain McCampbell served as commander of Air Group 15.  The “Fabled Fifteen”, which was embarked on the USS ESSEX (CV 9), is symbolized by the Roman numeral “XV.  The thirty-four stars allude to the number of enemy aircraft destroyed by Captain McCampbell in air to air combat, distinguishing him as the leading Navy ace of World War II.  The star and cross highlight the Navy Cross and Silver Star awarded to Captain McCampbell for his gallantry and bravery during combat in the Philippines.

 

CREST:  The tridents, symbolizing sea prowess, allude to the firepower and the multiple strike capabilities of the Aegis system.  The reversed star denotes the Medal of Honor awarded to Captain McCampbell for heroism in the First and Second Battles of the Philippine Sea.  The sea lion is adapted from the government seal of the Republic of the Philippines.  The winged shield of the coat of arms of the United States represents naval aviator’s wings and Captain McCampbell’s military specialty.

  


  


Dimensions: 9,250 tons; Length overall 509’ 6 11/16” ft; Beam: 66’ 7” ft; Draft: 33’ 10” ft; Height: 149 ft
Propulsion: 4 General Electric LM-2500 gas turbines; Twin shaft, controllable variable pitch propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower; Max speed 30+ knots

Air Warfare/Missile Defense:
AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) Baseline 6 F III;
SPY-1D System Radar, 3 dimensional phased array;
Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC);
MK 41Vertical Launching System (VLS) firing Medium/Extended Range Standard Missiles (SM-2) Block III, IIIA, IIIB, IV;
Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM);
Vertical launched ASROC (VLA);
Point-defense Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)
Land attack/ Surface Warfare:
5”/ 62cal Gun with Extended Range Guided Munitions’ (ERGM) and CARGO round; Naval Fires Control System (NSFS)
Undersea Warfare:
SQQ-89(V) 14 Sonar Suite;
SQS-53C Sonar with mine avoidance;
MK-46/MK-50 Torpedoes
Electronic Warfare:
SLQ-32B(V)2 Electronic Early Warning System;
Mk-36 Chaff;
Mk-53 NULKA missile destroy decoy system.
Aircraft:
SH-60B; LAMPS MkIII ‘Seahawk’ Helicopters; Penguin & Hellfire anti-ship missiles; Mk-46/Mk-50 Torpedoes; Sonobouys

Keel Laid: 15 July 1999 Launched and Christened: 2 July 2000
Commissioned: 17 August 2002 at Pier 30/32, San Francisco, California

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