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140319-N-NT795-589 SAN DIEGO (Mar. 19, 2014) Culinary Specialist Seaman James P. Gridley stands next to poster of Capt. Charles Vernon Gridley, his great, great grandfather and the namesake of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101). (U.S. Navy photo by Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Nelson Doromal/Released)
USS Gridley Hosts Descendant of Ship’s Namesake
By Ensign Emerson Theodore Wahl, USS Gridley Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO – The crew of the guided missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) hosted the great, great grandson of Capt. Charles Vernon Gridley, the ship’s namesake, for a special tour at Naval Base San Diego, March 19.

Culinary Specialist Seaman James P. Gridley, a crew member of the guided missile frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) based out of Everett, Wash., took advantage of his ship’s short stay in San Diego to visit Gridley for the first time.

Rodney M. Davis was in San Diego to make preparations for an upcoming Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), basic training phase and maintenance availability.

Command Master Chief Michael Gonzalez, Gridley’s senior enlisted leader, met the young Gridley on the ship’s quarterdeck and gave him a tour of the ship. The tour included the ship’s pilothouse, engineering spaces, missile decks and fo’c’sle.

The young Gridley said he was taken back at the differences in operational capabilities between the destroyer and the frigate on which he serves. As a result, he said he now has a better understanding of each ship’s role in ensuring the U.S. Navy’s dominance of the seas.

After lunch in the chief petty Officers mess, Gonzalez took the young Gridley to see the tributes to his great, great grandfather in the wardroom and in other parts of the ship. Many of the artifacts are representative of Capt. Gridley’s command of the historic USS Olympia (C 6).

Although offered both football and basketball scholarships out of high school, the young Gridley said he was prepared to decide on a college and field of study so he considered the military.

When determining which branch of service to join, the young Gridley said his father recommended the Navy because of the family’s rich naval heritage.

“I have some big shoes to fill in the Navy,” said the young Gridley as he reflected on the legacy of his great, great grandfather.

DDG 101 is the fifth U.S. Navy warship named after Capt. Gridley. The ship and crew are nearing the end of their basic phase of training and preparing for the integrated training phase as part of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group.
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