Edward Preble was born at Falmouth, Maine on August 15, 1761 and began his career at the age of sixteen when he ran away to sea on a privateer. Two years later, he was appointed a midshipman on the frigate Protector and fought two engagements before being captured in 1781. The following year, after his release, he became First Lieutenant on the cruiser Winthrop. While on this ship, Preble earned a reputation for undaunted courage and presence of mind. In one mission he led a boarding party in the capture of an anchored British brig at Castine, Maine, and escaped with her under hostile shore fire.
After the Revolutionary War, Preble remained in the merchant service. He was appointed a First Lieutenant in the United States Navy in April of 1798, and ordered the following January to command the brig Pickering of the U.S. Revenue Marine. The Pickering sailed in the squadron of Commodore Barry, protecting American commerce against French privateers in the West Indies.
Commissioned a Captain on 7 June 1799, he took command of the new frigate Essex in December, and sailed from New York in January 1800 to afford protection to American vessels engaged in China and Eastern trade. During this cruise Preble had the honor of being the first naval officer to fly the American flag east of the Cape of Good Hope.
In 1803 on board his flagship, USS Constitution, Preble sailed against the Barbary pirates as Commodore of a seven-ship, thousand-man squadron. In October of that year he established a peace treaty with the Emperor of Morocco, and then effected a blockade of the harbor of Tripoli. Preble and his Tripolitan campaign became one of the focal points for the development of the fighting tradition of the U.S. Navy. Not satisfied with a passive blockade, Preble attacked the harbor, which was well-fortified and defended by 25,000 men. In a series of daring raids, Preble's men caused severe damage and inflicted heavy causalities, a direct result of strenuous training and bold thinking. Preble's influence extended not only to events of his time, but also to the later successes of Stephen Decatur, William Bainbridge, Charles Stewart, Isaac Hull, and David Porter, all of whom served under his command at Tripoli. In 1804 Preble returned to the United States to supervise the construction of gunboats. He died a few years later on August 25, 1807.
Current USS Preble
USS Preble (DDG-88) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She is the sixth U.S. Navy ship named for Commodore Edward Preble (1761–1807). She was laid down on 22 June 2000, launched on 1 June 2001 and commissioned at the World Trade Center in Boston, Massachusetts on 9 November 2002.
In December 2002 USS Preble arrived in its homeport of Naval Station San Diego, Calif.
In February 2003 The guided-missile destroyer conducted Combat System Ship's Qualification Trials (CSSQT) in the SOCAL Op. Area. In June USS Preble departed San Diego for its maiden deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The ship will join up with the USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) that departed on May 27. In September DDG 88 was conducting Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) in the North Arabian Gulf (NAG), as part of Command Task Force 58. In December USS Preble returned to homeport after a six-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AoR).
In August 2005 USS Preble was underway conducting routine training off the coast of southern California. In June 2006 USS Preble pulled into Portland, Oregon, to participate in the annual 99th Rose Festival. In September the Preble participated in a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), as part of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3. In November DDG 88 participated in the Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) off the coast of southern California.
In January 2007 USS Preble departed Naval Base San Diego for a scheduled deployment with the Stennis CSG. In February the guided-missile destroyer entered the U.S. 5th Fleet AoR to conduct MIO. In April DDG 88 participated in exercise Arabian Gauntlet 2007 in the Arabian Gulf. In August USS Preble participated in exercise Valiant Shield '07 off the coast of Guam. In August USS Preble returned to San Diego after a seven-month deployment the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet AoR.
In March 2008 the guided-missile destroyer was off the coast of southern California, as part of opposition forces for the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) CSG's COMPTUEX. In June USS Preble arrived in Portland, Oregon, for a Portland Rose Festival celebration. In October The Preble participated in a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), as part of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Group, in the SOCAL OPAREA.
In January 2009 USS Preble departed Naval Base San Diego for a scheduled deployment. In June USS Preble returned to homeport after a five-month deployment. In July the guided-missile destroyer pulled into Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, Calif., after participating in exercise with a New Zealand Navy frigate Te Kaha (F77). In July USS Preble departed San Diego for Multi-Sail operations with the USS Ronald Reagan CSG. In November USS Preble completed Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).
In February 2011 The USS Preble departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment. In March the guided-missile destroyer arrived off the east coast of Japan to provide humanitarian assistance in support of earthquake and tsunami relief operations. In September USS Preble returned to Naval Base San Diego after a seven-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet AoR.
In October 2012 Preble entered the dry-dock in for repairs and modernization as part of the DDG Modernization (DDG MOD) upgrade. In April The Preble recently returned to Naval Base San Diego after completing sea trials. In October USS Preble was in San Francisco, Calif., for a six-day port visit to participate in annual Fleet Week celebration.
In February 2013 DDG 88 departed Naval Base San Diego for local operations.
1st USS Preble
The first USS Preble, sometimes called Commodore Preble, was a sloop purchased on Lake Champlain in 1813 and commissioned 6 August 1813 with Lt. Charles Budd as the commanding officer. Operating with Commodore Macdonough’s squadron, the Preble participated in the Battle of Lake Champlain, 11 September, which gave control of that lake to the Americans and forced General Provost to retire back to Canada. Laid up after the battle, Preble was sold at Whitehall, N.Y., in July 1815.
2nd USS Preble
The second USS Preble, a sloop-of-war, was built by the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard, launched 13 June 1839 and commissioned the following year with Comdr. Samuel L. Breese as the commanding officer.
On special duty off Labrador from June to November 1840, Preble sailed for the Mediterranean, 12 January 1841. Returning 13 August 1843, she departed the following year for the African coast where she served from 5 September 1844 to 25 September 1845. A year later she sailed from New York for the Pacific. Arriving at Valparaiso 26 January 1847, she continued on to serve with the Pacific Squadron off the west coast for the remainder of the Mexican War.
In the summer of 1848 she sailed west to cruise in the East Indies. During the spring of 1849 she moved north arriving at Nagasaki 18 April, to negotiate the release of survivors of the ship-wrecked whaler Lagoda, held prisoners by the Japanese. Accomplishing her mission, she sailed on the 26th to rejoin the East Indies Squadron at Shanghai. On 1 November 1850 she got underway for the United States. Arriving at New York 1 January 1851, she served as a practice ship for midshipmen until 1858.
In late 1858, Preble sailed for Paraguay to take action against that country for firing on the Water Witch. She arrived at Asuncion with 18 other vessels 25 January 1859, but the payment of an indemnity and an apology settled the affair peacefully.
She returned to the United States in September 1860, and ten months later joined the Gulf Blockading Squadron to assist in implementing the Union blockade of the South’s coast. Initially at the mouth of the Mississippi, she later shifted to Pensacola to act as guard and store ship. On 27 April 1863 she was accidently destroyed by fire.
3rd USS Preble
The third USS Preble (Torpedo boat destroyer 12) was laid down by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Calif., on 21 April 1899, launched 2 March 1901, sponsored by Miss Ethel Preble and commissioned 14 December 1903 with Lt. T. C. Fenton as the commanding officer.
Preble, assigned to the Pacific Fleet, operated with the 4th and 2nd Torpedo Flotillas off the western seaboard from Washington to the Panama Canal Zone until 4 February 1909, when she arrived at Mare Island for inactivation. In reserve 23 February–17 September, she was then reassigned to the Pacific Torpedo Flotilla and operated with Torpedo Flotilla, Pacific Fleet until 1913. Placed in reserve again on 19 June 1913, she remained at Mare Island until resuming operations with the torpedo flotilla 23 April 1914.
During the summer of 1915 Preble participated in a cruise to Alaskan waters to gather logistic information. After another period in reserve status (25 October 1916–3 April 1917), Preble sailed to the east coast. She arrived at Norfolk 13 July 1917 and, until the end of World War I, was engaged in coastal convoy duty along the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Remaining on the east coast after the war, she decommissioned at New York, 11 July 1919. Her name was struck from the Navy List 15 September 1919.
4th USS Preble
The fourth USS Preble (DD–345) was laid down by the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, on 12 April 1919, launched on 8 March 1920 and commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard 19 March 1920 with Comdr. H. A. Baldridge as the commanding officer.
Preble was assigned special duty in Mexican waters, arriving at Vera Cruz on 13 June 1920. During the following weeks she made three voyages to Galveston, Tex., to obtain medical supplies including serum to fight bubonic plague which had developed during the rebellion of the Sonora triumvirate. In August she returned north to join the Atlantic Fleet in East Coast and Caribbean exercises.
In January 1921 the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets joined off the Canal Zone and cruised to the west coast of South America. Separating on 23 February, the Atlantic Fleet steamed back to the Caribbean. Preble departed Newport, R.I. on 20 June en route to the Asiatic Station with units of Squadron 15.
Preble sailed to Chefoo, China in August 1922, and for the next 7 years cruised off the coast of Asia from Manchuria to Burma, in Japanese waters, and amongst the Philippines, East Indies, and Marianas.
In September 1923 she assisted victims of violent earthquakes which shook Japan.
From 12 June to 2 July 1924 she was at Rangoon, Burma, and Calcutta, India, delivering gas and oil for a round-the-world flight of Army planes.
In 1927 Preble was assigned patrol duty in strife-torn China, taking aboard American and foreign refugees and escorting merchant vessels in the Yangtze and Whangpo Rivers. On several occasions Chinese factions fired on Preble from shore, but there were no casualties.
USS Preble departed Tsingtao, China, 12 July 1929 and returned to San Diego in August. For several years she was based at San Diego, cruising along the western seaboard of the United States, with operations in waters off Mexico and the Caribbean.
Preble was assigned to Rotating Reserve Destroyer Squadron 20 at the Mare Island Navy Yard 24 September 1932.
In May 1934 Preble engaged in Fleet Problem 15 off the Panama Canal and in Cuban waters, before returning to the Pacific. She participated in Fleet Problems 16 and 18 in the Hawaiian area in May–June 1935 and April–May 1937.
On 19 May 1937 Preble was transferred from Destroyers, Battle Force, to duty with Minecraft, Battle Force. Converted to a light minelayer, she was reclassified DM–20, effective 30 June 1937. She remained in the Hawaiian area until the outbreak of World War II, engaging in scheduled mining exercises and fleet maneuvers.
On 7 December 1941 when the Japanese forces launched their attack, Preble was being overhauled at Pearl Harbor and was unable to get underway. As necessary guns and ammunition were not aboard, a large number of Preble’s crew handled ammunition, fought fires, and cared for the wounded aboard Pennsylvania (BB–38).
In January 1942 Preble joined the patrol operating just off the Pearl Harbor entrance. On 1 April she departed Pearl Harbor with units of Mine Division 1 to lay a large minefield at French Frigate Shoals, 500 miles northwest of Oahu. In July she assisted in laying a defensive minefield around the base at Kodiak, Alaska, returning to Pearl Harbor for patrol operations. On 6 December she departed Pearl Harbor for the Fiji Islands and Noumea, New Caledonia.
Preble served on escort duty in the New Hebrides during January 1943. On the night of 31 January Preble laid mines in the mouth of the Tenambo River, Guadalcanal, to prevent the evacuation of enemy troops. During the next two months Preble performed escort duties to the New Hebrides and Russell Islands. On the night of 6 May Preble laid mines in Ferguson Passage between Gizo and Wanawana Islands in the Solomons. On 24 May Preble rescued 85 survivors from torpedoed SS Stanvac Manila. On 28 June Preble mined the waters near Shortland Island. During July and August Preble again served as an escort vessel.
In February 1944 Preble served as anti-submarine screen and mine layer. She then made three escort voyages from Pearl Harbor to Marshall Island ports. Preble joined with minesweeping units of Rear Admiral Oldendorf’s TG 32.5 and arrived off Peleliu in the early morning Of 12 September where she performed various screening and minesweeping duties. Preble joined mine sweeping Task Group 77.5 at Leyte Gulf on 17 October where she laid buoys and destroyed mines.
Preble was redesignated a miscellaneous auxiliary vessel (AG–99) 5 June 1945. She was assigned to duty escorting aircraft carriers engaged in training, acting as anti-submarine patrol vessel and plane guard during flight operations. She reached Guam with Vella Gulf (CVE–111) 20 July, subsequently escorting Vella Gulf to Okinawa. After returning to Guam, she escorted Sitkoh Bay (CVE–86) to Samar, Philippines, arriving 20 September. Preble steamed for the United States 9 October and was decommissioned at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard 7 December 1945.
Preble earned 8 battle stars for World War II service.
For a more detailed history of the fourth USS Preble see http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/p11/preble-iv.htm.
5th USS Preble
The fifth US Preble (DLG–15) was laid down by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine, 16 December 1957, launched 23 May 1959 and commissioned in the Boston Naval Shipyard 9 May 1960 with Comdr. Edward G. Fitz-Patrick as the commanding officer.
Preble arrived at San Diego 2 September 1959. She got underway on 27 February 1961 en route to the Far East for a six month tour with the 7th Fleet. She returned to San Diego 28 September 1961 to rejoin the 1st Fleet. She remained in the eastern Pacific through 1963 and on 26 February 1964 departed California for another tour of duty in the Far East, 13 March–20 July. Rotated regularly to WestPac over the next five years she spent much of her deployed time with the 7th Fleet off the coast of Vietnam. During these tours she served as plane guard for carriers in the Tonkin Gulf, patrolled on SAR, and bombarded enemy positions along the coast.
Returning from WestPac in July 1968, she operated briefly along the California coast and got underway for Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in December. She decommissioned 31 January 1969, was modernized for enhanced Anti-Air Warfare and then recommissioned 23 May 1970 and returned to the Pacific Fleet.
In August 1972 deployed on West Pac-Viet Nam. On 24 January 1973, when the Preble returned from deployment, the United States Seventh Fleet reported that the Preble's torpedo tubes and three antennae were damaged by North Vietnamese artillery while the ship was operating off Quảng Trị Province just below the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone. The Preble was part of the initial force to enter the Indian Ocean during the October 1973 Arab-Israeli "Yom Kippur War."
After being redesignated as DDG 46 and completing regular overhaul in 1975, PREBLE deployed to WESTPAC and the Indian Ocean in 1976.
After her 1980 overhaul, Preble changed homeport to Norfolk and deployed to the Indian Ocean in 1981, to South America for UNITAS XXIII in 1982 and a deployment to the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
From June 1985 through June 1986 Preble underwent a major overhaul at Ingall's Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
In June 1987, Preble deployed with the Saratoga (CV 60) Battle Group to the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, returning in November 1987. Preble was awarded DESRON TWO's Battle Efficency "E" for competition that ended in March 1988.
On January 14, 1989, Preble left Norfolk, Va., on a deployment with the Standing Naval Force Atlantic and for the next months she operated Norhtern Atlantic before returning home on July 14, 1989.
In late December 1990, PREBLE deployed on her final deployment to the Mediterranean and Red Sea supporting Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
The USS Preble (DDG 46) was decommissioned on 15 November 1991.