Destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD-971)

Destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD-971) 0Destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD-971) 1Destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD-971) 2Destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD-971) 3Destroyer USS David R. Ray (DD-971) 4



Basic information

Country of build:
Laid down:
Commissioned (service):
Decommissioned (out):
Sunk as target, 11 July 2008

Ship measurements

8,040 t
161 m
16.8 m
8.8 m


Propulsion system:
  • 4 * General Electric LM2500 gas turbines
  • 2 * shafts, 80,000 shp (60 MW)
32.5 knots
6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)



Combat assets

  • AN/SPS-40 air search radar
  • AN/SPG-60 fire control radar
  • AN/SPS-55 surface search radar
  • AN/SPQ-9 gun fire control radar
  • Mark 23 TAS automatic detection and tracking radar
  • AN/SPS-65 Missile fire control radar
  • AN/SQS-53 bow mounted Active sonar
  • AN/SQR-19 TACTAS towed array Passive sonar
  • Naval Tactical Data System
  • AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System
  • AN/SLQ-25 Nixie Torpedo Countermeasures
  • Mark 36 SRBOC Decoy Launching System
  • AN/SLQ-49 Inflatable Decoys
  • 2 * 5 in (127 mm) 54 calibre Mark 45 dual purpose guns
  • 2 * 20 mm Phalanx CIWS Mark 15 guns
  • 1 * 8 cell ASROC launcher (removed)
  • 1 * 8 cell NATO Sea Sparrow Mark 29 missile launcher
  • 2 * quadruple Harpoon missile canisters
  • 2 * Mark 32 triple 12.75 in (324 mm) torpedo tubes (Mk 46 torpedoes)
  • 1 * 61 cell Mk 41 VLS launcher for Tomahawk missiles
  • 1 * 21 round RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (removed 1980s)
  • 2 * SH-2F or 2 * SH-60B

USS David R. Ray (DD-971), a destroyer of the Spruance-class, honored United States Navy Hospital Corpsman Second Class David Robert Ray, who lost his life in 1969 while serving with a Marine Corps artillery unit during the Vietnam War. He was posthumously bestowed with the Medal of Honor.

Constructed by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the David R. Ray was commissioned on November 19, 1977. The ceremony featured James R. Sasser, U.S. Senator from Tennessee, as the principal speaker, and Mrs. Donnie M. Ray, HM2 Ray's mother, as the ship's sponsor. In 2002, the David R. Ray was decommissioned and subsequently sunk in 2008.

While sailing from Pascagoula to San Diego, the David R. Ray traversed the Panama Canal. Famously dubbed «Sting Ray,» the ship crossed the equator for the first time on May 16, 1978. Notably, on February 19, 1979, it achieved a historic milestone by intercepting a supersonic drone with the NATO RIM-7 Seasparrow Missile System.

The ship embarked on various deployments, making port calls in significant locations like Pearl Harbor, Guam, Yokosuka, Inchon, Subic Bay, and Hong Kong. Engagements included participation in naval exercises, surveillance operations in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, and deployments to the Persian Gulf during critical periods such as Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

Undergoing overhauls and changes in homeport, the David R. Ray remained active, conducting boardings, flight operations, and providing assistance in noteworthy incidents, including preventing the boarding of a U.S. vessel by an Iranian frigate. The ship's role in averting a potential oil spill during the sinking of the M/V New Carissa off the Oregon coast earned recognition from the Coast Guard.

After its final deployment to the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific, the David R. Ray completed its service. Decommissioned in 2002, it spent its last years moored in Bremerton, Washington, before being sunk during RIMPAC 2008 as part of naval exercises.

The ship's coat of arms symbolizes the legacy of David R. Ray. Its elements, including the colors representing bravery and dedication, the Navy-blue caduceus symbolizing medical service, and the depiction of artillery howitzer cartridges highlighting assistance to Marine Corps units, pay tribute to Petty Officer Ray's heroism. The ship's motto, «Determined, Ready, Resourceful,» embodies his legacy, inspiring those who served on the David R. Ray.

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