Destroyer USS Leftwich (DD-984)

Destroyer USS Leftwich (DD-984) 0Destroyer USS Leftwich (DD-984) 1Destroyer USS Leftwich (DD-984) 2Destroyer USS Leftwich (DD-984) 3Destroyer USS Leftwich (DD-984) 4



Basic information

Country of build:
Laid down:
Commissioned (service):
Decommissioned (out):
Sunk as target, 1 August 2003

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)
  • 2 * quadruple Armored Box Launcher (ABL) Mark 43 Tomahawk missile launchers
  • 2 * Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters

The USS Leftwich (DD-984), part of the Spruance-class destroyer group, was constructed by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi. It honored Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, Jr., USMC (1931–1970), leader of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion who lost his life during Operation Imperial Lake in Quảng Nam Province, South Vietnam, on November 18, 1970, in a helicopter crash while extracting one of his reconnaissance teams. Lieutenant Colonel Leftwich posthumously received the Silver Star for his actions. His distinguished medals and accolades encompassed the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Combat «V,» Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Purple Heart, and various personal awards from Vietnam.

The construction of Leftwich commenced on November 12, 1976; the ship was launched on April 8, 1978, and commissioned on August 25, 1979. Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, USN, Chief of Naval Operations and Bill Leftwich's fellow classmate at the United States Naval Academy, delivered the commissioning speech. H. Ross Perot, another classmate of Lieutenant Colonel Leftwich, also attended the commissioning. Colonel Leftwich's family was present at the event.

After commissioning, Leftwich departed Pascagoula, MS, on August 26, 1979, traveling through the Panama Canal en route to its homeport, Naval Station San Diego, where it operated until March 1985.

During the transit, Hurricane David posed a threat to the Gulf of Mexico, reducing shipping traffic. Following Hurricane David, Hurricane Frederic caused numerous ships at Ingalls Shipbuilding and Drydock to take precautions.

Leftwich executed one of the fastest Panama Canal transits, avoiding anchoring. The ship trailed behind Hurricane Guillermo in the Pacific Ocean, eventually arriving at its new homeport as scheduled. While navigating the storm, Leftwich encountered 30-foot waves.

After reaching San Diego, CA, Leftwich underwent «Shakedown» training and later returned to Litton Industries in Pascagoula, MS, for repairs and system installations.

In a November 1982 incident, Leftwich collided with the USS Thomas A. Edison (SSBN-610) during war games near Subic Bay, Philippines, resulting in damage to both vessels.

Throughout its service, Leftwich sustained damage during high-speed operations in heavy seas in the Indian Ocean/Western Pacific in 1984.

By April 1, 1985, Leftwich established its new homeport at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where it remained stationed.

Participating in Operation Nimble Archer in October 1987, Leftwich responded to Iran's attack on the MV Sea Isle City.

During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990–91, under Commander Patrick Garrett's command, Leftwich executed numerous merchant ship interceptions, conducted combat operations, including Tomahawk missile launches, and facilitated various rescue missions, earning commendations for its actions in the Persian Gulf.

Leftwich undertook eight deployments in the Western Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf. Engagements included operations in support of UN sanctions against Iraq.

Decommissioned and removed from the Naval Vessel Register on March 27, 1998, Leftwich was eventually sunk as a target in the Pacific Ocean on August 1, 2003, at coordinates 22°48′47″N 160°34′00″W.

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