USS H a r r y W . Hill Commissioned At Ingalls S h i p b u i l d i ng
The 24th ship of the series of 31 Spruanceclass destroyers designed and being built by Litton Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding Division was commissioned into active U.S.
Navy service in Pascagoula, Miss., recently. The 7,800-ton, 563-foot-long Harry W.
Hill (DD-986), under command of Comdr. J.J. Hogan of Manchester, N.H., joined 11 other ships of the class now operating with the Pacific Fleet based in San Diego, Calif. Twelve more jet-engine-powered Spruance- class destroyers are operating with the Atlantic Fleet.
Adm. Jerauld Wright (ret.), former Commander in Chief, Atlantic and U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic, was principal speaker at the commissioning ceremony. The ship is named in honor of the late Adm. Harry W. Hill, a World War II Naval force commander who led the amphibious assaults on the Japaneseheld Pacific bastions of Tarawa and Iwo Jima. The 25th ship of the class, the O'Bannon (DD-987), was delivered in late November. Five other destroyers have been launched at Ingalls and will be delivered to the Navy at a rate of one a month into next spring. The Spruance-class destroyers, l a r g e st U.S. ships of the type ever built, are designed primarily for antisubmarine warfare.
Fast, highly maneuverable and extremely quiet, they are the first major U.S. combat ships to be powered by gas turbine engines. Four marine jet engines produce more than 80,000 shaft horsepower to drive each ship at speeds in excess of 30 knots.
In addition to antisubmarine warfare, the Spruance-class destroyers are capable of such missions as shore bombardment, support of amphibious assaults, surveillance and tracking of hostile surface ships, and blockade duty. Basic armament includes deck guns, torpedoes and antisubmarine rockets. Each ship can also carry two ASW helicopters. Other weapon systems, such as Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles and Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles, are being installed aboard each destroyer following a six-month shakedown period.