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USS Stethem DDG 63

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DDG-63 the USS Stethem. The Ship was named in Honor of Robert Stethem (November 17, 1961 – June 15, 1985)

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Robert Dean Stethem

USS Stethem (DDG - 63) is the first U.S. Navy warship named to honor the life and service of Steelworker Second Class (DV) Robert Dean Stethem, USN (1961 - 1985). Petty Officer Stethem entered the Navy on May 4, 1981. He attended recruit training in Great Lakes, Illinois, and was assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Sixty - Two, home ported at Gulfport, Mississippi. In October 1984, he was assigned to Underwater Construction Team One at Little Creek, Virginia.


Petty Officer Stethem was a victim of the terrorist hijacking when Hezbollah militants too control of Trans World Airlines Flight 847 to Beirut, Lebanon on June 14, 1985. He was returning from an assignment in Nea Makri, Greece when the terrorists seized the aircraft. The hijackers held 39 people hostage for 17 days, demanding the release of 766 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. When their demands were not met, Petty Officer Stethem was singled out from the passengers as a U.S. Navy Sailor and was beaten and tortured. Finally, the hijackers shot him and dumped his body onto the tarmac at the Beirut airport.


He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery Section 59, near other American victims of international terrorism.

He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in 1985 and the Bronze Star in 1986.

In 1995, the U.S. Navy launched an Aegis Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, the USS Stethem (DDG-63) in his honor.

On August 24, 2010 onboard USS Stethem in Yokosuka, Japan, Robert Dean Stethem was made an honorary Master Chief Constructionman (CUCM) by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.


Coat of Arms

Dark blue and gold, on the shield of the Stethem's Coat of Arms, are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and represent the sea and excellence. Red is emblematic of sacrifice and valor. Blue represents loyalty; white integrity. The shield symbolizes the power and protection of Aegis, the shield of Zeus. The bronze star honors the posthumous award Petty Officer Stethem received for bravery in the face of adversity. The anchor represents naval strength and a strong global presence. The thunderbolts signify the firepower of USS STETHEM. The border reflects unity, and the orle of rivets commemorates Petty Officer Stethem's service as a Seabee in Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Sixty-Two.

The lion on the crest characterizes courage, strength, and determination. the lion grasps a trident, symbol of sea prowess. the bottom spike of the trident points to the Ocean depths, commemorating Petty Officer Stethem's service as a diver in Underwater Construction Team One.

Red, white and blue are the National colors and represent the colors of the Bronze Star Medal for heroism. The motto "STEADFAST AND COURAGEOUS" underscores the spirit of Petty Officer Stethem, his firmness of purpose, unwavering loyalty to country and bravery in facing difficulty and danger without fear.


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Flight I


Light: approx. 6,800 long tons (6,900 t)

Full: approx. 8,900 long tons (9,000 t)

Length: 505 ft (154 m)

Beam: 66 ft (20 m)

Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)



4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines

two shafts

100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)

Speed: >30 knots (56 km/h)



4,400 nautical miles at 20 knots

(8,100 km at 37 km/h)



33 Officers

38 Chief Petty Officers

210 Enlisted Personnel


Sensors and processing systems:

AN/SPY-1D 3D Radar

AN/SPS-67(V)2 Surface Search Radar

AN/SPS-73(V)12 Surface Search Radar

AN/SQS-53C Sonar Array

AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array Sonar

AN/SQQ-28 LAMPS III Shipboard System


Electronic warfare and decoys:

AN/SLQ-32(V)2 Electronic Warfare System

AN/SLQ-25 Nixie Torpedo Countermeasures

MK 36 MOD 12 Decoy Launching System




1 × 29 cell, 1 × 61 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems with 90 × RIM-156 SM-2

BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-Asroc missiles

1 × Mark 45 5/54 in (127/54 mm)

2 × 25 mm chain gun

4 × .50 caliber (12.7 mm) guns

2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS

2 × Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes


Aircraft carried: 1 SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter can be embarked


Motto: Steadfast And Courageous


Nickname: "The Steel Worker"


A scene from the movie The Delta Force shows a U.S. Navy diver being beaten, tortured, killed and his body being dumped onto the tarmac. This scene is based on Stethem's encounter.


The Stethem was the first ship I ever went aboard while I was in my training school in San Diego back in 03 :Smile_great:

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