USS Spruance (DD-963)

Spruance underway in the Atlantic, in June, 2004, less than a year before decommissioning. US Navy photo in the collection of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

USS Spruance (DD-963) was the lead ship of a class of thirty-one destroyers built for the US Navy. Laid down in 1972, Spruance commissioned in 1975, and served with Destroyer Squadron 24 in the US Atlantic Fleet. Her first deployment was to the Mediterranean in 1979, also entering the Black Sea to check out the new Soviet helicopter carrier Moskva. Spruance suffered an issue with one of her turbines, but it was repaired without needing to return to the US. The next decade saw her off Beirut in 1982, and monitoring the Iran-Iraq War. During a 1985 refit, she received a vertical launch system for her missiles and anti-submarine rockets. She worked with the Egyptian and Jordanian navies in 1993, enforcing blockade sanctions in the Red Sea. The following year, she also helped enforce sanctions against Haiti. The next decade was spent in international naval exercises, and as flagship of the Standing NATO Maritime Force in the Mediterranean. Spruance conducted her final deployment in 2004, and decommissioned in March, 2005. She was expended as a target on 8 December, 2006.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: Spruance was the first US Navy ship powered by gas turbines.