United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Release

Press Operations Bookmark and Share

News Release


Release No: 213-97
May 01, 1997


The Navy will christen Guided Missile Destroyer Donald Cook (DDG 75) during a 9:45 a.m. (EDT) on Saturday, May 3, 1997, in Bath, Maine.

The ship is named in honor of Col. Donald G. Cook, U.S. Marine Corps (1934-1967), who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry while a prisoner of war in Vietnam from December 1964 through December 1967. During his imprisonment, Col. (then Captain) Cook never veered from the Code of Conduct while he resisted all attempts to break his will. He died in captivity in December 1967.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont will be the principal speaker. Laurette Cook, widow of the ship's namesake, will be the ship's sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Cook will break a bottle of champagne across the ship's bow to formally name Donald Cook.

Donald Cook is the 25th of 35 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers currently authorized by Congress. Aegis destroyers are equipped to conduct a variety of missions, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the national military strategy. Donald Cook will operate with aircraft carriers and battle groups in high-threat environments and will also provide essential escort capabilities to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces, combat logistics ships and convoys.

These multi-missioned ships are equipped with the Navy's modern Aegis combat weapons system, which combines space-age communication, radar and weapons technologies in a single platform for unlimited flexibility while operating Forward...From the Sea. The ship will carry Standard surface- to-air missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from forward and aft vertical launching systems; two fully automated, radar-controlled Phalanx close-in weapons systems; Harpoon anti- ship missiles; one five-inch gun; and electronic warfare systems.

Cdr. James F. McCarthy, a native of Milwaukee, Wis., is the prospective commanding officer of Donald Cook which has a crew of 25 officers and 350 enlisted personnel. Donald Cook will join the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and will be homeported in Norfolk, Va., following commissioning in 1998. Donald Cook was built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The ship is 505 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 66 feet, and displaces approximately 8,580 tons when fully loaded. Four gas-turbine engines power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.

Additional Links

Stay Connected