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
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.