By Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division
The guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), along with other U.S. Navy ships, is headed to Port Everglades, Fla., next week, for Fleet Week – a chance to show the American public first-hand the significant a role the U.S. Navy plays in the maritime defense of our world.
USS Bainbridge is the fifth ship to be named after Commodore William Bainbridge, commanding officer of the famous frigate USS Constitution during the War of 1812. Previous ships to bear the name include the first U.S. destroyer, USS Bainbridge (DD 1). Commissioned in 1902, she was a torpedo boat destroyer and had a crew of 75.\
The fourth Bainbridge, (DLGN 25), was the first nuclear-powered frigate and was commissioned in 1962. Along with USS Enterprise (CVAN 65) and USS Long Beach (CGN 9), Bainbridge participated in Operation Sea Orbit in 1964 – the first around-the-world tour by a task group composed solely of nuclear-propelled warships.The fifth Bainbridge, (DDG 96), was commissioned in November of 2005, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and has been forward-deployed five times to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations.
In April of 2009, USS Bainbridge along with other U.S. Navy ships became front page news for the role she played in rescuing M/V Maersk Alabama Capt. Richard Phillips who had been captured by Somali pirates. Capt. Phillips was held hostage by the pirates on a 25-foot lifeboat for four days 240 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia after he traded himself to save his crew aboard the Maersk Alabama.
On April 12, U.S. Navy SEALs positioned on the fantail of the Bainbridge shot and killed three of the pirates holding Phillips hostage. Capt. Phillips was then rescued by USS Bainbridge Sailors and brought back to the United States.
Within a decade, USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) has established itself as a ship that has a rich naval history that has reached the golden hills of Hollywood. The film Captain Phillips reached a worldwide audience with a story that should remind everyone how valuable our U.S. Navy is and the role it will play in the future.