Welcome aboard the CHARLES P. CECIL (DD/DDR-835)


      The Destroyer Cecil is named for the late Rear Admiral Charles P. Cecil. USN. She was built in Bath. Maine. in 1945 and spent her first four years of service with the Pacific Fleet. In 1949, Cecil was converted into a radar picket destroyer and transferred to the Atlantic Fleet with Newport, Rhode Island as her homeport. After her first deployment with the SIXTH Fleet in 1949, Cecil made Norfolk, Virginia her homeport. In July of 1963. she entered the New York Naval Shipyard for an eleven month FRAM I conversion into an ASW destroyer. In May of 1964. her homeport changed back to Newport, Rhode Island.

     To date, Cecil has participated in thirteen Mediterranean cruises. two Middle East cruises, and two Vietnam cruises; in addition to duties with the Western Atlantic SECOND Fleet and various NATO operations. She was one of the first ships on the Cuban Quarantine Line in the fall of 1962. during which she was the principal unit that exhausted a Russian submarine and forced her to surface. CECIL also received the Engineering Efficiency Award for outstanding engineering practice during fiscal years 1965, 1966, and 1967; and was selected as runner-up for Squadron Battle Efficiency "E" in that year. In recent years. Cecil has undergone a regular overhaul in July of 1970 at Boston Naval Shipyard, traveled south dulrng the winter of 1971 to under go intensive Refresher Training at the U. S. Naval Base. Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and steamed "Down East" in July 1971 to celebrate the Windjammer Festival at the Maine community of Boothbay Harbor.

     Following extensive operations in late 1971. Cecil departed Newport on 7 January 1972 for the Middle East and an "Around the World" deployment. ment, Acting in various roles as goodwill ambassador Cecil's time in the Indian Ocean was marked by participation in Project Handclasp, a program through which navy vessels carry community welfare materials to foreign ports. In April the tempo of operations quickened as Cecil was detached to augment SEVENTH Fleet forces working in support of operations in the Republic of Vietnam. Cecil's assignments included duties as Naval Gunfire Support Ship just south of the Demilitarized Zone, operations with a helicopter carrier steaming in the Tonkin Gulf, Search and Rescue ship in the Tonkin Gulf, and as a unit conducting strikes against selected military targets in North Vietnam. While serving in this capacity the ship's company earned the Combat Action Ribbon for operations while being taken under fire. Departing Vietnam waters on 1 July, Cecil continued her circumnavigating with well earned llberty in the Orient and other Pacific ports, returning to Newport on 14 August 1972.

     Since July 1973 Cecil has been assigned to COMDESRON TWO EIGHT. homeported in New London, Connecticut. In 1977 the Cecil visited the Lobster Festival in Rockland, Maine, participated in Naval Exercises in the Caribbean with port visits to Puerto Rico and Saint Croix, qualified for ASW, qualifIed for the Communication "C", qualified for Naval Gun Fire Support, and completed a comprehensive Weapons System Accuracy Test. -

     As a general purpose destroyer, Cecil has many roles to fill in support of our national defense policies. For anti-surface warfare, the ship is armed with 5 inch, 38 caliber, guns in twin mounts forward and aft. They have a maximum effective surface range against sea or land targets of eight miles and are able to deliver an average sustained firing rate of one projectile every four seconds. In this mission, Cecil is served by her two installed surface detection radars and the Mark 37 Gunfire Radar Systems. For anti-air warfare, the ship is served by the same gunfire control system and by an air search radar with a 200 nautical mile range. For anti-ship missle defense, in addition to her anti-surface and air armament, she has installed electronics counter measures designed to deceive and thwart the enemy missile guidance systems. Anti-submarine arnament includes the anti-submarine rocket launch system (ASROC) for stand off situations and twin Mark 32 surface vessel torpedo tubes for close in pufposes. Both ordnance delivery systems are served by the SQS-23 active sonar with a maximum range of 4 miles under normal water conditions and the Mark 114 Underwater Battery Fire Control System.

     Although over 30 years old, this destroyer class has more speed, greater engineering/damage control, fle-xibility, and more fire power than any other destroyer class in our present Navy. These advantages significantly contribute to the key factor in fighting and winning a war; that being an increased capacity for survival should the need arise. Her redundancy in arnament enables her to fire some guns, even if others are inoperative and by a different means if primary power is not available. The Engineering Systems have at least two of everything, including engines. Her high speed and great maneuverability enable her to become a very difficult target to track and defend against. These advantages continue to make Cecil a valuable asset to the defensive armour of the United States Atlantic Fleet.

     Again, welcome to the Charles P. Cecil on behalf of all the personnel who serve aboard her!