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USS O'Kane (DDG 77)

"A Tradition of Honor"

USS O’Kane Ship’s History:
The keel was laid down on May 8, 1997, at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine; launched on March 28, 1998, and christened on April 17, 1998; Mrs. Leslie Allen Berry, the granddaughter of Richard O'Kane, served as sponsor of the ship. Following the christening, USS O’KANE transited to Naval Base Pearl Harbor to be commissioned on October 23rd, 1999. O’KANE was homeported there until 2019 where the ship homeport shifted to Naval Base San Diego, the current homeport to date.
USS O’Kane namesake:
Okane_WWII PicRear Admiral Richard H. O’Kane exemplified “Honor, Courage, and Commitment” during his naval career. We commemorate him by carrying on his “Tradition of Honor”, our motto, onboard USS O’Kane.

Richard H. O’Kane served as Executive Officer of USS WAHOO in 1942. He received the Silver Star medal with two gold stars and a letter of commendation from the Secretary of the Navy for his outstanding service on WAHOO.  USS WAHOO was responsible for the sinking of 19 enemy ships during the war. One of USS O’KANE’s small boat names is “Wahoo” in remembrance of O’Kane’s accomplishments during his time onboard USS WAHOO.

O’Kane assumed command of USS TANG upon her commissioning on October 15, 1943.  Under Commander O’Kane, TANG deployed on five war patrols, sinking a total of 31 ships, (more than 227,000 tons) and damaging two other ships, a record unsurpassed by any American submariner in history. USS O’KANE’s second small boat is named “Tang” in remembrance of his command of USS TANG.

On his last war patrol, he was attacking a Japanese convoy with his last torpedoes. A faulty torpedo launched from TANG encircled back and struck the submarine stern, causing a violent explosion. Of the entire crew, only nine were able to escape the sinking submarine, including O’Kane. They swam through the night until they were captured by a Japanese destroyer escort eight hours later. They were then transferred to a secret interrogation center in Ofuna, Japan.  Commander O’Kane and his sailors from TANG were Prisoners of War until the end of WWII.

Commander O’Kane was awarded the Medal of Honor for his exemplary service onboard TANG on March 27th, 1947.  Rear Admiral O’Kane’s other military decorations include the Navy Cross with two gold stars, the Legion of Merit with Combat “V”, the Purple Heart, and the Prisoner of War Medal.  He also wrote two books based on his experience in World War II, ‘Clear the Bridge’, and ‘Wahoo’.

Read Admiral O’Kane passed away in 1994, but his spirit and bravery lives on among the Sailors onboard USS O’KANE.  We strive to carry on the ‘Tradition of Honor’ and the legacy of operational excellence left to us by Rear Admiral O’Kane.

Click Here to View his Medal of Honor citation
 USS O’Kane Crest Description:
crest Shield:
​The shield has a background of gold and a blue wave that crosses the middle. In the center is a gold trident. Surrounding the trident is three crosses with a star at the center of each cross.
The traditional Navy colors were chosen for the shield because dark blue and gold represents the sea and excellence respectively. The trident at the center of the shield symbolizes the ship's ability to project naval power in hostile environments. The crosses and stars is a reference to the three Navy Crosses and three Silver Stars awarded to Rear Admiral O’Kane, during his Navy career.

The crest consists of a flaming Naval sword rising from the sea, a reversed star and two dolphins that border the crest on each side.
The sword is a symbol that recognizes the naval power displayed by Rear Admiral O’Kane and his crew. The star surrounding the sword is a reference to the Medal of Honor earned by the Rear Admiral O’Kane for his extraordinary actions at sea. The two dolphins are an allusion to the Rear Admiral's time as a submariner. The red in the sword and in the border of the motto stands for O’Kane's valor and sacrifice, during his time as a prisoner of war in two Japanese Camps during WWII.

The motto is written on a scroll of blue that has a red reverse side.
The ship's motto is "A Tradition of Honor". The motto is a reference to both the honorable feats of Admiral O'Kane and the Medal of Honor he received.

The seal consists of the ship’s shield, crest, and motto; all of which is surrounded by a dark blue oval with a gold rope border. The ship’s name is inscribed at the top of the oval, while the ship’s hull number sits at the bottom.
USS O'Kane (DDG 77) Logo
USS O'Kane (DDG 77)

 FPO AP 96674-1295
 UNIT 100189 BOX 1


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