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USS Sampson (DDG 102)

"Through Courage and Arms"

SHIELD: Dark Blue and Gold colors are traditionally associated with the Navy, and represent the sea and excellence.  The Red Shield symbolizes valor and the RADM’s wartime service.  Two Silver Stars are to honor the highest rank awarded to RADM Sampson, upon his retirement.   Five Gold Stars represent the ships commanded by RADM Sampson; Alert, Mayflower, Swatara, San Francisco and Iowa.  Three Lightning Flashes denote the science and technology of USS Sampson, and also highlights the former ships named Sampson.  The Smaller Inner Shield displaying the embattled portion on top and lion recalls the Spanish ensign of 1898, during the Spanish-American War.  The Lion represents the courage of RADM Sampson commanding the vessels that defeated the Spanish fleet.
CREST: The Demi-Doubled Bladed Battle Axe suggests USS Sampson’s execution of military duties at sea.  The Bronze Star represents the battle star earned by the second vessel named for RADM Sampson, during World War II.  The Laurel Wreath is a symbol of honor and achievement, and commemorates RADM Sampson’s distinguished naval career.  The Heraldic Roses allude to the state flower of New York, the birthplace of RADM Sampson. The number of roses recall the various naval positions held by the RADM throughout his career, including Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard.
SEAL: The coat of arms as blazoned in full color on a white field enclosed by a blue oval border edged on the outside with gold rope and bearing the name 'USS SAMPSON’ at top and ‘DDG 102’ in base all in gold.


She was commissioned in Boston, Massachusetts on 3 November 2007 and home ported in San Diego. Her maiden deployment was from August 2009 to March
2010 to the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf as part of the Nimitz carrier strike group (CSG).
After Sampson returned from an 8-month maiden deployment, she was back underway from May to August with port visits to the 103rd Portland Rose Festival and Esquimalt, British Columbia to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy. She then participated in Exercise RIMPAC off the coast of Hawaii. Sampson's crew was awarded two Sea Service Ribbons in 12 months.
In August 2011 Sampson pulled into South Harbor in Seattle, Washington, to participate in Seattle's Seafair celebration. In September, Sampson dispatched an inflatable boat and swimmers to retrieve about 60 bales of assorted drugs from the ocean after a small boat dumped them overboard.
After that the ship participated in USS Abraham Lincoln's Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), in preparation for an independent deployment. In February 2012 Sampson departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific and Middle East. In July, Sampson participated in at-sea phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Singapore.
On 29 December 2014, Sampson was dispatched to the Java Sea to search for Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 that disappeared the day before.
In 2016 the ship remained assigned to Destroyer Squadron 23, working with Carrier Strike Group 11. She arrived at her new homeport, Naval Station Everett in Washington, on 26 September 2016.
The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) invited the United States Navy to send a vessel to participate in the RNZN's 75th Birthday Celebrations in Auckland over the weekend of 19–21 November 2016. Sampson was the first US warship to visit New Zealand in 33 years since the New Zealand nuclear-free zone came into effect and the US suspended its obligations to New Zealand under the ANZUS treaty. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key granted approval for the ship's visit under the New Zealand's anti-nuclear law, which requires that the Prime Minister has to be satisfied that any visiting ship is not nuclear armed or powered. Soon after arriving in New Zealand, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Kaikōura. Sampson along with other navy ships from Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore were dispatched directly to the area to provide humanitarian assistance.
On 3 October 2017, Sampson departed her homeport for a scheduled deployment with the Theodore Roosevelt CSG. She returned 9 May 2018 after seven months.
In January 2022, Sampson responded to Tonga to provide assistance following the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai eruption and tsunami.
In May 2022, Sampson was a part of Destroyer Squadron 2, along with Carrier Strike Group 3 led by the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Sampson participated in RIMPAC 2022.


William T. Sampson, born on 9 February 1840 in Palmyra, NY, entered the United States Naval Academy on 24 September 1857. After graduating 1st in his class four years later; he served as an instructor at the Academy. In 1864, he became the Executive Officer of the monitor PATAPSCO of the South Atlantic Blockading Station and engaged in sweeping torpedoes off Charleston, SC. He survived the loss of that ironclad on 15 January 1865, when he was struck by a torpedo, exploded and sank with a loss of 75 lives.
Following duty on the steam frigate COLORADO on the European Station, another tour as instructor at the Naval Academy, and in the Bureau of Navigation of the Naval Department, he served in the screw sloop, Congress.
He then commanded ALERT, the practice ship MAYFLOWER, and SWATARA while on duty at the Naval Academy. Next he was Assistant to the Superintendent of the Naval Observatory, then Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, RI. In 1886 he became Superintendent of the Naval Academy. He was promoted to Captain and reported to Mare Island Navy Yard to assume command of the cruiser SAN FRANCISCO, commissioned on 15 November 1889. He was detached in 1892 to serve as Inspector of Ordnance in the Washington Navy Yard and was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance on 28 January 1893.
He assumed command of battleship IOWA on 15 June 1897. On 17 February 1898, he was made President of the Board of Inquiry to investigate the destruction of the battleship MAINE. On 26 March 1898, he assumed command of the North Atlantic Station, with the temporary rank of Rear Admiral. The United States declared war against Spain on 21 April 1898; and, eight days later, Admiral Cervera's fleet sailed from the Cape Verde Islands for an uncertain destination. Admiral Sampson, in flagship NEW YORK, put to sea from Key West in search of the Spanish Fleet and established a close and efficient blockade on that fleet in the harbor of Santiago on 1 June 1898. On the morning of 3 July, Cervera's fleet sailed out of the harbor, and was completely destroyed in a running sea battle lasting five hours. The next day, Rear Admiral Sampson sent his famous message: “The Fleet under my command offers the nation as a Fourth of July present, the whole of Cervera's Fleet." He was appointed Cuban Commissioner on 20 August 1898 but resumed command of the North Atlantic Fleet in December. He became Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard in October 1899 and transferred to the Retired List on 9 February 1902. Rear Admiral Sampson died in Washington, DC, on 6 May 1902 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

USS Sampson (DDG 102)

UNIT 100214 BOX 1
FPO AP 96678

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