USS Sterett (DDG 104)
Celeste (Yale Blue) a demi-trident issuing from base Or, above each tine a mullet of the like, the shaft surmounted in base by a mullet Gules; on a chief wavy of the last edged of the second, a Naval officer’s sword point down and an antique telescope saltirewise Proper, all within a bordure Azure (Dark Blue).
On a wreath Or and Celeste an eighteenth century frigate in silhouette Sable, surmounted overall by an annulet of twenty-one mullets of the first.
Celeste represents worldwide mission capabilities of the new DDG-104, gold and dark blue symbolize U.S. Navy traditions. Scarlet denotes courage and the sacrifices made in battle by the three previous ships to bear the name STERETT since the founding of the nation. The scarlet mullet in base recalls the first incident in which a U.S. Navy vessel, DLG-31, shot down and destroyed a Russian-built MIG 17 airplane with a Terrier missile during the Battle of Dong Hoi in Vietnam. The mullets on top of the demi-trident represent the three previous ships named STERETT, (Destroyer No. 27, DD-407 and DLG/CG-31), the trident signifies expertise and mastery at sea. The sword and spy-glass are derived from the insignia of DLG/CG-31; the sword recalls that awarded to Andrew Sterett by Congress for the capture of a Tripolitan cruiser in 1801 while he commanded the USS ENTERPRISE during the Barbary Wars, the telescopic eye-glass symbolizes his outstanding service in the early days of the U.S. Navy. The bordure signifies unity and resolve.
The frigate recalls the first-ever U.S. victory against a foreign navy, in which Sterett participated as Third Lieutenant of the USF CONSTELLATION in the capture of the French frigate L’Insurgente in 1799. The annulet of stars represents the combined battle stars awarded to STERETTs DD-407 and DLG-31 for World War II and Vietnam service.
“Forever Dauntless” (Recalls the “Dauntless” motto of DLG-31, later re-designated CG-31). The motto appears in gold letters on a dark blue scroll doubled gold with dark blue garnishing.
Lieutenant Andrew Sterett
b. 1778 - d. 1807
The USS Sterett was named after Lieutenant Andrew Sterett, born 27 January 1778 in Baltimore, Maryland. Andrew’s father was a successful shipping merchant who had served as a captain during the Revolutionary War. Andrew was the fourth of ten children and despite his sizable inheritance, entered the Navy as a Lieutenant on 25 March 1798 at the age of twenty. He served as Third Lieutenant aboard the newly commissioned frigate Constellation. He was in command of a gun battery during the undeclared war with France in which the fledgling U. S. Navy scored its first victory on the high seas against the French frigate L’Insurgente.
By February 1800 Andrew Sterett had been promoted to First Lieutenant and participated in successful battles against French ships. Later that year he assumed his first command, the schooner Enterprise. This was the first US Navy ship to bear that name.
The Enterprise sailed to the Mediterranean with Commodore Richard Dale to quell the Barbary pirates. Andrew Sterett and the Enterprise went up against the pirate warship Tripoli in a furious engagement. He successfully fought off three attempts by the pirates to board his crippled ship. Enterprise beat back all attacks and defeated the pirates. He was presented with a sword by President Thomas Jefferson and his crew received an additional month’s pay for their heroism. Following several more dispatches to the coast of Tripoli, Sterett and the Enterprise witnessed the return of freedom of the seas in the Mediterranean for American ships. He returned home in March of 1803 and resigned from the Navy in 1805. He pursued a career in the merchant marine and died a premature death in Lima, Peru on 9 June 1807 at the age of thirty.
Andrew Sterett left the U.S. Navy with a rich tradition of determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. His bravery, gallantry and heroism live on in the ships that bear his name.
Four ships of the United States Navy have borne the name USS Sterett in honor of Master Commandant Andrew Sterett (1778-1807), who served during the Quasi-War with France and the Barbary Wars.
FPO AP 96678-1310