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USS Bigelow (DD-942)
USS Bigelow (DD-942) underway
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Namesake: Elmer Charles Bigelow
Ordered: 30 July 1954
Builder: Bath Iron Works
Laid down: 6 July 1955
Launched: 2 February 1957
Acquired: 1 November 1957
Commissioned: 8 November 1957
Decommissioned: 5 November 1982
Struck: 1 June 1990
Motto: Concorditer Pugnamus
Fate: Sunk as target, 2 April 2003
General characteristics
Class & type: Forrest Sherman class destroyer

2,800 tons standard.

4,050 tons full load.
Length: 407 ft (124 m) waterline, 418 ft (127 m) overall.
Beam: 45 ft (14 m)
Draft: 22 ft (6.7 m)
Propulsion: 4 x 1,200 psi (8.3 MPa) Foster-Wheeler boilers, Westinghouse steam turbines; 70,000 shp (52 MW); 2 x shafts.
Speed: 32.5 knots (60.2 km/h)
Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h)
Complement: 15 officers, 218 enlisted.
Armament: 3 x 5 in (127 mm) 54 calibre dual purpose Mk 42 guns; 4 x 3 in (76 mm) 50 calibre Mark 33 anti-aircraft guns; 2 x mark 10/11 Hedgehogs; 6 x 12.75 in (324 mm) Mark 32 torpedo tubes.

USS Bigelow (DD-942) was a Forrest Sherman class destroyer in the United States Navy. The ship was named for Watertender Second Class Elmer Charles Bigelow (1920-1945), who was killed in action extinguishing a magazine fire while serving on board Fletcher during action against enemy Japanese forces off Corregidor in the Philippines on 14 February 1945. Bigelow was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.[1]

Bigelow was built by the Bath Iron Works Corporation at Bath in Maine. The ship was launched by Mrs. Verna B. Perry, mother of Elmer C. Bigelow.[1]

Bigelow was part of Combined Task Group CTG 136.1.1 tasked with blockading Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.[2] Bigelow received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for participating from 24 October 1962 to 21 November 1962.[3]

Bigelow saw extensive service in the Vietnam War and also served as a NASA recovery ship for the Mercury and Gemini III programs.[citation needed]

While operating off Vietnam on 20 April 1967, an explosion in a gun mount injured six sailors.[4]

Bigelow served as a test platform for Phalanx CIWS in 1977. The mount was installed just aft of the aft radar gun director.[5][6][7]

Glenn R. Brindel, commanding officer of USS Stark (FFG-31) during the 1986 missile attack, was executive officer of Bigelow from 1978 to 1980.[8]


Bigelow decommissioned 5 November 1982.

She was sold for scrap to the Fore River Shipyard and Iron Works at Quincy, Massachusetts on 11 December 1992. When the Fore River Shipyard went bankrupt she was resold to N. R. Acquisition Incorporated of New York City by the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court. She was re-acquired by the Navy for disposition as a target ship, stricken 1 June 1990 and was "Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise" (presumably sunk as a gunnery target) on or before 2 April 2003.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 DANFS
  2. Naval Historical Center. The Naval Quarantine of Cuba, 1962: Quarantine, 22 -26 October.
  3. Naval Historical Center. U.S. Navy Ships and Units Which Received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for Participating in the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962.
  4. - Bigelow.
  5. 20 mm Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS).
  6. All Hands Magazine January 2001.
  7. contains an image of the CIWS mount.
  8. Skipper is veteran of Vietnam; The Patriot - News. Harrisburg, Pa.: 19 May 1987. pg. A.2
  9. N.V.R. indicates that the ship was disposed of on 2 April 2003. That date may be merely the date on which the N.V.R. updated its records; it is not indicated that the ship was sunk on that date.

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