USS McCampbell (DDG-85) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She is named in honor of Naval Aviator Captain David S. McCampbell, a Medal of Honor and Navy Cross recipient who was the Navy's leading ace in World War II. This ship is the 35th destroyer of her class. USS McCampbell was the 20th ship of this class to be built by Bath Iron Works at Bath, Maine, and construction began on 16 July 1999. She was launched and christened on 2 July 2000. On 17 August 2002, the commissioning ceremony was held at Pier 30 in San Francisco, California. She arrived at Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan as part of the Navy's Seventh Fleet in July 2007, and is now permanently home ported there.
On 23 June 2009, it was reported that McCampbell had taken over from USS John S. McCain in shadowing the North Korean ship Kang Nam 1 toward Burma in enforcement of a new United Nations resolution, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874.
In March 2011, McCampbell was the first US Navy vessel on station off northeastern Honshu, Japan to assist with relief efforts after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and deliver food, supplies, and other material aid directly to survivors. Later, after the arrival of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the ship continued relief efforts as an element in Carrier Strike Group Seven, using the carrier as a supply distribution hub through early April.
On 13 June 2011 it was reported that McCampbell had intercepted the North Korean-flagged merchant vessel MV Light, en route to Myanmar, on 26 May, south of Shanghai. McCampbell requested permission to board the vessel, which was suspected of carrying missile technology, but was refused. After several days MV Light turned around and returned to North Korea, tracked by surveillance aircraft and satellites.
McCampbell rescued five Philippine fishermen on or about 24 October 2012. During a routine night mission, the embarked helicopter crew of McCampbell discovered five men signaling for help aboard a mostly-sunk fishing vessel. The helicopter crew deployed flotation rafts while McCampbell dispatched two boats to assist in the rescue. McCampbell was operating with USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group Five at that time.
McCampbell maintains on board an active VBSS team to conduct anti piracy, anti-smuggling, and anti-terrorist operations. The ship was an active participant in IMDEX, and the VBSS team was a centerpiece in the multilateral training effort held in conjunction with the exposition.
The Commanding Officer (CO) of USS McCampbell is the most senior officer that is in command of the ship. Sailors will refer to the CO as "the Captain" (regardless of rank), or sometimes informally as "Skipper". Below is the list of commanding officers of USS McCampbell.
The shield has background of blue with a diagonal light blue band. Roman numerals for the number fifteen are located above the band while the Navy Cross is below.
The traditional Navy colors were chosen for the shield because dark blue and gold represents the sea and excellence respectively. The light blue band refers to the Pacific theater, where Captain McCampbell’s served as commander of Air Group 15. In the band, there are thirty-four stars representing the amount of enemy aircraft Captain McCampbell destroyed in air to air combat. This distinguished him as the leading naval ace in World War II. The Roman numeral “XV” signifies the “Fabled Fifteen” which embarked on USS Essex. The Navy Cross with a Silver Star center symbolize Captain McCampbell’s bravery during combat in the Philippines.
The crest consists of a winged shield under a reversed star surrounded by tridents.
The reversed star refers to Captain McCampbell’s Medal of Honor which was awarded for heroism in both the first and second battles of the Philippine Sea. The sea lion represents the Republic of the Philippines government seal. Two tridents, symbolizing sea prowess, surround the star and signifying the AEGIS system’s firepower and strike capability. Representing the United States coat of arms is the winged shield to symbolize naval aviator wings which was Captain McCampbell’s area of specialty.
The motto is written on a scroll of blue that has a gold reverse side.
The ships motto is "Relentless in Battle". The motto is a reference to both the honorable feats of Captain McCampbell and the Medal of Honor he received.
The coat of arms in full color as in the blazon, upon a white background enclosed within a dark blue oval border edged on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the inscription "USS McCampbell" at the top and "DDG 85" in the base all gold.