History of the USS MULLINNIX DD-944

USS Charles F Adams DDG-2

L to R: USS Charles F Adams DDG-2, USS Forrest Sherman DD-931, USS Edson DD-946
Philly Shipyard - May 2007
Courtesy Dale Schultz

USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2), named for Charles Francis Adams, III (Secretary of the Navy from 1929 to 1933), was the lead ship of the Charles F. Adams class of guided missile destroyers.

The ship was laid down by Bath Iron Works at Bath, Maine on 16 June 16 1958, launched on 8 September 1959 by Mrs. R. Homans, sister of Mr. Adams, and commissioned on 10 September 1960 and stationed in Charleston, South Carolina.

Intended as a follow-on to the Forrest Sherman class destroyers the ship was originally designated as DD-952. Outwardly similar to the Sherman class, Charles F. Adams was the first U.S. Navy ship designed from the keel up to launch anti-aircraft missiles. To reflect the increased capabilities of the ship and to distinguish it from previous destroyer designs, Charles F. Adams was re-designated DDG-2 prior to the ship's launching.

Although designed with cutting edge technology for the 1950’s, by the mid 1970’s it was clear the Charles F. Adams class was ill prepared to deal with modern air and missile threats. To reduce this vulnerability the Navy initiated the New Threat Upgrade (NTU) program, which consisted of a number of sensor, weapons and communications upgrades, intended to extend the service life of the ships. Under NTU the Adams class would receive improved electronic warfare capability through the installation of the AN/SLQ-32(V)2 EW Suite. The upgraded combat system would include the MK86 Gun Fire Control System, Hughes AN/SPS-52C 3D radar, AN/SPG-51C (Digital) Fire Control Radars, and Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS). The ships would also have the ability to launch RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, to be housed in the Tartar missile magazine.

During the 1980’s the Reagan Administration chose to accelerate production of the Ticonderoga class guided missile cruisers and build the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers as a replacement for the Adams Class. The result of this was that only three ships, USS Tattnall (DDG-19), USS Goldsborough (DDG-20), and USS Benjamin Stoddert (DDG-22) received the full upgrade. Other ships of the class received only partial upgrades which included the SLQ-32 and Harpoon Missile upgrades intended to extend their service lives until the Burke class could reach operational capability.

She was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 20 November 1992 and held for donation at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Pennsylvania. The Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum Committee attempted to acquire the ship as a museum and memorial to be located in Bay City, Michigan; however, the cost of preparing the ship for movement through the Saint Lawrence Seaway proved too expensive and the project was abandoned.

As of June 2007, she remains in Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, waiting...and waiting...and waiting...

Read The Full Article From SEA CLASSICS (PDF File)
"SOS! Save Our Ships
Charles F Adams"

March 2007 Vol 40/No 3

They'd better save her fast!
31 August 2002

March 2006

When she was younger...

November 1960

With USS Mitscher DL-2
September 1962

New Paint Job! Picture taken on 11 July 2008
With a little luck she'll be headed to Jacksonville, FL soon (as a museum ship)

USS Charles F Adams - 11 July 2008 (I refuse to use the word 'ex')
(Note: In both of these pictures, that is still the Forrest Sherman and Edson tied next to her)

Dateline: 18 May 2010

Adams crew members who are actively engaged in moving their ship to Jacksonville, Florida as a museum of the only ship left of the Adams Class, visited their ship in Philly recently and developed this PDF file of photos and information.
For Forrest Sherman sailors, this is a real treat! The Adams class is virtually the Forrest Sherman class with a “few more feet” of fantail to make room for the rocket launcher in place of MT53. For a Mullinnix FTG, the photos of main battery plot took me back to my “salad days”. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!!

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© 2007 by Frank Wood, All rights reserved.