USS GONZALEZ is the 16th ARLEIGH BURKE class guided missile destroyer. In 1999 she participated in Operation Allied Force where she has fired Tomahawk cruise missiles on Yugoslav ground targets. (Images at the end of this site.) One missile was damaged and splashed into the water, some meters next to the destroyer.
|General Characteristics:||Keel Laid: February 3, 1994|
|Launched: December 12, 1994|
|Commissioned: October 12, 1996|
|Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine|
|Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines|
|Blades on each Propeller: five|
|Length: 505,25 feet (154 meters)|
|Beam: 67 feet (20.4 meters)|
|Draft: 30,5 feet (9.3 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 8.300 tons full load|
|Speed: 30+ knots|
|Aircraft: None. But LAMPS 3 electronics installed on landing deck for coordinated DDG/helicopter ASW operations.|
|Armament: two MK 41 VLS for Standard missiles, Tomahawk; Harpoon missile launchers, one Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight gun, two Phalanx CIWS, Mk 46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts)|
|Homeport: Norfolk, Va.|
|Crew: 23 Officers, 24 Chief Petty Officers and 291 Enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS GONZALEZ. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
About the Destroyer’s Name, about Sergeant Alfredo Cantu Gonzalez:
Alfredo Gonzalez was born May 23, 1946, in Edinburg, Texas. He graduated from Lamar Grammar School in 1955, and from Edinburg High School in 1965.
Enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at San Antonio, Texas, June 3, 1965, he completed Recruit Training with 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Dept, San Diego, California, the following September, and Individual Combat Training 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry training regiment, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, that October.
After completing Individual Combat Training, he became a rifleman with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF, and served in that capacity until January 1966. He next saw a one year Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division (Rein), FMF. He was promoted to Private First Class, January 1, 1966; to Lance Corporal, October 1, 1966, and to Corporal, December 1, 1966.
Upon his return to the United States in February 1967, he reported for duty as a rifleman with 2nd Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, for transfer to the Far East.
On July 1, 1967, he was promoted to Sergeant, and later that month, arrived in the Republic of Vietnam. He served as Squad Leader and Platoon Sergeant with 3rd Platoon Company "A", 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF.
While participating in the initial phase of Operation HUE CITY in the vicinity of Thua Thien, Vietnam, on February 4, 1968, Sergeant Gonzalez was mortally wounded from hostile rocket fire.
A complete list of medals and decorations include: the Congressional Medal of Honor; the Purple Heart; the Presidential Unit Citation; the National Defense Service Medal; the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars; the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm; the Military Merit Medal; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Sergeant Gonzalez is survived by his mother, Mrs. Dolia Gonzalez and his grandmother, Mrs. Herminia Gonzalez.
Accidents aboard USS GONZALEZ:
|November 12, 1996||off Saint Maarten||While on post commissioning shakedown, GONZALEZ ran aground off Saint Maarten on a coral reef causing extensive damage. GONZALEZ was towed back to Bath Iron Works for repair. Estimated damage was $50 - 60 million and 9 - 12 months for repair. GONZALEZ returned to service in September 1997, repair costs were much lower than estimated. It took only $10 million and 9 months to repair the ship. These repairs included the replacement of one shaft and both propellers and the addition of a new sonar dome. In addition the time was used to retrofit the ship for female berthings and to install a new reverse osmossis water system.|
USS GONZALEZ Image Gallery:
The photo below was taken by Michael Jenning and shows the GONZALEZ at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on October 28, 2013.