USS LASSEN is the fourth OSCAR AUSTIN class guided missile destroyer and the first ship in the Navy named after Commander Clyde Everett Lassen, USN.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: January 6, 1995|
|Keel laid: August 24, 1998|
|Launched: October 16, 1999|
|Commissioned: April 21, 2001|
|Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.|
|Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines|
|Length: 508,5 feet (155 meters)|
|Beam: 67 feet (20.4 meters)|
|Draft: 30,5 feet (9.3 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 9,200 tons full load|
|Speed: 32 knots|
|Aircraft: two SH-60 (LAMPS 3) helicopters|
|Armament: one Mk-45 5"/62 caliber lightweight gun, two Mk-41 VLS for Standard missiles and Tomahawk ASM/LAM, two 20mm Phalanx CIWS, two Mk-32 triple torpedo tubes for Mk-50 and Mk-46 torpedoes, two Mk 38 Mod 2 25mm machine gun systems|
|Homeport: Yokosuka, Japan|
|Crew: approx. 320|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS LASSEN. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS LASSEN Cruise Books:
About the Ship's Coat of Arms:
Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the Navy. The Aegis shield highlights the modern weaponry of the USS LASSEN. The blue chevron recalls LT Lassenís service in the coastal campaign during the Vietnam War. It also simulates the prow of a ship, alluding to the first LASSENís mission as an ammunition ship, which rearmed many of the major fleets. The heraldic sea lion symbolizes the strength and courage, demonstrated by LT Lassen. The chevron suggests the Medal of Honor awarded for LT Lassenís heroism, above and beyond the call of duty, for the rescue of two aviators. The compass rose symbolizes the landing lights of his helicopter, while rescuing the aviators, revealing his position to the enemy, when illumination was lost.
The palm fronds suggest the first LASSENís area of operations in the Pacific; the lightning flashes symbolize striking capabilities and refer to the first LASSENís service in World War II, rearming many of the major fleets. The tridentís three tines represent battlestars earned during World War II in the Pacific as well as denoting the multifaceted offensive/defensive armament of the present DDG 82.
Commanding Officers of USS LASSEN:
|April 21, 2001 - September 5, 2002||Commander Sean E. OíConnor, USN|
|September 5, 2002 - July 29, 2004||Commander Hugh D. Wetherald, USN|
|July 29, 2004 - May 31, 2006||Commander Kerry S. Gilpin, USN|
|May 31, 2006 - November 29, 2007||Commander Marshall B. Brown, USN|
|November 29, 2007 - April 23, 2009||Commander Anthony L. Simmons, USN|
|April 23, 2009 - December 17, 2010||Commander Hung Ba Le, USN|
|December 17, 2010 - June 7, 2012||Commander Walter C. Wrye, IV, USN|
|June 7, 2012 - December 11, 2013||Commander Scott C. McClelland, USN|
|December 11, 2013 - present||Commander Michael A. Smith, USN|
About the Christening Ceremony:
The ARLEIGH BURKE (OSCAR AUSTIN) class guided-missile destroyer, LASSEN, was christened Saturday, Nov. 6, 1999, during an 11 a.m. ceremony at Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss.
Rep. Steven T. Kuydendall of California delivered the ceremony's principal address. Linda B. Lassen, wife of the ship's namesake and Barbara O. Pilling, wife of Navy Adm. Donald Pilling, vice chief of Naval Operations, served as ship co-sponsors. In the time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Lassen and Mrs. Pilling broke a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen LASSEN.
Accidents aboard USS LASSEN:
|February 15, 2009||off Yokosuka, Japan||USS LASSEN collides with a small boat while entering the port of Yokosuka, Japan, around 1225pm local time. The 14-ton SUMOMO2 was anchored about 1 mile northeast of the Naval Base when she was struck in her starboard bow area. No injuries are reported and the SUMOMO2 is able to return to port without assistance. The LASSEN also continued to the Naval Base after checking the damage to the SUMOMO2.|
About the Shipís Name:
Clyde Everett Lassen, a native of Fort Myers, Florida, earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his courageous rescue of two downed aviators while commander of a search and rescue helicopter in Vietnam.
On June 19, 1968, Lassen, then a 27 year old Lieutenant flying a UH-2 Seasprite, embarked on a mission to recover two downed naval aviators whose plane had been shot down deep in North Vietnamese territory. Upon reaching the hilly terrain where the aviators were hiding, LT Lassen made several attempts to recover the aviators, but dense tree cover, enemy weapons fire and intermittent illumination frustrated his efforts. Determined to complete his mission, LT Lassen turned on the landing lights of the helicopter, despite the danger of revealing his position to the enemy. After the pilots made their way to the helicopter and with his damaged helicopter dangerously low on fuel, LT Lassen evaded further antiaircraft fire before landing safely at sea onboard a guided missile destroyer-with only five minutes of fuel left in the helicopterís fuel lines.
The account of the rescue was logged as a successful, routine search and rescue mission. But at the home base for Helicopter Combat Squadron Seven, the rescue flight of June 19, 1968, will always be acclaimed as one of the most daring feats of flying to come out of the Vietnam Conflict.
LT Lassen became the first naval aviator and fifth Navy man to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in Vietnam.
Commander Lassen died in 1994 from cancer.
CITATION: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as pilot and aircraft commander of a search and rescue helicopter, attached to Helicopter Support Squadron 7, during operations against enemy forces in North Vietnam. Launched shortly after midnight to attempt the rescue of 2 downed aviators. Lt. (then Lt.(jg.)) Lassen skillfully piloted his aircraft over unknown and hostile terrain to a steep, tree-covered hill on which the survivors had been located. Although enemy fire was being directed at the helicopter, he initially landed in a clear area near the base of the hill, but, due to the dense undergrowth, the survivors could not reach the helicopter. With the aid of flare illumination, Lt. Lassen successfully accomplished a hover between 2 trees at the survivors' position. Illumination was abruptly lost as the last of the flares were expended, and the helicopter collided with a tree, commencing a sharp descent. Expertly righting his aircraft and maneuvering clear, Lt. Lassen remained in the area, determined to make another rescue attempt, and encouraged the downed aviators while awaiting resumption of flare illumination. After another unsuccessful, illuminated rescue attempt. and with his fuel dangerously low and his aircraft significantly damaged, he launched again and commenced another approach in the face of the continuing enemy opposition. When flare illumination was again lost, Lt. Lassen, fully aware of the dangers in clearly revealing his position to the enemy, turned on his landing lights and completed the landing. On this attempt, the survivors were able to make their way to the helicopter. In route to the coast he encountered and successfully evaded additional hostile antiaircraft fire and, with fuel for only minutes of flight remaining, landed safely aboard USS JOUETT (CG 29, formerly DLG 29). Lt. Lassen's extraordinary heroism at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Navy."
The medal was officially presented 16 January 1969.
USS LASSEN Image Gallery:
The photos below were taken by Brian Barton and show the LASSEN moored alongside the USS PREBLE (DDG 88) at San Diego, Calif., on December 6, 2003.
The photos below were taken by Shiu On Yee during USS LASSEN's port visit to Hong Kong July 10 - 15, 2012, while the ship was assigned to the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) Strike Group.
The photos below were taken by Shiu On Yee during USS LASSEN's port visit to Hong Kong November 8 - 12, 2013, while the ship was assigned to the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) Strike Group. The port visit was cut short when the ships were ordered to proceed to the Philippines to provide disaster relief in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The ship in the background on the second photo is USS MUSTIN (DDG 89).