Two warships return Thursday to Naval Base San Diego after separate deployments to the western Pacific, including one that provided humanitarian help in the Philippines following Super Typhoon Haiyan.
The guided missile cruiser Cowpens and the guided missile destroyer Spruance are each scheduled to return Thursday morning, the Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs Office said Tuesday.The 567-foot Cowpens and its crew of 400 deployed in September. In November, it aided in typhoon recovery efforts.
“I am very proud of the accomplishments of the crew,” said Capt. Gregory Gombert, Cowpens commanding officer. “As we return home, we all look forward to spending time with loved ones.”
Nicknamed the “Mighty Moo,” Cowpens is named after the American Revolutionary War battle fought on Jan. 17, 1781, at the “Cowpens” in South Carolina. During the battle, American soldiers defeated a much superior force of British soldiers, giving the American Army the confidence to pursue the British from South Carolina to Yorktown, Va.
The Spruance and its crew of 260 officers and enlisted personnel left San Diego in October for its maiden deployment and spent the time supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Commissioned more than two years ago, the 509-foot ship is named after Adm. Raymond Spruance, a cruiser division commander who substituted for the ill Adm. William “Bill” Halsey to lead an aircraft carrier task force at the Battle of Midway during World War II.
Spruance and Halsey went on to split command of the Navy’s prime carrier strike force in the Pacific in later battles against the Japanese.
Spruance later succeeded Adm. Chester Nimitz as the commander of the Pacific Fleet, led the Naval War College and was the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines. He died in 1969 in Pebble Beach.
— City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: