Commodore Alexander Scammel Wadsworth

USS WADSWORTH (FFG-9) is the third ship of the fleet to carry the name; a name which bears a long history, filled with courage, heroics and patriotism dating back to the early years of this country's Navy and continuing through two World Wars to the present. The ship is named in honor of Commodore Alexander Scammel Wadsworth, famous for his heroic actions while serving aboard the USS CONSTITUTION ("OLD IRONSIDE") during the engagement with HMS GUERRIERE in the War of 1812, for which he received a silver medal for heroism and the thanks of Congress. While continuing his brilliant service in the Navy, Commodore Wadsworth was promoted to Master Commandant for gallant services while aboard the USS ADAMS in 1814; commanded two ships in the Mediterranean Squadron ( and USS CONSTELLATION); was commander of the Pacific Squadron; and then served as Navy Commissioner until 1840.

The first ship to be named WADSWORTH (DD-60) was a Tucker Class destroyer commissioned in July 1915. She served to honor the name admirably. Her squadron's record for escorting numerous convoys laden with food, munitions, and troops of the American Expeditionary Force bound for Europe during the First World War is beyond compare. Not one man out of the two million "doughboys" of General Pershing's Army was lost en route while under her convoy protection. This feat notwithstanding, however, the WADSWORTH will always be remembered as the flagship of the first division of American destroyers to arrive in Europe to break the German U-boat blockade surrounding the British Isles. This sailing of WADSWORTH and her squadron to Britain is etched forever in the pages of history as the "Return of the Mayflower".

WADSWORTH (DD-516), a Fletcher Class destroyer commissioned in March 1943, was the second ship to proudly bear the name. Her World War II log of combat actions, submarine sinkings, aircraft kills and devastatingly accurate bombardments of enemy shore installations was outstanding. She received the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism while successfully repelling literally hundreds of enemy aircraft while off the coast of Okinawa. This fine ship also earned seven battle stars and other awards for operations which included; the Treasury-Bougainville Operation; the Consolidation of the Solomon Island; the Bismarck Archipelago Operation; the Marianas Operation; the Okinawa Gunto Operation; and the Third Fleet Operation against Japan.

The story behind WADSWORTH is an involved and impressive one. It is a tradition this ship and her crew are determined and dedicated to honor and continue.

Historical Notes:

Not yet available

Ship's Crest:

Description of Coat of Arms: Blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Naval service, and are symbolic of the Navy's element, the sea, and ever-present goal of excellence. The color red symbolizes action and courage. The observer sees the oncoming prow of WADSWORTH in red, as it cuts the blue sea, the home of the modern frigate. The three seagulls remind the observer that three Naval Ships have borne the proud name of "WADSWORTH". It recalls the ancient sailor's belief that seagulls are the souls of departed sailors and bring good fortune by their presence. The crest represents the USS CONSTITUTION under full sail and comemmorates the fact that Commodore Alexander Scammel Wadsworth (then second Lieutenant of CONSTITUTION) received a Silver Medal for Heroism, and the thanks of Congress, for his part in CONSTITUTION's engagement with the british frigate "GUERRIERE".

This engagement, in which CONSTITUTION defeated GUERRIERE in a brief but violent action, was the first American victory over the heretofore omnipotent Royal Navy. The act captured the heart of the American people and gave a much needed boost to the morale and confidence of our young nation. In this action, CONSTITUTION won her familiar title, "Old Ironside", when GUERRIERE's shots were seen to bounce off her sides.

The motto selected for WADSWORTH is taken from the words Captain Isaac Hull, then Commanding CONSTITUTION, addressed to his men just prior to engaging Guerriere. "Men," he said, "now do your duty. Your officers cannot have entire comand over you now. Each man must do all in his power for his country." The naval service of both Commodore WADSWORTH and USS CONSTITUTION would continue for many years, but they both won their place in history on that day in August, 1812 when they began the United States Navy's winning tradition of giving everything "for one's country".


Click on images for larger view

FFG 9 Photo
FFG 9 Photo
FFG 9 Photo
FFG 9 Photo

More Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25