Wednesday, May 23, 2012

USN Crests


It is custom in the United States Navy for ships to receive an individually designed heraldic emblem, which usually take the form of seals or crests. Since NYC's Fleet week, an event close to my heart, is celebrating 25 years this year (and the Bicentennial of the War of 1812), I thought I'd post a bit of information about four participating ships that my father had a hand in designing. Nothing is taken lightly in the design process, including the assembling of the ship's namesake crest - everything has meaning. 


USS Roosevelt

Sheild:  Blue and gold represent the Navy. The fret represents President Roosevelt's leadership skills in bringing stability and strength to American society during the crisis of the Depression and the threat of fascist aggression. His call to Americans for preparedness and confidence and his resolve during World War II are denoted by the sword, which also indicates DDG 80's readiness to deploy her modern weaponry in defense of the country. The demi-sun signifies truth and the aspirations for a better world, which President Roosevelt encouraged Americans to share with him. The orie signifies the unity he brought to the country and the all-encompassing areas of responsibility of his office, which he administered so ably. White represents integrity and loyalty, and gold denotes excellence.


Crest:  The demi-burst signifies the splendid achievement of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Presidency, in bringing the United States out of domestic crisis and through worldwide conflict. The ship's wheel recalls his appointment in 1913 as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. It also denotes his success in guiding America through the difficult years of his Presidential terms. The lozenge, traditionally a feminine heraldic symbol, is a reference to his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, who assisted him politically and became a force in her own right. The sides of the lozenge represent his four elections to the presidency. The rose, the state flower of New York, recalls his governorship of that state and is a canting reference to his family name. Scarlet denotes courage and sacrifice and gold indicates excellence.


USS Mitscher


Shield: Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and represent the sea and excellence. Red is emblematic of sacrifice and valor. The cross throughout the shield recalls the Navy Cross Admiral Mitscher was awarded for his participation in the first successful transatlantic air passage. The two stars above the cross commemorate his awards of 2nd and 3rd Distinguished Service Medals and his 2nd and 3rd awards of the Navy Cross for meritorious service during operations in the Pacific during World War II. The armored gauntlet represents the strength and survivability of the ship. The lightning bolts symbolize energy and speed and the ability of the ship to conduct multi-mission operations in any dimension. The gauntlet grasping the lightning bolts highlights USS MITSCHER’s motto "SEIZE THE DAY", recalling Admiral Mitscher’s tenacious fighting spirit and dignifying DDG 57’s legacy.


Crest: The combined anchor and trident symbolize sea prowess and combat readiness. The life preserver ringing the anchor commemorates Admiral Mitscher’s compassion for his crew as manifested through his relentless determination in tracking down and recovering downed air crews. The three tines of the trident represent the ship’s significant capabilities in strike, air, and subsurface warfare. The trident’s position, rising above the crest, symbolizes the ability to project power over great distances. The gold wings represent Admiral Mitscher’s service and dedication, throughout his career, in advancing naval aviation and developing strike warfare.


USS Gonzalez

Crest: Dark blue and gold, on the shield in the Coat of Arms, are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and symbolize sea and excellence. Red is emblematic of valor and sacrifice. The embattled line reflects the Citadel and alludes a strong defense. The flashes depict speed the electronic capabilities of the AEGIS system while reflecting Marine Sergeant Alfredo Gonzalez's bravery under fire. The reversed blue star represents the Medal of Honor, our country's highest honor, awarded to SGT Gonzalez, the ship's namesake, for sacrifice and bravery. The border symbolizes unity and cooperation while the AEGIS shaped shield highlights USS Gonzalez' ability to conduct multi-mission warfare operations with quick decisive action.
The eagle, on the crest, is adapted from the Marine Corps Seal and reflects leadership and courage The two swords, Navy and Marine, are crossed for strength and teamwork and honor both services.

USS Donald Cook

Shield: Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the US Navy; red is emblematic of valor and sacrifice. The reversed star denotes the Medal of Honor, our country's highest honor, posthumously awarded to Colonel Donald G. Cook for his spirit of sacrifice and extraordinary heroism. The gauntlet grasps a broken chain underscoring Colonel cook's internment as a prisoner of war by the Viet Cong during which he unselfishly put the interests of his comrades before that of his own well-being and, eventually, his life. The swords are crossed to signify the spirit of teamwork while symbolizing the heritage of the US Navy and Marine Corps. The Mameluke represents Colonel Cook's service as a Marine.


Crest: The eagle symbolizes the principles of freedom upon which our country as founded and highlights military vigilance and national defense. The tridents represent sea power and underscore USS DONALD COOK'S AEGIS firepower and the capability to conduct operations in multi-threat environments.

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