USS Hayler

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USS Hayler (DD-997)
USS Hayler (DD-997)
United States
Namesake: Robert W. Hayler
Ordered: 29 September 1979
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
Laid down: 20 October 1980
Launched: 2 March 1982
Sponsored by: Nicole Hayler, granddaughter of namesake
Acquired: 10 February 1983
Commissioned: 5 March 1983
Decommissioned: 25 August 2003
Struck: 6 April 2004
Motto: Courageous in Conflict
Fate: Sunk as a target, 13 November 2004
Badge: USS Hayler (DD-997) crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Spruance class destroyer
Displacement: 8,040 (long) tons full load
Length: 529 ft (161 m) waterline; 563 ft (172 m) overall
Beam: 55 ft (16.8 m)
Draft: 29 ft (8.8 m)
Propulsion: 4 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, 2 shafts, 80,000 shp (60 MW)
Speed: 32.5 knots (60 km/h)
  • 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
  • 3,300 nautical miles (6,100 km; 3,800 mi) at 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 19 officers, 315 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 2 x Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.

USS Hayler (DD-997), the last Spruance-class destroyer, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Vice Admiral Robert W. Hayler (1891–1980).


For fiscal year 1978, Congress authorized the production of two additional Spruance-class destroyers, though they funded only one. These were intended to be built as helicopter destroyers (DDH), provided they would not cost more than a standard Spruance-class. Litton-Ingalls completed sketch design work for DDH-997, which moved the helicopter deck aft, stretching the length of the hangar and displacing the Sea Sparrow launcher to the top of the hangar. The design would have accommodated two SH-3 Sea Kings or four smaller SH-60 Seahawk or SH-2 Seasprite helicopters. While the prospective DDH-997 probably wouldn't have cost much more to build than a standard Spruance-class, the detail design and engineering work required before the ship could be built would have been substantial (similar work for the Kidd-class cost $110.8 million). This raised the cost of the DDH substantially above a standard Spruance-class destroyer. While this additional cost might have been justified if the DDH was going to enter series production, it was difficult to justify for a single ship. Accordingly, the Navy built Hayler to a similar design as the rest of the class, while incorporating some systems from the Ticonderoga Cruiser and Kidd (Ayatollah/Dead Admiral) Destroyer designs.

Hayler was laid down on 20 October 1980 by Ingalls Shipbuilding, in Pascagoula, Miss.; launched on 2 March 1982; and commissioned on 5 March 1983.

Deployment Highlights[edit]

The ship was assigned escort duties for the USS La Moure County (LST-1194) as it accidentally ran aground near the coast of Caleta Cifuncho Bay, Chile in the pre-dawn hours of 12 September 2000 during a routine amphibious training operation with a sister vessel, the Chilean Valdiva.


Hayler (DD 997) takes fire from a 57mm Bofors gun aboard the Canadian Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigate HMCS Ville de Québec (FFH 332).
The end of USS Hayler, 13 November 2004

Hayler was decommissioned 25 August 2003 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 6 April 2004 and sunk as a target on 13 November 2004, during the 2004 Sink Exercise.

Ship's crest[edit]

According to the U.S. Navy, Hayler's crest is representative of Vice Admiral Hayler's inspiring leadership, his dedication to his country, his proficiency as a naval officer, and of the history and traditions of the naval service.[1]

The gold stars on the blue background in the upper area of the shield symbolize the many Pacific Island Campaigns Admiral Hayler participated in as a Commanding Officer, and as a Commander of a cruiser division during World War II. The stars also represent the numerous awards he received, some repeated two and three times. The chevron is a symbol of strength and support, and the blue crosses represent the Admirals's three Navy Crosses, an award for valour exceeded only by the Medal of Honor.[1]

The crossed red battle axes are a symbol of strength and resourcefulness under fire, and represent Admiral Hayler's wartime service. The two stars they bear are in recognition of the Silver and Bronze Stars awarded to Admiral Hayler for valour. The bomb represents naval firepower, gunfire support and anti-aircraft fire, and symbolizes the contributions of Admiral Hayler to the development of naval ordnance at the outbreak of World War II.[1]

The anchor refers to the fleet, and Admiral Hayler's efforts toward its strength and safety. The predominant colors, red, white, and blue, are representative of the national flag, and Admiral Hayler's patriotism and loyalty to the flag and the nation it represents.[1]

The ship’s motto "Courageous in Conflict" exemplifies the ardent professionalism and steadfast leadership that characterized Vice Admiral Hayler’s career and now serves as the watchword to guide HAYLER sailors.[1]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Navy document "USS Hayler (DD-997) Ship's Crest".

  1. ^ a b c d e "Ship's Crest". USS Hayler (DD-997). Archived from the original on 2001-06-08. 

External links[edit]