Commander John A. Moore
USS JOHN A. MOORE is the first ship in the United States Navy to be
named in honor of Commander John A. Moore, U.S. Navy, whose
distinguished and gallent service to his country during World War II
became a hallmark for those who followed.
Commander Moore was born on 12 January, 1910, in Brownwood, Texas. He
attended the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned an Ensign on 2
June, 1932. He first served in the USS ARIZONA, and in November, 1934,
transferred to New London, Connecticut, for submarine training. After
serving five years on various submarines, and two tours ashore,
Commander Moore received orders to the USS GRAYBACK (SS 208) as
commanding officer, on 29 June, 1943. It was while he was commanding
the GRAYBACK that he distinguished himself as a courageous and highly
effective submariner. Commander Moore was a pioneer in the development
of the American style wolf-pack tactics and the submerged radar
approaches that were used so effectively against the Japanese in the
later stages of the war. The GRAYBACK was a member of the first
American wolf-pack in the Pacific theater that consisted of six
submarines. The group sank more than 100,000 tons of Japanese shipping
in one month alone in early 1944. During the GRAYBACK's last three war
patrols under the command of Commander Moore, the ship was credited
with sinking at least nine Japanese ships and inflicting damage to many
more. It was on Commander Moore's third patrol with the GRAYBACK that
the submarine and its heroic crew were listed as missing in action when
they failed to return from patrol on 28 March, 1944.
For his service during World War II, Commander Moore was awarded the
Navy Cross, with two Gold Stars in lieu of the second and third awards,
the Purple Heart, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Asiatic-Pacific Area
Campaign Medal, the American Area Campaign Medal, the World War II
Victory Medal, and the Americal Defense Service Medal.
Construction for JOHN A. MOORE began with keel laying by Todd Pacific
Shipyards corporation in Los Angeles, Calif., on December 19, 1978. The
ship was christened by John A. Moore's widow, Mrs. Virginia S. Moore on
October 20, 1970 and commissioned on November 14, 1981.
USS JOHN A. MOORE transferred to the naval surface reserve force in
1987 as part of Surface Squadron 1, which later became Destroyer
Squadron 1. The ship was partially crewed by naval reservists. Over the
19 years of service, the ship made nine deployments; four to the
Western Pacific, one to the Arabian Gulf and four counternarcotics
deployments to the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean. During these
deployments, the ship visited 21 countries and operated with many
foreign navies. Previously homeported in Long Beach, USS JOHN A. MOORE
shifted homeports to San Diego in early 1994.
The ship returned from the last deployment on May 22, 2000. This
deployment was exceptionally successful with the ship and embarked
detachments from HSL-84 and the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific tactical law
enforcement being credited with the interdiction of 11.5 metric tons of
cocaine. Additionally, the ship located six fishing vessels in
violation of Colombian law and suspected of supporting narcotics
traffic through the Eastern Pacific.
The ship's motto, "never give in," was selected by the ship's
commissioning commanding officer, Capt. Alan W. Swinger, USN, (ret)
based on inspiration provided by Moore's wife and daughter.