USS James E. Williams deploys to Europe, Africa

The crew of U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) started their deployment departing Naval Station Norfolk on May 23.

USS James E. Williams will be conducting a regularly-scheduled deployment to perform maritime operations in the Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.

“Sailors have worked hard to prepare for this deployment,” said Cmdr. Allen Siegrist, James E. Williams’ commanding officer. “We are looking forward to answering the country’s call and accomplishing the mission.”

The ship was commissioned Dec. 11, 2004, and is named after Boatswains Mate First Class Petty Officer James E. Williams. Williams was the most highly decorated enlisted man in the history of the U.S. Navy.

In 1966 he was Boat Captain for River Patrol Boat (PBR) 105 during the Vietnam War and was tasked with intercepting Viet Cong arms shipments on the waterways of South Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

After being attacked by Viet Cong guerillas during a three-hour battle, the American Naval Force killed numerous enemies, destroyed over fifty vessels, and disrupted a major enemy logistic operation.