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Welcome to the destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) official webpage.


Samuel Lee Gravely Jr. was born in Richmond, Va., on June 4, 1922, and attended Virginia Union University for three years before postponing his education to enlist in the Naval Reserve in 1942, two years before the Navy commissioned its first black officers.

He became the first African-American to graduate from a midshipman's school, at Columbia University. He was commissioned an ensign and served aboard a segregated submarine chaser. He returned to Virginia Union in 1946 to complete a bachelor's degree in history.

In 1962 he became the first black officer to command a United States warship when he was named skipper of the destroyer Falgout, which patrolled the so-called Pacific Barrier between the Aleutian and Midway Islands.

The next year, he and another officer were the first African-Americans to attend the Naval War College, a 10-month course of study for the Navy's most promising officers.

He became a rear admiral in 1971 while commander of the Jouett, a guided-missile frigate that cruised off the coast of Vietnam.

In 1976, he was appointed by President Gerald R. Ford to be vice admiral, in charge of the Navy's Third Fleet, a command of 100 warships and 60,000 sailors and marines based at Pearl Harbor.

Admiral Gravely received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal.  |  |  Navy FOIA  |  DoD Accessibility/Section 508  |  No Fear Act   |  Open Government  |  Plain Writing Act  |  Veterans Crisis Line  |  VA Vet Center  |  FVAP  |  DoD Safe Helpline  |  Navy SAPR  |  NCIS Tips  |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us   |  988 Helpline
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