Commemorative Drawing for the Christening of USS Sterett (DDG-104)
May 19, 2007 By Peter Hsu
This captivating sketch depicts the newest Sterett DDG-104 in the foreground steaming in formation with her three predecessor
ships also named after the early American naval hero Andrew Sterett whose image appears in the top center. To the left is the
first USS Constellation - where he was gunnery officer. To the right - shown in battle under sail - is the first USS Enterprise -
where he was the commanding officer.
The "three-stacker" DD-27 (middle center) was the first Sterett, the WWI era destroyer that was in service from 1910-1919. On
the middle left is the second Sterett: DD-407. Commissioned in 1939, it went on to engage in several key battles throughout WWII.
The third Sterett: DLG/CG 31 (middle right) served from 1967 -1994 deployed as a key asset in Vietnam operations and throughout
the Far East and later in the Persian Gulf.
This drawing was done by Peter K. Hsu - the respected naval architect and self-taught artist - who focused his great talent on
this work presenting the Sterett story .
Lieutenant Andrew Sterett
The ships named Sterett were named after Lieutenant Andrew Sterett,
born 27 January 1778 in Baltimore, Maryland. Andrew's father was a successful
shipping merchant who had served as a captain during the Revolutionary War.
Andrew was the fourth of ten children and despite his sizable inheritance, entered
the Navy as a Lieutenant on 25 March 1798 at the age of twenty. He served
as Third Lieutenant aboard the newly commissioned frigate Constellation.
He was in command of a gun battery during the undeclared war with France
in which the fledgling U. S. Navy scored its first victory on the high seas
against the French frigate L'Insurgente.
By February 1800 Andrew Sterett had been promoted to First Lieutenant and participated in successful battles against
French ships. Later that year he assumed his first command, the schooner Enterprise. This was the first US Navy ship
to bear that name.The Enterprise sailed to the Mediterranean with Commodore Richard Dale to quell the Barbary pirates.
Andrew Sterett and the Enterprise went up against the pirate warship Tripoli in a furious engagement. He successfully
fought off three attempts by the pirates to board his crippled ship. Enterprise beat back all attacks and defeated the
pirates. He was presented with a sword by President Thomas Jefferson and his crew received an additional month's pay
for their heroism. Following several more dispatches to the coast of Tripoli, Sterett and the Enterprise witnessed
the return of freedom of the seas in the Mediterranean for American ships. He returned home in March of 1803 and
resigned from the Navy in 1805. He pursued a career in the merchant marine and died a premature death in Lima, Peru
on 9 June 1807 at the age of thirty.
Andrew Sterett left the U.S. Navy with a rich tradition of determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
His bravery, gallantry and heroism live on in the ships that bear his name.