Captain Robert W. Hoag II USN (ret)
10956 Lathrop Ln.
Silverdale, Washington 98383
October xx, 2001
Rayburn House Office Building/Cannon/Russell etc.
Washington DC zip
Dear Congressman/Senator (or first name if you know them personally)
Enclosed is a copy of a letter to Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Gordon England requesting that a new Navy destroyer be named after James Stoddard, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic action at Yazoo City Mississippi during the Civil War.
We, the former crew members feel that USS Stoddard was truly a unique and lucky ship for the following reasons:
1. The ship attained a very commendable record of duty during the Aleutian, Okinawa and other campaigns of World War II. In spite of being involved in numerous Kamakazi attacks, and shore bombardment operations she was never damaged by enemy fire.
2. During the Cold War Stoddard was a key participant in dangerous classified intelligence gathering missions, and deterrent operations in the Straits of Formosa, Gulf of Tonkin, and during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
3. On numerous occasions during the Vietnam War, the ship conducted major shore bombardment operations, and in 1967 was hit by enemy shore batteries while assisting in the rescue of a downed pilot near the mouth of the Song Giap River. Also, on one covert mission, Stoddard secretly navigated up nine miles of a heavily guarded river, in darkness, to successfully destroy critical enemy ammunition storage dumps and fortifications, then steamed back to sea at flank speed while under heavy fire.
4. Stoddard was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service in January and March 1967 during action against the enemy off the coast of North Vietnam. In addition, the ship earned ten campaign medals with nineteen battle stars during her years of active service.
5. In spite of service during World War II, Korea, the Cold War, and Vietnam no lives were ever lost on the ship in battle, a distinction shared with USS Missouri (BB63).
6. Due to her outstanding material condition, Stoddard was one of the last active Fletcher Class Destroyers operating in the US Navy.
7. After 6 years in the Reserve Fleet, Stoddard was the last ship of the largest Class of Destroyers ever built to be removed from the US Navy Vessel Registry (NVR). However, ex-Stoddard continued to serve the Navy for nearly 20 more years as a test platform for advanced missile defense systems.
I and all my Shipmates who served aboard Stoddard during her 50+ year career with the Navy would be most appreciative if you would forward a letter to Secretary England indicating your support for this effort.
Robert W. Hoag II
Capt. USN (ret)