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The USS VIRGINIA (CGN-38), the first of the nuclear powered Virginia class cruisers, was commissioned on 11 SEP 1976. USS VIRGINIA was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia. After extensive shake down sailing, VIRGINA underwent a extended yard period from April to September 1977. VIRGINA first crossed the Atlantic in August 1978 during a three month "North Atlantic". Over the following sixteen years, VIRGINIA deployed regularly to the "MED", Caribbean, and on into the Indian Ocean as the US Navy established a standing naval force in the Persian Gulf after the Hostage Crisis in Iran. USS VIRGINIA served her country for 18 years, 1 month and 30 days, until decommissioned on 10 NOV 1994. VIRGINIA was disposed of, along with her sister nuclear powered cold warriors, by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in 2002.

The USS VIRGINIA (CGN-38) deployment history and significant events of her service career follow:

CGN-38 Deployments - Major Events

Add a CGN-38 Shellback Initiation Add a CGN-38 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
AUG 1972 - Keel Date: 19 AUG 1972
at Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Newport News VA
DEC 1974 - Launch Date: 14 DEC 1974
SEP 1976 - Commissioned: 11 SEP 1976
OCT 1976 - DEC 1976 Caribbean
FEB 1977 - APR 1977 Caribbean
APR 1977 - AUG 1977 Regular Overhaul
APR 1977 - AUG 1977 Dry Dock
SEP 1977 - NOV 1977 Caribbean
FEB 1978 - APR 1978 Caribbean
SEP 1978 - NOV 1978 North Atlantic
JAN 1979 - JUL 1979 Mediterranean
APR 1980 - Shellback Initiation - 23 APR 1980 - Atlantic Ocean
APR 1980 - Shellback Initiation - 23 APR 1980 - Pacific Ocean
APR 1980 - Shellback Initiation - 23 APR 1980 - Atlantic Ocean
APR 1980 - DEC 1980 Indian Ocean
JAN 1982 - JUL 1982 Mediterranean
JUN 1983 - DEC 1983 Mediterranean
FEB 1984 - JUN 1984 Regular Overhaul
MAR 1985 - APR 1985 Post Overhaul Sea Trials and SM-2 MR OPTEST at AFWTF
JAN 1986 - FEB 1986 Guantanamo Bay
APR 1987 - NOV 1987 Mediterranean
SEP 1988 - OCT 1988 Guantanamo Bay
MAY 1989 - NOV 1989 Mediterranean
OCT 1989 - FEB 1994 Caribbean
DEC 1990 - JUN 1991 Mediterranean
SEP 1992 - DEC 1992 Caribbean
OCT 1992 - Shellback Initiation - 30 OCT 1992 - Atlantic Ocean
OCT 1992 - Shellback Initiation - 30 OCT 1992 - Pacific Ocean
SEP 1993 - DEC 1993 Caribbean
NOV 1994 - Decommissioned: 10 NOV 1994

CGN-38 General Specifications

Class: Virginia-class cruiser

Named for: The Commonwealth of Virginia

Complement: 500 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 11000 tons

Length: 585 feet

Beam: 63 feet

Flank Speed: 30+ knots

Range: Unlimited distance

Final Disposition:Disposed of by recycling 10 October 2002


The fifth Virginia (CGN-38) was laid down on 19 August 1972 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. as a nuclear-powered, guided-missile frigate, DLGN-38; launched on 14 December 1974; sponsored by Miss Virginia S. Warner, daughter of the Honorable John Warner, former Secretary of the Navy; reclassified a nuclear-powered, guided-missile cruiser and redesignated CGN-38 on 30 June 1975; and commissioned on 11 September 1976, Capt. George W. Davis, Jr., in command.

During the first six months of her commissioned service, Virginia ranged the eastern seaboard of the United States and cruised in the West Indies several times conducting a myriad of post-commissioning tests and shakedown training. On 25 April 1977, she entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a five-month, post-shakedown availability. She completed her final sea trials on 28 September and began duty as an operational unit of the Atlantic Fleet. In November, she cruised along the New England and Canadian coasts, participating in antisubmarine warfare exercises. In December, she returned to the West Indies for missile firings on the Atlantic Fleet weapons range. She completed that mission on 13 December and reentered Norfolk three days later to begin holiday leave and upkeep in her home port. The beginning of 1978 found her still in Norfolk; but, by mid-month, she returned to sea in the Virginia capes operating area for a series of local operations. On 28 January, however, she departed Norfolk to return to the area along the Florida coast and in the West Indies for a series of special tests conducted under the auspices of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. The guided-missile cruiser returned to Norfolk on 23 March and resumed local operations.

That employment lasted until 23 August when she embarked upon a cruise to northern Europe to participate in Operation "Northern Wedding," a NATO exercise the purpose of which was to test the ability to reinforce NATO forces in western Europe. During that deployment, she visited Oslo in Norway, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and Portsmouth in England. The warship departed the latter port on 3 October and reentered Norfolk on the 12th. On 16 November, she put to sea for training exercises in the Gulf of Mexico. During that voyage, she made a port visit at Mobile, Ala., and conducted naval gunfire support training at Vieques Island near Puerto Rico. She made another port visit to the island of St. Thomas on 6 and 7 December before heading home. Virginia reentered Norfolk on 11 December and began preparations for her first deployment to the Mediterranean which was scheduled to commence in early 1979.

[Note: The above USS VIRGINIA (CGN-38) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS VIRGINIA (CGN-38), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]