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Admiral David Foote Sellers was born in Austin, Texas, at an Army post on Feb. 4, 1874, the son of Major Edwin E. Sellers, USA and Olive Lay Foote Sellers. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy as a Naval Cadet from New Mexico and entered that institution on May 1, 1890. Graduating fifth in his class on June 8, 1894, he served the two years at sea, then required by law, and was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy on July 1, 1896. Through subsequent promotions, he attained the rank of rear admiral on June 2, 1927, held the temporary rank of vice admiral from 1932 to 1933 and that of admiral from 1933 to 1934. After his retirement on March 1, 1938, he was commissioned an admiral on the retired list of the Navy effective June 16, 1943 (Act of Congress).
Adm. Sellers saw sea duty on board USS Massachusetts, USS Essex, USS Alliance, USS Independence and USS Philadelphia. He served during the Spanish-American War, took part in the Samoan Campaign in 1899 and was in Philippine waters during the Philippine Insurrection on board USS New York. From 1904 to 1907, he assumed command of the torpedo boat destroyer Stewart.
He also saw duty at the Navy Department Bureau of Navigation and was a Naval aide to the White House. He served on USS New Hampshire as an aide on the staff of Rear Adm. William S. Cowles, commander-in-chief, Asiatic Fleet. Following duty on New Hampshire, he helped commission USS Michigan and served as a plank owner from 1910 to 1912.
Following a tour in San Francisco for duty in connection with the Panama Pacific International Exposition, Adm. Sellers served as executive officer of USS Arkansas and commanding officer of USS Birmingham and USS Salem. He then attended the Naval War College and in 1917, he took command of USS Wisconsin after the United States entered World War I. In March, 1918, he transferred to the command of USS Agamemnon, an Atlantic Fleet transport, remaining in command throughout the end of the war.
After the war, he served for a year on the staff of the Naval War College, and in 1920, was ordered to the Navy Department for a second tour of duty in the Bureau of Navigation. He served as aide to the secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Edwin Denby 1 until 1922, when he assumed command of USS Maryland. From June 23, 1923 to September, 1926, Adm. Sellers served as Naval Training Center (NTC) first commanding officer as a captain prior to his promotion to rear admiral in 1927.
Following NTC, he served as chief of staff to the commander, Scouting Fleet and as commander, Special Service Squadron during the Nicaragua uprisings. In June 1929, he was appointed Judge Advocate General of the Navy for a four-year term, but on Aug. 1, 1931, he was ordered detached to report on Sept. 15 as commander, Battleship Division One, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet. One year later, he was designated commander, Battleships, Battle Force and promoted to vice admiral. In 1933, after his promotion to admiral, he became commander-in-chief, U.S. Fleet. His last assignment was as superintendent of the Naval Academy, a position he held until his retirement in 1938.
He retired as a rear admiral and was advanced to the rank of admiral on the retired list in 1942. Adm. Sellers died at the Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland on Jan. 27, 1949 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, the former Anita Clay Evans, who resided in Washington, D.C. until her death in 1954.
The many awards and medals he received during his career include the Navy Cross during World War I, the Distinguished Service Medal, a special Letter of Commendation by the War Department for service during World War I, the Spanish Campaign Medal, the Philippine Campaign Medal, the Mexican Service Medal and the World War I Victory Medal transport clasp. He was also awarded the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal for service as a member of the landing force from USS Philadelphia during the Samoan Insurrection in 1899 and the Nicaraguan Gold Medal of Merit, the Nicaraguan Medal of Merit, and the Order of Abdon Calderon from the government of Ecuador.
Basic Ship Information:
A Short History of the USS SELLERS (DDG-11)
USS SELLERS DDG-11 was the fourth Guided Missile Destroyer of the Charles F. Adams class to be built at the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. The keel was laid on 3 August 1959, and the ship was launched on 9 September 1960.
USS SELLERS is the first, and only ship to date to bear the name. The ship's namesake is Admiral David Foote Sellers, a former Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet and Superintendent, U. S. Naval Academy. Admiral Sellers, a staunch advocate of battle training under realistic conditions, was known as a great humanitarian.
SELLERS was completed and delivered to the Boston Naval Shipyard on 28 October. Following commissioning , SELLERS engaged in a series of training exercises and Test and Evaluation programs, and then joined Destroyer Squadron SIX, where it was home-ported in Charleston, South Carolina.
Following a shakedown cruise in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, SELLERS had just settled down for a tender availability when the Cuban crisis broke out. Among the first ships on the quarantine line established by the President, SELLERS spent a total of six weeks operating in the Caribbean with the Quarantine Forces and later with Operational Test and Evaluation Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet.
Following the Cuban operations, SELLERS returned to Charleston for an interim shipyard availability. With the shipyard work accomplished, SELLERS engaged in type training exercises with units of Destroyer Squadron SIX and participated in the annual Atlantic Fleet Readiness Exercise, Springboard in the Caribbean.
In early April 1963, SELLERS joined Operational Test and Evaluation Force, Atlantic to take part in special missile operations in cooperation with the Air Force at Pensacola, Florida.
These operations were followed by a tender availability in Charleston in preparation for overseas movement.
In June 1963, SELLERS left for her first deployment to the U.S. SIXTH Fleet in the Mediterranean, where she served as a unit of Task Force 60, and the flagship of Commander Destroyer Squadron Twenty Eight. While in the Mediterranean SELLERS paid visits to the ports of Limassol, Cyprus; Genoa, Arenzano, Gaeta, Naples, Bari and Venice Italy; Cannes and Toulon France; and Beirut, Lebanon.
Returning from the Mediterranean in late October, SELLERS entered an upkeep period followed by a tender availability, and two weeks type training and special operations. The remainder of 1963 was spent in Holiday leave status in her home port of Charleston, South Carolina.
Through 1985 Sellers had completed twelve deployments with the U.S. SIXTH Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, a Northern Europe Cruise, several Caribbean Cruises, a Circumnavigation of the globe in 1972 and two Standing Naval Forces deployments.
The ability of SELLERS' long range radar and sonar detection equipment provides ample time to deal effectively with any threat. The Standard supersonic missile, SELLERS' primary ANTI-AIR WARFARE weapon, was capable of engaging the latest supersonic fighters and bombers. An additional dimension of USS SELLERS' missile arsenal were the HARPOON missiles. HARPOON provided SELLERS with an all-weather , over-the-horizon anti-ship capability. Her primary anti-submarine warfare system was the AN/QQS-32 PAIR sonar, a fully integrated system capable of active/passive detection and track-while-search operations. The long range of the AN/SQQ23 ( PAIR ) sonar enabled the ASROC system to destroy an undersea raider at extended ranges. These systems were supplemented by 5"/54 rapid fire gun mounts and twin torpedo tubes installation.
SELLERS flew the Navy Unit Commendation pennant and Meritorious Unit Commendation and had been awarded the Squadron Battle Efficiency Award three times.
SELLERS was de-commissioned on 31-October-1989
SELLERS was put up for scrap sale on 20-November-1992