- Historical event
- 2 January 2000
- The USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) destroyer was launched in 2013, and is of very specific design, with stealth characteristics. An electromagnetic projectile launcher (railgun) and free-electron laser were mentioned as the possible future armament of the USS Zumwalt.
On this day in 2000 the U.S. Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, known for his role in the Vietnam War, died. Namely, Zumwalt was during this war the commander of Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Seven. At the age of 44 he was the youngest U.S. naval officer ever promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral. He soon came to the highest position in the U.S. Navy overall. This rank is called “Chief of Naval Operations” and brings with it the rank of four-star admiral. At the age of 49 Elmo Zumwalt was the youngest four-star admiral in American history and also the youngest Chief of Naval Operations ever.
During the Vietnam War, Admiral Zumwalt had a controversial role in the application of a known herbicide called “Agent Orange”. Namely, Americans sprayed Vietnamese rainforest with that herbicide to defoliate trees. This would reduce the enemy’s possibility of hiding in the forests. However, it seems that the “Agent Orange” left serious consequences on the health of the Vietnamese people, as well as on the Americans who were exposed to it.
Even the son of Admiral Zumwalt was among young American officers in Vietnam who were exposed to the mentioned poison. The son was diagnosed with cancer and died at the age of only 42 years. The whole story is still controversial in the American public.
Interestingly, a future class of modern American destroyers with cruise missiles will be named after Admiral Zumwalt. The USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) destroyer was launched in 2013, and is of very specific design with stealth characteristics. The price of this ship is several billion dollars, which is why the whole project became controversial in the circumstances when costs want to be reduced. An electromagnetic projectile launcher (railgun) and free-electron laser were mentioned as the possible future armament of the USS Zumwalt.