USS Conyngham (DDG-17), the third ship named for Captain Gustavus Conyngham USN (1744–1819), was a Charles F. Adams-class guided missile armed destroyer in the United States Navy.
Conyngham was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden in New Jersey on 1 May 1961, launched on 19 May 1962 by Mrs. Carl B. Albert, wife of Representative Albert of Oklahoma, House Majority Leader and commissioned on 13 June 1963, Commander Edwin P. Smith in command.
The USS Conyngham, nicknamed The Gus Boat, was unique in that it was one of two naval warships with shamrocks on her stacks (the other being the USS Coral Sea (CV-43). During her 27 years of commissioned service, Conyngham lived up to her motto, Ready to Serve. Her presence exerted a powerful influence during times of crisis and helped maintain peace as a component of NATO seapower throughout the Cold War period. Conyngham made 15 Mediterranean deployments—three to the Persian Gulf, seven to Northern Europe, and 11 deployments to the Caribbean. She distinguished herself during crises in Cyprus (1964, 1974); provided air cover for planes evacuating Americans from an insurrection in Amman, Jordan (1970); took part in contingency operations during the Arab-Israeli Yom-Kippur War (1973); was the escort combatant during the evacuation of Americans from Beirut, Lebanon (1976); and conducted Black Sea Freedom of Navigation operations (1979).
During the 1980s, Conyngham continued to support United States foreign policy when she served off the coast of Libya (1982); was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal for providing naval gunfire support of Marines stationed in, and off the coast of, Beirut, Lebanon (1983) and monitored maritime traffic off the coast of Nicaragua (1983). She sailed with the USS America (CV-66) Baffle Group in support of U. S. intervention forces in Grenada (1983). While deployed to the Caribbean in 1986, Conyngham was credited with four drug interdictions and was awarded the Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal.
Conyngham continued superior performance as she escorted U. S. Flagged merchant shipping through the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War in 1987 in Operation Earnest Will. During that deployment she sortied from Bahrain on short notice and provided assistance to USS Stark (FFG-31) after she was hit by two anti-ship missiles launched by an Iraqi F-1 Mirage. Conyngham was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for her efforts in saving the crippled ship. In 1988, Conyngham continue the Gus Can Do tradition during her deployments to the Fjords of Norway and Northern Europe. She completed her fifteenth Mediterranean deployment and received her fourth Battle Efficiency "E" in 1989 while part of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) battlegroup.