Statement of Significance (as of designation - June 21, 1990):
The destroyer, the oldest ship type to have seen continuous service in the U.S. Navy and the most built type of major surface warship in the history of the U.S. Navy, was the focus of considerable design effort, planning, and construction from the mid-1880s through the second World War. The Forrest Sherman Class, of which USS Edson (1958) is one of two surviving members, was the ultimate, last class of destroyer. Reflecting lessons learned in combat during World War II, Edson was built to be an effective anti-submarine warfare platform and screening escort vessel. Her service included extensive Vietnam War gunline duty between 1964 and 1974, and training duty from 1977 until she was retired and placed on display at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in 1989.