- For other uses, see Nelson.
In 2254, the Nelson was part of a task force of Starfleet ships patrolling the disputed border of Tholian Assembly space at the Diomed Cluster. The task force, led by the USS Enterprise, picked up a distress call from the Federation Theta Kalyb colony and went to investigate but were attacked by a Chakuun war fleet. The Nelson and the Enterprise were the only Starfleet ships to survive, but the Nelson's senior staff were killed during the battle. At Starbase 45, Commodore Strickland offered Number One command of the Nelson but she declined, preferring to remain on the Enterprise. (EV comics: "The Fallen", "Futures, Part One")
By the late 2260s, the Nelson had either been lost or decommissioned, as a new Saladin-class (Cochise-subclass) destroyer bearing the same name had been authorized for construction by Starfleet appropriation. (TOS reference: Star Fleet Technical Manual)