On March 3, 1965 Bath Iron Works got the order to build Mölders and her keel was laid down on April 12, 1966 with the hull number DDG-29. April 13, 1967 Mölders was launched and chistened for Luftwaffe Oberst (Colonel) Werner Mölders by his mother Anne-Marie Mölders. Mölders was commissioned on February 23, 1969 into the 1. Zerstörergeschwader (first destroyer squadron) based in Kiel.
During her 33 years in commission 14000 sailors served on her under 16 different commanders, and she traveled 675,054.6 nautical miles. The Mölders was decommissioned May 28, 2003 in Wilhelmshaven.
Unlike her sisters Lütjens and Rommel, Mölders was preserved and is now on display as museum ship in Wilhelmshaven (Marinemuseum), although ironically, she was never stationed in Wilhelmshaven during her active career.