In 2265, the Reuben James encountered a D7-class Klingon battlecruiser while patrolling near Drozana Station, and attacked it, believing it to be a House of Duras-aligned vessel that had attacked a colony in the Gliese system. In fact the vessel was a time traveling starship from 2409 using a holographic masking system, and the Reuben James was swiftly disabled. (STO mission: "Night of the Comet")
The Reuben James has a legacy name that previously belonged to three different vessels of the United States Navy. The name refers to Reuben James, an 18th century USN boatswain's mate who distinguished himself fighting the Barbary pirates.