Our Introduction to the Knox-Class Frigates in the 1970s

This paper discuses life on USS Knox-class frigates in the 1970s. It is a follow on to a previous article entitled “Post World War II Destroyer Escorts.” Much of the information was obtained by my personal experiences aboard ships of the class which include:

  • Commissioning Executive Officer USS Blakely (DE 1072)
  • Officer in Charge, Fleet Introduction Team, Avondale, Westwego, Louisiana
  • Commissioning Commanding Officer, USS Moinester (DE 1097) – The last ship of the class
  • Numerous inspections of ships of the class as a member of the LANTFLT Propulsion Examining Board and Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV)

Captain Charles T. Creekman, Executive Director of the Naval Historical Foundation, served under me as weapons officer on the commissioning crew of the USS Moinester and later had command of the Knox-class frigate USS W.S. SIMS (FF 1059).

USS W. S. Sims (DE 1059), post-1980 hull refit (NAVSOURCE)

USS W. S. Sims (DE 1059), post-1980 hull refit (NAVSOURCE)

These were the last of the US Navy ships designated as Destroyer Escorts (DE).  All ships of the class were designated as Frigates (FF) in 1975. The 46 ships of the Knox-class were the largest, last, and most numerous of the US Navy’s post war ASW escorts. Originally they were intended to be a follow on to the Garcia (DE 1040) and Brooke (DEG 1)-class ships. However because of the problems described in the previous article with the pressure fired boilers on those ships, it was found necessary to go back to conventional 1200 psi D type boilers on the Knox-class ships. This required an increase of approximately 24 feet in ship length. This proved to be a good decision. The ships were the last US Navy surface combatants built with conventional steam power plants.

A list of the major ship characteristics follows:

  • Length – 438 ft.
  • Beam – 46 ft. 9 in
  • Draft – 24 ft. 9 in
  • Full Load Displacement – 4260 tons
  • Propulsion – Steam turbine – Single Screw – 35,000 SHP
  • Boilers – two 1200 psi D type
  • Sustained Speed – 27 knots
  • Complement – 17 officers, 240 enlisted
  • The ships were fitted with fin stabilizers.
  • Radar – AN/SPS 10 Surface Search, AN/SPS 40 Air Search
  • Sonar – AN/SQS 26 Bow Mounted, AN/ SQS 35 Variable Depth Sonar (VDS), augmented with AN/ SQR 18 Tactical Towed Array System on the 35 ships of the class that had VDS installed.
  • Aircraft – One SH-2 Seasprite Mk1 LAMPS (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System) helicopter
  • Armament
    • One MK 42 5”/54 caliber gun mount
    • Anti-submarine rockets (ASROC) & Harpoon anti-ship missiles fired from an 8 cell ASROC launcher located on the forecastle aft of the gun mount
    • Mk 46 torpedoes in two dual tube launchers located amidships
    • Sea Sparrow Basic Point Defense Missile System (BPDMS) on the fantail of 31 ships of the class, later replaced by Phalanx Close In Weapons System (CIWS). installed aboard all 46 ships of the class.

The VDS and TACTAS were located in a compartment in the stern of the vessel. Their streaming access through stern doors  and the CIWS, flight deck, and helicopter hangar can be clearly seen in the following photo:

1 September 1988: Off Hampton Roads, Va. - A stern view of Aylwin underway as it leaves Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia. (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-90-06084 from the DVIC)

1 September 1988: Off Hampton Roads, Va. – A stern view of Aylwin underway as it leaves Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia. (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-90-06084 from the DVIC)

The design of the engineering plants followed conventional naval practices. No attempt was made to significantly increase the level of automation above that found aboard previous US Navy 1200 psi ships. As a result no major engineering problems comparable to those experienced aboard the Garcia & Brooke-class ships were experienced on the Knox-class ships.

The electrical plant consisted of three 750 kW steam driven turbo-generators located side by side in Auxiliary Room #1. There was also a 750 kW diesel generator located in the after part of the ship which could be used as either a ship service or emergency generator. It was driven by a pair of diesel engines in tandem, one forward and one aft of the generator.

All major machinery plant control functions were performed from air conditioned control rooms. One of these that was located adjacent to the Auxiliary Room was called “Electrical Central”. The main switchboards were located in this space.  There were also air conditioned control rooms located on the upper levels of the fire room and engine room.

The ships were fitted with Prairie Masker noise reduction systems in order to minimize the noise transmitted from their machinery to the water and thereby reduce their detectability by submarines. The system consisted of a compressor that delivered high volumes of low pressure air at approximately 25 psi to four vertical belts along the underwater hull where it was discharged to the water through perforations in order to dampen out transmitted noise. The air was also supplied to perforations in the propeller trailing edges by way of a passage in the shafting for the same purpose. These systems proved to be very effective in service.

The keel for the lead ship of the class, USS Knox (DE 1052), was laid in October 1965 and the ship was commissioned on 12 April 1969. The first 25 ships of the class (DE 1052-1077) were built in four different shipyards. However the remaining 21 ships (DE 1078- 1097) were all built in a production line at Avondale Shipyard, near New Orleans, LA in order to save costs. The last ship of the class, USS Moinester (DE 1097) was commissioned in 1974. All of the ships had been decommissioned by 1994. However 31 ships of the class were sold or leased to foreign navies where some are still in service.

At Avondale the ships were built side by side in a production line which consisted of five building ways. The keel was laid on the inboard side of the line and the hulls were gradually moved sideways through the various positions culminating in a side launch into the Mississippi River as shown in the following photo:

21 October 1972: Westwego, La. - The USS Capodanno (DE 1093) is side launched at the Main Yard of Avondale Shipyards (NAVSOURCE)

21 October 1972: Westwego, La. – The USS Capodanno (DE 1093) is side launched at the Main Yard of Avondale Shipyards (NAVSOURCE)

At the time that the ships were designed they were subject to criticism because of their single screw, insufficient speed to keep up with the carrier battle groups, and their lack of armament with only a single 5” gun, They were frequently referred to as “McNamara’s Folly”. However for a variety of reasons they actually became effective ASW platforms once in service.

Next I will discuss my own personal experiences with the Knox class frigates. As previously discussed, they included three back to back tours between 1970 and 1976 as well as a number of ship inspections.

In early 1970 I received orders to be the commissioning executive officer of the USS Blakely (DE 1072), a Knox-class DE that was under construction at Avondale. The ship was scheduled to be home ported in Charleston, South Carolina. It would be delivered to the navy in June 1970 and commissioned in July. At that time we had been stationed in California for the previous 5 years. My family and I drove across country to our destination which was actually in Newport, Rhode Island. I proceeded to report in to the Fleet Training Center in Newport for duty on the pre commissioning crew in April 1970. The prospective commanding officer, chief engineer, weapons, and supply officer along with about 20 senior crew members would form what was referred to as the “nucleus crew” at the shipyard where they would oversee the last stages of construction and become familiar with their ship. My job was to assemble and organize what was called the “balance crew” consisting of about 200 personnel in Newport. I was assisted by the prospective operations officer. I had never met my new CO, but it was important that we establish contact and keep him informed as to what was going on throughout the pre commissioning period which proved to be relatively uneventful and soon it was time to relocate to Charleston. So we packed up the car and headed south.  Shortly after arrival we found a home for rent in a development west of the Ashley River. It took some time for us to get used to the high heat and humidity. But Charleston proved to be a very pleasant place to live.

In 1970 there was plenty of military presence in the town. This was primarily due to the fact that Representative Mendel Rivers was the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. A large air force base was co-located with the commercial airport and new C-5A cargo transports could often be seen overhead. The Charleston Naval Base was located just up river from the city on the Cooper River. Just up river from the base was the Charleston Naval Shipyard and further up river in Goose Creek was a Naval Weapons Stations where Polaris Missiles were stored. The naval base was home to the Atlantic Fleet Mine Force, as well as a number of destroyers, frigates, and submarines. My last previous visit to Charleston had been in 1959 when I attended minesweeping school.

I found temporary office space in the Naval Shipyard immediately adjacent to the old building ways where my old Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) school ship, the USS Charleston was built in 1935. It turned out that there was a large model of the Charleston right outside the shipyard commander’s office. It has since been relocated to MMA where it remains on display.

Blakely was due to arrive at the shipyard on 2 July. Since the ship would not be turned over to the Navy until after arrival, it was operated by the builder’s trial crew on the delivery trip. Their practice was to make the transit from the Gulf of Mexico at a speed of over 25 knots.  An unfortunate incident occurred during the trip when the ship ran down a sailboat off the Coast of Florida. Fortunately there were no fatalities. However the boat was a total loss.  When Blakely hove in sight coming up the river, the jack staff was bent over in a U shape and there were scars remaining on the bow. But nevertheless it was an inspiring sight and my crew was very excited about going aboard and taking charge of a brand new ship. After the ship docked, I went up the gangway. My new CO Commander Frank Carelli was waiting on the quarterdeck.

The commissioning ceremony was held on18 July 1970. The sponsor who had christened the ship was the granddaughter of Vice Admiral Charles Blakely for whom the ship was named . The principal speaker was Rear Admiral James Holloway, who in 1974 would become the Chief of Naval Operations. Upon completion of the commissioning ceremony we entered the Charleston Naval Shipyard for an 8 week Fitting Out Availability (FOA).

A photo of Blakely while underway follows:

1 February 1991: At sea - A port beam view of Blakely underway underway off the coast of Newport, R.I. (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-91-05242 from the DVIC)

1 February 1991: At sea – A port beam view of Blakely underway underway off the coast of Newport, R.I. (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-91-05242 from the DVIC)

Upon completion of the FOA we were towed down to the Naval Station piers to join the fleet. From there it was off for our first sea trial. As executive officer, I doubled as navigator. I was also the Officer of the Deck at General Quarters. I was very happy to have these additional duties because I had not really driven a ship since my tour as executive officer on a minesweeper in 1960 and I need to get back into it. There are lots of twists and turns in the Cooper River. But our CO was familiar with the channel because of his experience in command of a minesweeper based in Charleston and we had no difficulty as the channel was well marked. After a couple of sea trials, we headed south for our first assignment which was shakedown training. We would be gone from home for about six weeks. .Our first stop was in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. where we were wined and dined by the local chapter of the Navy League. From there we headed to the Tongue of the Ocean, off Andros Island in the Bahamas for weapons system accuracy tests (WSAT). This was the first time we got to fire the ship’s weapons. The next stop would be Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) for shakedown training.  Unlike many naval officers, I thoroughly enjoyed going to GTMO. It was a great place to learn how to operate the ship without the prying eyes of admirals or commodores. We performed every type of exercise you could think of including chasing submarines, gunnery shoots, engineering drills, towing exercises, fueling at sea, etc. We came into port and tied up to a pier each night. Both the CO & I were a bit leery about handling the ship around a pier at the beginning. Neither one of us had any real experience handling a single screw ship and Blakely had a large bow mounted sonar dome that could be easily damaged by striking the dock. In our home port of Charleston we had to use tugs because of strong cross currents in the Cooper River. But under the conditions that exist in GTMO, we found that we could do very nicely with only minor assistance required from a pusher boat. This experience was to stand me in good stead in later years.

Shakedown training for a ship of this type was normally four weeks long.  You were allowed one port visit on a weekend mid way through the training cycle. We chose Port au Prince, Haiti. I had been there once before in 1955 during an MMA training cruise. Haiti has some wonderful scenery and, if properly developed, it could have become a major tourist destination. But it has always been hindered by bad government and abysmal poverty. The training period ended without incident. We though that we would be going to Vieques Island near Puerto Rico for live shore bombardment qualifications next. But, much to our chagrin, we had failed to file the necessary messages, so we had to head back to Charleston. Enroute we passed close to San Salvador Island, where Columbus first set foot in the New World.

The next hurdle was to go through Final Contract Trial (FCT) with the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV Board). From there we were scheduled to enter the Charleston Naval Shipyard for a three month Post Shakedown Availability (PSA). Then came the bad news. The PSA would be at least six months in length for two reasons. 1. Installation of a new Basic Point Defense Missile System (BPDMS), 2. Over 100 high pressure steam system welds had to be redone. This was to cause us a lot of frustration. None of us wanted to spend the bulk of our tour in the shipyard. But we had no choice. While we were in the shipyard we underwent a conversion from Navy Special Fuel Oil (NSFO) marine distillate fuel (DFM). At the time, this conversion was happening throughout the fleet.

I was selected for the grade of Commander.  That was a big relief. We felt like we were home free at that point. But a lot more was to happen during the remainder of my naval career.

We were due to go to sea to work out the bugs in our new BPDMS system. We also intended to complete our naval gunfire support qualification, this time at Culebra which was part of the Vieques Naval Gun Fire Support (NGFS) complex.

I was due for rotation in September 1971. Prior to going out to sea, I contacted my detailer. He informed me that my new assignment would be as Officer in Charge of something called a Fleet Introduction Team (FIT) at the Avondale Shipyard. Prior to going out to sea, He informed me that my new assignment would be as Officer in Charge of something called a Fleet Introduction Team (FIT) at the Avondale Shipyard where Blakely had been built. The FIT team’s purpose would be to guide the nucleus crews of the Knox-class frigates that were under construction at the shipyard through the pre-commissioning process. He gave me a contact at OPNAV in Washington that he indicated could provide me with more information on the assignment. That individual said that he would mail me a copy of my new charter. In the process, he informed me that when they had set up the working group that established the FIT team, they had specified that the Officer in Charge would get command of the last ship in the program. That sounded interesting to me.

Blakely was scheduled to go on a Northern European Cruise in September 1971. But I would miss out on that. On our return to Charleston after our stint at Culebra, my relief was waiting for us on the pier. Blakely would serve for another twenty years before being decommissioned in 1991 and scrapped in 2000.

Further adventures with the Knox-class frigates will be described in a subsequent article.

George W. Stewart is a retired US Navy Captain. He is a 1956 graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. During his 30 year naval career, he held two ship commands and served a total of 8 years on naval material inspection boards, during which he conducted trials and inspections aboard over 200 naval vessels. Since his retirement from active naval service in 1986 he has been employed in the ship design industry where he has specialized in the development of concept designs of propulsion and powering systems, some of which have entered active service. He currently holds the title of Chief Marine Engineer at Marine Design Dynamics.

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  1. Pingback: Knox-Class Frigates in the 1970s (Part II) | Naval Historical Foundation

  2. David Dobry


    I believe your statement that all 46 ships of the class were fitted with CWIS is incorrect. I served aboard the USS Miller (FF-1092) in ’90 through its decommissioning in ’91, and she never had a CWIS – we were the only Knox (I believe) with nothing on the fantail.

    • Neal Jefferis


      David, Actually the last ten or so of the class were built without BPDMS. Naked fantails. I was on TC HART (FF 1092) in the early 80’s. We deployed with a naked fantail. Received the CIWS during an overhaul in 1984-85.

      • Peter Burinskas


        KIRK (FF1087) had a slick fantail until the Phalanx was installed; she never got BPDMS.

    • Dave St.John


      The Miller was 1091. I served on it from 1975 – 1976. The Hart was 1092. Served on it from 1977 – 1980.

  3. Kenneth Simpson


    The Knox class was a class in progress during its entire run. I was in USS Roark (DE-1053) from Jan 70-Mar 73, including the ship’s first two Westpacs in 1971 and 1972. Our main engine room burned out due to a failure in the lube oil strainer during the first trip, just west of Midway, and we ended up in the yard at Pearl for about 6 weeks before proceeding. During my tour we did not have a hurricane bow, bow strakes, a Sparrow launcher or a CWIS.

    • Stipica Brko


      what are big boxex that I can see on some pictures, looking like rubik cube?

    • Reply

      I too was on the Roark from July 1972 to 1975 as an FTG in 74 we got the point defense installed. Prior to going into the shipyard we did a shake down and did 38 knots using black oil after the overhaul we only burned diesel. One of the things I remember is firing the ASROC with the 68 FCS. I did it from the director.
      Bill Carver FTG 3

    • Theron Merritt


      Hey Ken,

      I was aboard the Roark (DE-1053) that night the engine room caught fire. I woke up at 3am wondering if we were in Vietnam already!! I was an IC man then but couldn’t get to the IC Room forward and ended up aft in the Emergency Diesel Room switching power from the electrical switchboard in the IC Room (while the generators were burning up in the Engine Room) to the Emergency Diesel aft. Two hours after the fire was out (at 8am) I walked into the compartment directly above the Engine Room and had to do a jig!! The deck was still so hot it was burning my feet thru my shoes!! Took me a while to get my head around what I was looking at. It was the Torpedo Deck and there were 6 torpedoes in there, 3 port side and 3 starboard side with their heads melted one down upon the other!! Shipmate we were all blessed that night, so much so I been going to church ever since thanking God no one got burned up while fighting that fire (myself included), no one died from smoke inhalation, no one got blown up (us ‘snipes’ fighting the fire would have been first to die with the Torpedo Deck directly above our heads), no one drowned and no one got eaten by sharks!! Do you know if the Navy ever got rid of that substance to make the foam we used to smother that oil fire?? Hey, I’ve lost my cruise book over the years. Do you know where I can get another? My e-mail is tjcm1744@yahoo.com, thanks. God bless and you stay safe!

    • Donna Surprenant


      My Husband was on the USS Roark during the fire, Received an accommodation for it. Retired in 1978 Chief Surprenant

  4. William stetler


    In 1972 and 73 I stationed aboard the USS rathburne de 1057 we had only the Mark 42 mod 9 gun ASRock launchers the Mark 42 torpedoes and a couple of months around the ship for 50 calibers we had the high pressure steam engines and later on after I left they changed and added a larger hanger and other items which took a ship that was operating at 32 knots and made a pig out of it at 25 knots

    • David Larson


      I was aboard the Rathburne De 1057 when the Roark caught fire. We towed you. I remember they were worried the tow line would snap and didn’t want anyone near the stern. I served on the Rathburne for 3 years 7 months and two weeks. It was the only time a single screw 1052 class ship towed another ship.

  5. Lawrence Vitarello


    I am a plank owner of the Blakely, I remember the XO and Co very well, very good men they were. BMSN Lawrence Vitarello. I miss those days so much. They were the best days of my life only I didn’t`t realize it.

  6. Patrick Henry


    When I was on USS Blakely (1985-1988), we were finally retrofitted for CWIS midway through my tour. I served as Auxiliaries Officer and later Main Propulsion Assistant. By that point we were being used as a Naval Reserve Force ship, home-ported in Charleston, but preparing to move to Staten Island as part of the strategy of widely distributing the fleet during the latter days of the Cold War. We had reduced manning and were expected to use reservists for augmentation. We had a South Carolina unit that drilled every month and a Staten Island unit that we were getting to know that drilled once a quarter (the move never happened). You could tell at the time that Gas turbine Frigates were the future and steam was dying but I was happy to have served in a steam ship.

  7. Paul bishop


    Looking for someone who remembers a sailor suiclde on what I believe was a battleship while docked at the Charlestown naval base South Carolina in 1979

  8. Bill Miller, SK2



  9. Franklin Lacy JR.


    SKSN Lacy I was on W.S.Sims FF-1059 78-79 good times looking back hated it at the time just found my old CO called him and talked to him first time in 40 years really cool. CDR. Robert Reams i have all the respect in the world for him and owe him a lot Love Knox Class Frigates. Chip Lacy



    I served onboard the USS Pharris (FF-1094) from 1980-1982 as a MM in the engineroom. I had the pleasure of being designated Water King & MetCal specialist. We made 2 cruises- UNITAS XXI/WATC ’80 and a Persian Gulf cruise. We crossed the equator 4 times and did both ditches. We had a mishap in Argentina when we had the steam plant down for repairs and the diesel blew up (no hotel services), so we sat there for 2 weeks waiting on a diesel engine for the emergency generator. We got to see the General Belgrano, the cruiser that would be sunk during the Falkland War less than 2 years later.

    • James Pace


      USS REASONER FF-1063,
      best of the class.The knox class all 46,was the last us navy class of warship,to be powered under steam (boilers),2 1200 psi boilers,and I am a 3 years,5 months 25 days,knox class frigate sailor veteran,and what a beautiful babe,the REASONER was

  11. Quentin D.Osiecki


    I am a plank owner of the USS Blakely DE 1072 (at the time of commissioning). I remember XO Stewart. He was a true Officer and a Gentleman. After reading his article it brought back many memories almost all very pleasant. If only we could go back in time. Sincerely , Quentin D. Osiecki GMG3. quentinosiecki@yahoo.com Go Navy.

  12. Quentin D.Osiecki


    I am a plank owner of the USS Blakely DE 1072 (at the time of commissioning). I remember XO Stewart. He was a true Officer and a Gentleman. After reading his article it brought back many memories almost all very pleasant. If only we could go back in time. Sincerely , Quentin D. Osiecki GMG3. Go Navy.

  13. Quentin D.Osiecki


    I am a plank owner of the USS Blakely DE 1072 (at the time of commissioning). I remember XO Stewart. He was a true Officer and a Gentleman. After reading his article it brought back many memories almost all very pleasant. If only we could go back in time. Go Navy!!

  14. Quentin D. Osiecki


    I was a member of the original crew (plank owner). I remember XO Stewart. (A true Officer and gentleman). His article brought back many pleasant memories. Go Navy!!

  15. Reply

    The comment, “The Knox class was a class in progress during its entire run.” was very true. As one of the two NAVSEA Headquarters Project Engineers for the Class until mid 1980, we had developed shipalts for Lamps III, an ASW Tactical Data System, a system some Spruence Class ships had, and of course lots of other improvements. It is a shame so many shipalts were never funded.

  16. Alex Clark


    I served aboard the USS VALDEZ FF-1096 from1978 to 1982. She was a great ship and all of our systems were up and running at all times. Except for the day we went dead in the water after leaving the Boston Shipyards while en-route to GITMO. Valdez was a 29 knot ship.

  17. Ernie Smith


    Captain Stuart’s first command was USS Moinester (FF-1097) Commissioned, 11/02/1974, NNSY, Portsmouth, VA. I served in 3rd Division (ASW) as STG3 Ernie “Smitty” Smith, from Precomm (August 1974) until a month into her first Med Cruise (around May 1976.

  18. Rick


    Nucleus crew DE1073. Spent 2 years at Spruance FIT Pascagoula Ms was great shore duty.

  19. Jeffery A. Campbell


    I served on board the USS B agley e1069 from June of 75 until Dec. of 79! Great group of Snipes!! And we did bang 34 knots out of thr ole Lady racing our West Pac deployment group out of Diego in route to Hawaii!I was B T-2 Campbell There was 3 Engineering red E’s on her Stack when I departed her in San Diego to be discharged And we had the Best underway record of all tin cans on the West Coast back then !! I wanted to re up but buepers was jacking me over on orders I wanted! I was trying to Serve for the OpE board That inspects other Ships engineering personnel and puts the engineers through casualty control drills for operational readiness and safety ! Broke my heart! And if I knew then what I know now!? My life woulda been much better had I stayed in Active duty! I was only 21 when I left the Bagley and at the age of 32 was diagnosed with a super rare Smoking disease called Buergers! Long story short NO I do not smoke any longer but I did long enough to lose both of my legs! and now am in a wheeelchair 24/7! had I stayed in I would be 100% service connected and in a much better place in life!! Hoo yaa!! Navy is still and always will be the best thing I ever did in my life! By far! wish I could turn back the clock a long ways!!!?? LOL I will always Love Uncle Sams Canoe club!

  20. William (Bill) Carter


    I was TAD to several Knox class FFs including USS T C Hart (FF-1092), USS Capodanno (FF-1093) and several others over 27 years. The T C Hart was my first ship. I have fond memories of her and the Capodanno.

  21. Alexander Ching CMDCM (SW) Ret


    Served aboard the USS Hepburn FF 1055 from 1978-82. Was assigned to the Fireroom as a BT1 and BTC. I have fondest memory of the ship and crew. Our CO was CMDR Pete Soveral, perhaps the best ship handler the Navy ever had.
    I then went to COMNAVAIRPAC MTT for 2 years and then on to my second Frigate, the USS STEIN FF 1065 as LCPO of B Div from 1984-1987, completing the World Cruise in 1987.
    My time with FF’s continued as I went to SWOSCOLCOM Coronado as an instructor for MPA school which taught the 1052 class Platform. I made BTCS AND BTCM while serving there as as an instructor.
    We still have a Hepburn reunion every year in March, 2021 will be in Charleston, SC

  22. Tom Sutton


    I served aboard the Uss Downes DE/FF 1070 from 74 to 77 as a ET/postal clerk We never made a wes-pac but spent a lot of time at sea testing ASROC and Harpoon systems. She now sits of the coast of California as part of a reef.

  23. Raymond M Benne


    Was aboard the Blakely in mid 70’s a great ship , i have often wondered what happened to Capt Anderson after he left her, any information would be appreciated

    R Benne, OS3

  24. Tony Barbour


    STG3 I served aboard USS Badger (The Bucky B) from 88 Dec to 91 Dec, a couple of weeks before decomm. She was the fastest Knox class. We had fun, we got the job done, haze gray and underway! A small cog in that huge pineapple fleet.

    • Jeff Bowen


      I was on the uss blakely 76-78. great ship. I also wondered to Captain Anderson. he was a great CO.
      Jeff Bowen IC1

  25. Martin Jumper


    I served aboard the USS Hepburn FF-1055 feb 76 to feb 78. Our ASW duties never let her down. I was glad to see the upgrade of the phalanx and harpoon, it gave the class some teeth.

  26. Tom Bacon


    Served aboard uss Joseph Hewes FF 1078 from 1973 to 1978. In June 1975 we transited the Suez Canal from south to north along with uss Tripp. I believe we were the first naval vessels to complete the trip after it reopened after the 6 day war in 1967.

  27. Jeff Bowen


    I was on USS blakely FF 1072 from 76-78 great ship. I often wondered what happened to Captain Anderson

  28. Peter Nickitas


    I would like to know which FFs were homeported in Pearl Harbor in 1991. I drilled for two weeks in one during the first Gulf War during February of 1991

  29. Lancelot R. Wright


    I found it hard to believe the US wound build a DE/frigate that the engine telegraph indicated could do 29 knots on a single shaft with an offset rudder. I grew up as a kid around Todd Shipyards in Seattle. My first ship in the US Navy was Charles F. Adams Class (USS Raphael Semmes DDG-18) out of Charleston. On OPEE we managed just under 32 knots sustained with two shafts (4 boilers) and two small rudders. Loved Knox Class. They had beautiful lines-of-force.

  30. James Pace


    USS REASONER FF 1063,Two wespacs,off Iranian coast in 1980,during the height of the hostage crisis,a year in Seattle at Todd shipyards for retrofit in 1981,sailed up Columbia River to Portland Rose Festival 1982,when Portland was still…a beautiful city,and then Westpac Sep.1982-Apr 1983,with the Enterprise battle group,and I was an
    Engineman petty officer, mainly working in Aux2,maintaing the emergency diesel generators,Two 16 cylinder Detroit Desiels,separated by a 750kw generator,and when
    the desires started automatically,you had to watch your ears,as they used air starters,using high pressured air to turn over the engines,and those carbon vanes,would whine like a small jet engine.But by God,up to this point in my life in 2021,those 3 years,5 months,25 days aboard the Reasoner,proudly named for Marine hero Frank S. Reasoner,I have never felt safer traveling anywhere,on this earth,and yes,SHE not it,was one precious,beautiful lady!!!!!!!!!



    I was a plank owner on the Jesse L. Brown DE-1089 from Dec 72 until Apr 74. Captain was Cmdr William Fogarty and the XO was Lt Cmdr Thomas Lynch. both retired as admirals, lt Cmdr Lynch now is the spokesman for New Day USA.
    Had a great time on the JLB and made a lot of good friends

  32. Jack Sheehan


    USS W.S. Sims FF 1059 out of Mayport FL. EM2 1978 79. Commanding Officer was R. D. Reeves.

  33. Jim Picardi


    I was on USS Capodanno FF-1093 from Oct 83 to Nov 87, and again Jul 92 – 93, Have to say I enjoyed the shit out of my time onboard. Maybe too much, Also did a stint on USS Trippe FF-1075 Jul 91 – Jul 92. I was lucky caught the decomm blues. So much for sustained superior performance. Stayed a chief for 11/12 years, must of been something I said.

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