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USS Valdez (FF 1096)

- decommissioned -
- formerly DE 1096 -

USS VALDEZ was the 45th and last but one KNOX - class frigate. She was the first ship in the Navy named after Hospitalman Third Class Valdez. Decommissioned on December 16, 1991, and stricken from the Navy list on January 11, 1995, the USS VALDEZ was later given to Taiwan. Arriving there in October 1999, the VALDEZ was recommissioned as YI YANG.

General Characteristics:Awarded: August 25, 1966
Keel laid: June 30, 1972
Launched: March 24, 1973
Commissioned: July 27, 1974
Decommissioned: December 16, 1991
Builder: Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, La.
Propulsion system: 2 - 1200 psi boilers; 1 geared turbine, 1 shaft; 35,000 shaft horsepower
Length: 438 feet (133.5 meters)
Beam: 47 feet (14.4 meters)
Draft: 25 feet (7.6 meters)
Displacement: approx. 4,200 tons full load
Speed: 27 knots
Armament: one Mk-16 missile launcher for ASROC and Harpoon missiles, one Mk-42 5-inch/54 caliber gun, Mk-46 torpedoes from single tube launchers, one 20mm Phalanx CIWS
Aircraft: one SH-2F (LAMPS I) helicopter
Crew: 18 officers, 267 enlisted

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS VALDEZ. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS VALDEZ:

September 9, 1980off Antwerp, Belgium
USS VALDEZ suffers a material failure to its sole gyro compass following departure from Antwerp, Belgium. The ship operates on magnetic compass only for the next six weeks, throughout exercise Teamwork '80. This degrades the performance of weapons systems and satellite navigation, and makes refueling at sea more complicated.

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About the Ship's Name:

Phil Isadore Valdez - born on 13 April 1946 in Dixon, N.M. - graduated from Espanola (N.M.) High School in May 1965 and enlisted in the Navy on 1 November 1965. After completing basic training, he was trained at the Naval Hospital Corps School at San Diego, Calif. Advanced to the rating of hospitalman in May 1966, Valdez served at the Naval Hospital, Key West, Fla., until 19 December 1966 at which time he was transferred to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, Fleet Marine Force, serving ashore in Vietnam near Danang.

On the morning of 29 January 1967, Valdez was assigned as corpsman with the 3rd Platoon when that unit was flown in by helicopter to provide support for the embattled Company "H," 2nd Battalion. Upon landing, Valdez' unit came under heavy sniper fire, and several marines went down as a result. The hospitalman sprang into action instantly. First, he ran about 70 meters across open land being raked by enemy fire to aid a fallen marine. He helped that man to a safer place and quickly dressed his wounds. After completing that task, he dashed back out into the hail of fire to assist another wounded marine some 50 meters away. Upon reaching his new charge, he positioned himself so as to protect the wounded man from the enemy fire and began to dress his wound. At that point, the enemy got his range, and Valdez fell to their fire mortally wounded. His "...heroic action and selfless devotion to duty..." saved the lives of two wounded marines and, in recognition of his "...conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action," HN Valdez was advanced to the rate of hospitalman, third class, and awarded the Navy Cross, both posthumously.

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