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USS George Philip (FFG 12)

- decommissioned -

USS GEORGE PHILIP was the sixth ship in the OLIVER HAZARD PERRY - class and the fifth "short hull" version. GEORGE PHILIP was last homeported in San Diego, Calif., and was a member of the Naval Reserve Force. Decommissioned on March 13, 2003 and stricken from the Navy list on May 24, 2004, the ship spent the following years laid-up at Bremerton, Wash., awaiting a possible foreign military sale. However, on December 15, 2014, the GEORGE PHILIP was sold for scrapping to Southern Recycling of New Orleans, La. The ship arrived in Louisiana in June 2015 and was subsequently scrapped.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: December 14, 1977
Launched: December 16, 1978
Commissioned: October 10, 1980
Decommissioned: March 15, 2003
Builder: Todd Pacific Shipyards Co., Los Angeles Division, San Pedro, Ca.
Propulsion system: two General Electric LM 2500 gas turbines, two 350 Horsepower Electric Drive Auxiliary Propulsion Units
Propellers: one
Blades on each Propeller: five
Length: 445 feet (133.5 meters)
Beam: 45 feet (13.5 meters)
Draft: 24,6 feet (7.5 meters)
Displacement: 4,100 tons
Speed: 28+ knots
Aircraft: one SH-2F (LAMPS 1)
Armament: one Mk 13 guided missile launcher (36 Standard (MR) and 4 Harpoon missiles), one Mk 75 76mm/62 caliber rapid firing gun, MK 32 ASW torpedo tubes (two triple mounts), one Phalanx CIWS
Crew: 17 Officers and 198 Enlisted

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Crew List:

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

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USS GEORGE PHILIP Cruise Books and Pamphlets:

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About the Ship's Coat of Arms:

The Shield:

The dark blue and gold on the shield of the coat of arms are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and are symbolic of the sea and excellence. The stars represent three Pacific Island campaigns -- the liberation of the Philippine Islands; the conquest of Iwo Jima; and the capture and occupation of Okinawa -- during which Commander Philip commanded USS TWIGGS (DD 591). The blue star, voided white, refers to the Silver Star awarded to Commander George Philip, Jr., for gallantry while serving aboard USS O'BANNON in the Solomon Islands. The wavy chevron suggests thrust and movement from a strong base that characterized the Pacific campaigns. The barbed and enflamed anchor symbolizes naval firepower and alludes to the Navy's progressive sweep through the Pacific Islands during World War II. It further typifies the capabilities of guided missile frigates.

The Crest:

The dark blue screwiest on the crest refers to the Navy Cross posthumously awarded to Commander Philip. He gave his life when his ship, USS TWIGGS, was damaged from a Japanese torpedo and kamikaze attack off Okinawa in June 1945. The fire bomb symbolizes military prowess. The laurel wreath symbolizes the victory in the Pacific for which Commander Philip gave his life and the great honor and respect he earned throughout his naval career.

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USS GEORGE PHILIP's Commanding Officers:

November 1980 - November 1982Commander James L. Turnbull
November 1982 - March 1985Captain Donald F. Berkebile
March 1985 - May 1987Commander Frank H. Tryon Jr.
May 1987 - June 1989Commander Thomas C. William Jr.
June 1989 - June 1991Commander Dennis L. Ryan III
June 1991 - February 1993Commander Alfred W. Mitchell
February 1993 - December 1994Commander Harold J. Flammang
December 1994 - October 1996Commander Robert A. Butt
October 1996 - April 1998Commander Scott A. Berg
April 1998 - November 1999Commander L. Hart Sebring
November 1999 - June 2001Commander David W. Glazier
June 2001 - March 2003Commander Christopher L. Wall

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USS GEORGE PHILIP was laid down on 14 December 1977 at San Pedro, California, by Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation, Los Angeles Division and was commissioned on 10 October 1980.

Assigned to the Pacific Fleet, GEORGE PHILIP arrived at Naval Station San Diego, California after her commissioning and completed her sea trials and testing from November 1980 - June 1981. In June 1981 she received a Battle "E" award for excellence.

Her first deployment was in support of the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) Battle Group from July 1982 - February 1983. GEORGE PHILIP's second deployment was from September 1984 - March 1985 in support of U.S. efforts to keep sea-lanes open in the Persian Gulf at the height of the Iran-Iraq War.

In June 1985, GEORGE PHILIP was transferred to the Naval Reserve Force (NRF), returning her focus to the training and readiness of selected reservists. The ship reduced her active duty personnel manning from 100% to 60%, the remainder being made up by reservists. Following her transfer to the NRF, she underwent engineering and weapons readiness examinations and inspections as well as training for helicopter pilots from June 1985 - June 1987.

Undergoing an extensive overhaul at Southwest Marine in San Diego, California, from December 1987 - June 1989, GEORGE PHILIP received major upgrades in her Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities. She was fitted with Tactical Towed Array Sonar (TACTAS), widely recognized as highly effective equipment in submarine detection. Following this upgrade, the GEORGE PHILIP became the test platform for the new ASW equipment, and tested it during extensive operations from June 1989 - May 1992.

To support efforts to counter drug trafficking from South America to the United States, GEORGE PHILIP participated in her third deployment from May 1992 - August 1992. For the next two years, she conducted various independent operations and port visits including San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Mazatlan, Mexico. The warship deployed again in July 1994 to join the fight once again against drug trafficking to the United States.

Upon completion of her fourth deployment, GEORGE PHILIP escorted the towing of former USS RICHARD B. RUSSELL (SSN 687) to Naval Station, Bremerton, Washington. In November 1997, she participated in the MARCOT Exercise in the Northern Pacific and then from January 1998 - April 1998, Counter Narcotics Operations in the South Pacific. March 1999 - October 1999 was GEORGE PHILIP's first Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Deployment. To maintain her state of readiness, she entered Continental Marine, San Diego, California, the first three months of 2000 for another comprehensive overhaul. The remainder of the year 2000 provided opportunities for the GEORGE PHILIP to visit as far north as Esquimalt, British Columbia and Juneau, Alaska, and as far south as Ensenada, Mexico.

In May 2001, the GEORGE PHILIP engaged in pursuit of a high-speed small boat heading west from Colombia. Coordinating the pursuit with the crew of Naval Reserve squadron HSL-84, GEORGE PHILIP maneuvered to intercept. The smugglers jettisoned their illegal cargo overboard. GEORGE PHILIP chased at flank speed, using the helo to maintain visual contact with the fleeing boat. The pursuit lasted approximately eight hours and proved unsuccessful when the drug traffickers escaped into Colombian territorial waters after dark. However, by sunrise, GEORGE PHILIP was able to dispatch her small boat to recover 64 bales of cocaine weighing 4,775 pounds.

Less than one week later, GEORGE PHILIP spotted another drug trafficking vessel. Pursuit lasted throughout the afternoon. The drug traffickers again jettisoned their cargo in an effort to escape. While the boat eventually eluded capture, GEORGE PHILIP launched her small boat and was able to recover several bales of cocaine that evening, and additional bales at first light.

Upon return to San Diego in late May 2001, GEORGE PHILIP had confiscated more than 7,230 pounds of raw, uncut cocaine from reaching the U.S. All in all, GEORGE PHILIP completed a very successful counternarcotics deployment to the eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. During the deployment, the Sailors of USS GEORGE PHILIP scored three successes in the war on drugs, rescued over 220 undocumented migrants while preventing them from illegally reaching the United States, and conducted community relations projects in Golfito, Costa Rica.

In April 2002, GEORGE PHILIP departed for her final deployment, CARAT 2002. Her ultimate destination was Southeast Asia, but she showed the American flag in almost two dozen countries, to include Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Japan, New Caledonia, Thailand and East Timor. Her return in October 2002 marked the end of her deploying years, but not the conclusion of her tour as a warship. In early 2003, she participated in COMPTUEX for the USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) Battle Group as well as for the USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) Battle Group.

USS GEORGE PHILIP was decommissioned at Naval Station San Diego, Pier 5, on 15 March 2003.

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About the Frigate’s Name, about Commander George Philip:

Commander Philip, born in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, on 14 April 1912, attended South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City before his appointment to the U. S. Naval Academy. After completion of the course of instruction at the Naval Academy, he was commissioned an Ensign on 6 June 1935. Ensign Philip continued to progress in grade until his promotion to Commander on 4 September 1944. During this period he served under a variety of commands including: USS MISSISSIPPI (1935-37), USS CALIFORNIA (1937-38), USS ELLET (1938-40), USS O'BANNON (1942-43), and Operational Training Command, Pacific Fleet, San Diego, California (1943-44). He then served as Commanding Officer of USS TWIGGS (1944-46).

Commander Philip established a skilled fighting reputation while simultaneously serving as the Executive Officer, Navigator and Combat Intelligence Officer of the famed O'BANNON. For his conspicuous gallantry during the crucial stages of the Soloman Island Campaign, Philip was awarded the Silver Star Medal and O'BANNON received the Presidential Unit Citation.

Commander Philip was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism while commanding TWIGGS during an 84-day period of combat near Okinawa. He died following a dusk attack by a Japanese kamikaze aircraft on 16 June 1945.

On 12 March 1946, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal stated, during the presentation of the Navy Cross to his widow:

"His courage, fortitude and initiative in the performance of a difficult and hazardous duty characterized Commander Philip as a brilliant leader and seaman, reflecting the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service, he gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."

In addition to the Navy Cross, Silver Star Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation, Commander Philip received the American Defense Service Medal, and the Purple Heart.

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The photos below were taken by me and show the GEORGE PHILIP and her sistership SIDES (FFG 14) laid-up at Bremerton, Wash., on March 14, 2010.

The photos below were taken by me and show the GEORGE PHILIP and her sistership SIDES (FFG 14) still laid-up at Bremerton, Wash., on May 13, 2012. Both ships have been moved from the pier to an anchorage in Sinclair Inlet off the naval shipyard.

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