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USS Samuel Eliot Morison (FFG 13)

- formerly SAMUEL E. MORISON -
- decommissioned -

USS SAMUEL ELIOT MORISON was one of the OLIVER HAZARD PERRY class guided missile frigates and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name. Decommissioned on April 11, 2002, SAMUEL ELIOT MORISON was turned over to the Turkish Navy as part of the US foreign military sales program the same day and was recommissioned as TCG GÖKOVA (F 496).

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: December 4, 1978
Launched: July 14, 1979
Commissioned: October 11, 1980
Decommissioned: April 11, 2002
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
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 SAMUEL ELIOT MORISON. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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About the frigate’s name, about Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison:

Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, USNR (1887 - 1976) was one of the nation's most distinguished naval historians. His legacy to his country comprises over forty books and more than a hundred articles, including The Oxford History of the United States (1927); Growth of the American Republic (with) Commander (1930); The European Discovery of America (Southern and Northern voyages 1971, 1974). Born in Boston, and a faculty member of Harvard University for more than half a century, he was the recipient of many honors. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded him the Emerson-Thoreau Medal in 1961 for distinguished literary achievement, and he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 as one of the great Americans whose life and works have made freedom stronger for all of us in our time.

But he was, first and always, a Sailor. Before he wrote the biography of Christopher Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean Sea in 1942, he and several friends purchased and fitted out the barkentine "Capitana" to sail the ocean in Columbus' wake, and view island and coasts as he must have seen them. This book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

The way was now clear for another seagoing project that was to become the most extensive and difficult of any in Morison's career - The History of the United States Naval Operations in World War II (fifteen volumes). President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had a lifelong taste for naval history, after reading some of "Admiral of the Ocean Sea," accepted Morison's request to be the Navy's Historian. In May 1942, the professor was commissioned a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve, and given a set of orders that permitted him to move about the world at will. But having such a set of orders is one thing, and getting to a good vantage point to observe an action whose planning has been cloaked in deep secrecy is another. That he was invariably in the right place at the right time for the next three and a half years, was due more to his qualities as a man and a Sailor, than to his formal credentials. He later recalled the problem thus:

"As my position in the Navy was unprecedented, I had to move warily and gingerly in order to obtain cooperation from those who were doing the fighting. Amusingly enough, their initial suspicions of a 'long-haired professor in uniform' were dissolved by a perusal of my "Admiral of the Ocean Sea," which told them that I was a Sailor before I became a professor, and thus exorcised the academic curse. So, thanks to Columbus, the Navy accepted me, and with many of its members I made warm friendships, which even survived when I felt obliged to write about some of their mistakes."

After his death in 1976, one of his daughters, Emily Morison Beck, edited a highly readable treasury of the best and most representative of his writings. She says, "I was fortunate that my father lived long enough to examine and approve the final choices, after discarding a number of pieces as 'old hat,' 'hackneyed,' or 'of little interest to the general reader.'" Therefore, "Sailor-Historian" is aimed to give pleasure to the general reader, who will find chapters from favorite books and prized articles, as well as forgotten pieces never before printed in a book.

President Lyndon B. Johnson remarked: "Scholar and Sailor, this amphibious historian has combined a life of action and literary craftsmanship to lead two generations of Americans on countless voyages of discovery." As a naval historian on active duty in World War II, he earned seven engagement stars and a Legion of Merit, while serving in combat areas of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific.

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After decommissioning, the SAMUEL ELIOT MORISON was transferred to the Turkish Navy where she was recommissioned as TCG GÖKOVA (F 496). The photos below were taken by Philip Petersen and me and show TCG GÖKOVA at Naval Base Faslane, UK, on April 11, 2015, and one day later when she departed for exercise Joint Warrior 151. The ship has been extensively modernized: The old AN/SPS-49 antenna was replaced by the advanced SMART-S Mk-2 3D air search radar and an 8-cell Mk-41 VLS for 32 ESSM was added in front of the Mk-13 missile launcher. Additionally, a new digital combat management system called GENESIS and a new long range sonar were installed.

The photos below were taken by me and show TCG GÖKOVA departing Naval Base Kiel, Germany, to join exercise BALTOPS 2019 on June 9, 2019.

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