USS Valdez (FF-1096)
USS Valdez (FF-1096)
|Ordered:||25 August 1966|
|Builder:||Avondale Shipyard, Westwego, Louisiana|
|Laid down:||30 June 1972|
|Launched:||24 March 1973|
|Acquired:||12 July 1974|
|Commissioned:||27 July 1974|
|Decommissioned:||16 December 1991|
|Fate:||Transferred to Taiwan, Yi Yang (F 939)|
|Class & type:||Knox-class frigate|
|Displacement:||3,011 tons (3,877 full load)|
|Length:||438 ft (134 m)|
|Beam:||46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)|
|Draught:||24 ft 9 in (7.54 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 × CE 1200psi boilers
1 Westinghouse geared turbine
1 shaft, 35,000 SHP (26 MW)
|Speed:||over 27 knots|
|Complement:||18 officers, 267 enlisted|
|AN/SPS-40 Air Search Radar
AN/SPS-67 Surface Search Radar
AN/SQR-18 Towed array sonar system
Mk68 Gun Fire Control System
|AN/SLQ-32 Electronics Warfare System|
|Armament:||one Mk-16 8 cell missile launcher for ASROC and Harpoon missiles
one Mk-42 5-inch/54 caliber gun
Mark 46 torpedoes from four single tube launchers)
|Aircraft carried:||one SH-2 Seasprite (LAMPS I) helicopter|
The USS Valdez (FF-1096) is the forty-fifth Knox-class frigate and was built by Avondale Shipyard, Westwego, Louisiana, and originally assigned as a Knox-class destroyer escort (DE-1096). She was propelled by one Westinghouse steam turbine with a total of 35,000 shp. Keel laid 30 June 1972; launched 24 March 1973; sponsored by Mrs Manuelita Valdez (mother of Hospitalman Valdez); and commissioned at Charleston, South Carolina 27 July 1974, CDR Joe D. Peden in command. Decommissioned 16 December 1991 after seventeen years and four months in active, in commission and struck from the Navy Register on 11 January 1995. Valdez is currently assigned to the Security Assistance program, for cash sale and was taken to Charleston, South Carolina for conversion and transfer to Taiwan.
USS Valdez was leased to Taiwan 29 April 1998 and renamed Yi Yang (FF-939). The ship was commissioned 18 October 1999 and is still in service.
With a complement of 245, the Valdez is named in honor of Hospitalman Phil Isadore Valdez. Born on 13 April 1946 in Dixon, New Mexico. He graduated from Espanola High School, Espanola, New Mexico. On 1 November 1965 he reported to Recruit Training and then attended Naval Hospital Corps Schools San Diego, California. He was assigned to Naval Hospital Key West, Florida; and then on 19 December 1966 transferred to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force in the Republic of Vietnam, near Danang.
Hospitalman Valdez was killed in action on 29 January 1967 while serving as corpsman with the Third Platoon when that unit was flown in by helicopter to provide support for the embattled Company H, Second Battalion. Upon landing Valdez’ unit came under heavy sniper fire, and several Marines were wounded. Valdez sprang into action running across open land to an injured Marine while being raked by enemy fire. After helping the first Marine to cover and treating his wounds, Valdez returned to the open and rushed to the aid of a second Marine. Positioning himself as to protect the wounded Marine Valdez was mortally wounded by enemy sniper fire. As a result of his exceptional courage he was posthumously advanced in rank to Petty Officer Third Class and awarded the Navy Cross.