USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7)

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USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) underway during a Great Lakes cruise.
USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7), underway during a Great Lakes cruise, 24 August 1979.
United States
Name: Oliver Hazard Perry
Namesake: Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry
Ordered: 10 March 1973
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Laid down: 12 June 1975
Launched: 25 September 1976
Commissioned: 17 December 1977
Decommissioned: 20 February 1997
Struck: 3 May 1999
Homeport: NS Mayport, Florida (former)
Motto: "Don't Give Up the Ship"
Nickname(s): Gallant Leader, Old Hockey Puck
Honors and
Fate: 9 September 2005, contract for scrapping
Status: 21 April 2006, scrapping completed
General characteristics
Class and type: Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate
Displacement: 4,100 long tons (4,200 t), full load
Length: 445 feet (136 m), overall
Beam: 45 feet (14 m)
Draught: 22 feet (6.7 m)
Speed: over 29 knots (54 km/h)
Range: 5,000 nautical miles at 18 knots (9,300 km at 33 km/h)
Complement: 15 officers and 190 enlisted, plus SH-2 detachment of roughly six officer pilots and 15 enlisted maintainers
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 1; SH-2 Seasprite helicopter (ship was to have capability for two helicopters, but never carried more than one due to flight deck and hangar size limitations)
Aviation facilities: Hangar Bay, Helicopter Pad

USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7), lead ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided-missile frigates, was named for Oliver Hazard Perry, American naval hero, who was victorious at the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie. Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) was the first ship and, as of 2015, the only ship of that name in the U.S. Navy. Oliver Hazard Perry was in service from 1977 to 1997 and was scrapped in 2005.

The class was originally intended as austere 'low' category guided missile frigates (compared with the high capability Spruance class) for General Purpose and Anti-Air convoy escort. They were built under a cloud of controversy, with their very light gun armament and lack of redundancy and duplicated systems in event of ship being hit. They were regarded by the Reagan administration and Secretary John Lehman as not part of the 500 ship navy plan, but ultimately proved useful as anti-submarine ships if fitted to carry Seahawks and towed arrays and into the 21st Century as low grade patrol ships making up the numbers in a USN desperately short of escorts.


Oliver Hazard Perry was ordered from Bath Iron Works on 30 October 1973 as part of the FY73 program, and was laid down on 12 June 1975, launched on 25 September 1976, and commissioned on 17 December 1977.[1] She was ordered as PFG-109 but was redesignated as FFG-7 in the 1975 fleet designation realignment on 1 June 1975, before she was laid down.

Launch incident[edit]

During her launch ceremony on 25 September 1976, the ship found herself briefly stuck on the slip-way. Film star John Wayne appeared from the crowd of watching dignitaries, climbed the launch ceremony platform, and gave the bow of the frigate – which was by this time starting to move slightly – a shove with one hand, and so John Wayne famously appeared to have 'pushed' a US warship down her slip-way.[2]

Shock Trial Testing[edit]

Oliver Hazard Perry was one of the few lead ships to be subjected to shock trials. These series of trials conducted early in the life of the ship put this steel hull / aluminum superstructure to the test. The proximity of the tests (seen in associated pictures), caused many of the machine mounts and components to become warped or damaged. This damage created alignment problems for the engineering and combat systems teams in the years to come. The ship regularly required waivers on machine performance due to the warping of many mounting brackets. However, this did not affect the overall readiness of the ship, nor did it prevent Oliver Hazard Perry from achieving the record for the most-ever hours put on the GE LM2500 Main Propulsion engine.[3]


After 19.2 years of active service, Oliver Hazard Perry was decommissioned on 20 February 1997,[1] in Mayport, FL under the last Commanding Officer, CDR Robert F. Holman, USNR. Though she was stricken on 3 May 1999, Oliver Hazard Perry was held in the museum donation category at the former Navy shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A group had hoped to bring her to Toledo, Ohio and display her as a museum ship and a remembrance for the Battle of Lake Erie. The group could not get a financial plan together in time, and so Perry was sold for scrap in December 2005.


  • Cmdr. Steven James Duich (17 Dec. 1977 - 19 Dec. 1979)
  • Cmdr. Howard Sanford Stoddard (19 Dec. 1979 - 28 Oct. 1981)
  • Cmdr. Richard F. Beal (28 Oct. 1981 - 20 Jan. 1984)
  • Cmdr. John F. Brunelli (20 Jan. 1984 - 21 Mar. 1986)
  • Cmdr. Roger S. Cooper (21 Mar. 1986 - 10 Jun. 1988)
  • Cmdr. Terry Dean Schechinger (10 Jun. 1988 - 05 Jul. 1990)
  • Cmdr. Richard Patrick Lee (05 Jul. 1990- 22 Jul. 1992)
  • Cmdr. Robert Alan Bullock (22 Jul. 1992 - 12 Apr. 1994)
  • Cmdr. Ricky Lowell Carper (12 Apr. 1994 - 24 Feb. 1996)
  • Cmdr. Robert Francis Holman (24 Feb. 1996 - 20 Dec. 1997)


  1. ^ a b "Oliver Hazard Perry". 
  2. ^ All Star Party for John Wayne (1976)- Charles Bronson honors John Wayne!, YouTube (beginning 42 seconds into the clip)
  3. ^ US Navy OPPE Results, 1984 to 1989, US Navy archives

External links[edit]