USS Koelsch (FF-1049)

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USS Koelsch (FF-1049)
United States
Name: Koelsch
Namesake: John Kelvin Koelsch
Ordered: 21 March 1963
Builder: Defoe Shipbuilding Company, Bay City, Michigan
Laid down: 19 February 1964
Launched: 8 June 1965
Acquired: 23 May 1967
Commissioned: 19 October 1968
Decommissioned: 31 May 1989
Struck: 19 August 1994
Motto: Valor [and] Versatility.
Fate: Sold to Trusha Investments Pte. Ltd, c/o Jacques Pierot, Jr. & Sons, Inc., of New York City for $625,824. Scrapped in Hong Kong, China
Name: Siqqat
Acquired: 31 May 1989
Out of service: Returned to US custody, 19 August 1994
Identification: F267
Fate: Returned to US custody
General characteristics
Class and type: Garcia-class frigate
  • 2,624 tons (light)
  • 3,400 tons full
Length: 414 ft 6 in (126.34 m)
Beam: 44 ft 1 in (13.44 m)
Draft: 24 ft 6 in (7.47 m)
Propulsion: 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 1 steam turbine, 35,000 shp (26,000 kW), single screw
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)
Range: 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
  • 16 officers
  • 231 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
Aircraft carried: Gyrodyne QH-50 (planned) / SH-2 LAMPS

USS Koelsch (FF-1049) was a Garcia-class destroyer escort, later reclassified as a frigate, in the United States Navy. She was named for Navy helicopter pilot Lt(jg) John Kelvin Koelsch, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the Korean War. On 3 July 1951, Koelsch and his crewman attempted to rescue a downed Marine aviator from enemy territory. Under heavy fire, Koelsch's helicopter was shot down; Koelsch, his crewman, and the Marine aviator survived the crash and evaded the enemy for nine days before being captured. Lt(jg) John Koelsch died of malnutrition and dysentery in a prisoner-of-war camp three months later.


Koelsch was laid down on 19 February 1964 at the Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, Michigan. She was launched on 8 June 1965, sponsored by Miss Virginia L. Koelsch; and commissioned on 10 June 1967, with Commander John A. Buck in command.

She provided escort and antisubmarine warfare support to ships of the Atlantic Fleet from her home port, Mayport, Florida, as well as blockade, surveillance, and emergency evacuation capabilities along with providing assistance to the United States Coast Guard with antidrug operations.

Reclassified a frigate on 30 June 1975, Koelsch became FF-1049.


Decommissioned on 31 May 1989, Koelsch was leased to Pakistan and became frigate Siqqat (F-267). Because Pakistan would not stop its nuclear weapons program, the lease was cancelled in 1994. Returned to U.S. custody at Singapore on 19 August 1994, former Koelsch was stricken from the Navy Register the same day. Transferred to the Maritime Administration the following 9 September, on the same date she was sold to Trusha Investments Pte. Ltd, c/o Jacques Pierot, Jr. & Sons, Inc., of New York City for $625,824. She was then towed to Hong Kong and scrapped.


  • K. Jack Bauer and Stephen S. Roberts, “Register of Ships of the U. S. Navy, 1775-1990,”
  • “Conway’s All The World’s Fighting Ships, 1947-1995”
  • Naval Institute “Proceedings,” May 1995, p. 219-221.
  • This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
  • This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.