USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG-29)
USS Stephen W. Groves in the Atlantic Ocean in 2008
|Name:||Stephen W. Groves|
|Namesake:||Ensign Stephen W. Groves|
|Awarded:||23 January 1978|
|Builder:||Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine|
|Laid down:||16 September 1980|
|Launched:||4 April 1981|
|Commissioned:||17 April 1982|
|Decommissioned:||24 February 2012|
|Homeport:||Mayport Naval Station|
|Status:||Inactive, out of commission|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate|
|Displacement:||4,100 long tons (4,200 t), full load|
|Length:||453 feet (138 m), overall|
|Beam:||45 feet (14 m)|
|Draft:||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-60 LAMPS detachment of roughly six officer pilots and 15 enlisted maintainers|
|Aircraft carried:||2 × SH-60 LAMPS III helicopters|
USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG-29), twenty-first ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided missile frigates, was named for Ensign Stephen W. Groves (1917–1942), a naval aviator who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism at the Battle of Midway during World War II.
Construction and career
Ordered from Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, on 23 January 1978 as part of the FY78 program, Stephen W. Groves was laid down on 16 September 1980, launched on 4 April 1981, and commissioned on 17 April 1982, Commander Philip A. Bozzelli commanding.
Stephen W. Groves (FFG-29) is the first ship of that name in the U.S. Navy. A previous ship named for Ensign Groves, destroyer escort, Groves (DE-543), was canceled in 1944 prior to completion. Assigned to Destroyer Squadron 14 and home-ported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
During her maiden voyage, Groves was assigned to units in support of Marines stationed at the airport in Beirut, Lebanon. Arriving shortly after the barracks bombing in 1983, she was assigned to host the helo detachment from USS New Jersey (BB-62)enabling NJ to utilize all three of her turrets for attacking targets in the Baka Valley. Additionally, Groves protected New Jersey and other surface units from air threats. She tracked unidentified submarines, monitored Yassir Arafat's transit from Beirut to Cyprus, and entered Beirut harbor with other units to conduct direct fire support against units hostile to USMC positions. Groves was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation for these actions.
On 28 August 2005, she sailed from her then-home port of Pascagoula, Mississippi, along with sister ship John L. Hall, under threat from Hurricane Katrina; Naval Station Pascagoula is now closed as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Deployed to the Indian Ocean, on 10 May 2011 she met the Somali pirate longliner Jih Chun Tsai 68 after being ordered to intercept the hijacked Taiwanese fishing vessel. Receiving fire from the longliner, Stephen W. Groves engaged her in a single ship action that saw the pirate vessel sunk with three pirates killed, two wounded, and one Taiwanese hostage killed. Nineteen Somali pirates and two Chinese hostages were taken on board. The rescued Chinese crew were repatriated to China and their families. She was decommissioned on 24 February 2012.
On 9 April 2017, she was observed in dry dock in the Philadelphia Navy Yard on Google Maps (39.887951, -75.183987).
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