USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG-29)

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USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG-29)
USS Stephen W. Groves in the Atlantic Ocean in 2008
United States
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
  • Dirigo
  • (I Direct)
Nickname(s): Stevie G
Status: Inactive, out of commission
General characteristics [1]
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
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
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[edit]

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.

She was also on station in the Desert Shield era when the frigate Stark was struck by two missiles from an Iraqi fighter jet, and assisted Stark in her return to Mayport, Florida.[citation needed]

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.[2] She was decommissioned on 24 February 2012.

On 9 April 2017, she was observed in the Philadelphia Navy Yard on Google Maps (39 53.5N 75 11.1W).

Stephen W. Groves as seen at sunset in Key West on 22 July 2007.


  1. ^ "USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29)". Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ [1]

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.

External links[edit]