USS STEPHEN W. GROVES was the 21st frigate in the OLIVER HAZARD PERRY class and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name. Since 1997, the ship was part of the NRF training Naval Reservists. Last homeported in Mayport, Fla., the STEPHEN W. GROVES was decommissioned on February 24, 2012.
|General Characteristics:||Keel Laid: September 16, 1980|
|Launched: April 4, 1981|
|Commissioned: April 17, 1982|
|Decommissioned: February 24, 2012|
|Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine|
|Propulsion system: two General Electric LM 2500 gas turbines, two 350 Horsepower Electric Drive Auxiliary Propulsion Units|
|Blades on each Propeller: five|
|Length: 453 feet (138 meters)|
|Beam: 47 feet (14.32 meters)|
|Draft: 24,6 feet (7.5 meters)|
|Displacement: 4,100 tons|
|Speed: 28+ knots|
|Aircraft: two SH-60 Sea Hawk (LAMPS 3)|
|Armament: one Mk 75 76mm/62 caliber rapid firing gun, MK 32 ASW torpedo tubes (two triple mounts), one Phalanx CIWS|
|Crew: 17 Officers and 198 Enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS STEPHEN W. GROVES. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS STEPHEN W. GROVES in the News:
About the Ship’s Name, about Ensign Stephen W. Groves:
"About 4:40 p.m. the enemy was coming in fast, and the carrier sent up its few remaining planes, some of them already battle-scarred. They headed straight for the enemy. The fight ended at sunset, when the last remaining Japanese plane was shot from the sky. Some of our boys did not return, but they left a memory that time can never dim."
Thus read an official account of one of the great air engagements of the Battle of Midway during World War II. Stephen W. Groves, a 25- year-old Navy Ensign from East Millinocket, Maine, was one of the American flyers who did not return after the day-long battle on 4 June 1942.
Other historical accounts of the battle show that Ensign Groves took off nine times from his carrier on that fateful day, and that his was one of six American planes that fought off a vastly superior Japanese force that was trying to finish off the damaged carrier USS YORKTOWN. The small group was credited with shooting down 14 enemy planes and causing six others to retreat.
For his deeds in the crucial battle, the young Maine flyer was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism.
The commissioning of the guided missile frigate USS STEPHEN W. GROVES demonstrates that time did not dim the memory of this American hero and, in effect, fulfills a promise the Navy made to the Groves family shortly after the ensign was declared missing-in-action. A destroyer, being constructed in Boston, was to have been named for Groves, but it was scrapped when the war ended.
Ensign Groves was a 1934 graduate of Schenck High School in East Millinocket, and received a Mechanical Engineering Degree from the University of Maine in 1939. He joined the Navy in December of 1940, and was commissioned in August of 1941. He boarded the carrier HORNET in December of that year. The HORNET began to transport Doolittle's Bombers to Japanese waters in April of 1942, setting the stage for the Battle of Midway, considered one of the most crucial Allied victories of the war.
Ensign Groves was the first East Millinocket serviceman to be killed in World War II. Today the American Legion Post in the town is named the Feeney-Groves Post, partially in his memory.
About the Ship’s Coat of Arms:
Blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy. The wings allude to Ensign Groves as a naval aviator and, when combined with the white and blue roundel, suggest the battle for the Pacific during World War II in which the aircraft carrier was to prove itself as an effective tactical weapon. The eight gold stars simulate aircraft in formation and the number eight is symbolic of Fighter Squadron EIGHT with which Groves flew nine missions during the Battle of Midway before being shot down; eight stars further allude to the fact that Ensign Groves was serving aboard USS HORNET (CV 8) at the time of his death.
The four red pheons (spear points) allude to the overwhelming number of enemy fighter planes Ensign Groves faced while defending the US task force against enemy attack. The gold cross refers to the Navy Cross awarded to him for heroic action during the first and last battle of his short Navy career.
USS STEPHEN W. GROVES Patch Gallery:
USS STEPHEN W. GROVES Image Gallery:
The photos below were taken by me and show the STEPHEN W. GROVES at Toulon, France, on September 20, 2009. The ship alongside is the Spanish NAVARRA (F 85). The next day, the STEPHEN W. GROVES departed Toulon to participate in exercise "Loyal Midas 09" in the western Mediterranean. The exercise was conducted from September 21 - October 3, 2009, and involved 33 ships from 8 countries.
The photos below were taken by me and show the STEPHEN W. GROVES at Kiel, Germany, on June 2, 2010. The STEPHEN W. GROVES was underway from Portsmouth, UK, to Gdynia, Poland, for exercise BALTOPS 2010. The photos below show the ship passing the locks at Kiel-Holtenau after transiting the Kiel Canal.
The photos below were taken by me and show the STEPHEN W. GROVES arriving at Kiel, Germany, on June 18, 2010, after participating in exercise BALTOPS 2010.
The photos below were taken by me and show the STEPHEN W. GROVES moored alongside USS SIMPSON (FFG 56) at Naval Base Kiel, Germany, on June 19, 2010.
The photo below was taken by me and shows the STEPHEN W. GROVES laid up alongside her sisterships BOONE (FFG 28) and JOHN L. HALL (FFG 32) at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Penn., on May 4, 2012.
The photo below was taken by Michael Jenning and shows the STEPHEN W. GROVES laid up between her sisterships at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Penn., on October 3, 2012.
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the STEPHEN W. GROVES at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Penn., on October 16, 2015.
The photo below was taken by Michael Jenning and shows the STEPHEN W. GROVES laid up at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Penn., on October 17, 2016.