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USS Gary (FFG 51)

USS GARY is one of the "long hull" versions in the OLIVER HAZARD PERRY - class and the first ship in the Navy named after Commander Donald A. Gary. In June 2007, the GARY shifted her homeport from Yokosuka, Japan, to San Diego, Calif.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: December 18, 1982
Christened: November 19, 1983
Commissioned: November 17, 1984
Builder: Todd Pacific Shipyards Co., Los Angeles Division, San Pedro, Ca.
Propulsion system: two General Electric LM 2500 gas turbines, two 350 Horsepower Electric Drive Auxiliary Propulsion Units
Propellers: one
Blades on each Propeller: five
Length: 453 feet (135.9 meters)
Beam: 45 feet (13.5 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, one Mk 38 Mod 2 25mm machine gun system
Homeport: San Diego, Calif.
Crew: 17 Officers and 198 Enlisted


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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS GARY. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


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USS GARY Cruise Books:


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USS GARY in the News:

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About the Frigate’s Name, about Commander Donald A. Gary:

Donald Arthur Gary was born on 23 July 1903 in Findlay, Ohio. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy on 12 December 1919 and served as an enlisted sailor until November 1943, when he was commissioned a Lieutenant (junior grade). He progressed to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in March 1946 and, when he retired on 1 June 1950, he was advanced to the rank of Commander on the basis of combat awards. Commander Gary died on 9 April 1977.

His onshore duties during his naval career included assignments in the Third Naval District, New York City; the Office of Assistant Inspector of Machinery, B&W Company, Ohio; the staff of Commander Submarine Group ONE, New York; and the Naval Disciplinary Barracks, Terminal Island, California. His sea duty tours included ELCANO (PG 38), HANNIBAL (AG 1), SWAN (AM 34), IDAHO (BB 42), INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35) for two tours, ENTERPRISE (CV 6), and FRANKLIN (CV 13), that (then) Lieutenant Gary joined as an Engineering Officer in December 1944.

On 19 March 1945, FRANKLIN was operating with a fast carrier task force against remnants of the Japanese fleet when it was severely damaged by fires caused by two Japanese bombs in an attack. Only outstanding efforts on the part of the crew, and Lieutenant Gary in particular, saved the ship from destruction and the lives of many sailors.

Lieutenant Gary was awarded the Medal of Honor, with a citation that stated:

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty as the Engineering Officer attached to the USS FRANKLIN when that vessel was fiercely attacked by enemy aircraft during operations against the Japanese home islands near Kobe, Japan, March 19, 1945. Stationed on the third deck when the ship was rocked by a series of violent explosions set off in her own ready bombs, rockets and ammunition by the hostile attack, Lieutenant Gary unhesitatingly risked his life to assist several hundred men trapped in a messing compartment filled with smoke and with no apparent egress. As the imperiled men below decks beacon increasingly panic-stricken under the raging fury of incessant explosions, he confidently assured them he would find a means of effecting their release and, groping through the dark, debris-filled corridors, ultimately discovered an escapeway. Staunchly, he struggled back to the messing compartment three times despite menacing flames, flooding water and the ominous threat of sudden additional explosions, on each occasion calmly leading his men through the blanketing pall of smoke until the last one had been saved. Selfless in his concern for his ship and his fellows, he constantly rallied others about him, repeatedly organized and led fire-fighting parties into the blazing inferno on the flight deck and, when firerooms 1 and 2 were found to be inoperable, entered the number 3 fireroom and directed the raising of steam in one boiler in the face of extreme difficulty and hazard. An inspiring and courageous leader, (he) rendered self-sacrificing service the most perilous conditions and, by his heroic initiative, fortitude and valor, was responsible for saving of several hundred lives ...."

The damaged FRANKLIN returned to New York harbor, and Commander Gary remained aboard the ship until it was decommissioned in 1947. On 23 January 1946 he was presented the Medal of Honor at the White House by President Harry S. Truman.

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The photos below were taken by me and show the GARY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif, on March 10, 2008.



The photo below was taken by Thomas Heinrich and shows the GARY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif, on March 21, 2009.



The photos below were taken by me and show the GARY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif, on September 29, 2011. Note the platform for the Mk 38 Mod. 2 gun above the former Mk 13 missile launcher.



The photos below were taken by me and show the GARY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif, on May 8, 2012.



The photos below were taken by me and show the GARY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif, on October 3, 2012. The last two photos show her departing San Diego one day later for a scheduled deployment in support of Counter Transnational Organized Crime (C-TOC) operations in the U.S. 4th Fleet AoR.



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