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General Characteristics Crew List Memorabilia About the Ship's Coat of Arms USS Elrod History Patch Gallery About the Name "ELROD" Image Gallery to end of page

USS Elrod (FFG 55)

- decommissioned -

USS ELROD was an OLIVER HAZARD PERRY - class guided missile frigate and the first ship in the Navy named after Marine Major Henry T. Elrod. Decommissioned at her homeport of Norfolk, Va., on January 30, 2015, the ELROD was towed to Philadelphia, Penn., for lay up the following day. Throughout her service life, the ELROD has completed a total of 19 deployments and has travelled almost 2 million nautical miles.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: November 21, 1983
Launched: May 12, 1984
Commissioned: July 6, 1985
Decommissioned: January 30, 2015
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
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
Crew: 17 Officers and 198 Enlisted

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Crew List:

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

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About the Ship's Coat of Arms:

The ship’s crest is a heraldic representation of Marine Major Henry T. Elrod’s heroic actions during the Battle of Wake Island in December 1941. It was during this battle the Major Elrod was killed and for his actions was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The colors, blue, red, and gold (yellow) are those of the Navy and the Marine Corps. The chevron in the shield has fifteen crenellations to represent the number of days the embattled Marines held Wake Island against a vastly superior Japanese invasion force. The fireball in the upper part of the shield represents major Elrod’s single-handed sinking of the Japanese destroyer KISARGI after being the sole U.S. plane to penetrate a squadron of enemy fighter-bombers protecting the Japanese battle group. Similarly, the pheons on both sides of the fireball represent the two Japanese planes shot down by Major Elrod. The broken aviators wings and the war hammer symbolize Major Elrod’s further distinguished actions in ground combat after all the aircraft in his squadron had been destroyed. The hammer also signifies the destructive force of the guided missile frigate ELROD. Major Elrod’s service as a Marine Officer is symbolized by the unsheathed mameluke sword, which also draws attention to the fact the he was among the first to engage the Japanese in World War II. The blue background and thirteen stars represent the Medal of Honor awarded to Major Elrod for his heroic actions on Wake Island. The gold wreath, pointed downward, commemorates his honorable death in action.

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History of USS ELROD:

USS ELROD was built at the Bath Iron Works in Maine, and was commissioned on July 6, 1985. The ship was originally homeported in Charleston, South Carolina and shifted to Norfolk, Virginia in March 1995. USS ELROD has completed deployments to the Arabian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, and to the Adriatic Sea, and has participated in numerous operations in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Caribbean. During the Arabian Gulf deployments, USS ELROD helped demonstrate America's interests in this region and contributed to the naval presence during periods of hostilities as well as calm. ELROD’s third Arabian Gulf deployment followed Operation DESERT STORM and supported aggressive air and surface surveillance operations. ELROD conducted naval exercises with units of Gulf Cooperation Council nations to strengthen and further develop the bonds that were forged during DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. The ship participated in TEAMWORK '92, NATO’s Arctic Ocean anti-submarine exercise, and Operation SHARP GUARD, in support of multi-national enforcement of United Nations sanctions and embargoing war materials to the Balkans.

After 2001, ELROD deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2004, the ship conducted maritime interdiction operations as part of Operation Active Endeavor. ELROD deployed again in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Her 2012 Caribbean deployment resulted in the confiscation of record amounts of illegal narcotics. Her final deployment was in 2014, and it took her back to the Mediterranean to conduct maritime security operations with the MQ-8B Fire Scout.

USS ELROD has also earned numerous awards during her commissioned service, including the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, several Battle Efficiency Excellence Awards, Secretary of the Navy Energy Conservation Award, Armed Forces Recreation Society Award, and various departmental and mission-specific awards for excellence.

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USS ELROD Patch Gallery:

Persian Gulf 1989HSL-44 Det.6 - Standing Naval Force Med '01/'02

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About the Frigate’s Name, about Major Henry Talamge Elrod, USMC :

Major Henry T. Elrod, U.S. Marine Corps, was born 27 September 1905, in Turner County, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia, and then Yale University, until his father passed away in 1927. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 1927, and was appointed a Marine Second Lieutenant in February 1931.

On 4 December 1941, Captain Elrod flew on to Wake Island with 12 aircraft, 12 pilots and the VMF-211 ground crew. Hostilities in the air over Wake Island commenced on 8 December 1941.

During the defense of Wake, Captain Elrod repeatedly displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty. On the 12th of December he single-handedly attacked a flight of 22 enemy planes and shot down two. On several flights, he executed low altitude bombing and strafing runs on enemy ships. On one of these runs, he became the first man to sink a major warship with small caliber bombs delivered from a fighter aircraft.

When his plane was destroyed by hostile fire, he organized a group of ground troops into a beach defense unit, and repulsed repeated Japanese attacks. On 23 December 1941, Captain Elrod fell, mortally wounded, while protecting his men who were carrying ammunition to a gun emplacement.

He was posthumously promoted to Major on 8 November 1946. His widow was presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor. This posthumous medal was awarded to her husband for his heroic actions during the last, bitter days of the defense of Wake Island. His widow is now Mrs. Elizabeth Carleson.

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The photo below was taken by Brian Barton and shows the ELROD dry-docked near Naval Base Norfolk on July 23, 2002.

The photos below were taken by me and show the ELROD dry-docked at Norfolk, Va., on February 3, 2009. Note the missing propeller.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the ELROD at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on October 21, 2014.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the ELROD laid up among her sisterships at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, Penn., on October 16, 2015.

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