Tuesday, November 30, 2010
USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13, DDG-44)
Figure 1: USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13) underway in the Mediterranean Sea, 27 May 1969. Photographed by Ph2 G.G. Cottrill, of USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67). Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 2: USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13) underway off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, 22 December 1967. Photographed by Ph3/AC D.R. Hyder. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 3: USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13) underway in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, 22 December 1967. Photographed by Ph1/AC W.A. Clayton. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 4: USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13) at Rapallo, Italy, on 31 May 1969. Courtesy Carlo Martinelli. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 5: USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13) at Rapallo, Italy, on 31 May 1969. Courtesy Carlo Martinelli. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 6: USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13) underway in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Florida, 7 July 1972. Photographed by Ph3 Thomas E. Faught. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 7: USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13) at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 24 September 1973. Courtesy Ed Zajkowski. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 8: Operation "Unitas XIX," September 1978. Ships of Task Group 138 underway in the Atlantic during the operation. They are (from left to right): USS William V. Pratt (DDG-44); USS DuPont (DD-941); and USS Bowen (FF-1079). Official US Navy Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 9: USS William V. Pratt (DDG-44), date and location unknown. Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 10: HH-3 "Jolly Green Giant" US Air Force rescue helicopter hovering over the after deck of USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13) on either 17 or 18 August 1967, while the ship was on Vietnam War duty in the Gulf of Tonkin. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 11: USS William V. Pratt (DDG-44) entering Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, on 1 December 1975. Photo courtesy of Karsten Petersen. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 12. USS William V. Pratt (DDG-44) in the central Mediterranean, 11 August 1981. Courtesy Marc Piché. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 13: DN-SC-84-06179. A view of the guided-missile destroyer USS William V. Pratt (DDG-44) taken from the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66) in the Atlantic Ocean, 10 January 1984. US Navy photo by: PH1 Dave MacLean.
Figure 14: The guided-missile destroyer USS William V. Pratt (DDG-44) comes up on the stern of the Military Sealift Command-operated oiler USNS Joshua Humphreys (T-AO-188), 1 March 1991. William V. Pratt is conducting Maritime Interdiction Force missions in support of UN trade sanctions against Iraq in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. US Navy Photo by PH2 Savage. Click on photograph for larger image.
Named after the US Navy’s fifth Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral William V. Pratt (1869-1957), USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13) was a 4,150-ton Farragut class guided-missile frigate that was built by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was commissioned on 4 November 1961. The ship was approximately 512 feet long and 52 feet wide, had a top speed of 33 knots, and had a crew of 360 officers and men. William V. Pratt was armed with one 5-inch gun, one Terrier Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) System, one ASROC Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Missile System, and six Mk. 32 ASW torpedo tubes.
After being commissioned, William V. Pratt went on her shakedown cruise in the West Indies and then joined the Atlantic Fleet. After participating in a major naval exercise in European waters in 1963, William V. Pratt joined the US Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean in 1964. This was the first of more than a dozen deployments with the Sixth Fleet. During the next few years, William V. Pratt alternated assignments between the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and the US Second Fleet in the western Atlantic, patrolling the Caribbean and off the coast of northern Europe.
From July to December 1967, William V. Pratt conducted operations in the western Pacific, primarily off the coast of Vietnam. She patrolled in the Gulf of Tonkin and was given the arduous job of maintaining the northern sea-air rescue station for pilots who had to bail out over the sea. William V. Pratt relieved USS Berkeley (DDG-15) on 12 August 1967 and remained on station in the gulf until early September. After going to Subic Bay, the Philippines, for some minor repairs, the ship returned to the Gulf of Tonkin in late September, only this time on the southern sea-air rescue station. William V. Pratt left Vietnam in November 1967 for some brief visits to Hong Kong and Taiwan before returning to the southern sea-air station off Vietnam a few weeks later. William V. Pratt then returned to the United States, arriving in San Diego, California, on 31 December. On 2 January 1968, the ship sailed south, transited the Panama Canal, and then headed north to her home port at Mayport, Florida, arriving there on 15 January.
William V. Pratt’s next deployment in the Mediterranean occurred during the first six months of 1969, followed by another deployment in 1970, during which she bolstered the US naval presence off the coast of Jordan while that country was engulfed in a civil war. William V. Pratt had two more deployments with the Sixth Fleet before she was decommissioned in September 1972 for an extensive overhaul and modernization. She returned to active duty a year later, again joining the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean from October 1974 to March 1975. On 1 July 1975, the ship was reclassified a guided-missile destroyer and received the designation DDG-44.
Soon after being reclassified, William V. Pratt was sent south to join several Latin American navies for a few months of naval exercises (called UNITAS XVI). On 4 July 1976, the ship participated in US bicentennial celebrations and a naval review off New York City. For the remainder of the 1970s, William V. Pratt returned once to the Mediterranean and again to Latin America for yet another UNITAS naval exercise. The ship was modernized again from 1979 to 1980 and was assigned to the Sixth Fleet in 1981. William V. Pratt participated in the tragic US intervention in Lebanon in 1982 and provided gunfire support for the US Marines that were on shore in Beirut. Unfortunately, more than 200 Marines were killed in a suicide truck bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut on 23 October 1983 and 60 Americans were killed in yet another truck bombing that destroyed the American embassy in Beirut on 18 April 1983. The American Marines pulled out of Lebanon in February of 1984.
William V. Pratt completed three more major deployments during the next six years. She operated in the Mediterranean and Red Seas in 1984, and in the Mediterranean alone in 1987 and 1989. In between Mediterranean cruises, the ship participated in major naval exercises off Norway and in the North Sea-English Channel area of operations. In 1990, William V. Pratt assisted the US Coast Guard with law-enforcement duties in the Caribbean.
William V. Pratt’s final tour of duty, though, was an important one. She was part of the giant US naval armada during the First Gulf War which drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait during the first few months of 1991. The ship also was part of the Maritime Interdiction Force that supported United Nations trade sanctions against Iraq in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. But time was running out for William V. Pratt. The ship was decommissioned on 27 September 1991 and was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 20 November 1992. USS William V. Pratt was sold for scrapping in 1995.
William V. Pratt was the typical Cold War frigate/destroyer, participating in numerous naval exercises, patrol and escort duties, and regional conflicts (such as the First Gulf War, the war in Vietnam, and the US intervention in Beirut). Ships like William V. Pratt provided more than 30 years of valuable service to the US Navy and served all over the world, proving just how tough and versatile they were.
Posted by Remo at 8:26 AM