T.S. Ford History


The U.S. Navy guided missile frigate USS Ford (FFG-54) underway in the South China Sea on 25 September 1997. She way on deployment as part of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) battle group.


The officers and crew of the USS FORD (FFG-54) would like to welcome you aboard the finest guided missile trigate in the world.

FORD is the forty-eighth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided missile frigates. Currently programmed for over fifty ships, this will be the Navy’s largest destroyer class built since World War II. Her mission is to provide in-depth anti-air, anti-surfaceand anti-subsurface protection for military and merchant shipping and to ensure con- tinuous use of the sea lanes of communicationfor the United States and her allies.

The Combat Systems aboard utilize a computer com- mand and control system to integrate the ship’s sensors and weapons. Her weapons include surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, a 76mm rapid fire gun, a close- in weapons system, anti-submarine torpedoes and the LAMPS MK Il helicopter.

The propulsion system is a computer controlled gas tur- bine power plant which utilizes jet engines similar to those found on commercial airliners. FORD’S propulsion system can be “brought on the line” in less than five minutes as compared to more than four hours for the conventional steam powered ships.

Despite the advanced systems aboard, the heart of the ship is the crew. Each member has been highly trained in his particular area of expertise so that he can either operate, monitor or repair all shipboard systems. Skilled technicians and professional leadership make FORD a vital asset for the fleet in today’s multi-threat environment.


Built By: Todd Pacific Shipyard Corporation
Los Angeles Division
San Pedro, California
Keel Laid: 16 July 1983
Christened:23 June 1984
Commissioned:29 June 1985
Displacement:3800 Tons
Length:453 Feet
Beam:47 Feet
Complement:15 Officers
15 Chief Petty Ofticers
180 Enlisted Men
  • Two General Electric LM2500 Gas Turbines .
  • One Controllable/Reversible Pitch Propeller
  • Two 350 HP Electric Auxliary Propulsion Units
Auxlliaries: Four 1000 KW Diesel Generators
Speed: 30+ Knots
Alrcraft: Two SH-60B Seahawk Helicopters
  • MK 13 Guided Missile Launcher
  • HARPOON Anti-Ship Missile
  • STANDARD Anti-Aircraft Missile
  • MK 75 76mm/62 cal Rapid Firing Gun
  • MK 32 ASW Torpedo Tubes (Two Triple Mounts)
  • MK 15 Close-in Weapon System
Combat Systems:
  • AN/SPS-49 Air Search Radar Combat Systems
  • AN/SPS-55 Surface Search Hadar MK 92 Fire Control System
  • AN/SLO-32 Electronic Warfare System
  • AN/SQS-56 Sonar MK 36 SR8OC Decoy System
  • AN/SLQ-25 Torpedo Countermeasure System
  • LAMPS MK I Weapons System
  • SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array Sonar System (installed later)
  • AN/SQQ-89 ASW Intergration System (installed later)
Patrick Osborne Ford

Gunner's mate second class patrick osborne Ford, United States Navy

Patrick Osborne Ford was born in San Francisco, Califormia, on 2 May 1942. At the age of 15, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona where he attended Camelback and North High School Shortly after graduaion, Ford enlisted in the Navy on 24 July 1959. He completed basic training at the Naval Training Center, San Diego, California, and received orders to report to the Naval Station, Adak, Alaska On 12 February 1961, he reported aboard the destroyer JAMES E. KYES (DD-787) where he served as a Gunner’s Mate until the end of his enlistment on 25 April 1963.

Petty Officer Ford reenlisted on 11 February 1965 and served at the Naval Statton, Long Beach, Califor. nia. On 4 March 1966, he was transferred to the Naval Support Activity, Danang, Republic of Vietnam, where he was ordered to report aboard the USS GEORGE K. MACKENZIE (DD-836). Following completion of his tour aboard MACKENZIE, Ford was subsequenty transferred to the USS HENDERSON (DD-785) where he remained until the end of his second enlistment on 30 August 1967.

Ford reenlisted for the second time at the Naval Receiving Station, San Francisco, Calfornia, on 15 September 1967. He was ordered to the Naval Am phibious Base, Coronado, Californla for River Patrol Craft Training. Followlng completion of training on 2 February 1968, Pety Officer Ford was directed to report to the Naval Support Activity, Saigon, Republic of Vietnam. He was assigned to Task Force 116 (OPERA TION: GAME WARDEN), Aiver Squadron Five on 18 February 1968.

For the next five months, he served as a patrol river boat (PBA) sallor, monitoring the traffic of the many rivers and costal waterways of the area. On 21 June 1968, Pety Officer Ford was serving as the after machine gunner aboard PBR 750 as part of a two boat patrol operating in the upper My Tho River near the town of Cal Be. The boats were maneuvering down the river when they spotted a sampan fleeing into a nearby canal. PBA 750 gave chase and captured the sampan one hundred meters further up the canal. As the patrol boat returned to the river with a Viet Cong suspect and the captured sampan In tow, it was ambushed by a Viet Cong patrol who unleashed an overwhelming barrage of heavy machine gun fire and rockets.

Two explosive B-40 rockets stnuck PBR 750 im mediately killing the patrol leader, Lieutenant Wiliam E Dennis and the boat coxwain, Boatswain’s Mato First Class Scott C. Delph. Within seconds the patrol boat was ablaze and out of control, heading directy for he Viet Cong positons. As the PBR veered toward river bank, at least four additonal rockets struck the craft Ford, being seriously wounded in the inibal barrage, tenaciousy maintained a steady volume of return fire from his aft machine gunner’s staton unhi he perceived that the boat was out of control. In the face of enemy gunfire and with his clothing on hre, ord assisted three seriously wounded shipmates hom he PBR into the water. Only after insLng that all the surviving creWmembers had let the boat did Ford make his way into the water. He was the last man alrve to loave what was left of P8A 750.

Soon aner Pety Oicer Ford entered the water, he was killed by a burst of enemy machine gun hre. However, as a result ol his fearless devoton to duny, he saved the lives of wo of his shpmates. For his “extraor dinary heroism” in batle on 21 June 1968 and in keep ing with the highest traditons of he United States Navy. Pety Officer Ford was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

What is a Frigate?

During the late 1600’s, the British Navy Construcled a three masted square rigger, designed to be powerful enough to capture a merchantman, yet fast enough to evade the heavier warships. She was classified as a frigate, a term derived from the earlier Italian Wordregata” which described a swift vessel propelled by oars and/or sails. Toward the end of the 1Bth Century. the term “Irigate” had become a standard for naval ship classification. It identtied a two deck ship with a main or gundeck, and an upper deck, eventually to become known as a “spar” deck. Principally employed by the British Navy as an escon for merchant convoys across the Atlantic and the Noth Sea, her speed and firepower also enabled her to operate independently as a coastal delense platform or as a scout for the fleet.

The United States Navy began to buikd trgales during the 1790’s as an economical alternative to the more expensive “capita ships. In the 1850’s, sleam began replacing sall as a means of propulsion and by the outbreak or the Civll War all salling frigates had been re-placed by “iron-clad” steam ships.

During World War lI, the British Navy was the first to revive the classification by redesignating small escort vessels as ingates. Since that time, frigates of the United States Navy were de signed to provide detense against air, surtace, and sub-surtace threats tor military and merchant shipping.

FORD is a trigale of the Oiver Hazard Pemy Class. This class of guided missile frigate was developed in the earty 1970’s to defend against the naval wartare threats of the twenty-tirst century. thus ensuring conunuous use of essen- ual sea lanes of communicalion ior the United States and her allies.