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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski
Name Tab courtesy of Al Grazevich

USS Blakely (DE 1072)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: CG Meritorious Unit Award - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (4)
Second Row: Navy Expeditionary Medal - National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 star - Vietnam Service Medal w/ 1 star
Third Row: Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - CG Special Operations Service Ribbon w/ 3 stars

Class: Knox
Type: SCB No. 199C / 1964
Number in Class: 46
Displacement: 3020 tons (std), 4065 tons (full)
Length: 415' (wl), 438' (oa)
Beam: 46' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 24' 9" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 Combustion Engineering 1200psi boilers; 1 Westinghouse geared turbine; 35,000 shp; 1 shaft
Speed: 27 kts
Range: 4,500 nm @ 20 knots
Complement: 16 / 211
Missiles: 1 8-tube Mk25 Sea Sparrow BPDMS in DE 1052-1069, 1071-1083, 1 8-tube Mk29 NATO Sea Sparrow IPDMS in DE 1070, Harpoon missiles from modified ASROC launcher
Guns: 1 x 5"/54 cal. DP Mk 42 (600 rds)
ASW Weapons: 1 Mk16 ASROC launcher (16 missiles), 4-12.75" (324mm) Mk 32 (4x1 fixed) tubes / Mk 46 torpedos (6)
Radars: AN/SPS-10 (surface), AN/SPS-40 (air), AN/SPS-58 threat warning in some ships
Sonars: AN/SQS-26CX, AN/SQS-35 IVDS in FF-1052, 1056, 1063-1071, 1073-1076, 1078-1097
Fire Control Systems: Mk68 Mod. 11/13/14 Gun FCS, Mk114 Mod 14/16 ASW FCS
Helicopter: 1 - SH-2 LAMPS Helicopter
Blakeley (DE 1072) Building and Operational Data:
  • 22 July 1964: Building contract awarded to the Avondale Shipyards Corp.
  • 03 June 1968: Keel laid by the Avondale Shipyards, Inc., Westwego, La.
  • 23 August 1969: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Lila Blakely Morgan, daughter of the late Vice Admiral Blakely
  • 18 July 1970: Commissioned at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, Cmdr. Francis L. Carelli in command, assigned to CruDesLant at Charleston, S.C. as a unit of DesRon 4
  • 30 June 1975: Reclassified Frigate (FF 1072)
  • 15 November 1991: Decommissioned at Charleston, S.C. after 21 years and 4 months of service
  • 11 January 1995: Struck from the NVR
  • 29 September 1999: Contract for $5.2 million awarded to Metro Machine Corp, Philadelphia, Pa. for towing / scrapping
  • .. September 2000: Scrapping completed
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    Johnston Blakeley was born in 1781 in Seaford, County Down, Ireland and came to America with his parents at the age of two. Soon after his family settled in Charleston, S.C., Blakeley's mother and brother died; and his father moved to Wilmington, N.C. At nine, Blakeley was sent to New York in the care of his father's old friend, a merchant named Hoope. In 1796, he began his studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 1797, Blakeley inherited from his father rental properties which gave him income to continue his education, but that ended in 1799 when the uninsured buildings burned down. In 1800, he succeeded in acquiring a midshipman's warrant, and his first sea duty came in the frigate President under Capt. Richard Dale. In 1801 and 1802, he made an uneventful cruise to the Mediterranean Sea to keep an eye on the Barbary pirates. Upon his return, he was reassigned to the frigate John Adams, sailing for the Mediterranean on 22 October 1803. During that deployment, he saw action off Tripoli bombarding the harbor forts and shipping. The most notable event of the cruise was the destruction of the 20 gun Tripolitan cruiser Meshouda. John Adams returned home in the fall of 1803 and he was reassigned to the frigate Congress. However, he returned to John Adams when she had to return to the Mediterranean to replace the lost Philadelphia. Arriving off Tripoli on 7 August 1804, she participated in the second set of engagements against the pirates during the summer of 1804. Blakeley transferred to Congress during the fall of 1804 and served in her until she returned to the United States in the summer of 1805. Successive assignments in Hornet, at the Norfolk Navy Yard, and in Essex occupied his time between 1805 and 1811. On 10 February 1807, Blakeley was commissioned as a lieutenant. In 1811, he was given his first command, Enterprise. When War of 1812 began, he cruised the east coast during the first year. Initially unsuccessful in taking British prizes, his luck improved later in the cruise when he concentrated on the waters of the New England coast. In July 1813, he received a promotion to master commandant and was offered command of the newly constructed, 22 gun sloop of war Wasp. He hastened to Newburyport, Mass., to complete outfitting his new command, commissioning her in 1814. Getting underway on 1 May, he captured several merchantmen in the western approaches to the British Isles before encountering his first enemy warship on 28 June. At a point some 225 miles west of Plymouth, England, Wasp fell in with the 21 gun sloop of war HMS Reindeer. The contest lasted a mere 19 minutes while the two ships exchanged severe cannonades of grape and solid shot. Blakeley’s crew repulsed several boarding attempts and finally carried the enemy warship. Reindeer was destroyed by fire; and Blakeley, after repairs at L'Orient, France, resumed his guerre de course on British seaborne trade. He took three more prizes in August then met HMS Avon, an 18-gun brig, on 21 September. After maneuvering into a position in which he had Avon under his lee bow, Blakeley opened fire at about 2130. Avon returned fire for about 30 minutes then appeared to cease fire. Blakeley halted his gunners, demanding Avon's surrender; but the enemy resumed fire. After several broadsides, Avon once more fell silent. Blakeley repeated the call to surrender, and the battered hulk had to comply. At that point, the appearance of three British ships forced Blakeley to abandon his prize and escape. Wasp then resumed the war on British shipping. He made three more known captures, the last of which was the eight-gun brig Atalanta that he sent into Charleston, S.C. The last contact with Wasp occurred on 08 October when he spoke to the Swedish brig Adonis off the Azores. Apparently, Wasp went down with all hands in an Atlantic storm. Johnston Blakeley was awarded the thanks of Congress, a gold medal, and a promotion to captain, all posthumously, for his last cruise. In addition, the state of South Carolina voted him a sword and delivered it to his widow.

    Charles Adams Blakely, the great grandnephew of Capt. Johnston Blakeley, was born on 1 October 1879 at Williamsburg, Ky. He graduated from Williamsburg Academy in 1897 and served with the 2d Kentucky Volunteer Infantry during the Spanish-American War. Appointed a naval cadet in September 1899, he graduated from the Naval Academy on 2 February 1903 and, after serving two years at sea as a passed naval cadet, was commissioned ensign in 1905. Between 1903 and 1907, he served successively in Santee, Baltimore (C-3), Cleveland (C-19), Denver (C-14), and Mayflower. Command of Thornton (Torpedo Boat No. 33) and MacDonough (Torpedo-boat Destroyer No. 9) followed. In December 1910, he became officer in charge of the machinist school at the Charleston Navy Yard. Between June 1911 and October 1914, he commanded the Reserve Torpedo Flotillas and the protected cruiser Atlanta. He then served ashore at the New York Navy Yard, before assuming command of Rowan (DD 64) During World War I, Blakely commanded O'Brien (DD-51), serving in the waters surrounding the British Isles.

    At war's end, he served in the Office of the CNO. In December 1920, he became the engineering officer for Commander, Destroyer Squadrons, Atlantic Fleet. Concluding that assignment in October 1922, he moved to inspector of ordnance at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Lake Denmark, NJ. In 1925, he became executive officer of Texas (BB 35). Leaving her in August 1926, Blakely became CO of the Destroyer Squadron, Asiatic Fleet. In July 1928, he returned to the United States to take up duty in the Bureau of Navigation as president of the Naval Reserve Inspection Board. Blakely remained at the BuNav for more than three years. Relieved in December 1931, in January 1932 he reported as a student to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla. Upon completion of the observer course in May 1932, he was designated an aviation observer. He immediately assumed command of Lexington (CV 2). In June 1934, he proceeded to Newport, R.I. and spent a year completing the senior course at the Naval War College. He returned to Pensacola in June 1935 to take additional flight training. On 10 March 1936, at the age of 54, he received his he became Commander, Carrier Division (CarDiv) 2, flying his flag in Yorktown (CV 5). In January 1938, he fleeted up to Commander Aircraft, Scouting Force, a post he held for the next 18 months. In June 1939, Blakely moved back to the west coast assuming concurrent command of Aircraft, Battle Force, and of CarDiv 2 with the rank of vice admiral. Once again he wore his flag in Yorktown. Blakely’s last active assignment was Commandant, 11th Naval District, with additional duty as the Commanding Officer, Naval Operating Base, San Diego. Ill health brought his relief from active duty on 09 December 1941 and, on 01 October 1942, his transfer to the retired list.

    USS Blakely (DE 1072) (1970-1991) was the first ship to be named in honor of both Blakeley's, she was preceded by Torpedo Boat No. 27 (1904-1919) and DD 150 (1919-1945) named in honor Johnston Blakeley.
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    482k 23 August 1969: Westwego, La. - Blakely being side-launched at Avondale Shipyards. S. Dale Hargrave
    Newport News, Va.
    233k 23 August 1969: Westwego, La. - The future escort ship Blakely is waterborne following her launching at the Avondale Shipyard.

    (U.S. Navy National Archives photo #USN 1140724 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    Blakely  291k       Blakely  180k       Blakely  215k      

    29 June 1970: New Orleans, La. - A three view series of the future USS Blakely underway slowly in New Orleans Harbor.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photos #NH 74027, NH 74028, and NH 74029 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)

    0602107211   -   0602107212   -   0602107213

    189k 10 July 1970: from The Charleston Shipyard News - USS Blakely's Commissioning Announcement Robert Hall
    97k date / location unknown -
    411k 18 September 1971: the Kiel Canal, Germany - Blakely passing through the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal, (literally "North-to-Baltic Sea canal"), a 61 mile (98 km) long freshwater canal in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The canal links the North Sea at Brunsbüttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau. An average of 250 nautical miles (460 km) is saved by using the Kiel Canal instead of going around the Jutland Peninsula. This not only saves time but also avoids potentially dangerous storm-prone seas. Larry Hawkins
    USS Blakely '71-'72
    42k 1986: Key West, Fla. - moored at sunset

    (Photo © M.T. Samuels)
    M.T. Samuels
    BM2 (SW)
    92k 1988: Baltimore, Md. - Blakely moored while on a "show-the-flag" visit with USS Harry E. Yarnell (CG 17). Note the "Golden Anchor", awarded for crew retention. Larry Backus
    170k 01 February 1991: At sea - A port beam view of the frigate USS Blakely (FF 1072) underway underway off the coast of Newport, R.I.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #107473 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    157k 01 February 1991: At sea - A port bow view of the frigate USS Blakely (FF 1072) underway underway off the coast of Newport, R.I.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-91-05243 from the Defense Visual Information Center)
    133k 01 February 1991: At sea - A port beam view of Blakely underway underway off the coast of Newport, R.I.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-91-05242 from the DVIC)
    180k 02 August 1994: Philadelphia, Pa. - A photo of Blakely, moored at NISMF Philadelphia, between Paul (DE 1080) to starboard, and Miller (DE 1091) to port. The submarine outboard of Miller is Trout (SS 566).

    (Photo by Gilbert Gyssels)
    Gilbert Gyssels

    Blakely History
    View the USS Blakely (DE 1072) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Blakely's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, & Russ Moody
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  18 Jul. 1970 - 29 Apr. 1972Cmdr. Francis Leo Carelli (Comm. CO) (Worcester, Mass.)
    2.)  29 Apr. 1972 - 06 Oct. 1973Cmdr. Richard L. Schreadley (Harrisburg. Pa.)
    3.)  06 Oct. 1973 - 19 Jul. 1975Cmdr. John W. Bitoff (Maine MA '58) (Brooklyn, N.Y.) ( Radm.)
    4.)  19 Jul. 1975 - 16 Jul. 1977Cmdr. Lawrence Gustav Anderson (Camden, N.J.)
    5.)  16 Jul. 1977 - 18 Aug. 1979Cmdr. Nordean T. Hill (Veblen, S.D.)
    6.)  18 Aug. 1979 - 06 Nov. 1981Cmdr. Norman Joseph Pattarozzi (Highland Park, Ill.)
    7.)  06 Nov. 1981 - 13 Jan. 1984Cmdr. Richard Willis Tripp Jr. (USNA '62) (Washington, N.C.)
    8.)  13 Jan. 1984 - 16 Apr. 1986Cmdr. Harry Edward Bailey
    9.)  16 Apr. 1986 - 30 Jun. 1988Cmdr. Joel A. Porter
    10.) 30 Jun. 1988 - 10 Aug. 1990Cmdr. David B. Bradshaw
    11.) 10 Aug. 1990 - 15 Nov. 1991Cmdr. Morris E. Elsen (Decomm. CO) (OCS '67) (Helena, Mont.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name:Merle Houk

    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
    made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
    a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
    Questions section on Navsource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    USS Blakely Page on Military.Com
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Blakeley
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
    Back To The Main Photo Index

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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 13 June 2022