Navsource Online: History Page

DE- 1024 USS Bridget

This History Was Provided To Navsource By Tom Lawson

Ship's History:
USS BRIDGET was built by the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company (now the Lockheed Shipbuilding Co.) in Seattle, Washington. The ship was named for Captain Francis Joseph Bridget. Captain Bridget was awarded the Navy Cross for his efforts in organizing defensive operations against the invading Japanese forces in the Marevelis Area of the Philippine Islands in December 1941. Taken prisoner in this action, he was later awarded posthumously the Legion of Merit for his gallantry in caring for his fellow prisoners aboard a Japanese prison ship which was sunk off Olongapo, Luzon, Philippine Islands on December 15, 1944.

Between her commissioning and 1968 USS BRIDGET made a total of seven deployments to the Western Pacific. During this time she participated in numerous SEATO Exercises, and patrolled the Tonkin Gulf and South China Sea as a member of Antisubmarine Warfare Groups.

On 28 September 1968 BRIDGET relieved the USS WHITEHURST and permanently changed her homeport to Seattle, Washington. Since then her primary mission has been the training of Naval Reserve Personnel. An integrated Reserve crew from the Seattle area has complemented the nucleus crew of active duty personnel, reporting aboard for duty one weekend each month and two weeks every summer.

Additionally, BRIDGET has provided training for hundreds of Naval Reserve personnel from throughout the Western United States, on board for their two weeks of active duty for training. On 7 July 1971 BRIDGET became the flagship for Commander, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY SEVEN. During these past two years BRIDGET has made two summer Reserve Training cruises to San Francisco and Hawaii, participated in several joint US-Canadian Antisubmarine Warfare Exercises, visited the ports of Ketchikan, Alaska, Newport and Coos Bay, Oregon, Esquimalt and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Mazatlan, Mexico.

During these past few years BRIDGET has earned a lion's share of awards. In 1969 and 1972 she was awarded the Ney Memorial Award for ships of her class in the Pacific Destroyer Force and in 1973 she placed third in the all-Navy competition for Small Mess Afloat. The Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet awarded BRIDGET the Golden Anchor Award in 1972 when she achieved one of the highest personnel retention rates in the Pacific Fleet. Most recently BRIDGET was awarded the A. Winfield Chapin Award for the Naval Reserve Association for achieving the highest Reserve personnel retention rate in the Naval Reserve Force.

Operationally, BRIDGET has also earned top honors. She proudly displays Departmental Awards in Antisubmarine Warfare, Operations, and Engineering. Additionally, she has been Commander, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY SEVEN'S nominee for the Battle Efficiency Award for 'the past two years.

On 10 September 1973 BRIDGET was relieved of all operational commitments by USS EPPERSON and commenced Fleet Standdown in preparation for decommissioning. BRIDGET leaves behind a proud crew and a commendable record of accomplishments.... Tom Lawson

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