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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Koelsch (DE 1049)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign:
N - I - C - E
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Diamond Bar"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Unit Commendation w/ star
Second Row: CG Meritorious Unit Award w/ star - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon - Navy Expeditionary Medal
Third Row: National Defense Service Medal - Humanitarian Service Medal - Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

"Valor - Versatility"
Class: Garcia
Type: SCB No. 199A / 1961 - 1963
Number in Class: 10
Displacement: 2,620 tons (std), 3,400 tons (full)
Length: 390' 0" (wl), 414' 6" (oa)
Beam: 44' 0" (extreme)
Draft: 24' 0" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 Foster Wheeler 1200-psi boilers; 1 Westinghouse geared turbine; 35,000 shp; 1 shaft
Speed: 27 kts
Range: 4,000 nm @ 20 knots
Complement: 13 / 234
Guns: 2 - 5"/38 Mk30 Gun (2x1) (350 rounds)
ASW Weapons: 1 - Mk16 ASROC launcher (1x8) (16 missiles), 6 - 12.75" (324mm) Mk 32 torpedo tubes (2x3) / Mk 46 torpedos (18)
Radars: AN/SPS-10 (surface), AN/SPS-40 (air)
Sonars: AN/SQS-26AXR in DE 1040 - 1045, AN/SQS-26BX in DE 1047 - 1051
Fire Control Systems: Mk56 Mod 43 Gun FCS, Mk114 Mod 8/11 ASW FCS
Helicopter: 1 - SH-2 LAMPS Helicopter
Koelsch (DE 1049) Building and Operational Data:
  • 21 March 1963: Building contract awarded to Defoe Shipbuilding
  • 19 February 1965: Keel laid at the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.
  • 08 June 1965: Launched and christened, sponsored by Miss Virginia L. Koelsch, niece of the late Lt. (j.g.) Koelsch
  • 14-15 April 1967: Conducted builders' trials on Lake Huron
  • 11 May 1967: Departed Bay City, transited the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway to Boston, Mass.
  • 10 June 1967: Commissioned at the Boston Naval Shipyard, Comdr. John A. Buck in command, assigned to CruDesLant at Newport, R.I.
  • 26 August 1973: Homeport changed to Mayport, Fla.
  • 30 June 1975: Reclassified Frigate (FF 1049)
  • 31 May 1989: Decommissioned at Naval Station Charleston, S.C. after 22 years of service
  • 19 August 1994: Struck from the NVR
  • 31 May 1989: Leased to Pakistan, renamed PNS Siqqat (F-266)
  • 09 September 1994: Transferred back to MARAD at Singapore and sold for scrap, same date, to Trusha Investments Pte. Ltd. c/o Jacques Pierot, Jr. & Sons Inc., NYC, NY for $625,8240
    Click On Image
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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Koelsch 25k John Kelvin Koelsch was born in London, England on 22 December 1923. He graduated from Princeton University in 1942 and enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 14 September of that year. Following flight training, he was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve on 23 October 1944. He served at Naval Air Stations at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Norfolk, Virginia, and subsequently flew with Composite Squadron 15 and Torpedo Squadrons 97 and 18, serving as the latter's assistant administrative officer. He was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) 01 August 1946 and transferred to the U.S. Navy two months later on 11 October. He returned to Princeton for instruction under the College Training Program in May 1948 followed by an assignment in February 1949 with the Naval Aircraft Torpedo Unit, Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

    After the outbreak of Communist aggression in Korea, he joined Helicopter Squadron (HU) 1 at Miramar, California, in August 1950. As Officer in Charge of HU-1, Detachment 8, he joined carrier Princeton (CV 37) in October for duty off the east coast of Korea. He served on board Princeton until June 1951 when he was transferred to pilot rescue duty out of Wonsan, Korea, then under naval blockade. On 22 June, Koelsch and ADAN George M. Neal, his crewman, rescued Ens. Marvin D. Nelson, Jr., of Composite Squadron 3 from the waters of Wonsan Harbor, southeast of Yo-Do Island, after Nelson had bailed out of his crippled Vought F4U Corsair. Late on the afternoon of 3 July 1951, Koelsch and then-AD3 Neal volunteered to fly deep into North Korea to rescue Capt. James V. Wilkins, USMC, who had bailed out of his burning Corsair after it had been hit by enemy fire during an armed reconnaissance mission about thirty-five miles southwest of Wonsan. Despite approaching darkness, worsening weather, and enemy ground fire, Lt.(jg) Koelsch located the downed pilot in the Anbyon Valley and began maneuvering to pick him up. Thick fog prevented the covering aircraft from protecting the unarmed helicopter, and intense enemy fire downed it as AD3 Neal was in the process of hoisting the injured man up. Koelsch, Wilkins and Neal evaded the enemy for nine days, only to be taken captive by North Korean forces before they could reach safety. During his imprisonment, Koelsch steadfastly refused to submit to his captors in any manner although brutally beaten and abused; his fortitude and personal bravery inspired his fellow prisoners. He died of malnutrition and dysentery in a Communist prison camp on 16 October 1951. For his conspicuous gallantry, intrepidity, and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice, Lt. (j.g.) Koelsch was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, on 03 August 1955. AD3 Neal later received the Navy Cross.

    USS Koelsch (DE 1049) (1967-1989) was the first ship named in his honor.      (Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH 48364)
    Bill Gonyo
    Koelsch 70k - -
    Koelsch 78k 02 August 1970: Rockland Maine - USS Koelsch (DE 1049) at anchor.
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Richard Leonhardt
    Bethlehem, Pa.
    Koelsch 61k 02 August 1970: Rockland Maine - Bow view of Koelsch at anchor.
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Koelsch 69k 02 August 1970: Rockland Maine - Stern view of Koelsch at anchor.
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Koelsch 55k 02 August 1970: Rockland Maine - Koelsch at anchor.
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Koelsch 68k 09 August 1970: New York Harbor - Moored at Pier 92
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Koelsch 91k 22 September 1970: Boston NSY, Mass. - Moored at Boston Naval Shipyard.
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Koelsch 114k 02 October 1970: Boston NSY, Mass. - In drydock at Boston Naval Shipyard.
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Koelsch 125k 25 January 1971: Roosevelt Roads, P.R. - Koelsch in port.
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Koelsch 109k 29 January 1971: off St. Croix - Koelsch at sea.
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Koelsch 118k 26 February 1971: Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - Koelsch approaching the fueling pier. USNS Bondia on left.
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Koelsch 152k 26 February 1971: Guantanamo Bay Cuba - shot from the liberty boat.
    (© Richard Leonhardt)
    Koelsch 71k March - April 1972: the Atlantic - Koelsch making an underway replenishment approach to USS Intrepid (CVS 11) during a March to April, 1972 six-week mini-cruise to Rota, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal. Jim Converse
    Lt.(jg), USNR
    USS Intrepid (CVS 11)

    These three photos
    © Jim Converse
    Koelsch 90k March - April 1972: the Atlantic - Koelsch sliding in alongside Intrepid during an underway replenishment during a six-week mini-cruise.
    Koelsch 71k March - April 1972: the Atlantic - Koelsch breaking away from Intrepid after an underway replenisment during a six-week mini-cruise.
    Koelsch 164k Summer 1975: Taken in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, at Kassos Strait. USS Koelsch lies at anchor near the Soviet Kashin class DDG Krasny Krim. Eugene Ivkin
    St. Petersburg, Russia
    Koelsch 134k 29 November 1977: Toulon, France - Koelsch shown departing Toulon after a port visit. Carlo Martinelli
    Genoa, Italy
    Koelsch 151k 21 May 1979: Chesapeake Bay - A starboard bow view of Koelsch underway on sea trials in Chesapeake Bay following an extended overhaul at Bethlehem Steel, Key Highway Shipyard in Baltimore, Md.
    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-86-00294 from the Defense Visual Information Center)
    Koelsch 41k March 1980: Persian Gulf - Port beam view of Koelsch underway. © Walter Bengtson
    Koelsch 163k 01 March 1986: at sea - A port bow view of Koelsch underway in rough seas.
    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-87-02606 DN-ST-87-02607 from the DVIC)
    Koelsch 183k
    Koelsch 170k 20 November 1986: At sea - A starboard bow view of Koelsch underway.
    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-87-01425 from the DVIC)
    Koelsch 139k 20 November 1986: At sea - An elevated starboard quarter view of Koelsch underway.
    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-87-01432 from the DVIC)
    Koelsch 377k 31 May 1989: Naval Station Charleston, S.C. - Crew members of the frigate USS Koelsch (FF 1049) man the rail before ceremonies marking the ship's decommissioning and transfer to the Pakistani Navy, where it will be commissioned PNS Siqqat.
    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-89-09578 by PH3 Peter Dunn from the DVIC)
    Bill Gonyo
    Koelsch 109k 31 May 1989: Naval Station Charleston, S.C. - Officers and crew of Koelsch stand at ease before ceremonies transferring the ship to the Pakistani Navy, where it will be commissioned PNS Siqqat. In the background is a pier with the destroyer tender USS Sierra (AD18).
    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-89-09580 by PH3 Peter Dunn from the DVIC)
    Koelsch 169k 31 May 1989: Charleston, S.C. - A starboard quarter view of the frigate USS Koelsch (FF 1049), before it transferred to the Pakistani Navy, where it will become PNS Siqqat.
    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-89-09583 by PH3 Peter Dunn from the DVIC)

    Koelsch Memorabilia
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Ship's Lighter
    as an FF
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski

    Koelsch History
    View the USS Koelsch (DE 1049) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Koelsch's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)   10 Jun 1967 - 29 Apr 1968Cmdr. John Addison Buck
    2.)   29 Apr 1968 - 22 Aug 1969Cmdr. William Travis Crawford
    3.)   22 Aug 1969 - 04 Jan 1971Cmdr. Richard W. Trimble
    4.)   04 Jan 1971 - 31 Jul 1972Cmdr. Stephen Sackett Kingsley
    5.)   31 Jul 1972 - 28 Feb 1974Cmdr. William Osler Huckabay, Jr.
    6.)   28 Feb 1974 - 27 Feb 1976Cmdr. Elmore Kline Hannah, Jr.
    7.)   27 Feb 1976 - 13 Mar 1978Cmdr. Earl Harland Russell
    8.)   13 Mar 1978 - 14 Jul 1980Cmdr. George Francis Farnan
    9.)   14 Jul 1980 - 19 Oct 1982Cmdr. Wright Hoover Ellis
    10.) 19 Oct 1982 - 10 Jan 1985 Cmdr. Brance James Parker
    11.) 10 Jan 1985 - 20 Feb 1987 Cmdr. Marvin Richard Rice
    12.) 20 Feb 1987 - 21 Mar 1989 Cmdr. David Anthony Edwards

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    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, rosters, or deck logs 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 Koelsch Page on Military.Com
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 22 January 2019