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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive



Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Downes (DE 1070)


Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - M - F - A
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ oak leaf cluster
Second Row: Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 1 star - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (2) - Navy Expeditionary Medal w/ 1 star
Third Row: National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 star - Humanitarian Service Ribbon - Sea Service Deployment Ribbon


"Ready Now"
Specifications:
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
Downes (DE 1070) Building and Operational Data:
  • 22 July 1964: Building contract awarded to Todd Shipyards Corp.
  • 05 September 1968: Keel laid by the Todd Shipyard Corp., Seattle, Wash.
  • 13 December 1969: Launched, christened by her sponsor, Mrs. Philip L. Kelton, the great-granddaughter of the late Commodore John Downes
  • 28 August 1971: Commissioned, Cmdr. Edmund B. Bossart, Jr. in command
  • 30 June 1975: Reclassified Frigate (FF 1070)
  • 05 June 1992: Decommissioned after 20 years and 8 months of service
  • 11 January 1995: Struck from the NVR
  • 15 August 2003: sunk as a target off the West Coast by Harpoon missiles launched from P-3 aircraft

    * Transfer to Taiwan was considered, but Taiwan was no longer interested in obtaining any more vessels of this class.
    (Ex-Aylwin, and Valdez were purchased outright and the remaining 6 vessels already in service, Robert E. Peary, Joseph Hewes, Cook, Brewton, Kirk and Barbey will be purchased at the end of their 5 year lease.)
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Downes 48k John Downes born in 1786 in Canton, Mass., served as an acting midshipman from 09 September 1800. He later received an appointment as a passed midshipman on 01 June 1802. He rendered distinguished service during the Tripolitan War in 1804 on board the frigate Congress and was the executive officer for Capt. David Porter on board Essex during the War of 1812 and her action against the British vessels Cherub and Phoebe at Valparaiso, Chile on 28 March 1814. He later commanded the sloop of war Epervier and prepared her for a cruise. He was subsequently transferred to command the frigate Guerriere at Algiers on 06 July 1815 and then to the sloop of war Ontario on 07 October 1815.

    Appointed Captain on 05 March 1817, he was placed in command of the ship of the line Independence and the guard ship at the Boston [Mass.] Navy Yard (1817–1818). Downes then served as Commodore of the Pacific Squadron (1818–1821) and the Mediterranean Squadron (1828–1829). Afterward, he returned to command of the Pacific Squadron (1831–1834). His last commands were as commandant of the Boston Navy Yard (1835–1842) and then again (1849–1852). Capt. Downes died at Charlestown, Mass. on 11 August 1854 and was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass.

    USS Downes (DE 1070) (1971-1992) was the third ship to be named in his honor, she was preceeded by DD-45 (1915-1922) and DD-375 (1937-1945).

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 50428 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Downes  1.) 369k   Downes  2.) 421k   Downes  3.) 329k   Downes 4.) 529k
    Downes  5.) 251k   Downes  6.) 199k   Downes  7.) 295k   Downes 8.) 409k

    01 June 1971: Seattle, Wash. - An eight view series of PCU Downes (DE 1070) on sea trials in Puget Sound.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #1.) USN 1148541, #2.) USN 1148540, #3.) NH 81885, #4.) USN 1148538,
    #5.) NH 81887, #6.) NH 81886, #7.) USN 1148539, and #8.) USN 1148537 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.

      and

    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.
    Downes 64k circa 1971 Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Downes  1.) 508k   Downes  2.) 288k   Downes 3.) 412k

    08 May 1972: the California Coast - A three view series of USS Downes (DE 1070) underway, probably for tests of several non-standard weapons she is carrying. Note
    her non-standard configuration with lattice masts fore and aft, strange directors on masts, odd missile launcher (NATO Sea Sparrow) aft, and large radar screen on after mast.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #1.) KN-20577, #2.) KN-20615, and #3.) KN-20576 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.
    Downes 40k undated, good view of the forward 5" gun mount

    (Photo © Barry Acton)
    Barry Acton
    Downes 78k 01 June 1983: Naval Station Subic Bay, P.I. - Lcdr. Tom Anderson, aboard the frigate USS Bronstein (FF 1037) (in foreground), waves to Cdr. George Coshow II standing aboard the frigate USS Downes (FF 1070). Coshow’s standing in front of the Downes‘ Mark 42 5-inch/54-cal. gun mount.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-84-01475 from the Defense Visual Information Center)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Downes 102k 01 June 1983: Naval Station Subic Bay - A starboard bow view of the frigates Downes and USS Bronstein (FF 1037) leaving U.S. Naval Facility Subic Bay.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-84-01472 from the DVIC)
    Downes 87k 01 June 1983: Naval Station Subic Bay - A starboard bow view of the frigates Downes and USS Bronstein (FF 1037) leaving U.S. Naval Facility Subic Bay.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-84-01473 from the DVIC)
    Downes 79k 01 June 1983: Naval Station Subic Bay - A starboard quarter view of Downes leaving U.S. Naval Facility Subic Bay.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-84-01474 from the DVIC)
    Downes 117k 05 October 1983: Seattle, Wash. - A starboard view of the frigate Downes undergoing an overhaul at the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-84-01897 by Richard Anderson from the DVIC)

    (Note: This photo of Downes was taken at Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle. Downes was berthed on old pier 7 with the bow facing north. The telltale sign that it was from Seattle Todd, is the large whirley crane in the background to the right of Downes' bridge. This crane is still in use at Todd on pier #5. There is an FFG on old #2 dry dock on the port side of Downes. This can be seen by the mast staging in the photo. / Retired Todd SY Carpenter Foreman, Dale Riccetti)
    Downes 127k 01 January 1985: At sea - Aerial starboard beam view of Downes underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-86-01865 by PH2 Dan O’Sullivan from the DVIC)
    Downes 128k 23 June 1985: At sea - An elevated starboard beam view of Downes underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-85-12733 by PH2 Dan O’Sullivan from the DVIC)
    Downes 236k 25 November 1985: At sea - A starboard beam view of Downes underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-92-04026 from the DVIC)
    Downes 961k 25 November 1985: At sea - A port beam view of Downes underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-92-04025 from the DVIC)
    Downes 258k 25 November 1985: At sea - A port quarter view of Downes underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-92-04024 from the DVIC)
    Downes 115k date / location unknown Walter Bengtson
    Downes 220k 18 November 1985: At sea - A port bow view of Downes underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-90-01932 by PH2 Hart from the DVIC)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Downes 124k 18 November 1985: At sea - Aerial port beam view of Downes underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-86-01716 by PH2 Hart from the DVIC)
    Downes 167k 18 November 1985: At sea - Aerial starboard quarter view of Downes underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-86-01717 by PH2 Hart from the DVIC)
    Downes 83k 19 June 1989: At sea - A close-up view of a Mark 7 16-inch/50-caliber guns aboard the battleship USS Missouri (BB 63) as Downes passes the battleship during a seapower demonstration for the Navy League being held off the coast of southern California.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-93-04066 by PH3 Thomas P. Milne from the DVIC)
    Downes 128k 19 June 1989: At sea - A port view of Downes as it passes the battleship USS Missouri (BB 63) during a seapower demonstration for the Navy League being held off the coast of southern California.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-93-04065 by PH3 Thomas P. Milne from the DVIC)
    Downes 133k 30 August 1989: At sea - Port side view of Downes underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-04-10814 by PH2 Norquist from the DVIC)
    Downes 41k 03 July 2002: Mare Island NSY, San Francisco, Cal. - Remains of Downes after arrival at Mare Island, her hulk scheduled for a Sinkex. Kirk Rattenne
    Downes 123k August 2003: San Francisco Bay, Cal. - Downes being towed under the Golden Gate Bridge on her final voyage.

    (Photo © Kurt Greiner / SeaPhoto)
    Kurt Greiner

    Downes History
    The DANFS history for USS Downes (DE 1070) is not presently available at the Naval History and Heritage Command.
    View the USS Downes (DE 1070) history located on Wikipedia.

    Downes' Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  28 Aug 1971 - 06 Apr 1973Cmdr. Edmund Belfour Bossart Jr. (USNA '55) (Cleveland Heights, Oh.)
    2.)  06 Apr 1973 - 30 Sep 1975Cmdr. Harold Patrick Sexton Jr.
    3.)  30 Sep 1975 - 16 Jul 1977Cmdr. Joseph Jack D'Amato (Wheeling, W.V.)
    4.)  16 Jul 1977 - 27 Oct 1979Cmdr. Charles O. Johnson (Soperton, Ga.)
    5.)  27 Oct 1979 - 14 Nov 1981Cmdr. Richard Bernard McKenna
    6.)  14 Nov 1981 - 22 Jan 1984Cmdr. George Horace Coshow II
    7.)  22 Jan 1984 - 10 Aug 1986Cmdr. William S. Clark
    8.)  10 Aug 1986 - 28 Aug 1988Cmdr. Donald Franklin Russell (Chula Vista, Cal.)
    9.)  28 Aug 1988 - 16 Mar 1990Cmdr. John T. O. Martin
    10.) 16 Mar 1990 - 05 Jun 1992Cmdr. John S. Pine

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Next Reunion:
    20 - 22 August 2021 at Spearfish, S.D.
    Downes was commissioned on Saturday, 28 August 1971. This reunion
    will commemorate the "Golden Anniversary" of that event.
    Contact Name: Gary & Becky Court
    Phone: 320-493-9775
    E-mail: 1070ussdownes at gmail.com
    Reunion Website: www.1070ussdownes.com

    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 Downes Page on Military.Com
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Downes
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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: 12 July 2021