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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Valdez (DE 1096)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - I - D - C

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (2)
Second Row: National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 star - Sea Service Deployment Ribbon - CG Special Operations Service Ribbon

"Courageous Combatant"
Class: Knox
Type: SCB No. 64 / 199C
Displacement: 3020 tons (std), 4065 tons (full)
Length: 415' (wl), 438' (oa)
Beam: 46' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 15' 0" (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
Armament: 1 x 5"/54 Mk 42 (600 rds), 1 Mk16 ASROC launcher (16 missiles), 4-12.75" (324mm) Mk 32 (4x1 fixed) tubes / Mk 46 torpedos (6)
Complement: 13 / 211
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 Gun FCS, Mk114 Underwater Battery FCS
Valdez (DE 1096) Building and Operational Data:
  • 25 August 1966: Building contract awarded to Avondale Shipyard Corp.
  • 30 June 1972: Keel laid at the Avondale Shipyards, Westwego, La.
  • 24 March 1973: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Manuelita Valdez, the mother of Hospitalman Third Class Valdez
  • 27 July 1974: Commissioned at Charleston SC, Cdr. Joe D. Peden in command, assigned to Destroyer Squadron 6 at Charleston
  • 30 June 1975: Reclassified Frigate (FF 1096)
  • 14 August 1982: Assigned to the Naval Reserve Force, Atlantic, as a unit of Surface Group 4 at Newport, R.I.
  • 15 December 1991: Decommissioned after 17 years and 5 months of service
  • 11 January 1995: Struck from the NVR
  • 29 April 1998: Leased to Taiwan, renamed ROCS Ki Yang (FF-939), arrived in Taiwan 04 October 1999, commissioned 18 October 1999, still in service
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    36k Phil Isadore Valdez (13 April 1946 - 29 January 1967) was born in Dixon, N.M., the son of Carlos and Manuelita Valdez. He graduated high school in Espanola, N.M. and joined the Navy, training as a Hospitalman Apprentice at San Diego. Advancing to Hospitalman in May 1966, he served at the Naval Hospital, Key West, Fla. On 19 December 1966 he was transferred to the First Battalion, First Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, serving in Vietnam.

    Serving as a corpsman with the Third Platoon, he participated in a heli-lift with his platoon in support of Company "H", Second Battalion. Upon landing the platoon came under heavy enemy fire and sustained several wounded while maneuvering forward. HN Valdez ran over open terrain, under constant enemy fire, to aid a wounded Marine. He moved the man to a safer area and rendered assistance. Again exposing himself to enemy fire, Valdez moved across open ground to another Marine. While treating the second Marine, he positioned himself between the man and the hostile fire. It was at this time that Hospitalman Valdez was mortally wounded.

    In addition to the Navy Cross and Purple Heart, Phil Isadore Valdez was posthumously awarded the Vietnamese Military Merit Medal and Gallantry Cross with Palm, and advanced to Hospital Corpsman Third Class.

    USS Valdez (DE 1096) (1974 - 1991) was the first ship to be named in his honor.           (Photo from the The Virtual Wall Vietnam Veteran's Memorial)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Valdez 217k 27 July 1974: Charleston, S.C. - Sailors man the rail at the commissioning of the Knox class frigate USS Valdez (DE 1096).

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center Collection Photo #UA 461.27.01 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Valdez 89k date / location unknown Kyle Grace
    Valdez 191k date / location unknown

    (size and coloring variation of 0602109603, the above photo)
    John Klar
    Somerville, N.J.
    Valdez 63k date / location unknown Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Valdez 94k date / location unknown Dave Oliveria
    Valdez 149k date / location unknown John Klar
    Somerville, N.J.
    Valdez 121k
    Valdez 367k date / location unknown Charles Lamm
    Valdez 367k date / location unknown Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Valdez 208k 05 June 1974: the Gulf of Mexico - the future USS Valdez (DE 1096) underway during pre-commissioning sea trials.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 107443 by PH2 Ron Gorman, from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Valdez 15k 11 January 1976: on a port visit to Mahe Island, Seychelles Douglas H. Cable
    Valdez 63k 01 April 1977: At Barcelona, Spain, as she appeared early in her career , with no weapons on her fantail (she was never fitted with Sea Sparrow BPDMS and had not yet received Phalanx CIWS) and the original bow; on the other hand, she had been modified to operate the LAMPS-I manned helicopter. The class' distinctive "mack" supported the main air- and surface-search radar antennas, as well as radome-enclosed ESM receivers. Fabio Peņa
    Barcelona, Spain
    Valdez 152k 1978: the Republic of Guinea-Bissau - The U.S. Navy frigate USS Valdez (FF 1096) in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, in early 1978.

    (U.S. Navy photo from All Hands Magazine, July 1978. p.23)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Valdez 239k 16 May 1980: USS Valdez off the Virginia coast.

    (Photo courtesy of © Atlantic Fleet Sales)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.
    Valdez 157k 24 June 1982: In the Mediterranean - A port bow view of Valdez underway. The Valdez, part of Task Group 6, is taking part in the transfer of Americans and third nation personnel from Juniyah, Lebanon, to Larnaca, Cyprus.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-82-08216 from the Defense Visual Information Center)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Valdez 198k 25 April 1987: Norfolk, Va. - A port view of the frigate USS Valdez (FF 1096) moored at a pier. The amphibious assault ship USS Guadalcanal (LPH 7) is behind Valdez.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-87-06373 by Don S. Montgomery (USN, ret.) from the DVIC)
    Valdez 185k May 1988: Key West, Fla. - USS Valdez (FF 1096) sailing past Fort Taylor.

    (Photo #MM00037111 by Raymond L. Blazevic, courtesy of the Florida Keys Public Libraries)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Valdez 154k 19 August 1991: Newport RI - Two yard patrol craft and Valdez ride out the high winds and heavy seas as Hurricane Bob passes through the area. The yard patrol craft YP-697 is at right.

    (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-92-04160 from the DVIC)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    ***Patterson / Valdez*** 192k October 1993: Philadelphia NSY - Valdez and Patterson (FF 1061) at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility. Photo taken from the deck of Salem (CA 139).

    (Photo by Ed Zajkowski)
    Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.
    Valdez 209k 15 July 1999: off Yorktown, Va. - Port bow view of the Taiwanese frigate Ki Yang (F 939) underway departing the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. Ki Yang was recently transferred to Nationalist China and is the former Knox class frigate Valdez (FF 1096).

    (U.S. Navy photo VIRIN #990715-N-0000C-002 by William H. Clarke from
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Valdez 203k 27 March 2014: Keelung City, Taiwan - The guided missile frigate ROCN Ki Yang (FFG-939) (Ex-USS Valdez), being pushed by the tugboats YTL49 and YTL45, in Keelung Harbour.

    (Photo taken by Xuan Shisheng)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom

    Valdez Memorabilia
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Welcome Aboard
    Pamphlet-early 1980's
    Courtesy of
    William F. Fessenden
    Crewmember Welcome
    Aboard Pamphlet-early '80's
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski

    Valdez History
    View the USS Valdez (DE 1096) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Valdez's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  27 Jul. 1974 - 05 Jun. 1976Cmdr. Joe Dean Peden (prior enl.) (Wales, Tenn.)
    2.)  05 Jun. 1976 - 27 Jul. 1978Cmdr. Kenneth Chester Jacobsen (OCS '60) (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
    3.)  27 Jul. 1978 - 22 Aug. 1980Cmdr. Harry James Franklin Korrell Jr. (USNA '59) (Catonsville, Md.)
    4.)  22 Aug. 1980 - 02 Oct. 1982Cmdr. Michael Francis Landers (NROTC '63) (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
    5.)  02 Oct. 1982 - 14 Jul. 1984Cmdr. John Thomas Zohlen (NROTC '64) (Kenosha, Wis.)
    6.)  14 Jul. 1984 - 06 Sep. 1986Cmdr. Lawrence Lee Wagenseil (OCS '68) (Navy Jr., Pensacola, Fla.)
    7.)  06 Sep. 1986 - 14 Dec. 1988Cmdr. Richard Arthur Erwin (OCS '69) (Ashland, Oh.)
    8.)  14 Dec. 1988 - 08 Dec. 1990Cmdr. William Augustine Nurthen (USNA '70) (Philadelphia, Pa.)
    9.)  08 Dec. 1990 - 27 Nov. 1991Cmdr. David K. Meier (OCS '72) (Baltimore, Md.)
    10.) 27 Nov. 1991 - 16 Dec. 1991Cmdr. Mark Morgan Borchers

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Next Reunion:
    17 - 20 September 2020 at Norfolk, Va.
    The Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel
    Contact Name: Rick Parent
    Location: USS Valdez Facebook Page

    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 Valdez Page on Military.Com
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Valdez
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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: 26 June 2021