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FFG 12 George Philip

USS GEORGE PHILIP's mission is to escort and protect convoys, underway replenishment groups, amphibious landing groups, and carrier battle groups. George Philip's missile, gun, and anti-submarine warfare systems, combined with its quick reaction and high speed capability, make the warship a valuable asset in today's multi-threat environment.

The George Philip was commissioned in Nov 1980 at Todd Shipyard in San Pedro, Ca.

It made a deployment to WESTPAC from July 1982 thru Feb 1983. In Sept 1984 thru March 1985 the George Philip made a second deployment to WESTPAC in support of U. S. efforts to keep sea lanes open in the Persian Gulf during the height of the Iran-Iraq war.

In July 1985 the George Philip was transferred to the Naval Reserve Force (NRF). As a member of the NRF, the ship turns its focus to the training and readiness of Selected Reservists. The ship goes from full manning to 60% manning, whit the remainder made up of Reservists.

From Dec 1987 thru June 1989 She was in overhaul at Southwest Marine in San Diego. While in overhaul the ship receives major upgrades in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities. The ship is fitted with a Tactical Towed Array Sonar (TACTASS), widely recognized as very effective equipment in submarine detection.

From mid 1989 thru 1992 FFG 12 took part in extensive ASW operations and test platform for the new ASW equipment. In May 1992 thru August 1992 it deployed for the third time, this time to counter drug traffic from South America to the United States.

From July 1994 thru Oct 1994 FFG 12 was on its fourth deployment, again in support of efforts to counter drug traffic from South America to the United States.

In May 2001 the George Philip engaged in pursuit of a high-speed small boat heading west from Colombia. Coordinating the pursuit with the crew of Naval Reserve squadron HSL-84, George Philip maneuvered to intercept. The smugglers jettisoned their illegal cargo overboard. George Philip chased at flank speed, using the helo to maintain visual contact with the fleeing boat. The pursuit lasted approximately eight hours and proved unsuccessful when the drug traffickers escaped into Colombian territorial waters after dark. However, by sunrise, George Philip was able to dispatch her small boat to recover 64 bales of cocaine weighing 4,775 pounds.

Less than one week later, George Philip spotted another drug trafficking vessel. Pursuit lasted throughout the afternoon. The drug traffickers again jettisoned their cargo in an effort to escape. While the boat eventually eluded capture, George Philip launched her small boat and was able to recover several bales of cocaine that evening, and additional bales at first light.

Upon return to San Diego in late May, George Philip had confiscated more than 7,230 pounds of raw, uncut cocaine from reaching the U.S. All in all, George Philip completed a very successful counternarcotics deployment to the eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. During the deployment, the Sailors of USS George Philip scored three successes in the war on drugs, rescued over 220 undocumented migrants while preventing them from illegally reaching the United States, and conducted community relations projects in Golfito, Costa Rica.

The dark blue and gold on the shield of the coat of arms are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and are symbolic of the sea and excellence. The stars represent three Pacific Island campaigns -- the liberation of the Philippine Islands; the conquest of Iwo Jima; and the capture and occupation of Okinawa -- during which Commander Philip commanded USS TWIGGS (DD-591). The blue star, voided white, refers to the Silver Star awarded to Commander George Philip, Jr., for gallantry while serving aboard USS O'BANNON in the Solomon Islands. The wavy chevron suggests thrust and movement from a strong base that characterized the Pacific campaigns. The barbed and enflamed anchor symbolizes naval firepower and alludes to the Navy's progressive sweep through the Pacific Islands during World War II. It further typifies the capabilities of guided missile frigates.

The dark blue screwiest on the crest refers to the Navy Cross posthumously awarded to Commander Philip. He gave his life when his ship, USS TWIGGS, was damaged from a Japanese torpedo and kamikaze attack off Okinawa in June 1945. The fire bomb symbolizes military prowess. The laurel wreath symbolizes the victory in the Pacific for which Commander Philip gave his life and the great honor and respect he earned throughout his naval career.

George Phillip

The USS George Philip, an Oliver Hazard Perry Class guided missile frigate, is named in honor of Commander George Philip, Jr., USN (1912-1945).

Commander Philip, born in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, on 14 April 1912, attended South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City before his appointment to the U. S. Naval Academy. After completion of the course of instruction at the Naval Academy, he was commissioned an Ensign on 6 June 1935. Ensign Philip continued to progress in grade until his promotion to Commander on 4 September 1944. During this period he served under a variety of commands including: USS MISSISSIPPI (1935-37), USS CALIFORNIA (1937-38), USS ELLET (1938-40), USS O'BANNON (1942-43), and Operational Training Command, Pacific Fleet, San Diego, California (1943-44). He then served as Commanding Officer of USS TWIGGS (1944-46).

Commander Philip established a skilled fighting reputation while simultaneously serving as the Executive Officer, Navigator and Combat Intelligence Officer of the famed O'BANNON. For his conspicuous gallantry during the crucial stages of the Soloman Island Campaign, Philip was awarded the Silver Star Medal and O'BANNON received the Presidential Unit Citation.

Commander Philip was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism while commanding TWIGGS during an 84-day period of combat near Okinawa. He died following a dusk attack by a Japanese kamikaze aircraft on 16 June 1945.

On 12 March 1946, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal stated, during the presentation of the Navy Cross to his widow:

"His courage, fortitude and initiative in the performance of a difficult and hazardous duty characterized Commander Philip as a brilliant leader and seaman, reflecting the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service, he gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."

In addition to the Navy Cross, Silver Star Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation, Commander Philip received the American Defense Service Medal, and the Purple Heart.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:55:44 ZULU