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FFG 13 Samuel Eliot Morison

Samuel Eliot Morison is the seventh ship of the OLIVER HAZARD PERRY Class of guided missile frigates. It was commissioned in October 1980 and currently serves in the Navy Reserve Force.

Samuel Eliot Morison's mission is to provide in-depth anti-air, anti- submarine, and anti-surface warfare protection for Underway Replenishment Groups, convoys, Amphibious Forces, and other military and merchant shipping. In order to ensure a homogeneous class of capable, yet relatively inexpensive ships, many innovative concepts were incorporated into her design. These innovations include modular construction techniques, the utilization of numerous labor-saving devices, automatic control and monitoring systems, and shore-based maintenance support. The ship boasts some of the most comfortable living accommodations ever provided for the crew of a naval combatant ship. Habitability improvements include attractive living complexes, each with its own lounge, dressing, sleeping and sanitary areas. A central galley serves the wardroom, Chief Petty Officer's mess, and enlisted dining facility.

The systems aboard Samuel Eliot Morison have been designed to provide thorough evaluation, rapid decision-making, and almost instantaneous response to any postulated threat, with minimum human interface. Sophisticated state-of-the-art computer technology integrates sensors and weapons to provide for "Hands-off" engagement of hostile targets by surface-to-air or surface-to-surface missiles, guns or torpedoes - both tube- and helicopter-launched.

In addition, computers control and monitor the gas turbine engines (same power plant as installed in the DC-10) and electrical generators. Digital electronic logic circuits and remotely-operated valves are monitored in a central control station which can initiate engine start, and result in a "ready-to-go" status in less than ten minutes, as compared to eight or more hours for conventional steam power.

But the real heart of the ship is her crew. High systems technology demands skilled technicians and professional leadership. The concept of "minimum manning" means, simply, with professional Sailors, Samuel Eliot Morison can meet challenges of the Twenty-First Century with approximately half the crew found on older ships of comparable size and capability.

In mid 2000 USS Samuel Eliot Morison (FFG 13) and embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) seized just over five tons of cocaine on the high seas in separate actions over the past two weeks.

Operating as part of a federal joint interagency task force, Samuel Eliot Morison's surface, air and law enforcement team has been aggressively tracking, pursuing and seizing illegal narcotic shipments as part of their five-month deployment to U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command headquartered at Naval Station, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.

In January 2002 the Turkish government requested the sale of two Perry Class frigates including the Samuel E. Morison.

The Coat of Arms of Samuel Eliot Morison symbolizes Rear Admiral Morison's outstanding career. His affinity for the sea and his literary talent are inseparable. This concept is emblematically represented by the quill dipping into the waters of the deep.

The vertical bars represent the Shield of the United States, and further simulate books, referring to Admiral Morison's famed multi- volume history of the U.S. Naval Operations in World War II. The two stars are indicative of his rank of Rear Admiral.

The early Mariner's astrolabe represents Admiral Morison's retracing of the pathway taken by Columbus so that he could more authoritatively write his biography.

The torch is an emblem of enlightenment and leadership, and the crossed sword and cutlass, symbols of Surface Warfare Officer and Enlisted professionalism, allude to vigilance and readiness.

Samuel Eliot Morison

Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, USNR (1887 - 1976) was one of the nation's most distinguished naval historians. His legacy to his country comprises over forty books and more than a hundred articles, including The Oxford History of the United States (1927); Growth of the American Republic (with) Commanger (1930); The European Discovery of America (Southern and Northern voyages 1971, 1974). Born in Boston, and a faculty member of Harvard University for more than half a century, he was the recipient of many honors. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded him the Emerson-Thoreau Medal in 1961 for distinguished literary achievement, and he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 as one of the great Americans whose life and works have made freedom stronger for all of us in our time.

But he was, first and always, a Sailor. Before he wrote the biography of Christopher Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean Sea in 1942, he and several friends purchased and fitted out the barkentine "Capitana" to sail the ocean in Columbus' wake, and view island and coasts as he must have seen them. This book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

The way was now clear for another seagoing project that was to become the most extensive and difficult of any in Morison's career - The History of the United States Naval Operations in World War II (fifteen volumes). President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had a lifelong taste for naval history, after reading some of "Admiral of the Ocean Sea," accepted Morison's request to be the Navy's Historian. In May 1942, the professor was commissioned a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve, and given a set of orders that permitted him to move about the world at will. But having such a set of orders is one thing, and getting to a good vantage point to observe an action whose planning has been cloaked in deep secrecy is another. That he was invariably in the right place at the right time for the next three and a half years, was due more to his qualities as a man and a Sailor, than to his formal credentials. He later recalled the problem thus:

"As my position in the Navy was unprecedented, I had to move warily and gingerly in order to obtain cooperations from those who were doing the fighting. Amusingly enough, their initial suspicions of a 'long-haired professor in uniform' were dissolved by a perusal of my "Admiral of the Ocean Sea," which told them that I was a Sailor before I became a professor, and thus exorcised the academic curse. So, thanks to Columbus, the Navy accepted me, and with many of its members I made warm friendships, which even survived when I felt obliged to write about some of their mistakes."

After his death in 1976, one of his daughters, Emily Morison Beck, edited a highly readable treasury of the best and most representative of his writings. She says, "I was fortunate that my father lived long enough to examine and approve the final choices, after discarding a number of pieces as 'old hat,' 'hackneyed,' or 'of little interest to the general reader.'" Therefore, "Sailor-Historian" is aimed to give pleasure to the general reader, who will find chapters from favorite books and prized articles, as well as forgotten pieces never before printed in a book.

President Lyndon B. Johnson remarked: "Scholar and Sailor, this amphibious historian has combined a life of action and literary craftsmanship to lead two generations of Americans on countless voyages of discovery." As a naval historian on active duty in World War II, he earned seven engagement stars and a Legion of Merit, while serving in combat areas of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific.

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