FFG 50 Taylor
On 08 May 2015 sailors disembarked from the guided-missile frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) for the last time during a decommissioning ceremony at Naval Station Mayport. The keel of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate was laid May 5, 1983, at the Bath Iron Works Shipyard in Bath, Maine. She launched Nov. 5, 1983 and commissioned Dec. 1, 1984. Taylor is named for Cmdr. Jesse Taylor who was a veteran of World War II, The Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic actions during a rescue attempt of a downed pilot near the North Vietnamese port of Haiphong in November 1965.
Guided-missile frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50), departed Naval Station Mayport 08 January 2014 on a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AOR). This was Taylor's final deployment as the ship was scheduled to be decommissioned in 2015. The ship participated in theater security cooperation, maritime security and counter-piracy operations in support of 5th Fleet, 6th Fleet and NATO requirements. Taylor last deployed in February 2012, to support NATO's Operation Ocean Shield Counter-Piracy near the Horn of Africa.
The crew completed its final deployment Aug. 9, 2014, to the U.S. 6th and 4th Fleet areas of responsibility. During the deployment, the ship conducted theater security cooperation, maritime security operations and partner-building exercises in the Mediterranean and Black Seas in support of Operation Active Endeavor. Mid-deployment, Taylor transitioned to the Caribbean in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force South counter-illicit trafficking mission.
SHIELD: The blue shield represents the U.S. Navy, and the oceans of the world on which it sails. The chevron refers to Commander Taylor's naval career; its three segments representing the three conflicts during which he served - World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The two gold stars represent the two previous U.S. Navy destroyers which have borne the name Taylor. The first, Destroyer No. 94, was laid down in 1917 at the Mare Island Navy Yard and was stricken from the Navy List in 1938. The second, DD 468, was laid down in 1941 at Bath Iron Works, and earned a total of 23 Battle Stars for action in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. She was stricken in 1969. The sea lion refers to Commander Taylor's courage and selfless dedication to duty. The sea lion holds a trident, traditionally the symbol of sea power, to symbolize further the three aspects of modern naval warfare in which TAYLOR is a potent adversary - subsurface, surface and air. The use of silver and scarlet with the traditional blue and gold of the U.S. Navy, represents Commander Taylor's shining ideals and gallant self- sacrifice in defense of a fellow aviator.
CREST: The wings represent Commander Taylor's service as a Naval Aviator. The scarlet lightning flash refers both to his service as an Aviation Radioman and to his relentless attacks on enemy gun positions during the rescue attempt which cost him his life. The gold cross represents the Navy Cross awarded him posthumously for his heroism. The crossed swords represent the officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. Navy who have given their lives around the globe as proud defenders of freedom and their country.
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