USS Whipple (FF 1062)

by George Carroll Whipple III

On 24 April 1967 the keel for USS WHIPPLE (DE 1062) was laid at the Todd Shipyard in Seattle, Washington. WHIPPLE is one of 46 Knox class ships honoring naval historian D.W. Knox. WHIPPLE was christened in the memory of Commodore Abraham WHIPPLE of the Continental Navy. Commodore WHIPPLE is credited with the firing of the first naval gun of the Revolution at a British vessel.

WHIPPLE's commissioning look place on 22 August 1970. She arrived at her homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 22 October 1970. Shortly following her arrival to Hawaii, WHIPPLE was given the interesting assignment of providing support for the at-sea phase filming of a HAWAII FIVE-O television episode with Jack Lord.

In July, 1975 the designation for WHIPPLE was changed from that of an ocean escort (DE) to that of a Frigate (FF). This was done in order to conform United Stares Naval Ships size classes to that of other navies of the world.

USS WHIPPLE (FF 1062) is equipped with many varied and highly sophisticated sensors. Above the water she uses the long range air search radar AN/SPS-40. For defecting surface contacts the smaller AN/SPS-10 radar is used. The AN/SPG-53 fire control radar over the bridge is used to direct our 5 inch .54 caliber gun against ocean, shore or air targets. On top of the helo hangar is the MK-115 fire control system which guides WHIPPLE's anti-air and anti-ship missile system. This system uses the sea sparrow missile in an eight cell "pepper box" launcher located on the ship's fantail.

In the area of electronic warfare WHIPPLE uses various passive intercept sensors to detect electromagnetic emissions and is capable of using both active electronic and passive countermeasures in order to combat anti-ship missiles or any hostile platform that may threaten with attack.

WHIPPLE's primary mission is anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The heart of WHIPPLE's ASW system is the AN/SQS-26CX Sonar. This system has the ability to operate in both active (pinging) and passive (listening) modes to detect, identify and track multiple targets. To further aid the ASW effort WHIPPLE employs a helicopter hanger and night deck to accept LAMPS (Light Airborne Multi-purpose System) helicopters. LAMPS is a SH-2F Sea Sprite helicopter which has its own electronics which include radar, electronic warfare and anti-submarine equipment. The ability of LAMPS to drop sonabuoys extends WHIPPLE's submarine detection capabilities to a formidable degree.

WHIPPLE's primary ASW weapon, the ASROC (Anti-submarine Rocket), located on the foc'sle launcher, is capable of delivering either MK-46 homing torpedoes or depth charges, In addition to this long range weapon, WHIPPLE has dual torpedo tubes mounted on each side amidships for use against ships or submarines. To extend WHIPPLE's ASW delivery range, the LAMPS helicopter is equipped to carry and launch the MK-46 torpedo,

WHIPPLE is powered by a 35,000 shaft horsepower steam turbine driving a single five bladed screw. This propels the ship to a top speed in excess of 27 knots. The steam is generated by two 1200 PSI boilers. Besides using steam to propel the ship, it is also used to provide the environment. Steam from the boilers is used to generate electricity for power and air conditioning. It also provides hot water, and is used in the ship's galley for cooking. In the event of a casualty to the boiler, there are two 12 cylinder auxiliary diesels designed to provide the ship's electrical load.

The effort which WHIPPLE has put forth in serving the nation has not gone unhonored. She has been awarded the following medals and ribbons; U.S. Combat Action Ribbon. National Defense Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Battle Efficiency Ribbon (three awards), and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. WHIPPLE earned her Combat Action Ribbon by participating extensively during the Vietnam conflict in the area of Naval Gunfire Support and other operations in support of the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam and the United States.

In April, 1984, WHIPPLE completed a seven month Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployment. Nearly four months were spent conducting routine operations in the Persian Gulf while attached to Commander Middle East Force.

WHIPPLE's motto, "Resources Beyond Calculation," aptly describes the strength and broad presence of today's United States Navy. It also correctly describes WHIPPLE's crewmembers, who have proven that there is no adequate measure of determining the amount of hard work. dedication, and valor that is required to sustain WHIPPLE in either peacetime or war.

© 1999 George Carroll Whipple, III. All rights reserved.