Fernando Luis Garcia was born 14 October 1929 at Utuado, P.R., and was inducted into the Marine Corps 19 September 1951. A member of the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, Private Garcia served valiantly in Korea—particularly on 5 September 1952 when he threw himself on an enemy grenade to save the life of a comrade. Private Garcia was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism, the first native Puerto Rican to be so honored.
(DE-1014: dp. 2, 624 (It); l. 514'; b. 45'; dr. 25'; s. 27 k.; cpl. 239; a. 25", 4 tt, 1 ASROC; cl. Garcia)
Garcia (DE-1040) one of a new and powerful class of escort vessels, was launched 31 October 1963; by Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Daisy Garcia de Alvarez, sister; and commissioned 21 December 1964, Comdr. Donald A. Smith in command.
After trials and training off the Pacific Coast, the new destroyer escort departed San Diego 22 March 1965; transited the Panama Canal; and arrived her homeport Newport, R.I., 7 April. Following ship qualification tests, she sailed for the Caribbean 7 May for shakedown. She returned Newport 16 July. For the remainder of 1965 and through 1966, Garcia operated out of Newport perfecting her ASW and sonar techniques.
USS Garcia (DE-1040) on 22 October 1964