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Jesse L. Brown (DE-1089)


Jesse Leroy Brown—son of Julia A. and John D. Brown—was born in Hattiesburg, Miss., on 13 October 1926. Educated in the public schools of Hattiesburg, he played on the football, track, and basketball teams in high school. After graduating from Eureka High School in 1944, Brown completed two years at Ohio State University, where he studied architecture and math in the College of Engineering.

While in college, Brown enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 8 July 1946. He left school in 1947, reporting for active duty on 15 March at Naval Air Station (NAS) Glenview, Ill. Drawn to aviation since childhood, Brown accepted appointment as a midshipman in the Navy on 15 April and reported to the Navy Pre-flight School, Ottumwa, Iowa, for flight training. On 30 June 1947, Brown proceeded to duty under instruction for further flight instruction at the Naval Air Training Bases, NAS Pensacola, Fla. In October 1947, during his time at Pensacola, Brown secretly wed Daisy Pearl Nix, a union forbidden to midshipmen under naval regulations.

After qualifying on board the small carrier Wright (CVL-49) in June 1948, Brown reported to NAS Jacksonville, Fla., on the 23rd for advanced fighter training with VF-ATU2. On 21 October 1948, Brown achieved the designation Naval Aviator (Heavier-Than-Air), becoming the first African American to complete the Navy’s basic flight training program for pilot qualification and to be designated a naval aviator.

Naval Aviation Cadet Jesse L. Brown, NAS Jacksonville, October 1948. (U.S. Navy Photograph, 80-G-706531, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Naval Aviation Cadet Jesse L. Brown, NAS Jacksonville, October 1948. (U.S. Navy Photograph, 80-G-706531, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Having completed flight training, Brown reported on 14 November 1948 to [Naval] Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, at Jacksonville and served temporary additional duty at Norfolk, Va. On 23 December, his wife Daisy, living with family in Hattiesburg to avoid discovery of their marriage, gave birth to Brown’s only child, a daughter named Pamela Elise. On 4 January 1949, Brown joined Fighting Squadron (VF) 32 at Quonset Point, R.I. After accepting appointment as ensign on 15 April (to rank from 3 June 1949), Brown could finally reveal his marriage, and Daisy and Pamela joined him in Rhode Island late in the summer.

On 2 May 1950, Brown deployed to the Mediterranean with VF-32, embarked in the carrier Leyte (CV-32). During this deployment, Brown transferred to the U.S. Naval Reserve on 17 June. Shortly thereafter, war erupted between North and South Korea, and in August, Leyte returned to the U.S. to quickly prepare to deploy to the Pacific. The carrier reached Japan on 8 October, and Brown flew his first combat mission over North Korea four days later. Over the next seven and a half weeks, Brown would take part in 19 more missions, conducting air strikes on enemy targets in the areas of Wonsan, Ch’ongjin, Songjin, Sinanju, Ta-ku-shan, Manp’ojin, Lin-shiang, Sinuiju, Kesan, Kilchu, and Chosin Reservoir areas.

Jesse L. Brown in the cockpit of a Vought F4U-4 Corsair, circa 1950. (U.S. Navy Photograph, Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph USN 1146845)
Caption: Jesse L. Brown in the cockpit of a Vought F4U-4 Corsair, circa 1950. (U.S. Navy Photograph, Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph USN 1146845)

On the afternoon of 4 December 1950, Brown took off from Leyte in his Vought F4U-4 Corsair (BuNo 97231) and with five other squadron pilots embarked upon a mission to the Chosin Reservoir to provide close air support for 15,000 U.S. Marines who were significantly outnumbered and surrounded by Chinese troops. With his plane apparently struck by gunfire and losing fuel pressure, Brown crashed in enemy territory on a snow-covered mountainside west of the lake. Although he survived the impact, Brown was pinned inside the mangled wreckage of his plane. Circling overhead, Brown’s wingman, Lt. (j.g.) Thomas J. Hudner Jr., observed that Brown was alive but not getting out of the plane and that the aircraft was smoldering.

Disregarding the significant danger to his own life, Hudner quickly discharged his weapons and executed a wheels-up landing near Brown’s plane. As one of the other pilots radioed for assistance, Hudner scrambled to extricate Brown from the twisted metal of the cockpit. Unsuccessful in this effort, Hudner turned his attention to the fire, using his hands to pack snow around the fuselage to try to prevent any flames from reaching Brown, who was already suffering from exposure to sub-zero temperatures in addition to internal injuries.

Approximately 45 minutes after Brown crashed, a Sikorsky HO3S-1 helicopter piloted by 1st Lt. Charles Ward, USMC, arrived on the scene. As daylight slipped away and Brown faded from consciousness, Ward and Hudner used an extinguisher to control the fire and then raced to free Brown from the wreckage with an ax, but to no avail. Brown died trapped in his plane.

In the gathering darkness, with a helicopter not equipped for night flight, Ward had to lift off in short order, carrying Hudner to safety. For their heroic rescue attempt, Lt. (j.g.) Hudner received the Medal of Honor and 1st Lt. Ward the Silver Star.

Given unfavorable weather conditions as well as the danger posed by nearby enemy troops, Brown’s body could not be recovered. However, on 7 December 1950, several of Brown’s squadron-mates flew to the scene and gave their fallen comrade a “warrior’s funeral” by dropping napalm bombs on the site, creating a fiery conflagration to effectively cremate Brown’s remains. Hudner, who retired from the Navy as a captain in 1973, returned to North Korea in 2013 with the goal of retrieving Brown’s remains, but heavy rains prevented him from reaching the crash site.

Ensign Brown received several posthumous awards for his service in Korea. He received the Air Medal for his first ten combat flights from 12 October through 7 November 1950 and the Distinguished Flying Cross for all 20 of his missions over Korea. He was also awarded the Purple Heart Medal, a Navy Unit Commendation for his service with Leyte, and was entitled to the Korean Service Medal.

(DE-1089: displacement 4,200; length 438'; beam 46'9"; draft 25'; speed 27+ knots; complement 245; armament 1 5-inch, ASROC, 4 torpedo tubes; aircraft SH-2F LAMPS helo; class Knox)

Jesse L. Brown (DE-1089) was laid down on 8 April 1971 at Westwego, La., by Avondale Shipyards, Inc.; and launched on 18 March 1972; sponsored by Mrs. Daisy P. Thorne, widow of the ship’s namesake, with Mrs. Pamela Elise Knight, daughter of the ship’s namesake, serving as matron of honor.

Jesse L. Brown is launched at Avondale Shipyards, 18 March 1972. (Avondale Shipyards, Inc. Photo 72-03-478, Ships History Subject Files Box 883, Jesse L. Brown History, Naval History and Heritage Command)
Caption: Jesse L. Brown is launched at Avondale Shipyards, 18 March 1972. (Avondale Shipyards, Inc. Photo 72-03-478, Ships History Subject Files Box 883, Jesse L. Brown History, Naval History and Heritage Command)

Commissioned at Boston [Mass.] Naval Shipyard on 17 February 1973, Cmdr. William M. Fogarty in command, Jesse L. Brown completed sea trials and her fitting out availability prior to her arrival at her homeport of Newport, R.I., on 8 March 1973. The first U.S. Navy ship to be named for an African American naval officer got underway again on the 13th to load ammunition at Naval Weapons Station (NWS), Yorktown, Va. Then on 2 April, Jesse L. Brown departed Newport once again, conducting antisubmarine warfare (ASW) exercises with the submarine Jallao (SS-368) during her transit to Port Everglades, Fla., from 3–5 April. After conducting weapons systems accuracy trials (WSAT) at Port Everglades and at Andros Island in the Bahamas from the 7th–17th, the ship headed for Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for a month of refresher training. She made a brief port visit at Port Au Prince, Haiti (12–13 May) and then completed her training one week ahead of schedule on 16 May. Jesse L. Brown conducted naval gunfire support (NGFS) at Culebra Island, Puerto Rico, from 17–19 May before returning home to Newport.

Crewmembers brought their families with them for a dependents’ cruise on the relatively short trip from Newport to Gloucester, Mass., via the Cape Cod Canal on 30 June 1973. Jesse L. Brown represented the Atlantic Fleet during Gloucester’s 350th anniversary celebration from 1–5 July. The ship called at Yorktown once again on 13 July to load ammunition and then proceeded to Port Everglades to have her sonar dome scrubbed before completing acoustic trials at Andros Island (18–20 July). From 6–23 August, the ship held at-sea training for naval midshipmen. Rear Adm. Samuel L. Gravely Jr., Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group (ComCruDesGru) Two and the first African American naval officer to attain flag rank, embarked on 14 August to observe the training. Arriving at her new homeport of Charleston, S.C., on 30 August, the newest member of Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) Four commenced post-shakedown availability (PSA) two days later at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. The PSA continued through the rest of the year and concluded on 15 January 1974.

In early February 1974, Jesse L. Brown steamed to Norfolk, Va., to deperm (6–7 February). On the 14th, the ship welcomed her first LAMPS helicopter air detachment and commenced workups for an upcoming deployment, beginning with a month-long refresher training period. On 18 March, Jesse L. Brown sailed for Puerto Rico, where she completed Fleet Operational Readiness Accuracy Check/Site (FORACS) at Roosevelt Roads and Vieques as well as NGFS at Culebra Island before returning to Charleston on the 23rd. From 29 April–7 May, the ship took part in LantReadEx 3-74, for which she received the LantReadEx Top Operator Award for outstanding performance in all operational areas. Following an ammunition load-out at NWS Charleston on 3 June, she held a dependents’ cruise in the Charleston operational area on the 6th.

On 14 June 1974, Jesse L. Brown put to sea for her first overseas deployment to the Mediterranean. She arrived at Rota, Spain, on 24 June to conduct turnover. There she also held her first change of command ceremony and received the Battle Efficiency “E” Award and several departmental excellence awards for the previous year. The ship visited Sete, France, from 30 June–4 July and then operated off Cyprus through 4 August. The frigate supported U.S. amphibious forces evacuating U.S. citizens from the island nation, where political disputes amongst ethnic Greek and ethnic Turkish factions led to a coup d’etat and an invasion by the Turkish military during the month of July.

Over the next three months, Jesse L. Brown made numerous port visits around the Mediterranean. Stops included Genoa, Italy (4–11 August 1974); Sousse, Tunisia (14–15 August); Augusta Bay, Italy (17–30 August); Palma de Mallorca, Spain (4–8 September); Barcelona, Spain (9–18 September); Alicante, Spain (20–23 September); Cagliari, Italy (27–30 September); Malaga, Spain (4–9 October); and Naples, Italy (16–24 October and 30 October–5 November). During the first call at Naples, Jesse L. Brown crewmembers took part in Naval On-Call Force, Mediterranean (NavOCForMed) activation ceremonies. Activated twice per year, NavOCForMed brought together ships from North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations for one month of exercises that would enhance tactics, communications, and cooperation between the allied navies.

On 7 November 1974, Adm. Harold E. Shear, Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe visited the ship to observe ASW operations. Two days later, Jesse L. Brown’s embarked helo rescued two crewmen from a downed U.S. H-3 helicopter. The ship made two more port calls at Civitavecchia, Italy (12–19 November) and Gibraltar, U.K. (23–24 November) before departing the Mediterranean. She returned home to Charleston on 6 December and the crew enjoyed a month-long stand down period over the holidays followed by a three-week maintenance availability in January.

Jesse L. Brown ties up at Charleston as she returns from a Mediterranean deployment, 6 December 1974. (U.S. Navy Photograph, PH1 Milt Putnam, Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 96768)
Caption: Jesse L. Brown ties up at Charleston as she returns from a Mediterranean deployment, 6 December 1974. (U.S. Navy Photograph, PH1 Milt Putnam, Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 96768)

After preparing for and passing the Operational Propulsion Plant Examination (OPPE) in late January and early February, Jesse L. Brown took part in Operation Springboard 1975. She completed NGFS at Vieques Island and made a port call at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, from 15–18 February before refueling at Roosevelt Roads on the 19th and then conducting several days of ASW exercises off Puerto Rico. The ship spent two days at San Juan (22–24 February) and resumed ASW exercises, returning to Charleston on the morning of 28 February.

Getting underway again on 10 March 1975 with Commander DesRon 4 embarked, Jesse L. Brown rendezvoused with Garcia (DE-1040) and conducted fleet exercises. The ships rendezvoused with submarine Sunfish (SSN-649) on the 11th and drilled in ASW, communications, and division tactics in the Virginia capes area through the 13th, returning to port the following day. On 15 April, Jesse L. Brown sailed from Charleston with Paul (DE-1080) and once again exercised with Sunfish. Beginning on 17 April, the ship took part in exercise Agate Punch in the Cherry Point operational area with Task Force 26, led by the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CV-67). Among the ships Jesse L. Brown worked with over the course of the major Second Fleet exercise through 27 April were Seattle (AOE-3), Glover (AGDE-1), Sims (DE-1059), and Bordelon (DD-861).

Returning to Charleston on 28 April 1975, Jesse L. Brown commenced a three month maintenance availability. Reclassified as a frigate as of 1 July, the newly-designated FF-1089 made a quick trip to NWS Charleston for weapons onload on 22 July. She conducted sea trials on 23–24 July, and on the 25th, the frigate held a dependents’ cruise. She then spent the next three weeks making final preparations to deploy.

Sailing from Charleston on 19 August 1975 in company with Valdez (FF-1096), Jesse L. Brown embarked upon her second extended deployment to the Mediterranean and Middle East. The frigates called at Rota on 29–30 August and then proceeded together to Port Said, Egypt, arriving on 4 September. The following day, the ships transited the Suez Canal and steamed to Djibouti, French Territory of the Afars and Issas, where Jesse L. Brown completed turnover with New (DD-818) on the 9th. On 12 September, the American frigates departed Djibouti and conducted exercises with units from the French navy. Jesse L. Brown detached from the group later that day and sailed for Iran. The ship spent a week at Bandar Abbas (21–28 September) in conjunction with a three day exercise with Faramarz, Palang, and Milanian of the Royal Iranian Navy as well as Valdez.

Jesse L. Brown next put in to Manama, Bahrain (2–13 October) before departing the Persian Gulf. The frigate’s trusty shellbacks initiated the ship’s slimy pollywogs into the mysteries of the Realm of King Neptune when Jesse L. Brown crossed the equator on 19 October 1975 en route to a port visit at Mombasa, Kenya (21–25 October). The ship briefly returned to Djibouti to refuel on 30 October and then called at Karachi, Pakistan, from 5–10 November prior to exercising with the Pakistani Navy from the 10th–14th. For the next two weeks, the frigate participated in Exercise Midlink 75 (15–29 November) and then returned to Manama (30 November–8 December). The ship operated in the Persian Gulf until 17 December and then spent the holiday season at Manama.

Jesse L. Brown stood out again on 3 January 1976 with members of the Royal Saudi Navy embarked. After a brief stop to refuel at Bandar Abbas on the 12th, the ship called at Muscat, Oman (14–17 January), where she exchanged 21-gun salutes with the Omani Navy. After departing Muscat on the 17th, the frigate completed an exercise with the Omanis and then made a return visit to Djibouti (21–23 January) and a fuel stop at Port Sudan, Sudan (27 January). At Jidda, Saudi Arabia, from 28–29 January, Jesse L. Brown disembarked the party from the Royal Saudi Navy and completed turnover with Garcia (FF-1040). Arriving at Port Suez on 30 January, the ship transited the Suez Canal the next day and headed west across the Mediterranean to Rota (5–8 February).

On 11 February 1976, the frigate arrived at Brest, France, for a special Bicentennial visit. On 14 February 1778, with the Americans still engaged in their war for independence from Britain, the French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte extended the first official recognition of the American flag by a foreign power with a gun salute to the Continental Navy sloop Ranger, commanded by Capt. John Paul Jones, at Quiberon Bay, France. Commemorating the anniversary of that milestone at the conclusion of the port call on 14 February, Jesse L. Brown exchanged gun salutes with the French destroyer Dupetit-Thouars (D.625). During the frigate’s Atlantic transit, she stopped for fuel at Ponta Delgada in the Azores (17 February) and at Port Royal Bay, Bermuda (23 February) before putting in to Charleston on 25 February and beginning post-deployment leave and upkeep.

The frigate got underway again on 4 June 1976 to conduct midshipman training at Newport, R.I. Jesse L. Brown then sailed in to Boston, Mass., on 16 June to take part in that historic city’s Bicentennial celebration. She returned to Charleston on 28 June and prepared for her Board of Inspection and Survey (InSurv) inspection, which took place in mid-July. On 26 July, ten midshipmen embarked for training. Over the next two months, the ship conducted helo exercises, NGFS, and ammo onload.

Jesse L. Brown stood out for her next deployment on 4 October 1976. During her first month in the Mediterranean, the frigate touched at Tangier, Morocco; Gaeta, Italy; and La Spezia, Italy. On 25 October, NavOCForMed was once again officially activated, and on the 29th, Jesse L. Brown got underway with the other units of the NATO force—Mohawk (F.125) and Tidereach (A.96) of Britain, Berk (D.358) from Turkey, and Italy’s Indomito (D.559). Over the next month, the ships visited Marseilles, France; Catania and Taranto, Italy; and Izmit, Turkey, before NavOCForMed was deactivated. Jesse L. Brown then arrived at Athens, Greece, on 25 November. During the first two weeks of December, the frigate completed training evolutions at Augusta Bay, Sicily, and Souda Bay, Crete. She called at Izmir, Turkey, and then on 20 December put in to Athens for upkeep at Elefsis Shipyard.

Resuming operations for the Sixth Fleet on 10 January 1977, Jesse L. Brown proceeded to Kithira anchorage off the coast of Greece to rendezvous with Task Group 60 for operations. On 20 January, the frigate participated in missile and gunnery exercises on the NATO Missile Firing Installation near Souda Bay. Following a tender availability at Naples at the end of January, the ship engaged in plane guard operations and ASW exercises and made port calls at San Remo, Italy, and Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in February. Following a four-day port visit at Gaeta, Italy, in early March, the frigate completed coordinated submarine operations with Sunfish. She then spent a week at Livorno, Italy (11–17 March) and took part in National Week XXII as part of the Blue Force Amphibious Group with Guam (LPH-9), Mount Baker (AE-34), Harlan County (LST-1196), Fort Snelling (LSD-30), and Valdez from 19–25 March and the post-exercise critique at Augusta Bay on the 26th. The ship called at Valencia, Spain (28 March–5 April) then steamed to Lisbon, Portugal, arriving on 8 April. On the 12th, the ship held turnover with Tattnall (DDG-19) then departed for home, reaching Charleston on 21 April.

Very soon, however, Jesse L. Brown would return to European waters, setting off across the Atlantic once again on 13 June 1977 to take part in the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, commemorating the 25th anniversary of her reign. Other ships in the U.S. delegation included California (CGN-36), Conyngham (DDG-17), Julius A. Furer (FFG-6), Billfish (SSN-676), Milwaukee (AOR-2), and Francis Marion (APA-249). While California and Billfish participated in the official review of ships before the Queen, who observed the parade from the royal yacht Britannia off Portsmouth on 28 June, the other ships of the task group conducted goodwill visits to ports around northern Europe. Jesse L. Brown first stopped at Brest, France (23–26 June) followed by Liverpool, England (27–29 June); Glasgow, Scotland (30 June–3 July); and Dublin, Ireland (4–7 July). The frigate then participated in the U.K. exercise Highwood Blue from 7–9 July. After taking part in a SinkEx off Brest on the 10th, the ship set course for Charleston, returning to her homeport on 21 July.

Following another leave and upkeep period, the crew of Jesse L. Brown prepared to relocate to Bath, Maine, for the ship’s first major overhaul. Departing Charleston on 9 September 1977, the frigate arrived at Bath and commenced overhaul on 12 September. The ship lay in dry dock from 22 November 1977–11 March 1978. Work completed during the overhaul included installation of the AN/SQR-18 Tactical Towed Array Sonar and the RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile system. During sea trials on 26 September, the frigate rescued the crew of the sailboat Liberty in heavy seas. The ship concluded overhaul on 6 October and headed home to Charleston, arriving on the 10th. During her overhaul, Jesse L. Brown received her second Battle Efficiency “E” award as well as several departmental excellence awards. The ship operated locally until 15 November when she sailed for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to complete LAMPS helo workups. She also spent three days on the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) range off Andros Island and on 27 November arrived back at Charleston, where she remained for the rest of the year.

Jesse L. Brown off the coast of Maine, circa 1978. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 96767)
Caption: Jesse L. Brown off the coast of Maine, circa 1978. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 96767)

Gearing up for her next deployment, Jesse L. Brown steamed to Guantánamo Bay on 4 January 1979 to complete refresher training, which continued through 12 February. She then sailed to Puerto Rico to complete OPPE at Roosevelt Roads and NGFS at Vieques. She returned to Charleston on 27 February and held a maintenance availability through 1 April. The following day, the ship sailed to the Puerto Rico operating area to participate in Composite Training Unit Exercise (CompTuEx) 2-79 (2–13 April), during which she fired a Harpoon and scored a direct hit on the target more than 50 nautical miles away. She got underway again at the end of the month, conducting ASW exercises and a “mini-war” with Greenling (SSN-614) and various air assets at the AUTEC range (24–27 April), calling at Fort Lauderdale (28–30 April), and assisting Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 36 with their deck landing qualifications off Jacksonville. Returning to Charleston on 4 May, Jesse L. Brown entered a pre-overseas movement period to make final preparations to deploy.

On 16 June 1979, Jesse L. Brown began her deployment for Unitas XX as the flagship for Capt. Donald L. Howard, Commander DesRon 20. During the annual Unitas deployment, a squadron of U.S. warships circumnavigates South America while conducting training exercises with ships from the continent’s various navies. Steaming in company with guided missile destroyer Dewey (DDG-45) and frigate Trippe (FF-1075), Jesse L. Brown first stopped at Roosevelt Roads, where the group rendezvoused with the submarine Bonefish (SS-582). Departing on 20 June, the ships exercised with the navy of Trinidad and Tobago and then visited Port of Spain, Trinidad, for two days (24–25 June). The U.S. warships next refueled at Puerto de Hierro, Venezuela, and then joined forces with the Venezuelan navy for joint ASW, gunnery, and electronic warfare exercises.

The U.S. ships spent the Independence Day holiday visiting La Guaira, Venezuela, from 2–5 July 1979. Getting underway again on the 6th, the task group next conducted various operations with the Venezuelan and Colombian navies before making a port visit at Cartagena, Colombia (13–16 July). The Dutch frigate Groningen joined the Americans and Colombians for ASW and gunnery exercises en route to the Netherland Antilles. Jesse L. Brown visited Aruba from 20–22 July and then rejoined the U.S. task group as well as Groningen for two more days of joint operations. Parting company with the Dutch vessel on the 25th, the American warships transited the Panama Canal and then stopped at Naval Station Rodman to reprovision.

Departing Rodman on 28 July 1979, the American Unitas task group headed south, crossing the equator on the 29th and putting in at Manta, Ecuador, on the 30th. The next day, the warships rendezvoused with Ecuadorian naval vessels for several days of joint exercises. The task group called at Guayaquil, Equador (4–7 August) and then over the next week engaged in antisubmarine, antiair, and surface warfare exercises with Peruvian warships. After visiting Callao (16–19 August), they resumed operations with the Peruvians on 20 August. The Americans stopped for fuel at Ilo, Peru, on the 23rd and then continued down the west coast of South America to Chile.

The American ships called at Iquique, Chile, on 25 August 1979 and three days later put in to Puerto Aldes, where they refueled and joined with units from the Chilean navy for freeplay exercises. After anchoring at Robinson Crusoe Island on 31 August, the American and Chilean Unitas forces held gunnery exercises en route to Valparaiso, where the Americans called from 3–6 September. Jesse L. Brown and her task group companions next stopped at Talcahuano, Chile (8–13 September) for a week of maintenance and repairs at the naval shipyard. On 15 September, Bonefish detached from the Unitas task group to return to the United States, and Jesse L. Brown, Dewey, and Trippe began their transit around the southern tip of the continent via the Chilean Inland Waterway and the Strait of Magellan, making their last Chilean port visit at Punta Arenas on 19–20 September.

Now headed north in the Atlantic Ocean, on 24 September 1979 the American Unitas ships arrived at Puerto Madryn, Argentina, where the submarine Greenling joined the task group. Departing the following day, the Americans joined with Argentine naval vessels for several days of antisurface and antisubmarine warfare exercises. The task group spent the last two days of September at Puerto Belgrano, Argentina (29–30 September) before continuing on to Montevideo, Uruguay. The Americans arrived on 3 October, but with the Uruguayan naval ships unable to sortie, all training with the Uruguayans took place in port. Departing on 9 October, the American task group sailed for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Following five days at Rio (12–16 October), the Americans joined forces with the Brazilian Navy for a week of exercises en route to the next port of call at Salvador, Brazil (23–25 October). Underway again on the 26th, the Americans conducted freeplay exercises with Brazilian aircraft, submarines, and surface units and then concluded Unitas XX with a port visit at Recife, Brazil, on 30–31 October.

Jesse L. Brown passes the skyline of Rio de Janeiro during Unitas XX. (U.S. Navy Photograph SN-82-09756, PH2 J. Vinson, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Jesse L. Brown passes the skyline of Rio de Janeiro during Unitas XX. (U.S. Navy Photograph SN-82-09756, PH2 J. Vinson, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Departing Recife on 1 November 1979, Jesse L. Brown, Dewey, and Trippe next charted a course across the Atlantic, beginning a West Africa Training Cruise to spread American naval know-how and goodwill on the continent. The U.S. warships went their separate ways after the ocean transit, and Jesse L. Brown first called at Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 6–7 November. En route to her next scheduled stop at Lome, Togo, from 10–12 November, Jesse L. Brown participated in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue divers trapped in a diving bell that had plunged to the ocean floor off the Ivory Coast after a cable parted as the bell was being hauled on board the motor vessel Wodeco V. Following the recovery of the divers’ bodies, the frigate continued on with her tour of West Africa, making additional port calls at Libreville, Gabon (15–16 November); Rey Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (18–19 November); Accra, Ghana (22–23 November); and Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands (29–30 November). On 1 December, she rendezvoused with Trippe and together the frigates steamed for Charleston, arriving home on 10 December. Jesse L. Brown underwent leave and upkeep for the rest of the year.

On 28 January 1980, Jesse L. Brown headed for the Bahamas to engage in a “mini-war” and helo training on the AUTEC range (30 January–1 February). After stopping at Port Everglades (2–5 February), the frigate sailed to Puerto Rico, where she called briefly at Roosevelt Roads and completed NGFS at Vieques. After returning to Charleston on 14 February, the ship completed an InSurv inspection at the end of the month, followed by a nine-week selected restricted availability (SRA) through 30 April. Following sea trials and weapons onload in early May, the ship conducted helo deck landing qualifications in the Virginia capes area (13–15 May) and spent the rest of the month in upkeep.

Clearing Charleston on 3 June 1980, Jesse L. Brown headed for the Jacksonville operating area to provide targeting services for submarines and to take part in CompTuEx 4-80. During the transit on 5 June, however, she experienced a casualty to her high pressure turbine and the ship had to be towed back to Charleston by the destroyer Deyo (DD-989). Following the completion of emergency repairs, Jesse L. Brown spent the rest of the summer preparing for deployment. She took part in ReadEx 2-80 from 22 July–4 August, held a dependents’ cruise on 28 August, and loaded ammunition at NWS Charleston on the 29th.

On 19 September 1980, Jesse L. Brown departed on deployment in company with destroyer Peterson (DD-969). During her Atlantic transit, the ship stopped for fuel at Bermuda (21 September) and Ponta del Gada (27 September) and arrived at Rota, Spain, on 30 September. She continued east across the Mediterranean on 2 October and refueled at Souda Bay (6 October) and Port Said (7 October) before transiting the Suez Canal and Red Sea. After another fuel stop at Djibouti on 11 October, the frigate conducted battle group operations in the Indian Ocean with Combined Task Force (CTF) 70, which earned her a Navy Expeditionary Medal. The ship completed a month-long tender availability at Diego Garcia from 11 October–18 November. In December, Jesse L. Brown was awarded her third Battle “E” as well as six departmental awards, and on Christmas day she headed to Port Louis, Mauritius, to spend the New Year.

On the way back to Charleston, the frigate touched at Bermuda again (1 March) and arrived back at her homeport on 3 March 1981. She remained in restricted availability through 10 April and then resumed training. Jesse L. Brown departed for the Caribbean on the 20th, making a port stop at St. Thomas (24–26 April) and conducting NGFS at Vieques (28–29 April). On 11 May the ship was underway again, conducting submarine services while headed for CompTuEx 2-81 (14–22 May). The ship was in SRA from 8 June–4 July and played host to the visiting French warship Protet (F.748) from 3–7 July. On the 27th, the ship headed to Florida for helicopter workups with HSL-36 Detachment (Det) 2 and an operational readiness inspection, followed by a stop at Port Everglades (31 July–1 August). During the return trip to Charleston, Jesse L. Brown provided services for Sturgeon (SSN-637), after which she returned home on 6 August and immediately began a maintenance availability to prepare for her upcoming deployment.

With HSL-36 Det 2 embarked, Jesse L. Brown put to sea on 19 August 1981 bound for the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea for a series of multinational exercises. During the ten-day Atlantic transit, the frigate took part in Ocean Venture (19–29 August). She then participated in two phases of Magic Sword (North: 30 August–6 September; South: 7–8 September), followed by the exercise Ocean Safari (8–18 September). The ship then made two port visits, to Hull, U.K. (21–23 September) and Oslo, Norway (25–29 September) before continuing operations in the Baltic, where from 1–9 October, Jesse L. Brown exercised with Danish and German warships during BaltOps 81. She then called at Aalborg, Denmark (9–13 October) before heading back to Charleston, arriving on 26 October. The ship held leave and upkeep through 3 November and then operated locally for the rest of the year.

Following the year-end leave and upkeep period that ended 14 January 1982, Jesse L. Brown steamed for the Caribbean on 21 January. There she took part in CompTuEx 2-82 through 28 January in company with the guided missile cruisers Harry E. Yarnell (CG-17) and Biddle (CG-34), destroyers Spruance (DD-963) and Forrest Sherman (DD-931), frigates Thomas C. Hart (FF-1092) and Bowen (FF-1079), and the oiler USNS Truckee (TAO-147), exercising in surface warfare tactics and over-the-horizon targeting. The frigate then completed NGFS at Vieques and visited the island of Antigua (29–31 January). Continuing with CompTuEx in early February, Jesse L. Brown practiced antisubmarine warfare, antisurface warfare, and antiair warfare tactics. She put in to Roosevelt Roads on 4 February to refuel and then turned for home. En route to Charleston, the frigate took part in a search and rescue operation to locate a pilot who splashed off Puerto Rico. Returning to Charleston on 12 February, the ship entered the pre-overseas movement period prior to deployment.

On the morning of 17 March 1982, Jesse L. Brown set off on a Middle East and Mediterranean deployment. Steaming in company with Thomas C. Hart, Forrest Sherman, Bowen, guided missile frigate Samuel Eliot Morison (FFG-13), and fleet oiler Caloosahatchee (AO-98), the task group arrived at Rota on 28 March. Jesse L. Brown left Rota and transited the Strait of Gibraltar on 1 April, arriving at Malaga the next day for an intermediate maintenance availability with the destroyer tender Puget Sound (AD-38). On 12 April, Vice Adm. William H. Rowden, Commander Sixth Fleet, paid a visit to the frigate. Later that day, Jesse L. Brown sailed in company with Forrest Sherman on a Mediterranean transit. On their way to the Suez Canal on the 17th, the two ships raced to the assistance of the Yugoslavian freighter Krista Marinovic which was engulfed in flames. Jesse L. Brown’s helo lifted the vessel’s captain from the inferno, while Forrest Sherman picked up crewmembers who had evacuated by life raft. The ships transferred all of the rescued sailors to USNS Waccamaw (T-AO-109) for transport to Alexandria, Egypt.

Following that rescue, Jesse L. Brown and Forrest Sherman continued onward towards the Middle East. The warships transited the Suez Canal on 18 April 1982 and headed to Aqaba, Jordan. During the port visit from 20–22 April, the U.S. Ambassador to Jordan R.N. Viets held a reception for the companies of the two ships. After stopping to refuel at Djibouti on 25 April, Jesse L. Brown continued on to the Persian Gulf. Following turnover with Koelsch (FF-1049) on 1 May, Jesse L. Brown operated in the Gulf through May and June, serving as radar picket ship and patrolling the Strait of Hormuz. On 28 June the ship conducted turnover with Richard L. Page (FFG-5) and set course for Djibouti to refuel.

Transiting the Suez Canal on 7 July 1982, Jesse L. Brown next put in to Naples, Italy, for several days of leave and upkeep (10–13 July). She continued westward across the Mediterranean to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for five days of liberty (16–24 July) and then stopped at Rota to reconvene with her task group. The frigate began the transatlantic crossing on 27 July in company with Forrest Sherman, Bowen, Samuel Eliot Morison, Thomas C. Hart, Caloosahatchee, and Butte (AE-27). On 3 August, Jesse L. Brown and her fellow Charleston-bound ships Forrest Sherman and Bowen detached from the group, arriving at Charleston on the morning of 6 August “to the cheering and ultimate joy of family members.”

After post-deployment leave and upkeep, Jesse L. Brown resumed training and exercises in September 1982 with surface warfare training week (20–24 September). In October, the frigate took part in a week-long operation off the coast of Charleston and ended the month providing submarine services in the Jacksonville operations area. A refresher training scheduled for October was postponed, and the ship operated locally until just after Thanksgiving, when she received tasking to conduct surveillance operations in the Caribbean. During this cruise, the ship called at Key West, Fla. (3–4 December) and stopped briefly to refuel at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on the 11th. Speaking of a second fuel stop at Guantánamo Bay on 22 December, Jesse L. Brown’s historian relates that “the ship was greeted by Santa Claus, a partridge in a pear tree, gifts for the crew, and liquid refreshment on the pier.” Turning over with Flatley (FFG-21) on 28–29 December, the frigate returned home to Charleston, arriving at midday on the 31st, just in time to ring in the New Year with friends and family.

Jesse L. Brown opened 1983 with a series of inspections culminating with InSurv as well as training and exercises that would ensure the ship’s operational readiness to deploy later in the year. The ship sailed for the Caribbean on 23 February, providing carrier escort services for John F. Kennedy while en route. The frigate completed refresher training at Guantánamo Bay from 1–22 March and then enjoyed a couple days of rest and relaxation at St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. After calling at Roosevelt Roads (30–31 March), the ship completed NGFS (1–2 April) and participated in surface warfare training week (6–8 April). Jesse L. Brown next took part in CompTuEx 2-83 and finally returned to Charleston on 21 April. As she prepared to deploy once again over the next several weeks, the frigate held an intermediate maintenance availability with the destroyer tender Sierra (AD-18).

Putting to sea on the morning of 15 June 1983, Jesse L. Brown steamed south to participate in the 24th annual Unitas deployment. Rendezvousing with Scott (DDG-995) and Conolly (DD-979) at Mayport, Fla., on 16 June, the warships sailed to Roosevelt Roads (21–22 June), where Rear Adm. Clinton W. Taylor, Commander, South Atlantic Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet called upon the ship. Three frigates of the Venezuelan navy joined the U.S. task group and the combined force exercised together en route to La Guaira, Venezuela. George Washington (SSBN-598) and Spiegel Grove (LSD-32) rendezvoused with the rest of the task group during the La Guaira port visit (26–27 June). The Dutch frigate Van Nes accompanied the Americans for the transit to Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, where they called from 3–9 July. Joined by the Colombian destroyer Boyacá (DE.16) [ex-Hartley (DE-1029)] and two Colombian submarines on 6 July, the three navies exercised together between Curaçao and Cartagena. After six days at the latter port, the U.S. warships continued west and transited the Panama Canal, stopping at Rodman, Panama, on 20 July. Departing on the 25th, the task group headed south, crossing the equator the following day. To mark the occasion, Jesse L. Brown held a Crossing the Line ceremony, initiating approximately 170 slimy pollywogs into the ranks of King Neptune’s trusty shellbacks.

During the transit to Manta, Ecuador, the Ecuadorian fast patrol boats Esmeraldas, Cuenca, Manta Rocafuerte, and Huancavilca exercised with the U.S. Unitas task group. Following four days at Manta (31 July–3 August), on 4 August 1983 the American ships rendezvoused with more than 10 Peruvian ships for underway exercises. The task group next sailed in to Callao, Peru, on 11 August and then visited Valparaiso, Chile, from 19–22 August. Next joining forces with the Chileans for two days of operations, the ships put in to Talcahuano, Chile, on the 24th. Jesse L. Brown completed a maintenance availability during the six day port visit. At the next stop in Puerto Montt, Chile (1–3 September), a sudden storm developed on the final night in port, leaving over 400 American sailors stranded ashore. While Conolly, Scott, and Spiegel Grove departed as scheduled, Jesse L. Brown remained at Puerto Montt to receive the stragglers until they could return to their own ships.

In company with Scott, Jesse L. Brown made the first official U.S. naval visit to Quellon, Chile, on 5–6 September 1983. The two ships reunited with the task group on the 6th, and in company with the Chileans held four days of amphibious operations near Tic-Toc Island and sailed through the Chilean Inland Waterway. Parting company with their Chilean counterparts at Punta Arenas (15–16 September), the American task group steamed north to Uruguay, as Argentina chose not to participate in Unitas for the second year in a row following their 1982 war with the British over the Falkland Islands. After calling at Montevideo (24 September–1 October), the American warships exercised with the Uruguayan navy for six days and then anchored at Punta Del Este from 5–6 October to debrief. At this time, George Washington departed independently and submarine Skipjack (SSN-585) joined the Unitas task group. Departing on 6 October, the American warships sailed to Santos, Brazil, where they were “inundated with visitors” during their five-day stay (10–14 October). Teaming up with the John F. Kennedy battle group on 17 October, the combined forces engaged in a display of firepower and an air show by carrier-based aircraft. Two days later, Jesse L. Brown arrived at Rio de Janeiro for a six day liberty call. Departing on 24 October, the U.S. warships exercised with the Brazilians for four days during the transit to Salvador, Brazil, the last stop of Unitas XXIV.

Jesse L. Brown next made an eight-day transit of the Atlantic Ocean and embarked upon West African Training Cruise 84, a mission chronicled in the April 1984 issue of All Hands magazine. With Conolly and Spiegel Grove also participating but visiting different ports, the American warships conducted a “show the flag” tour of West Africa, training with local naval and coast guard representatives. They would also serve as goodwill ambassadors for their country by participating in community relations projects and cultural exchanges and by distributing goods provided by Project Handclasp including food, seeds, educational materials, medical supplies, and sewing equipment.

Jesse L. Brown’s itinerary first took her to Lome, Togo (9–15 November 1983), where the frigate’s crewmen helped paint an orphanage and a school and threw a party for local children. The ship’s soccer team also traveled to the city of Lama-Kara to play a Togolese military team. Among the activities at the next port of Freetown, Sierra Leone (18–21 November), the U.S. sailors helped build a roof on a local school. Jesse L. Brown also called at Conakry, Guinea (22–24 November); Banjul, The Gambia (25–28 November); and Praia, Cape Verde Islands (30 November–2 December) before heading back to the United States. After a stop at Roosevelt Roads for fuel and supplies, the frigate returned to Charleston on 12 December. The crew enjoyed a leave and upkeep period during the holiday season and then made final preparations for the ship’s next major overhaul.

A crewman from Jesse L. Brown speaks with a West African sailor who is touring the ship during West African Training Cruise 84. Photo from the April 1984 issue of All Hands Magazine. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-ST-85-08490, PH3 Roger Frazer, Nationa...
Caption: A crewman from Jesse L. Brown speaks with a West African sailor who is touring the ship during West African Training Cruise 84. Photo from the April 1984 issue of All Hands Magazine. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-ST-85-08490, PH3 Roger Frazer, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

A Jesse L. Brown crewman helps put a new roof on a school at Freetown, Sierra Leone, as some of the students give him a hand during West African Training Cruise 84. Photo from the April 1984 issue of All Hands Magazine. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-S...
Caption: A Jesse L. Brown crewman helps put a new roof on a school at Freetown, Sierra Leone, as some of the students give him a hand during West African Training Cruise 84. Photo from the April 1984 issue of All Hands Magazine. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-ST-85-08489, PH2 Jeffrey A. Salter, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

On 17 February 1984, Jesse L. Brown sailed for Boston, where Capt. Thomas J. Hudner, USN (Ret.), local resident and Medal of Honor recipient for his attempt to rescue ship’s namesake Ensign Jesse L. Brown after his plane crashed in Korea in 1950, came to greet the frigate upon her arrival on the 20th. The following day, the ship commenced a six-month overhaul at the General Ship Corporation with a concurrent intermediate availability with Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity (SIMA) Newport (R.I.). Issues addressed during the overhaul included repair of the sonar dome, complete replacement of all berthing compartments and heads, and refit of the ASROC system and gun mount. The ship held sea trials on 24 September and completed overhaul on 5 October, one week ahead of schedule. She departed Boston on 9 October.

The approach of Hurricane Josephine caused Jesse L. Brown to be diverted to Norfolk on 11 October 1984. Sailing again on the 15th, the ship finally arrived back home at Charleston on 17 October. Five days later, she entered dry dock no.1 at Charleston Naval Shipyard for extensive repairs to the ship’s sonar dome, which had been deemed to be too expensive to complete at the private facility in Boston, as well as repairs to the flight deck. She remained in dry dock until 10 December, conducted sea trials (14–16 December), and began the year-end holiday leave and upkeep period on the 17th.

In January 1985, Jesse L. Brown operated locally while completing training, assessments, and inspections. On 1 February, the ship got underway en route to Guantánamo Bay for refresher training. The frigate arrived at Roosevelt Roads on 5 February, but instead of the scheduled weapons system alignment testing, “things didn’t quite go as planned” and Jesse L. Brown stood out to conduct special operations hunting for submarines, returning to Roosevelt Roads on 11 February. The ship then completed the weapons system alignment testing and on the 18th reached Guantánamo Bay, where she had refresher training through the month of March. She briefly returned to Puerto Rico to complete NGFS at Vieques before arriving at Charleston on 4 April. For her “consistently superb performance” since December 1982, the frigate earned a Navy Unit Commendation.

Jesse L. Brown began a busy spring on 22 April 1985 with one week underway for helo workups. On 9 May, the ship hosted “JLB Wives Night,” where the crew invited their spouses on board to tour the ship and see firsthand what their husbands do at work. The ship’s historian noted that “the evening went a long way towards involving the wives with the workings of this vessel and bringing a shared bond of experience between husband/crewmember and wife.” On 15 May, the frigate set course for Boston to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Due to unfavorable weather on the 18th, fewer visitors than anticipated toured the ship. However, on the 20th, Jesse L. Brown once again had the honor of welcoming Capt. Thomas Hudner, who addressed ship’s company at the dedication of the forward crew lounge, to be known thereafter as the “Hudner Room.”

Taking leave of Boston on 21 May 1985, Jesse L. Brown provided submarine services to Augusta (SSN-710) and returned to Charleston on the 25th. Getting underway again on 5 June, the frigate next took part in CompTuEx 2-85, which differed from prior years’ exercises in that the participating ships would “train as they would fight” so that the exercise would provide a more realistic experience. The ship moored at Charleston Navy Shipyard on 20 June and began installation of the Close-In Weapon System, which lasted through all of July. The frigate tested the new system with a live firing exercise on 1 August. On the 9th, Jesse L. Brown held a dependents’ cruise, which proved a happy experience for all concerned. As a final tune-up prior to deployment, Jesse L. Brown sailed to the Caribbean for ReadiEx 3-85 from 15 August–6 September. On 25 September, the ship sortied from Charleston as Hurricane Gloria approached the coast, returning to port on the 28th.

Putting to sea on 2 October 1985, Jesse L. Brown deployed to the Mediterranean. The ship reached the Strait of Gibraltar on the 14th and continued east to the Aegean Sea to participate in Exercise Display Determination with the Turkish navy from 18–21 October. The crew enjoyed a port visit at Antalya, Turkey (24–26 October) and then the frigate proceeded to Haifa, Israel, arriving on the 30th. While the ship engaged in an intermediate availability with Yellowstone (AD-41), many of the crew took the opportunity to visit significant sites around the Holy Land, including Jerusalem, Galilee, and Nazareth. A group of sailors also helped to foster goodwill in the community by completing a painting project at the Rothschild Hospital children’s ward. “The work was hard, and the hours long, but the looks on the children’s faces made it all worthwhile.”

Jesse L. Brown departed Haifa on 12 November 1985 and led the way for the first night transit of the Suez Canal by a Carrier Battle Group. Upon her arrival at Masirah, Oman, the frigate anchored alongside the repair ship Ajax (AR-6) for an intermediate availability through 4 December. Later that day, she got underway with ComDesRon 20 embarked and engaged in ASW operations in the Indian Ocean. On 23 December, the ship emerged from the Strait of Malacca and sailed into Singapore Harbor for the Christmas holiday. On the 29th, Jesse L. Brown steamed for Malé, Maldives, which she visited from 6–8 January 1986. The ship departed and sortied on the 9th, transited the Suez Canal on the 17th, and returned to the Mediterranean.

Responding to heightening tensions between the U.S. and the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, who U.S. officials believed to be a sponsor of terrorist activities around the Mediterranean region, Jesse L. Brown operated in the vicinity of Libya from 18 January 1986 through the end of the month. In 1973, Gaddafi had claimed the entire Gulf of Sidra as Libyan territorial waters, violating the internationally-recognized limit of 12 nautical miles from the coast. American warships including Jesse L. Brown conducted freedom of navigation operations in the Gulf of Sidra to exercise the right to operate in international waters without interference. The frigate then spent the first week of February in port at Livorno, Italy, and on the 7th sortied to return to battle group operations off Libya and in the central Med. The ship called at Naples (17–28 February) and Villafranche, France (3–10 March), and several days after an engineering mobile team training visit, Jesse L. Brown found herself dead in the water repairing a steam leak on 21 March. Three days later, the frigate once again commenced operations in the vicinity of Libya as part of a three-carrier battle force. However, unlike earlier in the year, Libyan air and naval forces challenged the American units as they began crossing the so-called “Line of Death” into the Gulf of Sidra. Carrier aircraft and one U.S. cruiser damaged or sank several Libyan naval vessels and destroyed surface-to-air missile sites during the engagement.

Arriving at Augusta Bay on 2 April 1986, Jesse L. Brown held an intermediate availability with Shenandoah (AD-44) through the 6th. She departed the next day, beginning the voyage back to the U.S. On 8 April, however, Jesse L. Brown’s deployment was extended as tensions with Libya remained high after the 5 April bombing of a discothèque in West Berlin. U.S. and West German officials believed Libya to be responsible for the act, which counted numerous American servicemen among the casualties. On the 15th, the frigate supported a joint Navy-Air Force air strike against Libya, assuming the lifeguard station astern of the aircraft carrier Coral Sea (CV-43). “Participation in an actual strike campaign was both exciting and sobering,” Jesse L. Brown’s historian reported. “The success [of the operation] buoyed our spirits and sustained us through the last few weeks of the deployment.” Jesse L. Brown was awarded both the Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Navy Unit Commendation for her contributions to the effort to check Libyan aggression in early 1986.

Jesse L. Brown spent the week of 21–27 April 1986 visiting Gaeta, Italy, and she then operated in the central and western Mediterranean through the first week of May. Arriving at Gibraltar on 7 May, the frigate was finally able to point her prow toward Charleston and head home in company with Coral Sea, Biddle, De Wert (FFG-45), Jack Williams (FFG-24), Capodanno (FF-1093), Monongahela (AO-178), and Mount Baker (AE-34) on 9 May. Jesse L. Brown detached from the battle group on the 17th and sailed in to Charleston on 19 May, reuniting with family and friends and beginning a month-long leave and upkeep period.

On 12 June 1986, a group of midshipmen embarked on the frigate for one month of summer training. Jesse L. Brown made a three-day port visit to Fort Lauderdale from 27–29 June and then remained at Charleston through July, only moving to NWS Charleston to offload weapons (23–24 July). The ship then entered a selected restricted availability period on 4 August, during which time she received an AN/SLQ-32 V(2) electronic warfare system and a AN/SQR-18A V(1) sonar tactical towed array system. The ship held sea trials from 21–23 October and completed SRA on the 27th. With HSL-36 Det 8 embarked, the frigate got underway on 3 November to take part in ISharem 1-87. However on 12 November, the exercise was cancelled due to heavy weather and the ship instead sailed to Hamilton, Bermuda (13–16 November). Departing on the 17th with a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment embarked, the frigate participated in drug interdiction operations before returning to Charleston on 19 November. Jesse L. Brown stood out one more time for the year on 8 December to complete tailship proficiency exercises with HSL-36 Det 8. Upon her return to port on 17 December, the ship commenced the holiday leave and upkeep period.

Jesse L. Brown remained in port at Charleston during most of the first quarter of 1987. From 2–6 March, the ship completed InSurv inspection and then on the 31st she stood out for three weeks of special operations in the western Atlantic in company with fellow frigates Ainsworth (FF-1090), Aylwin (FF-1081), and Connole (FF-1056). On 15 May, the ship hosted approximately 100 guests for a dependents’ cruise from Charleston to Savannah, Ga. During her short stay in Georgia’s oldest city, more than 2,000 guests toured the ship. With four midshipmen embarked for summer training, Jesse L. Brown departed Savannah on 17 May and steamed to the Caribbean. There she completed NGFS at Vieques (21 May) and then operated in the Roosevelt Roads area, including two days of training at the NGFS range with spotters from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Working with Semmes (DDG-18), Boone (FFG-28), Dallas (SSN-700), Minneapolis-Saint Paul (SSN-708), and Philadelphia (SSN-690) on the AUTEC range off Andros Island from 29 May–1 June, Jesse L. Brown participated in ASW free play exercises as part of Submarine Force Atlantic Fleet prospective commanding officer training operations. The frigate called at Cocoa Beach, Fla., from 2–4 June and returned to Charleston the next day.

On 15 June 1987, Jesse L. Brown embarked 14 midshipmen for one month of summer training, and the following day, the ship departed Charleston and headed north in company with O’Bannon (DD-987), Halyburton (FFG-40), and Aylwin. The latter two ships detached to proceed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, while Jesse L. Brown and O’Bannon proceeded to Boston and berthed astern of the frigate Constitution, the oldest U.S. Navy ship still in commission. During her visit from 19–22 June, Jesse L. Brown welcomed more than 3,000 visitors, then steamed to New York City in company with O’Bannon, where the frigate moored from 24–27 June. Jesse L. Brown next put in at Norfolk to assist with underway training of another group of midshipmen from 29 June–1 July. Returning to Charleston on 2 July, she operated locally for the next week.

Although not scheduled to deploy again until February 1988, Jesse L. Brown was selected at the last minute for Mediterranean Deployment 4-87 with the Coral Sea battle group. On 12 August 1987, the frigate put to sea to take part in the MED 4-87 Advanced Fleet Exercise with the battle group, which in addition to Coral Sea included Yorktown (CG-48), Barney (DDG-6), Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5), Thorn (DD-988), Briscoe (DD-977), Caron (DD-970), Donald B. Beary (FF-1085), Ainsworth, and Seattle. Upon her return to port on 28 August, Jesse L. Brown entered the pre-overseas movement period.

On 29 September 1987, Jesse L. Brown’s crew said goodbye to family and friends and departed for deployment in company with Thorn and Sierra, joining the rest of the battle group during the transit across the Atlantic. Once in the Mediterranean, the Coral Sea battle group rendezvoused with the Saratoga (CV-60) battle group as well as the battleship Iowa (BB-61). Steaming into Augusta Bay, the assembled forces held turnover from 17–19 October. Jesse L. Brown then embarked upon ASW operations. On 12 November, the ship began a port visit at Gaeta, Italy. During her stay through the 25th, the frigate held an intermediate availability with Sierra, and on the 16th, Vice Adm. Kendall E. Moranville, Commander Sixth Fleet, visited the ship. Departing on 30 November, Jesse L. Brown joined Briscoe and Barney before putting in for a two-week stay at Haifa, Israel (30 November–14 December). She next called at Antayla, Turkey, arriving on 16 December with the submarine Minneapolis-Saint Paul. On Christmas Eve, Jesse L. Brown arrived at Trieste, Italy, where the ship’s crew would celebrate the holiday season through 4 January 1988.

At the conclusion of the holiday stand down period, Jesse L. Brown sailed around Italy and put in to Genoa on 9 January 1988 for an intermediate availability with Sierra through the 25th. She then returned to Augusta Bay for battle group training from 28–30 January, followed by a call at Palma de Mallorca (4–14 February). From 15–19 February, the frigate completed ASW operations in the western Mediterranean and then concluded the month at Naples, where Rear Adm. Roger R. Bacon, Commander of Area ASW Forces, Sixth Fleet, visited Jesse L. Brown and presented the ship with the “Hook ‘Em” Award for excellence in antisubmarine warfare operations.

Working with units from the West German, Italian, and Turkish navies, Jesse L. Brown began March 1988 in the Tyrrhenian Sea conducting the NATO anti-submarine exercise Dogfish (3–5 March). After a port visit at Cannes, France (7–11 March), on 12 March Jesse L. Brown rejoined the Coral Sea battle group, which then rendezvoused with the Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) battle group for two days of dual battle group operations followed by turnover at Cagliare, Italy, on the 15th. The Coral Sea battle group then set course for the United States, transiting the Strait of Gibraltar and leaving the Mediterranean behind on 19 March. Jesse L. Brown returned to Charleston on 29 March in company with Sierra and Thorn and entered the post-deployment leave and upkeep period.

Resuming underway operations on 16 May 1988, Jesse L. Brown exercised with submarines Baltimore (SSN-704) and Baton Rouge (SSN-689) for three days in the Virginia capes area. On 2 June, the frigate got underway again en route to the Caribbean for special tasking to participate in counter-narcotics operations with the U.S. Coast Guard. During her three weeks at sea with HSL-32 Det 5, a detachment from the Caribbean Squadron, and a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment all embarked, Jesse L. Brown made three significant contributions in the fight to prevent illegal drugs from South America from entering the United States. Early on the morning of 10 June, the frigate encountered the ship Mara III adrift in the southern Caribbean in rough weather with bales of marijuana floating about. Jesse L. Brown turned over the vessel and her five-member crew as well as some of the marijuana bales collected as evidence to the Venezuelan Coast Guard for prosecution.

In searching for potential drug activity, the frigate kept a sharp eye on the air as well as the sea. That vigilance paid off when Jesse L. Brown reported a suspicious air contact to Miami air control, and customs agents sent to the scene near the Bahamas observed a small airplane dropping illegal narcotics into the water. Bahamian authorities then apprehended the runners who arrived to retrieve the drugs. Then on 15 June 1988, the frigate reported another suspect air contact, and the resulting bust netted the aircraft, the drug pickup teams, and more than a half ton of cocaine worth an estimated street value of $8.7 million. With the satisfaction of a job well done, Jesse L. Brown returned home to Charleston on 21 June. The ship earned a Coast Guard commendation for her drug interdiction successes during this cruise.

Moored in downtown Charleston from 1–4 July 1988, Jesse L. Brown welcomed more than 2,500 visitors to her decks over the long holiday weekend, including Congressman Arthur Ravenel Jr., representative from South Carolina’s First District. She then got underway and conducted reconnaissance operations with the embarked A Company, Second Division Marine Reconnaissance Unit, from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. Concurrently, she hosted three prospective commanding officers for the Senior Officer Ship Material Readiness Course. The frigate returned to Charleston on 9 July and remained in port for the next month.

On 8 August 1988, Jesse L. Brown sailed for Bermuda, where she spent three days (10–12 August) before heading to the Caribbean for another round of drug interdiction operations. Once again, the frigate had a law enforcement detachment from the U.S. Coast Guard as well as HSL-32 Det 5 embarked, and three other Navy ships—Ticonderoga (CG-47), Comte de Grasse (DD-974), and McCloy (FF-1038)—also took part in operations. Jesse L. Brown apprehended one drug smuggling vessel during this trip. The ship’s helo identified a possible target, and as the frigate closed in, the smugglers started dumping 68 bales of marijuana into the water. Jesse L. Brown recovered both the drugs and the smugglers, who scuttled their boat, from the sea and brought them to Coast Guard officials at Guantánamo Bay. On 23 August, a potential drug interdiction turned into a search and rescue operation when the suspect vessel foundered as Jesse L. Brown approached. The ship’s crew rescued all six of the sunken vessel’s complement and transferred them to the Coast Guard cutter Diligence (WMEC-616). The frigate returned to Charleston on 3 September without further incident. She received two Coast Guard Special Operations ribbons for her May and August drug enforcement cruises.

On 29 September 1988, Jesse L. Brown commenced dry-docking selected restricted availability with Charleston Naval Shipyard which lasted into the New Year. The ship got underway again for sea trials on 17 January 1989 and arrived at Naval Station Charleston the following day. Beginning several months of preparation for her next deployment, the frigate operated locally through mid-February. On 17 February, she got underway for degaussing and arrived at City Pier in Savannah later that day. Departing on the 20th, Jesse L. Brown conducted helo and independent operations until 22 February, when she rendezvoused with Sturgeon for submarine operations.

Jesse L. Brown returned to Charleston on 23 February 1989 but put to sea again four days later, en route to Puerto Rico. She conducted a burial at sea on the 27th and an interdiction of a surface contact on 1 March. Making an overnight stop at Roosevelt Roads the next day, the ship completed NGFS at Vieques on 3–4 March. Following a three-day port visit at St. Martin (5–7 March), the frigate anchored briefly at St. Croix and then steamed for Naval Station Mayport, arriving on 12 March. Over the next week (13–20 March), the frigate conducted tailship proficiency and ASW operations in company at various points with Boone, Spruance, Ray (SSN-653), and Shark (SSN-591). Jesse L. Brown detached from the group on 21 March and arrived back at Charleston the following morning.

Remaining in port through April for upkeep, Jesse L. Brown steamed to the Virginia capes operations area on 4 May 1989 to participate in exercise Solid Shield, a joint amphibious assault operation with all branches of the military participating. Early in the exercise, Jesse L. Brown operated with Carrier Group 8 led by Dwight D. Eisenhower and also including Mahan (DDG-42), Aubrey Fitch (FFG-34), and Taylor (FFG-50), but on the 12th and 13th, the ship worked with Amphibious Group 2, which included Nashville (LPD-13), Pensacola (LSD-38), Charleston (LKA-113), Harlan County (LST-1196), Saginaw (LST-1188), and Sumter (LST-1181). Continuing operations with the carrier group through the 16th, Jesse L. Brown operated with Nashville on 17 May before steaming independently to Charleston, arriving on the afternoon of 19 May.

As Jesse L. Brown remained in port for upkeep, the quiet of the first watch was broken on the night of 17 June 1989 when a male caller phoned in a bomb threat to the ship. While the crew mustered on the flight deck, reaction forces searched the ship for an explosive device. Fortunately there was no detonation in the 15 minute timeframe given by the caller and nothing unusual was found during the search of the ship. The following month passed quietly as the ship made final preparations to deploy.

On the morning of 15 July 1989, Jesse L. Brown departed Charleston with HSL-32 Det 5 embarked, beginning her third deployment to South America for Unitas XXX. The frigate rendezvoused with the destroyers Briscoe and Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23) and steamed to Roosevelt Roads, arriving on the 19th. Beginning on the 22nd, the warships began the first phase of exercises off Puerto Rico in company with tank landing ship Manitowoc (LST-1180), oiler Caloosahatchee, submarine Tinosa (SSN-606), hydrofoil Aquila (PHM-4), and the Brazilian frigate Independência (F.44). The next day, a sonar technician was MedEvaced from Jesse L. Brown due to a suspected case of hepatitis. On 26 July, the frigate conducted NGFS at Vieques and returned to Roosevelt Roads on the 27th after an additional day of exercises with the other warships. On 31 July, the U.S. ships sailed for the southern hemisphere, joining Independência for exercises. After crossing the equator on 7 August, they arrived at Recife, Brazil, on the 9th.

Departing Recife on 12 August 1989, the American Unitas task group exercised for several days with Brazilian naval vessels including destroyers Espirito Santo (D.38), Marcílio Dias (D.25), and Mariz e Barros (D.26) and frigates Liberal (F.43) and Independência. Those on duty during the first watch on the night of 16 August observed a total eclipse of the moon. The ships put in to Rio de Janeiro on 18 August, exercised again with the Brazilians in the local area from the 23rd–26th and returned to Rio for two more days in port. Putting to sea on 29 August, the U.S. ships conducted several days of joint exercises with the Brazilian and Argentine navies as they continued down the coast towards Puerto Belgrano, Argentina (6–11 September). The Americans exercised for four days off Puerto Belgrano with the Argentinian destroyers Almirante Brown (D.10), Heroína (D.12), and Sarandí (D.13), corvette Guerrico (P.32), and submarine San Juan (S.42).

Jesse L. Brown and the U.S. Unitas task group called at Punta Arenas, Chile, for a two day visit on 20 September 1989. As the frigate navigated the Strait of Magellan in “unusually fine weather” on 22 September, the crewmen’s thoughts were of family at home as Hurricane Hugo bore down directly on Charleston as a category 4 storm with winds well over 100 mph. The most powerful hurricane to hit the United States in two decades caused extensive damage in the Charleston area. Jesse L. Brown reached Talcahuano, Chile, on 26 September, and according to the ship’s cruise book, “there was an understandable mad rush to the phones only to find in most cases that the phone lines were down. The radio men worked hard getting all the EZ messages sent and distributed.” The cruise book also reported that while all of the crew’s family members survived the storm, property damage was extensive, and several sailors were sent home to assist with cleanup efforts. Meanwhile as the ship underwent maintenance and upkeep at Talcahuano, 26 Jesse L. Brown seamen provided labor to help reopen a free medical clinic for children as part of Project Handclasp.

Getting underway again on 5 October 1989, the American Unitas ships continued their journey up the west coast of South America, exercising with the Chilean destroyers Ministro Portales (DD.17) [ex-Douglas H. Fox (DD-779)], Almirante Riveros (DDG.18), and Blanco Encalada (D.15). The ships moored at Valparaiso from 7–11 October, where Jesse L. Brown sailors once again took part in Project Handclasp efforts by helping out at an orphanage and a facility for the mentally challenged. Continuing exercises with the three Chilean destroyers north to Puerto Aldea (13–15 October), the American ships then proceeded to Callao, Peru (19–23 October), where from the 23rd–27th, they exercised with various ships of the Peruvian navy, including Mariátegui (FM.54), Villavicencio (FM.52), Montero (FM.53), Velarde (CM.21), and Sánchez Carrión (CM.26). Jesse L. Brown spent three more days at Callao and then on 30 October sailed for Manta, Ecuador.

Arriving on 4 November 1989, the frigate spent four days at Manta before joining Briscoe, Richard E. Byrd, and Tinosa for exercises with Ecuadorian naval ships Esmeraldas (CM.11), Manabí (CM.12), Los Ríos (CM.13) Loja (CM.16), Quito (LM.21), and Guayaquil (LM.23). The combined force returned to Manta (9–11 November) and then set off for Naval Station Rodman, joined en route by the Colombian ships Independiente (FM.54) and Antioquia (FM.53). The ships put in to Rodman on 14 November and departed on the 18th to transit the Panama Canal. Hydrofoils Aquila and Taurus (PHM-3) joined the American and Colombian ships in the Caribbean Sea and the group exercised together until stopping at Cartagena on the 26th. While en route to Maracaibo, Venezuela, beginning on 27 November, the Americans exercised jointly with both the Colombian navy—the aforementioned ships as well as Armirante Padilla (CM.51) and Caidas (CM.52)—plus the Venezuelan ships General Urdaneta (F.23), General Salóm (F.25), Almirante García (F.26), and Mariscal Sucre (F.21). After calling at Maracaibo (29 November–1 December), the American and Venezuelan ships—now also including General Soublette (F.24)—exercised together through the 6th, when they arrived at LaGuaira, Venezuela, the final port of the Unitas South American circumnavigation, for a two-day visit. On 8 December, Jesse L. Brown and the Unitas task group sailed north for Roosevelt Roads, arriving the next day. On the 11th, the frigate got underway with Briscoe, Richard E. Byrd, and Antrim (FFG-20) and made her way home. Returning to Charleston on 15 December, the ship began a month-long post-deployment stand down period.

Jesse L. Brown remained in port during January 1990 as leave and upkeep continued. She was underway briefly on 5 February to onload weapons at NWS Charleston. On 20 February, the frigate departed Charleston and headed for Roosevelt Roads with William V. Pratt (DDG-44) and Klakring (FFG-42). The following day, Jesse L. Brown rescued a fire controlman from William V. Pratt who had fallen overboard. After stopping for the night at Roosevelt Roads on 25 February, the ship was underway again the next day to complete gunnery and other exercises off Puerto Rico with Mississippi (CGN-40), Truett (FF-1095), Klakring, William V. Pratt, and USNS Neosho (T-AO-143). She returned to Charleston on 6 March but was underway again one week later conducting individual ship’s exercises in the Virginia capes area (13–15 March). The frigate spent the remainder of the spring and summer in upkeep at Charleston and underway for local training operations.

On 1 October 1990, Jesse L. Brown departed for another turn at counter narcotics operations. During this cruise, the ship conducted law enforcement operations in both the Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean (9–20 October). She assisted in the interdiction of a suspicious aircraft that was apprehended in Mexico carrying cocaine valued at $24 million. After returning to the Caribbean, the frigate headed for St. George’s, Grenada. Her three-day port visit there included a wardroom lunch on the 26th with Grenadian dignitaries and U.S. naval officers including James Ford Cooper, Charge d’Affaires; Rear Adm. W. Lewis Glenn Jr., Commander Combat Logistics Group Two; Nicolas Brathwaite, Prime Minister; and Francis Elexis, Attorney General. Departing on 27 October, Jesse L. Brown paused at Roosevelt Roads briefly the following day. On 1 November, she completed degaussing at the Mayport Degaussing Range and then steamed to Charleston, arriving on the afternoon of 2 November. The ship got underway again from 8–10 November to conduct submarine services with Tecumseh (SSBN-628) and then prepared for and completed an InSurv inspection in mid-December before entering the holiday leave and upkeep period.

Jesse L. Brown commenced another counter narcotics patrol cruise on 3 January 1991. Transiting the Panama Canal on 8 January, the frigate operated in the eastern Pacific through the end of the month and returned to the Caribbean via the canal on 31 January. One suspicious aircraft contact reported by the frigate resulted in the apprehension of more than $8.6 million of cocaine headed to Mexico. The ship also saved four men from the fishing vessel Miss Jessica, which had been leaking and capsized off the coast of Costa Rica. Jesse L. Brown’s crew enjoyed some liberty time during a three-day port call at Curaçao (3–6 February). Towards the end of the cruise, Jesse L. Brown received a surprise visit from Rear Adm. Richard C. Macke, Commander Task Group 4.1, who commended the crew for an outstanding job in the fight against drugs. The frigate returned to Charleston on 17 February. Jesse L. Brown was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award for her efforts during this and the previous counter-narcotics cruise.

Remaining in port through March for inspections and certifications, Jesse L. Brown embarked on the year’s second counter-narcotics cruise on 1 April 1991. After a call at Roosevelt Roads for fuel, embarkation of the Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, and a change of command ceremony on 4 April, the ship sailed to St. Thomas for a three day port visit from 6–9 April. After patrolling in the eastern Pacific from 14 April–4 May, the frigate stopped again at Roosevelt Roads before heading home. As she neared Charleston, the ship received a request for assistance from the small sloop Independence, which had lost her rudder and could not maintain steerageway. Jesse L. Brown towed the disabled boat to a transfer point with the Coast Guard and then headed to port.

After concluding her voyage at Charleston on 9 May 1991, the frigate held an intermediate maintenance availability with Sierra from 13 May–2 June. On 30 May, Jesse L. Brown embarked a group of midshipmen for one month of summer training. She was underway from 4–6 June completing ASW exercises with the submarines Billfish and Sand Lance (SSN-660). The following day before returning to Charleston, the ship assisted the fishing vessel Head East II which was experiencing mechanical difficulty and taking on water, until she was relieved by a Coast Guard vessel.

On 21 June 1991, Jesse L. Brown embarked a group of Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets representing universities from across the country and stood out from Charleston. While en route to the Virginia capes operating area on the 22nd, the ship conducted a burial at sea. The embarked midshipmen then gained valuable training experience during Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) I & II. Debarking the midshipmen on 1 July, Jesse L. Brown then sailed to Stamford, Conn., where the ship anchored on the 3rd. In town to help celebrate Independence Day as well the city’s 350th birthday, the frigate was joined by the submarine rescue ship Sunbird (ASR-15) and the Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon Bay (WTGB-109), and despite some difficulties with the ferry service set up to shuttle visitors out to the ships, more than 1,000 guests toured the frigate on just one day of visiting. On 4 July, the frigate held a memorial ceremony for Ensign Brown, the ship’s namesake. Brown’s wingman, Capt. Hudner (Ret.) attended the commemoration. Two days later, Cmdr. Herbert R. Hause, the frigate’s commanding officer, and many members of the crew took part in Stamford’s 350th Anniversary parade, and prior to her departure on 8 July, the ship also received the key to the city.

Jesse L. Brown reached Charleston on 9 July 1991 and held several days of upkeep. She got underway again on 15 July with midshipmen embarked for CORTRAMID III in the Virginia capes operating area. She returned to Charleston on 20 July but departed again two days later for another month-long counter-narcotics patrol in the Caribbean. Although the embarked Coast Guard law enforcement detachment conducted numerous vessel boardings, they found no illegal drugs during this cruise. The frigate did, however, assist one small boat having mechanical issues and was able to get her underway. At the conclusion of law enforcement operations on 20 August, Jesse L. Brown headed to Miami for a five-day port visit (22–26 August), which included another memorial service honoring the life of Jesse Brown on the 23rd and three days of general public tours of the ship.

After returning to Charleston on 27 August 1991, Jesse L. Brown began the final third of the year with an intermediate availability with SIMA Charleston from 3–20 September to prepare for upcoming inspections. She completed sea trials on 24–25 September, and the following day the ship held a dependents’ cruise for family and friends that included a cookout on the flight deck as well as tours and entertainment. From 3–13 October, the frigate took part in FleetEx 1-92 as a member of the Orange Forces operating against the soon-to-deploy America (CV-66) battle group. She then headed to Ft. Lauderdale (13–15 October), where she joined John F. Kennedy, West Virginia (SSBN-736), Joseph Hewes (FF-1078), and Miami (SSN-755) in port during Broward Navy Days to celebrate the Navy’s 216th birthday. She returned to Charleston on 17 October.

Getting underway again on 22 October 1991, Jesse L. Brown was scheduled to operate with a ballistic missile submarine out of King’s Bay, Ga., but the submarine failed to arrive for the rendezvous. The frigate’s command history noted wryly, “the sub’s crew must [have] heard of the impressive tracking record of [Jesse L. Brown’s] sonar techs.” Returning to port on the 25th, the ship spent most of the next month preparing for OPPE, which she passed at the end of November.

Sailing for the Caribbean on 6 December 1991, Jesse L. Brown commenced her fourth counter-narcotics cruise of the year. On 12 December, the frigate made four separate drug busts – the most ever for one day since the start of counter-narcotic operations – receiving a “BZ” message from Commander Task Group 4.1 in recognition of her work. The crew celebrated “a sandy white Christmas underneath the Caribbean sunshine” with a port visit at Aruba from 23–28 December and continued drug interdiction operations through mid-January 1992.

As part of a general realignment of naval forces precipitated by shrinking military budgets and the end of the Cold War, the mission of all Knox-class frigates changed beginning in 1991. The 40 ships in the class were reassigned to the Naval Surface Reserve Force, the idea being to inactivate the vessels but maintain them to enable their reactivation within 180 days. Eight frigates, including Jesse L. Brown, would be fully maintained and converted to training ships (FFTs) to instruct naval reservists who would form the crews of the inactivated frigates in the event the ships were called back into active service.

Jesse L. Brown joined the reserve force on 31 December 1991 and was redesignated as FFT-1089 at that time. Among the changes brought about as a result of the frigate’s new status as a reserve training ship, Jesse L. Brown received her first female sailor in mid-February 1992, and over the next year up to 14 women joined the crew and incorporated completely into the ship’s daily operations.

Departing Charleston on 18 February 1992, Jesse L. Brown steamed to Roosevelt Roads, pausing there briefly on the 21st before departing again and completing NGFS. She returned to Roosevelt Roads on the morning of the 22nd and then sailed for Mobile, Ala., at 1700. While en route on 27 February, the frigate commenced operations with Flatley, and the ships arrived at Alabama State Docks in downtown Mobile on the morning of 28 February. With Jesse L. Brown slated to relocate to Mobile’s brand new naval base later in the year, the ship’s crew took the opportunity to acquaint themselves with their future home as they celebrated Mardi Gras. The frigate stood out on 9 March and conducted independent steaming exercises during the return trip to Charleston, arriving on the afternoon of the 12th.

Over the next several months, Jesse L. Brown held assist visits, completed maintenance and upkeep, and conducted reserve training exercises in the local operating area. On 10 July 1992, the frigate held a particularly special dependents’ cruise. In addition to the crew’s family members, relatives of Ensign Jesse L. Brown also participated. Attendees included Daisy P. Thorne, Brown’s widow; Pamela E. Knight, his daughter; Brown’s three brothers; and more than 100 other relatives of the ship’s namesake.

Jesse L. Brown officially joined the administrative command of Naval Surface Group 6 on 3 August 1992. That same day, she began a three-week intermediate maintenance availability and then continued with training and local operations. Jesse L. Brown bid Charleston a fond farewell on 26 October and set course for her new homeport, arriving at Mobile on the 30th. In November and December, she continued reserve training operations in her new locale and also made a brief trip to Port Isabel, Texas (6–8 December) for a Pearl Harbor anniversary commemoration before commencing the holiday leave and upkeep period in mid-December.

Jesse L. Brown began 1993 with an intermediate maintenance availability with SIMA Mobile from 11–29 January. She then completed type training in the Gulf of Mexico from 1–5 February. Later in the month, the frigate received her fourth Battle “E” award. On 1 March, the ship got underway to conduct counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean, touching briefly at Curaçao for fuel on the 14th. She called at Roosevelt Roads (27–28 March) and Freeport, Bahamas (1–3 April) before conducting engineering training at Mayport (6–9 April) and while underway in the Jacksonville operating area. After returning to Mobile on the 16th, she spent the next month with SIMA Mobile, capping off her maintenance availability with a dependents’ cruise on 22 May.

On 18 June 1993, while moored at Naval Station Mobile, Jesse L. Brown launched her small boat and saved two men from a vessel that sank in Mobile Bay. The following day, Jesse L. Brown stood out from Mobile, beginning a busy summer of underway operations. The frigate spent a week (19–25 June) at NAS Pensacola, Fla., and then proceeded to Philadelphia for Independence Day celebrations (2–5 July). She called at Norfolk from 8–16 July and spent the rest of the month escorting Recovery (ARS-43) towing ex-Triton (SSN-586) and Grapple (ARS-53) towing ex-Ray (SSN-653) to Naval Station Rodman, Panama. The group transited the Panama Canal on 31 July and with her escort duties complete, Jesse L. Brown spent two days (31 July–1 August) at Rodman. Getting underway again on 2 August, the ship crossed the equator and held a crossing the line ceremony the following day. She spent two days at Manta, Ecuador (4–5 August) where the crew helped to distribute supplies from Project Handclasp and then touched again briefly at Rodman (8 August) before returning to the Caribbean on 9 August. She anchored at Cancún, Mexico, from 13–15 August and returned to Mobile on the 19th.

Putting to sea on 13 September 1993, Jesse L. Brown steamed to Mayport for an intermediate maintenance availability with SIMA to get the ship ready for her upcoming operational propulsion plant exam. Successfully completing OPPE on 21 October, the ship departed Mayport the next day, foregoing a port visit at Nassau in order to make an early return home. En route to Mobile, the frigate rescued 17 Cuban refugees adrift in a small sailboat. After arriving at Mobile on 25 October, the crew immediately commenced preparations for InSurv, including an intermediate maintenance availability from 15 November–3 December. Finishing the InSurv inspection on 10 December, Jesse L. Brown ended the year as she began it with an intermediate maintenance availability with SIMA Mobile from 13–23 December, followed by the year-end holiday leave and upkeep period.

Spending most of January 1994 in restricted availability to have her flight deck resurfaced, Jesse L. Brown got underway in early February for aviation facilities certification and gunnery training. From 11–15 February, the ship moored in downtown Mobile at the Alabama State Docks, serving as Mardi Gras Visit Ship. The frigate put to sea again on 25 February, en route to Puerto Rico. She called at Roosevelt Roads (2–3 March), completed antisubmarine warfare weapons firing exercises on the AUTEC range (5 March), completed NGFS at Vieques (6 March), took part in antiair and antisurface gunnery exercises (7 March), and concluded with a visit to San Juan (8–10 March) before returning to Mobile on 16 March.

During 1993, the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission voted to shut down Naval Station Mobile, which took place in June 1994, and the Navy also decided to decommission the eight remaining Knox-class frigates. On 25 March 1994, Jesse L. Brown departed Mobile for the last time and headed to the Bahamas, where the crew enjoyed a two-day port visit (29–30 March). She then transited to Naval Station Mayport, where during the month of April she completed a deactivation availability with SIMA Mayport. On 1 May, the ship steamed for NAS Pensacola, arriving on the 5th.

Slated to be leased to the Egyptian Navy through the Security Assistance Program upon her decommissioning, Jesse L. Brown embarked the ship’s future Egyptian crew on 6 May 1994 to begin their on-the-job training. Over the next month and a half, the frigate made several short training cruises in the Gulf of Mexico with the combined crews. After the successful completion of the Egyptian crew’s training readiness evaluation (27–30 June), Jesse L. Brown immediately entered restricted availability and had one final day underway as a U.S. ship on 21 July.

Jesse L. Brown was decommissioned on 27 July 1994 at NAS Pensacola. In a joint ceremony, the ship was immediately commissioned as Damietta (F.961), Capt. Ahmed Mansour El-Araby in command. She was the fourth ship of the Egyptian Navy to be named after the port city on the Nile River Delta five miles from the Mediterranean coast.

Jesse L. Brown was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 11 January 1995 and was sold to Egypt on 25 March 1998.

Commanding Officer Date Assumed Command
Cmdr. William M. Fogarty 17 February 1973
Lt. Cmdr. William F. Carey 25 June 1974
Cmdr. Richard A. Lamporte 28 May 1976
Cmdr. Hillar Sarepera 26 May 1978
Cmdr. Henry E. Walker Jr. 3 July 1980
Cmdr. David W. Vail 3 July 1982
Cmdr. Oliver K. Spears III 16 November 1984
Cmdr. James W. Pattison 13 January 1987
Cmdr. Michael G. Mathis 24 February 1989
Cmdr. Herbert R. Hause 4 April 1991
Cmdr. Billy Ralph Malone, USNR 8 January 1993

Stephanie Harry

14 March 2018

Published: Mon Jan 13 11:08:48 EST 2020