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USS Blakely (DE-1072/FF-1072)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Blakely (DE-1072/FF-1072)

USS Blakely (DE-1072) was laid down on 8 June 1968 at Weswego, La. By Avondale Shipyards, Inc.; launched on 23 August 1969; sponsored by Mrs. Lila Blakely Morgan, daughter of the late Vice Admiral Blakely; delivered to the Navy on 1 July at the Charleston Naval Shipyard: and commissioned there on 18 July 1970, Comdr. Francis L. Carelll in command.

USS Blakely (DE-1072) spent the remainder of the year fitting out, conducting post-commissioning trials, and making her shakedown cruise. After a leave and upkeep period lasting from 12 December 1970 to 21 February 1971, she entered the Charleston Naval Shipyard on 22 February for post-shakedown availability. The warship returned to Charleston on 11 August and, on the 23d got underway for a voyage via Newfoundland to northern Europe. During that cruise, USS Blakely (DE-1072) visited ports in Norway, Denmark, Germany, and France. She returned to Charleston on 3 October and began normal duty as a unit of the 2d Fleet.

On 1 December 1972, USS Blakely (DE-1072) got underway from Charleston bound for the western Pacific. Steaming via the Panama Canal and Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, she arrived at Subic Bay in the Philippines on 7 January 1973. Five days later, the warship departed Subic Bay for the Vietnamese combat zone. Her tour of duty in the Far East came at the very end of American participation in the Vietnamese conflict; and, as a consequence, she served only once in the combat zone. After calls at Hong Kong, Yokosuka in Japan, San Diego, and Panama, USS Blakely (DE-1072) arrived back at Charleston on 23 March.

After post-deployment standdown, USS Blakely (DE-1072) resumed normal operations out of Charleston. That duty continued until 27 June when she entered the Charleston Naval Shipyard for a restricted availability. Over the next five months, she underwent two major modifications. Her main propulsion plant was converted to use Navy distillate fuel, and the light airborne multipurpose system (LAMPS) was installed. On 30 June 1975, USS Blakely (DE-1072) was redesignated a frigate, and her hull number became FF 1072. The repair period lasted until the third month of 1976. She completed overhaul on 30 March 1976 and embarked upon post-overhaul trials and refresher training. Those tasks took USS Blakely (FF-1072) on an extended cruise in the West Indies, and she did not return to Charleston until 7 July. Operations out of Charleston-including a series of inspections and examinations-carried her through the year. 

USS Blakely (FF-1072 completed the overhaul on 21 April 1980 and departed Boston to return to Charleston. That same day also brought an official change of home port, from Boston back to Charleston. USS Blakely (FF-1072 arrived at her familiar old base on the 24th and resumed operations along the east coast and in the West Indies. She retransited the Suez Canal on 26 May and proceeded to Malaga, Spain, where she stopped over from 1 to 7 June. After additional stops at Ponta Delgada in the Azores and at Bermuda, USS Blakely (FF-1072 arrived in Charleston on 18 June. Following the normal leave and upkeep period, she resumed 2d Fleet operations on 21 July. USS Blakely (FF-1072 was decommissioned on 15 November 1991 and struck from the Navy list on 11 January 1995.

For a complete history of USS Blakely (DE-1072/FF-1072) please see its DANFS page.