Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Gridley (DLG-21/CG-21) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Gridley (DLG-21) 

USS Gridley (DLG-21), a guided missile frigate, was launched by Puget Sound Bridge and Drydock Co. of Seattle, Wash., 31 July 1961; sponsored by Mrs. Stewart D. Rose, great-granddaughter of Captain Gridley; and commissioned 25 May 1963, Captain P. A. Lilly in command.

After outfitting at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., USS Gridley (DLG-21) made a goodwill visit to British Columbia and then conducted acceptance trials out of her homeport, Long Beach, Calif. Following shakedown out of San Diego early in 1964, USS Gridley (DLG-21) departed Long Beach 8 April and steamed via Pearl Harbor to Australia for commemoration of the Battle of the Coral Sea, arriving Adelaide, South Australia, 5 May. 

Heading South once more, she returned to Subic Bay and visited Hong Kong. On 4 August she got underway for the South China Sea escorting USS Constellation (CVA-64) to strengthen American naval forces off Vietnam after Communist motor torpedo boats had attacked destroyers USS Maddox (DD-731) and USS Turner Joy (DD-951) in the Gulf of Tonkin. USS Gridley (DLG-21) departed Subic Bay 7 November and reached Long Beach on the 21st.

USS Gridley (DLG-21) operated along the West Coast until heading back to the Western Pacific 10 July 1965. Stopping at Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka en route, she steamed to the South China Sea to support aircraft carriers of the 7th Fleet as the flattops hammered Communist targets in Vietnam. On four different occasions in the next 4 months, she rescued pilots who ditched at sea. USS Gridley (DLG-21) returned to Yokosuka 7 December but resumed station in the South China Sea on the 22d to serve as "Tomcat," responsible for checking-in planes returning to their carriers. Early in 1966 she headed for home and reached Long Beach 1 February.

USS Gridley (DLG-21) operated along the California coast until sailing for the Orient 18 November. She left Subic Bay 2 January 1967 for plane guard duty in the China Sea and the Gulf of Tonkin. After varied duties in the fighting zone, she sailed for Australia en route to the West Coast and arrived Long Beach 8 June to prepare for future action.

For a complete history of USS Gridley (DLG-21) please see its DANFS page.