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USS Paul Firing ASROC

The USS Paul FF-1080 was Homeported in Mayport, Florida during the time that I served onboard from February 1984 to May 1988. I was an Electronics Technician (ET) assigned to O.E. Division. Our responsibility was the maintanence of various electronic systems used on the ship such as Radar, Navigation, Communications, and Administrative Automation. Our counterparts in O.E. Division were the Electronic Warfare Technicians (EW). Their responsibility was the operation and maintanence of the ship's Electronics Surveillance Measures (ESM) and also played a key role with ship's intelligence operations. The Division usually comprised about 10 E.T.'s and 7 E.W.'s enlisted and 1 Officer. Ships complement averaged 250 officers and men.

SHIP'S CHARACTERISTICS

Anti-Submarine Warfare was PAUL's primary mission. Equipped with Long-Range Multi-mode Active Sonar, the AN/SQS-26CX, the Short-Range Variable Depth Active Sonar, the AN/SQS-35, and the AN/SQR-18A(V1) passive towed hydrophone array, PAUL possessed the best capability to operate in all ocean enviroments of the world. Combined with the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose Helicopter System or LAMPS, the ASW eyes/ears and weapons delivery range of the ship was extended over hundreds of miles. The Anti-Submarine Rocket or ASROC provided Paul with not only a quick response anti-submarine weapon out to distances of 5 miles with a conventional warhead, but also gave her a needed Nuclear capability. The B/W photograph above shows Paul firing an ASROC. The ship was additionally equipped with weapons systems to flexibly operate in a multi-threat environment. A dual purpose 5" 54 caliber rapid fire gun system, the Close In Weapons System or CIWS anti-missle/aircraft 20mm gun, and the Harpoon surface to surface anti-ship missle provided PAUL with a veritable arsenal of firepower against enemy threats in all enviroments.
Length 440 ft
Beam 46 ft
Displacement 4,100 tons
Draft 26 ft
Speed 25 + knots
Fuel Oil 200,000 gallons
Steam Pressure 1,200 psi
Engine Power 35,000 shaft horsepwr

SOME SHIP'S HISTORY

PAUL's keel was laid September 12, 1969 at Avondale Shipyards, Westwego, Louisiana. She was christened and launched 20 June 1970, and was commissioned 14 August 1971 at Boston Naval Shipyard.

In the latter part of 1972, PAUL departed the United States for the Western Pacific, and arrived off the coast of The Republic of Vietnam on 23 November where she immediately went into action in support of ground troops ashore. One of PAUL's first Gunfire Support Missions or NGFS, was at Chu Lai, where Lance Corporal Joe C. Paul , for whom the ship was named, died on Aug 19th 1965 from wounds received in battle on Aug 18th while participating in Operation Starlite. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.

PAUL's homeport was changed to Mayport, Florida in August 1973

When I joined the PAUL in Febuary 1984 she was halfway though a six month deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean as part of the Multinational Peacekeeping forces assigned to Beruit, Lebanon. The mission there as in Vietnam 12 years earlier was NGFS, gunfire support for the marines ashore. Spending most of the time sailing back and forth on the gunline just 2000 yards off the beaches of Beruit, waiting for orders to provide fire support. PAUL returned home in May 1984 and was awarded the Navy Expeditionary medal for service in Beruit. Just 4 months later Paul would again deploy, this time to Central America, in support of operations in and around the area of El Salvador and Nicaragua. While on station off the coast of El Salvador, PAUL was tasked with finding and intercepting a Russian Merchant vessel suspected of containing Russian built MIG fighters that would be supplied to the Communist led goverment of Nicaragua. The PAUL was able to find the ship headed toward Nicaragua and attempted to intercept the ship to try and get photographic proof of the presense of the MIGS. Once the PAUL was spotted by the merchant vessel, a 2 hour chase ensued in which the merchant ship made numerous hard turns at full speed to avoid being photograped from the side by the PAUL. Unfortunately it was able to make it into the territorial waters of Nicaragua before the photos could be taken. It was later shown to have been carrying Mi-24 Hind Attack Helicopters. The next time PAUL would be involved in world events would be from 23 March to 31 March 1986 as part of Task Force SIXTY and Operation ATTAIN DOCUMENT III in theGulf of Sidra, Central Mediterranean. PAUL was part of the battle group that would challenge Libya leader Mumar Kadafi's "Line of Death", and during the operation 4 Libyan high speed Missle Boats would be destroyed by the task force as they approached the group to attack. For it's service as part of Task Force SIXTY, the PAUL was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation and another Navy Expeditionary Medal. On September 10, 1987 PAUL would again get underway on a short notice (3 weeks) deployment as part of Battleship Battle Group BBBG 1-87 with the USS IOWA BB-61 as the Iranian attacks on merchant shipping in the Persian Gulf was increasing. She returned home in November 1987. During the next few months PAUL would participate in various Law Enforcement Operations in the Caribbean with a Coast Guard Detachment onboard stopping suspected drug running vessels. The PAUL would receive the Coast Guard Special Operations Service ribbon for it's part in the exercise. On 29 Febuary 1988 I would deploy for the last time to the Mediterranean onboard the USS PAUL. With everything in the world pretty quiet, it was hopefully going to be a real CRUISE for once, something to enjoy and remember since it was to be my last in the Navy and I would be leaving the ship in early May to return home and be discharged. However on the evening of April 14, 1988 exactly two years to the day of the Raid on Libya in which Air-Force F-111's Bombed Tripoli, while on a port visit in Naples, Italy the PAUL and a sister ship the USS CAPODANNO crews would be the target of a terrorist's CAR BOMB (Car Bomb Reward ) at the U.S.O. club in Naples. The resulting explosion destroyed the U.S.O. club, killing 4 Italians, 1 American servicewomen, and injuring 4 American servicemen.

I was discharged from the U.S. Navy in late May 1988.

The USS PAUL FF-1080 was decomissioned August 1992.

POST PAUL DAYS

Although at the time of my adventures on the PAUL I was coming up with new cuss words for the English language to describe the seemingly constant underway schedule for the ship and the never ending problems associated with everyday life onboard a U.S. Navy warship, I can only thank my lucky stars for having the experiences that I do now, to look back on and reminisce of old friends and good times, as well as remember the bad times, of which there were many, to help remind me that no matter how bad it gets, I've probably lived through worse on that ship. Plus it provided an invaluable insight into cultures around the world, how they live their lives from day to day, which helps me understand that there are different ways of looking at the world, all over the world. That is something you just don't get staying home and flipping burgers.

The PAUL truly "DID IT ALL !"


RECENT INFORMATION

The original message board for the site is closed
former USS PAUL Quarterdeck Log

Thanks to some field Intel. from YN1 CARR (formally). He discovered the USS PAUL sitting at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard near the USS IOWA. Thanks for the info Quint.
USS PAUL Retired in Philadelphia
The above photo was taken of the PAUL at Philadelphia Shipyard by John (Greg) Holden.- Apr 1997

Information update (07-27-2000) This comes from Mark Roberts of "Destroyers Online" along with a link to the data. The USS PAUL has been transfered to Turkey on 01-09-2000. The link to the information follows, thanks Mark ! USS PAUL Transfer

Apparent Final Information (12-19-2003) This comes from shipmate Ted Painter. After the transfer of USS PAUL to Turkey she was used for spare parts for 5 other Knox class Frigates and the hull was scrapped. The link to the information follows, thank you Ted for keeping us up to date.

USS PAUL Returning To Port After a Med Cruise



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