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The Internet Homeport of FF-1080
SOME SHIP'S HISTORY
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
The PAUL truly "DID IT ALL !"
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