A dedication to the USS VOGE (FF-1047)
Builder: DEFOE Shipbuilding Company
Class: Garcia Class Frigate
Keel Laid: 21 November 1963
Launched: 4 February 1965
Commissioned: 25 November 1966
Propulsion: Two 1200 psi boilers pressure-fired, steam turbine
Speed: 27+ knots
Overall Length: 414 Feet
Extreme Width: 44 feet
Displacement: 3400 tons
Height (keel to mast top): 108.5 feet
Number of crew: Approximately 270 (Officers & Enlisted)
USS VOGE (FF 1047) (former DE 1047, Destroyer Escort), a fast frigate, was one of the most advanced anti-submarine warfare Surface Vessels of the United States Navy. During VOGE's commissioning period, the Anti-Submarine Warfare Ship Command and Control System was installed. When installation of this computer was completed, VOGE became a valuable addition to the anti-submarine forces in the Atlantic Fleet and was intimately involved in developing tactics to counter the threat posed by high-speed nuclear submarines. The scope of operations was extensive, including two European deployments and several major Western Atlantic Exercises. For her overall performance and her high degree of readiness, she received two Meritorious Unit Commendations. VOGE was again honored in 1970 by being presented with the Navy's highest award for anti-submarine warfare, the Navy League ASW trophy.
VOGE's first regular shipyard overhaul began at the Boston Naval Shipyard in August 1970, and in February 1971, VOGE returned to the ready forces of the Atlantic Fleet. Following her refresher training in the Caribbean, 1971 saw VOGE involved with training of midshipmen in the Western Atlantic, development and evaluation of new anti-submarine tactics, and deployment to the Eastern Atlantic for intensive ASW training operations with the navies of Spain and Portugal; the summer of 1972 again found her deploying to the Mediterranean, VOGE was awarded the overall Battle Efficiency "E" for excellence in addition to the Squadron "E"'s for Engineering, Weapons, and Operations, as recognition of her continuing outstanding performance in 1972.
In 1973, VOGE participated in several Western Atlantic exercises and was commended again as the winner of the Squadron Battle Efficiency "E" and numerous departmental awards. In August 1973, VOGE shifted her homeport from Newport, Rhode Island to Mayport, Florida. 1974 saw another deployment to the Mediterranean, VOGE's second major overhaul in Charleston Naval Shipyard, and refresher training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where VOGE distinguished herself in the area of operational readiness and naval professionalism by attaining the highest final overall score for a fast frigate during that year at GITMO.
VOGE's sixth Mediterranean deployment began when she left Mayport in April 1976 and ended in December. Increased turbulence in the Middle East countries resulted in operation GRAND SWEEP in June, an amphibious operation designed to evacuate U.S. citizens from Lebanon. On 28 August, while conducting independent steaming exercises, the VOGE collided with a Soviet Echo II class submarine. Minor flooding was experienced, but VOGE was able to maintain stability despite receiving serious structural damage to her screw, shafting, and potable water tank. VOGE was towed to a drydock facility in Toulon, France for repairs and remained there until November. Following a stand-down and work-up period in the first half of 1977, VOGE began her seventh Mediterranean deployment in July and returned home in December.
1978 was a banner year for VOGE's crew as she was honored as the recipient of Destroyer Squadron TWELVE's Battle Efficiency Award and numerous departmental awards. In the fall of 1978, VOGE entered the Braswell Shipyard in Boston for her third major overhaul. October 1979 saw VOGE emerge from drydock and begin the preparations for refresher training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. VOGE returned to Mayport in preparation for her eighth major deployment and departed in June 1980 to become part of the Middle East Force and thereby augment the United States' presence in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. War erupted between Iran and Iraq in October of 1980 and made more difficult a cruise which was already difficult due to the harsh environment of the Mid-East and extended periods of slip was required to remain at sea. Despite arduous conditions, VOGE continued to meet all commitments and her crew was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal upon return in November 1980.
In December 1980, VOGE participated in ASW exercises at the AUTEC Test Range in the Bahama Islands and participated in READEX 1-81 in the Carebbean in February and March of the next year. VOGE returned to the Caribbean for participation in COMPTUEX, a major fleet exercise involving numerous units of the Atlantic Fleet. VOGE prepared for her second Mid-East deployment in the month of July. The ship departed Mayport on 12 August 1981 enroute to Rota, Spain and returned from deployment on 21 December 1981.
Up to her decomissioning in 1989, the VOGE stayed more close to home by participating closely with the U.S. Coast Guard in the Caribbean Sea conducting law enforcement operations. In 1987, she transited the Panama Canal, entering the Pacific Ocean.
VOGE's big claim to fame was the collision with a Russian Echo
II submarine on August 28,
1976. Here is a photo of the sub wallowing with its sail awash following the collision:
My wife, Jennie, is the most thoughtful person in the world! While the VOGE is being turned to razorblades, she sought out and purchased the ribbons that were proudly displayed on the bridgewing of the ship (portside)! Here are the pics:
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Archived Guestbook: Due to the large amount of memory the guestbook took up, I've archived the file in MS Word and it will be attached here shortly!