USS Gary
Decommissioned July 23, 2015




The Shield
The light blue "V" shape signifies the Medal of Honor ribbon as it rests on the dark blue of the Navy uniform. The "V for Victory" symbol was also used extensively during World War II at the time Commander Gary, then a Lieutenant, was awarded the Medal of Honor. The five white stars are from the medal service ribbon. The sea lion, long a symbol of courage at sea, represents the courage shown by Lieutenant Gary when he saved hundreds of his shipmates from violent death at sea. The ship's propeller denotes that he was an engineering officer that directed, at great personal risk, the raising of steam to get his damaged and imperiled ship underway after an enemy attack.

The Crest
The anchor, without stock, is one of the distinguishing features of the Navy's Medal of Honor, and is also an ancient symbol of the sea. The fire bomb with three flames signifies the three times Lieutenant Gary went back through fire and exploding bombs to lead several hundred men to safety. The arrowheads are representative of the destructive force of the guided missiles of USS GARY (FFG 51). The setting sun is symbolic of the heroic actions of Lieutenant Gary that took place off the coast of Japan near the end of the war. The palm fronds denote his honor and service in the South Pacific area.

The Motto
On an azure scroll in doubled gold is the motto "Freedom's Foremost Guardian"




CDR Gary Donald Arthur Gary was born on 23 July 1903 in Findlay, Ohio. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy on 12 December 1919 and served as an enlisted sailor until November 1943, when he was commissioned a Lieutenant (junior grade). He progressed to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in March 1946 and, when he retired on 1 June 1950, he was advanced to the rank of Commander on the basis of combat awards. Commander Gary died on 9 April 1977. CDR Gary
CDR Gary

His onshore duties during his naval career included assignments in the Third Naval District, New York City; the Office of Assistant Inspector of Machinery, B&W Company, Ohio; the staff of
Commander Submarine Group ONE, New York; and the Naval Disciplinary Barracks, Terminal Island, California. His sea duty tours included ELCANO (PG 38), HANNIBAL (AG 1), SWAN (AM 34), IDAHO (BB 42), INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35) for two tours, ENTERPRISE (CV 6), and FRANKLIN (CV 13), that (then) Lieutenant Gary joined as an Engineering Officer in December 1944.

On 19 March 1945, FRANKLIN was operating with a fast carrier task force against remnants of the Japanese fleet when it was severely damaged by fires caused by two Japanese bombs in an attack. Only outstanding efforts on the part of the crew, and Lieutenant Gary in particular, saved the ship from destruction and the lives of many sailors.

USS Franklin hit 

On 23 January 1946 Lieutenant Gary was presented the
Medal of Honor at the White House by President Harry S. Truman, with a citation that stated: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty as the Engineering Officer attached to the USS FRANKLIN when that vessel was fiercely attacked by enemy aircraft during operations against the Japanese home islands near Kobe, Japan, March 19, 1945. Stationed on the third deck when the ship was rocked by a series of violent explosions set off in her own ready bombs, rockets and ammunition by the hostile attack, Lieutenant Gary unhesitatingly risked his life to assist several hundred men trapped in a messing compartment filled with smoke and with no apparent egress.

CV 13 hit 

As the imperiled men below decks beacon increasingly panic-stricken under the raging fury of incessant explosions, he confidently assured them he would find a means of effecting their release and, groping through the dark, debris-filled corridors, ultimately discovered an escape. Staunchly, he struggled back to the messing compartment three times despite menacing flames, flooding water and the ominous threat of sudden additional explosions, on each occasion calmly leading his men through the blanketing pall of smoke until the last one had been saved.

CV 13 hit 

CDR Gary Selfless in his concern for his ship and his fellows, he constantly rallied others about him, repeatedly organized and led fire-fighting parties into the blazing inferno on the flight deck and, when fire rooms 1 and 2 were found to be inoperable, entered the number 3 fire room and directed the raising of steam in one boiler in the face of extreme difficulty and hazard. An inspiring and courageous leader, (he) rendered self-sacrificing service the most perilous conditions and, by his heroic initiative, fortitude and valor, was responsible for saving of several hundred lives!

The damaged FRANKLIN returned to New York harbor, and Commander Gary remained aboard the ship until it was decommissioned in 1947.





Power Plant

2 - General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines
1 shaft, 41,000 shaft horsepower total.

Length Short: 445 feet (133.5 meters)
Long: 453 feet (135.9 meters) with LAMPS III modification
Beam 45 feet (13.5 meters)
Displacement 4,100 tons (full load)
Speed 29 plus knots (33.4+ miles per hour)
Range 4,200 nm @ 20 kts
5,000 nm @ 18 kts
Fuel 587 tons + 64 tons helicopter fuel
Aircraft Long: Two SH-60 (LAMPS III) in FFG 8, 28, 29, 32, 33, 36-61
Short: One
SH-2F (Lamps Mk-I) in FFG 9-27,30, 31,34.
Crew ACTIVE: 13 Officers, 287 Enlisted
NRF: 83 Active, 76 TAR, 57 SELRES
Armament Mk 13 Mod 4 Standard Missile Launcher
36 -
Standard Missile (MR)
4 - Harpoon (from Standard Missile Launcher)
6 -
MK-46 torpedoes (from two MK 32 SVTT triple mounts)
1 -
76 mm (3-inch)/62 caliber MK 75 rapid fire gun
1 - Phalanx close-in-weapons system
Combat Systems AN/SPS-49 Air Search Radar
AN/SPS-55 Surface Search Radar
Mk92 Fire Control System
AN/SLQ-32 Electronics Warfare System
AN/SQS-56 Sonar
Mk36 SRBOC Decoy System
AN/SQR-19 Towed Array Sonar System
AN/SQQ-89 ASW Integration System
 Hull Material:

Steel Hull, Aluminum Superstructure 


FFG-51 Specifics 

Fleet: Pacific

Homeport: San Diego

Award Date: 05-22-1981

Keel Date: 12-19-1982

Launch Date: 11-19-1983

Commission Date: 11-17-1984


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