This guided missile frigate (FFG-48) was the last of several ships that my pops sailed and served on before retiring from the Navy after 22 years of active service.

USS Vandegrift  FFG-48 was named in the honor of Alexander Archer Vandegrift, born on March 13th, 1887 in Charlottesville, Va. and was commissioned into the Marine Corps on January 22nd, 1909 after graduating from the University of Virginia. After attending the Marine Officer’s School at Port Royal SC he served in a number of stateside and overseas assignments while advancing in rank. In March 1942 he was promoted to major general and assumed command of the First Marine Division. For outstanding services as Commanding General of the First Marine Division during the attack on Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Gavutu in the Solomon Islands on August 7th 1942, he was awarded the Navy Cross, and for the subsequent occupation and defense from August 7th to December 9th 1942, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.  On January 1st 1944, as lieutenant general, he was sworn in as the 18th Commandant of the Marine Corps. On April 4th 1945, he was appointed general, the first Marine officer on active duty to attain four-star rank. He left active service on December 31st 1947 and passed away May 8th 1973.  His body is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.



October 8th 1982, Seattle. The ship was built by Todd Pacific Shipyards.

A standard missile leaves a trail of smoke off Vandegrift’s starboard side, on an intercept course with an incoming “hostile” drone. Nine U.S. Navy ships took part in Missile Exercise 02-1, an anti-ship missile defense training evolution, as part of a Commander Task Force Seven Five.

ANYTIME ANYWHERE 1/50.  photos courtesy of USN