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Hull Number: FFG-40

Launch Date: 10/13/1981

Commissioned Date: 01/07/1984

Decommissioned Date: 09/08/2014

Call Sign: NOTH

Voice Call Sign: BANK ROLL



Length Overall: 445'

Beam: 45'

Draft: 24' 6"


1-3″ 1-Standard-SAM Harpoon-SSM 6-12.75″T LAMPS




40,000 SHP, 2 G. E. LM-2500 gas turbines, 1 screw

Highest speed on trials: 28.5 knots



Wikipedia (as of 2024)

William David Halyburton Jr. (October 2, 1924 – May 10, 1945) was a United States Navy hospital corpsman who was killed in action during World War II while assigned to a Marine Corps rifle company. He was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest military decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor, for heroic actions “above and beyond the call of duty” on May 10, 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa.

Born on August 2, 1924, in Canton, North Carolina, Halyburton attended Canton Presbyterian Church before moving to Wilmington, North Carolina where he graduated from New Hanover High School. He entered seminary at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, but left to enlist in the U.S. Naval Reserve on August 4, 1943.[1][2]

He completed recruit training at the United States Naval Training Center Bainbridge, Maryland, and was promoted to seaman second class in the fall. Remaining in the area, he attended the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps School and was rated a pharmacist’s mate third class upon graduation. He studied at other training centers and was advanced to pharmacist’s mate second class on August 1, 1944.[3] After completing the Fleet Marine Force Field Medical Service School at Camp PendletonCalifornia for combat field training, he departed on December 14 for the Pacific war zone on board the transport USS General M. M. Patrick and joined the 2nd Battalion5th Marine Regiment1st Marine Division.[3][1]

On April 1, 1945, Halyburton landed with the 5th Marines on Okinawa. On May 10, 1945, Halyburton was serving with a Marine rifle company against the Japanese on Okinawa when they suffered numerous casualties after advancing into Awacha Draw. Exposed to enemy fire, he rushed to aid a fallen Marine the furthest away. Shielding the man with his own body while administering aid, Halyburton was mortally wounded. For this action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.[1] He was one of two people from Haywood County, North Carolina, to receive the medal in World War II, the other being Max Thompson.[2]

Halyburton is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Honolulu, Hawaii.[1]

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Halyburton’s official Medal of Honor citation reads:

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with a Marine Rifle Company in the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 10 May 1945. Undaunted by the deadly accuracy of Japanese counterfire as his unit pushed the attack through a strategically important draw, Halyburton unhesitatingly dashed across the draw and up the hill into an open fire-swept field where the company advance squad was suddenly pinned down under a terrific concentration of mortar, machinegun and sniper fire with resultant severe casualties. Moving steadily forward despite the enemy’s merciless barrage, he reached the wounded marine who lay farthest away and was rendering first aid when his patient was struck for the second time by a Japanese bullet. Instantly placing himself in the direct line of fire, he shielded the fallen fighter with his own body and staunchly continued his ministrations although constantly menaced by the slashing fury of shrapnel and bullets falling on all sides. Alert, determined and completely unselfish in his concern for the helpless marine, he persevered in his efforts until he himself sustained mortal wounds and collapsed, heroically sacrificing himself that his comrade might live. By his outstanding valor, uncommon initiative, and unwavering dedication to duty in the face of tremendous odds, Halyburton sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.[4]

Harry S. Truman


Wikipedia (as of 2024)

USS Halyburton (FFG-40), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, is a ship of the United States Navy named for Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class William D. Halyburton Jr. (1924–1945). Halyburton was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism while serving with the 5th Marines, during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

Halyburton was laid down on 26 September 1980 by the Todd Pacific Shipyards Co., Seattle Division, Seattle, Washington; launched on 13 October 1981, sponsored by Mrs. William David Halyburton Sr., mother of PhM2 Halyburton; and commissioned on 7 January 1984.

Over its commissioned service, Halyburton earned numerous Battle ‘E’ awards for combat readiness. Halyburton was also one of the escorts for USS Constitution on 21 July 1997 as “Old Ironsides” celebrated her 200th birthday and her first unassisted sail in 116 years.

On 5 March 1997, the Halyburton was routinely intercepting some dhows suspected of violating sanctions, in international waters in the Persian Gulf. Three Iranian naval speedboats approached, requesting the warship leave Iranian territorial waters. On one of the speedboats the front machine gun was being loaded, and what looked like a shoulder mounted rocket launcher was brought on deck.[1]

On 8 April 2009, Somalian pirates captured U.S.-flagged motor vessel Maersk Alabama and her 22 crewmembers, 300 miles from the Somali coast. The crew recaptured their ship along with one of the pirates, but the three surviving pirates held the vessel’s master, Capt. Richard Phillips, hostage on a lifeboat. Halyburton was part of a U.S. Navy rescue mission, along with amphibious assault ship Boxer (LHD-4), guided missile destroyer Bainbridge (DDG-96), off the Horn of Africa. A ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system provided timely intelligence during the confrontation. U.S. Navy SEALs, on board Bainbridge, brought the standoff to an end by simultaneously shooting and killing all three pirates in the lifeboat, then being towed by Bainbridge, and rescued Phillips on 12 April. The fourth pirate was on board USS Bainbridge at the time of the shooting, negotiating the hostage’s release, and was taken into custody.[2][3]

On 16 July 2009, Halyburton visited the Port of London, mooring in South Dock, West India Quay for three nights. On Saturday 18 July, she became the first non-British ship to take part in the Tower of London‘s Constable’s Dues ritual. Dating back to the 14th century, the ceremony involved the crew being challenged for entry into the British capital, mirroring an ancient custom in which a ship had to unload some of its cargo for the sovereign to enter the city. Commander Michael P Huck and Ship’s Officer, Lieutenant Commander Tony Mortimer led the crew to the Tower’s West Gate, where after being challenged for entry by the Yeoman Gaoler armed with his axe, they were marched to Tower Green accompanied by Yeoman Warders, where they delivered a keg of Castillo Silver Rum, representing the dues, to the Tower’s Constable, Sir Roger Wheeler.[4]

Halyburton departed her homeport of Naval Station Mayport in January 2014, for her final deployment. She was scheduled to be decommissioned in late 2014.[5]

On 6 February 2014, a Panamanian helicopter crashed while working with Halyburton on illicit trafficking operations. The Bell 412 helicopter had nine people aboard, one of whom died in the crash.[6]

Halyburton was ceremonially decommissioned on 6 September 2014, at Naval Station Mayport.[7][8] Halyburton was formally decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register, 8 September 2014. Ex-Halyburton was listed as being berthed at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[9] For a time it was thought that she might be transferred to the Turkish Navy in 2015.[10] In 2013, a bill to transfer Halyburton to Turkey in 2015 passed the US House of Representatives. However, the Senate did not take action on the bill and it did not become law.[11][12]

Plans are currently underway to tow the decommissioned frigate to Erie, Pennsylvania and moor her permanently as a floating museum at one of several possible locations, notably an as-yet undeveloped section of Presque Isle Bay. The location is significant to ships of the Perry class as, historically, it was their namesake Oliver Hazard Perry who won the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. The future of this effort is far from certain, however fundraising is ongoing and the application process, begun in 2020, is underway.[13]

As of February 2024, phase one of the Navy’s three-step donation process has been completed and phase two is underway.[14]