USS Gary decommissioned at a ceremony in San Diego

USS Gary decommissioned at a ceremony in San Diego

The USS Gary, the last frigate on the West Coast, was decommissioned at Naval Base San Diego at a special ceremony attended by several former crew members and commanders.

The 31-year-old ship returned to naval base in San Diego in April this year from its final deployment, during which it patrolled to prevent drug smuggling off Central America.

The USS Gary is named after Donald Arthur Gary, who earned the prestigious Medal of Honor for his role in rescuing hundreds of sailors who was trapped below decks of aircraft carrier USS Franklin when it was badly damaged following attacks by Japanese fighter jets during Second World War.

The principal address at the ceremony was delivered by William Albrecht, a survivor of a Japanese attack in 1945 and a recipient of the Bronze Star.

The U.S. Navy is retiring its frigate fleet to make space for more modern littoral combat ships designed for combat in violent coastal waters. The Norfolk, Virginia-based USS Kauffman will be the last frigate to be decommissioned later this year.

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