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USS Koelsch (FF 1049)

- formerly DE 1049 -
- decommissioned -


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USS KOELSCH was the eighth GARCIA - class frigate and the first ship in the Navy to honor Lieutenant (Junior Grade) John Kelvin Koelsch. Decommissioned on May 31, 1989, the KOELSCH was subsequently leased to Pakistan where she was recommissioned as SIQQAT. Stricken from the Navy list on July 1, 1994, and given back to the United States in August 1994, the KOELSCH was finally sold for scrapping on September 28, 1994.

General Characteristics:Awarded: March 21, 1963
Keel laid: February 19, 1964
Launched: June 8, 1965
Commissioned: June 10, 1967
Decommissioned: May 31, 1989
Builder: Defoe Shipbuilding, Bay City, Michigan
Propulsion system: 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 1 Westinghouse geared turbine; 35,000shp; 1 shaft
Length: 414.4 feet (126.3 meters)
Beam: 44.3 feet (13.5 meters)
Draft: 25.9 feet (7.9 meters)
Displacement: approx. 3,500 tons full load
Speed: 27 knots
Armament: one Mk-16 missile launcher for ASROC missiles, two Mk-30 5-inch/38 caliber guns, Mk-46 torpedoes from two Mk-32 triple tube mounts
Aircraft: one SH-2F (LAMPS I) helicopter
Crew: 16 officers, 231 enlisted


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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS KOELSCH. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


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Accidents aboard USS KOELSCH:

DateWhereEvents
April 8, 1975Mayport, Fla.USS KOELSCH experiences flooding in the diesel generator room when an air conditioning main ruptures while the ship is in Mayport, Fla.


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About the Ship's Name:

John Kelvin Koelsch was born on 22 December 1923 in London, England. He joined the Naval Reserve as an Aviation Cadet in September 1942 and was commissioned as an Ensign in October 1944 after completing flight training. During the next few years, he served in Composite Squadron 15 and in two torpedo squadrons. In August 1950, Lt(jg) Koelsch joined Helicopter Squadron One (HU-1) and was Officer in Charge of the helicopter detachment of USS PRINCETON (CV 37) during her 1950-51 Korean War deployment. In June 1951, he moved to Helicopter Squadron Two (HU-2), based at Wonsan, North Korea, for pilot rescue duty.

On 3 July 1951, while attempting to rescue an injured flyer, his helicopter was hit by enemy gunfire and crashed. Koelsch, his crewman and the rescued pilot survived the crash and hid from the surrounding enemy for nine days before they were captured. As a prisoner of war, Lt(jg) Koelsch exhibited great bravery and inspired his companions with his "fortitude and consideration for others". He died of malnutrition and dysentery while a captive on 16 October 1951. In August 1955, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) John Kelvin Koelsch was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his Korean War heroism.


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