Guided Missile Frigate

FFG 16  -  USS Clifton Sprague



FFG-16 USS Clifton Sprague patch crest insignia

FFG-15 USS Clifton Sprague Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Frigate; Oliver Hazard Perry - class (short hull)

planned and built as FFG 16



Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, USA



Awarded: February 27, 1976

Laid down: July 30, 1979

Launched: February 16, 1980

Commissioned: March 21, 1981

Decommissioned: June 2, 1995


Fate: stricken September 4, 1997

transferred to Turkey (lease) on August 27, 1997

renamed TCG Gaziantep (F-492); in service in Turkish Navy






Named after and in honor of Vice Admiral Clifton Albert Frederick Sprague (1896 - 1955)

> see history, below;

Ship's Motto:


NUNC PARATUS  "ready now"

Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO > Oliver Hazard Perry - class Guided Missile Frigate


ship images


USS Clifton Sprague FFG-16 Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate


FFG-16 USS Clifton Sprague Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate


USS Clifton Sprague FFG-16 Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate


FFG-16 USS Clifton Sprague


FFG-16 USS Clifton Sprague


FFG-16 USS Clifton Sprague

FFG 16 (left) during construction


FFG-16 USS Clifton Sprague

FFG 16 (right) during construction



Clifton Albert Frederick Sprague


Clifton Sprague, US Navy Clifton Sprague, US Navy Vice Admiral Vice Admiral Clifton Sprague, US Navy



Namesake & History:

Vice Admiral Clifton Albert Frederick Sprague (January 8, 1896 – April 11, 1955):


Vice Admiral Clifton Albert Frederick ("Ziggy") Sprague (1896-1955) was a World War II-era officer in the U.S. Navy.

Sprague was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and attended the Boston Latin School, and the United States Naval Academy. He became a naval aviator after his graduation from the Academy.

At the beginning of World War II, Sprague was a Commander, and was commanding the Tangier (AV-8) at Pearl Harbor during the attack. He also served as captain of the Wasp (CV-18). He is most famous for his actions during the Battle off Samar in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

As the commander of one of three escort carrier groups assigned from the 7th Fleet to support the landings ("Taffy 3" as it was known), Sprague became engaged with the powerful Japanese "Center Force" with only three destroyers and six destroyer escorts supporting the group. The commander of "Taffy 2" came into aircraft range, and helped drive off the Japanese ships. However, the Center Force was disorganized and uncoordinated, where it fell apart. The pilots off his ships bombed, strafed, and made dry runs on the battleships and cruisers of the Center Force. For the leadership he displayed in this incident, he received the Navy Cross.

After the war, Sprague served as commander of a naval district. He died in 1955 from heart disease.


USS Clifton Sprague (FFG 16):


Upon commissioning on 21 March 1981, CLIFTON SPRAGUE became the sixth FFG 7 Class ship to join Destroyer Squadron Eight home ported in Mayport, Florida. During Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials from July to August 1981, CLIFTON SPRAGUE conducted a missile-firing exercise, scoring four out of four hits on target drones. This early success was a weather vane of future ship performances.

In June 1982, Commander Destroyer Squadron Eight presented the Battle Efficiency "E" Award to CLIFTON SPRAGUE. At just over a year in service, she became the first FFG 7 Class ship in the Atlantic Fleet to win this award.

On 10 November 1982, CLIFTON SPRAGUE headed south to assume duties as Caribbean Ready Ship, where she was called upon to assist other naval units during hostilities in Grenada.

CLIFTON SPRAGUE headed for her new home port of Philadelphia and service with the Naval Reserve Force, in November 1984. In January 1985, Commander Naval Surface Group Four presented a Meritorious Unit Commendation to CLIFTON SPRAGUE for outstanding performance during hostilities in Grenada.

The ship departed Philadelphia in February for READEX 1-85. During the hostilities phase of the exercise, CLIFTON SPRAGUE scored a perfect three out of three hits on target drones during a missile-firing exercise.

In April 1985, she sailed south to participate in Exercise UNIVERSAL TREK 85, stopping in Key West to embark a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment. Upon completion of the exercise, CLIFTON SPRAGUE proceeded to Mayport to prepare for Operation SOLID SHIELD. During the exercise, she rescued two Belgian Sailors from a life raft. In May 1985, she was awarded the COMNAVSURFLANT Battle Efficiency "E" Award.

In April 1986, CLIFTON SPRAGUE departed Philadelphia to participate in FLEETEX 2-86. The ship performed many duties during FLEETEX, including ASW, torpedo firing, and carrier escort with the USS FORRESTAL (CV 59).

On 4 November 1986, CLIFTON SPRAGUE was once again selected by COMNAVSURFLANT as the Battle Efficiency "E" Award winner for Naval Surface Group Four. This was the second consecutive Battle "E" awarded to the ship, and the third "E" in only five years since commissioning.

After an extensive overhaul period in Philadelphia, and Combat Systems Testing during the Spring and Summer of 1987, CLIFTON SPRAGUE departed Philadelphia in October 1987 for Central American operations, which included port visits in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Panama, Jamaica, and Honduras. In December, CLIFTON SPRAGUE received a Blue "E" Efficiency Award in all areas of supply.

1988 was marked by a high operational tempo, starting with Operation SAFE PASS in February. The exercise involved escorting freighters during simulated wartime conditions. In April, CLIFTON SPRAGUE participated in FLEET WEEK in New York City, where over 4,000 visitors toured the ship. CLIFTON SPRAGUE conducted a Chief of Naval Operations Special Operation in Panama City, Florida during May and June, which involved anti-mine warfare testing. The rest of the year was filled with Midshipmen Training, Vandal Missile Exercises, and Operation Propulsion Plant Examination preparations.




FFG-16 USS Clifton Sprague patch crest insignia   FFG-16 USS Clifton Sprague patch crest insignia



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