Guided Missile Frigate

FFG 53  -  USS Hawes



FFG-53 USS Hawes patch crest insignia

FFG-53 USS Hawes - Perry class guided missile frigate

Type, Class:


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

planned and built as FFG 53



Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, USA



Awarded: May 22, 1981

Laid down: August 26, 1983

Launched: February 18, 1984

Commissioned: February 9, 1985

Decommissioned: December 10, 2010






Named after and in honor of Rear Admiral Richard Ellington Hawes (1894 - 1968)

> see history, below;

Ship's Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


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


ship images


FFG-53 USS Hawes decommissioning ceremony Norfolk Virginia December 2010

decommissioning ceremony - Norfolk, Virginia - December 2010


FFG-53 USS Hawes Atlantic Ocean 2010

Atlantic Ocean - July 2010


USS Hawes FFG-53 2008

Atlantic Ocean - September 2008


FFG-53 USS Hawes Perry class guided missile frigate

Atlantic Ocean - September 2008


USS Hawes FFG-53 Norfolk Virginia 2007

Norfolk, Virginia - August 2007


FFG-53 USS Hawes Persian Gulf 2005

Persian Sea - June 2005


FFG-53 USS Hawes


FFG-53 USS Hawes

Norfolk, Virginia - May 2005


FFG-53 USS Hawes


FFG-53 USS Hawes


FFG-53 USS Hawes


FFG-53 USS Hawes


FFG-53 USS Hawes


FFG-53 USS Hawes



Richard Ellington Hawes


Admiral Richard Ellington Hawes, US Navy  Richard Ellington Hawes, Admiral US Navy



Namesake & History:

Rear Admiral Richard Ellington Hawes (February 12, 1894 – December 30, 1968):


RADM HAWES was a recognized Naval War Hero during World War II.

When American entered World War in 1917, Hawes enlisted in the Navy as a Fireman Second Class.  Fifteen months later he accepted a temporary appointment as an Ensign, but reverted to Boatswain (Warrant Officer) in 1920.
In March 1926 Hawes joined USS FALCON (ASR 2) as Executive Officer.  While onboard FALCON he played a key role in salvage of USS S-51 off Block Island.  Rhode Island in September 1925.  For his part in that difficult and dangerous operation, Boatswain Hawes received First Navy Cross.  He also assisted in the salvaging of USS S-4, which sank off Provincetown, Massachusetts in December 1927.

On February 18, 1929, Hawes was commissioned an Ensign by a special act of Congress in recognition of his services in salvaging the S-51 and S-4.  In January 1940 Lieutenant Hawes assumed command of USS PIGEON (ASR 6) and was serving in that role when the United States entered World War II.

On December 10, 1941 the PIGEON was docked at the Cavite Navy Yard on Manila Bay for repairs to her steering gear when Japanese warplanes attacked.  Since Pearl harbor three days before, Hawes had main steam pressure up and the full crew aboard, ready to get underway to an instant.  Lashed to the minesweeper QUAIL (AM 15), which provided steering for both, PIGEON cleared the docks and headed for the relative safety of the bay to dodge the enemy bombs.  By this time Cavite had become a hellish inferno.  After separating from QUAIL, Hawes could see the submarine SEADRAGON (SS 194) was about to be engulfed by bombs and fire in her berth.  Through heavy bombing and strafing, Lieutenant Hawes maneuvered the 187 foot PIGEON back to the flaming dock to haul the helpless submarine stern first from her berth.  Another submarine and minesweeper had just been sunk there by direct hits.  The heat and flames were so intense that they blistered the ship’s pain, signed off body hair, and melted the brim of Hawes’ cap.  But PIGEON’s crew managed to rig a line on the SEADRAGON and tow her to safety.  For this heroic action, Hawes received his second Navy Cross and Pigeon was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the first warship to receive the award in World War II.  SEADRAGON went on to distinguished service, earning eleven battle stars before the war ended.

Immediately after the attack, Hawes found and mounted on his ship two 3 inch guns and twelve .50 caliber machine guns from the wrecked Navy Yard.  By the end of December, the new “gunboat” had received her second Presidential Unit Citation for shooting down several enemy planes and bombarding enemy troops.  She was the only surface warship to win two Presidential Unit Citations in World War II.

It was during this period that Hawes designed and flew his battleflag, the “JOLLY RODGER”.  The four red stripes represent engagements he and his crew fought in during World War II.  Today the USS HAWES flies this battleflag along with its National Ensign with pride and daring.  The “JOLLY RODGER” represents the zeal and tenacity that the ship’s crew accomplishes its missions and USS HAWES is the only U.S. Naval Warship authorized to fly this flag.

Except for the brief period when he was in transit or putting USS CHANTICLEEER (ASR 1) and USS ANTHEDON (AS 24) into commission.  Hawes spent virtually all World War II at sea in the Pacific in command of his three ships.  Like Hawes himself, his ships always had a reputation for efficiency and readiness.  When he put CHANTICLEEER into commission, he had depth charge racks installed so he could prosecute Japanese submarines.  When he put ANTHEDON into commission, 92% of his crew were inductees and had never been to sea, but he sailed directly from commissioning to the Pacific War and within two hours of his arrival was servicing submarines.  He received the Bronze Star for “undaunted courage and professional skill” for his command of that ship.  As he left the Western Pacific Theater in January 1945, the Commander, Submarines, Philippine Sea Frontier sent ANTHEDON a message of thanks and good wishes, describing Commander Hawes and his men as “Ever Ready, Ever Fearless.”

Hawes was promoted to Captain on March 25, 1945. On December 1, 1952 he was transferred to the retired list and promoted to Rear Admiral.

Rear Admiral Hawes died at his home in Thomson, Georgia, on December 30, 1968.


USS Hawes (FFG 53):


-- FFG 53 history wanted --




FFG-53 USS Hawes patch crest insignia   FFG-53 USS Hawes patch crest insignia  USS Hawes FFG-53 patch crest insignia



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