Guided Missile Frigate

FFG 55  -  USS Elrod



FFG-55 USS Elrod patch crest insignia

FFG-55 USS Elrod - Perry class guided missile frigate

Type, Class:


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

planned and built as FFG 55



Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, USA



Awarded: May 22, 1981

Laid down: November 21, 1983

Launched: May 12, 1984

Commissioned: May 18, 1985

ACTIVE UNIT/ in commission (Atlantic Fleet)



Norfolk, Virginia, USA



Named after and in honor of Major Henry Talmage Elrod, USMC (1905 - 1941)

> 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-55 USS Elrod - Perry class guided missile frigate


USS Elrod FFG-55 - Perry class frigate


FFG-55 USS Elrod - Perry class guided missile frigate


FFG-55 USS Elrod - Perry class frigate


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod  FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod  FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod  FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod  FFG-55 USS Elrod


FFG-55 USS Elrod plaque



Henry Talmage Elrod


Major Henry Talmage Elrod, USMC



Namesake & History:

Major Henry Talmage Elrod, USMC (September 27, 1905 – December 23, 1941):


Major Henry T. Elrod was born on 27 September 1905, in Turner County, Georgia. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 1927, and was appointed a Marine second lieutenant in February 1931. He attended the University of Georgia and Yale University prior to his entry into the Marine Corps.

Following over a year at the Marine Corps Basic School in Philadelphia as a student aviator, Lieutenant Elrod was ordered to the Naval Station at Pensacola. Here he served as a company officer and as student aviator. In February 1935 he earned his wings and was transferred to Quantico, where he served as a Marine Aviator until January 1938. In addition to his other duties, he was the squadron’s school, personnel, and welfare officer.

In July 1938, Elrod was ordered to a squadron in San Diego and served as their material, parachute, and personnel officer until January 1941, when he was detached to the Hawaiian area.

He arrived at Wake Island a short time before the hostilities commenced and was one of the twelve pilots who flew the Marine planes onto the island. He was killed in action defending Wake Island against the invading Japanese on 23 December 1941.

During the defense of Wake, Major Elrod repeatedly displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty. On the 12th of December he single-handedly attacked a flight of 22 enemy planes and shot down two. On several flights he executed low altitude bombing and strafing runs on enemy ships, and became the first man to sink a major warship with small caliber bombs delivered from a fighter-type aircraft.

When his plane was destroyed by hostile fire he organized a unit of ground troops into a beach defense and repulsed repeated Japanese attacks until he fell mortally wounded.

On 8 November 1946, his widow was presented with the Medal of Honor, posthumously awarded to her husband for his heroic actions during the last bitter days of the defense of Wake.

Major Elrod was initially buried on Wake Island, but was reentered in Arlington National Cemetery, Ft. Myer, Virginia, in October 1947.
Medal of Honor citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
for service as set forth in the following citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while attached to Marine Fighting Squadron TWO HUNDRED ELEVEN, during action against enemy Japanese land, surface and aerial units at Wake Island, from 8 to 23 December 1941. Engaging vastly superior forces of enemy bombers and warships on 9 and 12 December, Captain Elrod shot down two of a flight of twenty-two hostile planes and, executing repeated bombing and strafing runs at extremely low altitude and close range, succeeded in inflicting deadly damage upon a large Japanese vessel, thereby sinking the first major warship to be destroyed by small caliber bombs delivered form a fighter-type aircraft. When his plane was disabled by hostile fire and no other ships were operative, Captain Elrod assumed command of one flank of the line set up in defiance of the enemy landing and conducting a brilliant defense, enabled his men to hold their positions and repulse determined Japanese attacks, repeatedly proceeding through intense hostile fusillades to provide covering fire for unarmed ammunition carriers. Capturing an automatic weapon during one enemy rush in force, he gave his own firearm to one of his men and fought on vigorously against the Japanese. Responsible in a large measure of the strength of his sector's gallant resistance, on 23 December, Captain Elrod led his men with bold aggressiveness until he fell, mortally wounded. His superb skill as a pilot, daring leadership and unswerving devotion to duty distinguished him among the defenders of Wake Island, and his valiant conduct reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.




USS Elrod (FFG 55):


USS ELROD was built at the Bath Iron Works in Maine, and was commissioned in Brunswick, Georgia on May 18, 1985. The ship was originally home ported in Charleston, South Carolina and shifted to Norfolk, Virginia during March of 1995. ELROD has completed five deployments to the Arabian Gulf, four to the Mediterranean Sea, and one to the Adriatic Sea, and has participated in numerous operations in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and the Caribbean Sea. During the Arabian Gulf and Adriatic Sea deployments, ELROD protected and defended America's vital interests in that region and contributed to the U.S. naval presence during periods of hostility as well as peace.

ELROD's third Arabian Gulf deployment followed Operation DESERT STORM and supported aggressive air and surface surveillance operations. ELROD conducted naval exercises with other participating units of the Gulf Cooperation Council nations to strengthen and further develop the bonds that were forged during DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. The ship participated in TEAMWORK '92, NATO's Arctic Ocean anti-submarine exercise, and Operation SHARP GUARD, in support of multi-national enforcement of United Nations sanctions and embargoing war materials to the Balkans. ELROD demonstrated America's commitment to her NATO allies by providing a presence among the Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean (SNFM) and Standing Naval Forces Atlantic (SNFL) during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. ELROD completed another deployment in 2004 with our NATO allies in support of Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOR, and helped protect the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, in Operation DISTINGUISHED GAMES. Most recently ELROD deployed to both the Mediterranean and Black Seas, as well as visiting emerging West African nations in the Gulf of Guinea, while also participating in the Standing NATO Maritime Group exercise Operation STEADFAST JAGUAR, Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOR and exercise GREEN EAGLE.

ELROD Sailors have served with pride and distinction as U. S. goodwill ambassadors and spokespersons for our Navy, hosting official and unofficial visits for foreign military, business, and civilian dignitaries throughout the world, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Bulgaria, Turkey, Israel, Greece, Italy, France, Croatia, Scotland, England, Cape Verde, Russia, Benin, Ghana, and Norway. ELROD has sailed the major oceans of the world, transited the Panama and Suez canals, crossed the equator and the Arctic Circle.

In addition to a reputation for operational readiness and fighting skills, ELROD has earned a reputation for community support and participation in charitable projects. The ship has been recognized for the crew's contributions by designation as a Presidential "Point of Light." USS ELROD has also earned numerous awards during her commissioned service, including the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, Armed Force Expeditionary Medal, several Battle Efficiency Excellence Awards, Secretary of the Navy Energy Conservation Award, Armed Forces Recreation Society Award and various departmental and mission-specific awards for excellence.




FFG-55 USS Elrod patch crest insignia    FFG-55 USS Elrod patch crest insignia  FFG-55 USS Elrod patch crest insignia


FFG-55 USS Elrod cruise patch



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