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USS Trippe (FF-1075)

John Trippe (1785-1810)—a Lieutenant in the US Navy who served during the Quasi-War with France and the First Barbary War—served as the namesake of the USS Trippe (FF-1075). The fourth US Navy ship to bear this name, the USS Trippe (FF-1075) was the 24th vessel to be constructed in the Knox-class series of 46 frigates. Guided by her motto of “Always a Clean Sweep,” the USS Trippe was in commission for nearly 22 years.


Constructed at the Avondale Shipyard (Westwego, Louisiana), the USS Trippe measured 438 feet in length and displaced approximately 4,200 tons (full load). This vessel was launched and christened in a ceremony held on November 1, 1969 with Mrs. John S. Foster serving as her sponsor. Charleston, South Carolina was the site of the USS Trippe’s commissioning on September 19, 1970.

The USS Trippe was originally designated as a destroyer escort (DE) before her reclassification as a frigate (FF) in June of 1975. Capable of reaching speeds in excess of 27 knots due to her power source of two Combustion Engineering boilers and one Westinghouse geared turbine, the USS Trippe was outfitted with a sophisticated array of radar and sonar equipment to aid with navigation. In addition to a full line of weaponry that included one MK-16 eight-cell missile launcher for antisubmarine rocket (ASROC) and Harpoon missiles, one MK-42 five-inch/54 caliber gun, MK-46 torpedoes from single tube launchers, and one MK-25 basic point defense missile system (BPDMS) launcher for Sea Sparrow missiles which was later replaced with the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS), this vessel housed one aircraft on board—a SH-2 Seasprite Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) helicopter—for use in tactical missions calling for air support.

Naval History

The USS Trippe was homeported in Newport, Rhode Island at the onset of her career. Her initial complement of 18 officers and 267 enlisted men and women was led by Commander Allen B. Higgenbotham.

Subsequent to shakedown training, an overhaul period, a defense system upgrade, and a period of exercises, the USS Trippe was deployed to the Western Pacific in June of 1972 where she served in the role of aircraft carrier escort and provided gunfire support services during the Vietnam War. On her return trip back to Newport in December, the USS Trippe traveled a route that earned her the distinction of being the first vessel of the Knox class to circumnavigate the globe.

A brief overhaul period in 1973 gave way to the USS Trippe’s first deployment to the Mediterranean with the US Sixth Fleet from August 1973 through January of 1974. A second deployment to the Middle East immediately followed from January through July of 1974. During this span of time the USS Trippe was notified of a change in homeports from Newport, Rhode Island to Charleston, South Carolina. The remaining years of the 1970s were occupied by deployments to the Middle East, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and Caribbean in addition to a regular overhaul period followed by a course of refresher training.

The USS Trippe endured a major overhaul at Bath Iron Works (Bath, Maine) from January through December of 1980. As her career progressed over the course of this decade, she carried out four successful deployments to the Mediterranean region which were completed by June of 1987. The majority of the USS Trippe’s time from the late 1980s through the early 1990s was occupied by counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea.

Officially decommissioned on July 30, 1992 at Norfolk, Virginia, the USS Trippe was leased to Greece where she entered a new term of service under the name HHMS Thraki (F-457). Struck from the US Naval Vessel Register on January 11, 1995, the new Thraki was sold to Greece in 2001 and eventually sunk as a target under that country’s directive.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Trippe (FF-1075)

The widespread use of asbestos aboard US Navy vessels put all those who served aboard such vessels at risk for the development of one of several asbestos-related diseases, among them asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

An individual’s specific duty aboard a US Navy vessel may have influenced their degree of risk for the onset of disease. Those individuals whose work was focused in the area of boiler rooms or those individuals charged with maintenance or demolition tasks were likely to be exposed to higher levels of the toxic mineral that is currently classified as a known human carcinogen—cancer-causing agent—by several US governmental agencies.

Friable, airborne asbestos fibers enter the human body by means of inhalation and/or ingestion and easily attach to inner linings—membranes—of the heart, lungs, and/or abdomen. As time progresses, these fibers give way to cell inflammation, infection, and in some cases, mutation into cancer. The progression of asbestos diseases is slow with the onset of identifiable symptoms occurring anywhere from 20 to 50 years after the initial exposure took place.

The diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness calls for top-level medical care and legal assistance. Please fill out the form on this page to receive a complimentary informational packet that can identify physicians in your area, alert you to the latest treatments and clinical trials available, and connect you to qualified legal professionals who specialize in attaining compensation relative to asbestos cases.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari


Wikipedia–USS Trippe (FF-1075)

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