Return of Navy ships brings over 500 sailors home

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The guided-missile frigate USS McClusky and guided- missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones pulled into Naval Base San Diego Tuesday following separate deployments.

The McClusky combated drug trafficking in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, while the John Paul Jones carried out ballistic missile defense and maritime security operations in the western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Middle East, according to the Naval Surface Forces public affairs office.

The McClusky and its crew of about 240 enlisted personnel and officers left San Diego in January and helped intercept 10,120 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $174 million, according to the Navy.

The McClusky is named after the late Rear Adm. Clarence Wade McClusky, who led successful dive bomber strikes on Japanese aircraft carriers in the Battle of Midway, which changed the course of World War II in the Pacific in June 1942.

The 505-foot John Paul Jones, with a crew of about 280 enlisted personnel and officers, left San Diego in December. Earlier this year, it responded to a distress call from a merchant ship on fire in the Persian Gulf and rescued 24 Filipino mariners.

The John Paul Jones is named for American Revolutionary War Captain John Paul Jones, a Scotsman by birth who in 1775 volunteered his services to a then-newly founded Continental Navy, the precursor to the U.S. Navy. He would later be dubbed the father of the U.S. Navy.

Jones coined the phrase, “I have not yet begun to fight!” when urged to surrender during a 1779 battle between the Bonhomme Richard, a rebuilt merchant ship given to the Americans by a French shipping magnate, and the Serapis, a British ship.

The John Paul Jones was featured prominently this year in the film “Battleship.”

Categories: KUSI