USS WHIPPLE, named in honor of the revolutionary war hero, Commodore Abraham WHIPPLE, is the third ship of the fleet to bear the name. She was built in Seattle, Washington by Todd Shipyards and commissioned on 22 August 1970. Displacing 4200 tons, she is 438 feet long and capable of speeds in excess of twenty five knots
WHIPPLE is the eleventh ship of the KNOX class of frigate, specially designed for anti-submarine warfare, but also capable of effective performance in patrol, anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, shore bombardment, and command functions.
WHIPPLE is equipped with the most up-to-date long range underwater sound detection equipment (SONAR) as well as highly sophisticated radar, communications, and other electronic equipment. The principle armament is the Anti-Submarine Rocket (ASROC) and the HARPOON Surface to Surface Missile System. Additionally, she is equipped with anti-submarine homing torpedo tubes, and the 5 inch 54 caliber gun provides anti-aircraft defense and is an effective weapon for shore bombardment in support of forces several miles inland. The Basic Point Missile Defense System on her fantail increase her AAW Readiness.
WHIPPLE is also outfitted to operate a manned helicopter of the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) in support of her ASW mission.
With a crew of 22 officers and 260 enlisted men, WHIPPLE's facilities for the crew include messing and berthing compartments, recreation facilities, barber shop, laundry, ship's store and library.
WHIPPLE has been home ported in Pearl Harbor since commissioning and has deployed to the Western Pacific six times, both in peace and in war. Additionally, she has participated in numerous exercises in both the Hawaiian and Southern California OPAREAS.
In WHIPPLE's eleven years of commissioned service she has worked with the navies of Canada, Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines. She has served on the gun line in Vietnam, and represented the United States at the independence ceremony of the Solomon Islands in 1978. In 1979, she received the coveted Golden Anchor Award for achieving the highest retention of personnel in the Pacific Fleet. But her most significant event was the dramatic rescue in 1978 of over 400 Vietnamese Refugees from a 60 foot disabled and sinking vessel in a stormy South China Sea. For this feat, the largest single rescue ever in the history of the Pacific Fleet, WHIPPLE received the Humanitarian Service Award.