USS Vreeland (FF-1068) was a Knox class frigate of the US Navy. The ship was named for Rear Admiral Charles E. Vreeland (1852 - 1916).Vreeland's (DE-1068) contract was awarded to Avondale Shipyards of Westwago, LA in July of 1964 & the keel was laid down on 20 March 1968. Vreeland launched on 16 June 1969; sponsored by Mrs. Jamie L. Whitten, wife of the Congressman representing Mississippi's 2ndCongressional District; and commissioned at Charleston, S.C., on 13 June 1970 under the command of Comdr. David R. Stefferud with 267 enlisted men & 18 officers on board.
Ship's Motto: Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt (Where Duty & Glory Lead)
Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign
N - M - A - P
Displacement: 3,208 tons (4,189 full load)
Length: 438 ft (133.5 m)
Beam: 46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)
Draft: 24 ft 9 in (7.6 m)
Speed: over 27 knots (50 km/h)
Propulsion: 2 × CE 1200psi boilers, 1 Westinghouse geared turbine, 1 shaft, 35,000 SHP (26 MW) Sensors & Processing Systems: AN/SPS-40 Air Search Radar, AN/SPS-67 Surface Search Radar, AN/SQS-26CXSonar System, AN/SQR-18Towed Array Sonar System, Mk68Gun Fire Control System
Electronic Warfare & Decoys: AN/SLQ-32 Electronics Warfare System Armament: One Mk-16 8 cell missile launcher forASROCandHarpoon missiles, One Mk-42 5-inch/54 caliber gun, Mark 46 torpedoes (from four single tube launchers), One Mk-25 BPDMS launcher forSea Sparrowmissiles (replaced by Phalanx CIWS)
Aircraft Carried: OneSH-2 Seasprite(LAMPS I) helicopter
Operational History After fitting out at Charleston and shakedown training in the West Indies, Vreeland returned to her home port of Charleston to join Destroyer Squadron(DesRon) 4. She completed repairs in February 1971 and final contract trials in March and then began preparations for her first deployment to the Mediterranean area. The warship departed Charleston on 15 April and arrived in Rota, Spain, on the 25th. During the next six months, she steamed the length and breadth of the "middle sea" as a unit of the 6th Fleet. She visited numerous ports and participated in a host of exercises with American and Allied naval forces. She concluded that tour of dutyat Gibraltar on 8 October when she changed operational control back to the 2nd Fleet and headed home. The warship arrived in Charleston on the 16th and resumed 2nd Fleet Operations out of Charleston.
In the summer of 1972, the ship began preparations for another cruise in the Mediterranean Sea. That deployment, however, proved different than the previous one. Rather than deploying for six months and then returning home to Charleston, Vreeland received orders changing her home port to Athens, Greece. That assignment lasted for the next three years rather than the normal six months and included the relocation of Vreeland dependents to Athens—all as a part of the Navy's forward deployment program. During those three years, she performed the normal duties of a unit of the 6th Fleet, visiting ports, conducting exercises, and performing surveillance of Soviet ships operating in the Mediterranean.
On 1 July 1975, Vreeland was reclassified a frigate and redesignated FF-1068. Three days later, she departed Greece to begin her voyage back to the United States. The warship concluded that voyage and her three-year deployment at Philadelphia on 30 July. After post-deployment standdown, she moved south to Norfolk in September for repairs but returned to Philadelphia in October in time to participate in the Navy's 200th birthday celebration on the 13th. Duty as a surface warfare school ship and more repairs at Norfolk followed.
On 6 December, the frigate entered the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where she spent the following year undergoing a major overhaul. Her refurbishing completed on 2 December 1976, the warship resumed duty as an active unit of the Fleet early in 1977. Refresher training and various qualification exercises out of her new home port, Mayport, Fla., occupied her during the first six months of 1977. On 25 July, she departed Mayport for a cruise to South America to participate in UNITAS XVIII, the annual series of exercises in which units of various South American navies join the United States Navy in practicing the skills of hemispheric defense. In November, she concluded her UNITAS cruise and reentered Mayport on the 25th. Leave and upkeep in port took up her time for the remainder of the year.
A part of January and February 1978 was devoted to a restricted availability for Vreeland. The frigate devoted the ensuing months to preparations for her forthcoming deployment to the Middle East. Vreeland departed from Mayport on 23 July in company with Mullinix (DD-944). Following fuel stops at Bermuda, the Azores, and Rota, Spain, the ships transited the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal and arrived at Port Sudan, Sudan, on 9 August. A turnover from Glover (AGFF-1) and Barney (DDG-6) was effected, and Vreeland joined the Middle East Force. The remainder of the year was spent in operations with that group. On 31 December, Vreeland and Mullinix retransited the Suez Canal on their return to the United States.
In March 1980 Vreeland deployed once again to the Mediterranean & represented the US Navy at the celebration of the 105th anniversary of Belgium's independence. That August she made port at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, for a regular overhaul.
Vreeland again deployed to the Mediterranean in June of 1982. Before crossing the Atlantic with the USS Forrestal Battle Group, she participated in the rescue of the pilots & crew of an SH-3H helicopter. The helicopter had just unloaded personnel & supplies while hovering over the flight deck then lost an engine, could not gain altitude & dropped into the water. Vreeland picked up the the crewman & attended the floating helicopter until the Forrestal could maneuver into position for retrieval using her deck crane. While in the Mediterranean Vreeland participated in the recovery of material from the crash of an F-14 from the Forrestal which resulted in the death of the pilot. She also participated in the evacuation of the Palestine Liberation Organization & their families from Beirut, Lebanon, which earned the Vreeland a Navy Expeditionary Medal.
Vreeland passed through the Panama Canal in January of 1983 to conduct operations in the Eastern Pacific. That November, she earned the Battle "E" commendation. On Christmas Eve, 1984 Vreeland was assigned to escort a Soviet Flotilla headed to Cuba to celebrate the island's Liberation Day. While the ships maintained a respectful distance, the trip was free of incident.
Operation Just Cause (Panama) December 20, 1989 - January 31, 1990 December 1990 Vreeland departs Mayport, FL. to take part in Operation Desert Storm, January 17, 1991 - February 28, 1991. During Vreeland's transit to the Persian Gulf, members of the crew were assigned to the Multi-national Interception Force. This MIF team was divided into two groups; MIF teams blue and gold. The purpose of this group was to board merchant vessels to ensure cargo was in compliance with United Nations trade embargoes imposed on Iraq. MIF conducted more than 41 boardings, and diverted or confiscated tons of contraband.
Decommissioned: June 30, 1992 January 11, 1995 The USS Vreeland is stricken from the US Navy ship registry
Leased to Greece under the Foreign Assistance Act June 30, 1992. Renamed Makedonia (F458) On July, 25th 1992 under the command of Commander E. Korovesis H.N. she departed Mayport, Florida and arrived in Greece on August, 25th.
NOTE: The following has been part of the Vreeland history, but according to face-to-face reports of Greek Sailors, this did not happen! (While crossing the North Atlantic on her maiden Hellenic Navy voyage she caught fire in the engineering spaces. The crew flooded the main engineering spaces and abandoned ship. Later noting that the fire was subsiding some of the crew reboarded her and began trying to save her from sinking. Finally she was saved but was severely damaged; she was towed to safety)
Macedonia was decommissioned from the Hellenic Navy in January 1999 and scrapped.
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon - Combat Action Ribbon
- Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation (2) - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) - Navy "E" Ribbon (3) - Navy Expeditionary Medal (3) - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (while designated DE-1068) - Navy Unit Commendation (2) - Southwest Asia Service Medal (2)
Commanding Officers 13 Jun 1970 - 29 Nov 1971, CDR David Roberts Stefferud
29 Nov 1971 - 28 Sep 1972, CDR Cyrus R. Christensen
28 Sep 1972 - 27 Sep 1974, CDR Stephen Vanhekle Snyder
27 Sep 1974 - 08 Oct 1976, CDR Michael Thomas Midas, Jr.
08 Oct 1976 - 17 Jan 1979, CDR Thomas Edward Gill II
17 Jan 1979 - 24 Feb 1981, CDR Paul Philip Aquilino
24 Feb 1981 - 17 Dec 1982, CDR Ronald Joel Calhoun
17 Dec 1982 - 28 Aug 1984, CDR John Michael Miller
28 Aug 1984 - 04 Dec 1986, CDR Thomas Joseph Barry
04 Dec 1986 - 23 Feb 1989, CDR William D. Orr
23 Feb 1989 - 15 Feb 1991, CDR Randall Ray Brown
15 Feb 1991 - 30 Jun 1992, Cmdr. Jesse Johnston Kelso