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'Top Notch Ship' Honored at Decommissioning Ceremony

USS Curts took part in Gulf War operations

By Lauren Steussy and Brandi Powell
|  Friday, Jan 25, 2013  |  Updated 10:57 AM PDT
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Images: Midway Museum San Diego

Brandi Powell

A decommissioning ceremony was held Friday morning for the guided-missile frigate USS Curts.

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A decommissioning ceremony was held Friday morning for the guided-missile frigate USS Curts.

The vessel, affectionately known as the "38 Special," took part in Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War and numerous anti-narcotics missions around the world.

Jon Rose was the ship's superintendent and has been part of the crew since its inception nearly 30 years ago.  

"I knew the ship inside and out," he said at the ceremony Friday. "I was with it through its final completion and went on sea trials with it was well."

USS Curts was commissioned in 1983 and was first used in anti-submarine operations.Beginning in 1991 at the outbreak of the Gulf War, the ship took part in most of the naval combat operations in the gulf, according to Naval historical records.

Later, in 2004, it seized 12 tons of cocaine -- the most in maritime history.

"It's a fascinating ship," Rose said. "The electronics are fascinating, the weapons system is just incredible. It's a top notch ship."

Retired Lt. Commander John Woodbury with the US Navy said serving on the ship gave him and the crew a chance to do "a lot of things that most ships will never get to do." 

"We had a wonderful crew, we had a great shipyard to build us, it was a fantastic time," he said. 

The ship was named after late Admiral Maurice E. Curts, former Commander in Chief of the U. S. Pacific Fleet.

The decommissioning ceremony was held at Naval Base San Diego. A crowd full of sailors and their families attended to pay tribute to the vessel. 

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