Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Elrod Sailing to South Georgia; Frigate That Was Commissioned in Brunswick Will Be Open to the Public There This Weekend

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Elrod Sailing to South Georgia; Frigate That Was Commissioned in Brunswick Will Be Open to the Public There This Weekend

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY DICKSON

BRUNSWICK -- The guided missile frigate USS Elrod is returning to South Georgia for the first time, visiting the port where it was commissioned 20 years ago.

The Elrod will sail into Brunswick Friday, tie up at Mayors Point and be open to the public before it departs at noon Monday.

Navy League member Arlie McNeill of Brunswick said the visit coincides with the ship's commissioning in Brunswick on July 6, 1985, and is the result of a long appeal.

"We've been after it a long time," he said.

The ship was built and launched at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on May 12, 1984. The commissioning was moved south because the closest relative of its namesake, Marine Capt. Henry T. Elrod, a Medal of Honor recipient, could not make the trip from Thomasville, Ga., to Bath.

There was some additional significance to the Elrod's commissioning in Brunswick. During World War II, 99 Liberty ships were built and commissioned at the Port of Brunswick. The Elrod became the 100th ship commissioned at the port.

More than 6,000 people attended the commissioning, including many from Thomasville. City officials presented silverware for use in the ship's wardroom. McNeill said he hopes some Thomasville residents will come this weekend.

The Elrod has been unavailable for a return visit because it has been kept busy, McNeill said.

"It's been in the middle of all the action," including supporting troops from the Persian Gulf, he said.

McNeill said he is glad the ship is coming now because it is getting a little old. "I don't how much longer that ship will be around," he said.

The Elrod was the 48th of 51 ships built in the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided missile frigates. It is 453 feet long and its armament includes 36 standard and four Harpoon missiles.

Elrod was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. …

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