Destroyer USS Forrest Sherman receives painting of former namesake ship
16 May 2022
NAVAL STATION NORFOLK --
A former operations officer of destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DD-931) gifted a painting to the crew of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), April 27.
Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. George Keller presented the painting, a departure gift he received when concluding his tour on Forrest Sherman (DD-931), to commanding officer of Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) Cmdr. Greg Page and the Forrest Sherman crew. The painting will be hung in the Lion’s Den Café, the crew’s mess decks.
Keller explained how walking around the newer Forrest Sherman gave him flashbacks to great memories he had on the former destroyer, which was first in its class and named for the 12th chief of naval operations, several decades ago.
“This vessel is a hell of a lot bigger than DD-931! Seeing all of the Sailors working around the ship, with smiles on their faces, is something great to see,” Keller said.
In June 1972, Forrest Sherman (DD-931) embarked on a UNITAS XIII deployment and headed to South America. Keller was the operations officer aboard the ship for the deployment. During the deployment, the ship sailed from Connecticut to Puerto Rico. From there, the ship sailed around South America for several months.
“I think the UNITAS deployment was my fondest memory during my time on Forrest Sherman,” said Keller. “UNITAS was something I always wanted to do, and I was lucky enough to participate in the Shellback ceremony. I remember pulling into Cartagena, Colombia, and I was driving the ship inbound for our port visit. The winds and seas were just perfect. All I needed was a little rudder, all back to stop the ship, and over line one.”
UNITAS is a series of evolutions in which U.S. Navy ships circumnavigate the South American continent, operate with several foreign navies, and return to the Atlantic through the Panama Canal. Held each year since 1959, ships have participated in this long-standing exercise, which includes traditional at-sea exercises and in-port training activities. It presents an opportunity to build capabilities and cooperative relationships among U.S., South and Central American maritime forces.
Forrest Sherman (DD-931) was built by the Bath Iron Works Corporation at Bath, Maine, on October 27, 1953, and was commissioned on February 5, 1955. After commissioning, she transited to her home port of Naval Station Newport and arrived on January 15, 1957. Some of her most notable deployments included NATO Operation Strikeback, where she screened a carrier strike group off of Norway, and Operation Inland Seas, where she served as the escort to the Royal Yacht HMY Britannia with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II embarked.