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USS Crommelin retired in Pearl Harbor ceremony

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 6:34 p.m. HST, Oct 26, 2012

The ongoing evolution of the U.S. Navy came to Pearl Harbor today with the first of two frigate decommissionings — a class of warship being replaced by new littoral combat ships.

For about 20 Crommelin family members, who came from California, Oregon, and even Australia, the retirement amounts to a loss of one of their own — the USS Crommelin, named for brothers who fought in the Pacific in World War II.

John G. Crommelin the fifth, 32, who lives on the Hilo side of Hawaii island, said it was an honor to be a part of the decommissioning.

His grandfather, John G. Crommelin III, was one of five brothers from Alabama dubbed the “Dixie Demons” and a “one-family navy” for their participation in every major campaign in the Pacific.

Cold War-era Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates are being replaced by smaller and speedier littoral combat ships that can get closer to shore and are designed to defeat “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The Navy's only other frigate at Pearl Harbor, the Reuben James, is scheduled to be inactivated Aug. 30.

More than 250 people attended the decommissioning ceremony at Pier M-2.

“This is a special ship,” said retired Capt. James Orvis, the first commander of Crommelin. “Its contributions are not diminished by the fact that like many of us, she’s grown older. Those of us who have served in her can be proud to have walked the decks and contributed to her reputation.”   

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