MAYPORT, Fla. -- The USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) was decommissioned Friday after nearly 30 years of service at Naval Station Mayport.
Commander Pete Ehlers is the ship's commanding officer.
It's very emotional - it's sad to see such a proud ship be shut down," he said.
The guided-missile Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, was named for a Washington D.C. native, Lt. Robert Graham Bradley.
Lt. Bradley served as Assistant First Lieutenant aboard USS Princeton, where he led a ship's repair party in efforts to save the ship after it was attacked by a Japanese dive bomber during WWII at the battle of Leyte Gulf. Bradley and his repair team lost their lives when the flames spread to an aft torpedo magazine and detonated four, 100-pound bombs. For his actions, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
There are about 200 sailors on board the USS Bradley. Noland Mitchell spent 3 years on the ship.
"It's like losing your first car because you have learned so much on this boat, and you have so many friends you're going to miss," he said.
From Mayport, the ship will be towed to Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Office Philadelphia and is slated to be offered for foreign military sale.