FFG 47 | USS NICHOLAS
Major of Marines Samuel V. Nicholas
Since commissioning in March of 1984, she has deployed to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea, as well as participation in maritime interception operations and various fleet exercises. When Gulf War hostilities broke out on 17 January 1991, NICHOLAS was serving in the extreme Northern Persian Gulf as advance Combat Search and Rescue platform over 70 miles forward of the nearest allied warship. During the first weeks of the war, she distinguished herself in action by attacking Iraqi positions off the coast of Kuwait, capturing the first 23 Iraqi prisoners of war, sinking or damaging 7 Iraqi patrol boats, destroying 8 drifting mines, and successfully rescuing a downed USAF F-16 pilot from the waters off the Kuwait coast. NICHOLAS also escorted the battleships USS MISSOURI and USS WISCONSIN during naval gunfire support operations near Khafji off the coast of the Saudi Arabia/Kuwaiti border.
In her 1993 six month deployment, NICHOLAS conducted operations in the Red, Mediterranean, Ionian, and Adriatic Seas. This was in support of United Nations sanctions against the governments of Iraq and the former Republic of Yugoslavia. During these operations, NICHOLAS safely conducted over 174 boardings of merchant vessels to inspect for illegal cargo shipments.
During her 1995 deployment in the Adriatic, NICHOLAS was assigned to the Standing Naval Forces Atlantic, again operating in support United Nations resolutions in Operation SHARP GUARD. NICHOLAS intercepted over 1200 vessels in enforcing sanctions against the former Republic of Yugoslavia. Additionally NICHOLAS located and rescued 16 Albanian citizens from a capsized lifeboat.
NICHOLAS has earned the Combat Action Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medal(with three bronze stars), Armed Forces Service Medal, NATO Medal, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Ribbon(with five bronze stars), a Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation(with "O" for Law Enforcement), and six Battle Efficiency Awards as the top ship in her squadron.
The Scarlet and Gold colors
throughout the shield are the traditional colors of the United States
Marine Corps. The center blue stripe in the shield represents the
United States Navy, and together, they symbolize the defensive strength
of the Navy/Marine Corps team. The anchor alludes to the first
amphibious operation conducted by American fighting men, led by
then-Captain Samuel Nicholas. The drum with the rattlesnake, a well
known symbol used during the Revolutionary War, represents Nicholas'
effort in recruiting and training Marines for duty in the Continental
Navy. The bayonets represent the participation of the Marines with
General George Washington at the Second Battle of Trenton and the
Battle of Princeton. Three gold oak leaves symbolize Major Nicholas'
steadfastness and courage, and also allude to his rank. The number
three is significant for FFG 47 as the third United States warship to
bear the name NICHOLAS.