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      1. FFG 46 | USS RENTZ

        FFG 46

        Namesake:

        Navy Chaplain George Snavely Rentz

        George S. Rentz was one of 24 Navy chaplains who served in World War I and remained on active duty to also serve during World War II. Chaplain Rentz was the only chaplain to be awarded the Navy Cross during World War II.

        Born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, 22 July 1882, Chaplain Rentz, a Presbyterian (USA), entered the Chaplain Corps in 1917 and began active duty at the Marine Barracks, Port Royal, South Carolina. His later assignments included the FLORIDA (BB30); the WEST VIRGINIA (BB48); the AUGUSTA (CA31); Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida; Naval Air Station, San Diego, California; the Eleventh Naval District and the HOUSTON (CA30). He was serving in HOUSTON when he distinguished himself under battle conditions.

        On 4 February 1942, when HOUSTON came under heavy Japanese air attack in the Flores Sea, Rentz spurned cover and instead circulated among the crews of the antiaircraft battery, encouraging them. An officer later wrote that after the "men at the guns saw this man of God walking fearlessly among them, they were inspired and felt no longer alone."

        After HOUSTON was sunk on 1 March 1942, "gallantly fighting to the last against overwhelming odds" in the Battle of Sunda Strait, Chaplain Rentz entered the water wearing a life jacket and reached safety on what was apparently the spare main float of one of HOUSTON's lost planes. He found it dangerously overloaded and -- seeing wounded survivors, some of them without life jackets, struggling to remain afloat -- determined to relinquish both his life jacket and his place on the float, declaring, "You men are young; I have lived the major part of my life and I am willing to go." Finding no one who would let him carry out his wish, however, Chaplain Rentz remained with his shipmates for a time, encouraging them with hymns and prayers. He persistently sought to give away his life jacket, and several times managed to leave the float, but he was detected and brought back, although physically weaker each time. Ultimately he succeeded in placing his life jacket by a wounded sailor and slipping away into the sea.

        USS RENTZ (FFG46) was laid down 18 September 1982. It was launched 16 July 1983, on which occasion Mrs. Neil F. Lansing, daughter of Chaplain Rentz, was the sponsor and Rear Admiral Row H. Trower, CHC, USN, then Chief of Chaplains, was the principal speaker. RENTZ was commissioned on 23 June 1984.

        Historical Notes:


        USS RENTZ is the fortieth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) class guided missile frigates, the most numerous class of major combatants built for the Navy since World War II. RENTZ was built by Todd Pacific Shipyards Corp. of San Pedro, CA. The keel was laid September 18, 1982, launched July 16, 1983 and was commissioned at Naval Station Long Beach June 30, 1984. In December, 1985 RENTZ shifted to it's present homeport of Naval Station San Diego. In 1986, RENTZ was the first American warship to conduct an official port visit to the People's Republic of China since 1949. In July 1987, RENTZ deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Earnest Will, and spent over three months escorting commercial tankers in the Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz. Since 1987, RENTZ has deployed to the Arabian Gulf three additional times. In 1995, RENTZ participated in the inaugural Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training cruise (CARAT). RENTZ has operated throughout the Pacific and the Indian Oceans, and has conducted five major deployments to the Arabian Gulf. Its ports of call have included: Pearl Harbor, Guam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Philippine Islands, Indonesia, Bali, Malaysia, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Mexico, and Canada.

        Ship's Crest:

        Supporters: Not yet available

        The Shield: Not yet available

        The Crest: Not yet available

        Motto: Not yet available

        PHOTOS

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