On September 29th, 2015, the USS Simpson (FFG-56) was retired after 30 years of service. Only she and one other active duty US Navy warship could claim the honor of engaging an enemy ship in combat on the high seas and being victorious.
The other ship? The USS Constitution. The same USS Constitution which was built under the Naval Act of 1794 and is one of the original 6 ships of the United States Navy. The Constitution sank a total of five ships in the War of 1812.
The USS Simpson earned her title during Operation Praying Mantis in 1988. The USS Samuel B. Roberts had struck an Iranian mine while protecting civilian shipping in the Gulf of Hormuz. The US Navy was in the process of destroying several oil platforms which were being used to gather intelligence and document ship movements. The Iranian fast attack craft Joshan fired a missile at SAG (Surface Action Group) Charlie, consisting of the USS Wainwright (CG-28), USS Bagley (FF-1069) and USS Simpson (FFG-56). The Iranian missile missed, the four missiles fired by the Simpson did not. The Wainwright also hit with a missile, then all three ships closed and proceeded to sink the Joshan by gunfire.
It seems odd that with all of the Naval history the US Navy has, the only battle-proven ship we have is a wind powered ship capable of a battle speed of 13 knots. On the other hand, it shows that we are unchallenged in recent years because the men and women who sail into harms way every day demonstrate the fact that all who attempt to challenge us will find themselves wanting of their goal.