The third USS Blakely (DE-1072/FF-1072) was a Knox-class destroyer escort in the United States Navy. She was reclassified as a frigate in 1975 along with her entire class. Her primary mission of ASW remained unchanged. She was named for Captain Johnston Blakeley and Charles Adams Blakely. She was primarily stationed out of Charleston, South Carolina.
Blakely was laid down on 8 June 1968 at Westwego, Louisiana by Avondale Shipyards. She was launched on 23 August 1969; sponsored by Mrs. Lila Blakely Morgan, daughter of the late Vice Admiral Blakely and delivered to the Navy on 1 July at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. She was commissioned there on 18 July 1970, Comdr. Francis L. Carelli in command.
Blakely spent the remainder of the year fitting out, conducting post-commissioning trials, and making her shakedown cruise. After a leave and upkeep period lasting from 12 December 1970 to 21 February 1971, she entered the Charleston Nava1 Shipyard on 22 February for post-shakedown availability. During that extended repair period, her Sea Sparrow basic point defense surface missile system launcher was installed. She completed post-shakedown repairs and modifications as well as final contract trials on 4 August. Between 4 and 11 August, the ocean escort made a round-trip voyage to the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Range for missile and gunfire qualification. The warship returned to Charleston on 11 August and, on the 23d got underway for a voyage—via Newfoundland—to northern Europe. During that cruise, she visited ports in Norway, Denmark, Germany, and France. She returned to Charleston on 3 October and began normal duty as a unit of the 2d Fleet. Her 2d Fleet service occupied her during the remainder of 1971 and 11 months of 1972. During that time, Blakely conducted type training, individual ship’s drills, and fleet exercises aIong the eastern seaboard and in the West Indies.