Commander Frank H. Sonntag

Commanding Officer, 01 June 1962 to January 1963

CDR F. H. Sonntag, 16 January 1922 - 23 October 1986


Bronze Star


Bronze Star


Purple Heart


Commander Sonntag was born in Los Angeles, California, on January 16, 1922, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard N. Sonntag. He studied at the University of California in Los Angeles, beginning his Navy service as a member of the University's NROTC class in 1939 prior to being commissioned Ensign on June 9, 1943. Through subsequent advancement, he attained the rank of Commander effective May 1, 1958.

After receiving his commission, Commander Sonntag was ordered to destroyer USS LONGSHAW (DD-559) where he served as Navigator and Assistant Gunnery Officer during World War II. He survived the sinking of the LONGSHAW by enemy shore batteries at Okinawa in May 1945.

He then became a student at the Gunnery Officers Ordinance School from June 1945 to December 1945. He subsequently became Gunnery Officer of the destroyer USS FRED T. BERRY (DD-858).

In February 1948 he became a student in the General Line School until December 1948. He served as Officer in Charge, Intelligence Unit, Trinidad, British West Indies from January 1949 until August 1951.

Commander Sonntag once more became a student, this time at the Mine Warfare School at Yorktown, Virginia. He then was ordered to assume command of the USS ZEAL (MSF-131) from November 1951 to March 1954, and saw action in Korean waters.

He became Commanding Officer of the minesweeper USS ENERGY (MSO-436) in July 1955. His next duty assignment was as Commander, Mine Division 91 until September 1956.

For the next three years Commander Sonntag headed the Operational Intelligence Dissemination Section in the Office of Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D. C.

He then served as the Commanding Officer of the USS JARVIS (DD-799) from July 1959 until November 1960. He was then ordered to the Staff of Destroyer Flotilla Three in October, 1961 where he served as Operations Officer.

Commander Sonntag assumed command of the Guided Missile Frigate USS KING (DLG-10) on June 1, 1962.

For his wartime service, Commander Sonntag was awarded two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Area Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Service Medal (two stars). Commander Sonntag was married in 1943 to the former Miss Geraldine Handley of Los Angeles, California. The Sonntags have four children, Charles, Steven, Frank, and Craig.