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USS TARAWA

(LHA-1)

Eagle of the Sea

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The USS TARAWA (LHA-1), a Tarawa class amphibious assault ship, was commissioned on 29 MAY 1976. USS TARAWA served her country for 32 years, 10 months and 2 days, until decommissioned on 31 MAR 2009.

The USS TARAWA (LHA-1) deployment history and significant events of her service career follow:

LHA-1 Deployments - Major Events

Add a LHA-1 Shellback Initiation Add a LHA-1 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
NOV 1971 Keel Date: 15 NOV 1971
at Ingalls Shipbuilding Pascagoula MS
DEC 1973 Launch Date: 1 DEC 1973
MAY 1976 Commissioned: 29 MAY 1976
AUG 1978 - JAN 1979 West Pac
FEB 1979 - OCT 1979 West Pac
MAY 1979 - Shellback Initiation - 1 MAY 1979 - Pacific Ocean
MAY 1979 - Shellback Initiation - 1 MAY 1979 - Pacific Ocean
OCT 1980 - APR 1981 West Pac-Indian Ocean
AUG 1981 - Shellback Initiation - 24 AUG 1981 - Indian Ocean
AUG 1981 - Shellback Initiation - 24 AUG 1981 - Indian Ocean
APR 1982 Shellback Initiation - 20 APR 1982 - Indian Ocean
MAR 1983 - JUL 1983 Lebanon 1983
APR 1983 - DEC 1983 West Pac-Indian Ocean
SEP 1983 - Shellback Initiation - 3 SEP 1983 - Indian Ocean
OCT 1984 - APR 1985 West Pac
JUN 1985 - DEC 1985 RIMPAC
JUN 1986 - DEC 1986 West Pac
AUG 1986 - Shellback Initiation - 16 AUG 1986 - Pacific Ocean
MAY 1989 - NOV 1989 West Pac
JAN 1990 - Shellback Initiation - 10 JAN 1990 - Pacific Ocean
DEC 1990 - JUL 1991 Desert Shield / Storm
DEC 1990 - JUL 1991 Desert Shield
MAY 1991 - JUL 1991 Operation Sea Angel - humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh
MAY 1992 - NOV 1992 West Pac-Indian Ocean
SEP 1992 Shellback Initiation - 30 SEP 1992 - Indian Ocean
OCT 1992 - Shellback Initiation - 2 OCT 1992 - Pacific Ocean
APR 1996 - OCT 1996 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
FEB 1998 - AUG 1998 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
AUG 2000 - Shellback Initiation - 30 AUG 2000 - Pacific Ocean
JUL 2005 - FEB 2006 Mediterranean-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
AUG 2005 - Shellback Initiation - 7 AUG 2005 - Indian Ocean
NOV 2007 - JUN 2008 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
MAY 2008 - Shellback Initiation - 21 MAY 2008 - Pacific Ocean
MAR 2009 Decommissioned: 31 MAR 2009

LHA-1 General Specifications

Class: Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship

Named for: Tarawa

Complement: 960+ Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 38900 tons

Length: 820 feet

Beam: 106 feet

Flank Speed: 24 knots

Final Disposition: Awaiting disposal



USS TARAWA (LHA-1)



The second Tarawa (LHA-1) was laid down in November 1972 at Pascagoula Miss. by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp. launched on 1 December 1973 sponsored by Mrs. Audrey B. Cushman the wife of General Thomas J. Cushman former Commandant of the Marine Corps.; and commissioned on 29 May 1976 Capt. James H. Morris in command.

Tarawa is the first of five ships in a new class of general-purpose amphibious assault ships and combines in one ship type the functions previously performed by four different types: the amphibious assault ship (LPH) the amphibious transport dock (LPD), the amphibious cargo ship (LKA), and the dock landing ship (LSD). She is capable of landing elements of a Marine Corps battalion landing team and their supporting equipment by landing craft by helicopters or by a combination of both.

The ship departed Pascagoula on 7 July 1976 and set a course for the Panama Canal. She transited the canal on 16 July and after a stop at Acapulco Mex. arrived at San Diego on 6 August. During the remainder of 1976 the amphibious assault ship conducted trials tests and shakedown in the southern California operating area.

During the first half of 1977 Tarawa was engaged in training exercises off the California coast. On 13 August she entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard for post shakedown availability which was completed on 15 July 1978. Following four and one half months of intensive individual ship and amphibious refresher training with embarked marines Tarawa ended 1978 in her home port of San Diego on Christmas standdown.

[Note: The above USS TARAWA (LHA-1) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS TARAWA (LHA-1) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]