USS Guam (LPH-9) keel was laid on 15 November 1962 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. She was launched 22 August 1964, and after fitting out, was commissioned 16 January 1965.
LPH-9 was the third US Navy ship to be named after the World War II Battle of Guam. The second USS Guam (CB-2) was a cruiser commisioned towards the end of the Second World War.
USS Guam (LPH-) sailed for Norfolk, VA, her new homeport in April 1965. Immediately sent on to Fleet Refresher Training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, she returned in July 1965 to commence Amphibious Assualt Training.
Gaum then remained on the East Coast with deployments to the Caribbean in 1966, 1967 and 1969. On September 18 1966 Guam recovered the Gemini 11 space capsule with Astronauts Dick Gordon and Pete Conrad onboard.
In 1971 Gaum was choosen as a test ship for the Sea Control Ship Project. The LPH was a suitable platform for VSTOL Harrier fighters and Anti-submarine helicopters. Exercises were conducted through 1974 to evaluate the concept.
USS Guam deployed regularly to the Mediterranean Sea during the rest of her service career. The deployments were varied with North Atlantic cruises for Cold Weather Amphibious Assualt Exercises. In October 1983 Gaum participated in the invasion of Grenada and then headed directly to the Mediterranean due to the Lebanese Civil War.
After overhaul in 1985 USS Gaum returned to standing watch on the East Coast of the U.S., taking her turns with deployments to the Mediterranean and Caribbean. In August 1990 Guam departed Norfolk for the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. While deployed in January 1991 Guam was sent to Somalia to evacuate diplomatic perssonel. She returned to Norfolk in March 1991.
USS Gaum was decommissioned 25 August 1998. She sunk in a Fleet training exercise (SINKEX) 16 OCT 2001
The USS Guam (LPH-9) operational history and significant events of her service career follow:
LPH-9 General Specifications
Class: Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship
Complement: 80 Officers and 638 Enlisted
Displacement: 19217 tons
Length: 598 feet
Beam: 84 feet
Draft: 30 feet
Final Disposition: Expended as a target16 October 2001
USS GUAM (LPH-9)
Guam (LPH-9) was laid down by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 15
November 1962; launched 22 August 1964
sponsored by Mrs. Vaughn H. Emory
Green; and commissioned 16 January 1965
Captain N. E. Thurmon in command.
After fitting out and builder's trials
the new amphibious assault ship
joined the Atlantic Fleet 21 April 1965 and sailed for Norfolk
Arriving Hampton Roads the next day for training off the Virginia Capes
she departed Hampton Roads for underway training out of Guantanamo Bay
Guam returned to Norfolk 5 July for intensive amphibious training.
She sailed from Hampton Roads 29 November to participate in amphibious and
ASW exercises en route to the Caribbean. On 10 December Guam joined
the Amphibious Ready Squadron in the Caribbean as flagship for Amphibious
Squadron 12. There she operated at peak readiness to protect the peace and
security of the Caribbean and Central America constantly threatened by Communist
aggression and subversion.
From 16 to 28 February 1966
Guam patrolled south of the Dominican
Republic ready to land forces on the volatile island of Hispanola if necessary.
She conducted amphibious exercises until entering Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
1 June for post shakedown availability.
She departed Philadelphia 2 August and prepared for service as the primary
recovery ship for the Gemini 11 space flight. On 18 September nt 0959 EDT
Guam recovered Astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon 710 miles east
of Cape Kennedy. From 28 November to 12 December Guam participated
in Exercise "Lantflex 66"
and on the latter date became flagship
of Amphibious Squadron 8 and Caribbean Amphibious Ready Group. She continued
this duty into 1967 prepared to land troops at any point in the Caribbean
where she might be needed to protect the freedom and integrity of the Americas.
[Note: The above USS GUAM (LPH-9) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS GUAM (LPH-9) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]