Home » Aviation » Navy to Decommission Big Deck Amphib Peleliu Tuesday, Ship Will Join Pearl Harbor Inactive Fleet


Navy to Decommission Big Deck Amphib Peleliu Tuesday, Ship Will Join Pearl Harbor Inactive Fleet

USS Peleliu (LHA 5) is underway in the Philippine Sea in its last 2014 deployment. US Navy Photo

USS Peleliu (LHA 5) is underway in the Philippine Sea in its last 2014 deployment. US Navy Photo

The last Tarawa-class big deck amphibious warship will decommission in a ceremony at Naval Station San Diego on Tuesday ahead of joining the Navy’s inactive reserve fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the service announced on Monday.

The San Diego based USS Peleliu (LHA-5) is the last of the class originally begun in the early 1970s designed to transport up to 1,900 Marines and their aviation compliment as the lead ship in a Navy/Marine Amphibious Ready Group and Marine Expeditionary Unit (ARG/MEU).

“Capable of launching a coordinated air and sea attack from one platform, Peleliu has conducted 17 deployments, 178,051 flight operations, served 57,983 personnel and steamed approximately 1,011,946 nautical miles since being commissioned on May 3, 1980, in Pascagoula, Miss.,” read a Monday statement from the service.

Nicknamed the “Iron Nickel,” Peleliu’s deployments included a significant role in the 2001 Operation Swift Freedom in which Marines from the 15th and 26th MEUs departed the ship — assigned to Naval Expeditionary Task Force 58 — to take and hold one of the first U.S. footholds in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Other deployments included assisting in the evacuation of personnel from the Philippines following the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and aided civilians in following the 1989 San Francisco earthquake.

The ship returned to San Diego on Christmas Eve 2014 following its final six-month deployment in the Western Pacific with USS Germantown (LSD-42) and the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

The class is due to be replaced by the new 45,000-ton America-class big decks. First-in-class USS America (LHA-6) commissioned in October and is stationed in San Diego.

Peleliu will join lead ship Tarawa (LHA-1) and Nassau (LHA-4) in the inactive fleet in Pearl Harbor. Sister ship Saipan (LHA-2) was scrapped and Belleau Wood (LHA-3) was sunk as a target.

  • Steve Skubinna

    I am, literally, a Peleliu plankowner. After commissioning and shakedown we went to the yard to have additional tiedowns installed on the flight deck. I grabbed one of the circular cutouts for a souvenir and it’s sitting on a shelf at home.

    Sad to see her go but she had a good long run.

    • publius_maximus_III

      Thanks for your service, Steve, and glad you got to hang onto a piece of your old ship. I hope the Navy won’t let such an historic name go to waste for very long.

  • Secundius

    Decommissioned in San Diego 31 March 2015, but no mention on her fate. Other than being “Moth-Balled”. I’m assuming that retired Navy Chief DSC William J. Cunningham got the ‘Ship’s Coat of Arms’, considering he was the Primary Designer of it…

    • publius_maximus_III

      I wonder who got the bell?

  • old guy

    What a waste! She is a perfect candidate for a refit as a jump deck carrier or an LCAC operating ship. Lots of interior space for personnel, logistic or cargo storage. But I guess that would violate the Shipyard Welfare Investment Program Enterprise (SWIPE).

  • Secundius

    Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility(s) are located in.
    1. Bremerton, WA.
    2. Pearl Harbor, HI.
    3. Philadelphia, PA.
    4. Norfolk, VA. (Nuclear)
    5. Puget Sound, WA. (Nuclear)
    Maritime Administration Ship Maintenance Facility(s) are located in.
    1. James River, TX.
    2. Beaumont, TX.
    3. Suisun Bay, TX.

    • Daryl Taylor

      Suisun bay isnt in texas. Its in suisun bay in the san Francisco bay area. The suisun reserve fleet will be gone by 2017. The envirowackos continue to rid any and everything military out of the bay area.

  • Thomas Dereda

    Why doesn’t the NAVY convert some of the older war ships into salt water conversion ships used to create fresh water in areas that need help / aid , wouldn’t that benefit the world and help people ??????????

    • Secundius

      @ Thomas Dereda.

      Simple, all they have to do is fix those ship’s and use them against their neighbor an/or us. It would be simpler just to remove the Desalination Units and give them those instead…

    • Secundius

      @ Thomas Dereda.

      Now that Putin isn’t getting the French made Mistral class Gator-Freighters. He would Pay Big Buck’s, too any Nation that was Lucky Enough to get a Trade, Transfer or Gift. For one of our Tarawa class Gator-Freighters. And that’s all we need is for Putin to Reverse Engineer a Tarawa class…