Bonhomme Richard Hull Completes Final Voyage to Texas Shipbreaker

June 2, 2021 11:48 AM
Screenshot of YouTube video from May 31, 2021 of the hull of Bonhomme Richard arriving in the Port of Brownsville, Texas.

The hull of the former amphibious warship Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) has arrived at the yard of a Texas shipbreaker for dismantling, the shipyard confirmed to USNI News.

On Monday, tug Nicole Foss pulled the wreck into the Port of Brownsville, Texas, to the International Shipbreaking LTD., shipyard. International Shipbreaking won a $3.66 million contract to recycle the remains of the warship after a four-day long fire gutted the hull last year. The Navy elected to scrap the ship rather than repair it.

As part of the contract, the Texas yard will harvest government-owned equipment that survived the July 12 fire, which started while the 22-year-old Bonhomme Richard was in the last stages of a $250 million refit. For example, USNI News understands that the propulsion system for the ship was largely undamaged.

The Brownsville yard has had experience decommissioning larger Navy ships – including the former carriers USS Constellation (CV-64) and USS Ranger (CV-61) and former big deck amphibious warship USS Tripoli (LPH-10).

The arrival at the International Shipbreaking yard follows the hull’s departure from Naval Station San Diego, Calif., on April 15, 2021 – a day after Bonhomme Richard’s ceremonial decommissioning.

The hull was towed across the Pacific, arrived off the Western Coast of Panama on May 5 and completed the Panama Canal transit on May 12. The hull’s island and aircraft elevators were removed to allow easier passage through the canal’s locks.

Several investigations into the origins of the fire and the Navy’s response are still ongoing.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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