USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)

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USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)
Career (US)
Name:USS Bonhomme Richard
Namesake:John Paul Jones' famous frigate
Ordered:11 December 1992
Builder:Ingalls Shipbuilding
Laid down:18 April 1995
Launched:14 March 1997
Commissioned:15 August 1998
Homeport:Sasebo, Japan
Status:in active service, as of 2012
Badge:USS Bonhomme Richard COA.png
General characteristics
Class & type:Wasp-class amphibious assault ship
Displacement:40,500 tons
Length:844 ft (257 m)
Beam:106 ft (32 m)
Draft:27 ft (8.2 m) navigational
28 ft (8.5 m) limit
Propulsion:Steam turbines: two shafts, 70,000 shp (52 MW); Boilers: two, 600 psi (4.1 MPa)
Speed:20 knots (37 km/h)
Range:9,500 nautical miles (17,600 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)
Troops:1,800
Complement:Embarked ships company: 104 officers, 1004 enlisted
Embarked Marine detachment: 1894 officers and enlisted
Armament:2 × NATO Sea Sparrow systems
2 × Rolling Airframe Missile systems
2 × Phalanx CIWS
3 × 25 mm Mk 38 cannons
4 × .50-cal M2HB machine guns
Aircraft carried:Assault: 42 × CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
Sea Control: 5 × AV-8B Harrier attack planes
6 × ASW helicopters
Motto:I have not yet begun to fight!
Nickname:Revolutionary Gator, Bonnie Dick
 
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USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)
Career (US)
Name:USS Bonhomme Richard
Namesake:John Paul Jones' famous frigate
Ordered:11 December 1992
Builder:Ingalls Shipbuilding
Laid down:18 April 1995
Launched:14 March 1997
Commissioned:15 August 1998
Homeport:Sasebo, Japan
Status:in active service, as of 2012
Badge:USS Bonhomme Richard COA.png
General characteristics
Class & type:Wasp-class amphibious assault ship
Displacement:40,500 tons
Length:844 ft (257 m)
Beam:106 ft (32 m)
Draft:27 ft (8.2 m) navigational
28 ft (8.5 m) limit
Propulsion:Steam turbines: two shafts, 70,000 shp (52 MW); Boilers: two, 600 psi (4.1 MPa)
Speed:20 knots (37 km/h)
Range:9,500 nautical miles (17,600 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)
Troops:1,800
Complement:Embarked ships company: 104 officers, 1004 enlisted
Embarked Marine detachment: 1894 officers and enlisted
Armament:2 × NATO Sea Sparrow systems
2 × Rolling Airframe Missile systems
2 × Phalanx CIWS
3 × 25 mm Mk 38 cannons
4 × .50-cal M2HB machine guns
Aircraft carried:Assault: 42 × CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
Sea Control: 5 × AV-8B Harrier attack planes
6 × ASW helicopters
Motto:I have not yet begun to fight!
Nickname:Revolutionary Gator, Bonnie Dick

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, and the third United States Navy ship of that name. It was named in honor of John Paul Jones' famous frigate, which he had named the French language equivalent of "Good Man Richard," in honor of Benjamin Franklin, the U.S. Ambassador to France at the time. The name Bonhomme Richard is derived from the pen name of Benjamin Franklin, the author of Poor Richard's Almanac.

The contract to build her was awarded to Ingalls Shipbuilding on 11 December 1992, and her keel was laid down on 18 April 1995. She was launched on 14 March 1997, delivered to the Navy on 12 May 1998, and commissioned on 15 August 1998.

On 23 April 2012, the Bonhomme Richard switched homeportTemplate:From? to Sasebo, Japan when she took the place of the USS Essex (LHD-2) as the command ship for Expeditionary Strike Group Seven.[1]

Contents

Mission

The primary mission of USS Bonhomme Richard is to embark, deploy and land elements of a Marine landing force in amphibious assault operations by helicopter, landing craft and amphibious vehicle.

Commissioning

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) departed its building yard, Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi, on 8 August 1998, sailing into Pensacola Harbor at Naval Air Station Pensacola for commissioning activities and culminating with the main ceremony, which was held on Saturday, 15 August 1998.

U.S. Representative John P. Murtha, of Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District delivered the principal commissioning address. The Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, placed the new ship in commission.

Congressman Murtha's wife, Mrs. Joyce Murtha, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, served as Ship's Sponsor for LHD-6, and christened the ship at Ingalls in May 1997. During LHD-6's commissioning, Mrs. Murtha gave the traditional order to "Man our ship and bring her to life!"

Other commissioning participants of note included Mississippi's Fifth District Representative, Congressman Gene Taylor; Admiral Donald L. Pilling, USN, Vice Chief of Naval Operations; Vice Admiral Patricia Tracey, USN, Chief of Naval Education & Training; and Jerry St. Pe', Senior Vice President of Litton Industries and President of Ingalls Shipbuilding.

Shield and Crest

The USS Bonhomme Richard's ship crest.

Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the United States Navy. The red, white, and blue shield reflects the national colors of the USA and suggests its coat of arms. The six red stripes represent the ship's hull number as well as the six coins placed beneath the mast during mast stepping; red being the color of valor and sacrifice. The gold fleur-de-lis highlights the heritage of the first ship named Bonhomme Richard. The wreath of two green laurel branches symbolizes honor and high achievement commemorating the two previous ships carrying the name Bonhomme Richard. The eagle, overlooking the fleur-de-lis, adapted from historic flags and documents of the American Revolutionary era, symbolizes the fighting spirit, patriotic fervor, and tenacity of both John Paul Jones and the United States Navy. The eagle is flanked by six gold stars representing the battle stars earned by the second Bon Homme Richard during World War II and the Korean War underscoring the heritage and continuing resolve of the fighting Navy. The chief is blue with a wavy edge suggesting a shoreline and reflecting the amphibious mission of the Bonhomme Richard. The trident is emblematic of sea prowess and power from the sea; It has wings to commemorate the second Bon Homme Richard, an aircraft carrier and the three tines further represent the three areas of that ship's sea battle service: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The trident is scarlet, a color traditionally used by the United States Marine Corps, and highlights action and zeal thus underscoring the ship's assault and battle insertion mission combining the land, sea, and air elements of the fighting force. The trident, synergistically combined with the crossed U.S. Navy and Marine swords, symbolizes combat readiness and teamwork highlighting the current LHD's potent amphibious and heliborne assault capabilities in the deployment of forces ashore.

Deployments

USS Bonhomme Richard sailing in the Pacific Ocean.
USS Bonhomme Richard off Oahu the day of her arrival for RIMPAC 2008.

Unit awards

Commanding Officers

The commanding officer (CO) of the of the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), is the United States Navy officer who is the most senior officer on ship. The CO is the ultimate authority over operations of the Bonhomme Richard and her crew.

List of commanding officers

#NameStart of tenureEnd of tenure
11CAPT David Fluker[3]02012-04-23April 23, 2012
10CAPT Charles E. Litchfield[4]02012-02-03February 3, 201202012-04-23April 23, 2012
9CAPT Jonathan L. Harnden[4]02010-07-1010 July 201002012-02-033 February 2012
8CAPT John W. Funk02009-01-1313 January 200902010-07-1010 July 2010
7CAPT Neil R. Parrott02007-06-1414 June 200702009-01-1313 January 2009
6CAPT Steve Greene02005-08-3131 August 200502007-06-1414 June 2007
5CAPT Jones, Jeffery Scott02004-08-055 August 200402005-08-3131 August 2005
4CAPT Berg-Johnsen, Jon F.02003-02-1818 February 200302004-08-055 August 2004
3CAPT DeGeus, Stanley Vincent02001-09-2020 September 200102003-02-1818 February 2003
2CAPT Connelly, Robert Jeffrey02000-04-2424 April 200002001-09-2020 September 2001
1CAPT Keith, Douglas Wayne01998-04-1515 April 199802000-04-2424 April 2000

Popular Culture

The ship was used for various scenes in the 2012 movie Battleship. Sailors from the ship were used as extras in scenes.

The ship was also used for several scenes in the 2012 movie Act of Valor.[5]

References

External links