USS Guadalcanal (LPH-7)

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The Guadalcanal passed Ellis Island in May 1992
The Guadalcanal passed Ellis Island in May 1992
Order December 21, 1959
Keel laying September 1, 1961
Launch March 16, 1963
1. Period of service flag
Commissioning July 20, 1963
Decommissioning August 31, 1994
Whereabouts Sunk in 2005 as a target ship
Technical specifications

19,395 tons


183.6 meters


26 meters


8.2 meters


685 officers and sailors


1 propeller, driven by 1 steam turbine; 23,000 hp


23 knots


2 × RIM-7 Sea Sparrow
2 × 22mm- Phalanx CIWS

The USS Guadalcanal (LPH-7) was the Iwo Jima class belonging amphibious assault ship of the US Navy , which was made in July 1963 in service. It remained in active service until August 1994, then belonged to the reserve fleet and was sunk as a target ship in May 2005.


The Guadalcanal was commissioned on December 21, 1959 as the third unit of the Iwo Jima class and laid down on September 1, 1961 in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard . The launch took place on March 16, 1963. On July 20, 1963, the Guadalcanal was taken into service under the command of Captain Dale K. Peterson. The ship was after the USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) the second unit of the United States Navy of this name, which has its origin in the Battle of Guadalcanal .

After test drives, the Guadalcanal joined the United States Fleet Forces Command . From October 1963, exercises were carried out for six weeks in the Bahía de Guantánamo , followed by a landing exercise on the beach at Onslow Beach in North Carolina in December. From February 1964, the ship was stationed off Panama , before taking part in a NATO exercise on the beaches of southern Spain after a stay in the shipyard in Philadelphia .

The Guadalcanal had one of its most famous missions on July 21, 1966 when it was recovering the Gemini 10 space capsule after landing in the Atlantic east of Cape Kennedy . On March 13, 1969, the ship also salvaged the Apollo 9 space capsule off the Bahamas .

In 1987 the Guadalcanal served as a mine defense vehicle in the Persian Gulf , which the Iranian landing ship Iran Ajr had laid there. The frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) hit one of these mines in April 1988 and was badly damaged. The Iran Ajr itself was seized and sunk by the United States Navy in September 1987. In 1991 the Guadalcanal returned to Persian Gold to supply US troops during the Second Gulf War .

The ship was involved in several accidents during its service. On November 1, 1966, three crew members died in the crash of a UH-2B Seasprite helicopter shortly after taking off from the flight deck. On May 9, 1968, the Guadalcanal ran aground off North Carolina due to a drive failure. On January 27, 1976 she ran aground again, this time on a coral reef off Sicily . The recovery work here lasted for three days. On September 17, 1981, a Sikorsky CH-53 of the ship crashed during an exercise off Sardinia , killing all five crew members on board. In addition, the Guadalcanal collided twice with supply tankers during refueling: on September 24, 1981 off Sardinia with the USS Waccamaw (AO-109) and on May 25, 1993 off Cape Hatteras with the USS Monongahela (AO-178) .

On August 31, 1994, the Guadalcanal was retired after 31 years of service and relocated to the reserve fleet on the James River . The ship was there for more than 10 years before it was sunk on May 19, 2005 as a target ship for practice shooting at the Virginia Capes in the Chesapeake Bay .

Web links

Commons : USS Guadalcanal  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files