USS EL PASO was the fifth and final CHARLESTON - class amphibious cargo ship. In the early 1980s, the EL PASO was transfered to the Naval Reserve Force, but returned to the active fleet shortly afterwards because of the need for additional sealift capacity. Decommissioned on April 21, 1994, the EL PASO was transfered to the Military Sealift Command in 1995 and moved to Bethlehem Steel, Sparrows Point, MD., for the Military Sealift Command conversion. However, this conversion was cancelled and the EL PASO was placed out of service on October 23, 1996. Since then, the EL PASO is berthed at the Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility at Philadelphia, where she is held in reserve to make her available in the case of a military emergency.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: August 22, 1966|
|Keel laid: October 22, 1968|
|Launched: May 17, 1969|
|Commissioned: January 17, 1970|
|Decommissioned: April 21, 1994|
|Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va.|
|Propulsion system: two boilers, one geared turbine, one propeller shaft, 22,000 shaft horsepower|
|Length: 575.5 feet (175.4 meters)|
|Beam: 82 feet (25 meters)|
|Draft: 25.6 feet (7.8 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 18,700 tons full load|
|Speed: 20+ knots|
|Aircraft: helicopter platform only|
|Boats: 4 LCM-8, 4 LCM-6, 2 LCVP and 2 LCP|
|Armament: two 20mm Phalanx CIWS|
|Crew: Ship: 22 officers and 334 enlisted USMC: 15 officers and 211 enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS EL PASO. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
Accidents aboard USS EL PASO:
|June 6, 1977||Norfolk, Va.|
USS EL PASO parts its moorings and suffers minor damage during high winds in the Norfolk, Va., area.
|October 11, 1989||80 miles southeast|
of Norfolk, Va.
USS EL PASO Image Gallery:
The photo below was taken by Thomas Zera and shows the EL PASO at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., in July 1986.
The photos below were taken by me on November 7, 2008, and show the EL PASO laid up at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Note the Military Sealift Command markings.
The photos below were taken by me on October 26, 2010, and show the EL PASO still laid up at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.