USS INCHON was the last ship in the IWO JIMA class of helicopter carriers. USS INCHON was specifically designed to conduct amphibious force landings by providing helicopter support to transport troops and assist in establishing air superiority in the designated landing area. Helicopter detachments that embarked aboard INCHON included the CH-53E Super Stallions, CH-46 Sea Knights, UH-1 Hueys and AH-1 Cobras. Additionally, a U. S. Marine Corps Battalion Landing Team (BLT) consisting of 2,000 troops and their equipment, embarked for INCHON's deployments.
INCHON, the first ship to bear the name, was named in honor of the highly successful historic amphibious landing by General Douglas MacArthur at Inchon, Korea on September 15, 1950.
In November 1994 the contract to convert INCHON to a Mine Countermeasures Support Ship was awarded to Ingalls. In 1996 the conversion was finished and INCHON was commissioned as a Mine Countermeasures Support Ship homeported in Ingleside, TX. Decommissioned on June 20, 2002, and stricken from the Navy list on May 24, 2004, the INCHON sunk as a target on December 5, 2004, 207 nautical miles northeast of Virginia Beach, Va.
|General Characteristics:||Keel Laid: April 8, 1968|
|Launched: May 24, 1969|
|Commissioned: June 20, 1970|
|Decommissioned: June 20, 2002|
|Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.|
|Propulsion System: Two 600 PSI Steam Boilers, 1 shaft, 22,000 shaft horsepower|
|Length: 603, 65 feet (184 meters)|
|Beam: 104 feet (31.7 meters)|
|Draft: 25,9 feet (7.9 meters)|
|Aircraft elevators: two|
|Displacement: approx. 19,500 tons full load|
|Speed: 21 knots|
|Aircraft: 2 UH-46D Sea Knight Helicopters and 8 MH-53E Sea Stallion Helicopters|
|Armament: two Phalanx CIWS, four MK-38 25mm Chain Guns, four .50 cal lightweight guns, Stinger missiles|
|Additional Equipment: six MK-105 mine sweeping sleds|
|Crew: 122 officers, 1,321 enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS INCHON. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
MCS - The Background and Features:
Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm identified the need for a dedicated command, control and support ship to support mine countermeasures operations. The contract to convert INCHON was awarded in November 1994 to Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., Pascagoula, Miss.
USS INCHON was converted from an amphibious assault ship with major changes made to the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) system including upgrades to the close-in weapons system (Phalanx) and various radars. The ship supported an embarked composite helicopter squadron of eight CH-53E and two SAR/spotter helicopters, and provided alongside support and services for up to four MCM/MHC ships. It was able to support and accommodate four Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) groups with assigned equipment. Additionally it provided C4I facilities for the MCM group commander. New repair facilities and upgrades to older ones were also added, giving the MCS 12 the ability to accomplish whatever repairs were necessary to weapons, LCACs, aircraft, etc., in any theater of operation.
History of USS INCHON:
USS INCHON was one of a series of amphibious assault ships built by Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, Miss. The keel was laid on April 8, 1968, launched May 24, 1969, and was commissioned at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., on June 20, 1970, under the sponsorship of Mrs. Jack Brooks.
In 1972, INCHON sailed on a world cruise for Norfolk, VA, to the Caribbean Sea, South Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, South China Sea, Eastern and Western Pacific Ocean, through the Panama Canal, returning to the Caribbean and finally to the North Atlantic.
USS INCHON played a key role in Operation Sharp Edge in 1990, performing evacuation operations during Liberia's civil war. Shortly afterwards, INCHON patrolled the southern Mediterranean in preparation for emergency evacuations in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm.
In 1994, IHCHON deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean to conduct Operation Continue Hope off the coast of Somalia and Operation Deny Flight off the coast of Bosnia. Following a six month deployment, INCHON remained in home port for only two weeks, before she was called upon to assist in Operation Support Democracy off the coast of Haiti. In March 1995, INCHON commenced a 15-month conversion/overhaul by Ingalls Shipbuilding to assume a new mission as the Navy's only Mine Countermeasures Support Ship (MCS).
In July 1996, INCHON changed homeports to Ingleside, Texas, home of the Navy's Mine Warfare Center of Excellence. Sustaining extended mine countermeasures (MC) operations at forward deployed locations requires extensive command, control and logistics. It is for this reason that INCHON, as the "floating port," provides both a landing platform for MH-53E Sea Dragon mine-sweeping helicopters and repair and re-supply facility for Avenger class MCM ships and Osprey class coastal minehunters. From March-July 1997, Inchon made its first deployment in its new capacity, successfully demonstrating its capabilities. Inchon once again deployed in 1999 and the crew provided critical heavy lift support to Operation Shining Hope, part of the humanitarian relief effort for Kosovar refugees in the Balkans.
In April 2001, Inchon set out for what would be its last deployment. It steamed 28,000 nautical miles to the Western Pacific Ocean, accumulated more than 1,400 flight hours, conducted seven replenishments at sea, visited seven ports on three continents, evaded a typhoon, and made 27 restricted transits including two separate trips through the complex waters of the Panama Canal.
The ship has received the following awards: Meritorious Unit Commendation, Humanitarian Service Medal, two National Defense Medals, Battle "E", Marine Corps Unit Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation, Sea Service Deployment and Arctic Service.
Notes of Interest:
Accidents aboard USS INCHON:
|December 16, 1975||west of Italy|
USS INCHON and USS CALOOSAHATCHEE (AO 98) are in a minor collision during refueling in rough seas west of Italy.
|February 5, 1980||Atlantic|
USS INCHON collides with USS SPIEGEL GROVE (LSD 32) while refueling in the Atlantic en route to the Mediterranean Sea, with reportedly no injuries and only minor damage.
|October 7, 1981||Norfolk, Va.|
USS INCHON suffers a boiler explosion while preparing to get underway from Norfolk, Va.
|June 11, 1984||off North Carolina|
During work-ups off the coast of North Carolina USS INCHON develops a leak in the fuel oil transfer system and returns to Norfolk, Va., for repairs.
|August 13, 1986||off the US East Coast|
USS INCHON suffers a casualty to the ship's evaporators while underway to Moorehead City, NC, causing the ship to return to Norfolk, Va., for two days of repairs.
|November 14, 1989||Norfolk, Va.|
A fire in the hangar deck of USS INCHON injurs 31 people while the ship is docked for maintenance in Norfolk, Va.
|October 19, 2001||Naval Station Ingleside, TX.|
A fire was discovered in the ship's Boiler Room at approximately 5:42 p.m. (local time). Firefighting crews from INCHON and Naval Station Ingleside Fire Department responded to the scene, assisted by rescue and assistance teams from several other ships based at the naval station. Crews extinguished the fire at approximately 6:26 p.m. One crew member, Machinist's Mate Third Class Ronnie Joe Palm Jr., was killed and seven other sailors were injured. Six of them were treated for minor burns or smoke inhalation and released; one remained hospitalized in a local facility.
USS INCHON had completed tests of its engineering and operational systems after a regularly scheduled planned maintenance availability at Naval Station Ingleside at the time of the incident.
USS INCHON Patch Gallery:
USS INCHON Image Gallery: