USS GUAM was the fourth IWO JIMA - class Amphibious Assault Ship (Helicopter) and the third ship in the Navy named after the largest island of the Marianas group and the first United States Ship so christened in commemoration of the historical World War II battle for the island Guam.
Decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on August 25, 1998, the GUAM was disposed of as a target off the US east coast on October 16, 2001. The SINKEX was conducted by the USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) Battle Group and the exact location was 031° 14' 22.0" North, 071° 16' 35.0" West.
USS GUAM has earned the following awards: Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation (3 awards), Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (3 awards), Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (6 awards), Navy Expeditionary Medal (2 awards for the Lebanon campaign), National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (6 awards), Southwest Asia Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal (2 awards for the Beirut campaign), Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: September 21, 1961|
|Keel laid: November 15, 1962|
|Launched: August 22, 1964|
|Commissioned: January 16, 1965|
|Decommissioned: August 25, 1998|
|Builder: Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, Penn.|
|Propulsion system: Two boilers, one geared steam turbines, one shaft, 22,000 total 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: 23 knots|
|Aircraft: 20 |
|Armament: two |
|Crew: 80 officers, 638 enlisted, 1,750 Marine Detachment|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS GUAM. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS GUAM Cruise Books:
Accidents aboard USS GUAM:
|January 17, 1977||Barcelona, Spain|
An LCM-6 from USS TRENTON (LPD 14) carrying 124 marines and sailors from shore back to TRENTON and USS GUAM, collided with the merchant vessel URLEA which was entering the port of Barcelona. The LCM-6 capsized. 49 servicemen were killed in the accident.
A sculpture was erected near the Columbus Monument in the port of Barcelona to remember the servicemen killed in the accident. The photos below show the sculpture and were taken by me in Barcelona on April 3, 2023.
|January 27, 1981||Norfolk, Va.||USS GUAM suffers a minor fire of suspicious origin in an unoccupied compartment while at Norfolk Naval Base.|
|July 19, 1981||35 miles southeast of Moorehead City, NC||A CH-53 helicopter crashes and burns while landing aboard USS GUAM during training operations in the Atlantic, killing 4 and injuring 11 other Marine and Navy personnel.|
Since her commissioning on January 16, 1965, GUAM has played a leading role in naval operations, making several deployments to the Caribbean and to the Mediterranean.
GUAM acted as recovery ship for the Gemini XI mission in 1966. In a humanitarian effort during a disastrous earthquake in Peru in 1970, its embarked helicopters flew hundreds of mercy missions to deliver food, blankets, tents, and medical supplies to the shore. The seriously injured were returned to GUAM for treatment in its extensive medical facilities.
1982 found GUAM off Beirut, Lebanon supporting the Multinational Peace Keeping Forces.
In 1983, GUAM, underway once again to the Mediterranean, was diverted to become the flagship of Operation Sudden Fury. The ship participated in the rescue of 200 American citizens from the island nation of Grenada. After its successful combat assault in Grenada, the ship continued its journey to the Mediterranean taking up station off the coast of Lebanon once again.
In February 1984, GUAM assisted in the evacuation of some 2,000 civilians from 37 nations from war-torn Beirut, then embarked its complement of Marines, thus ending U.S. military presence in Beirut.
In December 1989, GUAM received the Battle "E" award after a successful Mediterranean deployment, yard period, and refresher training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In August 1990, GUAM departed ita homeport for what turned out to be an eight-month deployment in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During this time, GUAM was part of the amphibious force which conducted the historical feint operation thus tying up thousands of Iraqi forces along the Kuwaiti shore line for defense against an amphibious assault.
In January 1991, GUAM received immediate tasking to depart the Persian Gulf area of operations and conduct evacuation operations of American Embassy personnel and other nationalities from the besieged city of Mogadishu, Somalia. In all, 282 people were rescued including ambassadors from the United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, Germany, Kuwait, Oman, Quatar, Kenya, Nigeria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Sudan.
In June 1994, GUAM had the honor of representing the U.S. Navy in ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of D-Day in Southhampton, England and Cherbourg, France.
In the spring and early summer of 1996, the Mighty Nine steamed off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia as flagship of Operation Assured Response while embarked Marines guarded the embassy compound. GUAM's presence ensured the safety of U.S. embassy personnel working in a country ravaged by civil war.
During her final deployment from October 1997 to April 1998, to the Mediterranean Sea for numerous multi-national exercises, GUAM was once again dispatched to the Persian Gulf on short notice. She was sent to support U.S. military forces already present in the area for Operation Desert Thunder. This sudden deployment was in response to Iraqi refusal to comply with United Nations weapons inspections and threats to evict UN weapons inspectors. Shortly after the amphibious assault ship's arrival, Iraq agreed to comply, allowing full and unfettered access to all suspected weapons sites.
GUAM returned to her homeport for the last time on April 3, 1998.
USS GUAM Image Gallery: