USS PELELIU was the final ship in the TARAWA class of amphibious assault ships. Initially named DA NANG but commissioned as PELELIU, she was the first ship to bear the name of the island and the second ship named in honor of the battles fought in the Palau Islands. During her almost 35 years of service, PELELIU conducted 17 deployments, 178,051 aircraft movements on her flight deck, served 57,983 personnel and steamed approximately 1,011,946 nautical miles since being commissioned on May 3, 1980, in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
After decommissioning, the PELELIU was towed to Pearl Harbor, Hi., to join the reserve fleet.
|General Characteristics:||Keel Laid: November 12, 1976|
|Launched: November 25, 1978|
|Commissioned: May 3, 1980|
|Decommissioned: March 31, 2015|
|Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.|
|Propulsion system: two boilers, two geared steam turbines|
|Aircraft elevators: two|
|Length: 833,34 feet (254 meters)|
|Flight Deck Width: 132,2 feet (40.3 meters)|
|Beam: 106,6 feet (32.5 meters)|
|Draft: 26,25 feet (8 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 39,300 tons full load|
|Speed: 24 knots|
|Aircraft: (depends upon mission)|
|Crew: Ship: 82 officers, 882 enlisted Marine Detachment: 1,900+|
|Armament: two |
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS PELELIU. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS PELELIU Cruise Books:
Accidents aboard USS PELELIU:
|June 1989||Long Beach, Calif.|
In mid-June a fire aboard USS PELELIU at Long Beach, Calif., injured 14 sailors and causes minor damage.
|September 12, 1991||Persian Gulf|
A CH-53 of HM-15 crashed while taking off from PELELIU. HS-6 from USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) also assisted in the search for the six crewmembers of the crashed helicopter. On September 14, the six bodies of the crew were recovered.
About the Ship’s Name, about the Assault and Capture of the Island of Peleliu:
USS PELELIU is named in honor of the Third Amphibious Force's assault and capture of the island of Peleliu. The battle was one of the most vicious and stubbornly contested of the Pacific campaign and nowhere was the fighting efficiency of the U.S. Marines more convincingly demonstrated. Eight Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor during this battle.
General Roy S. Geiger, USMC declared repeatedly that the battle for Peleliu was the toughest of the entire Pacific war. From the initial wave of Marines hitting Peleliu's beaches on September 15th, until the fury of combat was finally still on October 26, 1944, the 1st Marine Division suffered 6,526 casualties, of which 1,252 were killed in action.
The importance of Peleliu is a matter for speculation now; but history records show that nine days after the assault phase was declared complete, U.S. forces under General MacArthur invaded Leyte. His flank had been secured and the Pacific war entered a new and decisive phase.
About the first years in the life of USS PELELIU:
USS PELELIU was commissioned on May 3, 1980 at Ingalls Shipyard, Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship's sponsor was Mrs. Peggy Hayward, wife of then CNO, Thomas B. Hayward.
The ship departed Ingalls Shipyard under command of CAPT T.P. Scott. Flight operations were frequently conducted and the ship logged its 500th landing on May 30, 1980.
On May 17th PELELIU arrived in Colon, Panama to begin unrigging for the transit of the Panama Canal. PELELIU departed Colon on May 20th and tied up in Balboa, Panama (Pacific side of the canal) twelve hours later. After five days of rerigging in Balboa, PELELIU departed and entered her homewaters of the Pacific. PELELIU proceeded south from Panama and crossed the equator on the night of May 27th, which is the record for the shortest period between a ship's commissioning and "Crossing the Line."
On May 28th PELELIU headed northerly enroute Mazatlan, Mexico, departing the Baja port on June 7th enroute San Diego, California. Most of the events PELELIU and her crew participated in during this initial transit were "firsts" and the underway refueling with USNS TALUGA was no exception, occurring on June 8th. PELELIU arrived at Naval Air Station, San Diego on June 10th for a one-day stop prior to proceeding to Long Beach, CA, her homeport.
In 1981 PELELIU complete its Post-Shakedown Availability and join the fleet as a fully operational unit of the Navy's Pacific Amphibious Force. The latter part of the year found the ship and her crew well trained having past numerous work up evaluations. The Engineering department passed their Operational Propulsion Plant Examination (OPPE) in 42--hours vice the normal 72 hours required, and REFTRA was successfully accomplished just prior to the holiday season. All efforts were directed toward preparing PELELIU for its first Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployment.
1982 marked USS PELELIU's first year as a fully operational unit of the Navy's Pacific Fleet Amphibious Force. In January, she was the flagship in a no-notice, non-combatant emergency evacuation exercise conducted off San Clemente Island, and on March 28th the ship got underway for its maiden deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.
The deployment was completed on October 4th. One month later the ship deployed to the northern Pacific Ocean to participate in an exercise held off Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands. PELELIU conducted its 10,000th accident free landing during this northern Pacific exercise.
USS PELELIU Patch Gallery:
USS PELELIU Image Gallery:
The photos below were taken by William Chiu when USS PELELIU visited Hong Kong in 1992.
The photos below were taken by me and show USS PELELIU at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on March 10, 2008.
The photos below were taken by Ian Johnson and show USS PELELIU Fremantle, Australia, on October 3, 2008 (the first four photos), and October 4, 2008.
The photos below were taken by me and show the PELELIU undergoing a Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA) at Naval Base San Diego, Calif. The photos were taken on September 30, 2011, (the first two photos) and October 2, 2011.
The photos below were taken by me and show the PELELIU at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on March 15, 2012.
The photos below were taken by Shiu On Yee during USS PELELIU's port visit to Hong Kong April 15-22, 2013. The PELELIU, along with USS RUSHMORE (LSD 47) and GREEN BAY (LPD 20), visited Hong Kong on their way home from the 5th Fleet area of operations. The three ships arrived in San Diego, Calif., on May 14 after being deployed for eight months.
|Click here for more Photos.|
The photo below was taken by Lydia Perz and shows the PELELIU at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on May 3, 2014. The ship in the foreground is USS SAMPSON (DDG 102).
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the PELELIU at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on December 27, 2014 - three days after returning home from her 17th and final deployment. Her homecoming garland can be seen on the ship's bow.
The photos below were taken by Sebastian Thoma and show the ex-PELELIU laid up in Middle Loch at Pearl Harbor, Hi., on March 18, 2022.