Fort McHenry (LSD 43) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1992

Page 9 of 128

 

Fort McHenry (LSD 43) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1992 Edition, Page 9 of 128
Page 9 of 128



Fort McHenry (LSD 43) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1992 Edition, Page 8
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Page 9 text:

â– wiuKr-BWiU! USS FORT MCHENRY 1983-1992 USS FORT MCHENRY (LSD-43) is the third Amphibious Dock Landing Ship built by Lockheed Shipbuilding Company in Seattle, Washington, and the third WHIDBEY ISLAND class LSD to be built. In August, 1985, the Secretary of the Navy assigned the name FORT MCHENRY to LSD-43. The ship is named for the national monument located in Baltimore, Maryland, the scene of the successful defense of that port against a British naval assault in September, 1814. The fort stood firm in American hands after a massive naval bombardment. Its defense inspired Francis Scott Key ' s immortal " Star Spangled Banner, " which eventually became our National Anthem. FORT MCHENRY ' s keel was laid 10 June 1983 and the ship was launched on February, 1986. The Honorable Helen D Bentley was the sponsor for FORT MCHENRY ' s christening and launching ceremony. Mrs. Bentley is a member of the United States House of Representatives, 2nd Division, State of Maryland. Commissioning took place in Seattle, Washington at Lockheed Shipyard Corporation on 8 August, 1987, where the ship joined the amphibious forces of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. FORT MCHENRY started 1988 conducting Amphibious Refresher Training, and during the following six months, she was involved in an extremely intense operational schedule on order to get ready for her first deployment. On 16 June, 1988, FORT MCHENRY got underway, under the tactical command of COMPHIBRON THREE, for her maiden six month deployment to the Western Pacific, returning to San Diego on 16 December, 1988. FORT MCHENRY completed a mini- deployment to Prince William Sound, Alaska, from 28 April to 22 June, 1989, where she helped the Coast Guard in support of the Alaskan Oil Spill Cleanup Operation. In recognition of her services to the operation, the crew was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Coast Guard ' s Special Operations Service Ribbon. FORT MCHENRY also completed a port visit to Seattle, Washington from 28 July to 11 August, 1989, participating in the annual Seattle Sea Fair festivities. On 29 August, 1989, command of FORT MCHENRY changed hands as CDR James A. Hayes relieved CDR George S. Rhodes as Commanding Officer. The first six months of 1990 were extremely busy as FORT MCHENRY trained and operated at an intense pace. During this period, her training evolutions included a Training Readiness Evaluation, Refresher Training, Amphibious Refresher Training, an Operational Propulsion Plant examination, a major amphibious exercise- Kernel Usher 90-1, and a one-day Dependent ' s Cruise. FORT MCHENRY got underway on 20 June, 1990, under the tactical command of COMPHIBRON FIVE for what was to have been a routine six-month deployment to the Western Pacific. World events altered FORT MCHENRY ' s deployment schedule by evolving it into a 10-month Desert Shield Desert Storm deployment. Following Iraq ' s invasion of Kuwait in August, 1990, FORT MCHENRY spent three months in the North Arabian Sea in support of Operation Desert Shield, and three months in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Desert Storm. She returned to her homeport of San Diego on 17 April, 1991. During this time the crew was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal, with two bronze stars, and the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal. USS FORT MCHENRY, part of the " ARG of Choice " was informed that a regularly scheduled drydock period would be shortened to get underway for another deployment. After eight months of long hours and hard work, the USS FORT MCHENRY was ready for another 6-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf. During this time command of the FORT MCHENRY was passed from CDR James A. Hayes to CDR Thomas J. Anderson on 12 September 1991. On January 6, 1992 FORT MCHENRY along with USS OKINAWA, DULUTH. DURHAM and TUSCALOOSA left San Diego Bay for the WESTPAC 92. The ARG returned home on July 6, 1992. During this deployment the ship earned the Sea Service Ribbon and the Southwest Asia Service Medal with a bronze star.

Page 8 text:

HISTORY OF FORT MCHENRY Fort McHenry ' s history began in 1776 during the Revolutionary War. The people of Baltimore feared an attack by the British and wanted to build a fort for protection. Anticipating an attack at any time, a fort of earthen mounds was constructed quickly. Originally, it was called Fort Whetstone, because of its location on Whetstone Point. Whetstone Point was an excellent location for a fort for two reasons. It was located far enough from Baltimore to provide protection without endangering the city, and the area was a peninsula. Constructing the fort on this site meant that enemy ships sailing into Baltimore would have to pass the fort first. The Revolutionary War ended without an attack on Baltimore, but improvements to the fort continued. In 1798, a French engineer was directed by the Secretary of War to draw plans for a new fort on Whetstone Point. These plans were expensive, and it was difficult for the people of Baltimore to raise money for construction. However, James McHenry, a well known politician, was instrumental in raising funds for the new fort. The fort was renamed " Fort McHenry " in his honor. Fort McHenry became famous when the British tried to attack Baltimore during the War of 1812. When the bombardment began on September 13, 1814, there were 1,000 soldiers defending the fort. Some were federal soldiers who were stationed at Fort McHenry permanently. Many were volunteers from the city of Baltimore. Their commanding officer was Major George Armstead. For 25 hours the British bombarded Fort McHenry, but the fort ' s artillery fire kept the British away. Baltimore was saved. In the 1860 ' s the fort was used by the Union army during the Civil War to keep the confederates from getting to Baltimore. It was also used as a prison for political prisoners suspected of being Confederate sympathizers. Many Confederate soldiers were imprisoned at the fort as well. In 1917, during the first World War, General Hospital No. 12 was established at Fort McHenry by the War Department. It was the largest military hospital in the country with over 100 temporary buildings to accommodate wounded American soldiers returning from the war in Europe.



Page 10 text:

SHIP ' S CHARACTERISTICS Keel Laid Launched Commissioned June 10, 1983 February 1, 1986 August, 8, 1987 Complement 22 Officers 19 Chief Petty Officers 372 Enlisted Landing Force 34 Officers 20 Non-Commissioned Officers 450 Enlisted Length 609 feet 7 inches Beam Draft 84 feet 19 feet 7 inches Well Deck 440 feet long, 50 feet wide Floodable to 10 feet aft, 6 feet forward Water Barrier 12 feet 3 inches high, 50 feet long Divides Well Deck into forward (dry) and aft (wet) compartments Helicopter Deck Two spots 212 feet long, 83 feet wide Speed 20+ knots Propulsion Four Colt Industries PC2.5V 16 cylinder diesels 33,000 combined shaft horsepower Two five blade Controllable Pitch Propellers Generators Four Fairbanks-Morse 12 cylinder diesels 1300kw, 2085 amps, 450 volt, 3 phase, AC Ship ' s Boats One MK-6 50 foot utility boat Two MK-12 36 foot LCP(L) ' s One 14 foot punt Cranes One 15-ton gantry crane One 20-ton kingpost crane One 60-ton fixed kingpost crane Turntable 36 foot Diameter 360 degree rotation Capable of handling two M-55 truck Combat systems AN SPS-49 air search radar AN SPS-67 surface search radar LN-66 surface navigation radar AN SLQ-32 electronic countermeasures- set MK-36 MOD-6 SRBOC Two MK-15 MODI CIWS Two 25mm Machine guns Six 50 Caliber Machine guns

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