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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Saipan (LHA-2)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Hotel - Oscar - Victor
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Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons




Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation (2)
Second Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Citation - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (6) - Navy Expeditionary Service Medal (2)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Grenada) - Southwest Asia Service Medal
Fourth Row - Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal - Armed Forces Service Medal (7) - Humanitarian Service Medal (1-Cuban Resettlement)


Tarawa Class Amphibious Assault Ship (General Purpose):
  • Laid down, 21 July 1972, at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp. Pascagoula, MS.
  • Launched, 18 July 1974
  • Commissioned USS Saipan (LHA-2), 15 October 1977
  • USS Saipan is assigned to Amphibious Group Two, COMNAVSURFLANT, and is homeported at Norfolk, VA.
  • Decommissioning Ceremony, 20 April 2007, at Naval Station Norfolk, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register (and administratively decommissioned), 24 April 2007
  • Final Disposition, scrapping contract awarded, 22 May 2009, to International Shipbreaking, Ltd, Brownsville TX.
    Specifications:
    Displacement 38,900 t.(fl)
    Length 820'
    Beam 106'
    Draft 26'
    Speed 24 kts.
    Complement
    82 Officers
    882 Enlisted
    Troop Capacity 1900 plus
    Armament
    two RAM launchers
    two single 5"/54 gun mounts
    two 20mm Phalanx (CIWS)
    six 25mm chain guns
    Aircraft 28 amphibious transport helicopters
    Propulsion
    two 600 psi boilers
    two geared steam turbines
    two propellers, 70,000shp

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    Saipan 291k USS Saipan (LHA-2) underway in October 1977. The image shows to good effect the floodable docking well for the four LCUs; above on deck, are two LCM-6s, handled via the adjacent crane. The large dome abaft the island conceals the CCA radar.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Saipan 58k USS Saipan (LHA-2) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Saipan 70k USS Saipan (LHA-2) underway, September 1980, location unknown. Note the single CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter forward and the AV-8A Harrier jump jets and OV-10D Bronco light attack aircraft.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Saipan 69k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at Barcelona, Spain, 2 January 1982. Photo by Fabio Peña
    Saipan 92k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at Barcelona, Spain, 2 January 1982, during her second Med deployment. Note 5" gun on port bow and BPDMS launcher, forward of the island structure and beyond the Sea Stallion's tail rotor. Both were part of the ships original configuration and were later removed. Photo by Fabio Peña
    Saipan 60k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at anchor off the coast of Turkey, 1982 Pete Harlem, Courtesy Mario Mederos USMC HMM-263
    Saipan 54k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at NOB Norfolk, VA., August 1985. Rick Rowan
    Saipan 66k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at NOB Norfolk, VA., August 1985. Rick Rowan
    Saipan 147k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at Naval Shipyard Philadelphia, June 1988. Photo by Gary Schurr
    Saipan 72k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at Naval Shipyard Philadelphia, June 1988. Photo by Gary Schurr
    Saipan 116k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at Naval Shipyard Philadelphia, June 1988. Photo by Gary Schurr
    Saipan 78k USS Saipan (LHA-2) underway off Italy during NATO Exercise "Dragon Hammer", in May 1990. Photos taken from the Spanish carrier Príncipe de Asturias (R-11) Photo by Omar Rubido, Armada Española
    Saipan 70k USS Saipan (LHA-2) underway off Italy during NATO Exercise "Dragon Hammer", in May 1990. Photos taken from the Spanish carrier Príncipe de Asturias (R-11) Photo by Omar Rubido, Armada Española
    Saipan 76k USS Saipan (LHA-2) underway off Italy during NATO Exercise "Dragon Hammer", in May 1990. Photos taken from the Spanish carrier Príncipe de Asturias (R-11) Photo by Omar Rubido, Armada Española
    Saipan 70k USS Saipan (LHA-2) underway off Italy during NATO Exercise "Dragon Hammer", in May 1990. Photos taken from the Spanish carrier Príncipe de Asturias (R-11) Photo by Omar Rubido, Armada Española
    Saipan 58k USS Saipan (LHA-2) with stern gate down and ballasted, NOB Norfolk, VA., summer 1992. Photo by Adam Robison
    Saipan 216k USS Saipan (LHA-2) moored pierside at NOB Norfolk, VA., in the spring of summer 1994. Also included in the photo are USS El Paso (LKA-117) across the pier from Saipan and USS Kittiwake (ASR-13) moored forward of Saipan. Photo by Cody Shaffer
    Saipan 1574k USS Saipan (LHA-2) moored pierside during a routine port visit to Genoa, Italy, 31 July 1996. Photos by Carlo Martinelli
    Saipan 1838k
    Saipan 1657k
    Saipan 1769k USS Saipan (LHA-2) exiting the port of Genoa, Italy, 2 August 1996 after completion of a routine port visit. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Saipan 83k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at Naval Station Rota, Spain, 2 December 1996. Amphibious Readiness Group (COMPHIBRON 6) pulled into Rota to do the necessary washdown and inspection of equipment. The visit lasted 5 days, during which time all land vehicles aboard the USS Saipan (LHA-2), USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44), and USS Austin (LPD-4) were moved to the piers and beaches in Rota's harbor area and washed thoroughly to remove agricultural debris. This process is a safeguard against introducing foreign insect and plant species to the United States. Some 130 vehicles, including M-1 Abrams tanks, were cleaned during the port visit. In this photo Saipan (LHA-2) gets a tow from Rota's tugs for help in docking at pier one.
    US Navy photo # 961204-N-7590D-003 by PH2 Keith W. Devinney. Photo from Navy Newsstand.
    Bill Gonyo
    Saipan 92k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at Naval Station Rota, 2 December 1996. Amphibious Readiness Group (COMPHIBRON 6) pulled into Rota to do the necessary washdown and inspection of equipment. During the visit all land vehicles aboard the USS Saipan (LHA-2), USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44), and USS Austin (LPD-4) were moved to the piers and beaches in Rota's harbor area and washed thoroughly to remove agricultural debris. This process is a safeguard against introducing foreign insect and plant species to the United States.
    US Navy photo # 961204-N-7590D-005 by PH2 Keith W. Devinney.
    Bill Gonyo
    Saipan 450k An MV-22B "Osprey" makes its landing approach to the flight deck of USS Saipan (LHA-2) during deck landing qualifications, 17 January 1999. The Osprey is conducting aircraft shipboard developmental tests on board Saipan and represents their first launchings and recoveries aboard an LHA.
    US Navy photo # 990116-N-4004O-503 ABOARD USS SAIPAN (January 17, 1999) by PH1 Benjamin D. Olvey.
    Navy Newsstand
    Saipan 37k USS Saipan (LHA-2) underway off the coast of South Carolina during the MV-22B Osprey aircraft's shipboard developmental testing. Photo by PH1 Benjamin D. Olvey.
    US Navy photo # 990117-N-4004O-503, January. 17, 1999.
    Navy Newsstand
    Saipan 2141k USS Saipan (LHA-2) at anchor at La Spezia, Italy, 11 August 2000. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Saipan 111k USS Saipan (LHA 2) left, and USS Ponce (LPD 15) flank the underway replenishment oiler USNS Patuxent (T-AO-201) during a simultaneous underway replenishment (UNREP), 21 September 2002. Saipan was conducting underway training in preparation for an upcoming regularly scheduled deployment.
    US Navy photo # 020921-N-6920A-001 by PHAN Latrice N. Ames, photo from Navy Newsstand web site.
    Bill Gonyo
    Spica 74k USNS Spica (T-AFS-9) prepares to conduct a simultaneous Refueling at Sea (RAS) with Amphibious Assault Ship USS Saipan (LHA 2) (top) and Amphibious Transport Dock USS Ponce (LPD 15) (bottom). Saipan and Ponce are part of Amphibious Task Force East (AFT-E), underway on an un-scheduled deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
    US Navy photo # 030131-N-2972R-056 by PH3 Angel Roman-Otero.
    Bernard A. Cardali USS LST-308
    Saipan 115k USS Saipan (LHA-2) moored pierside at Naval Station Rota, Spain, 2003. Photo by Laurent LaMarche
    Tarawa
    030420-N-2515C-091
    373k The amphibious assault ships of Commander, Task Force Fifty One (CTF-51) come together in an unprecedented formation during operations in the North Arabian Gulf. This marked the first time that six large deck amphibious ships from the East and West coasts have deployed together in one area of operation. Led by the flag ship USS Tarawa (LHA-1), the ships are (from left to right):
    USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6),
    USS Kearsarge (LHD-3),
    USS Bataan (LHD-5),
    USS Saipan (LHA-2), and
    USS Boxer (LHD-4).
    CTF-51 led Navy amphibious forces in the Arabian Gulf region during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 32 ships of CTF-51 composed the largest amphibious force assembled since the Inchon landing, during the Korean War. Operation Iraqi Freedom is the multinational coalition effort to liberate the Iraqi people and end the regime of Saddam Hussein.
    US Navy photo # 030420-N-2515C-091 North Arabian Gulf (Apr. 20, 2003) by PH2 Larry S. Carlson.
    US Navy photo # 030420-N-7128D-011 North Arabian Gulf (Apr. 20, 2003) by PHC Tom Daily.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Tarawa
    030420-N-7128D-011
    2154k
    Saipan 52k USS Saipan (LHA-2) underway, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Saipan 94k USS Saipan (LHA 2) prepares to launch a CH-46 Sea Knight and CH-53 Super Stallion from it's flight deck during Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) integration training in preparation for the ship's upcoming scheduled deployment.
    US Navy photo # 040405-N-8606T-008 by PH1 Courtney Torgrude.
    Bill Gonyo
    Saipan 75k USS Saipan (LHA-2) moored pierside at Pascagoula, MS., 25 January 2005. Eight 400 gallon water tanks are lined up in preparation to be loaded aboard the ship. Saipan is/was on a scheduled two-month deployment to the U.S. Southern Command (NAVSO) area of responsibility in support of New Horizons, the humanitarian assistance efforts in Haiti.
    US Navy photo # 050125-N-0050M-003 by PH1 Kimberly E. McDonald, from the US Navy NewsStand web site.
    Jack Treutle
    Saipan 80k USS Saipan (LHA 2) returns to her homeport at Norfolk, VA., 25 August 2005.
    Navy photo # 050825-N-3541A-004.
    Jack Treutle
    Simpson 583k USS Saipan (LHA 2) conducts an underway replenishment with USS Simpson (FFG-56) in the Mediterranean Sea, 4 June 2006, during exercise Phoenix Express 2006. Phoenix Express is a multi-national combined exercise with North African and European forces. The exercise provides U.S. and allied forces an opportunity to participate in diverse maritime training scenarios helping to increase maritime domain awareness and strengthen emerging and enduring partnerships
    Navy photo # 060604-N-2651J-468 by MC3 Gary L. Johnson III.
    Robert Hurst
    Saipan 74k USS Saipan (LHA 2) underway in the Persian Gulf, 17 September 2006. MK-105 Magnetic Influence Minesweeping Systems are towed behind two MH-53E Sea Dragons assigned to Helicopter Mine Counter Measure Squadron One Five (HM-15) during operations with Saipan. The MK-105 Magnetic Influence Minesweeping System is a high-speed catamaran hydrofoil platform also known as a "sled." Saipan and HM-15 conducted a Mine Countermeasure exercise in the Persian Gulf.
    US Navy photo # 060917-N-8547M-198 by MCSN Patrick W. Mullen III.
    Lee Wahler
    Saipan 566k USS Saipan (LHA 2) and mine countermeasure ship USS Ardent (MCM-12) conduct mine sweeping operations in the Persian gulf. Saipan was deployed conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in support of the global war on terrorism.
    US Navy photo # 060919-N-2651J-022 Persian Gulf (Sept. 19, 2006) by MC3 Gary L. Johnson III.
    Robert M. Cieri
    CVN-69 Dwight D. Eisenhower 113k USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) transits in the Arabian Sea, 20 November 2006, in formation with USS Anzio (CG 68), top, and USS Saipan (LHA-2) bottom, during a photographic exercise (PHOTOEX). The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and embarked Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW-7) were on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of Maritime Security Operations.
    US Navy photo #061120-N-8547M-335 MCSN Patrick W. Mullen III.
    Robert Hurst
    Saipan 74k USS Saipan (LHA 2) conducting operations in the Arabian Sea while deployed in the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in support of the global war on terrorism, 21 November 2006.
    US Navy photo # 061121-N-8547M-051 Arabian Sea (Nov 21, 2006) by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Patrick W. Mullen III.
    Lee Wahler
    Saipan 76k USS Saipan (LHA 2) moored at pier 10 Naval Station Norfolk, VA., 20 April 2007, awaiting her decommissioned that morning. Photo by Wendell McLaughlin
    Saipan 72k USS Saipan (LHA 2) moored at pier 10 Naval Station Norfolk, VA., 20 April 2007. Saipan was decommissioned that morning. Photo by Wendell McLaughlin
    Saipan 105k Rear Admiral. Michael P. Nowakowski and Captain Richard D. Fitzpatrick pose for a photo with the rest of the former commanding officers of USS Saipan (LHA-2) at the ship’s decommissioning ceremony. Saipan was decommissioned after nearly 30 years of service.
    US Navy photo # 070420-N-6616W-048 NORFOLK, Va. (April 20, 2007) by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Steven J. Weber.
    Lee Wahler
    Saipan 244k Decommissioned USS Saipan (LHA-2) moored pierside at Moorehead City, North Carolina, 16 June 2007. Photo by Owen R. Smith CWO-4, USMCR Ret.
    Saipan 236k Decommissioned USS Saipan (LHA-2) moored pierside at Moorehead City, North Carolina, 16 June 2007. Photo by Owen R. Smith CWO-4, USMCR Ret.
    Saipan 255k Decommissioned USS Saipan (LHA-2) moored pierside at Moorehead City, North Carolina, 16 June 2007. Photo by Owen R. Smith CWO-4, USMCR Ret.
    Saipan 255k Decommissioned USS Saipan (LHA-2) moored pierside at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 2 October 2009, prior to her leaving for Brownsville TX. for scrapping. Photo by Daniel J. Lawler
    Saipan 148k Ex-USS Saipan (LHA-2) under tow from Philadelphia to Brownsville TX. for scrapping, 28 October 2009. Ron Reeves


    For more photos and information about USS Saipan, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • Ship History/Command Operations Reports
  • Memorabilia
  • Commanding Officers

  • Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    Last Updated 7 March 2014