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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS Okinawa (LPH-3)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Golf - Kilo - Kilo
NGKK
JANAP Tactical Voice Call Sign (1967) "Gallant Man"
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons





Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (2) - Navy Unit Commendation (5)
Second Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (3) - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon - Navy Expeditionary Medal (1 Cuba, 2 Iran/Indian Ocean)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1 Cuba, 1 Dominican Republic, 1 Op. Eagle Pull, 1 Op. Frequent Wind, 2 Persian Gulf) - Vietnam Service Medal (7)
Fourth Row - Southwest Asia Service Medal - Humanitarian Service Medal (1 Eagle Pull, 1 Frequent Wind) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation
Fifth Row - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (5) - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbons - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)


Iwo Jima Class Amphibious Assault Ship (Helicopter):
  • Laid down, 1 April 1960, at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Launched, 19 August 1960
  • Commissioned USS Okinawa (LPH-3), 14 April 1962, CAPT. William E. Lemos in command
  • During the Vietnam War Okinawa (LPH-3) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    18 to 19 April 1967
    18 to 31 May 1967
    Sanctuary Counteroffensive
    25 to 28 June 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    1 to 12 June 1967
    27 June to 15 August 1967
    1 September to 1 November 1967
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    15 to 18 July 1970
    23 to 27 July 1970
    9 to 12 August 1970
    8 to 10 September 1970
    12 to 15 September 1970
    4 to 9 October 1970
    5 to 6 November 1970
    23 to 27 May 1971
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    8 December 1968 to 26 January 1969
    12 to 22 February 1969
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    27 April to 30 May 1972
    9 June to 2 July 1972
    9 July to 25 August 1972
    29 September to 1 October 1972
    5 to 20 October 1972
    21 to 22 November 1972
    Tet/69 Counteroffensive
    23 February to 30 March 1969
    14 April to 27 May 1969
     

  • Decommissioned and Struck from the Naval Register, 17 December 1992
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA
  • Transferred to Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility Bremerton in August 2000 for SINKEX preparation
  • Final Disposition, sunk as a target, 06 June 2002, off the coast of Southern California
  • Okinawa earned seven campaign stars for Vietnam War service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 11,000 t.(lt.), 18,474 t.(fl)
    Length 592'
    Beam 84'
    Flight Deck 105'
    Draft 27'
    Speed 22 kts.
    Complement 667
    Troop Accommodations 2,157
    Aircraft 25 helicopters
    Armament
    (as built) 4 3"/50 AA guns
    (modifications) two Phalanx CIWS added
    Propulsion
    two 600 psi boilers
    one geared steam turbine
    single shaft, 22,000 shaft horsepower

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Okinawa 329k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway, mid-1962, showing the original armament of four 3"/50 mounts. Also of note are the original circular helicopter landing spots on her flight deck
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Okinawa 129k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway off NOB Norfolk , VA., 20 July 1964 © Richard Leonhardt
    Okinawa 32k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway as a unit of Task Force 124 during Operation Power Pack enroute to the Dominican Republic in April 1965 with HMM-263 aboard. Okinawa was the hospital ship and HMM-263 was the Medevac Squadron during the U.S. Intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965  
    Okinawa 82k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway in 1965, with her Marine Corps detachment and CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters on deck in 1965, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Okinawa 4321k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway during Apollo 15 recovery operations in 1971. Tom Sparkman, CDR, USNR-Ret.
    Okinawa 60k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway on Yankee Station off the coast of Vietnam, circa May/June 1972. The aircraft aboard Okinawa belonged to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron HMM-164. Photo taken from St. Louis (LKA-116) Photo by Patrick Doyle, 9th Motor Transport Bn, 4th Marines
    Okinawa 64k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) receives a double probe rig from USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146) as they prepare for an underway fuel replenishment, date and place unknown. Photo by Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Okinawa 68k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) in the Gulf of Siam during Operation Eagle Pull, 11 to 13 April 1975 conducting an underway replenishment with USS Vega (AF-59). Photo by Richard Spring, CMDCM(SW/AW) USN Ret.
    Okinawa 27k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) in the Gulf of Siam during Operation Eagle Pull, 11 to 13 April 1975 conducting the evacuation of US nationals and at-risk Cambodians by helicopter.
    Photo by CAPT. R. Scott Noble, USNR (Retired) from USS Edson (DD-946)
    Joan L. Cahill
    Okinawa 16k
    Okinawa 117k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) off the coast of South Vietnam, 18 April 1975. On deck are Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH-462).
    US Marine Corps photo # A150855 from: "U.S. Marines in Vietnam. The War that Would not End 1973-1975 (part 7)", p. 144.
    Robert Hurst
    Okinawa 102k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway off Okinawa in 1977.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Okinawa 74k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway in the Pacific, August 1979.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Okinawa 348k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "Aircraft Carriers" by Norman Polmar.
    Robert Hurst
    Okinawa 1194k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway with embarked Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 262 during 31st Marine Amphibious Unit's Kangaroo 4 (1981) exercise.
    DOD photo # DM-SN-82-03149 PACIFIC OCEAN (14 October 1981) a US Marine Corps photos by Sgt. Taylor, now in the collections of Defense Imagery.mil.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Okinawa 108k USS Okinawa (LPH-3), returning to San Diego in 1984 from a Mini-Westpac Cruise, her first cruise after a year in drydock when the Phalanx system was installed.
    US Navy photo
    Jerry Hays
    Okinawa 56k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) at anchor in Hong Kong Harbor, 1989 William Chiu
    Okinawa 64k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) at anchor in Hong Kong Harbor, 1989 William Chiu
    Okinawa 122k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway at San Diego as she heads out to sea, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Okinawa 221k USS Okinawa (LPH-3) underway in the Southern California Ops area, date un known. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Okinawa 1061k Sailors and Marines man the rail aboard USS Okinawa (LPH-3) during the her arrival from deployment in the Persian Gulf area during Operation Desert Storm, 17 April 1991. Okinawa is steaming past downtown San Diego, enroute to her homeport at Naval Station San Diego.
    DOD photo # DN-SN-92-01074 SAN DIEGO BAY (17 April 1991) a US Navy photos by JO1 Robert Wilson, now in the collections of Defense Imagery.mil.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Okinawa 74k Ex-USS Okinawa (LPH-3) inboard of ex-USS New Orleans (LPH-11) moored together at the end of a multi-ship row at Suisun Bay. Photo by Carolyn Bonner. Photo from "Warship Boneyards" by Kit and Carolyn Bonner. Robert Hurst
    Okinawa 41k Ex-Okinawa (LPH-3), sunk as target by USS Portsmouth (SSN-707), 6 June 2002. Location: 031° 27' 00.0" North, 119° 42' 00.6" West. Depth: 2020 fathoms. Tonnage: 13000.
    COMSUBPAC "SINKEX" photo
    Fabio Peņa


    For more photos and information about USS Okinawa, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • USS Okinawa LPH-3 - Military.com Unit Page
  • USS Iwo Jima Class Association
  • Memorabilia and Photo Collections
  • Commanding Officers

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

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 5 December 2014