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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Courtesy of CAPT Gene Oleson, CHC, USN (Ret)
(bluejacket.com)

USS BON HOMME RICHARD   (CV-31)
(later CVA-31)

U.S.S. BON HOMME RICHARD
Courtesy of Al Grazevich


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Hotel - Charlie - Lima

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Presidential Unit Citation / Navy Unit Commendation (2) / Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2)
2nd Row: American Campaign Medal / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1 star) / World War II Victory Medal
3rd Row: Navy Occupation Service Medal ("Asia" clasp) / National Defense Service Medal (2) / Korean Service Medal (5 stars)
4th Row: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2) / Vietnam Service Medal (10 stars) / Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal with Palm)
5th Row: United Nations Korean Medal / Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal / Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

CLASS - ESSEX (Short Hull)
Displacement 27,100 Tons, Dimensions, 872' (oa) x 93' x 28' 7" (Max)
Armament 12 x 5"/38AA, 32 x 40mm, 46 x 20mm, 82 Aircraft.
Armor, 4" Belt, 2 1/2" Hanger deck, 1 1/2" Deck, 1 1/2" Conning Tower.
Machinery, 150,000 SHP; Westinghouse Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 33 Knots, Crew 3448.

Operational and Building Data

 The second Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) was launched 29 April 1944
by New York Navy Yard, and commissioned 26 November 1944.

FATE Decommissioned to reserve 2 July 1971. Stricken for disposal 20 Sept 1989.
Sold for scrap and subsequently scrapped at San Pedro starting in 1992.


Click On Image 
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Name
Bon Homme Richard
NS098629217
109k

CV-31 was named Bon Homme Richard after a Continental Navy frigate whose name was actually spelled Bonhomme Richard. The name was a French translation of Benjamin Franklin's nom de plume, "Poor Richard." When John Paul Jones received the Duc de Duras from the King of France, Louis XVI, he renamed the former French East Indiaman Bonhomme Richard to honor Franklin, the American Commissioner at Paris whose famous almanacs had been published in France under the title Les Maximes du Bonhomme Richard.

Despite the difference in spelling, CV-31 is considered the second ship of the name. The error may have crept in as early as the 1860s when the name was assigned to a steam frigate that, finally, was not built. The issue was later compounded, no doubt, by the haste with which an enormous number of ships had to be named during World War II. (CV-10 was also initially named Bon Homme Richard, but was renamed Yorktown, 26 September 1942, in tribute to CV-5.)

NS098629217: Drawing of Continental Navy's Bonhomme Richard underway. Courtesy of Tommy Trampp.

NavSource
The Early Years — World War II
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023137
542k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31), World War II.

Overhead plan and starboard profile meticulously drawn by John Robert Barrett.

Navy Yard Associates
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023108
146k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) slides down the building ways, as she is launched at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, on 29 April 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-K-3888).

Scott Dyben
Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1944
NS023501
159k

Aerial view of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, BuAer photo # 290081, received 2 December 1944. There are five aircraft carriers in sight (refer to NS023501a): (1) Reprisal (CV-35) under construction in Dry Dock #6; (2) Coral Sea, later Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) under construction in Dry Dock #5; (3) Kearsarge (CV-33) under construction; (4) Oriskany (CV-34) under construction; and (5) USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31), commissioned 26 November 1944.

Naval Historical Center photograph.

Ron Reeves
Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1944
NS023501a
464k
Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1944
NS023501b
254k

New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, photographed 2 December 1944. Carriers under construction in dry docks (right center) are [2] Coral Sea, later Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) and probably [1] Reprisal (CV-35).

Description: Copied from "Navy Yards and Stations" 3rd Naval District, volume III.

Photo: Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC), # NH 93235.

[3] Kearsarge (CV-33) and [4] Oriskany (CV-34) are under construction, and [5] Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) had been commissioned on 26 November.

NHHC, via Ron Reeves
Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1944
NS023501c
256k
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023101
106k Undated, as completed. USN
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023130
117k

Brooklyn Navy Yard, Dry Dock #7 (Bayonne, N.J., annex), late 1944–early 1945.

Pieter Bakels
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023117
100k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) anchored in New York Harbor, with supply barges alongside, 9 January 1945. Photographed from a Naval Air Station, New York, aircraft, flying at an altitude of 300 feet.

NS023117: Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (NHHC), # NH 97341.

NHHC
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023117f
294k Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023117a
249k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) photographed on 9 January 1945, six weeks after commissioning, unloading aircraft bombs at New York. She is shown wearing Measure 32/17A. This bow view shows clearly that the port catapult is situated somewhat further aft than the starboard one. Note the flight deck markings, the aircraft elevators offset to one side of the ship's centerline, and the large number of 20mm AA guns. Note floating crane and covered lighters. (USN photo, A.D. Baker Collection.)

Robert Hurst
Larger copy courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023117b
260k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) photographed on 9 January 1945. This stern view gives an idea of the comparative widths of island and flight deck, and shows the large number of arrester wires across, and the numerous AA guns mounted along the edges of, the latter. The ship's bell can be seen behind the two 40mm directors at the bottom of the picture. (USN photo, A.D. Baker Collection.)

Robert Hurst
Larger copy courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023117c
464k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) one more time in a distant photo on 9 January 1945, wearing camouflage 32/17A, version two. Photo taken by Naval Air Station, New York.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # 80-G-298087.

Courtesy of C. Lee Johnson, usndazzle.com,
via Mike Green
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023117d
745k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31), this time from starboard, on 9 January 1945, wearing camouflage 32/17A, version two. Photo taken by Naval Air Station, New York.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # 80-G-298093.

Courtesy of C. Lee Johnson, usndazzle.com,
via Mike Green
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023117e
687k

The Essex-class carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) is seen from the port side on 9 January 1945, wearing camouflage 32/17A, version two. Photo taken by Naval Air Station, New York. The vertical colors are Navy Blue (5-N), Ocean Gray (5-O), and Haze Gray (5‑H), with the horizontal surfaces deck blue (20-B).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # 80-G-298082.

Courtesy of C. Lee Johnson, usndazzle.com,
via Mike Green
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023147
245k

Aerial view of USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) underway in the Central Pacific, 31 May 1945.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1996.488.038.006. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

Mike Green
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS091904301
86k

USS Tappahannock (AO-43) refueling to port USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) and to starboard USS Missouri (BB-63), 8 July 1945. US Navy photo.

Note: This photo appears to have been taken at about the same time as the one below.

-
CV-19 Hancock + BB-63 Missouri
NS016328h
405k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) and USS Missouri (BB-63) refueling from USS Tappahannock, 8 July 1945.

USN photo now in the collections of the US National Archives in College Park, Maryland (# 80-G-470354).

Note: the official caption incorrectly identifies the carrier as USS Hancock (CV-19). (Special thanks to Tracy White—Researcher @ Large— and Richard Jensen for the correct identification and date.)

Note: This photo appears to have been taken at about the same time as the one above.

Sean Hert
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023153
75k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) under the Golden Gate, 18 October 1945.

U.S. Army
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023118
109k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) tied up at Carrier Pier # 2, Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, on 27 October 1945. USS Commencement Bay (CVE-105) is in the right background.

Pieter Bakels
CV-17 Bunker Hill et al.
NS021778
156k

Deactivated warships tied up at Pier 91, Seattle, Washington, in a photo dated 9 January 1947. On the near side of the pier are the carriers Essex (CV-9); Bon Homme Richard (CV-31); and Bunker Hill (CV-17), closer to camera. On the far side of the pier is the carrier Ticonderoga (CV-14) and the battleships Indiana (BB-58) and Alabama (BB-60).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photo, # 80-G-373247.

Robert Hurst
Robert M. Cieri
Ron Reeves
Korea
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023178

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31), circa 1951.

U.S. Navy photo.

David Buell
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023122
101k

San Diego Bay, 1951. USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) picked up Carrier Air Group 102 (CVG-102) and departed San Diego for the Far East on May 10, 1951 on her first Korean cruise. The deployment lasted more than seven months — Bonnie Dick returned to San Diego on December 17.

David Buell
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023143
38k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) underway with Carrier Air Group 102 (CVG-102), probably off Korea, during their 10 May–17 December 1951 Korean War Cruise.

Ted Loughlin, USS BonHomme Richard CV/CVA-31/LHD-6,
via Harry Gordon, AMS3, VF781
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023144
357k

F9F-2B Panthers attached to VF-781 fly by USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) during their 10 May–17 December 1951 Korean War Cruise. The photo was apparently taken by one of the F9F-2P's from VC-61 Det. G, "Eyes of the Fleet," also part of Carrier Air Group (CVG) 102.

Harry Gordon, AMS3, VF781
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023109
81k

USS Yarnall (DD-541) hauls away to starboard after "topping off" from the oiler USS Manatee (AO-58), during replenishment operations off Korea, circa August 1951. USS Leonard F. Mason (DD-852) is approaching from astern to fill her bunkers next. USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) is refueling on the oiler's opposite side. Photograph was released by Commander Naval Forces Far East under date of 7 August 1951.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (photo # NH 97348).

NHC
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023138
162k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) off Korea, October 1951.

Photo by N.A. "Stretch" Brown, Gunners Mate 3rd Class aboard USS Los Angeles (CA-135).

N.A. "Stretch" Brown collection, via Carol Edgemon Hipperson, author of Radioman: An Eyewitness Account of Pearl Harbor and World War II in the Pacific.
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard + CA-135 Los Angeles
NS023139
151k

USS Los Angeles (CA-135) and USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) moored at Yokosuka, Japan, October 1951.

Photo by N.A. "Stretch" Brown, Gunners Mate 3rd Class aboard Los Angeles.

N.A. "Stretch" Brown collection, via Carol Edgemon Hipperson, author of Radioman: An Eyewitness Account of Pearl Harbor and World War II in the Pacific.
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023139a
130k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) moored at Yokosuka, Japan, October 1951. Tail code "D" identified Carrier Air Group (CVG) 102, established for reserve squadrons called to active duty on 1 August 1950.

Photo by N.A. "Stretch" Brown, Gunners Mate 3rd Class aboard USS Los Angeles (CA-135).

CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023120
175k

A great aerial view of USS Bon Homme Richard, circa 1951–1953. Location unknown.

(Probably taken while returning to Alameda, California, 17 December 1951.)

The Family of
C.E. Shelby
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023120a
117k

Another aerial view of USS Bon Homme Richard, apparently taken at about the same time as the one above.

Wolfgang Hechler
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023155
117k

A U.S. Navy Douglas AD-4W Skyraider (BuNo 124761) of Fleet Composite Squadron (VC) 12, attached to the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) during the Korean War. Photo United States Naval Institute.

From Carrier Combat, by David Wragg.

Robert Hurst
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023111
32k

An aerial view of Bon Homme Richard's stern, 28 March 1952.

NHC
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023156
159k

VU-7-5432—San Diego, 20 May 1952—USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) deploys for WestPac and the Korean War, with CVG-7 embarked consisting of the following squadrons: VF-71 "Purple Devils," F9F-2 Panther; VF-72 "Hawks," F9F-2 Panther; VF-74 "Be-Devilers," F4U-4 Corsair; and VA-75 "Sunday Punchers," AD-4 Skyraider, among others. This deployment lasted until 8 January 1953. US Navy photo by Fleet Air Photo Lab, NAS San Diego.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023160
84k

A U.S. Navy Grumman F9F-2 Panther (BuNo 123469, nicknamed "Papasan") attached to Fighter Squadron (VF) 71, Carrier Air Group (CVG) 7, deployed aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) flies over Task Force 77 while engaged in operations against North Korean targets, in a photo dated 1 August 1952. The carriers were Bon Homme Richard, USS Essex (CV-9)—right—and USS Princeton (CV-37).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photo (# 80-G-480645).

Tommy Trampp
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023172
792k

USS Guadalupe (AO-32) refuels destroyer USS Uhlmann (DD-687) and aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) during operations off Korea, 31 October 1952. Carrier Air Group (CVG) 7 was embarked aboard Bonnie Dick.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photo, # 80-G-449900.

David Buell
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023157
80k

F9F Panther jet fighters and F4U Corsair fighter bombers on Bon Homme Richard's hangar deck, during operations off Korea. Photo is dated 15 November 1952.

The plane in center is an F4U-5, while that at right is an F4U-4. The F9F-2Ps at left are nicknamed "Life" and "Look", after popular pictorial magazines of the day.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97350).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023157a
92k

Grumman F9F-2P Panther photo plane parked on the hangar deck of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), during operations off Korea. Photo is dated 15 November 1952.

The plane, which appears to be Bureau # 123700, bears markings for 85 missions and is nicknamed "Life", after the popular pictorial magazine.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97351).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023154
109k

Aircraft warming up on the flight deck of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), in preparation for another Thanksgiving Day strike against the Communists in Korea. Photo is dated 27 November 1952. Aircraft include F9F Panther jet fighters, F4U Corsair fighter bombers and AD Skyraider attack planes.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97349).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023131
94k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) arrives off Pearl Harbor, returning from a Korean War combat tour, 31 December 1952. Aircraft on her flight deck include three R4D transport planes in addition to F4U fighters and AD attack planes of her air group.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (#NH 97342).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023123
186k

Aerial view of USS Bon Homme Richard, possibly taken while approaching Pearl Harbor at the end of her second and final Korean War cruise, May 10, 1952 – January 8, 1953. Carrier Air Group 7 (CVG-7) deployed with Bonnie Dick.

Robert M. Cieri
CVA-59 Forrestal
NS0259ds
1.33M

"Official Navy Photo. Released by Dept. of Defense"
"Aircraft carriers of the fleet: USS Antietam (CVA-36) with new canted flight deck, upper left; USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) upper right; USS Midway (CVA‑41), lower left; USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), lower right; center, artist conception of the USS Forrestal (CVA-59). The Forrestal's keel was laid at Newport News (7-14-52) and is scheduled for launching in 1954."

USN Official Photo, # 484875, dated 15 Jul 1953.

David comments: "[P]erhaps unknowingly, the people of Navy Public Affairs or whoever put this montage together, certainly did a great job of assembling a 'past, present and future' of carrier aviation, including the airship, first canted (angled) deck, first large carriers, first supercarrier, and a link to World War II in the form of the as-yet unmodified CVA 31."

David Buell
SCB-27C/SCB-125 Modernization & Beyond — Vietnam
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023161
178k

Hunters Point, 13 October 1954.

Source: NARA San Francisco, "Hunters Point Historical Photo Collection 1904–74" (NY1-1772-(GS)-10-13-54).

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023163
76k

Hunters Point, 5 June 1955.

Source: NARA San Francisco, "Hunters Point Historical Photo Collection 1904–74" (NY1-2040-6-5-55).

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023128
118k

Recommissioning at Hunters Point, San Francisco Naval Shipyard, 6 September 1955, after modernization.

Source: San Francisco Naval Shipyard – Hunters Point, Historical Shipyard Photographic Collection 1904–74 NARA Pacific Region (San Francisco). Photo # NY1-3532-L-9-55.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023112
43k

A three quarter view of Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) underway on sea trials after reconversion at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco, 15 September 1955 (photo # USN-680661).

NHC
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023129
73k

Starboard side view, 6 October 1955.

Source: San Francisco Naval Shipyard – Hunters Point, Historical Shipyard Photographic Collection 1904–74 NARA Pacific Region (San Francisco). Photo # NY1-3892-L-10-55.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023132
55k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), San Francisco Bay, 8 June 1956.

Bob Bobster
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023102
41k

Undated, post SCB-125 overhaul which added her angled flight deck.

USN
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023140
122k

A Douglas F4D-1 Skyray fighter recovering aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), 30 August 1957. Bonnie Dick was on her second WestPac deployment (12 July–9 December 1957) after the Korean War. Embarked Air Group was CVG-5 (tail code "NF"), with Skyray-equipped squadron VF-141 "Iron Angels."

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97347).

Robert Hurst
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023171
159k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), Kobe, Japan, mid-September 1957. AD-5W Skyraiders of VAW-11 "Early Eleven" Det. B (tail code "RR"), AD-6/7/4Q Skyraiders of VA-52 "Hell's Angels" ("NF," 400-series numbers), AD-5N Skyraiders of VA(AW)-35 "Night Hecklers" Det. B ("VV"), Carrier Air Group (CVG) 5.

BuNo 142072 (second from front, left row) was later transferred to the USAF as 52-142072. It was damaged by ground fire over northern Laos in December 1968, and made a gear-up landing at Udorn RTAFB, Thailand; it is/was on display at a Thai museum.

Via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023175
1.02M

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), underway replenishment with USS Virgo (AKA-20), WestPac cruise with Carrier Air Group (CVG) 5, 9 July–11 December 1957.

Marc Schenck,
for his father, LT(JG) Bernard Schenck
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023175a
1.09M
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023175b
1.04M
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023175c
1.03M
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023176
227

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) conducting underway replenishment with an unidentified tanker and destroyer. The carrier was part of the 7th Fleet, on patrol in the Far East in the last half of 1957.

LIFE magazine, Hank Walker photographer, shared by Peter DeForest.

Mike Green
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023177
272

Pilot's eye view of the approach to USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) circa 1957.

National Naval Aviation Museum, 1996.488.038.027.

Mike Green
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023149
180k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) and USS Ranger (CVA-61)—left—, circa 1958.

Photo by Paul H. Wilson, PH3, Photo Lab of the BHR, mid-1957–April 1959
CVA-19 Hancock
NS0219ab
356k

USS Hancock (CVA-19), USS Midway (CVA-41), and USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) berthed at Naval Air Station Alameda, California, 10 January 1958. Note the Convair R3Y-2 Tradewind seaplane on the water.

National Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.054.048.

Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023116
318k

A great view of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) as she departs San Francisco for WestPac, 1 November 1958, with Carrier Air Group 19 (CVG-19) aboard.

Courtesy of William T. Larkins
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023116a
496k

Same as above, uncropped.

Courtesy of William T. Larkins
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023165
760k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) at anchor, with Carrier Air Group (CVG) 19 aboard, in a photo dated 2 May 1959.

Jim Karr
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023113
102k

At North Island, San Diego, Calif., late 1950s-early 1960s.

Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR (Ret.)
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS0243ah
891k

Aerial view of three aircraft carriers, USS Hancock (CVA-19), USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), and USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), at Naval Air Station Alameda, California.

Note a former escort carrier, converted into an aircraft transport, on the upper left—possibly USNS Breton (AKV-42).

Although the photo is dated 1966, it is believed to have been taken in the first half of 1960.

Courtesy of the USS Coral Sea Tribute Site, via Bob Canchola
CVA-31 + AO-146
NS091914632
108k

USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) refueling USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) during an underway replenishment in the early 1960s.

Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023169
259k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), with Carrier Air Group (CVG) 19, underway in the Pacific. Photos beliveved to have been taken from USS Vesuvius (AE-15) in July 1961.

Hank Zaletel
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023169a
265k
CVA-61 Ranger, CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard, CVA-63 Kitty Hawk
NS0263bn
168k

"Three big carriers tied up at [Hunters Point] Shipyard's waterfront make an impressive sight. They are from left: USS Ranger (CVA-61), Berths 6 & 7; USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), Berths 8 & 9, and USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), Berths 10 & 11." April 1962.

Ron Reeves
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS0583812
161k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) steams with an "honor guard" of four destroyers, as a Change of Command ceremony takes place on her fight deck, 28 November 1962. Captain E.P. Kline relieved Captain G.C. Bullard as the carrier's Commanding Officer during the ceremony, which took place while she was operating in the Western Pacific with the Seventh Fleet. The destroyers, all units of Destroyer Squadron Nineteen, are (at left): USS Ernest G. Small (DDR-838) and USS Turner Joy (DD-951); (alongside the carrier): USS Black (DD-666) and USS Dennis J. Buckley (DDR-808).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97346).

Fred Weiss
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023151
150k

Series of photos taken aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) in November 1962. Carrier Air Group (CVG) 19.

NS023151: Grumman C-1A Trader, VR-21 "Pineapple Airlines."

NS023151a: McDonnell F-3B Demon, VF-193 "Ghost Riders."

NS023151b & NS023151c: Douglas A-4C Skyhawk, VA-195 "Dambusters."

NS023151d: Crash barrier.

NS023151e: Grumman E-1B Tracer, VAW-11 Det. E "Early Eleven."

NS023151f: Douglas A-1H Skyraiders, VA-196 "Main Battery."

Gary Schreffler
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023151a
101k
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023151b
109k
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023151c
127k
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023151d
123k
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023151e
119k
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023151f
175k
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023168
702k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) conducting an UNREP (Underway Replenishment) with USS Procyon (AF-61), circa 1962–1963.

Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023145
144k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) with her crew spelling out "Hello San Diego," while en route to San Diego on 9 February 1963. She returned to the California city, her home port, on 11 February, following a Western Pacific cruise that had begun seven months earlier, on 12 July 1962. Aircraft on her flight deck include three E-1, eleven F-8, six F-3, thirteen A-4 and nine A-1 types.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97343).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS0578842
266k

USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) refueling USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) and USS Hollister (DD-788), 5 December 1963.

Courtesy US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.038.050.

Mike Green
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023115
81k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) operating in the Gulf of Tonkin, November 2, 1964.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97344).

NHC
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023152
121k

USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) underway at sea, circa 1965. Photograph bears a "received" stamp dated 4 January 1966.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97345).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard et al.
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Colorized photo of five U.S. Navy Essex-class aircraft carriers at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, California (USA), on 2 August 1966: USS Bennington (CVS-20), USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), USS Yorktown (CVS-10), USS Valley Forge (LPH-8, converted to Amphibious Assault Ship (Helicopter)), and USS Hornet (CVS-12).

Official U.S. Navy photograph, # CVS-20-160-8-66.

Yu Chu
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 21, enters Pearl Harbor, HI, in late January 1967, at the beginning of her third Vietnam Cruise (26 January–25 August 1967). U.S. Navy photo processed by Bonnie Dick's own photo lab (# CVA-31-096-1-67).

Robert M. Cieri
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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Official US Navy Photograph of the attack aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31,) making a hard turn as she steams in the Gulf of Tonkin. From the USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) Photo Lab.

Although this photo is dated November 2, 1964 during Bonnie Dick's first Vietnam cruise, air wing composition and communications equipment hint that the ship's third Vietnam deployment (January 26 – August 25, 1967) is a more likely time frame.

Robert M. Cieri

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Two F-8E Crusaders from VF-211 "Checkmates" aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) en route to WestPac, February 1967.

BuNo 150930 (modex NP109), left, was shot down by AAA and an SA-2 missile on 19 May 1967; its pilot, LCDR Kay Russell, became a POW; four MiGs were claimed on that date. BuNo 150864 (NP103), right, was later upgraded to F-8J standard and retired in 1976.

Cole Pierce, VF-211, 1966–1969

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USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) catapults an A-4E Skyhawk attack plane (BuNo 151154, modex NP221) assigned to VA-212 "Rampant Raiders," during operations off Vietnam, March 1967. Photographed by JOC R.D. Moeser, USN.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1142110).

Naval History & Heritage Command (NH&HC)
Larger copy via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)

NS023103a
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A U.S. Navy Douglas A-4E Skyhawk of Attack Squadron (VA) 212 "Rampant Raiders" is launched from the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) in the South China Sea, March 1967.

VA-212 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 21 aboard Bonnie Dick for a deployment to Vietnam from 26 January to 25 August 1967.

Official U.S. Navy photo # USN 1142116, by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser, U.S. Navy, from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command (NH&HC).

Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)

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"South China Sea – catapult crewman uses hand signals to direct positioning of an F-8 Crusader fighter prior to launch from the flight deck of the attack aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31). The aircraft will be flying a mission over Vietnam."

U.S. Navy photo (# USN 1121089) by JOC R.D. Moeser, dated 3 March 1967, during the first on station period of the ship's third Vietnam deployment.

From the collection of CDR Thomas B. Ray (USS Essex CV-9),
via Chris Stanley

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"South China Sea – maintenance crewmen aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) check last minute details on the catapult and on F-8[E] Crusader aircraft[, assigned to VF-211 "Fighting Checkmates" squadron,] prior to reporting on Yankee station. The aircraft will be flying a mission over Vietnam."

U.S. Navy photo (# USN 1121025(?)) by JOC R.D. Moeser, dated 3 March 1967, during the first on station period of the ship's third Vietnam deployment.


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"South China Sea – flight deck boatswain signals mule driver to tow F-8[C] Crusader fighter aircraft[, assigned to VF-24 "Red Checkertails" squadron,] to respot position aboard the attack aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31)."

U.S. Navy photo (# USN 1121078) by JOC R.D. Moeser, dated 3 March 1967, during the first on station period of the ship's third Vietnam deployment.

CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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A-4C Skyhawk (BuNo 148609, modex NP685), VA-76 "Fighting Spirits," Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 21, aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA‑31), 1967. Flown by LCDR Theodore R. ("TR") Swartz (whose name appears to be stenciled under the canopy), this aircraft shot down a NVAF MiG 17 with an unguided air-to-ground Zuni rocket, 1 May 1967—the only "MiG kill" by a US Skyhawk.

(This aircraft collided in flight with A-7E Corsair II BuNo 158007, 23 June 1972, off St. Augustine, FL. The pilot, LT Kenneth J. Reed, flew his damaged Skyhawk to NAS Cecil Field but ejected when control problems prevented a safe landing—the A-7E pilot, LT R.P. StClare, ejected but perished in the accident; German guided-missile destroyer FGS Rommel (D187) recovered his body and reported he was dead. The aircraft currently exhibited at the Experimental Aircraft Association Museum, Oshkosh, WI, and painted as BuNo 148609, is actually A-4B BuNo 142112.)

Stan Swanigan,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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A-4C Skyhawk (BuNo 147843, modex NP684), VA-76 "Fighting Spirits," Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 21, aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA‑31), 1967. It was nominally assigned to LCDR Richard A. Mauldin, who had to assume command of the squadron on 14 July 1967, when the squadron's CO, CDR Robert B. Fuller, was shot down in A-4C BuNo 147709 (NP688) and became POW.

(This aircraft was later upgraded to A-4L standard. Flying with Reserve Squadron VA-204 "River Rattlers" it was lost in a mid-air collision with BuNo 149640, another A-4L from the same unit, on 6 March 1975.)

CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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F-8E Crusader (BuNo 149146, modex NP111), VF-211 "Checkmates," Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 21, aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA‑31), 1967.

CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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Three photos of KA-3B Skywarrior (BuNo 142654, modex ZB897), VAH-4 "Fourrunners" Det. L—redesignated Det. 31 on 1 August 1967—Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 21, aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA‑31), 1967. This aircraft was converted to the EKA-3B version later that year.

(The tail of BuNo 150857 can be partly seen in photo NS023167c. It was an F-8E Crusader assigned to VF-211 "Checkmates." Flying with VMF(AW)-235, this aircraft collided in mid-air with an A-6A from VMA(AW)-533 a few miles out to sea near Da Nang, South Vietnam, 23 February 1968. 1st Lt. Roderick V. Smith and his B/N were able to eject from the Intruder and were rescued, but the Crusader pilot, Capt. George L. "Larry" Hubler, was killed.)

CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), Yokosuka, Japan, mid-August 1967, just before returning to the United States.

USS Ajax (AR-6) and USS Coontz (DLG-9) can be partly seen in the foreground.

The "Monkey Mountain Crusader." On 12 March 1968 two F-8E Crusaders from VF-53 "Iron Angels," Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), flying on a BARCAP mission, were diverted to Da Nang due to deteriorating weather over the Gulf of Tonkin. Unfortunately, the weather at Da Nang was no better and LT(JG) Jerry A. Weber had to rely on his leader, as his own radar and TACAN were inoperative. As the two aircraft let down through cloud and rain Weber suddenly saw trees in front of him and he hit several before ejecting as his Crusader (BuNo 150306, modex NF207) rolled into the ground. The aircraft had just grazed the top of a ridge and crashed into the jungle near the Marine Corps facility on Son Tra Mountain (known to Americans during the Vietnam War as "Monkey Mountain"), close to Da Nang. However, Weber had no idea where he was and spent a couple of anxious hours on the ground before he was located and rescued by a helicopter. The rear fuselage of the jet, which embedded in the mountain, became a popular photo opportunity for military personnel.
Interestingly, on 24 June 1968, at the end of a night BARCAP mission, another Crusader (BuNo 149158, NF206) tried to refuel from an A-4 Skyhawk tanker but was unable to do so because of a mechanical malfunction. The engine flamed out due to fuel exhaustion before the aircraft could reach the carrier or divert to Da Nang airfield and the pilot, LT(JG) Jerry A. Weber, had to eject. Luckily, he was rescued from the sea.
Partial text from
Vietnam Air Losses: United States Air Force Navy and Marine Corps Fixed-Wing Aircraft Losses in Southeast Asia 1961–1973, by Chris Hobson.
Photos submitted by Jeffrey Kerr, USAF Veteran, and Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)


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Two photos taken during the 27 January–10 October 1968 cruise by Gary Gale, from the signal bridge, with a Kodadk Instamatic. Gary was stationed there as a signalman.

A-4E Skyhawk, VA-94 "Shrikes."

Gary Gale
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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This Crusader wisely decided to wait for a better moment to launch.

CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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"August 16, 1968, VC-5 ["Checkertails"], US-2C [BuNo] 133329 [UE]21 barricade landing onboard the USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), Tonkin Gulf off Viet Nam. Mail Call, on first approach to ship port engine started throwing parts and quit so to insure they got their mail they used the barricade, what a ride."

Hayward recalls the pilot was an S-2 driver and the co-pilot was an A-4 driver, but does not know their names. He also mentioned besides himself, the pilot, and co-pilot the other crew member was CPO Zarbo.

CWO4 Hayward Dan Lee Dunn, USN (Ret.),
via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) underway, probably in the late 1960s.

Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR (Ret.)
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023164
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USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) steaming off Point Loma, California, 10 October 1968. Bonnie Dick, with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, was returning home from her 4th Vietnam deployment, 27 January–10 October 1968.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo, # 1996.488.038.064.

Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR (Ret.)
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS09050914
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USS Mazama (AE-9) conducting an underway replenishment with the attack aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), circa 1969, location unknown.

US Navy photo by PH1 J. D. Martin.

Robert Hurst

NS023146
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CAPT Dickson W. Alderton (right) relieved CAPT Theodore P. Dankworth as Commanding Officer, USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), on Friday, 30 May 1969.

Photo courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum (# 1996.488.038.074).

Bill Gonyo

NS023135
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Official U.S. Navy photo of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) underway, dated 13 June 1969. On that date Bonny Dick was on station in the Tonkin Gulf, during her 5th Vietnam Cruise (18 March–29 October 1969).

Paul Jarvis

NS023134
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Four photos of A-4 Skyhawks taken during the ship's 5th Vietnam Cruise, 18 March–29 October 1969.

A-4F assigned to VA-22 "Fighting Redcocks."

ABE3 Ron Peterson

NS023134a
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Bombing run by an A-4F assigned to VA-22 "Fighting Redcocks."

Pilot was CAPT Albert A. "Shoes" Schaufelberger, Jr., Air Wing FIVE CAG.

Photo by VA-22 pilot LT William E. Bradford.

(Thanks to CDR William E. Bradford, USNR, Retired.)


NS023134b
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A-4F assigned to VA-22 "Fighting Redcocks."

Photo by VA-22 pilot LT William E. Bradford.

(Thanks to CDR William E. Bradford, USNR, Retired.)


NS023134c
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A-4E assigned to VA-94 "Shrikes," with a centerline buddy refueling store, in flight over USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), 20 August 1969. BuNo 151187 was one of many A-4Es (formerly A4D-5) retrofitted with the fuselage electronics hump introduced with the A-4F.

Photo by VA-22 pilot LT William E. Bradford.

(Thanks to CDR William E. Bradford, USNR, Retired.)

ABE3 Ron Peterson
Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)

NS023142
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Profile of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), 1969–70.

Courtesy of ©Windjammer-Arts Naval Art & Aviation Art

NS023110
77k Kills and awards boards in the 1969-70 era. Photographed from USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) during an UNREP operation. © William P. Jones, former medical officer, USS Niagara Falls

NS023104
556k This is an aft view of the "Bonny Dick" leaving the Niagara Falls (AFS-3) after a Vert/Un Rep. © William P. Jones

NS023105
825k A-4 Skyhawks on the deck of the USS Bon Homme Richard. 1970 on Yankee Station. © William P. Jones

NS023106
542k This photo was taken while the Bonnie Dick was coming along side for underway replenishment from the USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) in 1970 at Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin. © William P. Jones

Photos submitted by John M. Poltrack (ATN3 at the time), via Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.).

John was attached to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 1, NAS Imperial Beach Ream Field.

"I worked the night shift for some of the time aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard during the Vietnam War. I remember taking a midnight break at the mess hall and chowing down on hush puppies with syrup and coffee with my shipmates. If we needed to go to the flight deck, we had to be especially careful because only red lighting was permitted. This was done to prevent night blindness, but it was still easy to trip over a tie down chain."

These photos were taken during Bon Homme Richard's final deployment to Vietnam (2 April–12 November 1970).

CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
NS023179
UH-2C Seasprite, BuNo 149744, modex NF004.
"HC-1 held several rescue training exercises on our deployment. A swimmer would be lowered near the downed pilot to attach a harness. Then the hoist operator would raise the pilot from the sea."
(See also NS-cv63-jw69-09 and NS023498k.)
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On 17 August 1984 BuNo 149744, then an SH-2F assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (Light) (HSL) 32, crashed on take off from USS Voge (FF-1047) off Jacksonville, Florida, due to engine failure.
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UH-2C Seasprite, BuNo 150152, modex NF005, HC-1 "Pacific Fleet Angels," Det. 3.
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USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) seen from a liberty boat. Hong Kong, 24 June–1 July.
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A sailor requesting permission to go ashore. Hong Kong, 24 June–1 July.
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Yokosuka, Japan. Shipyard workers repairing the flight deck, 2–12 August.
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Heavy seas aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31).
"In late September of 1970 we received word that we were diverting our course to avoid running directly into a monsoon. We secured the planes with extra chains, closed hatches and checked for loose gear." (cont.)
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(cont.) "A few of my shipmates got a bit seasick, but we fared better than the destroyers. We had to slow down because they were rolling so badly. One night I found myself floating a bit over the bunk when we hit a large wave."
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The wet flight deck of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31). Yankee Station, 1970.
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USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) and USS Parsons (DDG-33), foreground, steam in company with an amphibious squadron, background, as they make their way from the Gulf of Tonkin to Yokosuka, Japan, following the end of one of their on-line periods off Vietnam. Believed to have been taken in late July 1970.

This was Bon Homme Richard's last deployment, April 20–November 12, 1970 and included five combat periods: May 2–25, June 2–13, July 2–28, August 18–September 1, and September 28–October 20.

(Thanks to Robert Hurst, who provided part of the information.)

Anonymous
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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Two views of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), as seen from USS Bausell (DD-845) during WestPac 1970 (possibly in October, during Bonnie Dick's last on-line period.)

Lee Noland STGC USN Ret.
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Aircraft carriers USS Oriskany (CVA-34), foreground, and USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) underway in the Tonkin Gulf off Vietnam, 13 October 1970. Oriskany, with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 19 embarked, was deployed to Vietnam from 14 May to 10 December 1970. Bon Homme Richard, with CVW-5 embarked, was deployed to Vietnam from 2 April to 12 November 1970—this was her final deployment.

David Buell
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) "steaming off San Diego, assisted by tugs, circa 1970–71."

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1996.488.038.086. Robert L. Lawson Photo Collection.

Mike Green
Ex-USS Bon Homme Richard
Ex-CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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Ex-Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), August 1971, Bremerton, WA.

Leland Barnecut, Seattle, Washington
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Bremerton, WA, 1980s. Ex-Turner Joy (DD-951), ex-Decatur (DDG-31), and ex-John Paul Jones (DDG-32) are moored between camera and Bonnie Dick.

USS Oriskany Alumni Facebook Group,
via Bob Canchola, BT, USS Oriskany 1971–1973
Ex-CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
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Four photos of ex-USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) taken in April 1992 in San Pedro, California, right before she was scrapped.

Jeremy Dennis
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This photo of ex-USS Bon Homme Richard was taken in mid-1992 in San Pedro, California, at the location where she would be scrapped. The picture shows her still intact just before the scrapping process began.

Photo by David Buell
Miscellanea
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Computer model of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), circa 1965, developed by Don Lavelle for the combat flight simulation game IL-2 Sturmovik. See the SAS website for more pictures and details.

Don Lavelle

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

Read the USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CV-31 / CVA-31) DANFS History entry

Crew Contact Information
Date:  
Place:  
Contact: Frank Pulliam, President (mapullm@klmtel.net)
Jim Kosinski, Secretary/Treasurer (secytreasbhr@gmail.com)
Address:  
Phone:  
E-mail:  
Web site: USS BonHomme Richard CV/CVA-31/LHD-6
Remarks:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Korean Combat Action Reports located on the Naval Historical Center Web Site
USS Bon Homme Richard CV-31/CVA-31/LHD-6

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Last update: 25 June 2021