Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS Princeton (LPH-5)
USS Princeton (CVS-37) (1953 - 1959)
USS Princeton (CVA-37) (1952 - 1953)
USS Princeton (CV-37) (1945 - 1952)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Hotel - Romeo - November
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Bullhorn
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (25 Mar 1967) [LPH] / Navy Unit Commendation / Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2) [LPH]
2nd Row: China Service Medal (extended) / American Campaign Medal / World War II Victory Medal
3rd Row: Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) / National Defense Service Medal (2) [CV & LPH] / Korean Service Medal (8)
4th Row: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (3) [LPH] / Vietnam Service Medal (6) [LPH] / Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal with Palm) [LPH]
5th Row: United Nations Korean Medal / Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal / Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Essex Class Aircraft Carrier ("Long Hull" group, aka Ticonderoga Class) / Boxer Class Amphibious Assault Ship (Helicopter):
  • Laid down, 14 September 1943, as USS Valley Forge (CV-37) at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA. as Valley Forge
  • Renamed Princeton, 21 November 1944
  • Launched, 18 July 1945
  • Commissioned USS Princeton (CV-37), 18 November 1945, CAPT. John M. Hoskins in command
  • Decommissioned, 21 June 1949
  • Recommissioned, 28 August 1950
  • Redesignated Attack Aircraft Carrier (CVA-37), 1 October 1952
  • Modified and reclassified Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft Carrier (CVS-37), 12 November 1953
  • Reclassified Amphibious Assault Ship (Helicopter) (LPH-5), 2 March 1959, CAPT. Frank K. Upham II in command
  • Converted at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, Long Beach CA, 19 March through 19 May 1959
  • During the Vietnam War USS Princeton (LPH-5) participated in the following campaigns:

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    14 to 17 April 1962
    13 to 17 April 1963
    24 April to 3 May 1963
    28 August ti 12 September 1963
    27 October to 9 November 1964
    16 November to 10 December 1964
    26 December 1964 to 31 January 1965
    9 to 28 February 1965
    1 to 7 March 1965
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase II
    1 to 3 July 1966
    14 July to 2 August 1966
    18 March to 6 April 1967
    18 April to 25 May 1967
    Vietnam Defense
    8 to 9 March 1965
    16 to 23 April 1965
    2 to 13 May 1965
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    10 to 30 June 1968
    Vietnam Defense
    1 to 9 September 1965
    Vietnam Counteroffensive - Phase V
    1 to 10 July 1968
    21 July to 3 September 1968
    28 September to 1 November 1968
    Vietnam Counteroffensive
    23 March to 8 April 1966
    21 April to 8 May 1966
    10 to 30 June 1966
    Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    2 to 13 November 1968

  • Decommissioned and Struck from the Naval Register, 30 January 1970
  • USS Princeton earned eight battle stars for Korean War service and six campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping to Zidell Explorations Inc., Portland, OR. in September 1972, by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS)for $336,697.99
    Displacement 26,556 t.(lt) 36,457 t.(fl)
    Length 888'
    Beam 138'
    Draft 30' (max.)
    Speed 33 kts.
    Complement 1,200
    Troop Capacity 1,450
    Aircraft 30 Helicopters
    two dual 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts
    three single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts
    eight 600 psi boilers
    four steam turbines
    four propellers, 75,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Princeton - The Battle of Princeton was a battle of the American Revolutionary War, fought near Princeton, New Jersey on 3 January 1777, and ending in a small victory for the Colonials. General Lord Cornwallis had left 1,400 British troops under the command of LTCOL Charles Mawhood in Princeton. Following a surprise attack at Trenton early in the morning of 26 December 1776, General George Washington of the Continental Army decided to attack the British in New Jersey before entering the winter quarters. On 30 December he crossed the Delaware River back into New Jersey. His troops followed on 3 January 1777. Washington advanced to Princeton by a back road, where he pushed back a smaller British force but had to retreat before Cornwallis arrived with reinforcements. The battles of Trenton and Princeton were a boost to the morale of the patriot cause, leading many recruits to join the Continental Army in the spring. (Wikipedia)
    Photo - Photo of William T. Ranney (American, 1813–1857), Washington Rallying the Americans at the Battle of Princeton, 1848. Oil on canvas (Princeton University Art Museum)
    Map - Princeton and Trenton 1777, The Battle of Princeton (USMA)
    Tommy Trampp
    Princeton 402k Starboard side view and overhead plan of USS Princeton (LPH-5)
    Plan by A.D. Baker III. Images from "U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman
    Robert Hurst
    Princeton 77k USSPrinceton (LPH-5) underway off Taiwan in February 1960 during a SEATO exercise.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, July 1960.
    Photo - Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Caption - Neil D. Tagle, USMC V-3 Div
    218k USS Princeton (LPH-5) underway in San Diego harbor, date unknown.
    ©George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    169k USS Princeton (LPH-5) underway, date and location unknown. Nicholas Tiberio
    Princeton 173k USS Princeton (LPH-5) underway, date and location unknown
    US Navy photo
    Princeton 126k US Marine Corps HUS-1 helicopters are towed to their launching positions on the flight deck of USS Princeton (LPH-5), 20 March 1960. Note groups of Marines moving aft to board their helicopters.
    US Navy photo # NH 97315 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Princeton 138k USS Princeton (LPH-5) entering Pearl Harbor, HI. in 1960.
    US Navy photo.
    Yu Chu
    Princeton 138k USS Princeton (LPH-5) after her 1961 "FRAM" modernization, with UH-34 helicopters on her flight deck.
    US Navy photo # NH 73454 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Princeton 124k Port bow view of USS Princeton (LPH-5) underway in September 1962.
    US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo # 1996.488.060.023
    Mike Green
    Princeton 94k USS Princeton (LPH-5) with a helicopter formation overhead, 15 September 1962.
    US National Archives photo # USN 1062475 a US Navy photo from the collections of the US National Archives
    Ron Reeves
    Princeton 216k USS Princeton (LPH-5) probably entering the harbor at Long Beach, CA. while returning from a WESTPAC deployment in May 1962.
    US Navy photo
    Caption - Neil D. Tagle, USMC V-3 Div.
    Photo - Richard Miller BMCS USNR (Ret)
    Princeton 1540k USS Princeton (LPH-5) moored to a buoy in the harbor at Hong Kong BCC in 1964. Allen Smith USS Princeton
    Princeton 50k USS Princeton (LPH-5) moored to a buoy in the harbor at Hong Kong BCC, circa 1960s. Ron Reeves
    264k USS Princeton (LPH-5) moored pierside at NAS North Island, San Diego, CA., in mid 1960s. A Navy C2 Greyhound is being, loaded aboard, or unloaded from the ship.
    Top photo from the collection of Ray D Bean
    Bottom photo thanks to Bob Canchola
    Yu Chu
    Bob Canchola
    41k Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse helicopters of Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron (HMM-163) on the flight deck of USS Princeton (LPH-5) off the coast of Vietnam in 1963.
    USS Princeton Cruise Book 1963
    Yu Chu
    41k A Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse helicopter belonging to Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron (HMM-163) on the flight deck of USS Princeton (LPH-5) as the ship enters Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1963. The submarine in the background is most probably USS Bonefish (SS-582).
    USS Princeton Cruise Book 1963
    Yu Chu
    Princeton 106k General William Westmoreland, Commander Military Advisory Group, Vietnam, walks up the USS Princeton flight deck with her Commanding Officer, Captain Paul J. Knapp, in late 1964, on the occasion of her delivery of flood relief supplies to northern South Vietnam
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 93799
    Fabio Peña
    Princeton 222k USS Princeton (LPH-5)'s crew man the rails as the ship enters/leaves port circa 1965.
    US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo # 1996.488.060.030.
    Mike Green
    Princeton 94k U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Amphibious Ready Group underway in March 1965. The ships are (l-r): USS Bexar (APA-237), USS Princeton (LPH-5), USS Thomaston (LSD-28), and USS O'Bannon (DD-450). Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse helicopters of Medium Helicopter Transport Squadron (HMM-365) fly above the ships while Princeton´s crew spells out the groups' designations "TG 76.5/79.5" on the flight deck.
    US Navy photo from "US Marines in Vietnam: The Landing and the Buildup 1965 Part 6, p. 195."
    Robert Hurst
    53k A US Marine Corps UH-34D Sikorsky Seahorse helicopter, BuNo 147163, belonging to the "Ridge Runners" of Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron (HMM-163), lifts off from the deck of USS Princeton (LPH-5) circa 26 August 1965, off the coast of Vietnam. G. Verver
    Princeton 100k US Marine Corps Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse helicopters lift off from USS Princeton (LPH-5) to land "Leathernecks" in the Republic of Vietnam during Operation "Jackstay", 26 March 1966. UH-34D in the foreground is Bureau # 148075.
    US Navy photo # K-31422 (Color) by JO1 E.J. Filtz USN, from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command.
    Robert Hurst
    Princeton 34k USS Princeton (LPH-5) anchored at Subic Bay, P.I., 2 April 1966 © Richard Leonhardt
    Princeton 49k USS Princeton (LPH-5), and USS Massey (DD-778) anchored at Subic Bay, P.I., 17 May 1966. © Richard Leonhardt
    Princeton 76k USS Princeton (LPH-5) moored at Naval Station Subic, Bay, P.I., in 1966. Photo by Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Princeton 188k USS Princeton (LPH-5) at anchor off Naval Station Subic, Bay, P.I., in 1967. Yu Chu
    Princeton 27k Aerial view of USS Princeton (LPH-5) underway, date and location unknown. Yu Chu
    Princeton/Chipola 92k USS Princeton (LPH-5) refueling from USS Chipola (AO-63) during operations in the Pacific, 25 June 1968. Photographed by PH3 Carty.
    US Navy photo #USN 1142529 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    Princeton 172k The ships of Task Group 76.4, the Amphibious Ready Group, underway in the Pacific, 31 July 1968, led by USS Princeton (LPH-5).
    US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo # 1996.488.060.026.
    Mike Green
    191k USS Princeton (LPH-5) underway off the coast of Vietnam, July 1968. Photo by Walter Loetll
    Princeton 142k Aerial view of USS Princeton (LPH-5) with a SH-3 Sea King helicopter coming aboard, 1 January 1969.
    Photo source ©G.Verver, Flickr.
    Yu Chu
    Princeton 19k USS Princeton (LPH-5) was designated in 1969 as the prime recovery ship for Apollo 10, the lunar mission which paved the way for Apollo 11 and the first landing on the moon. Yu Chu
    Princeton 56k USS Princeton (LPH-5) heading for Apollo 10, 26 May 1969.
    US Navy photo.
    Princeton 118k Starboard broadside view of USS Princeton (LPH-5) at sea during the operation to recover the Apollo 10 spacecraft in May, 1969. Visible on the flight deck are SH-34 Seabat and SH-3 Sea King helicopters.
    US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo # 2001.205.029
    Mike Green
    Princeton 186k Overhead view of the USS Princeton (LPH-5) during recovery of the Apollo 10 space capsule in May, 1969. The capsule is visible next to the ship.
    US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo # 1996.488.060.028
    Mike Green
    Princeton 360k A member of the Apollo 10 crew is hoisted into a helicopter from the prime recovery ship, USS Princeton (LPH-5), during recovery operations in the South Pacific. Astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, commander; John W. Young, command module pilot; and Eugene A. Cernan, lunar module pilot, were picked up and flown to the deck of the Princeton where a red-carpet welcome awaited them. The spacecraft was later retrieved from the water and put aboard the recovery ship. The Apollo 10 splashdown occurred at 11:53 a.m. (CDT), May 26, 1969, about 400 miles east of American Samoa, and about four miles from the recovery ship, to conclude a successful eight-day lunar orbit mission. U.S. Navy underwater demolition team swimmers assisted in the recovery operations.
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ID: S69-20621
    Yu Chu
    Princeton 186k Broadside view of USS Princeton (LPH-5) at anchor in San Diego Bay, circa 1969.
    US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo # 1996.488.060.029.
    Mike Green
    Princeton 119k Ex-USS Princeton (LPH-5) at Tacoma, WA., for scrapping in April 1972. She was partly scrapped at Tacoma, and finished at Portland, OR.
    Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 89319
    Mike Green

    USS Princeton (CV-37 / CVA-37 / CVS-37 / LPH-5)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Upham II, Frank Kidder, USN (USNA 1934)May 1959 - 31 May 1960
    02CAPT. Brower, Charles Merton (Charlie), USN31 May 1960 - 31 May 1961
    03CAPT. Davie, Theodore Henry, USN31 May 1961 - 1961
    04CAPT. Bigelow, Lavell Meldrum, USN1961 - 10 February 1962
    05CAPT. Cooper, Parker Cleeve, USN10 February 1962 - 31 May 1962
    06CAPT. Smith, Robert Hayes, USN (USNA 1939)31 May 1962 - 10 July 1963
    07CAPT. Boyum, John Hoag, USN, USNA 1940)10 July 1963 - 9 May 1964
    08CAPT. Knapp, Paul Joseph (Snapper), USN9 May 1964 -19 June 1965
    09CAPT. Gallagher Jr., Thomas James, USN19 June 1965 - 16 June 1966
    10CAPT. Shepard Jr., Tazewell Taylor, USN (USNA 1942) :RADM16 June 1966 - 1966
    11CAPT. Cochrane, Richard Lull, USN (USNA 1940)1966 - 29 May 1967
    12CAPT. O'Brien, Frank Hammond, USN (USNA 1942)29 May 1967 - 6 August 1968
    13CAPT. Cruse, Carl Mann, USN6 August 1968 - 27 August 1969
    14CAPT. Stephens Jr., Franklin Taylor, USN27 August 1969 - 30 January 1970
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Sea Stores
    The Gun Boss and the 'Sea Bat'
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Aircraft Carriers (CV) Photo Index Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The Princeton (CV-37) Photo Index Back To The Amphibious Assault Ship (Helicopter) (LPH) Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 30 September 2022