USS Inchon (LPH-12)
USS Inchon (MCS-12) in the Gulf of Mexico, 2001
|Ordered:||16 June 1966|
|Laid down:||8 April 1968|
|Launched:||24 May 1969|
|Commissioned:||20 June 1970|
|Decommissioned:||20 June 2002|
|Struck:||24 May 2004|
|Motto:||Never More Brightly|
|Fate:||Expended as a target
5 December 2004
|Class & type:||Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship|
|Length:||603.65 ft (183.99 m)|
|Beam:||104 ft (32 m)|
|Draught:||25.9 ft (7.9 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 × 600 psi (4.1 MPa) boilers, one geared steam turbines, one shaft, 22,000 shaft horse power|
|Complement:||1,443 (122 officer, 1,321 enlisted)|
|Armament:||2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
4 × MK-38 25mm Chain Guns
4 × .50 cal lightweight guns
|Aircraft carried:||8 × MH-53E Sea Stallion, 2 × UH-46D Sea Knight|
List of awards, citations and campaign ribbons
- Navy Unit Commendation
- Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
- Navy E Ribbon (5)
- Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award
- Navy Expeditionary Medal (2-Lebanon, 1-Liberia-Op Sharp Edge)
- National Defense Service Medal
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Op. Restore Hope, Somalia)
- Vietnam Service Medal
- Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
On 5 February 1980, while involved in an underway refueling with USS Spiegel Grove in the Atlantic, the two vessels collided, with the Inchon's helicopter elevator ripping through a Marine berthing space on the Spiegel Grove, and destroying one of that ship's 50-ton cranes. There were no injuries, however.
Multinational Force - Beirut, Lebanon
In October 1982, the Inchon, flagship of Amphibious Squadron 6, relieved the 32d MAU on station in Beirut, Lebanon. For their service, the ships of MARG 3-82 were awarded the Navy Unit Commendation and the Navy Expeditionary Medal.
The Citation for the Navy Unit Commendation reads:
For exceptionally meritorious service from 29 October 1982 to 15 February 1983 in a mission of great national and international importance while serving as the United States Forces Ashore Lebanon and supporting forces of the Multinational Force peace initiatives in Lebanon. on 29 October 1982, Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group 3-82 and Marine Amphibious Unit 24 conducted a combined surface and helo landing across Black Beach and the International Airport of Beirut, Lebanon and immediately commenced coordinated motorized and foot patrols with other Multinational Force contingents throughout the City of Beirut. Simultaneously with operations ashore, Amphibious Task Force helicopters provided special support to the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon and special Presidential envoys, and provided major logistics lifts from Air Support Head at Larnaca, Cyprus, to Beirut. Their superior performance and tireless devotion contributed significantly to the national objectives of world peace and Middle East stability. By their resolute determination, unrelenting perseverance, and steadfast dedication to duty, the officers and enlisted personnel of Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group 3-82 and Marine Amphibious Unit 24 reflected great credit upon themselves and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Detailed history of the MNF mission during this deployment:
Inchon was redesignated a Mine Countermeasures Command and Support Ship, MCS-12, 6 March 1995, and converted at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, MS. between March 1995 and 28 May 1996. She was assigned to the Active Naval Reserve Force, 30 September 1996. On 19 October 2001 the USS Inchon suffered a Class Bravo (fuel oil) fire in the main boiler room while conducting inport steaming for engineering trials and assessments. A fuel oil leak had sprung from a faulty gasket on one of the main fuel pumps. This resulted in fuel oil leaking into the bilge. At some unknown point the bilge caught fire. This most likely resulted from the bilge having filled up underneath the boiler, which provided ample fuel to ignite. The actual cause of the ignition to the fuel oil remains unknown. The entire bilge caught fire, and the space immediately filled with smoke. Of the nine enlisted men operating in the space, eight made it out. Petty Officer Third Class Ronnie Joe Palm Jr., age 21, of Houston, succumbed to smoke inhalation just after helping one of his fellow sailors escape. PO3 Palm had been in the Navy for two years, and was cited for his bravery in the face of the blaze. He was posthumously awarded for his heroism with the highest peacetime honor the Navy could bestow, the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.
She was laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, at Philadelphia, PA. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register 24 May 2004 and sunk on 5 December 2004 at , in 2,150 fathoms (3.9 km) of water, 207 nautical miles (383 km) east of Virginia Beach, VA.
The flag of the United States that was flown on the USS Inchon currently resides in Buffalo, NY, where it is proudly being flown on the top sail schooner, the Spirit of Buffalo. The Spirit of Buffalo is located next to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval Park, where the USS Little Rock currently resides.
In Fiction and Literature
- Hyperwar: Lebanon-1982-1984
- Google Books reference to USS Inchon in novel Treason
- "INCHON (MCS 12) (ex-LPH 12) MINE COUNTERMEASURE SUPPORT SHIP". U.S. Navy N*V*R. 2004.
- Doehring, Thoralf. navysite.de "USS Inchon (MCS 12)". Unofficial U.S. Navy Site: navysite.de.
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