USS Cayuga (LST-1186)

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USS Cayuga (LST-1186) port view.jpg
Cayuga, 1979
United States
Name: USS Cayuga
Namesake: Cayuga County, New York
Ordered: 15 July 1966
Builder: National Steel & Shipbuilding
Laid down: 28 September 1968
Launched: 12 July 1969
Sponsored by: Mrs. Luther C. Heinz
Acquired: 1 June 1970
Commissioned: 8 August 1970
Decommissioned: 26 August 1994
Struck: 23 July 2002
Honours and
2 x battle star
Fate: Transferred to Brazil 24 January 2001
Name: Mattoso Maia (G28)
Acquired: 24 January 2001
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Newport-class tank landing ship
Displacement: 8,757 long tons (8,897.5 t)
Length: 523 ft (159.4 m)
Beam: 70 ft (21.34 m)
Draft: 18 ft (5.49 m)
Propulsion: 6 x 16 cylinder ALCO 16-251E main propulsion diesel engines two shafts, three engines per shaft, shaft horsepower 15,000.
Speed: 27 knots (50.0 km/h)
Complement: Officers: 32 Enlisted: 232

The third USS Cayuga (LST-1186) was a Newport-class tank landing ship in the United States Navy. She was named after a county in New York.


Cayuga was laid down on 28 September 1968 at San Diego, California, by the National Steel & Shipbuilding Corporation; launched on 12 July 1969; sponsored by Mrs. Luther C. Heinz, wife of Vice Admiral Luther C. Heinz, Commander of Amphibious Forces, Atlantic; and commissioned on 8 August 1970, Commander William T. Hollenbach in command.

Following commissioning, Cayuga was assigned to the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, with her home port at Long Beach, California. She alternated amphibious training operations along the west coast of the United States with regular, extended deployments to the Far East. Cayuga earned two battle stars for Vietnam service.[1]

In May 1972, Cayuga, USS Schenectady (LST-1185), USS Manitowoc (LST-1180), and USS Duluth (LPD-6) were part of Operation Song Than 6-72, an amphibious landing of Marines in support of the defense of Huế City. Cayuga and Duluth were fired on by NVA artillery during the assault on 24 May 1972. USS Hanson (DD-832) and other gun fire support ships silenced the opposing guns.[2] Cayuga received a Combat Action Ribbon for the incident.[3]

In 1976, Cayuga was filmed portraying a rescue ship in the disaster films Airport '77 (1977) and Gray Lady Down (1978).[4]

In 1981, Cayuga rescued Vietnamese boat people / refugees receiving the Humanitarian Service Medal.[3]

In May 1983, Cayuga participated in a Marine Amphibious Battalion Landing Exercise (MABLEX) transporting Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines as part of a beach assault and simulated civilian evacuation training exercise.[citation needed]

Cayuga and Amphibious Squadron 5 (PHIBRON 5) participated in Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 / 1991, departing in July 1990[citation needed] and returning to its port in Long Beach in April 1991 after an extended deployment.[citation needed] It carried elements of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Battalion Landing Team 1/4. Alongside Cayuga were the USS Durham (LKA114), USS Ft McHenry (LSD43), USS Ogden (LPD5) and USS Okinawa (LPH3).[5]

Cayuga became part of Naval Battle Force, Somalia, under Rear Admiral Arthur K. Cebrowski, in October–November 1993. Other elements of the force included USS America, USS Simpson, USS New Orleans (LPH-11), USS Denver (LPD 9), USS Comstock (LSD 45), and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.[citation needed] Cayuga received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and a Meritorious Unit Commendation for Somalia related operations from 18 October 1993 to 1 February 1994.[3]

Brazilian Navy[edit]

Cayuga was decommissioned 26 August 1994 and leased to the Brazilian Navy from 30 November that year where she serves as NDCC Mattoso Maia (G-28), named for Admiral Jorge do Paço Mattoso Maia, Minister of the Navy 1958-1961.[6][7][note 1] On 19 September 2000 the ship was purchased by Brazil.[7]


Cayuga received the following awards:


  1. ^ The spelling "Mattoso" was normal at the time though, after spelling reforms, "Matoso" is now more usual for the former minister; the spelling of the ship's name remains unchanged.


  1. ^ "Cayuga LST-1186". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. 
  2. ^ Melson, Charles D. (1991). U.S. Marines in Vietnam, The War That Would Not End (PDF). Washington, D.C.: History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. ISBN 978-0-16-035971-2. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Navy Unit Award website". Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "LST-1186". Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  5. ^ {{ |url= }}
  6. ^ "Cayuga". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "USS Cayuga". NavSource. NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 

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