USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
US Navy 050719-N-5526M-001 The amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) conducts Surface Action Group operations during exercise Nautical Union. Nautical Union is a joint exercise between U.S. and coalition forces.jpg
Gunston Hall during exercise Nautical Union (2005)
United States
Name: Gunston Hall
Namesake: Gunston Hall
Awarded: 21 November 1983
Builder: Avondale Shipyard
Laid down: 26 May 1986
Launched: 27 June 1987
Commissioned: 22 April 1989
Refit: 2009
Homeport: Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek–Fort Story
Motto: Defending The Constitution
Status: in active service
Badge: USS Gunston Hill LSD-44 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship
Length: 610 ft (190 m) overall
Beam: 84 ft (26 m)
Draft: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 Colt Industries, 16-cylinder diesel engines, 2 shafts, 33,000 shp (25 MW)
Speed: 20+ knots (37+ km/h)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
4 LCACs or 2 LCUs
Troops: Marine detachment: 402 + 102 surge
Complement: 22 officers, 391 enlisted

USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44) is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. She was the second Navy ship to be named for Gunston Hall, the Mason Neck, Virginia estate of George Mason, one of Virginia's outstanding Revolutionary figures, and "Father of the Bill of Rights".

Gunston Hall was laid down on 26 May 1986, by the Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, La.; launched on 27 June 1987; and commissioned on 22 April 1989.

Gunston Hall is homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia, and assigned to Amphibious Group 2 of the Atlantic Fleet.

It was announced on 9 October 2006 in the Halifax Herald in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada that the Canadian Navy will borrow the 186-meter amphibious assault ship for a brief period, and will pull it into CFB Halifax in early November, 2006. About 150 Canadian soldiers from CFB Valcartier, along with their light armored vehicles and G-wagons, will board the vessel and start training to storm beaches in landing craft, much like troops did in the Second World War. The U.S. military is providing mentoring and support during the operation.[1]

2008 Somalian pirates[edit]

While on deployment Gunston Hall engaged and gave chase to the Golden Nori which had been hijacked by Somalian pirates. After days of chasing the Golden Nori was cornered in a Somali bay where USS Whidbey Island assisted with the extraction of the hostages.

2009 Refit[edit]

Gunston Hall completed sea trials 21 May 2009 after undergoing a midlife modernization availability. The work began in July 2008 at Metro Machine Corp. in Norfolk, Va., and included major upgrades to the ship's control system, local area network and machinery control system, propulsion systems, HVAC, as well as replacement of the ship's boilers and evaporators with an all-electric services system. The refit extended her expected service life which could be up until 2038.[2]

2010 Haitian relief[edit]

Gunston Hall was deployed in January as part of rescue efforts after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[3] On 18 January 2010, she anchored off Killick Navy Base and started relief operations.[4]

2010 Senior leader reliefs[edit]

In August 2010 the ship's Commanding Officer, Commander Fred R. Wilhelm, was relieved of his command by Rear Admiral Dave Thomas, commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic, and reassigned to administrative duties ashore after allegations surfaced of sexual harassment and simple assault among the Gunston Hall's crew. Wilhelm was replaced by Captain Mark H. Scovill. The ship's executive officer Commander Kevin Rafferty, and former Command Master Chief Wayne Owings were given non-judicial action over the same incident.[5]

The senior enlisted member of the crew, Command Master Chief Kelly Smith, was removed from his position on 8 September 2012 and reassigned for misconduct.[6]

2015 shipyard fire[edit]

Gunston Hall suffered a fire around 2 pm on March 3, 2015 while the ship was undergoing a maintenance availability at NASSCO/Earl Industries shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. The Portsmouth Fire Department declared the fire out at approximately 5:25 pm. All personnel were accounted for. One Navy firefighter experienced a minor smoke inhalation injury, but quickly returned to duty.[citation needed]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "USS Gunston Hall Completes Sea Trials". Navy News Service. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Navy in Hampton Roads answers call to duty in Haiti". WVEC. 
  5. ^ Lessig, Hugh, "USS Gunston Hall CO Is Relieved Of Command", Newport News Daily Press, 13 August 2010.
  6. ^ Fellman, Sam, "Amphib CMC fired for ‘alleged misconduct’", Military Times, 10 September 2012

External links[edit]