USS Denver (LPD-9)


USS Denver (LPD-9)
USS Denver (LPD-9)
USS Denver in September 1997
United States
NameUSS Denver
NamesakeCity of Denver, Colorado
Operator United States Navy
Awarded23 May 1963
BuilderLockheed Shipbuilding
Laid down7 July 1964
Launched23 January 1965
Commissioned26 October 1968
Decommissioned14 August 2014
Stricken13 November 2017
StatusStricken, Final Disposition Pending
BadgeUSS Denver LPD-9 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and typeAustin class amphibious transport dock
Tonnage9,687 tons
Displacement17,425 tons
Length171 meters (570 ft) overall
Beam25.2 meters (84 ft)
PropulsionTwo 600lb. Babcock & Wilcox D Type boilers, two steam turbines, two shafts, 24,000 shaft horsepower (18 MW)
Speed21 knots (39 km/h)
Complement24 officers, 396 enlisted, 900 marines
ArmamentTwo 25 mm Mk 38 guns; two Phalanx CIWS; and eight .50-calibre (12.7 mm) machine guns.
Aircraft carriedUp to six CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters

USS Denver (LPD-9), an Austin-class amphibious transport dock, is the third ship of United States Navy to bear this name. Denver's keel was laid 7 July 1964 at Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company, Seattle, Washington. She was launched 23 January 1965, christened by Mrs. Ann Daniels Love, wife of John A. Love, the former governor of Colorado, and commissioned 26 October 1968. After 46 years of service, the Denver was decommissioned at Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam on 14 August 2014. At the time of her decommissioning, Denver was the oldest deployable warship in the U.S. Navy, and was one of the last active warships to have served in Vietnam.


Role in the SS Columbia Eagle mutiny

In 1970, USS Denver played a key role in the SS Columbia Eagle incident. When the SS Columbia Eagle was commandeered by two mutinous crew members on 14 March 1970, Denver was immediately dispatched to intercept and recapture Columbia Eagle.[citation needed] Denver never really caught up with Columbian Eagle, and sat outside the 12-mile limits of Cambodia (to where Columbia Eagle had been diverted) for a few days then departed the area.

Vietnam War 1975

In April 1975, Denver participated in Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon, Vietnam.[1]

Somalia Conflict 1993

Denver left her home port of San Diego on 3 September 1993 and deployed with 900 Marines and a platoon from Seal Team 5 to support operations in Somalia as part of United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II).

Collision with USNS Yukon

On 13 July 2000, the ship was participating in a refueling exercise near the end of a deployment. Denver, off the coast of Oahu, collided with its refueling vessel, USNS Yukon. Denver's bow was seriously damaged.[2][3] It remained in port at Pearl Harbor undergoing repairs for two weeks.[4]

Typhoon Morakot

Beginning on 17 August 2009 Denver started rendering humanitarian assistance to Taiwan due to the destruction caused by Typhoon Morakot. Denver was tasked independently to render aid, led by Captain Donald Schmieley along with two embarked squadrons, HM-14 and HSC-25.

Cooperating closely with Taiwan Army and Air Force, they were supporting efforts by airlifting food, medical supplies, and providing heavy lift support for earth moving equipment to assist with recovery efforts.[5] Due to the sensitive nature surrounding Taiwan, especially with the One China policy, the Department of Defense did not publicly announce relief efforts. Denver was planned to be in the vicinity of Taiwan until 22 August 2009 to render aid to the people of Taiwan. Denver had just completed Talisman Saber 2009 and was on her way to her homeport when she was directly tasked with this humanitarian mission.

2008 Hull Swap

In 2008 Denver replaced USS Juneau. The crew from USS Juneau took all relevant gear and documents from the Juneau and transferred them to Denver. Denver was then home-ported at Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, where it would remain until being decommissioned.[citation needed]

2009 Sumatra earthquakes

The Denver was sent to Sumatra to assist in the recovery efforts following the earthquakes there in September 2009.[6]


During the 2010 Fall Patrol, from 1 September to 25 November 2010, Denver accompanied USS Essex and USS Harpers Ferry on a tour of Southeast Asia. During the patrol, Denver took part in the 60th anniversary of the invasion of Incheon, Korea and assisted the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Megi. On 17 November, Denver, Essex and Harpers Ferry became the first U.S. warships to visit Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour in more than two years.


The ship departed Sasebo in September 2011 for a patrol of the western Pacific. Accompanying the ship were USS Germantown and USS Essex.[7]


In fall 2012, the Denver departed for the 31st MEU fall patrol. During certification exercises around Guam the Denver's boilers suffered severe damage. After 3 weeks of repair at Guam, the Denver left to continue patrol. The Denver finished the patrol with limited power.


Denver was decommissioned on 14 August 2014 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.[8] She had been the oldest active duty ship in the US Navy behind USS Constitution. Upon Denver's decommissioning, USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) became the Navy's second oldest ship.[9] The US government has offered to sell the ship to Malaysia to replace KD Sri Inderapura which was destroyed by fire in an accident in 2009.[10]

The Navy has announced that USS Green Bay (LPD-20) will replace Denver in Sasebo in summer 2015.[11]


  1. ^ Marolda, Edward J. "By Sea, Air and Land: An Illustrated History of the U.S. Navy and the war in Southeast Asia Chapter 5: The Final Curtain, 1973–1975". Naval History and Heritage Command. Archived from the original on 3 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Cause of U.S. Navy collision at sea under investigation". CNN. 14 July 2000. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007.
  3. ^ "USS Denver LPD 9".
  4. ^ Klemm, William R. (October 2002). "The Lessons Learned--Times Four". Navy League of the United States. Archived from the original on 17 January 2011.
  5. ^ "MORAKOT: THE AFTERMATH: US helicopters to join rescue effort". Taipei Times. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2009.
  6. ^ McMichael, William H. (2 October 2009). "Pacific Command sends aid to storm-torn areas". Navy Times. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  7. ^ "Essex Ready Group and 31st MEU underway for fall patrol". Stars and Stripes. 26 September 2011.
  8. ^ Peterson, Lt. j.g. Jonathan K. (13 August 2014). "USS Denver to Decommission after 46 Years of Service". Commander, US Pacific Fleet. US Navy. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  9. ^ Sanders, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelby (15 August 2014). "Blue Ridge Now 2nd Oldest Behind Constitution". USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) Facebook page. US Navy. Retrieved 15 August 2014. U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) now holds the honor of being the oldest ship in the U.S. Navy’s active duty fleet, next to USS Constitution, after the decommissioning of the USS Denver (LPD 9) 14 Aug..
  10. ^ "Malaysia to establish marine corps, naval base close to Shoal". 18 October 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  11. ^ "USS Green Bay to Replace USS Denver in Japan". U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs. Retrieved 17 June 2017.

External links

  • Official website
  • USS Denver
  • USS Denver
  • USS Denver
  • USS Denver
  • USS Denver (LPD-9) command histories – Naval History & Heritage Command
  • 1968
  • 1970
  • 1971
  • 1972
  • 1973
  • 1974
  • 1975
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Preceded by
USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
Oldest active combat ship of the United States Navy
Succeeded by
USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)