USS Denver in September 1997
|Namesake||City of Denver, Colorado|
|Operator||United States Navy|
|Awarded||23 May 1963|
|Laid down||7 July 1964|
|Launched||23 January 1965|
|Commissioned||26 October 1968|
|Decommissioned||14 August 2014|
|Stricken||13 November 2017|
|Status||Stricken, Final Disposition Pending|
|Class and type||Austin class amphibious transport dock|
|Length||171 meters (570 ft) overall|
|Beam||25.2 meters (84 ft)|
|Propulsion||Two 600lb. Babcock & Wilcox D Type boilers, two steam turbines, two shafts, 24,000 shaft horsepower (18 MW)|
|Speed||21 knots (39 km/h)|
|Complement||24 officers, 396 enlisted, 900 marines|
|Armament||Two 25 mm Mk 38 guns; two Phalanx CIWS; and eight .50-calibre (12.7 mm) machine guns.|
|Aircraft carried||Up 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.
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. 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.
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).
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. It remained in port at Pearl Harbor undergoing repairs for two weeks.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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..
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to USS Denver (LPD-9).|