City of New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, and named for the regent of France, Philipp II, duc d'Orleans. It is also the scene of Andrew Jackson's great victory at the close of the War of 1812 in which small naval forces under Commodore David Patterson played a large role. New Orleans also was the scene of a key naval action in the Civil War, in which Admiral David Farragut opened the southern Mississippi to Union forces.
Other Ships Previously Named New Orleans CL-22. The First U. S. Navy ship commissioned the USS New Orleans, CL-22, was a 3769 ton protected cruiser. The ship supported naval operations off the coast of Cuba in the Spanish-American War and convoy escort duty in World War I.
New Orleans served two tours of Asiatic service and one in the eastern Pacific up to 1917, when World War I requirements called her to the Atlantic. She escorted convoys until January 1918, and then sailed for further duty in Asiatic waters, where she spent the rest of her active career.
Designated PG-34 in 1920 and CL-22 in 1921, New Orleans was decommissioned in November 1922 and sold for scrapping in February 1930.
CA-32. The second USS New Orleans, CA-32, a heavy cruiser, commissioned in 1934 and decommissioned in 1946. The ship served valiantly during WW II and earned 17 Battle Stars (see list at USS New Orleans Reunion Association Web sitewww.ussneworleans.com).
Moored in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, and taking power and light from the dock, her engines were under repair. With yard power out during the attack, the cruiser's engineers fought to raise steam, working by flashlight, while on deck men fired on the Japanese attackers with rifles and pistols. Though guns had to be worked by hand, within 10 minutes all her AA batteries were in action. A number of her crew were injured when a fragmentation bomb exploded close aboard.
The heavy cruiser survived the Japanese attack and served throughout World War II. With four other cruisers and six destroyers she fought in the Battle of Tassafaronga, engaging a Japanese destroyer transport force. When flagship Minneapolis was struck by two torpedoes, New Orleans, next astern, was forced to sheer away to avoid collision, and ran into the track of a torpedo, which ripped off her bow. Bumping down the ship's port side, the severed bow punched several holes in New Orleans' hull. A fifth of her length gone, slowed to 2 knots, and blazing forward, the ship fought for survival. Individual acts of heroism and self-sacrifice along with skillful seamanship kept her afloat, and under her own power she entered Tulagi Harbor. Camouflaging their ship from air attack, the crew jury-rigged a bow of coconut logs, and 11 days later New Orleans sailed to replace a damaged propeller.
LPH - 11. The third New Orleans, a 600-foot amphibious assault vessel, served as a highly effective and versatile platform during the Vietnam War and Cold War.
Laid down, 1 March 1966 at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia PA; Launched, 3 February 1968; Commissioned USS New Orleans (LPH-11), 16 November 1968;
Decommissioned, 1 October 1997; Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay Benica, CA; Struck from the Naval Register, 23 October 1998; Final Disposition, to be disposed of by transfer to government agencies.
The vessel was also the command ship for minesweeping in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. The ship plucked command modules out of the sea for NASA's Apollo space program. Most recently it was used for location work during filming of the movie Apollo 13.
In 1997, the ship was decommissioned after conducting 90,000 helicopter landings and steaming 750,000 miles.
The Army’s Institute of Heraldry designs the ship’s crest based upon research into the namesake city and with assistance from the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Skillman. The eventual design for LPD 18 will represent the ship’s crew, Navy, Marine Corps, other ships named New Orleans and the city of New Orleans.
LPD 18’s crest melds the ship’s Navy, Marine Corps and namesake city heritage Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the United States Navy. Green and blue, representing land and sea areas of operation, highlight the amphibious mission of USS New Orleans. The fleur-delis honor the three previous ships named USS New Orleans and are adapted from the City Flag of New Orleans.
The battlements symbolize defense and highlight the city of New Orleans being the site of Andrew Jackson’s victory in the War of 1812. The eagle with the globe and anchor refers to the Marine Corps insignia and reflects the Marine Corps role in executing LPD 18’s expeditionary missions.
The fouled anchor is taken from the CPO collar insignia represents the Sailor’s role in the Navy and LPD 18. The eighteen stars represent Louisiana being the 18th state to join the Union. The crossed Navy and Marine swords symbolize combat readiness and the teamwork between the Navy and Marine Corps.
The white alligator is unique to the city of New Orleans and emphasizes the amphibious nature of USS New Orleans’ mission to embark, transport and land elements of a landing force. The globe underscores the world wide mission of LPD 18. The cannons recall New Orleans’s heritage and Jackson’s defense of the city.