LSD 42 | USS GERMANTOWN
USS GERMANTOWN is the second ship to bear the name of the historical Pennsylvania district of Germantown, famous for being the site of an important battle of the American Revolution. On October 4, 1777 the Continental Army led by George Washington and the British under Sir William Howe clashed in battle amidst dense fog. While having numerical superiority, the attempt to repeat the earlier success of the Trenton campaign would fail and despite a close fought battle Washington was forced to retreat. Even though the battle was lost, the new Army’s attempt to dislodge the British forces was evidence of the colonists’ tenacity and courage in battle against the better trained British troops and helped to gain French support for the final battle at Yorktown.
Commissioned on February 8, 1986, USS GERMANTOWN is the second ship of the WHIDBEY ISLAND class dock landing ships, and the first assigned to the Pacific Fleet. The WHIDBEY ISLAND class LSD was specifically designed to operate with the Navy’s new Landing Craft Air Cushion assault craft and can carry more LCAC’s than any other Navy ship. GERMANTOWN was the first LSD to deploy with this new weapon system in 1987.
On 1 December 1990, GERMANTOWN departed San Diego enroute to the Arabian Gulf as part of the largest West Coast amphibious task force since 1965. The ship played a significant role during Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, conducting mock amphibious assaults in the United Arab Emirates in preparation for a possible landing as part of DESERT STORM.
Shortly after returning from DESERT STORM, GERMANTOWN shifted her homeport to Sasebo, Japan. There she operated as a forward deployed asset in the Navy’s Seventh Fleet until she was relieved on August 16, 2002 by USS HARPERS FERRY (LSD 49). GERMANTOWN returned to San Diego, CA, where she underwent a $25 million overhaul. In 2004, GERMANTOWN offloaded Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) at Kuwait Naval Base as part of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. During the deployment, the ship also offloaded Marines for bilateral training in the United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, and Kenya and assisted in the rescue of eight Iraqi merchant sailors after their ship sank in the Arabian Gulf.
GERMANTOWN deployed again in February 2006 to the Arabian Gulf in support of operation ENDURING FREEDOM carrying Marines of the 11th MEU to Kuwait. She assisted Iraq in the North Arabian Gulf by responding to an oil fire on the Khwar Al Amaya Oil Terminal and by querying vessels before they entered Iraqi waters. GERMANTOWN constantly contributed to coalition objectives by conducting presence Operations throughout the Arabian Gulf before returning to her homeport in August 2006.
After intensive Unit Level and Integrated Training Cycles GERMANTOWN departed for the Arabian Gulf on November 5, 2007 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. After offloading Battalion Landing Team 1/5 of the 11th MEU in Kuwait for field exercises, GERMANTOWN conducted Maritime Security Operations throughout the Gulf. Fifth Fleet reached out to GERMANTOWN to operate in non-traditional roles for a ship of her class; tasking her with conducting oil platform defense in the narrow Shatt-Al-Arab waterway on the Iraq-Iran border. She returned home to San Diego, CA, on June 3rd, 2008 and began preparations for an extended mid-life overhaul period commencing in the winter of 2008.
Upon her return, preparations began for an extended mid-life overhaul period. The ship moved to CMSD on January 8, 2008 where she remained until October 2009 when she returned to 32nd Street Naval Station. The ship then began preparing for INSURV and a hull swap with the Harpers Ferry in Japan.
Focused in the center of the insignia
is a black eagle symbolizing the country of Germany. Early immigrants
from Germany settled outside Philadelphia to form the community of
Germantown. The keystone on the eagle refers to the State of
Pennsylvania. The wavy form encompassed in the keystone is symbolic of
a spring at the site of the Battle of Germantown. Water from the spring
was used to christen the first ship named for Germantown. The eagle is
armed in red and gold, referring to the Marine Corps in support of the
ship's amphibious assault missions.