Dry Tortugas islands
USS TORTUGA (LSD-46) is the sixth of the Whidbey Island
ships to be commissioned and the second U.S. Navy ship to bear that
Two Dock Landing ships of the United States Navy have been named USS
TORTUGA, after the Dry Tortugas islands off the coast of Florida. The
first TORTUGA (LSD-26) was commissioned in 1945, in action during the
Korean War and the Vietnam War, and decommissioned in 1970.
The current USS TORTUGA (LSD-46) is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing
ship of the U.S. Navy. She was the second Navy ship to be named for the
Dry Tortugas, a group of desert coral islets 60 miles west of Key West,
Fla., which were discovered in 1513 by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon.
TORTUGA was laid down on 23 March 1987 by Avondale Shipyards, New
Orleans, La. The threat of Hurricane Gilbert in the Gulf of Mexico
forced an early launching of the ship, as a precautionary measure, on
15 September 1988. On 19 November 1988, Mrs. Rosemary Parker Schoultz,
the ship’s sponsor, presided over the christening ceremony,
breaking the traditional bottle of champagne over the bow of the ship.
TORTUGA was commissioned on 17 November 1990.
On 14 October 2005, The U.S. Navy officially announced
that the dock landing ship USS TORTUGA (LSD-46), originally homeported
in Little Creek, Va., would be forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan to
replace the dock landing ship USS FORT MCHENRY. USS TORTUGA arrived in
Sasebo 31 March 2006 for turnover and assignment as part of the U.S.
Navy’s Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF). USS FORT MCHENRY
departed Sasebo 13 April 2006 to return to Little Creek, Virginia. USS
Tortuga (LSD-46) and USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) completed an
exchange-of-command process April 12 in Sasebo, Japan, which officially
welcomed Tortuga to the Forward-Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF). The Hull
Swap between the Fort McHenry and the Tortuga was the quickest in the
history of the U.S. Navy. The Hull Swap was conducted in 12 days.
supporters are rifled Parrott guns of the mid-19th century and are of
the same design as those first installed at Fort Jefferson. They
symbolize toughness and tenacity in battle.
Shield: Dark blue and gold are
Navy colors and symbolize the sea and excellence. In honor of Ponce de
Leon, the Spanish explorer who discovered the Dry Tortugas in 1513, the
colors red and yellow are adopted from the national flag of Spain. Red
is also the color of valor and is symbolic of the proud history of
amphibious warfare. The angular configuration simulating Fort Jefferson
appears as a spearhead and represents the ships primary mission of
amphibious assault. The gold wings below the spearhead reflect the
ships capability of amphibious airlift. The crossed officers sword and
enlisted cutlass honor the spirit of leadership and teamwork between
the ships wardroom and crew.
Crest: The morion embellished
with a lions
head commemorates Ponce de Leon. The wreath of palm refers to the
tropical climate of Florida and the Dry Tortugas. The stars and
spearheads surrounding the morion represent the five battle stars the
first USS TORTUGA (LSD 26) earned for Korean service and the eight
battle stars LSD 26 earned for service in Vietnam.
Motto: The ships motto, Tough, Tall
and Tenacious, is inscribed on the scroll surrounding the shield.
on images for larger view
| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
9 | 10 |
11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 |