USS BATAAN is the fifth Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship in the WASP class and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name.
|General Characteristics:||Keel Laid: June 22, 1994|
|Launched: March 15, 1996|
|Commissioned: September 20, 1997|
|Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding , West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.|
|Propulsion system: two boilers, two geared turbines|
|Aircraft elevators: two|
|Length: 840 feet (256 meters)|
|Flight Deck Width: 140 feet (42.6 meters)|
|Beam: 106 feet (32,.3 meters)|
|Draft: 26,5 feet (8.1 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 40,500 tons full load|
|Speed: 23 knots|
|Aircraft: (depends upon mission)|
|Well deck capacity: three LCAC or two LCU or six LCM-8 or 40 Amphibious Assault Vessels (AAV) (normal) or 61 AAVs (stowed)|
|Crew: Ship: 73 officers, 1,009 enlisted Marine Detachment: 1,894|
|Armament: two Mk-29 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, two 20mm Phalanx CIWS, eight Mk-33 .50 cal. machine guns, two Rolling Airframe Missile Systems|
|Cost: approx. $731 million|
|Homeport: Norfolk, VA|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS BATAAN. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS BATAAN Cruise Books:
Accidents aboard USS BATAAN:
|April 1999||Naval Station Norfolk, Va., Pier 7|
USS BATAAN pulled a cleat off Pier 7 at Naval Station Norfolk. Damage was $10,000.
|July 23, 2005||Gulf of Mexico|
An AOAN dies after being crushed between a weapons-magazine safety rail and a forklift.
About the Ship’s Name, about the heroic Defense of the Bataan Peninsula:
Just ten short hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, Japanese planes again surprised US forces with an attack on Clark Field, the main US air base on the Philippine island of Luzon. Subsequent Japanese landings on Luzon took place on December 10th and 12th, and on December 22, after two weeks of diversionary tactics, a large Japanese invasion force landed at Lingayen Gulf. Japanese General Masaharu Homma, with a contingent of 80 ships and 43,000 troops, waded ashore through both a typhoon and the resistance of US trained Philippine reservists. Homma landed tanks and artillery later that day and began advancing south toward Manila despite the valiant resistance of Major General Jonathan Wainwright's Philippine Scouts.
On Christmas Eve, 1941, more of Homma's forces landed to the east at Lamon Bay and began their advance toward Manila, preparing to crush the American-Philippine forces in a 'pincer' maneuver. General Douglas MacArthur put into effect plan 'Orange 3'; the original plan for defense of the island. The Philippine Scouts heroically opposed the Japanese advance while the main forces complied with MacArthur's order to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula. The retreating units were forced into leaving behind the stockpiles of food and medical supplies which were to sustain them. On December 26th Manila is declared an open city by General MacArthur and he orders all troops and anti-aircraft guns to be withdrawn in accordance with The Hague Convention of 1907.
On 30 December 1941, President Manuel Quezon is inaugurated on Corregidor for his second term of office. Quezon pledges to "stand by America and fight with her until victory is won." The War Department receives a radiogram from MacArthur declaring that the Japanese raids on Manila are "completely violative of international law" and that "at the proper time I bespeak due retaliatory measures." The Japanese occupation force move into Manila on 02 January 1942, and Japanese planes begin daily attacks on Corregidor. The Japanese assumed that overall victory was assured, and a small Japanese reserve force was tasked with clearing the Bataan Peninsula of remaining opposition forces. On January 10, these Japanese troops met up against an Allied stronghold just north of Abucay. Allied forces held off the Japanese advance at the Abucay line until their foes took advantage of a weakness at Mt. Natib on January 22nd. The American-Filipino fighters were forced to retreat further into the Bataan peninsula. The rugged terrain forced a slowdown in the Japanese pursuit , and the Allies were able to establish another stronghold further south on Mt. Samat.
On February 8, Homma received reinforcements from Tokyo, and began to regroup for another assault. The continued successful opposition of the American-Filipino fighters to the Japanese takeover of Bataan provided the much needed hope to the US homeland that the battle in the Pacific was not yet lost. In March 1942, General MacArthur received orders to escape to Australia and take over as Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific Theater. He reluctantly left Bataan on March 11th with the proclamation "I shall return." General Jonathan M. Wainwright, U.S. Army, immediately assumed command of the forces on the island of Corregidor off the southern tip of the Bataan peninsula.
Major General Edward King commanded the remaining Allied forces on Bataan. While relatively well armed, these forces were living on one quarter the prescribed combat rations and had virtually no available medical supplies. Malnutrition and disease were becoming rampant. Hunger and sickness eventually accomplished what the Allies' Japanese enemies could not.
The odds against the American-Filipino troops remaining on Bataan became overwhelming, and on April 9, 1942, with face in palm, Major General King surrendered all forces on the peninsula. Thousands of prisoners were taken almost immediately by the Japanese. With Allied fighters spread throughout Bataan, it would be days before the word of surrender could reach them all. Many refused to believe that the news of US surrender was real, and some retreated further into the mountains and continued to fight.
When Japanese forces entered Mariveles, they had captured 76,000 prisoners, most of whom were sick, wounded or suffering from malnutrition. The Japanese supply line, barely sufficient to support their own troops, would be unable to transport these POWs. The prisoners were forced to march the 65 miles of treacherous terrain to the Japanese POW Camp, Camp O'Donnell, to the north. The infamous "Death March" had begun. Many members of the prisoner garrison were systematically executed, while the sick and weak were pushed to exhaustion before being bayoneted or beaten to death with the butt end of a Japanese rifle. Many of the 54,000 who survived the march across Bataan would later succumb to disease or torture while imprisoned. The Bataan "Death March", recognized as one of the greatest inhumanities of WWII, is also one of the greatest displays of heroism and human spirit on the part of those who did survive.
By May 6, on the island of Corregidor, Japanese troops forced the surrender of Wainwright and all U.S. and Allied forces in the Philippines. It would be nearly two-and-a-half years before General MacArthur could fulfill his promise to return to, and retake from the Japanese, the Philippine Islands.
USS BATAAN commemorates those who served and sacrificed in the Philippines in the name of freedom in the Pacific.
About the Ship’s Coat of Arms:
Dark blue and gold are the traditional Navy colors and reflect the sea and excellence. Red denotes courage and sacrifice. White is for integrity. The seahorse represents BATAAN’s natural association with the sea. The red path commemorates the Bataan Death March. The spears form a wedge underscoring amphibious assault and deployment of men and cargo ashore, as well as combat readiness, while highlighting first BATAAN’s 12 battlestars. Bamboo alludes to the tropics and Pacific Theater where the first BATAAN served.
The wings represent the aviation heritage of the ship. The gold stars are for the seven battle stars earned during the Korean conflict, while the five points of the central star are for World War II Battle stars. The black mount suggests the mountainous terrain of Korea; the sun is adapted from the Seal of the Republic of the Philippines.
USS BATAAN Image Gallery:
The photos below were taken by Wojtek 'VooVoo' Wiza during USS BATAAN's port visit to Lisbon, Portugal, in early June 2003.
The photos below were taken by me and show the BATAAN returning to Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on October 29, 2010.
The photos below were taken by me and show the BATAAN at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on May 6, 2012.