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USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6)

USS BONHOMME RICHARD is the sixth ship in the WASP - class and the last amphibious assault ship in the Navy commissioned in the 20th century. She is the third ship to bear the name.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: 1995
Launched: March 14, 1997
Commissioned: August 15, 1998
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding , West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.
Propulsion system: two boilers, two geared turbines
Propellers: two
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)
6 AV-8B Harrier attack planesor6 AV-8B Harrier attack planes
4 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helis12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters9 CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters
9 CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters
4 UH-1N Huey helicopters
Assault:orSea Control:
42 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters20 AV-8B Harrier attack planes
6 ASW helicopters
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. $761 million
Homeport: Sasebo, Japan

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS BONHOMME RICHARD. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS BONHOMME RICHARD:

March 1998Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss.
BONHOMME RICHARD's tanks 7 and 8 ruptured when Ingalls' floating drydock broke loose in 42-knot winds. Damage was $200,000.
August 8, 2005Strait of Juan de Fuca
The 34-foot Canadian sailboat MAREEKA II collided with the BONHOMME RICHARD. There were no casualties or injuries reported as a result of the collision.
January 26, 2007off San Clemente Island, Pacific OceanA MH-60S helicopter operating from USS BONHOMME RICHARD crashes during a routine training mission killing all 4 crewmembers aboard. The helicopter was assigned to HSC-23.

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Click here to get a view of the deployments of USS BONHOMME RICHARD.

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About the Ship's Coat of Arms:

Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the United States Navy. The red, white, and blue shield reflects the national colors and suggests the coat of arms of the United States. The six red stripes represent the ship's hull number as well as the six coins placed beneath the mast during mast stepping; red being the color of valor and sacrifice. The gold fleur-de-lis highlights the heritage of the first ship BONHOMME RICHARD. The King of France gave an armed ship to the American cause in 1779 which was placed under the command of John Paul Jones. Jones wanted a name with meaning for Americans and French alike, so he selected the pen name of Ben Franklin (then the U.S. Ambassador to France), and named the ship BONHOMME RICHARD in his honor. With this ship, John Paul Jones went on to defeat the British warship SERAPIS in one of the most famous sea battles in American history. The wreath of two green laurel branches symbolizes honor and high achievment commemorating the two previous ships carrying the name BONHOMME RICHARD. The eagle, overlooking the fleur-de-lis, adapted from historic flags and documents of the Revolutionary era, symbolizes the fighting spirit, patriotic fervor, and tenacity of both John Paul Jones and the United States Navy. The eagle is flanked by six gold stars representing the battle stars earned by the second BON HOMME RICHARD during World War II and the Korean War underscoring the heritage and continuing resolve of the fighting Navy. The chief is blue with a wavy edge suggesting a shoreline and reflecting the amphibious mission of the BONHOMME RICHARD.

The trident is emblematic of sea prowess and power from the sea; It has wings to commemorate the second BON HOMME RICHARD, an aircraft carrier and the three tines further represent the three areas of that ships sea battle service: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The trident is scarlet, a color traditionally used by the United States Marine Corps, and highlights action and zeal thus underscoring the ship's assault and battle insertion mission combining the land, sea, and air elements of the fighting force. The trident, synergistically combined with the crossed U.S. Navy and Marine swords, symbolizes combat readiness and teamwork highlighting the current LHD's potent amphibious and heliborne assault capabilities in the deployment of forces ashore.

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The photos below were taken by me on July 27, 2006 (the first two photos) and on July 29, 2006, and show the BONHOMME RICHARD berthed at Pearl Harbor, HI., after her participation in RIMPAC 2006.

The photos below were taken by Ian Johnson and show the BONHOMME RICHARD during her first port visit to Fremantle, Australia. The photos were taken on October 16, 2007 (the first two photos), October 17, 2007 (the third and fourth photo), October 18, 2007 (fourth photo), and October 21, 2007 (last two photos).

The photos below were taken by me and show the BONHOMME RICHARD at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on March 10, 2008.

The photos below were taken by me and show the BONHOMME RICHARD at San Francisco, Calif., on October 7, 2011. The ship was in town for Fleet Week 2011.

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