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USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44)

USS GUNSTON HALL is the fourth ship in the WHIDBEY ISLAND class and the first ship in that class built by Avondale in New Orleans, La.

General Characteristics:Keel laid: May 26, 1986
Launched: June 27, 1987
Commissioned: April 22, 1989
Builder: Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, La.
Propulsion system: four Colt Industries 16 Cylinder Diesels
Propellers: two
Length: 610 feet (186 meters)
Beam: 84 feet (25.6 meters)
Draft: 21 feet (6.4 meters)
Displacement: approx. 16,000 tons full load
Speed: 22 knots
Well deck capacity: four LCAC or 21 LCM-6 (on deck: one LCM-6, two LCPL and one LCVP)
Aircraft: none, but two landing spots allow for operation of aircraft as large as the CH-53E
Crew: Ship: 20 Officers, 25 Chief Petty Officers, 302 Enlisted     Marine Detachment: approx. 400 + approx. 100 surge
Armament: two 20mm Phalanx CIWS, two 25mm Mk-38 guns, six .50-calibre Machine guns, one Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) system
Cost: $167 million
Homeport: Little Creek, VA


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Crew List:

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


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About the Ship’s Name, about the Sage of Gunston Hall:

History records that, among the founders of this country was George Mason of Gunston Hall. When it became necessary to write a Constitution for the United States, the friends of George Mason sought the benefit of his penetrating insight which, in truth, placed him in the position of advisor and mentor to the great men of his day. Because of his desire for anonymity these men forbore to use his name when quoting his words. Old letters and manuscripts, however, give mute testimony to the extraordinary behind-the-scenes part played by George Mason.

Study of Mason's career shows the width of his interest and influence. In his youth he was responsible for forwarding supplies to the first settlers along the Ohio River. Later, we find him writing "Extracts from Virginia Charters and Some Remarks upon Them". This paper showed that the Northwest Territory had been granted to Virginia by a charter signed by the King of England. When that territory was to be placed under the government of Quebec, Mason's document demonstrated that, under the Virginia Charter, this was impossible. Thus, Mason saved for Virginia country which became Michigan, Illinois, part of Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio.

In 1776, it was George Mason who wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, adopted on June 12th of that year by the Virginia Convention. It became the model for similar declarations in other American states and influenced the French revolutionaries.

Not only was the Federal Bill of Rights modeled upon the Virginia Bill of Rights but its outline was the work of Mason. Mason's work was acted upon and subsequently became a part of the law of the land. This was the sequence of events. George Mason was a delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention but he refused to sign the Constitution for these reasons: It contained no Bill of Rights; no prohibition against slavery; and no guarantee which would preserve the rights of both the people and the states from the assaults of federal power. In Virginia, Mason protested ratification of the Federal Constitution and, after a bitter battle in the Virginia Assembly, Madison promised that a Bill of Rights would be added to the document. At a meeting of the first Congress of the United States, the Federal Bill of Rights became the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

Mason's theories of government exert a growing influence wherever liberal government is maintained.

Parts of Mason's declarations of rights, the first for Virginia, the second for the United States of America, are now incorporated into the constitutions of many nations. The "fundamental principles" of George Mason, as written into our law, are the individual citizen's shield against aggressive power. Around the world, recognition of these principles is growing steadily. This recognition is indeed a tribute to the far-sighted and documented wisdom of the Sage of Gunston Hall, George Mason.



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The photos below were taken by me and show the GUNSTON HALL at Metro Machine at Norfolk, Va., on November 9, 2008.



The photo below was taken by me on February 3, 2009, and shows the GUNSTON HALL still undergoing overhaul at Norfolk, Va.



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