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USS Bataan (LHD 5)

Named for: Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands, was the scene of heroic resistance by American and Filipino defenders against a Japanese invading force during the initial phase of America’s participation in World War II.

The name memorializes the valiant resistance of American and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula in the dawning days of World War II. Fighting on the Philippine islands of Luzon and Corregidor began just ten short hours after the raid on Pearl Harbor. After weeks of Japanese air raids and beach landings on the north of Luzon, General Douglas MacArthur ordered withdrawal from the fortified north to the narrow jungle peninsula 23 December 23 1941. There, combined Army, Navy, Marine Corps and American-trained Filipino forces oppose Japanese forces until 16 April 1942. Corregidor fell shortly after on 6 May 1942.

Tens of thousands of American service members died either in battle or during the unconscionable “Bataan Death March.” The 65 mile forced march of prisoners, accompanied by great privation and cruelty, claimed the lives of more than 21,000 prisoners in less than a week. Those who survived the march faced starvation and disease aboard “hell ships” during transportation, and later in prison camps, until Japan’s formal surrender in 1945.

Ship name number:  II

The second ship to carry the name Bataan. The first Bataan was designated CVL 29, commissioned 17 November 1943 and decommissioned 9 April 1954.

Specifications: Include armament and major systems at time of commissioning.

LHD-5: displacement 40,358; length 844’; beam 106’; draft 27’ 6”; speed 20 + knots; complement 1,108 crew plus 1,894 Marines; armament: 2 NATO Sea Sparrow Surface Missile System (NSSMS), 2 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Systems, 2 Phalanx close-in-Weapon System (CIWS) mounts, 4 .50-cal machine guns, 3 25-mm Mk 38 machine guns, and 6 missile decoy launchers to augment the ships antiship missile defense. Electronics include the Joint Maritime Control Information System (JMCCIS).

Shipbuilder: Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls

Keel Date: 22 Jun 1994

Launched: 15 Mar 1996

Sponsor: Mrs. Linda Mundy, wife of retired General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., former commandant of the Marine Corps.

Commissioned: 20 Sep 1997

Redesignated: (n/a)

Decommissioned: (n/a)

Recommissioning date: (n/a)

Strike Date: (n/a)

Final Disposition: (n/a)

Ship Insignia:


Shield: 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.

Crest: 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.

Supporters: The swords represent the Navy and Marine Corps Team.

Motto: “Courage, Commitment, Honor” are the Navy’s core values.

Chronology and Significant Events:

Apr, Jul, Sep 1997: Bataan crew certification conducted by Commander Amphibious Group TWO.

20 Sep 1997: Commissioned. Her mission is to provide horizontal and vertical support for the movement of troops, cargo and vehicles ashore. She was also the first ship designed and built from the keel up with accommodations for female sailors and Marines.

20 Sep 1999-15 Mar 2000: Conducted the first major overseas deployment. While operating in the Mediterranean the ship participated in Exercises Bright Star, Noble Shirley, and Infinite Moonlight.

1 Jul-28 Aug 2000: Conducted Restricted Availability at Norfolk.

Oct 2000: Conducted MV-22 Osprey operations.

11 Sep 2001: In response to emergency sortie orders following the terrorist attack on New York and Washington, D.C., Bataan recalled her crew and was underway 11 hours after receipt of the sortie orders with 80 percent of her crew and ready to participate in Operation Noble Eagle.

28 May 2001: Embarked an entire squadron of AV-8B Harrier IIs from VMA-223 to conduct intense shipboard training..

14 Nov 2001-8 Mar 2002: Participated in Operation Enduring Freedom. Bataan launched combat sorties into Afghanistan and sent troops to Kandahar in support of Combined Task Force 58.

8 Jun-8 Oct 2002: Planned Maintenance Availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia.

11 Jan-25 Jun 2003: While deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean Bataan participated in Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom (3 February-10 March), Operating Enduring Force (10-19 March) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (20 March-31 May). During Operation Iraqi Freedom the ship operated exclusively as an AV-8B Harrier II platform with 26 AV-8Bs aboard, dubbed the first “Harrier Carrier”. The deployment included 797 combat sorties of more than 1,400 combat hours.

20 Apr 2003: Bataan, along with Boxer (LHD 4), Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), Kearsarge (LHD 3), Saipan (LHA 2) and Tarawa (LHA 1) operated with 26 other ships of Task Force 51 in the northern Persian Gulf—comprising the largest concentration of amphibious power since the Korean War.

17-24 Nov 2003: Provided shipboard testing support for the MV-22 Osprey program. The testing was the final flight deck stability test before the V-22 was scheduled to go into production.

19 Jan-31 Mar 2004: Bataan responded to an unscheduled deployment order (a surge deployment) and deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Iraqi Freedom II. During this deployment she provided Marine support from the Second Marine Expeditionary Force as well as equipment and ammunition.

May-Oct 2004: Extensive six-month maintenance availability at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, including a dry dock period.
Aug 2005: Bataan served as flagship during PANAMAX 2005 exercises with forces from Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama and Peru.

Wasp-class LHD specifications.

Home Port Assignments


Norfolk, Va. (Little Creek)

Sep 1997

Commanding Officers

Date Assumed Command

CAPT Craig W. Wilson

20 Sep 1997

CAPT David C. Taylor

10 Jul 1998

CAPT John B. Strott 22 Dec 1999
CAPT Martin R. Allard 29 Jun 2001
CAPT Earle S. Yerger 28 Nov 2002
CAPT Nora W. Tyson 22 Feb 2004


Changes in armament and major systems (Weapons and radar/sonar equipment):

New AN/SPS-73 navigation radar installed in the latter part of 2002.

Major Overseas Deployments (or deployments away from home port for more than 2 months)

Date of Departure

Return Date

Detachments On Board

Area of Operation

20 Sep 1999

15 Mar 2000

HMM-261 (R)


17 Sep 2001

20 Apr 2002

HMM-365 (R)


11 Jan 2003

25 Jun 2003

HMH-464 (R) *


19 Jan 2004 31 Mar 2004 HMM-261, HMLA-167 Det Med/IO

* Bataan deployed with a portion of HMH-464 embarked, including VMA-542. After arrival in the Persian Gulf in February, HMH-464 consolidated aboard Kearsarge (LHD 3) and VMA-223 joined VMA-542 aboard Bataan.

Unit Awards Received


Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal     

19 Jan 2000 - 18 Feb 2000

 Navy Unit Commendation

15 Nov 2001 - 22 Mar 2002

20 Mar 2003 - 31 May 2003

Meritorious Unit Commendation

1 Jan 1999 - 10 Sep 2001

Navy Battle (E)

1 Jan 2000 - 31 Dec 2000

1 Jan 2001 - 31 Dec 2001
1 Jan 2004 - 31 Dec 2004


Command Histories Submitted:

  2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

Other Sources:

Bataan (LHD 5) Web Site,

Volume I Part A & B DANFS

Unit Awards Listing,

Bataan naming/sponsor file

Naval Aviation News magazine Jul-Aug 2004 and Jul-Aug 2005 annual “Naval Aviation Review” article.

Navy News story NNS031123-02 Bataan Serves as Temporary Osprey Nest, 24 Nov 2003

Navy News story NNS041109-14, USS Bataan Completes Sea Trials, 10 Nov 2004

CNO Daily Briefs for 1999 and 2000

Commander Amphibious Group 2 Command History Reports for 1997 and 1998

15 August 2005