The capital of North Carolina which honors the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, the first to attempt the establishment of an English settlement in North America.
(LPD - 1: displacement 13,600 (full load); length 522’; beam 100’; draft 23’; speed 20 knots; complement 490; armament 8 3”/50; class Raleigh)
The fourth Raleigh (LPD-1), an amphibious transport dock, was laid down by the New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, N.Y., 23 June 1960; launched 17 March 1962; sponsored by Mrs. Terry Sanford, wife of the Governor of North Carolina; and commissioned 8 September 1962, Capt. A. W. Whitney in command.
After fitting out through mid-December, Raleigh steamed to Norfolk, Va., for the holiday season. In January 1963 she steamed for shakedown to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but returned to the building yard in late February for correction of design deficiencies in her aviation gasoline system. Returning to Guantanamo in April, she completed shakedown, then assisted Commander, Amphibious Force, Atlantic in hosting the Navy League national convention in San Juan, P.R.
Returning to Norfolk 1 June, Raleigh completed a week's amphibious training at Little Creek and then deployed to the Caribbean in July with Amphibious Squadron 8. Raleigh proved herself during this deployment by simultaneously landing troops and equipment by means of boats and amphibious vehicles from her well and by helicopters from her flight deck. During this cruise she made one trip to Haiti as tension there rose.
Raleigh returned to Norfolk 1 October and then underwent post-shakedown availability at New York 7 January 1964 through 13 March. During the spring she conducted amphibious training operations off Onslow Beach, N.C.
Steaming for Europe 12 October, Raleigh arrived off the coast of Spain and took part in Operation "Steel Pike." She then called at Oporto, Portugal, and Vigo, Spain, before returning to Norfolk 27 November. After a yard period at the U.S. Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va., she deployed to the Caribbean 1 April 1965 with the Amphibious Ready Squadron. From 25 April through 6 June, she operated off the Dominican Republic, evacuating 558 refugees who were later transferred to Yancey (LKA-93) for transit to San Juan. For her part in the endeavor Raleigh and her crew received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. She returned to Norfolk 29 June.
After upkeep and coastal training operations, Raleigh steamed for northern Europe 27 August to participate in "Bar Frost 65," a NATO amphibious exercise featuring a landing in Norway's fjords north of the Arctic Circle. Returning to Norfolk 23 October, she underwent a yard period through 4 April 1966 and then steamed for refresher training at Guantanamo Bay.
Raleigh's deployments to the Caribbean from Norfolk as a unit of the Amphibious Ready Squadron averaged two per year up until 1970. In July of that year, she began the first of a series of Mediterranean cruises and has averaged one a year into 1974.
16 September 2005