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<p>NMUSN_Ships_Tarawa_Lead Image:&nbsp; &nbsp; Port view of the amphibious assault ship while underway in the Pacific, September 2000.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

USS Tarawa (LHA-1)

USS Tarawa (LHA-1)

Commissioned as an amphibious assault ship on May 29, 1976, at Pascagoula, Mississippi, Tarawa was named after the Battle of Tarawa fought in the Pacific during World War II from November 20-23, 1943.     The lead ship of her class, she was the first amphibious assault to perform the functions of four previous types: the amphibious assault ship (LPH), the amphibious transport dock (LPD), the amphibious cargo ship (LKA), and the dock landing ship (LSD).     

Relocating to the West Coast, Tarawa was deployed for numerous cruises in the Pacific.    With the multi-national force in Operation Desert Shield in January 1991, she landed U.S. Marines in Saudi Arabia to support the effort.   Deploying numerous times to the Pacific during the decade, Tarawa was steaming her way into the Persian Gulf, when USS Cole (DDG-67) was attacked in Yemen.   The amphibious assault ship assisted the damaged destroyer and helped with her passage back home.   

Following the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, Tarawa ordered to assist Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Middle East, while also assisting in numerous cyclone relief efforts off Bangladesh and other nearby countries.  Decommissioned in March 2009, she is awaiting to become the first Navy amphibious museum ship being organized by plank owners of the ship, which will be located on the West Coast of the United States.

A model of Tarawa was on display in the north-end of the Cold War Gallery.

Other Resources:
Tarawa Command Histories