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USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2)

USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) was launched by Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., on 17 September 1960; sponsored by Mrs. Harry Schmidt; and commissioned on 26 August 1961, Capt. T. D. Harris in command.

In April 1962, USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) joined Joint Task Force 8 in the Johnston Island-Hawaii area for an important series of nuclear tests. IUSS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) evacuated several islands and took part in the test evaluation. She sailed for Pearl Harbor, Hi., on 26 July from the test area, and continued to San Diego, where she arrived on 10 August 1962. As a crisis flared on 19 October over the introduction of offensive missiles into Cuba, however, USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) returned to San Diego, embarked Marines from 22 to 27 October, and sailed quickly for the Caribbean. As part of America's powerful and mobile force afloat, she cruised in a "ready" status until December brought an easing of the Cuban situation. 

On 31 October 1963, USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) departed Philippine waters for special operations along the coast of South Vietnam, standing by to protect American nationals during a period of increased strife. She returned to Subic Bay in the Philippines on 12 November. On 13 March 1965, she departed Pearl Harbor for San Diego, arriving six days later. USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) received tons of supplies and scores of Army helicopters, tanker trucks, and vehicles in her hangar and flight deck spaces. Nearly a thousand troops were embarked for her western transit that began on 12 April. From there she proceeded to Subic Bay in the Philippines, where troops and equipment were received for amphibious landing at Chu Lai, Vietnam, on 11 May 1965.

After a few days rest in Subic Bay she was routed to Sasebo, thence to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, where she embarked Marines and equipment. On 26 June 1965 she completing loading and sailed for Quinohn, South Vietnam, in company with attack transport USSTalladega (APA-208) and dock landing ship USS Point Defiance (LSD-31). On 17 August 1965, Iwo Jima steamed out of Subic Bay for Vung Tau, Republic of Vietnam, to join in Operation Starlight, a five-day search-and-destroy operation that eradicated some 600 Viet Cong. During the first three months of 1966, USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) remained at San Diego for upkeep and improvement changes. From April through June extensive refresher training occupied all hands as USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2), prepared for her forthcoming Western Pacific deployment. On 1 July 1967, USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) was reassigned to Amphibious Squadron 3 from Amphibious Squadron 1, with which she continued to sail with the Pacific Fleet.

For a complete history of USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) please see its DANFS page.